Out with Injury
So I said last week that I would conclude my thoughts on attending WWE Fastlane later in the week. Then I got pneumonia and I did nothing but watch Twitch and sleep for 6 days. I am totally comparing apples to oranges when I say this but: holy shit, I can’t imagine being someone like Seth Rollins and being out with an intense leg injury for months at a time when I could barely stand missing two days of work and 3 days of class, but I digress.
Now back to our regularly scheduled (ha) programming!
The WWE Law of Enjoyment?
Fastlane was arguably not a good PPV. It was one of the worst PPVs in the history of the company if you listen to the smarks online (give me a break). Despite this, I really enjoyed Fastlane, and as far as I can tell everyone around me did as well. Looking back at it with as much bias removed as I can remove, I still don’t think it was even close to terrible. The only thing that was really not good was the Rusev/Jinder Mahal power hour where the two men took part in unannounced matches that seemingly took forever and made little sense booking wise and narratively. However, when these matches were happening live I didn’t care at all. I was seeing Big Show, Rusev, and Cesaro wrestle!
There is this near indescribable feeling that takes over when you are there and you somehow forget to a degree that you are watching a narrative based show and just take the event in in a moment by moment basis. Granted this was my first show and maybe this feeling goes away later after a certain time of going to events but I now have this theory that the level of enjoyment derived from a show is exponentially higher when attending it. I know it’s not really a groundbreaking idea but it finally explains to me why live crowds on tv sometimes seem so disconnected from the audience watching from home in terms of reaction.
Maybe when I eventually rewatch this PPV and gauge it’s quality as I typically would a PPV my opinion will change, but part of me doesn’t want to do that out of an expectation that it will take away some of the magic from that night. We’ll see.
The Attitude Era Demographics are Long Gone
When you bring up pro-wrestling to most people today, their idea of the demographic seems to either be children (boys) or grown men in their mid 20’s-30’s, and I primarily believe the common conception is the latter. I think a lot of this is still a holdover of public perception from the Attitude Era as it was wrestling’s biggest boom period to date where the target demographic was those groups (much to the chagrin of parents nationwide). Being at Fastlane, it was clear to see this is not the case anymore.
On TV broadcasts, the audience seems to fit the misconception as the people who pay the most for the hard camera seats are almost always either these hardcore male adult fans or parents buying for their children. In my section though, the audience was an amazingly broad snapshot of what the entire arena was. There were a huge amount of women (both adults and teenagers) the typical fans discussed prior, children of all ages (including one badass kid dressed in full Finn Balor garb), an elderly man, a married couple, and everything in between.
While I doubt this will happen anytime soon, I really hope that one day public perception of the WWE audience can change as it was honestly empowering to learn that I wasn’t in this really niche community of fans I thought I was but in a community that includes almost anyone you can think of in your daily life. Since reentering the WWE fanbase I wouldn’t say I have been ashamed to be a fan but it wouldn’t be the first thing I’d bring up to someone I met. At this point however, I am fully confident in expressing my love for WWE as I now know I’m far from alone in that (even though WWE’s social media presence clearly indicates this already but whatever…)
Also: kids love Enzo and Cass. Seriously.
This weekend I plan on doing a ton of catchup to bring this blog up to a current status again. It’s gonna be a struggle to watch 5 hours of wrestling in (presumably) one sitting but I do it for you guys.
Yes. I mean you, the one guy who reads this blog .
Till Next Time,