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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Who Is The Real Problem"
August 17, 2005 by Jason "Xtremefalls" Simmons


Every week I come and read the new columns on the site and there is always something I notice. What I notice is with almost every new update there is a column about what are the problems with the business. Are some of them correct" Yes, but in my opinion a lot of them are dead wrong. The most common reason for the downfall of companies like WWE in the opinions of most wrestling fans is the product, which I can't say is false. Also I hear the writing is the problem which once again I can't disagree with. But here is an idea a lot of people refuse to acknowledge as a problem: the fans.

I know I will have some fans who can't handle the truth and will give me crap about this column but I don't care. The truth is a lot of fans are a huge problem in wrestling. First off, some fans are just ridiculously negative. Here is just a main example; I've already pretty much heard that Hogan vs. Michaels will suck. How in the hell does someone know that this match will suck" The match has yet to happen. Especially for a match that has never happened before with a really good worker like Shawn Michaels. That's only the beginning of the negativity problems the fans cause. Another thing a lot of people do is an attack a gimmick that is rumored before even seeing it; take Eugene. People trashed it a soon as it debuted without seeing it played out and it turned out to be a huge gimmick for the WWE and Nick Dinsmore.

One major problem I have is most fans ask way too much of wrestlers. What do I mean by that" I mean if a cruiserweight doesn't do a high spot that seems almost impossible he sucks. When someone like Mick Foley doesn't do a huge bump he isn't hardcore anymore. If a wrestler isn't Kurt Angle in the ring he automatically sucks and should be fired on the spot. I know some of you will deny this is happening but trust me there are fans like that and to me its plain old pathetic and demanding. Theses guys have families to support and some fans act like wrestlers are indestructible.

Another problem I have with wrestling fans is the so called "Indy fan". I have had a lot of run-ins with Indy fans over the past year, and quite frankly I'm tired of it. Now take Ring Of Honor for example I'm not cutting up all of you but I'm talking to the die hard ROH fan who believes that company is god. My problem with most ROH fans I've talked to is they do nothing but bash the WWE, and TNA, while never saying one work about ROH's problems. The problem is so many of them are so quick to degrade Vince McMahon's character and product while ROH has character issues and can be criticized with their product. Now let me just say this is not an attack on all ROH fans, this is just an attack on the fans who want to down grade everything but ROH.

Next I want to talk about the fan that has more power than any other type of wrestling fan, which is the Internet fan. Now once again this is not an attack on everyone just a select few. In my opinion the internet wrestling fan can be a great thing and a horrible thing. It gives people who have great ideas somewhere to speak, but it also gives people who don't know what they're talking about some where to speak. I think the internet fan has developed an attitude that if a wrestler is not Kurt Angle in the ring they are worthless. Now don't get me wrong, if I think a match sucked I'll say it but I don't expect wrestlers to be like Kurt Angle or do I want everyone to be like that because it's boring. Most fans forget that a lot of wrestling fans were brought up on big guys like Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, and Ultimate Warrior who were not great wrestlers but some of the more popular stars in wrestling history. So you can not expect every wrestling fan to expect great technical matches by every star.

Another thing that just plain bugs me about wrestling fans is the fact that they want wrestlers to put their own well being ahead of the business. Matt Hardy is the most recent example of this action, the man decides to go back to a steady pay check instead of going to TNA, ROH, or other Indy Companies and he is considered a sell out. Now with Spanky and Jamie Noble returning I'm sure there will be people calling them sell outs. Why should they be called sell outs, because they want to make money with their jobs and perform on the biggest stage in wrestling instead of wrestling in small buildings in front of 200 fans" I believe some fans really need to stop jumping on wrestlers who leave ROH or TNA to go to the WWE, because honestly TNA is still not that steady and ROH is not that big.

Also, stop jumping on wrestlers such as Matt Hardy for going back to the WWE, because if you listen to any Matt Hardy interview from after his release he never once bashed WWE, or Vince, he just stated he felt they handled the situation wrong. Also he said WWE was his dream job, and I'm sure it's the same for Noble and Spanky. Another problem with the whole Matt Hardy thing is, when he was released the whole internet got upset and said Matt Hardy was great and felt bad for him, but when he got his job back he is suddenly a bad guy. I mean honestly, the people calling him a sell out are the same people who were bashing the WWE for firing him months earlier.

