Professional wrestling is a strange and unique sport. In fact, it’s not really a sport at all. It’s a ballet of brutality and violence carefully orchestrated to appear as a professional sport. Wrestling fans have accepted this fact over the years, and have embraced the crazy world of professional wrestling for what it truly is. And while it’s harder to explain the appeal of the predetermined bouts masquerading as legitimate moments of chaos to others outside of the fandom, wrestling fans simply get it and weave the world of sports entertainment in to their normal lives. Yes, wrestling fandom isn’t just reserved for Mondays and the occasional WWE Network special. It’s part of everyday life for some wrestling fans even when it’s unintentional.
There’s no off switch for wrestling fandom, and the interest for it never truly goes away. Diehard wrestling fans see and use professional wresting outside of television everyday. And whether we want to admit it or not, it’s earned its place in nerd culture. So once you’re hooked on the squared circle, there’s no going back. And as embarrassing as it might be to watch it at times, wrestling fans can’t help but to indulge in the world of cheesy fantasy and illogical writing. Because in the end, wrestling is just soap operas with championship titles changing hands. And even that description alone sounds incredibly appealing. But if you’re still on the fences about your fandom for the choreographed weekly display of athleticism, then here are five signs that you’re a diehard wrestling fan.
5. You imagine having theme music throughout the day
So you’re at work, or out with friends somewhere public. You leave to visit the restroom for a moment. The next thing you know, you’re returning in to the room with Randy Orton’s theme music in your head as you imagine pyro going off around you. As random as that might seem to others if you were to talk about it out loud, it’s actually something common in the everyday life of a wrestling fan. We’re given the chance to act it out a little more in the privacy of our own home, but the urge to make a huge entrance as if we’re making our way to the ring is constantly there. It’s even worse when the entrance is more appealing such as double doors propped open to give it that wrestling entrance feel to it. We’re simply drawn to the feeling of making a big entrance, and it pops in our mind in the most random times.
So next time you’re out in public and feel like striking a pose while your favorite theme plays in your head, rest assure that you’re not the only one. Because while you’re pretending to be The Undertaker making his way to the ring secretly in your head, Bray Wyatt might be making his entrance right across the room for you.
4. You use wrestling lingo in real life
Wrestling lingo is the terms and phrases used within the wrestling business. It’s wrestling language used behind the scenes that has existed for years within the wrestling business. But due to the internet and a lot of shoot interviews (shoot means real, honest, and unscripted), online wrestling fans commonly referred to as the internet wrestling community (IWC) have adopted the way of speaking. And while some fans attempt to use wrestling lingo online to seem cool, some diehard fans have adopted wrestling lingo in to their actual speech in the real world. It has become more than just a way to talk about wrestling online. It has become the way they talk and address anything in life.
For example, let’s look at the recent comic book news on Captain America joining Hydra. For most comic fans, they would describe it as him becoming a villain. But for diehard wrestling fans, we might accidentally describe it as turning heel out of habit. It doesn’t mean that Steve Rodgers made his way down to the ring, hit a leg drop on Nick Fury, and ripped his shirt open to reveal a Hydra World Order shirt. It’s a reflection of how wrestling fans were conditioned to see villains and heroes as “heels” and “faces” due to years of enjoying sports entertainment. It comes second nature to wrestling fans sometimes. Wrestling terminology fits in to the real life easier than you might think. And for diehard wrestling fans whom may have used them online countless times as part of their speech, it could easily slip in to real conversation about non wrestling related subjects.
3. Real fights are referred to as matches on accident
Wresting is staged. There’s no denying that. But the risk and pain involved with it is real. So wrestling fans tune in for the soap opera element of the storylines along with the athleticism of the wrestlers involved. And while wrestling definitely has it’s dedicated fandom, some of the same fans love to watch UFC and boxing as well. But the problem with flipping between choreographed combat versus real fighting is that diehard fans have difficulty separating the two by name at times. A fight is a fight. It’s brutal and it’s real. But a match is a wrestling match, which is not the same thing as an actual slugfest. So it could come off a little embarrassing for wrestling fans when we inadvertently refer to a UFC fight as a match instead.
Our brains are conditioned to wrestling matches. So despite being completely aware that boxing and MMA are sports with legitimate fights involved, it becomes habit to call them matches instead. Diehard wrestling fans can’t help it, and are constantly correcting themselves when talking about MMA. While the octagon has nothing in common with the squared circle aside from a few crossover stars, referring to real fights as matches is a habit that is hard to break.
2. The real backstage drama is more interesting
Wrestling fans might tune in for the wrestling, but diehard wrestling fans are more obsessed with what happens behind the scenes. Diehard fans want to know the ins and outs of the business, what the company’s next plans for certain stars are, and all of the drama that will never make it in front of the camera. We love real life drama. We love reading the dirt sheets (dirt sheets are websites dedicated to revealing wrestling news and plans not intended for the public to know). A curiosity for how things are off camera might be the biggest indicator that you’re a diehard wrestling fan. Because there’s no denying that the best wrestling stories happen off camera.
1. You can’t stop watching even if you wanted to
So the WWE’s hand picked superstar is not a fan favorite. And instead of turning him heel, they force him on the fans by making every moment of their show about him. He even becomes unstoppable and basically defeats groups of wrestlers on his own on a consistent basis. You become tired of it. You swear that you’re done with WWE’s product due to it not listening to its fans. You’re never going to watch it again, and you’re going to unsubscribe from the WWE Network. And then Monday comes around and you tune in like always.
Wrestling fans have a love hate relationship with WWE. While the company is definitely not the only place to get your wrestling fix from, it is the most well known and widely available form of wrestling entertainment. When people think of wrestling, WWE comes to mind the way Xbox and Call of duty does when people mention gaming. So it’s hard to avoid the mainstream appeal of WWE, especially considering that some of the best stars in the independent circuit are currently being scouted to join the big leagues. WWE insults the intelligence of their audience on a weekly basis, but it is the home of some of the biggest stars in professional wrestling. So it’s hard for a diehard wrestling fan to tune out for good.
Even if a diehard wrestling fan quits wrestling, there’s still the habit of reading the dirt sheets and following social media dedicated to the world of sports entertainment. So when something happens that gains our interest again, we’re back to the routine of tuning in every Monday like we never left. Professional wrestling, I wish I could quit you!
Being a diehard wrestling fan means that you’re a part of a fandom that isn’t as mainstream as it used to be. But there is definitely a community for it, and it has grown over the years. So if you’re in denial of your place in the world of wrestling fandom, then relax and enjoy knowing that you are not the only one obsessed with this bizarre form of entertainment. Embrace it along with all of the contradictions that comes with it. Because in the end, it’s all about having fun. And despite all of the things WWE may get wrong sometimes, fun is the one thing it always gets right.