Toxic Fandom

What great time it is to be a professional wrestling fan. There’s so many different promotions available to watch on TV and online that there’s literally a style, or flavor… if you will… for everyone. As a Gen Xer, (A person born in the 70’s and growing up in the 80’s) it reminds me of the days of old territorial wrestling. I was lucky to live in an area that got to watch the NWA, AWA, WWF (now WWE), and World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) in their heyday. My friends and I would talk about which promotion was our favorite, which guys from promotion A could beat the top guys from promotion B and vice versa. We could get heated, but we’d eventually move on to something else like comic books or football. It was never disrespectful.

Not today. Some fans in this era, for some reason, are hyper defensive of their preferred promotion. So defensive in fact, any legitimate criticism draws vitriolic responses to the point that makes discussion on any promotion break down to juvenile name calling, and threats. All over wrestling.

It’s okay to love your favorite wrestler and preferred promotion. It’s okay to criticize what you like and don’t like of other promotions. What’s not okay is the superiority complex that these fans feel they have over others, and the viciousness of their responses. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s just wrestling. Be happy that there’s so many promotions to choose from. If the WWE is too scripted for you, that’s fine. Watch something else. If AEW is too flippy for you that’s fine. Watch something else. Don’t torture yourself by watching something you don’t like. Enjoy the products you like regardless of what it is. Can you imagine if we argued over soda companies like we do wrestling? It’s absurd, but the vehemence between fans over promotions is exactly that. Enjoy your preferred promotion with your preferred beverage without being a jerk.

I have been guilty of pushing the buttons of fanboys to trigger responses. I did so to see what kind of responses I would get, and boy was I not disappointed!! I do want to apologize for pushing those buttons, and I hope we can all just get along. We enjoy the fact that we’ve got such a bountiful plate, and acknowledge the fact that NWA Powerrr is the best wrestling show. Period. 😉

Tyler Bruins from Firestar Pro Wrestling

Today we bring you an interview with Tyler Bruins from Firestar Pro Wrestling. Tyler talks about growing up a fan, training in pro wrestling, and working his debut match in front of over 500 fans at WrestleRevival 7 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

You can find him on Instagram @t.tyme27

You can find Firestar Pro Wrestling on Instagram @firestarprowrestling and @fspwtraining, also on Facebook by searching Firestar Pro Wrestling.

You can find us on Instagram @fridayeveningsundercard

Twitter: @fundercard

Facebook: facebook.com/fridayeveningsundercard

Or you can email us at fridayeveningsundercard@gmail.com

It Isn’t For You

Hey you, yeah you, wrestling fan. How about that Rusev and Lana stuff? Am I right? Isn’t it just awful? Don’t you just hate it? Aren’t you seething to hop on Twitter and Facebook and scream about how angry it makes you? Don’t worry, I can help you. There’s one simple phrase that will take all your angst away.

It isn’t for you.

Critiquing a product is one thing. I do it all the time. Personally, I don’t care for the Rusev/Lana/Lashley storyline. I could point to several things wrong with it. I do not complain about it though. WWE has 9 hours of weekly wrestling programming with a roster stacked full of talent. There’s NWA, AEW, Impact, MLW, NJPW and numerous independent promotions. So why would I complain as if this Rusev stuff was the only thing I could possibly be watching?

WWE is a global company that works to appeal to a massive audience. As such, they have to try to include variety in their programming so that there’s a little something for everyone. Why should I get upset over some soap opera stuff meant to appeal to a different type of fan when there was a match like Cole vs Bryan recently? That was a match that was meant for the kind of fan I am. The Rusev and Lana stuff, it isn’t for me. Some might argue that it’s not right that this is the kind of stuff they have Rusev doing, but Rusev and Lana were the ones who came up with this stuff. If they’re happy with what they’re doing, then what good are our complaints? I’ll let the man himself speak.

Fair point, you might be saying. But what about that Saudi stuff? That’s just awful, right? Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan on TV for weeks in the build up. Non wrestlers in high profile matches. Doesn’t it just make your blood boil? WWE forcing such garbage on the fans? I know. I know. It’s tough. Once again, I can help. Have you figured it out?

It isn’t for you.

Once again, WWE is a global company, it has audiences all over the world. Most of that audience does not consist of the hardcore wrestling fanbase. Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan were on our TV for weeks because people in Saudia Arabia still want to see Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan. Cain Velazquez and Tyson Fury were in big matches because the audience in Saudi Arabia likes to see a spectacle and don’t necessarily care that the performers they are watching are skilled professional wrestlers. There is nothing wrong with them enjoying this. They are fans as well and deserve to have WWE entertaining them and giving them a show they like.

