Why Hide My Love of Pro Wrestling?

Post Reply
User avatar
AmplifiedtoRock
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:06 pm
Location: Central NY
Contact:

Why Hide My Love of Pro Wrestling?

Post by AmplifiedtoRock » Fri May 13, 2016 4:06 pm

http://www.voicesofwrestling.com/2016/0 ... wrestling/

I think this is an interesting subject. I'd venture to say that most of our discomfort in revealing our fandom is based in our perception of how the vast majority of people view pro wrestling. We believe that most people look down upon wrestling and, therefore, consider it to be an embarrassing thing to enjoy. There is almost certainly truth to this belief. Vince McMahon, Vince Russo, and Eric Bischoff did significant (irreparable?) damage to the public perception of pro wrestling and drove millions away from it.

Others "grew" out of it. I put "grew" in quotes because I think some people are eventually faced with the reality that some of their friends are among those who became disenchanted by pro wrestling and have bought into the idea that it's childish or adolescent and that watching it as an adult is beneath them. Faced with this, there are significant portions of the wrestling fan base who have essentially "worked themselves into a shoot" by buying into that concept of wrestling as beneath them. Their social performance of that of an anti-wrestling person leads them away from it.

Eventually, however, they may rediscover their love of it. This brings us back to my original point; that we perceive that most people hate our sport. So we hide our fandom and only reveal it to those we love and trust most because they won't reveal our secret...

...until we get to an actual live wrestling show. Then we mark out like crazy and go fucking mental.
Follow me on the Twitter machine: @AmplifiedtoRock

User avatar
strikamura
Posts: 200
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:10 pm

Re: Why Hide My Love of Pro Wrestling?

Post by strikamura » Fri May 13, 2016 4:27 pm

Enjoyed this piece a lot.

Personally speaking, I have no problem letting it be known that I'm a pro wrestling fan. I'm generally a pretty private person, but I'm not private about my interests and I'm not ashamed of any of them. The way I see it, people are generally more open about their "geeky" interests to the point where anything is fair game. It's 2016, we all know that we're all weird in some way.

I think it's all in the way you carry yourself. If you're ashamed to admit that you're a pro wrestling fan, the people around you will perceive that as something to be ashamed of. Represent it the right way and it won't have the negative perception (unless you're dealing with someone who has strong opinions on the matter, in which case you're probably not going to change their mind anyway). In fact, I find that a lot of the time bringing up wrestling prompts others to join in. At work especially, talking about wrestling has caused a lot of my co-workers to either get back into it or start watching. Now they come up to me to talk about it.

Don't fall into a stigma. Do what you want, be who you are. Who gives a fuck? Enjoy your life.

User avatar
JML
Posts: 929
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:37 am
Contact:

Why Hide My Love of Pro Wrestling?

Post by JML » Fri May 13, 2016 5:10 pm

I enjoyed this piece also.

I think why I hide my love for pro wrestling is because I was called the "f" word and "gay" in school for liking wrestling at a young age. I know a lot people talked to me during the Attitude Era but even then I would looks from others. I remember I had a Dan Severn Autographed photo that my dad got me (when he was in WWF as NWA Champion and yes I liked Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock as a kid) and I showed it to two kids I hung out with in Before Care at school and all they did was make fun of his nipples.

Even in college, I mentioned the Floyd Mayweather vs Big Show match to my friends who love ridiculous stuff in sports. However one of them asked them if I still watched any wrestling. I said no cause at the time I was barely watching wrestling but kept up with everything through the Observer. He said, "Oh ok cause that's that gay shit."

I don't talk to him anymore since graduating college.

I didn't get back fully into watching wrestling again when I went through a really bad breakup with a woman I thought I was going to marry. I turned on Raw, saw Daniel Bryan, remembered all of the great matches I saw him in ROH, and fell in love with wrestling again.

I've noticed that it's starting to turn now as some of friends from college watch it but one of them is a TNA fan. :(

For me, it's hard but I've learned to accept that I love graps. Sports, comics, regular TV shows and reality show can't replace wrestling for me as my daily enjoyment. Social media has opened my eyes to other people's entertainment interests. I've garnered respect for comic book fans because they can rattle off angles, storylines and dates like we can. Ive sort of lost respect for people that are reality show junkies or political junkies because they can do the same but they don't admit stuff is a work like we do.
Last edited by JML on Fri May 13, 2016 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Aaron
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:34 pm

Re: Why Hide My Love of Pro Wrestling?

