NJAF Presents: It’s All About Perspective

Not Just Another Fan

We watch from all places on the globe. We gather around the television and we allow Sports Entertainment to take us to places that in reality we could never go. Why do we do it? That question has been debated countless times. The real question is how are we watching it? With what mind set do we approach each viewing? Are we looking for flaws in the product or are we looking to find true entertainment? I want to look at Sports Entertainment from a different perspective today. By the time you get done reading this you will know why Robert DeNiro calls me Not Just Another Fan. (You have to have watched “The Fan” starring Wesley Snipes to get that one!)

A Different Perspective:

I don’t know how many parents there are out there that read this…but I have a 2 ½ year old son that is absolutely crazy about wrestling. Now, I know as a responsible father, that I have to monitor what he is watching. That is one reason that I normally only let him watch SmackDown with me since Raw has a lot more harsh language/sexuality and there is a better chance to see some blood since it is later in the evening. He just cracks me up though and I just had to list his top 5 favorite wrestlers:

5. Rey Mysterio: He thinks he is Spider Man!

4. Eugene: I think it is obvious why a kid would like him.

3. Carlito Cool: My son always wants an apple after seeing him on TV.

2. Booker T: He gets a huge blast of fire behind him right after he says SUCKA!!!! What’s not to like?

1. The Undertaker: I don’t know if I should be concerned or not! His favorite match to watch is The Undertaker vs The Undertaker at Summer Slam 1994. (I have it on DVD)

If you look at this list you have to notice one thing that is similar about these wrestlers. They all have over-the-top gimmicks. My son could care less if a wrestler knows the difference between a cross body and a moonsault. He just wants to see the characters on the screen.

When you think about it…most of us probably started the same way. I know that when I was a kid all I cared about was seeing Hulk Hogan on the screen. It didn’t matter to me that his move set was somewhat limited and that he was going bald. He was entertaining. After all, isn’t that the point?

Some members of the IWC constantly complain about silly gimmicks. We like to say that our intelligence is being insulted by the way that the top companies in the Sports Entertainment field treat us. Let me propose something to you that might change the way you look at things.

Without the gimmicks that reach today’s children, who will be the fans 15 years from now? If the WWE and other companies like TNA and ROH only target adults and teenagers than I think that they are being short sighted by only looking at the short term and not the long term. I wouldn’t trade anything for my memories of watching Hulk Hogan, Macho Man, Rick Rude, Brutus the Barber and Mr. Perfect. As silly as it might seem to me, I think my son deserves to experience these type of bright and exciting characters.

Now, before everyone starts sending me hate mail and saying that I am not a true fan of wrestling I want to make something clear. I absolutely love a great wrestling match and think that they are vital to putting on a good show. The best match I have ever seen live in person was not Goldberg vs Scott Hall…it was Rey Mysterio vs Eddie Guerrero! I understand at the same time though that even though I don’t care much for characters like Eugene…they are essential. They reach a whole other group of fans that a Chris Benoit could never appeal to.

I am not going to sit her and say that I long for the old days, because that is not true. I just think that ever since the mid 1990’s there has been a false realism in wrestling that has help wrestling to an extent…but it also has limited it. Look at The Undertaker as a prime example. One of the all time worst storylines in his career had to be the whole DDP/Undertaker’s wife-stalking situation. Why do we need to know who his wife is? How did that further either Superstar’s career? I am glad that he is back to the Dead Man. We all know that he could come out on a bike with short hair and talk about his yard and soup bones…but we except him acting like he is a zombie again, because we know it is better in our heart of hearts.

Next time you sit down to watch you favorite wrestling program please do me a favor. Don’t look at it through the eyes of the IWC…look at it through the eyes of an eight year old. I guarantee that you will enjoy it a lot more that you have in years.

Now CAN YOU DIG THAT…SUCKA?!?!?!?!?!??!

Hmm…I wonder?!

If a member of JBL’s cabinet interferes in the match Sunday Night at Armageddon Teddy Long told him he would strip him of the belt. Wouldn’t work out perfect if at the same time the RAW and SmackDown titles were vacant just weeks before The Royal Rumble?! (Unification anyone?)

Doesn’t “The Kings of Wrestling” sound like the name of a group in a cheesy movie about wrestling? It just screams, “We have no imagination!”

Did I just see a woman’s match as the Main Event on RAW?! (I thought it was a good match…just a surprise)

Does anyone have an extra $35.00 that they would like to donate to me so I can see Armageddon? Lord knows it’s not worth that much for half of these PPVs.

Not Just Another Trivia Question: I am going to keep doing the “Old School” questions, since they seem to get the best response. If you know the answer please email me at feedback@notjustanotherfan.com and I will include your name in my next column if you are correct.

When Andre The Giant and Big John Studd fought at the original WrestleMania in the Body Slam Challenge, how much Money was on the line? (It was a lot at the time!)

I had 20 people correctly answer my last Trivia Question correctly. They were:

NiNJATURTLE81, Tommy Hall, Michael DiBiasi, Mike Delaney, Daddybones, Cole Hosak, Joey Saliba, Mike Mowat, Thomas H., David Ridenour, Barry Shane, Luke Golos, Justin Gambrell, J Mitch, RELOAD0993, Gavin Langdon, Touhoua Yang, Steve Miller, Phil Snyder & George Lai

The Question was: “Who was the Special Enforcer in the Classic Undertaker/Yokozuna Casket rematch at the 1994 Survivor Series?”

The Answer was: Chuck Norris


I know it wasn’t very long this week and I didn’t have my Top 10. Not much has happened since my last column and most of the ranking would have been the same. I do hope you enjoyed it and I hope to have a new column up in the next week or so! Don’t forget to send feedback…I respond to every email I get!

John Wilson

Not Just Another Fan

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