Friday, February 12, 2010

Sports Entertainment Weekly: 6 Types of Wrestling Fans

Professional wrestling fans have always gotten a bad rap. They are usually stereotyped as white trash inbreeding hicks whose only joys are NASCAR, and watching grown men beat each other up in their underwear. The truth is that there are many different kinds of wrestling fans in the world. Here are six types of fans that are worse than the redneck stereotype. Much worse.

6) The Casual Fan
The Casual Fan is someone who became a fan of wrestling during one of the boom periods (Hulkamania, Attitude Era) and draws most of his wrestling knowledge from this chosen time frame. The Casual Fan loved wrestling when it was popular, but once the buzz started to die down so did his interest. Casual Fans are not focused enough to follow character evolution and the pacing of a technical match. They are more interested in dangerous spots, five-minute pose downs, and diva matches.

What are the symptoms?

The Casual Fan is someone who finds it strange that Austin, Hogan, and the Rock are no longer in the WWE, and will be generally ignorant to the current roster. He will often refer to the “Hell in a Cell” at the 1998 King of the Ring as the greatest match ever, and will consistently refer to the Big Show as the Giant. Casual Fans are considered a nuisance due to their complete lack of respect for the art of wrestling, making them slightly lower than a gerbil on the list of preferred company during a wrestling event. Also, their general lack of knowledge causes them to constantly ask questions during an event, which brings about frustration and ridicule from normal fans.

Is there a cure?

Unfortunately there is no real cure for the Casual Fan. The good thing is that their attention spans are short. They will eventually tire of screaming “Suck It” at their televisions, and will fade back to wrestling ignorance until the next Hulkamania tour or DX reunion.

5) The Historian

The Historian is the self-appointed keeper of wrestling continuity. He can remember the card of every pay-per-view, the lineage of every title, and the alliances/feuds of every wrestler in chronological order. The Historian has no real interest in what goes on behind the scenes, but merely what happens in the ring. Historians tend to travel in packs, and will regale each other with the same stories over and over again, until an argument breaks out over the actual number of Ric Flair’s world title reigns.

What are the symptoms?

The Historian is a chronic note keeper and organizer. Whether he keeps the list on a spiral notebook, flash drive, or even in his own head, the Historian will use his notes to check all other media for discrepancies. The Historian is easily agitated by continuity errors, and will usually lash out if the mistake is not corrected. Historians are very unlikely to have friends who are not wrestling fans, and will consider all other activities such as going outside and dating as a waste of their time.
Other symptoms include obesity, poor hygiene, and a lack of social skills. Most often these symptoms keep historians from maintaining any and all relationships that don’t require a credit card.

Is there a cure?

Most historians are males, so all it takes to shut their cheeto holes is a well placed female. Historians fear women like Vince McMahon fears Chris Benoit references or steroid trials. Because they have very little interaction with them, most Historians will be more concentrated on staring at her boobs than discussing the history of the Cruiserweight title.

4) The Closet Fan

The Closet Fan is someone who has felt the sting of shame due to their love of professional wrestling. Fandom goes in cycles; excitement, disappointment, embarrassment, and finally validation before the cycles start over. The Closet Fan is perpetually stuck in the embarrassment cycle, and has yet to find a way to break free. The Closet Fan is aware of the stigma that surrounds professional wrestling, and is afraid that he will be stereotyped and ultimately ostracized by his peers. The Closet Fan is a self-loathing creature that is constantly seeking approval, keeping him from fully enjoying anything.

What are the symptoms?

Closet Fans have become exceptional hiders or their love of wrestling, so identifying one is no easy feat. Many Closet Fans choose not to own any wrestling merchandise, such as t-shirts and magazines, for fear of someone finding them. However, even the closet fan is unable to resist the urge to purchase DVD’s of their favorite pay-per-views, but will they will strategically replace the case covers with something less conspicuous. Many cover options include work-out videos, undesirable bargain-bin movies, and pornography. Never doubt a Closet Fan’s dedication to keeping his secret. He would rather you assume he is a giant pervert with a massive porn collection than have you gaze upon his “Best of Mick Foley” DVD.

Is there a cure?

The only known cure for the Closet Fan is by outing him, or convincing him to come out on his own. This is no easy feat, but it can be done with consistent prodding. Intentionally making incorrect wrestling references, like calling Steve Austin’s finisher the “Stone Cold Masher” or saying Buff Bagwell was in the original Four Horsemen will cause the Closet Fan’s circuits to overload. Eventually he will out himself as a closet fan out of overwhelming frustration. If that doesn’t work then take him to a hospital, because he’s likely to have an aneurism due to the stress you put on his brain by referring to the Ultimate Warrior as “the best technical wrestler of all time.”