Another thing I hate is when some fans who read the internet think they're twenty times better than the fan who just watches the show. I can't count how many times people have attacked just the regular fan that watches it on TV, and doesn't read the Internet. A lot of people always say the WWE fan is a moron who is fed crap by Vince McMahon. In my opinion a lot of people are force fed crap by the Internet just like a regular fan would be by the WWE. Honestly some people just need to get over the fact Vince goes off what the live crowd reacts to, not some guy behind a computer screen.

Another huge problem I have with some wrestling fans, are the push happy fans. What do I mean by "push happy"" I mean the fans who think everyone who is in the company should be getting pushed to the top of the moon. I mean people expect CM Punk to be WWE champion a month after his debut just because he had a good run in ROH. Take Paul London for example: he came in and a couple of fans expected the WWE to push him to the sky again. Here is what I'm saying: why should people like CM Punk, Paul London, Frankie Kazarian, and any other Indy star be brought in and pushed to the top when most fans not only have no clue who the character is but have never seen him work" I'm saying just because you seen them doesn't mean other wrestling fans have, and honestly when someone gets brought in and dominates it usually doesn't end up that well anyway.

So to finish off this column I want to say I am not attacking everyone. This column is not directed towards every ROH fan, Internet fan, WWE fan, or TNA fan. This column was directed towards the fans that in my opinion just don't get it. People who expect wrestlers to be unbreakable, or put the business ahead of their families, this column is directed towards you.

Any feed back is welcome, positive or negative, until next time.

by Jason "Xtremefalls" Simmons..


Eric Schomburg wrote:
I guess I'm a fan who "get's it" and "doesn't get it" as far as you're concern. Here's the thing, I love Matt Hardy, and I don't blame him for going back to WWE. It's about time he should be rewarded for all the BS he had to go through.

Second of all, I don't believe that TNA sucks, in fact I think they are better than the WWE. I've never really seen ROH, so I can't comment on that, but any wrestling fed that is not WWE is better in my opinion.

I hate Vince, because despite that the WWE means World Wrestling Entertainment, the entertainment comes before wrestling. I hate to break it to you, but if you watch wrestling for it's entertainment value, than you're not a wrestling fan, period. I'm not saying that you don't enjoy the wrestling, but if watch wrestling to see who Lita will screw over next than you're not a wrestling fan, you're a soap opera fan. Don't get me wrong, I love a good storyline, because storylines are the icing on the cake to wrestling; otherwise, there would be no point; however, WWE is to wrestling as MTV is to music.

I miss the ECW days when the tension was high, the action was hot, and the promos were genuine. The WWE has had a few gimmicks that I love and still do to this day. JBL is actually one of those gimmicks, because Bradshaw went from a drunken Acolyte to a oil tycoon. The gimmick works, because the gimmick is close to Bradshaw than the Acolyte gimmick. I love when wrestlers can make up their character, establish their story, and use imagination rather than have writers write for them.

I don't find your article to be offending, because I am a fan who gets it, it may not be the way you see it, but I do believe that I am a fan who does get it. I do understand what you mean by some fans. I am not a fan of the character Eugene, but there are some who like him, but that's cool with me. I do respect Nick Dillsmore, because if you watch the man closely he can wrestle. I think what really insulted the fans about Eugene is he is a retard who can wrestle, it's not believable. What's sad is, the fans can believe a deadman can wrestle, but not a retard. It's almost like saying a blindman can wrestle through vibrations, it's not believable and the fans feel like their intelligence have been insulted, which half the time it is.

I'll tell you the fans that I don't like is the fans who overlook the person from the wrestler. Muhammad Hassan is an example. Everyone has been praising that Hassan is gone, because he's a racist. If anything, he's a hell of a performer, because despite that he is only playing a character, he still pisses some people off even when he's not around. THAT'S A WRESTLER! Not to mention that he can sell the moves, and actually wrestle. That is why the internet fans adore him and are ticked off that his character was killed off.

