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The High Social Cost of Liking Wrestling

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Like many, I greatly enjoyed professional wrestling in my youth. My middle school days were witness to the Monday Night Wars, the rise of the NWO, and Sting vs Hogan at Starcade. I had the pleasure of seeing two episodes of Nitro live at the Target Center, and when the show wasn't in town, friends and I would order the events, gorge on junk food, and do one another bodily injury; such was my dedication that I, at one point, suffered a broken shoulder and torn rotator cuff resulting from my buddy's "patented" Full Nelson Bomb.

But with time, my interest waned and I misguidedly became of the mind that watching wrestling was beneath me; I even berated my friends who had kept the faith after my departure therefrom. For the next sixteen years, the industry flew almost entirely under my radar; I knew the biggest names, eg, Cena, Orton, Batista, etc, but these names meant nothing to me.

Then something wonderful happened. I suffer from terrible insomnia, and every night I either listen to an audio-drama/audio book, or watch a show/movie to distract myself from being unable to fall asleep. In late November 2013, I found myself drawing a complete blank with regard to what to put on, and for whatever reason, decided to see what was going on in the world of professional wrestling. I found an online replay of the most recent episode of RAW and hit play.

What I saw was awesome! The first thing I realized was just how severely I had undervalued the mic work in my previous round of fandom; I do actually enjoy a good deal of the in ring work, but for me, promos are king. I saw Bray Wyatt preaching the gospel of New Selfishness, I saw Damien Sandow rightly lecturing us on our inferiority, I saw BNB inducing roaring, LUSTY boos with his bad news, and I saw a man who had made up for what he lacked in physical gifts by harnessing the power of positive thinking.

Surely, I thought to myself, this is objectively brilliant and could not possibly be lost on my friends - friends who are by and large legal, corporate, and financial professionals. As it turns out, I could not have been more wrong, and I quickly learned that whether I was on a first date, engaging in a job interview, or giving a lecture, if I genuinely represented an interest in professional wrestling, I paid an immediate price. Responses have ranged from ridicule to genuine incredulity, and I have to say I am rather shocked by this intolerance.

Have any of you had this experience? Do you have any suggestions for a thirty year old guy who just got back into wrestling and is getting blasted by all of his friends?
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· Registered
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People are just assholes, man.
 

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I see wrestling as a subculture? Something that is very specialist and that I mostly have to enjoy on my own and keep to myself in conversations. However, that being sad, its not something I am now ashamed of and not something I hide, I feel as though I have something that is mine, much like people like fashion, or soaps etc. The only thing I think of is it being another facet of interest to enjoy, and I recently found a few more people who enjoy it! Its pretty good because I think of it as something that it quite awesome to enjoy, and when you find someone else to talk about it with its pretty sweet!
 

· a Stupid Idea from Bad Creative
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anyone that is going to berate or think less of you b/c you watch wrestling (or really anything you may want to watch) is not someone you really want to be friends with anyways. Also, if people don't bring it up you don't have to volunteer the info that you are a pro wrestling fan, either.


I am not saying you shouldn't be friends with someone who doesn't like wrestling or anything. I have plenty of friends that aren't pro wrestling fans, but they don't care that I am a fan. Different people like different things.

People are just assholes, man.
Also, this is true for some people as well.
 

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I actually have had the opposite. I am by no means a closet wrestling fan, everyone knows I love it. I've even taken many of my non wrestling fan friends to live events and they've loved them. They even watch Raw occasionally and talk to me about it. Hell, Total Divas got my wife interested in wrestling. The way I see it, no one should be embarrassed by their interests, and people who can't accept you for you should take a hike.
 

· Locker Room Leader
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Why would you mention on a first date that you like professional wrestling though? :lol

Anyway, I keep "liking" posts and memes related to wrestling on Facebook which ends up on most of my friend's timelines so they pretty much know I'm a wrestling nerd. They have questioned me a few times but whatever. Not like I'm gonna stop. In fact have even converted two people who quit watching 7-8 years ago into full time hardcore fans and I feel a sense of accomplishment :D
 
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· The Winds of Change
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You don't need to tell everyone that you watch. I certainly don't. I talk to my friends who watch wrestling about it, post on here, and watch in my spare time...but really nothing more. That's about it. No need to broadcast it in places/venues that it has no business being. That's when you open yourself up for criticism.
 

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I'd probably wait until after a few dates to reveal that you watch wrestling, if at all, but I wouldn't worry if people say "you're a dork" once they find out. Wrestling has probably been hated on since it first began, yet is still very popular. IMO it's like a modern day version of Greek mythology, mixed in with some really weird, odd ball humor, all mixed together in an athletic contest. It's more real than any of the "reality shows" on TV, so just reminds your friends of that.
 

· WeeWoo WeeWoo
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I honestly think men get more flack for liking pro wrestling than women. I've never gotten crapped on or made fun of or berated for talking about it or for wearing wrestling shirts (it's obnoxious, I think I have 8 or 9 shirts now).

The funny thing, is I remember my first semester in college I wore a Ziggler shirt and this dude was like "Wait, you watch wrestling?" and I was like "Yeah, of course, do you?" and even though he KNEW I was a wrestling fans he quickly backpedaled and was like "Nah, no, I watched it when I was a kid, not anymore."

I honestly don't get the shame the coincides with it, especially since wrestling is cleaner/safer than it used to be in prior decades.
 