Did I like seeing Flair and Hogan around? Not particularly. Was I burning to see Cain Velazquez and Tyson Fury in WWE rings? No, I was not. Was I forced to watch this and only this and ignore all the other wrestling there is (including within WWE itself)? No, I was not. Again, we can critique a product, angle, match, and that’s fine. When we begin to complain though, we are just adding stress and negativity in our lives for no good reason. There is stuff out there for wrestling fans of all persuasions, so enjoy what’s available to you, criticize stuff if you want, but if you ever want to complain, just remember…

It isn’t for you.

And as for the Saudi stuff, well some times a picture speaks more than we ever can.

Until we meet again,
Bryan Anthony

When a Hardcore Match is just Hardcore and not a Match.

Greetings to All!

Let’s jump right in with the most talked about match of the last two days, the unsanctioned Lights Out match between Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega. This match was undeniably the most brutal match that has been seen in mainstream wrestling in quite some time. However, was that brutality enough to make it a good match?

The reaction to the match has been a mix between those who found the violence gratuitous and gross and hated the match, and those who loved seeing this level of sadism on display and have been rating it as a possible match of the year contender. None of the response to this match seems to be focused on analyzing it from the prospective of a professional wrestling match though, taking into consideration the story that’s been told and the psychology of the match. With many things AEW, some are irrationally biased against it and will trash it likely without even watching it, and others will ignore all objectivity and heap praise on something without applying any critical though. I’ve seen many people refer to this as the match of the year. That, however, is a bit of the insult to many very great matches that have taken place this year. This match was not as good as some fans reactions may lead you to believe.

Fans who’ve grown tired of the lack of good hardcore wrestling in WWE and fans who have never been exposed to promotions like CZW seem to be dazzled by the novelty of the match that they’re ignoring some glaring flaws in the match. For me, the problem in this match wasn’t that it was too violent. The problem was that the violence made no sense.

Now, we all know that what we’re watching isn’t real. That’s something that doesn’t really need to be addressed but it seems to be brought up whenever I’m critical of the logic behind something I see in the ring. Just because we know it’s not real, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect some form of consistent logic. Without that, the suspension of disbelief, the ability to pretend that what we’re watching in that ring is real, goes away.

There were two main ways that this match challenged a viewer’s suspension of disbelief. The first involved the stipulation of the match. This was not billed as hardcore match, a death match, or even a street fight. This was billed as an unsanctioned match. AEW made it clear that the reason they refused to sanction this match is because they did not want to be held accountable for what took place. Here’s where the believability gets challenged. Are we expected to believe that, even though AEW refused to sanction this match, AEW’s ring crew placed all the following items under the ring for Moxley and Omega to use: a barbed wire bat, a barbed wire broom, a mousetrap board, a duffle bag full of a broken glass table, and a bunch of steel chains. Why would they do that when AEW doesn’t want to bear any responsibility for what happens in the match? It’s insulting to the viewer’s intelligence, much in the same way that WWE does when they ignore logic.

The other challenge to the ability to suspend one’s disbelief was how the match seemed more in favor of cramming in as many insane spots as possible than trying to tell a story that makes sense. Don’t get me wrong, I can enjoy a good brutal hardcore spot, but I will never be willing to place insane spots over proper ring psychology. Once I see a spot where everyone should be dead, that’s where the match should end. After about the 4th or 5th of those types of spots, it just becomes painfully obvious that I’m not watching a real fight. My suspension of disbelief goes out the window and I’m no longer watching two fighters trying to destroy each other. I’m just watching two stuntmen trying to see how they can top what they did before.

I understand that fans have been aching for some more brutality in mainstream wrestling, especially those who have not been exposed to other promotions outside of WWE, for years. Brutality for brutality’s sake is not what we should be accepting though. I think when people look back on this match, the rose colored glasses will be removed and it will be seen for the flaws it has. AEW sold themselves as being a higher standard of wrestling. This match didn’t show that to me.

Until we meet again,
Bryan Anthony

Welcome to Wrestling 4 All!

Greetings to All!

I would like to welcome you all to our brand new blog. We are a group of dedicated fans of all different kinds of wrestling. This venture started out with our Facebook Group, which if you aren’t already a member you should definitely join up here. My vision when starting the group was to create a space for fans of different styles and promotions to come together for high quality discussion and debate. So far, the group has met that vision. Now that vision is expanding. I hope to bring, with the help of others, high quality coverage and commentary for wrestling from around the world. I’m excited for this next step in W4A’s journey and I hope you will all enjoy.

Until we meet again,
Bryan Anthony