by Dustin Smothers (@SmoHawk)
This past Sunday night I took my son Conor to his first main roster WWE event. It was a Smackdown Live! House Show at the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls and we were excited.
Like I do at most shows, I was taking pictures, posting updates on Twitter and having a great time with the fans around me and especially my son and girlfriend.
About half way through the show, I noticed my phone buzzing constantly, and realized that my tweets were gaining a lot of traction. Usually, this is a good thing. However, this time I was wrong.
The above tweet started getting ridiculous reactions from people looking at the image as proof that WWE was a dying company. Here are some examples of the reactions it was getting:
I can tell you that this show drew much better than TNA/GFW could ever hope to draw. Second, let me answer the question of ju3putz (putz ha…fitting), the WWE Universe was there. It is my fault for not wanting to take pictures of the 1500 or so fans who had gladly come to the event that were sitting behind me, or to the left of me. Let’s also factor into the account this was Labor Day weekend, in a college town. The town of Cedar Falls is home to the University of Northern Iowa. The UNI Panthers were away, having played in Ames on Saturday in a losing effort to the Iowa State Cyclones. Students had no reason to be on campus Sunday night, and that should be factored in when considering how successful or unsuccessful this show was.
I bring all of this up, because we as fans are so quick to judge a company or a performer that we don’t particularly care for and grasp to any idea that we are correct. The several dozen people who felt the need to @ me on Twitter for the next 48 hours about the lack of a crowd I ask this one question. When was the last time you got off your ass and went and supported a local independent or for that matter a WWE show? Arm-chair quarterbacking in the land of Wrestling Twitter is at an all-time high, which is actually an all-time low.
I am sure the Smackdown crew would have loved for the building to be fuller, but that didn’t stop them from performing at a high level and having a blast with the fans in attendance. You would think this is where my story ends, but you would be wrong.
Monday morning I woke up to more Twitter notifications and now things were getting interesting. I was notified that Wrestling Inc. had decided to take my tweets and use them to show how awful the attendance at the show was. Is this really a news worthy situation? Does one low attended house show make or break the WWE’s finances? Or is it more about click-bait for Wrestling Inc? On top of all that, Wrestling Inc. had the nerve to refer to me as their correspondent, essentially putting my seal of approval on their narrative spin of this situation. FAKE NEWS! FAKE NEWS!
It wasn’t until I publicly called them out for incorrectly categorizing me as their correspondent that the article came down. Wrestling websites like Wrestling Inc. really bother me for one main reason. What do they bring to the industry? I’m not saying that someone can’t have a wrestling website, look at me, right? This site isn’t breaking news, occasionally we break local stories, but nobody else is clamoring to break those stories. Wrestling Inc. takes other people’s work at than re-posts it as their own. There are other sites that do this, but I’m taking aim at them today. Go to their site, if it wasn’t for people like Dave Meltzer, Ryan Satin or Wade Keller, they wouldn’t exist.
So I got a little hot over the weekend for getting drug into this great debate about WWE and their lack of attendance. To all of this, I just want everyone to remember two things. They continue to make money hand over fist, and they still drew a bigger crowd than anyone else in Iowa can. That’s not me saying anything bad about the business of our local companies, it’s just saying that WWE is still the machine the oils the entire wheel.
I don’t have a conclusion for this rant, because it is a rant. What I will say is enjoy whatever professional wrestling promotion you want, but if the only thing you’ve got to contribute on Twitter or social meida is negativity…kindly fuck yourself.
Thanks for reading!
See you all next time!