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You don't need to tell everyone that you watch. I certainly don't. I talk to my friends who watch wrestling about it, post on here, and watch in my spare time...but really nothing more. That's about it. No need to broadcast it in places/venues that it has no business being. That's when you open yourself up for criticism.
This is how I am as well. I watch a show here and there, post here, and talk about it to some friends who also watch. It's no big deal.
 

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It's pretty hard to believe in this day and age, with all the complete and utter garbage offered on TV and in music that anyone could look down on wrestling, but people are dumb and it's easier to mock it than put an ounce of thought into the fact that it's just a scripted tv show that happens to feature pretty terrific athletes.
 

· Know Your Worth
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If someone laughs at me when I say I watch wrestling I ask them three questions

1. Do you watch movies? (Response is always yes)
2. Do you watch TV? (Response is always yes)
3. Then why are you laughing and saying wrestling is fake when movies and other TV shows are just as fake, if not more fake than wrestling?

After question number 3 they shut up


Sent from Verticalsports.com Free App
 

· A wallaby? Well it's like a kangaroo but smaller.
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I don't really have this problem, a few of my friends like it and some friends don't but those who don't, they just say 'Oh yeah he likes wrestling' without any thought or anything, no one is bothered and no one who doesn't like it really doesn't think bad of it, it's either their preference or it's not, but that's about it, it's mainly a case of 'Oh right' when someone knows I like wrestling.

The best thing about it is you often find more people like it than you realise, in my experience the majority of people speak about wrestling fondly or I find out they're an avid fan also, know a lot about the product and it's past and present that I never had a clue about, those who didn't take an interest in it quite a few of them start to take some little interest and enjoy it and some of the characters and others just don't think much about it, but have no problem with those who do.

Of course it's not something I'd bring up straight away, but that's just cause I don't see the need to, though liking wrestling is no different to being a fan of whatever TV show that you like or love (for example Walking Dead, Lost, Prison Break etc), that's pretty much all it is as well as appreciating the talents.

I don't see wrestling as a TV show as such (Of course that's what it is but you know what I mean), wrestling you enjoy the talents, the athleticism, the skills, the promo's etc... so it's different, but no one really thinks much in regards to if you like wrestling because there is so many others that will always say 'Yeah I love it also' ... there is too many people who also enjoy it that those who don't can't really overly argue with it.
 

· The Last Romantic
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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Well, I don't think you should talk about wrestling on a first date/job interview :lol
I'll be honest here; I blatantly stole that line from Sam Harris.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmPtH4IDFNQ&t=3m2s

People are just assholes, man.
Ha.

I honestly couldn't even convince one of my buddies I was being serious.

"You actually like it."

"Yes."

"Not ironically?"

"No."

I see wrestling as a subculture? Something that is very specialist and that I mostly have to enjoy on my own and keep to myself in conversations. However, that being sad, its not something I am now ashamed of and not something I hide, I feel as though I have something that is mine, much like people like fashion, or soaps etc. The only thing I think of is it being another facet of interest to enjoy, and I recently found a few more people who enjoy it! Its pretty good because I think of it as something that it quite awesome to enjoy, and when you find someone else to talk about it with its pretty sweet!
Good analogies and I'm glad to be here among fans!
 

· The Last Romantic
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I don't really give a flying fuck what people think of me because I watch WWE.
Fair enough.

I was just somewhat fascinated by the experience and was wondering if any among you wanted to share similar stories or advice.

anyone that is going to berate or think less of you b/c you watch wrestling (or really anything you may want to watch) is not someone you really want to be friends with anyways. Also, if people don't bring it up you don't have to volunteer the info that you are a pro wrestling fan, either.


I am not saying you shouldn't be friends with someone who doesn't like wrestling or anything. I have plenty of friends that aren't pro wrestling fans, but they don't care that I am a fan. Different people like different things.
Well, playing the dozens is just part of the standard interaction among my friends, so I wouldn't expect them not to deride me; I just had no idea how truly taboo and stigmatized was an interest in wrestling.

Just keep it hidden.

You wouldn't announce in a job interview that you fucked a hooker at the weekend, would you?
We must be in different lines of work...
 

· The Last Romantic
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I actually have had the opposite. I am by no means a closet wrestling fan, everyone knows I love it. I've even taken many of my non wrestling fan friends to live events and they've loved them. They even watch Raw occasionally and talk to me about it. Hell, Total Divas got my wife interested in wrestling. The way I see it, no one should be embarrassed by their interests, and people who can't accept you for you should take a hike.
Why would you mention on a first date that you like professional wrestling though? :lol

Anyway, I keep "liking" posts and memes related to wrestling on Facebook which ends up on most of my friend's timelines so they pretty much know I'm a wrestling nerd. They have questioned me a few times but whatever. Not like I'm gonna stop. In fact have even converted two people who quit watching 7-8 years ago into full time hardcore fans and I feel a sense of accomplishment :D
I'm glad to hear that, guys!

I actually got one of my friends to see the light as well, (he's a dermatologist). Another guy I got to sit down and watch Elimination Chambre with Rhett (the derm guy) and me; he loved Bad News Barret, and enjoyed the Wyatt pre-match promo, but felt that the actual in ring matches went on for far too long.

You don't need to tell everyone that you watch. I certainly don't. I talk to my friends who watch wrestling about it, post on here, and watch in my spare time...but really nothing more. That's about it. No need to broadcast it in places/venues that it has no business being. That's when you open yourself up for criticism.
*bad guy voice

Don't you tell me where professional wrestling does and doesn't belong.
 
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