Speaking of internet fans. I hate to break it to you, but us internet fans are taking over. It's almost like being a part of the 1996 version of the nWo, it's just cool to be a part of. To quote Ric Flair, "Whether you like it, or you don't like it, it's the best thing going today." Get used to the internet fans, because they have been taking over since day one.

I think personally why a lot of fans, including myself, get upset because of wrestlers "selling out" to the WWE is because we know that the WWE will water down their talent. Fortunately, they haven't watered down Rob Van Dam, because that is what he's known for; however, you honestly think someone like Sabu would make it in WWE" Hell no! The other problem with the WWE is that when they have someone who doesn't have watered down talent, they stick on B-shows like Heat or Velocity. Paul London is an example of this.

That's like the Luchadores, Vince tells the Luchadores to tone it down" Lucha Libra wrestling should NEVER be toned down. Vince is a moron for ever thinking it, because he wants money. I do believe that is why fans say "you sold out," because it's telling the wrestler, "you sold your god giving talent for money." Fans expect the wrestler to enjoy wrestling. Like me, I write novels for the enjoyment of telling a story not for money. Besides, if you look at WCW in 1996, the Luchadores and the genuine wrestlers like Benoit, Guerrero, Jericho, and Malenko were the backbone of the WCW, and that is why WCW was kicking WWE's ass for 80+ weeks in a row and they were making loads of money, maybe even more than the WWE offered them and they still wrestled good matches.

As far as people getting a push too early, I do agree with you on that. I believe the WWE pushed Overrated Orton way too soon and way too much, because he had potential in being the next HBK, but because of the overkill he is now reduced to midcard status. Just because he's facing the Undertaker, doesn't mean it's not midcard status.

On with Hulk Hogan. Two words on why the match between he and Shawn Michaels will suck. Artificial Hip. The man is slow as hell, he's sluggish and lethargic. Shawn Michaels is fast and agile, it's a match that would have been great 15 years ago, but now it's just an old man who thinks he's still got it and a wrestler who actually does have it. Trust me, the wrestling fans respect Shawn more than Hulk, because Hulk Hogan is all blow and no show. Yes, a lot of fans keep saying that he's the greatest wrestler of all time, which disgusts me because he can't sell for the other guy even if he tried. Granted the Shawn-Shooter wasn't great, but Hogan couldn't sell it, because Shawn had to literally turn his old ass over. Are you telling me that Hogan can pick up Andre the Giant up and bodyslam him, yet he can't flip his old ass over" It's because Hogan doesn't want to sell Shawn as being a guy who could actually hurt THE Hulk Hogan. Not to mention Hogan makes wrestling look fake, how many damn times can we believe he just "hulk's up." Eventually, that crap gets old and stale.

To be frank, I am a wrestling fan, a fan who likes his wrestling to be 75% wrestling and violent, and 25% storyline and gimmicks.

Good column, I don't find it disheartening, but I did feel that I had to explain why I am a fan who would rather watch a Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels match before I watch a Chris Masters vs. Hulk Hogan match. Unless Masters and Hogan bring out the flaming tables and the steel chairs, I'm not watching that crap.
Rich Klumb wrote:
I'm finally glad someone got it right for a change. I too am tired of people thinking they know how to fix all the problems with the WWE. Of course some storylines suck, but remember back to the early wrestling days. Not every storyline was amazing. Years later you are mostly remembering all the storylines you liked. If the company is doing such a terrible job and you think it sucks... why are you still watching it" If you still watch the show every week, they must be doing something right.

You hit the nail on the head Jason. I'm tired of self-proclaimed "SMARKS" thinking they know everything just because they read an article or a spoiler online. People go into matches or interview segments with the notion its going to suck and don't even give it a chance. They pounce on every weak point they can, ignoring the good parts. I compare it to watching a movie, because watching wrestling is very much like watching a movie. If you enter the theatre with presumptions on how the movie is going to be, regardless of what they are, you will be disappointed one way or the other. You are right Jason, people that believe everything written on wrestle sites are no better than those believing the storylines on TV.

