It doesn’t matter how many millions of fans professional wrestling has, how much money the industry makes, or what kind of people are running the show…the mainstream media has a pretty clear definition of what a “wrestling fan” is, and that definition can be pretty inaccurate. Professional wrestling is no longer at the height it hit in the late 1990’s, but it is all over the place and growing stronger, with a wide variety of fans that grows more and more different each day.
For whatever reason, that variety is rarely highlighted, even by the wrestling companies. Sure, different gimmicks will appeal to different sections of the audience, but WWE in particular have attempted to brand their fans into the “WWE Universe,” arguably doing just as much harm as the media that attempted to pigeonhole them. By making an absurd term for their fans, the biggest wrestling company on the planet has made it easier for people to form misconceptions about them.
With a simple two word phrase blanketing millions of people, it’s easy to blame any one individual for all of the faults, foibles and idiosyncrasies of the others. Astute minds realize no two wrestling fans, like no two people of any kind, are alike. If you have trouble with that concept, though, maybe you should read on and learn the truth about these 15 stupid misconceptions people have about wrestling fans.
15 They Think It's Real
14 They're All Repressed
13 They're All Homophobic
While the majority of professional wrestling fans aren’t gay, some are, so it makes sense a few gay wrestling characters would be created to represent them. Unfortunately, mainstream professional wrestling companies haven’t done the best job at presenting positive gay characters. “Exotic” Adrian Street was a flamboyant bad ass, but even in his trailblazing example, almost any even slightly effeminate wrestling character is typically met with overwhelming hatred from the audience and the announce team. Street was the first major example, but the gimmick has persisted with Lenny Lane in WCW, Billy and Chuck in WWE, and most recently Pimpinela Escarlata in Lucha Underground (although Pimpinela is seen as a baby face, his gimmick is entirely based on offensive stereotypes).
12 They're All Racist
11 They're All Misogynists
10 They're All Men
9 They're All Violent Maniacs
8 They All Watch WWE
7 They All Love/Hate WWE
6 They All Love Reigns/Cena/Austin/Hogan
5 They're Exactly What You See on TV
4 They're All Poor
3 They're All Low-Class Morons
2 They're All Kids
1 They're All The Same
Ultimately, each one of these misconceptions suffers the same simple folly: they assume only one type of person can be a wrestling fan. Just like any media out there, anybody can enjoy wrestling. It has the capability to appeal to all ages, all economic classes, all social types, men, women, minority groups, lifestyles, it doesn’t matter—people of every category watch and enjoy wrestling. Within those categories, they have their disagreements, just like any fan of any other sport, television show or form of entertainment. Professional wrestling is a weird, specific world, and it isn’t exactly for everybody. But it could be for anybody, and that’s part of the joy of it, which makes it so strange people think all fans are exactly the same.
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