So, you’ve decided to join the online wrestling fandom. Are – are you sure? There’s still time to turn around. You could just watch it safely from your own home and nobody has to know. Still here? Well, okay, but it’s your funeral.
Much like the webpages I’ve seen when looking for recipes, I thought I would start this off with a story before we get to the part you’ve actually clicked on.
So, true story – I was at a gathering, among a group of people discussing professional wrestling. I myself was a casual fan at the time, only knowing WWE and a small smattering of TNA Impact. Someone asked me who from the current day was my favorite wrester at the time, and I respond with the only name I could think of at the time: Dean Ambrose. Oh, how foolish was I for this personal taste!
This kind person informed me with a red face and emphasized curse words, “No, he’s not! You’re wrong, there’s Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, there’s New Japan, NXT, Ring of Honor, like what the hell is wrong with you?!”
This impassioned speech was quick to change my path as a fan. Of course, how could I not get over how cool I thought Ambrose was, when I could have stanned Roman and Seth? And how idiotic was I for not watching these promotions I did not know exist before this night? Needless to say, I knew right then and there to fix this – I needed to not only watch more wrestling, but to tell others how to be a fan and to be toxic to them thereafter. Assuming you are a newbie clicking on this and not just reading my work because I am clearly entertaining and super attractive, allow me, a man with all of the correct opinions, to explain these things to you; allow me to show you the proverbial ropes on how to be a fan online and towards other fans, as surely you don’t know as much as I.
Sometimes you will come across a post on the internet, and you’ve just got to reply with opinions nobody asked for, in a manner that nobody likes. I mean, that’s why it’s there, this forum where you can just be disrespectful, creepy, or weird behind a keyboard and not face physical repercussions.
The story I described above is a great template to start from. Got a favorite promotion or talent? No the heck you don’t. You think you’re better than me? Screw you. I hate you. You’re not a real fan unless you like what I like. This is the energy you must carry into battle. Do not give in, do not let these people peacefully have their own opinions.
Do you think you’ve got this? Can you be socially unaware and make everyone uncomfortable and pissed off? Have you the bravery to act however you want and say whatever you want as though you were raised to act like a buffoon as if consequences are non-existent? Then it is time to dip your toes further into becoming a professional wrestling fan online.
Should you engage in the tribalistic nature of the Internet Wrestling Community (IWC for short), you must dig your heels in the sand somewhere. Find a promotion and worship it. Base your whole personality around it. If you need to, put merch or the logo from it on your profile picture. Should anyone appreciate your least favorite promotion, or even any other promotion over your own favorite, then may God have mercy on their soul. In this section, I will state the attitude you must carry should you be pro- or anti-promotion. Let’s get started with the big one.
Pro: The most crucial component here is that nothing exists outside of WWE, and if they do, their name means nothing if they’re not in Vince McMahon’s holy grasp. They are all also to be considered newbies, no matter how long they’ve been in this business. If Yuji Nagata were to sign with the WWE, he’d have a lot to learn with such stalwart veterans such as Randy Orton or Dolph Ziggler. Now, just sit silently while the talent you’ve invested in elsewhere have to pay their dues eating loss after loss and enduring 50/50 booking, you mark. They’ll get their time to shine someday, but for now, it’s Goldberg’s time. All hail Vince McMahon – may his cameras forever be shaky, and his continuity be discarded. Also, the Attitude Era was better than any wrestling you like.
Anti: Remember when Jon Moxley retold the story about Vince McMahon saying: “That’s such good shit!”? This is gold to use whenever you see a fan of the WWE praises anything it does – ANYTHING – that they do. It is, in essence, such good shit. Make sure you throw in the phrase “’E drones” in there somewhere. Curse the Fed with all of your might. Anyone that supports them, that watches their product is brainless, incapable of thought. How could they enjoy the finer tastes? In fact, WWE doesn’t deserve any praise for whatever it does at all. In fact, anything good they do that is remotely exciting is the bare minimum. Avoid acknowledging any good they bring at all costs. One more thing – do not let anyone fool you; even if they aren’t loyal to any specific brand, if they laud the Fed, they are beneath you, and they are clearly WWE fans in disguise.
Pro: Wrestling isn’t even that great, to be honest – but us BTE fans are as equally responsible for AEW’s success as the people who run and work the programs. As we all know, this is ours. We are above criticism, and we are above other companies. Since the inception of AEW, we were given something different, and now there is a diverse roster; with Sonny Kiss and Nyla Rose in the promotion, the checkbox is filled, no more work needs to be done there. Of course, though we love AEW, we must not forget to hate everything Cody Rhodes does. Do not make the mistake to forget to bully his newborn daughter for having the audacity to be named Liberty – she asked for this by being born with a name that her parents gave her even though it’s not really a bad name.
