You are a geek. A Wrestling Geek.
But what does that mean?
It’s certainly not a bad thing. There are many geeks in the world. One could even make the argument that everyone is a geek for something. There are Martha Stewart Geeks, Oprah Winfrey Geeks, Sports Geeks, Jesus Geeks (often classified as Freaks), and all manner of other types of Geeks. Everyone is a geek for something.
But you’re a Wrestling Geek. Where do you stack up?
Not too well, I’m afraid. As you well know, there is a perception out there of wrestling fans that is not terribly flattering. Only rednecks, kids, and the sub-intelligent watch `rassling, right? Remember when TNN coupled ECW with Roller derby? There’s a reason for that (it was done with the WWF too, back in the day. I distinctly remember watching the “LA T-Birds” do battle after “Superstars” growing up in Southern California. Give me a shout-out if you know what I’m talking about).
Of course, the stereotype is not unfounded. Just go to a wrestling event sometime and you’ll see why everyone believes that. But those are marks. You’re a full fledged smart. You’re a productive member of society that just happens to follow wrestling. Surely you’re seen in a different light, right?
Look at it by comparison. Sport Geeks who follow Football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, or to a lesser extent, Soccer with passion and keep themselves “in the know” for everything that happens are very much accepted. We’re not talking about casual fans here; we’re talking about the people who are rabid for the sport. By mainstream society, they are accepted as somewhat eccentric but enjoyable people to be around. They have whole networks, shows, games, and commercials devoted to them.
The Movie Geek is also accepted, albeit on a slightly lesser scale. It’s not that big a deal to know someone who knows everything about Hollywood. It can even be a little handy every now and then. Need to know who starred in what movie? Call the Movie Geek. Want to know if a certain movie is worth the money? The Movie Geek will tell you. And aside from being a little pretentious about those “artsy” films, the movie geek is a good person.
The Computer Geek used to be habitually made fun of, but is now a coveted friend. Heaven forbid you get some virus or worm and your only hope is the one guy you constantly take shots at because of his pocket protector.
The Star Trek Geek (Trekkie or Trekker or whatever they call themselves now) actually had a documentary made about them (and quite a good one at that). While still viewed in a bad light, great strides have been made to help these geeks gain acceptance.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.
The Wrestling Geek has not gained any real acceptance in the mainstream world. Oh sure, the wrestling boom in the late 90’s helped soften the blow a bit; but even then, many of us had trouble admitting to others of our passion. You, Wrestling Geek, are viewed as the bottom of the barrel. Even the other geeks I’ve already mentioned look down on you. But that’s not the worst of it.
The worst thing. . .the hardest thing about being a wrestling geek is not the stereotype. It’s not the embarrassment of admitting you watch it. It’s not even being ranked as the lowest geek there is. The hardest thing about being a wrestling geek is the fact that the number one wrestling company joins in the fun of making fun of us. Et tu, WWE?
Wrestling Geek, listen to me. The WWE doesn’t like you. It doesn’t want you to be smart. It doesn’t want you to remember anything past two months ago. It doesn’t want you to like workrate. It doesn’t want you to get on the internet (other than their own website). It doesn’t want you to be critical. It doesn’t want you to point out errors. It doesn’t even want you to enjoy the athleticism of it’s wrestlers.
The WWE only wants you to sit on your couch and be a mark.
This is the vicious cycle the WWE finds itself in. Vince and company want everyone to enjoy Sports Entertainment. And then, the one’s who do like it, end up wanting to know more. But once they do, Vince and company makes fun of them for liking their product enough to research it.
Understand, Vince would never do the dirty work of insulting you personally. As a matter of fact, he praises you. But don’t believe him. In February 1999, Vince spoke these glowing words to Inside Edition in regards to your direct impact on his company:
“It has and it’s sky-rocketed because of one reason, and that’s our creative direction. Our audience ‹ and it’s important to listen to our audience ‹ and we do listen to ours. We get instant feedback on a nightly basis, wherever we perform somewhere in the world. So we listen to our audience. We work very closely with our audience. And our audience was screaming, ŒJeez, we’re tired of the good versus the evil.'”
That may have been true back in the days when he needed an audience to continue to beat WCW, but it isn’t true now. Since the decline in ratings, the majority of people watching wrestling now are Wrestling Geeks. And Vince might even listen to you, if he actually cared about wrestling at all.
“I haven’t the slightest idea what professional wrestling is. . .we don’t do professional wrestling. . .we’re in the entertainment industry and we’re about sports-entertainment. . .we combine all these different elements together and you have this wonderful hybrid of which there’s nothing like it on television.” (Vince McMahon on Inside Edition, February 1999)
So, rather than insult the fans he’s created, Vince allows his wrestlers to do it. Two of the most famous examples happened earlier this year.
“I couldn’t care less about what fans on the Internet think.” (HHH, in an interview on WWE.com)
Then, of course Bradshaw said that internet fans “love to be negative”. Both of these quotes were put on the WWE website and directly targeted at you, the Wrestling Geek. “Well, that’s how the wrestlers feel, not the company.” Do you think for one second that the company would have allowed those comments to go out to their HARDCORE FANS if they were not “okay” with them?
It makes me think these words might be prolific:
“Do you know how I think you should be remembered Vince? Your greatest accomplishment is the fact that you single-handedly took a guy who loved this company, who would do anything for it, risked his life, defended this company, you were able to take this guy, and you made him no longer care.” Mick Foley, Raw after Survivor Series 2001.
The hardest thing for Wrestling Geeks everywhere to take is the fact we are Vince McMahon’s unwanted children. But don’t fret. You’re not alone. Be proud of who you are. Our numbers are always growing.
Be a Geek.
This is Roland
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