In the vast universe of professional wrestling one question presents itself at various times; Do we ruin the experience for ourselves? This question partially pertains to the so-called Internet Wrestling Community or IWC, the infamous association of professional wrestling fans, and the Internet itself.
The Internet has become one of the greatest inventions ever seen in the world. While it has become a tool for connecting with other individuals, it has also damaged the mysticism that is professional wrestling. I ask the reader to go back to the time when you first viewed a professional wrestling match, whether it is WWE, TNA, or an independent promotion. Viewing feats thought near impossible as a child we were amazed at what they did. Cruiserweights flew through the air with the greatest of ease. Other gargantuan sized men lifted others as if they weighed virtually nothing.
As children or merely innocent individuals, we believed these actions to be real. Looking beyond the physical aspect was the gimmick aspect, the most important aspect. Individuals such as Hulk Hogan or Ultimate Warrior appeared to be genuine “good guys”. They fought off the villains no matter their size or number. He could not be beat and always won in the end. These men were sincere real heroes until the truth came out.
With the increased use of the Internet, casual fans became open to the inner workings of the professional wrestling business revealing its benefits and pitfalls. We saw out great heroes such as Hulk Hogan go from an American Hero to a backstabbing politician. It is no secret that Hogan was a master politician behind the scenes. Yet is it not this information that ruins our perception of him? We don’t look at him as a pure hero, but as a corrupted Cassius-like individual. The Internet would go on to further the rise of the IWC, an entity which I had mentioned before.
As members of the IWC we can express our opinions freely and openly. Yet through these opinions and inside information we begin to analyze every single aspect of the product. When John Cena entered his 11th title reign, my young brother became ecstatic. He kept talking about how Cena won the belt which to him was an important milestone. Yet to me, it was merely an act for WWE to boost ratings. Later I thought on my brother’s reaction and began to ponder what changed in my opinion of the product. I remembered watching wrestling and viewing it as honestly true.
When Kurt Angle applied the ankle lock on an individual, I truly believed he was trying to break someone’s ankle. When Bobby Lashley speared the steel cage to hit Umaga, I believed it to be an actual strong man act. I couldn’t distinguish between kayfabe and reality at times. Sadly, when Eddie Guerrero died, I was surprised to see Rey Mysterio shed tears since the two were involved in a feud. When I became immersed in the lore of the IWC my opinions then changed. I began to see wrestlers for what they were behind the scenes. I learned the ins and out such as rigged tables and cages. The IWC and the Internet is what changed my innocent views in my opinion. Just imagine if we could retrogress to the time when we believed wrestling to be true.
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