I've been in one too many wrestling chatrooms online where the people watching the show criticize the wrestlers for missing spots, or screwing up a move, or saying something stupid on the mic. Wrestling is a TOUGH business. Not one, and I mean NOT ONE wrestler in the history of wrestling has hit every spot that they were supposed to. Not even close. Everyone screws up, and granted some screw up more than others, but I don't believe any fan of wrestling should be criticizing the professionals on TV. Wrestlers are human, they're going to screw up at some point. Deal with it. If I hear one more "SMARK" say something about a bad bump someone takes, or blame the wrong wrestler for screwing up a spot, or telling me "OMG, that looked SO fake," I'm gonna scream. It's one thing if its funny, and to say its funny, but it's completely different when you start saying "so-in-so sucks cuz they screwed up that spot". I know I'm in chatrooms for different reasons than most (I'm usually working a late shift when RAW airs, so I need a play-by-play), but sometimes it's just ridiculous.

The last point you made that I will comment on is on "Selling Out". I doubt any single fan when placed in the same position would turn down ten times more money and the chance to perform in front of bigger crowds. If you truly believed in yourself as a talented wrestler, you would want to showcase your talent. I am NOT by any means taking anything away from the indy wrestlers. I believe strongly in the indy circuits, but any wrestler that has been in the WWE or any major brand can't be expected to be COMPLETELY happy wrestling indy shows.

Kudos to you Jason on a great article. Looking forward to the next. Any replies to this post are welcome.
michael wheeler wrote:
I just read your article and for the most part I do agree with you. The fans are a problem but I feel that the real problem are the writers because they don't know about wrestling. Now, I don't know about the business because I am not involved in it but when a writer asks about the "fake" blood that's a problem right there. But I agree that sometimes we fans do demand too much from the wrestlers and management. Recently on my forum someone was complaining because Kurt Angle wasn't wrestling like he was a few years back. He's got a very busted neck and we can't ask him to continue forever. Yes, the fans are a problem, but the Hollywood writers are a bigger one in my view.
Jay H. wrote:
To put this shortly, that was an excellent column. Those were your opinions but I agree with them 100%.

I've only been in the IWC for about a year now. Before this I read LOP to get results, backstage news, and read a few articles. I only started posting about a month and a half ago.

Originally I wanted a place to share my ideas and hear other peoples opinions, all but 1 of my friends "outgrew" wrestling years ago.

Unfortunately, like the author of this article, what I found is a bunch of negative, juveniles who only want to see cruiserweights flying around, doing high spots, and taking bumps that no human should. There are alot of bandwagoners who like to bash anyone who the "marks" like. 3H, Cena and his spinner title, Batista. There are those in the IWC that refuse to believe the WWE is a business. As a business they need to make money. To make money they must give the PAYING fans what they want.

Unfortunately good business comes at a cost. The REAL wrestling fan has to sit through things they may not enjoy. Otherwise good wrestlers must waterdown their movesets to appeal to the crowd. Talented women's wrestlers are either turned into valets or get the ax.

I've been a wrestling fan damn near all my life, I've seen the ups and downs of the business. The product is not perfect at the moment but it is showing signs of an upswing.

More than a few times I've considered leaving the IWC and becoming a "mark" once again. A few months ago I met an up and comer from the WWE. This guy comes off as a real dick on screen and he receives a lot of bashing from the IWC. In person this is one of the nicest guys I've met IN MY LIFE. The fact that's he is somewhat of a celebrity just multiplies that fact. He speaks like a person who really enjoys the business. One thing he told me was not to become a "smark." He told me to just sit back and be entertained. That's what I want to do, just be a fan again.

If things don't change in the IWC I don't know if I can continue to be a member of it.