Anti: There may have been strides in fixing the women’s division, but who wants to watch women kicking all sorts of ass? Due to these previous faults in it, the division still sucks and [insert promotion] treats their women better. How can people support this company when all it does is sign former WWE stars? This isn’t a place where someone could just leave a job they don’t like anymore; this is professional wrestling. But what else could we expect from cosplay wrestlers? Also, [insert wrestler here] > Kenny Omega. Make sure to have tweets like this to display your opinions as fact; you are correct, after all. If anyone enjoys this filth, with the segments and matches that are massively entertaining, then they are beneath us, even if they say they’re not a diehard AEW fan. For the WWE fans out there, if AEW fans criticize you, be sure to share the gif of when the Dark Order member botched his punches to Dustin Rhodes.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling
Pros: Ah, the cerulean blue. Nothing compares to the holiness that is Japanese wrestling. As far as we are concerned, promotions such as NOAH and DDT don’t exist. The beautiful storytelling, filled to the brim with believable strikes and nuances – is there anything more delicious? If you don’t believe me, Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez can back me up, despite the fact they also praise the WWE for the classic NXT Takeover matches. Unlike insider journalists and personalities like Alex McCarthy, Sean Ross Sapp, and Andrew Zarian, Alvarez and Meltzer – who also like other promotions that aren’t NJPW – can be forgiven. True, NJPW may have been up to bad booking here and there, but Roman Reigns is currently Universal Champ and not Hiroshi Tanahashi – who is in NJPW by the way – so who is the real winner here? Wait, what do you mean a toxic person is on the roster? Does TV Asahi keep removing the coverage of NJPW from fans and content creators? Uhhh…hey, look remember when Seth Rollins compared his bank account with Will Ospreay? Haha, he sucks, right? Also, wrestling will never get as good as 2016-2019 era NJPW.
Anti: Shut up about NJPW! Japanese wrestling is fetishized, and people favor it too much over any other promotion! It’s not the end-all, be-all! How dare these people have their own tastes? Honestly, I am seething. Who do these weaboos think they are? My lord and savior Jim Cornette will tell you as much! NJPW even ripped off the NWO with the Bullet Club, only not as good because western wrestling is better! Wait- Bullet Club is made of mostly western talent? Well…whatever, it still sucks!
Pro: Remind people that Impact is involved with the Forbidden Door and of the former glory days. If anything, bury Ring of Honor for having less fans at the moment. Impact, as many will tell you, was mostly relevant in 2006, so ensure that outsiders know this.
Anti: Once a program going under, always a program going under. There’s no way Impact! will relive their glory days of TNA. Why are they asking if you even watch? Who cares how amazing and creative the women’s division is? If it’s not selling out Madison Square Garden, Wembley Stadium, or the Tokyo Dome, is it even worth not having any real fluff to it?
Ring of Honor
Pro: First of all, tell the Impact! fans above to shut up, that Honor is still real. Remind everyone about the 2000s and 2010s and be sure to remind ‘E Drones how better their “superstars” were back then. Trust me, it’s okay to completely discard the amazing performances they may have put on in WWE.
Anti: ROH? In 2021? Nah, the Elite isn’t there anymore so just tell fans that you’re going to turn your back on the other great performers that are still there. Plus nobody ‘gets’ Danhausen so don’t even give Ring of Honor a chance. Honor just isn’t real anymore.
Casuals: Shame them. Shame them for not knowing as much as you do and do it with a refined air of smugness. You are class and they are absolute filth. You are a God and they are disgusting hillbillies. Then proceed to recommend them promotions, wrestlers, matches, etc. It is a requirement to belittle them as much as possible until they are feeling totally down and possibly turned away before you point them in the direction you’ve decided.
Positive fans: Say you don’t want to be mean to anybody, because you were raised not to, or because the very thought makes you uncomfortable and exacerbates your anxiety. That’s okay. Really, this isn’t even a bit here. Take care of yourself and don’t put yourself in a position you don’t want to be in. Take care of yourself. I love you. So anyways, you just stick to the pros, ignore all of the bad instead of speaking out about it. Ignore the haters in general.
Neutral fans: Now we’ve come across the type of fan I am. Yes, yours truly fits in this hole as well. All you’ve got to do here is contribute nothing to any discussion. Try to unnecessarily be the mediator, waste everyone’s time, and just be confusing in general. Avoid tribalism, toss irrelevant opinions around, and be an all around centrist.
Fans of journalists, content creators, and personalities: Adopt as much takes as you can from fans that have made bigger names than you after making the contributions that they have. Their opinions are now yours because you are obligated to follow their lead. If one says to watch only Japanese wrestling, watch it. Joshi? Inject that into your veins. Old school wrestling? Of course, anything new is bad by default.
Shallow fans: This could go any type of way. Does a wrestler have a different accent? Steve Austin’s “What?” chants are your friend. Is a man or woman a height or weight you find repulsive? By all means, don’t keep it to yourself, let it spew from your disgusting mouth, for you, a stranger, could do better and be better with the zero effort you put into anything. Remind anybody of any insecurities they have and remind them any waking second. They’ll thank you for this traumatizing harassment that serves neither of you someday.
If anyone you follow for wrestling talks about something unrelated to wrestling, complain about it, so they can suit your tastes. Should anyone step out of line with kayefabe, redirect them, but only if it suits your needs. Then remind everyone that this is all fake anyways.
In closing, I would like to emphasize the overall message of this guide. Make everyone’s time in the community miserable. As a professional wrestling fan, you do not like professional wrestling. You hate it. So do they, and it is your duty as a fellow fan to push them to wallow in this same misery as you. After all, we as fans have gotten only but the slightest glimpses behind the curtains, therefore we know more about it than the people involved directly in the industry, with experience that trounces our own. So any botch, mistake, or anything that you don’t like is fair game to criticize. Try to sweep under the rug as much actual problematic stuff behind the scenes as you can, otherwise they will take away your favorites and that is far more important than the greater good, more vital than improving this thing we claim to love.
If you have read all of this, congratulations! You are now set to become nigh insufferable, so get on out there and be an absolute pain in the ass!
Wrestle Binn is a satirical series, a creative avenue for our team to have fun writing about the less enjoyable aspects of wrestling.