It can be pretty hard to be a professional wrestling fan sometimes. The mainstream media treats us like complete jokes. Our friends and family feel the need to remind us, every chance they get, that our beloved sport is, in fact, predetermined. And good luck dating, out-of-the-closet wrestling fans.
Worst of all, though, is how professional wrestling treats wrestling fans. You’re nothing but dollar signs. If you like what they offer up, they did well, and you were a “good crowd.” If you don’t like it, well fuck you, because you’re just a stupid wrestling fan. What do you know? Sit there, enjoy the show, and download our app. We promise, it’s the bee’s knees.
What bothers me most is how pro wrestling disrespects the pro wrestlers who are still wrestling fans.
Stick with me here.
WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee has become a fan of the ever-popular “internet wrestling community,” mostly because she’s still a wrestling fan. Apparently, that makes her a joke in the locker room.
AJ recently got a tattoo on the back of her neck, symbolizing the date she fulfilled her ultimate goal in wrestling: the day she won the WWE Divas Title. In her eyes, it was the day she finally lived her dream. It was the day she accomplished what she set out to do, the first day she walked into wrestling school. The girl who started from nothing reached the top, and she was proud of it.
And that made her a joke.
To a lot of the boys in the back, it made her a joke. Instead of sharing her pride as professionals, it made them look at AJ as a fan. An outsider. A MARK.
And to this fan, that’s just unacceptable.
I don’t doubt that all the girls work hard, but it’s pretty obvious how hard AJ works, and how much she cares about what she does. It’s pretty obvious that she takes her career seriously, and she’s proud of what she has accomplished. That should be applauded, not mocked.
But this is pro wrestling, where we look down on the people who enjoy the product. Right, Matt Striker?
At the end of the day, everyone needs to take a step back and remember why they got into the business to begin with. Somewhere in there is a man or woman who, once upon a time, watched their TV in awe and said “someday, I’m going to do this” Somewhere in there is a man or woman who followed through on those dreams and, to some degree, made it to the big time.
If you can’t remember where you came from… if you can’t remember why you got in the business… maybe it’s time to get out.
Follow me on Twitter @AndyMillerJMS