When discussing Raw on VOW Reaction this past Monday, Chris Cash posited an interesting point of view in regard to my expressed displeasure with the current state of the main event for Survivor Series.
He theorized that I was unhappy because of heightened expectations…In fact, he theorized that the so-called Internet Wrestling Community as a whole is exceedingly difficult to please because of a fondness for analyzing and over-analyzing the minutia of weekly programming…That a degree of apathy towards a main event consisting of a traditional Survivor Series match is a product of this “10%” mentality.
It’s hard to disagree with the premise behind Chris’s statement. I try my damndest on a regular basis to walk that line between remaining a fan and analyzing the business as a whole…I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t often cross that line and stumble into a pattern of thinking 10 steps ahead rather than enjoying the product in front of me.
We all do that from time to time whether or not we recognize it immediately. However, as overly analytical as we may find ourselves becoming, the bottom line is that we’re considered to be the IWC for one main reason….We actually watch wrestling!
This is the portion of Chris’s argument with which I vehemently disagree. A consistent dip in ratings…low buy-rates…a general lack of buzz surrounding the business as a whole…None of these factors stem from a real or perceived lack of support and excitement from the most die-hard of fans.
No matter how much we criticize, bitch, and moan, we still tune in every Monday…If to do nothing else but criticize, bitch, and moan….Nevertheless, regardless of the rationale, if the main event for Survivor Series remains the same and the event ultimately flops, it won’t be the fault of the IWC…And no, it won’t be the Miz’s fault either….
WWE and the business in general have a causal fan problem…The numbers that once defined the largest popularity explosion in wrestling history did not consist of droves of die-hard fans who have since fallen by the way-side…Instead, those numbers represented a pop-culture phenomenon of epic proportions.
A main event consisting of an elimination tag match headlined by CM Punk and Ryback simply does not engender the excitement necessary to draw casual fans to the product…Ryback certainly created a buzz going into Hell in a Cell, but I would argue that this excitement more or less reflected a degree of shock and curiosity from his rapid ascension rather than a genuine enthusiasm at the prospect of a new superstar being created.
This isn’t an opinion that is going to steer me away from the product or this PPV in general. I’ve said a thousand times that first and foremost I’m a fan…No matter how far I go into the analytical aspect of the business, I’ll never stop finding those moments that I enjoy…Those moments that remind me why I do this in the first place.
I know I’m not alone in this regard because logic dictates that people have to continue coming back to the product in order to rag on it week in and week out. Maybe we do expect too much…Fortunately, lofty expectations that go unmet hardly deter our continued fandom. Even when slight wanes do occur, they easily can be overcome by the occasional pipebomb.
In the end, there is little question that the IWC has an effect on the business in both positive and negative ways. However, there is no doubt in my mind that the individuals who make up this so-called community are extremely passionate and will not abandon the business regardless of its state.
If we criticize it’s because we know that loftier heights can be achieved…We want to see this come to fruition…Hell, to steal a phrase from CM Punk, we want wrestling to be cool again.
In all honesty, I’m not a big fan of the main event as it currently stands. Nevertheless, I’ll watch the PPV, find aspects that I like, over-analyze others, and ultimately be back for Raw the next night to start the cycle again.
Unfortunately, in the grand scheme of things, my way of thinking represents the vast minority. No matter how easy it may be to point to the IWC as a source of apathy, the fact remains that wrestling’s ultimate opportunity to return to glory rests in the hands of people who wouldn’t be caught dead reading this column.
If/when this return to glory doesn’t occur, don’t blame us…Like a parent providing tough love, we only over-analyze because we care.
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