How Twitter is Hurting Professional Wrestling

“Twitter is becoming unbearable.” – Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D.

Picture it. Your house. 1998.

Perhaps you’re between the ages of 12-16, and you and a friend share a love for professional wrestling. You’re a staunch WWF fan, while your pal is all about the nWo and WCW.

“Hogan, Savage, Flair, Sting — aren’t they all in their 50s? I don’t want to watch a bunch of geezers. Besides, Goldberg sucks anyway. You should be pushing Jericho, Guerrero and Mysterio.”

“The Rock is so overrated. He can’t even wrestle! And who is Kane? Never heard of him. Wasn’t Steve Austin, Triple H and Mankind all in WCW beforehand? Good luck with your WCW-rejects!”

And then you have that awkward third-wheel pop in…

“Man, WWF and WCW both suck. ECW and Japan is where it’s at! Check it, I got this tape of Kobashi versus Misawa from AJPW that will blow your freakin’ minds!”

Then your future self walks into the room, takes a looks around, and after the warm embrace of nostalgia says the following:

“Guess what? You’ll still be bickering like this 25 years from now. Only it won’t be in person, and it’ll be on this thing called ‘social media’.”

The three friends all collectivity respond: “Oh, cool!”

“No. No it isn’t cool,” your future self says. “It’s actually really sad…”

Enter 2023. We haven’t grown all that much, have we? This article will attempt to outline a few major reasons why Twitter is hurting professional wrestling. The effects could be damaging if we’re not careful as a collective fan base.  We’ll save the most obvious and pathetic reason for last. Let’s dive in.

Creating Unnecessary Drama via Shitposting

On March 14th, all Britt Baker wanted to do is to share a photo of herself and the (then) Bella twins on Twitter in appreciation of their careers. And because we can’t have nice things, a few comments were made that accused the doctor of throwing shade at WWE.

Part of Britt’s response:

“This is nothing about WWE vs AEW- it’s simply a post to honor two literal legends who inspired me and many others to be a wrestler. Have a nice fucking day😘.”

And this is just one aspect of the wrestling Twittersphere that serves no purpose. Creating drama and divide when there doesn’t need to be. Want to know something neat? A lot of WWE and AEW wrestlers know each other; are good friends with each other, and even date one another.

To them, there is no “war”.

I guarantee any professional wrestler from either promotion gives the Tony Stark eyeroll at the  continuous drama that wrestling fans have created. There are so many users that call themselves “fans” that just shitpost and insult talent they do not like. If it’s not that, it could be racist or sexist posts; or in the case of a well known WWE stan account — anti-Semitic comments.

And I know you want to make a point about talents (including Tony Khan himself) that can sometimes make unnecessary and drama-infused Twitter posts. While I can’t condone it, it’s not like he (and other WWE/AEW wrestlers now on a sometimes constant defense), started the fire. That dumpster fire was set by trolls many years ago.

All wrestlers/promoters really want to do is exist and promote their brand. Human beings can only take so much hate, otherwise.

We know Twitter is a shitshow — but are we to just accept this and let it slowly deteriorate professional wrestling’s own fan base? There’s a reason why many wrestlers have deleted their Twitter accounts; including mostly recently, Riho. The unnecessary drama and insults simply isn’t worth it. And because of the drama, it leads to the next point…

Nobody Listens To Each Other

We all know Twitter is a toxic environment, now made notably worse under Elon Musk’s ownership. However, think of the bigger picture of the fandom to an outsider looking in. What would they think when they see all of this weird negativity over a pre-determined sports entertainment product?

Wrestling tribalism has reached extreme points now, and quite frankly, nobody is listening to each other anymore. Unfortunately, Twitter creates the ability for individuals to shout into the void their deepest and darkest thoughts with little to no accountability. This is especially true for wrestling fans. There is rarely a level of mutual respect between two strangers in any Twitter thread.

Aside from the comments in the Disqus section of this very article, few tend to engage in civil conversation anymore. And even in the Disqus comments of any news article, things can get toxic pretty quickly.

Yes, every fandom has their tribal splits. But pro wrestling fandom might possibly turn away new fans once they see how terrible some of the fan base can be. And these aren’t just a few random accounts, but countless unwarranted and pitifully mean comments made towards actual human beings. These fans aren’t talking or listening to each other anymore — they’re just in a zero-sum game of who can be the loudest.

