Three Things Wrong With Today’s Wrestling Fans


My last article was a doozy. It even trended in the top 10 Google search results under ‘Cody Rhodes’ for some time. As predicted, it caught a bit of heat from a lot of marks. Mainly, marks defending Cody’s decision to leave AEW based on the fact that he has to do what’s “best” for his family…

Because his $4 million in established net worth, as well as his very capable wife, isn’t enough to support a total of one child. Yeah…rough decision.

Let’s face facts: 

Cody took himself off television to film a reality TV show and a glorified version of Stupid Human Tricks on TBS. He booked himself into a corner by never allowing his character to compete for a world championship. So when his on-screen value becomes depleted because he’s not on AEW TV that much, he expects Punk and Jericho levels of money?

I like Cody; always have, but he essentially priced himself out of AEW.

Once the shine of Cody’s WWE arrival wears off, he will be stuck in upper mid-card hell, and we all know it.  He dug himself a hole in AEW, and now he’s possibly running back to the same company he tried to bury countless times over. It’s hypocritical, and it’s clearly for the money, regardless of his own integrity and value set. By definition, that’s a sellout — and I stand by it.

Three Things Wrong With Today’s Wrestling Fans

A user commented on social as to why I don’t use my real name when I post. If you sort through the comments on Facebook, Twitter and Disqus for my articles, it’s not hard to figure out why. Especially as the resident pro-AEW fan who calls out WWE a lot on their corporate B.S..

There was a time when the internet was simply “fun”. The golden age, during the early-mid 2000s. There was no social media or cancel culture. Many wrestling forums existed, and you had to work your way into becoming an accepted part of that community. (though NoDQ has a Facebook group I should consider joining…)

That doesn’t really exist anymore, does it? Perhaps in small fan communities here and there, but largely, social media has taken over that aspect, which brings me to the first point:

Nobody Reads

If you’ve made it this far into this article I wholly appreciate it. The problem with so many wrestling fans is that they don’t listen, and instead just wait for their opportunity to speak. We see this all the time regarding opinion articles and news pieces where a commenter clearly didn’t read the article itself before saying something stupid.

It makes us all look stupid.

Furthermore, there is a large sect of commenters that choose to confuse journalism with an opinion piece. This level of ignorance is incredible to me.

I used to be a journalist (non-wrestling). I’d be the first to tell you that what I do isn’t journalism. It’s an opinion piece, and while an important mainstay of news publications — isn’t technically journalism. Never was — never was meant to be. Please stop getting this confused.

If Aaron Rift were to write his own opinion as Editor of this website, it would be called an editorial. When I post a new column, it’s an opinion. And when Bob Sapp, Wade Keller or Dave Melzter breaks an actual bit of confirmed news, that’s called journalism. Or even if Mr. Rift, or others, feature a quote or highlight from an interview or podcast — this is also news.

They’re out there doing their best to get scoops, while Mr. Rift is running a news website, and I’m out here writing opinion pieces for the love of wrestling. What are you doing? Hopefully it’s not just trolling…

We also don’t get paid for articles, contrary to popular belief. There was a time when I wrote for What Culture, and trust me, the money isn’t what you may think it is. Opinions do not equal profit most of the time unless you’ve become a legitimate influencer. (I hate that term)

The last takeaway from this is that if most wrestling fans actually read what they are commenting on, we might not have what the next point is…

Incivility Reigns

(sounds like a bad wrestling gimmick, doesn’t it?)

We’ve all become a bit rotten…

This goes well beyond the scope of wrestling. You can take a lack of reading, listening, and communicating and apply to global politics as well. We’re very divided, and it’s fairly asenine. Whether it’s between fans of AEW/WWE/Indies or those who just don’t like wrestling anymore but still comment (for some reason) — a divide exists.

“But don’t you bash WWE in many of your articles?!”

Yes I do. But what I don’t do is bash the WWE wrestling talent, nor do I bash the humble (note the difference) WWE fans. I even honestly asked them a few articles ago on why they still watch — without judgment. WWE is simply not for me, and I don’t watch the product — hence, I never comment on current storylines, angles, etc. My beef is with Vince McMahon and WWE corporate treatment of talent — not the product itself.

There are too many trolls waiting to call each other out and comment on which they likely do not even know or understand. If you can’t read an opinion or news piece without commenting like a 10-year-old who wasn’t allowed to have dessert — then perhaps you shouldn’t be commenting at all.

As someone who has watched wrestling (globally) for over three decades, I have a pretty good grasp of the sport. My opinion is valid and it matters. Your opinion does, too — but there’s a difference between honest communication, critique and balanced conversation, and being a total asshole.

Too many wrestling fans still don’t know how not to be assholes to each other.

Are We Having Fun?

Lastly, do fans who needlessly troll others really having fun? Do any of the below examples apply to you?

-Wrestling fans that are “above” it all now, don’t watch, but still comment.
-Fans who mindlessly regurgitate Jim Cornette or Eric Bischoff talking points.
-Those who critique Tony Khan’s business sense without understanding AEW’s financials (which are not public).
-Those who endlessly bash “The Fed” (WWE) in all aspects.
-Fans who act as if ratings are more important than the quality of the product itself.
-Those who defend a product solely off of how much profit they are making (AEW or WWE).
-Fans who call AEW talent ‘Ex-WWE’ wrestlers, when there is a higher percentage of “homegrowns” in AEW than WWE (and current title-holders).

I’m probably missing a few. Here’s the point:

Do fans collectively spend more time actually enjoying professional wrestling, or more time desperately attempting to have their trolling validated by others on social media?

As I honestly asked WWE fans a month back regarding the seemingly predictable booking of Reigns/Lesnar at Wrestlemania (again):

Aren’t you tired? 

Going Home

There are lots of good wrestling fans out there. They don’t troll, and they give honest feedback in opinion pieces, even if they disagree. I respect that. These are good people, and I wish more of them carried conversations on social media and in comment sections.

But wow, there are still so many leeches about, sucking the lifeblood out of any enjoyment of the sport while commenting on areas they don’t even understand — nor even watch. It doesn’t have to be like this — you can be a better fan.

You can actually take time to read news and opinion pieces and comment with intelligence. Hell, it doesn’t take much to not be a dick to fans of a promotion you don’t even watch. You could even simply enjoy your product of choice in peace without shitting on others. You could even stop bashing Nyla Rose every time her name comes up online simply because you have a antiquated and insecure view of the world.

I know it’s a lot to ask, but-

No, no, scratch that — it’ s NOT a lot to ask. Just quit being assholes and be nice to others. Or is a large chunk of this total wrestling fan base doomed to be unintelligent trolls that are too immature to correct their own actions?

Unfortunately, it might be the latter. But I still have hope. And if you can, comment below, but do so constructively! Imagine how good it will feel to carry on an adult conversation!