Photo Credit- Cageside Seats
In terms of entertainment, professional wrestling is quite low on the totem pole. Not seen as true entertainment like movies or theater, and certainly not viewed as a sport like boxing or MMA.
Since people don’t take wrestling seriously, they don’t respect wrestling fans either. Fans of professional wrestling are often viewed as morons who like to watch shirtless men fake fight. However, as wrestling fans we understand the true value of pro wrestling, the intricate stories, the talented performers, the fantastic promos. Pro wrestling fans are by no means stupid or below any other fanbase in any measurable way. Despite these defenses, pro wrestling fans still do very dumb things, that harm the performers, the fanbase, and the industry.
Perhaps the worst habit of wrestling fans is jumping the barricades and attacking wrestlers at shows. On the most recent episode of Raw, a fan attacked Seth Rollins as he was making his way to the back, catching him off guard and taking him to the ground. These sorts of things happen frequently, with a fan pushing Eddie Gurrero off a ladder, another attacking Steve Austin during a house show, or a man attacking Bret Hart during his Hall of Fame speech. People jumping the barricades are not uncommon at sporting events, but it is rare for the fan to attack the players during the game. In wrestling, fans think it’s alright to attack performers since they are playing a bad guy. In performances like plays, people have the common sense not to jump on stage and attack the villain, which should be the same approach fans have to wrestling. The people who defend the fans who attack Rollins, or criticize Seth for getting tackled are also part of the issue.
The other major problem is the senseless arguing among wrestling fans and the toxic environment that has been created. The most obvious example to point to is the “war” between WWE and AEW, with fans picking sides and defending their company blindly. Fans will mercilessly argue with each other, throwing insults with reckless abandonment just for having a differing opinion. This same sort of animosity is given towards performers they don’t like. Fans will insult wrestlers who they don’t like, wishing injury or worse simply because they don’t like their style or the company they work for. This negative environment created by the wrestling community makes it nearly unviewable and a hard group to become involved with.