Is There Such a Thing as a Bad Wrestling Fan?

Cena, the top babyface in the industry always elicits a loud reaction from the fans, be it cheering or booing

When I say ‘bad’, I don’t mean fans that don’t watch religiously. That isn’t being a bad fan, that is just being less interested, less of a fan. What I mean by a ‘bad’ fan is a fan that will – in their passion – react to wrestlers in a way that doesn’t reflect their character.

Last night, I attended the WWE tapings for NXT and Smackdown, and despite it being a great experience, some of the fan chants/reactions annoyed me.

First off, the crowd insisted on several occasions to ring out with ‘WOO’s’ a’la Ric Flair. I realise that a portion of the people doing it were unaware of Ric Flair’s career post-Wrestlemania 24, or even who he is (in the case of the younger fans that joined in), but there were surely a large number of fans ‘wooing’ despite the fact that he broke his word to them and disgraced himself in doing so. I wont go on too much about this, especially since i’ve already written about it in a previous post, but I simply couldn’t understand the idiocy.

The main point i’m arguing about is how certain fans react to current superstars. Some of the wrestlers that got the biggest reaction were CM Punk, Chris Jericho, and despite not being there, John Cena. On the surface, this is a good thing, noise and reaction is what these guys want and thrive on. However, in the case of these three, it was the wrong kind of reaction. Let me explain:

Chris Jericho is my favourite wrestler, and for that reason, I booed him last night. Chris Jericho is a heel, and therefore, the reaction he wants is to get booed. Uniquely in wrestling, booing can therefore be a sign of appreciation. Eventhough I get excited when I see Jericho and hear his music, I realise that his best fans will show appreciation by booing him and therefore cementing his character as a success. I am also a big fan of Punk, who is probably the most original and best heels in the industry today. But he too was getting cheers from much of the audience. This jarrs with the message, morals, and presentation of the performances we are watching, andwhile I recognise that wrestlers like Jericho or Punk have earned the respect of a great deal of fans,  in the case of wresting, cheering a heel is the equivalent of booing any other performer.

So next time you see your favourite heel, boo as loud as you can, they’ll appreciate it. It appears to me that real, intelligent fans will ‘play along’ with the characters and stroylines, rather than react in the opposite way other than as a form of protest (as is often the case with Cena).

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