Whether it’s jaded or tribal fans, it’s really not getting much better — and the sport is worse off just for having these individuals around. If you’re reading this, and you know deep down you’re probably a part of the problem — try listening for once. Engage holistically and positively. It really isn’t that difficult.

But this leads to the next point of discussion…

The Bar Has Been Set Too High

Making a habit out of listening to “industry experts” and “taking sides” have led to a poisoning of the wrestling well.

Nothing is ever good enough anymore — and what is — needs to be god-tier quality. Far too often I’ve seen the most basic mid-card feud get torn to shreds on social media, as if everyone on Twitter is expecting 10/10 mat classics on every show. This is especially true for antiquated views of some who can’t wrap their head around the fact that different styles of wrestling exist, as well as different ways of telling a story.

It gets tiring to see so many posters tweeting about wrestling psychology when they can’t fully grasp wrestling culture from another country, or a distinct wrestling style, to begin with. But often fans seem to get lost in criticizing anything they can get their hands on without realizing the bigger picture that the standards have become increasingly too high.

Whether it’s a gimmick, a promo, a botch, a match, etc…it truly seems like everything has to be shit on somehow, someway. Everything can’t be amazing all the time, and in pro wrestling, it never was — but now every single segment and match is hyper-scrutinized. If it’s not perfect, then it’s trash. Or if it’s not (insert favorite promotion), it’s also immediately trash.

Many fans can’t even wait to see how a storyline unfolds before pre-emptively crapping on it.

Apparently, every wrestling fan on Twitter are now booking experts. Did I miss a memo, or a booking certificate in the mail that I can frame on my wall? It’s a weird way to live to be so over-analytical or over-tribal that nothing satisfies you anymore — and to then complain about it on Twitter.

How does this help the sport evolve and grow? These comments aren’t made constructively, and most of these alleged points are tiresome and worn out.

Repeating Old Talking Points

Do you know which wrestler has the most losses in WWE history?

The Big Red Machine. Kane. He has lost 1,221 times in his career. Of course, this isn’t taking into account win/loss percentage, in which case, he’s actually over 50%. The WWE wrestler with the most amount of losses with the worst win/loss percentage is predictably, The Brooklyn Brawler, at 1,169 losses.

Why do I bring this up? Because anytime someone brings up an antiquated and debunked argument it makes them look as ridiculous as Kane when he unmasked in 2003. Seriously, the awful outdated takes that are made is the equivalent of having shit all over your face.

Those who repeat these outdated talking points are just taking L after L — but they don’t even realize it. And furthermore, they contribute a false narrative to the collective wrestling zeitgeist that quite simply shouldn’t exist. Putting out false narratives about ratings, backstage politics, and horrible memes do not serve wrestling’s future — it only hurts it. 

I read a recent comment stating that AEW doesn’t “deserve” a fourth show, as rumors of a new WBD requested show broke. Think of how weird of a mindset that is. Warner Bros./Discovery calls up Tony Khan:

WBD: “Hey, want another show?”

Khan: “Umm, I don’t know, I’m not sure if we deserve it.”

*both hang up the phone awkwardly in silence*

Clearly, WBD is happy with AEW’s ratings — but you wouldn’t know that sorting through all of the shitposting on Twitter. Why folks would sour on more wrestling, which means said company is achieving success is truly baffling.

The fact that people still use 1 million as the arbitrary number for ratings success is crazy to me. Cord cutters and streaming services has been chopping cable down for years now. There are other metrics of success for a business, and it turns out that these Twitter users aren’t actually in charge of any financial decisions in AEW or WWE.

Yet they comment as if they’re in the know…

Ratings aside, I see so many old and debunked/bad takes on Twitter that just need to die. If you’re smart enough, you probably know what they are (unless you’re the one making them).

Re-tweeting “Industry Experts”

“(an) Unknown Japanese fetish object that does indie outlaw mudshows at Japan” – Jim Cornette on Utami Hayashishita’s #2 PWI ranking in 2021.

Never forget the constant racist and sexist comments that this dude makes. Calling Stardom a “mudshow” is pretty ridiculous on its own. Nobody has to like Japanese wrestling — but to purposely de-legitimize it through racist comments is an out-of-touch low-brained take.