Post by Aaron » Fri May 13, 2016 5:12 pm

I'm glad people are reading the article and sharing their own viewpoints.

Amplified probably nails the "growing out of it" phenomenon. However, it's also true that the pro wrestling that most people in the United States know has been, for almost its entire existence, marketed toward children. Most of us have to ignore a lot of what WWE does to find much interest in the product. Luckily, we've been able to find other wrestling that gives us what we want out of the sport, but the majority of people are completely unaware that other wrestling exists.

User avatar
AmplifiedtoRock
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:06 pm
Location: Central NY
Contact:

Re: Why Hide My Love of Pro Wrestling?

Post by AmplifiedtoRock » Fri May 13, 2016 6:07 pm

I really like seeing people's faces when I explain to them in 2016 that I really enjoy watching Japanese pro wrestling.
Follow me on the Twitter machine: @AmplifiedtoRock

User avatar
strikamura
Posts: 200
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:10 pm

Re: Why Hide My Love of Pro Wrestling?

Post by strikamura » Fri May 13, 2016 6:23 pm

On the subject of wrestling being marketed toward children: one of the best aspects of the huge popularity of comic book movie franchises is that it shows on an international level that it is absolutely okay to not grow out of some of the things you enjoyed as a kid. If we can approach life with childlike enthusiasm for the things we love, like wrestling, we'll all probably be happier at the end of the day.

User avatar
TKD
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:07 am
Location: Connecticut
Contact:

Re: Why Hide My Love of Pro Wrestling?

Post by TKD » Sat May 14, 2016 8:04 am

I don't hide it. I don't actively bring it up to people all the time, but at the same time I keep a handful of lucha masks in my office. Most people, when they comment on them, think they're actually pretty cool. Then again, a couple people in my company have family members who actually are professional wrestlers, so I'm probably not the source of the wackiest stories they've heard. :)

My background is that I had watched WWF growing up but grew out of it pretty quickly, within a couple years. It wasn't really due to peer pressure; I simply lost interest. About 5 years ago, I discovered lucha through the magic of the Internet and specifically YouTube. I haven't been happier in my life: I met my fiancée online through mutual interest in lucha; we're getting married later this year. I've made a LOT of friends, many of whom are actually involved in lucha. It's become so ingrained in my social life, and if other people aren't comfortable with that, it's their problem, not mine. I made those friendships by NOT pretending to be someone I wasn't, and I'm happier as a result.

pclancy1990
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:38 pm

Re: Why Hide My Love of Pro Wrestling?

Post by pclancy1990 » Sat May 14, 2016 9:51 am

This is an interesting topic. I'm fortunate enough to have many family members and friends who love wrestling, so I have no shortage of people to talk to about it. As an elementary teacher, I try to keep it absolutely a secret because I feel it might hurt the respect some parents have for me. Not that it actually would or that it would even come up, it's just a belief I have.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

User avatar
Murrr
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:49 am
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
Contact:

Re: Why Hide My Love of Pro Wrestling?

Post by Murrr » Sat May 14, 2016 10:42 am

It wasn't really an issue when I first got into wrestling. We're talking mid/late 90s here: I was like 10 years old and all my friends were into it, plus everyone else was probably too young to form the "it's gay/fake" argument. The first show I watched, actually, was the 1992 Royal Rumble. One of my friends leant me the VHS and I absolutely loved it (still one of my favourite shows). From there we started collecting Royal Rumble tapes between us and watch 'em with our other friends.

Maybe that's all moot, because I don't think "guilty pleasures" are a thing when you're that young.

I stopped watching wrestling shortly after the Invasion angle concluded because it just wasn't entertaining to me any more. I didn't fully get back into it until randomly deciding to watch Money in the Bank 2011 live, and boom, that was it: I got roped back in.

When I started getting back into it, I hid it like a nasty scar. Now, however? I don't give a fuck. I came to realise that guilty pleasures are a stupid concept, and that it was daft to hide my fandom because it is/was part of who I am. The same goes with certain musical acts, TV shows, movies... whatever.

