*** WARNING YOU ARE NOW ENTERING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE *** PLEASE KEEP YOUR EYES AND EARS INSIDE OF KAYFABE AT ALL TIMES *** With the last name Bond, and the complexion of milk, there’s a great deal of pride for your correspondent nearly every minute of every day as someone with British heritage. Some days are better than others, like when The Other Angry Andy won Wimbledon or the opening ceremonies for London 2012. But at least once every year, I am reminded of how terrible most British wrestling fans are.
Even the one I do like, Maffew, traffics in the weird dichotomous world of celebrating the failures of the business with the glorious and seminal Botchamania series. But while it’s clear that Maffew LOVES professional wrestling, respects the workers and the genuine sacrifices they all make to entertain us, it’s also just as clear — at least based on crowd reactions — that many of his British brethren miss out on that part of the show. Making up a large section of the folks who show up at the Raws after WrestleMania, there’s an almost constant disrespect of performers that aren’t on some sort of imaginary list of approved flippers and spinners. While this was a not a great or even particularly good show — if this were the type of review that graded things, this would have been, at best, a very weak B- — their insane chants during half the matches of the night, done seemingly every time they were forced to pay attention for more than a minute straight to something like a sort of collective ADHD was nearly as embarrassing as the idiots who performed their own match in the stand during last year’s trip across the pond.
And at no point was it more egregious than during the Sheamus-Rusev match. While it’s easy to understand why certain fans don’t like the idea of hosses, anyone who has watched Rusev on the show over the past six months (or Sheamus over the last few years) should be acutely aware that these are not your grandparents’ hosses, and beyond doing whatever they can to entertain you, are actually entertaining. But — (SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT: this is a theory articulated by Grantland’s The Masked Man which is will be discussed in the full interview that you’ll be able to read in the Wrestling Issue of The Classical Magazine, the first half of which you can find here) — like an unsolicited manuscript, Rusev is treated not with kid gloves but an accusatory eye by many “smart” fans in the crowd presumably because he (like Ryback) doesn’t fit what they perceive one of “their” performers to look like. But how many good-to-great chapters does Rusev (or even Sheamus) have to write before they begin to be treated like human beings and not impediments to MOAR ZIGGLER for the developmentally arrested? *** WARNING YOU ARE NOW EXITING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE *** PLEASE ENJOY YOUR COMPLIMENTARY CHILI CHEESE PRETZEL DOG MILKSHAKE ON YOUR WAY OUT ***