(but let’s face it; Corny probably just can’t separate his possible fetish for Japanese women with enjoying a wrestling match with them in it.)

THE POINT here is that too many fans mindlessly treat that what Cornette, and other industry experts say, as gospel. A lot of this bad sentiment about the current wrestling product is often re-tweeted and then spread to further a pre-conceived narrative about various aspects of pro wrestling.

I see so many comments online that are just regurgitated talking points from alleged “experts”. I’m sorry, but if Cornette, Bischoff, Konnan, Gilbertti, The Undertaker, or a host of other “experts” knew how to boost ratings and turn every storyline into a 5-star feud — they would be gainfully employed and paid handsomely.

But they aren’t.

Wrestling legends? Of course. But are they on the pulse of the next big thing in the industry? Do they understand the mentality of a modern-day fan? Do they respect and understand different styles of professional wrestling and how that’s been integrated into the modern product? Their commentaries tell me otherwise…

Because of all of this, many fans are uninformed, and easily misled. Too many just shout their often toxic wrestling opinion as loud as they can in keyboard format and then insult anyone who doesn’t agree with their borrowed take. A lot of these opinions are spoonfed to them by outdated ideas by former wrestling personalities that no longer truly understand the business in its current form.

Stop listening to these has-beens. They’re creating a hole of negativity in your consciousness and you don’t even know it.

Troll Accounts

At 1995’s In Your House 2, Sycho Sid took on Diesel in a Lumberjack Match for the WWF Championship. Joining the many Lumberjacks outside of the ring was none other than Mantaur. Known in wrestling history for such a horrendous gimmick, his presence in this particular match was embarrassingly amusing. (No disrespect to Mike Halac. He had a solid wrestling career). 

For some inexplicable reason, without prompt, Mantaur kept “mooing” throughout the match while outside of the ring as a lumberjack. Though admittedly, this was more entertaining than the match itself. This was also his last appearance (as Mantaur) on WWF television and his last impression on the WWE Universe was his audible moo heard throughout the contest.

This is about the equivalent to what wrestling troll accounts contribute to the industry. Irrelevant, incoherent, and empty-headed mooing. I’ll refer to them now as “Little Mantaurs”.

There are Twitter accounts that make $0 in salary a year for their pitiful, attention-needy hate of another wrestling promotion. And while you have a fair share of anti-WWE accounts, the number of anti-AEW troll accounts massively tip the scale for some reason (can anyone explain this to me? Seriously).

You know who these people are. They’ve long since made sexist, racist, and even anti-Semitic comments about current pro wrestlers. They contribute nothing to the pro wrestling zeitgeist. Nor would they ever want to be challenged in any public debate format, for their terrible takes and bullying would be torn apart by any sensical wrestling fan.

For some reason, modern wrestling is constantly under a microscope. Every booking decision questioned; every botch highlighted; every injury downplayed.  Yet by the thousands, the hate just keeps coming. They forget (or ignore) the fact that whether it’s WWE or AEW (or Stardom, New Japan, MLW, etc.) — these are real people they mindlessly attack. Ms. Baker said it best:

“We are people. On Twitter, they dehumanize us, ‘Oh, we’re just wrestling characters,’ but we’re not, we’re people. This is our job and we want to be good at our job. You’re doing everything you can to not mess up, but sometimes you still might. The next day, you’re working ten times harder to make sure you’re not making the same mistakes because we’re human.” 

Going Home

We could all just be best friends, you know…

There is a reason I write under monikers. Because I see the hate and toxicity, and I simply want zero part of it in the public eye. While I choose to write articles and flush out ideas into the universe — others choose to try to create as much harm as they possibly can.

These alleged fans are hurting the industry. Whether they’re jaded, divisive, tribal, or just angry — they’re mentally unwell. Hurt people, hurt people. And Twitter is the breeding ground for this.

As a collective fan base, we could celebrate the fact that they have two unique mainstream brands to choose from. We could respect the differences and show some civility and common courtesy to our follow wrestling kin. But it seems like this isn’t going to happen anytime soon. How we treat each other, and the very talent we watch every week, is going to keep hurting professional wrestling.

Imagine the heights pro wrestling could achieve if its own fan base didn’t try to tear it down on a daily basis.