Smarks are the most loyal group of fans WWE has. They are die hards who have watched wrestling for years, ignoring that it's fake but watch it as a TV show, a form of entertainment.
Are they critical, yes, but nobody can tell me there's shows out there, where the audience isn't somewhat critical of it.
Flair is simply wrong there. If it wasn't for the die hards WWE hasn't run off yet. The ratings would be even lower, and network subscriptions wouldn't be near where they want them to be.
Nowadays, everyone outside of children know the business is scripted. Kayfabe is dead, thus one of the main reasons wrestling isn't near as popular as it was in the 80's and 90's before the internet and social media.
It's a dumb misused term. No matter what way you want to spin it.
I know it's over used, more and more wrestling fans have sufficient internet access to look up their favorites and see what going on and hence other people's opinions. I think the difference between a casual fan and "smark" is becoming non-existent.
I'm truly not trying to spin the word, redeem it somehow, or make it mean something more, I'm only trying to describe a dividing line that exists in my mind.
I don't know, but it could be that it's the way with any form of entertainment; that folks will try to be the one who can call what's going on. I imagine for an ego boost, to have the feeling that they know what's going to happen, or for a glorious beat or where the writers are going to go.
I don't watch a lot of TV, but I know people that do, and it seems to me almost all fans of a program will speculate on what's going to happen next, but the speculation is mostly a way of anticipating what's going to be shown.
I see a ton of people here get worked up over "it's gonna be Lesnar, he's the inarticulate big guy! He did MMA! (Did he get devoured the first time he faced a real opponent? Sure did! but people are willing to buy into that story.) Undeniably kayfabe is dead or dying, but either we accept that that's the case and never ever try to bring the business to life again, or we accept these faux-sporty people for what they are, turn off "The Good Wife", "American Horror Story", and "Penny Dreadful." and watch the program, ' cause you're not able to pretend anymore.