Feature: Steve Anderson Wants You to Find the Fan in You


While I write a regular column for WrestleZone.com, I am not a blogger. I have nothing against bloggers, but some of them vent their spleen and reveal the most personal information. Intimate details of their lives. Yikes.

Recently, I visited Eric Bischoffâ<80><99>s blog. He made some very interesting and salient points, not to mention a plug for thisâ<80>¦veryâ<80>¦site, writing, â<80><9c>Wrestlezone.com appears to be trying to gain credibility by featuring commentary by Scott Hudson, Mark Madden and others that have actually worked as professionals in the industry they commentate on.â<80>

Others? Come on, Eric. You remember me, donâ<80><99>t you? Huh? Donâ<80><99>t you?

Yeah, I guess itâ<80><99>s been awhile.

He plugged â<80><9c>The WZâ<80> in the midst of going after other websites and questioning their journalist credibility. He wrote:

â<80><9c>The wanna-be TMZâ<80><99>s of the world lower the bar even further to get attention and people that canâ<80><99>t find enough negativity to fill the black hole in their own lives, continue to seek out even lower forms of Internet life.

â<80><9c>Those people need only to become wrestling fans.â<80>

Comparing certain wrestling sites to something below TMZ is a shot across the bow. I have a different reaction to his last comment. I think many wrestling journalists would be well-served to find that fan inside of them.

This is a business where you can become jaded, cynical and negative. The closer you get to it and the longer you are involved in it, the more likely you are to remove the rose-colored glasses of a wrestling fan and toss them aside.

Hell, we all started as wrestling fans. Thatâ<80><99>s what guided us into this industry. Sure, we were mocked by friends and family for enjoying such a supposed lowbrow form of entertainment. But we persevered. We watched in wonder during â<80><9c>Rock and Wrestlingâ<80> when pro wrestling went mainstream. We welcomed the â<80><9c>Attitude Eraâ<80> as a return to glory.

Remember when a title change meant something? The heroes vanquishing the villains. The bad guys getting one over on the good guys. You almost couldnâ<80><99>t wait to see that title belt on a newly-crowned champion.

I do have issues with the journalistic standard that exists with some who cover this business. Many stories that make the sites would not get past the desk of an editor-in-chief at a small town newspaper. He or she would ask for the sources, only to find out it was someone who overheard something. A third-hand source, at best, or a purported insider with an ax to grind.

Sometimes, thatâ<80><99>s what makes news. And many times, those stories are more accurate than anyone will want to admit. My beef with those who cover wrestling is that they lost that fan inside of them.

Iâ<80><99>m not touting a Pollyanna-like view of the industry. But whatâ<80><99>s wrong with just enjoying a match without attaching judgmental stars or thumbs to them? Whatâ<80><99>s wrong with pumping your fist in the air or giving a standing ovation to a great match? Just enjoying the business for what it is. You know, like we used to.

There are times when you can see the visceral disgust that some writers have for the industry in their writing. When a wrestler dies, it is the industryâ<80><99>s fault. When Phil Mushnick writes an uninformed diatribe lacking the facts, they embrace it. Talk about someone who has an ax to grind. Television ratings donâ<80><99>t just rise and fall. Television ratings rise and PLUMMET!

Hereâ<80><99>s the formula. MMA = Good. WWE = Evil and heartless corporation. Japanese wrestling = Good. TNA = Russo-booked money pit.

Iâ<80><99>m not saying that certain wrestling journalists hate the industry. I am saying that some have become so jaded, their writing drips with negativity and disgust. Yet, they continue to pocket the proceeds of their endeavors.

Everyone who follows this business or draws a paycheck because of the industry and its fans should take a step back. Find the fan in you. If that means watching an old tape, watch it. If that means reading a mark magazine, read it. Professional wrestling is more than just an industry that provides opportunities for employment and financial gain.

Pro wrestling is a pastime that turned our head once. Time to take a second look at itâ<80>¦as a fan.

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