Monday, May 9, 2011

Someone Should Apologize

I was going to post a review for Extreme Rules. However the aftermath has made me decide to speak about something else. I watched Extreme Rules with an audience. Together we groaned at some things and cheered at others. This is normal at the bar I watch most WWE pay per views from. It's a community, and I often proudly refer to wrestling fans as my people. Because in that room as we are all enjoying what we love, they feel like my people. I've blogged before about how hard it is to be an adult wrestling fan. I don't think I've ever taken a classist approach to it though because on most days of the week I see no difference between my self and other adult wrestling fans. We may in general have different perspectives in life, but we can usually agree to disagree at the outcome of a match which is something to be appreciated in a world that is always trying to divorce itself from simple none-argumentative compromise. Well last week I found myself feeling a little classist for the first time.

Overall I enjoyed the pay per view. It was a nice one. Besides my usual personal preference issues with timing, I really thought it was worth the money spent to watch it. I was disappointed that Cody and Rey Mysterio's match seemed to fall short of the promise the past few months of building generated. I wasn't shocked at the lack of seemingly actual animosity between CM Punk and Randy Orton. I thought it was the most foolish thing in the world to take the strap off of The Miz considering the press he's been getting as champ. After all I can't remember the last time I saw Cena on the talk show circuit. As a matter of fact I think the last champion to even participate in such tomfoolery was Chris Jericho. Finally I was also overjoyed at seeing Christian finally be given the big belt.

Now I'm not one for spoilers so I try to refrain from finding out the results before the show airs, but the headlines from the fan sites caught my attention. Like everyone else I was crushed to learn that our hero who had finally reached the mountain top would be just as quickly dethroned. Heartache thy name would be the Friday night Smackdown we all just witnessed. When the headlines hit I was prepared for all manner of things. People trashing Vince and his good sense, WWE creative being called to task for this outrage, hell even right down to blaming other fans for not being more vocal about their desires for Christian as champion. Just about everything except for what actually happened.

What I did not expect was a concentrated and malicious series of ugly attacks on Randy Orton. I felt like I had been dropped in an alternate universe as I openly wondered, "How is this his fault now?" Last I checked Randy Orton was a gainfully employed performer for the WWE. The WWE is an organization that produces a fiction based product. The man was told that his job that night was to leave as champion. I'm not going to bandy about regarding levels of storyline control and aspects of guys pushing for their way or anything like that cause in the end none of us on the outside really know how that plays out. All we know is what we see and what we get. All we know is that this is a storyline that uses the athletic contest of wrestling to tell a fictitious account of some form of melodrama. I’m all about freedom of speech, obviously. If you don't like how the finish went, tell the producers of the content, they are always asking for feedback. Rant and rave online, that’s what the internet is for. Start a blog! Build a site! Do it right! However have the personal dignity and grace to not make the attacks personal in nature.

Needless to say I was embarrassed and ashamed for my people. I understand the issue, and I understand the upset. None of what happened on television shocked me. It was the reaction that left me stunned. In my naiveté I thought that the adult wrestling fan had matured beyond the point of taking events in wrestling out of context and confusing them with actual personal facts. Call yourself whatever you want, mark, smark, I thought everyone at least understood that this is a production, e.i. a show. The operative word here being SHOW. The story is only as good as the emotional involvement which makes where ever this is going a good move because people are emotionally involved. So emotionally involved its eating their brain cells because in this reaction is every single ugly, neglectful, inappropriate, and insulting stereotype that has ever been applied to wrestling fans. In this reaction years of wrestling trying to promote itself and its fan base as something other than delusional idiots is wiped away.

Now I don't mean to insult those who understand what is actually happening when they watch a wrestling match. The people that I have storyline conversations with, and wax poetic about past rivalries and performers; this shame isn't for them, and hopefully they will realize what I did. This is not a fair sampling of us. After all it never is the whole that acts in such a way, it is always the louder, more obnoxious vocal few. This whole affair just left me with the desire to speak for what I still hope is the majority. They maybe our people, but we are not all in agreement. With that being said, now maybe we can all get back to being what we claim we are. . fans.