by Luke Raven @ravenluke
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I fucking hate wrestling “superfans.” I hate them with every fiber of my being. Every time I see one on TV or at a show it almost guarantees a trip to the ER because I just punched a wall. Superfans are people who love wrestling, want the spotlight on themselves, but were too chickenshit to actually train. At no point have I looked at a superfan and thought, “That guy clearly has his life figured out and doesn’t suck at all!” They all suck. As you can tell, I have some pretty strong feelings about them and this article could be a little lengthy. If you want to bow out now I don’t blame you. You’ve already clicked the link, so who cares? But if you’re going to shop on Amazon after this please use our link to do so.
First, please don’t read this and think I’m talking about you. I’m probably not. People who love wrestling and love going to shows are awesome! Those who show up wearing their favorite wrestler’s gear, holding a sign, and ready to cheer at the top of their lungs are the absolute best. The first person that comes to mind is Amanda Elliot. Now, she doesn’t know I’m writing this, but it’s all complimentary so I hope she’s cool with it. Amanda is the best fan any wrestling promotion or wrestler could hope for. She goes to shows ALL THE TIME. She has gear and signs for her favorites in each and every promotion. Amanda loves taking pictures with the talent and/or of their matches which she usually tags them in on Facebook and Twitter. She doesn’t care if the person she’s cheering is hero or villain. She doesn’t care if who she’s booing is your favorite. She likes who she likes and supports them all the way. You rule, Amanda.
Another great fan is the really tall, long haired dude you see at a lot of WWE shows with (what I assume is) an older female relative (?) of his. Those two go to shows, usually sit in the front row, and enjoy the show. They don’t make a big deal out of themselves. They just like good wrestling. If someone wants to let me know if this guy has a name that would be great because right now I have a slight feeling he is a time traveling cyborg built by Skynet to come save the dignity of wrestling fans. Thanks, Wrestlebot 2000!
The problem is that for every Amanda or Wrestlebot 2000 there are dozens of douches who want the attention on them. Fans who try to “brand” themselves. Even typing that I threw up in my mouth a little. These morons wear the same crap to every show. When they know they’re on camera they ham it up so you know who they are and recognize them next time. You know the idiots: Frank the Clown, Brock Lesnar Guy, Sign Guy, Green Smiley Face Shirt Guy, etc. There’s a lot more, but I hate giving them any sort of recognition. These people dress and act this way because they want that recognition. They want you to notice them at a show and ask for a picture even though their list of accomplishments is limited dressing like an asshole and ruining the time for everyone sitting around them. These people come with a false sense of importance. A few years ago WWE put out a list of best WWE fans on their site. Frank the Clown didn’t make the list, so he proceeded to go onto Twitter and complain. Seriously.
Superfans aren’t limited to WWE. There are independent wrestling superfans who I would love cropdust at a shows. They travel to shows with only their ego in their passenger seat. They say they come to some shows so they can let other fans know who to cheer for, mention how they have more Twitter followers than most of the talent, and criticize the wrestling by those who aren’t their favorites. These are things I’ve actually experienced with indie superfans by the way. The same people also must have extremely high podiatrist bills due to all the names they drop. Look, it’s fun meeting a lot of these men and women. I don’t want to ruin the illusion many might have of their favorite wrestlers, but if you’re reading this I assume you’re an adult. Wrestlers are just regular people. So I really don’t care or like when certain fans try to portray themselves as personally knowing a wrestler because they’ve had three conversations with someone outside of a wrestling ring.
I think my biggest pet peeve with “branded” superfans is when they sell their own merchandise. Holy crap does this bug me. Especially when they try and do it right outside of the wrestling venue. GO FUCK YOURSELF! I’m not one to tell anyone what to spend their money on. Anyone can attempt to sell pretty much anything, but trying to sell that crap at shows when guys and gals have been out there putting their bodies on the line for our entertainment is too far. To me, these fools are taking money from the people who deserve it. If they REALLY cared about wrestlers they wouldn’t pull these shenanigans.
Almost as bad are when superfans have social media accounts and they play a villain character. Fans should never create fictional characters for themselves to portray. This goes back to me complaining about fans who want the spotlight on themselves without doing the work to deserve it. They try and “heel” it up on Twitter at the amusement of other idiots, I suppose. I think Aubrey Sitterson summed it up pretty well when he tweeted, “Every wrestling fan gimmick is a bad gimmick.”
Oddly enough sometimes it’s whole crowds who try and take over a show. When the crowd no longer pays attention to the wrestling that is going on in front of them then I start to get annoyed. I love rowdy crowds, but when they start chanting for themselves it becomes a little much. “We are awesome!” Nope, not anymore you aren’t. Much like Wrestlebot 2000, when a crowd becomes self-aware it must be destroyed for the good of the human race.
I get that this whole article might come off as basically being an old man yelling at kids to keep off his lawn. That’s fine, because sometimes kids need to STAY OFF MY DAMN LAWN OR I WILL GET THE HOSE! Some of you might be pointing out that I help run this site and a podcast network dedicated to wrestling. Yup, I do. However, you will never see me brand myself. I won’t play a character. I won’t have merchandise with my name and face on it. I won’t tell others who to cheer and boo. I’m just a fan with an outlet. That’s all. Let’s all be fans.