Once again great article Jason. Hope to read more of your stuff in the future.
Jonathan Murphy wrote:
I would just like to say thank you for a very well written article, and one that I agree with wholeheartedly. The wrestling fans expectations are too high in many cases. You made an excellent point when you mentioned people's reaction to Eugene's gimmick, before he had even debuted. I also agree with that fact that some ROH fans expect the indy stars to be huge players within a few months, even a few weeks. It's ridiculous. Thank you.
milly48 wrote:
I've never agreed so strongly with a column in my life. Everything you wrote is the kind of thing I've been telling anyone who will listen for the past few months. I really appreciate you risking criticism to write the truth. Fantastic article, if more people shared your views the wrestling world would be a better place.
Keith "i might write an article here soon" Learmonth wrote:
This article is an almost perfect reflection of my thoughts. but i think you forgot one group. the "WWE isn't stuck in the 80's, so it sucks" group. This in an "Xtremely" well written article, and i have to say, good work.(sorry about that pun... had to add it) P.S, i can already feel the heat you're going to get for this one building. it should be a good reaction.
Christopher "Mr. F.N. Balls" Gilmartin wrote:
Let me start out by your comments on wrestlers being sell outs, I agree with you. Everyone reading this column would do the exact same thing if they was good at their job and a rival employer made them an job offer. More money, less work hey Its the American Way. Next, lets address the problem with pro wrestling today ITS YOUR FAULT! but then again its mine and hers and his too. Fact is Paul Heyman said it best on Byte This, "Pro Wrestling is like the dot com industry, and the bubble burst." Simple as that. Now lets look at various reasons the bubble popped. Well I know I don't spend as much money as I used to on wrestling. I have more bills, less money and I have to work harder to keep what I have earned. In fact One night stand is the first PPV I have bought since the 2 brand launch of the wwe. So I don't really think its anybody's fault, but if were gonna piss and moan. Lets blame the ecomomy and Bush, hey its worked for everything else. See Ya Round
Kevin Roberts wrote:
Jason, I TOTALLY AGREE with you bro. People are so stupid when comes to their perception of what wrestling is all about. More than half of them probably have no athletic ability, fighting or acting skill what so ever; yet they constantly criticize those people who have given their lives to their profession. YOU people have no right to diss the WWE, TNA, ROH, Indies or anyone else. It is YOU people that have brought wrestling down, not bad wrestlers. Speaking of wrestling, how can YOU people decipher what is good or bad wrestling and you have never even stepped in the ring. If Vince or any other WWEer heard some of the things you guys had to say about them, you guys would totally get your a%# kicked. Being a former division I college football player myself, I understand the meaning of sacrifice, and not having the luxury of being able to do things most people take for granted. When you dedicate your life to something, there will always be some a%# hole who knows nothing about what you do, that is always going to knock you. How dare you. I am a HUGE WWE fan, and I resent being called 'spoon-fed' because I like people like Lesnar, Batista or Chris Masters, or anyone else for that matter. Heck, I like just about everybody in the WWE. It's the NFL of wrestling. I respect all of those guys 'cause most of them have been forced to leave their families, lived in poverty at point or another, been homeless or slept in the same gym they worked out in, and even starved from not having money to get themselves something to eat. They DESERVE to be treated like first class people because they have EARNED it, but you haters would'nt know anything about that. YOU people are trying to destroy wrestling via the internet. However, you will fail 'cause the WWE is not going anywhere, and TNA, ROH and Indies will not come close to dethroning Vince; sorry. There is a lot more to the wrestling/sports-entertainment business than just the technical aspect of it, so give the guys a break. Can you do what they do" I think not. If some of those non-WWEers were good enough, in all aspects (look, skill, promos), they would be in the WWE; so please don't say things like " (such & such) from Indy is better than Chris Masters." He's there because he deserves to be, and that does'nt mean that (such & such) is not a good wrestler, but he's not in the WWE is he" If I sound like a Masters fan, so what, the guy is entertaining, heck, they all are in some way or another. That's why they are in the WWE and YOU are not.
Will Snyder wrote:
I can understand where your coming from dude, I agree that that are way too many people who bash the WWE and its product, but at the same time there are also way too many fans who only watch WWE and think every other company not at their level is crap. Thats not fair though, cause their are so much good talent out their such as Bryan Danielson, Christopher Daniels, Austin Aries, etc. I'm saying watch the WWE and love it, I do, but broaden your appreciation of the business.