For me, calling something a guilty pleasure or hiding it is kinda like saying "I like this thing, but I feel like I shouldn't because of what certain people will think of me." That's giving waaaaay too many fucks, honestly. Not saying it's the same for everyone, but that's just how I feel about it. I think it boils down to caring way too much about other people's negative opinions, and that's no way to live.

Now my wrestling fandom is at its absolute highest, and I'll talk to *anyone* about it, even the most dismissive critic. I love it. It's part of who I am and I think it'd be disingenuous to hide that.

User avatar
mlev76
Posts: 2557
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:32 pm
Location: New York, New York
Contact:

Re: Why Hide My Love of Pro Wrestling?

Post by mlev76 » Sat May 14, 2016 1:55 pm

I've never hid my enjoyment of wrestling, but have kept myself from enjoying it because I really have no friends who are interested in it. It was a big step when I attended my first show by myself (ROH in August 07, ironically a few weeks before I got married). Since then, I've not let anything keep myself from doing what I want.

My wife doesn't really get it but as long as she isn't forced to go, she doesn't have a problem with it. My close friends either ignore it, scoff at me liking a 'fake' sport (as opposed to the real superhero movies he sees regularly) or, in one case, have started seeing their kids get into it and then they come to me to learn more. I attended a WWE event in March with my oldest friend and his sons and I was educating him about who everyone was (except Ric Flair-he asked ironically if he would be there and of course he was).

I think it's like everything else in life-at some point, you either need to like what you like or you let others tell you what is and isn't appropriate. I know that the former approach has made me a whole lot happier.

User avatar
GuestTimekeeper
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:20 am
Contact:

Re: Why Hide My Love of Pro Wrestling?

Post by GuestTimekeeper » Sun May 15, 2016 1:43 am

Being a wrestling is just another geeky subculture, no different then playing World of Warcraft or watching anime or even obsessing over a fantasy football team. I don't go out of my way to share that I'm a fan, but if it comes up in conversation I don't hide it, and I'm not shy about wearing my wrestling t-shirts out in public. I work in a toy department, and quite often I catch people looking at wrestling toys and end up in conversations about the product.

In my experience, people who are shy about being wrestling fans are the more casual fans, the same people who don't tell anyone they've seen every Marvel movie in theaters for instance.

User avatar
Ferrante207
Posts: 495
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:39 am
Location: MAINE

Re: Why Hide My Love of Pro Wrestling?

Post by Ferrante207 » Sun May 29, 2016 6:54 pm

GuestTimekeeper wrote:Being a wrestling is just another geeky subculture, no different then playing World of Warcraft or watching anime or even obsessing over a fantasy football team. I don't go out of my way to share that I'm a fan, but if it comes up in conversation I don't hide it, and I'm not shy about wearing my wrestling t-shirts out in public. I work in a toy department, and quite often I catch people looking at wrestling toys and end up in conversations about the product.
In my experience, people who are shy about being wrestling fans are the more casual fans, the same people who don't tell anyone they've seen every Marvel movie in theaters for instance.
The rise of mass nerd culture consumption as identity formation has def helped wrestling fandom become more acceptable. I believe until about mid 20s young males do not really know how they are are so you're trying on various "costumes of masculinity". For me I quit wrestling fandom in late middle school through graduate school, mostly because i felt it inhibited my chances to get laid and seem cool by my elite intellectual friends. This was a false barrier I constructed, mostly due to youthful ignorance. I picked fandom back up once I was more comfortable with myself.

With all this said, I do still hide my wrestling fandom from coworkers in effort to be taken seriously.

User avatar
Buzz Sawyer
Posts: 519
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:42 pm

Re: Why Hide My Love of Pro Wrestling?

Post by Buzz Sawyer » Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:47 pm

As a 45 year old, I wear my NJPW T-Shirt to the gym once in a while. Being a big guy, I get a lot of looks and people wanting to ask me if I'm a Pro Rassler.
Who's Rob Viper ?

User avatar
dancecab
Posts: 634
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:46 am
Location: Toronto

Re: Why Hide My Love of Pro Wrestling?

Post by dancecab » Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:19 pm

AmplifiedtoRock wrote:I really like seeing people's faces when I explain to them in 2016 that I really enjoy watching Japanese pro wrestling.
It's always funny when they immediately assume you enjoy sumo and you have to be like it's like wwe but more realistic.

Post Reply