3) The Entitled Fan

The Entitled Fan is a creature that feels professional wrestling owes him for his years of dedicated fandom. Entitled Fans have a desire to be acknowledged for their years of loyalty, and usually react with hostility when wrestling is portrayed in a negative light. Despite their lack of experience and knowledge on the business, Entitled Fans believe that they know what is best for the industry as a whole, and feel genuine anger when their opinion is rejected.

What are the symptoms?

The Entitled Fan has a hard time keeping his emotions in check. His entire world is centered on things going the way he thinks they should. If he doesn’t get his way this dissatisfaction could lead to temper tantrums even five-year-olds find immature. Since the Entitled Fan is such a bi-polar mess, it is hard for him to find anyone to stomach his presence long enough to get his frustrations out. This has lead to the Entitled Fan’s obsession with recording long-winded rants and posting them online. You Tube is a gold mine of Entitled Fans that let out their frustrations in unintentionally hilarious video outbursts.

Notice how the Entitled Fan uses his body language to convey his anger. Entitled Fans are notorious for excessively using the words “fuck” and “asshole.” They also have a tendency to randomly throw middle fingers at the camera while screaming nonsensical threats to wrestlers and management alike. Many studies believe that the Entitled Fan’s middle fingers are naturally extended when a fist is made, but not enough evidence has been gathered because no one really cares.

Is there a cure?

There are a few ways to get rid of an Entitled Fan. The most common and effective way is to continually mock his favorite wrestlers and opinions, call attention to his childish behavior, and enlist others to rally behind his expulsion.  Eventually he’ll leave out of sheer frustration, only to go home and make a video for his followers on You Tube to mock. The other way is to agree with his delusional sense of entitlement, lure him into a false sense of security, and then hit him in the head with a hammer. This option is universally considered more fun, and will give you a measure of satisfaction to go along with your momentary peace.

2) The “Smark” aka The Know-It-All Fan

“Smark” is a term created by the internet community to describe a fan that enjoys pro wrestling despite or because he knows that it is staged. They are perpetual know-it-alls who believe they are better than most wrestling fans due to a false sense of superiority they gain from the “knowledge” they gain from wrestling gossip websites. Their inflated egos make them pariahs in the wrestling community, and are usually treated with hostility when identified. A “Smark” cannot fathom anything that is considered fun, so he will degrade and ridicule anything that others are trying to enjoy by subtlety dishing out demeaning comments and useless “facts” until everyone is as miserable as him.

What are the symptoms?

“Smarks” are similar to Entitled Fans, in which they think they know what is best for the business and want to be acknowledged for their understanding of the industries ins-and-outs. Where they differ is that “Smarks” not only keep their emotions in check, but can effectively use your emotions against you. “Smarks” are word spinners and shit stirrers, and can manipulate a conversation without anyone realizing it. “Smarks” are intelligent masters of manipulation, and can be extremely dangerous to anyone who is unaware of their power.
The best way to out a “Smark” is to praise John Cena or Triple H in their presence. “Smarks” are notorious haters of anything popular, and will never turn down a chance to bash what they consider to be the two most despicable men in the industry. While this is the easiest way to identify a “Smark,” it is also the most dangerous. Once you get a “Smark” going about Triple H’s backstage pull or Cena’s lack of wrestling ability, you will be caught in a whirlwind of pretentiousness and elitism that very few can survive.

Is there a cure?

There is no cure for “Smarks.” Much like the common zombie, you can either join them or kill them. While we here at the John Report do not endorse killing in any way, we would like to point out that if you choose the latter, you might want to have a shovel, some lime, and a gallon of bleach handy.

1) The “Mark” aka The Crazy Fan

The “Mark” is the worst kind of wrestling fan. The term mark has a duel usage in the wrestling community. It can refer to a fan who believes that the characters and events of some or all of professional wrestling are real, or to a fan who idolizes a particular wrestler, promotion, or style of wrestling to a point some might consider excessive. Either way, a “Mark” is someone that must be avoided at all costs, for their idiocy knows no bounds.

What are the symptoms?

“Marks” are easily identifiable by their over-eager displays of fandom. “Marks” are  a parent’s worst fears come true: wrestling finally making their child go crazy. The key to balancing a normal life with wrestling fandom is shame, and “Marks” feel none. A “Mark” will dress up as the Undertaker to go to a funeral because they simply don’t give a shit. A “Mark” will shout at the TV and will be entirely convinced that his words have an effect on the program.

“Marks” are dangerous creatures, because they are borderline retarded. Here we have a guy who is not only a “Mark,” but he is proud of it.

I stated that there are two definitions of a “Mark,” but what worries me is I can’t really figure out which one this guy is. He’s obviously disturbed, but I’m not entirely convinced he’s as retarded as he appears. Regardless, his behavior is a perfect example of a “Mark”; loud, violent, and dumb.

Is there a cure?

The only cure for a “Mark” is another “Mark” of equal insanity. It will go on for months and will cost hundreds of lives, but eventually they will destroy each other in an the same kind of apocalyptic nightmare that destroyed the dinosaurs.

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