Another thing is that yea, alot of wrestlers would choose the WWE over working indy for money, but not necesarrily. For example, a friend of mine talked to a current TNA star who recieved a contract from WWE for ALOT of money, but he turned it down cause WWE would have killed his heat by changing his current successful character. So although the object of the business is to "make it," alot of workers don't want to take a chance at killing what has made them successful.
Matt Kopp wrote:
Amen Jason, Amen. I agree with this article 100 percent. Its been pissing me off a lot that in the last few months, I couldn't think of one wrestler who people WEREN'T bashing. I agree that we shouldn't bash the people who just watch wrestling. Personally, I liked wrestling a lot more in early 2004 to Summerslam 2004, when I first started watching wrestling, because it was all so new to me. The Wrestlers, the titles, the history, now that I've been watching wrestling for a good year and gone online, wrestling has become extremely predictable, and not as fun as it was near Wrestlemania 20. (lol, listen to me, I've already started bashing wrestling) Anyway, I liked your article man. MORE POWER TO THE XTREMEFALLER!!!!!!!!
Dr MD wrote:
Great article Jason, I think you've really hit the nail on the head. I began reading into the backstage news at the beginning of the year and became annoyed by how certain fans believed they knew more about the business than the McMahons (I can only assume they're all WCW fans). However, I do believe that the information the internet provides is still important in helping bring awareness to the wrestlers and their situations whilst out of character. Without such information the Blue Meanie would have missed out on the pay day he so sorely needed and Matt Hardy's crappy year would have gone unnoticed - the internet provided them with a second chance.

One thing I would contest however is your views on the 'pushing' of former indy stars upon arrival in WWE. I agree that it is unfair to award these relatively unknown superstars with large amounts of success straight away, but surely it is worse not to use them at all, restricting them to minor league match-ups (That fact that Paul London lost his Cruiserweight title to Nunzio in the opening match of Velocity with no mention of it on the following Smackdown was unfair to both of the Superstars involved). The deal with Indy wrestlers is that they have already had time to showcase their talents and built up fan support, fans who know what they are capable of. Instead we are forced to watch less talented individuals get more air time without doing much work to get there in the first place.
Erkka Järvinen wrote:
Amen. I was 90 % sure that this was gonna be a HHH bash column but i was surprised, good work.
Jay Ingram wrote:
While I agree with most of your opinions and observations, the one point I will contend is your statement about bringing Indy wrestlers into the WWE and push them, even though many are not familiar with the wrestling/character/gimmick.

Even though this is the 21st century, and most anyone who wants it has access to the Internet, it doesnt neccesarily hold that wrestling fans, even hardcore, "obsessed" fans, will have much information about Indy wrestlers.

Most Indy shows are pomoted on the local level and through the Internet only. While a fan may be able to download short clips of a wrestler's high spots online, full matches are rarely available. Most fans will not see or possibly even hear of an Indy wrestler brought to the big league by WWE or NWA.

If the fans like what they see when an Indy wrestler is brought up to the big leagues, whats wrong with having the fans want a push for that wrestler" If they like it, they want to see more of it, and there is nothing wrong with that. Always remember, wrestling is a business, not just a hobby for the wrestlers, owners, and such.

And by the way, why is it that just because a federation is not owned or aligned with WWE, NWA, or such, why is the designation of "Indy" so important" It almost takes on a bad connotation. A casual fan may think, "Well, he's not good enough to be in the WWE, so he is an Indy wrestler.", when we all know that some of the most talented pro wrestlers today are in the Indy leagues, and some, believe it or not, choose to be in those federations, because either their ideas about wrestling fit the fed better, or because they dont want the excess baggage that comes from wrestling for a major, worldwide federation.
Dave Hanson wrote:
Right on, man. There are a whole lot of asshole wrestling fans out there who have so little going on that they just have to bash you for liking wrestlers that they don't like, and bash wrestlers for making business decisions. I think this whole Matt Hardy debacle has really brought a lot of these issues to light. Another time I felt the same way was during the ECW ppv when the super-loud "F*** JOHN CENA" chants came up. John Cena wasn't even at the show! He's never said anything about ECW either way, he just comes out and does his thing, and people feel the need to say f*ck him as loud as possible when he's not even there" Also, I feel like a lot of the times the obsessed angry internet wrestling fan that you talk about in your article don't understand that not all wrestling fans care to be into wrestling on the level that they are. They know they are casual fans and they don't care. They come home from work, eat some dinner, throw on smackdown, go to bed, and in general pursue their other interests in life. And little do they know that they are being attacked and criticised for not spending every waking hour ignoring everything but wrestling, and researching and delving into WWE. Some of my friends are casual fans, some are not. I tell one of my friends how cool ROH is, and he asks "but how are the storylines." It doesn't anger me or make me want to kick his ass, that's just the kind of wrestling fan he is, and I respect that. We're into different things. And besides, I can watch WWE tapes and then throw on an ROH dvd, and enjoy both. I don't see what the big deal is. There's just too much hating going on, plain and simple.
Mitch Lathen wrote:
I would like to refute the arguments set forth in this article. Since this is an opposing opinion I know there's no chance in hell you'll post this, but there's some things I'd like to make known.

Falls said: "But here is an idea a lot of people refuse to acknowledge as a problem: the fans."

Please. Live fans can influence the quality of the product being put in front of them if they, say, cheer the heels and boo the faces. This makes the show look like a farce, and it's happened (it's even happened in ROH). But people complaining (or cheering!) about said product at water coolers and keyboards doesn't matter in the least to the performers or the writers. Why would they know or care about it" People are still watching (especially these ROH fans he hates so much), that's all that matters.

Falls said: "First off, some fans are just ridiculously negative. Here is just a main example; I've already pretty much heard that Hogan vs. Michaels will suck. How in the hell does someone know that this match will suck" The match has yet to happen."

How about I hit you in the head with a huge rock, then ask if you want me to hit you in the head again with that huge rock. How do you know it will hurt the second time" I've yet to hit you the second time. We've seen god-awful in-ring performances from Hogan on Raw and at Backlash, so it doesn't take a ****ing rocket scientist to predict the quality of the Summerslam match. Yes, there will be an electric atmosphere like Hogan/Rock, but that's not what the complaints are about; they are about the match itself, in between the ropes.

Falls said: "I mean if a cruiserweight doesn't do a high spot that seems almost impossible he sucks. When someone like Mick Foley doesn't do a huge bump he isn't hardcore anymore. If a wrestler isn't Kurt Angle in the ring he automatically sucks and should be fired on the spot."

I've never met one fan who thinks any of this. The ROH fans he hates so much are especially appreciative of solid, if basic ringwork, and they pop like anyone if something remarkable happens. If Falls had watched any ROH, he'd have heard the fans clapping when two wrestlers exchange hammerlocks and chain wrestle on the mat, and the commentator recognize this. This is going to sound prejudicial, and perhaps it is, but it's WWE fans who watch two wrestlers go hold-for-hold on the mat and chant "BORING! BORING!" They even did it to Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle, at Unforgiven 2002.

Falls wrote: "Another problem I have with wrestling fans is the so called "Indy fan". I have had a lot of run-ins with Indy fans over the past year, and quite frankly I'm tired of it. Now take Ring Of Honor for example I'm not cutting up all of you..."

That's the way you phrase it when you're trying to look objective...he came to the WWE: Day of Recknoning board on IGN and said, and I quote directly, "I just gotta say something to you ROH fans they say there about honor and all of that but heres a good question. How can you say your company has honor when you let a Sex Offender work for you after being caught and saying someone was fired" Just wondering." and later, "Ring of Honor is for the lowest form of wrestling fan-geek," both of which are clear incidents of internet trolling and directly contradict the supposed the opinion he puts forth here. The posts can be found by following the link I will provide, and going to the following page:

http://boards.ign.com/WWE:_Day_of_Reckoning/b7563/69223510/p360

Falls wrote: "My problem with most ROH fans I've talked to is they do nothing but bash the WWE, and TNA, while never saying one work about ROH's problems."

All ROH fans I know offer honest criticism to any wrestling they watch. Who is Falls talking about" He made this same argument on the DOR board and ran into several ROH fans who mentioned criticisms of the company, as well as praise for WWE, but he still insisted that ALL ROH fans blindly love ROH and blindly hate WWE. I quote directly, "yeah see your problem is i've seen all of you guys competely bashing TNA before they got the deal. Also you know you guys constantly Bash WWE, i mean i find it hard to believe ROH never does anything wrong," and that quote can be found on the following page of the link I provided earlier. How many spell-checkers did you guys need for Falls' article" He never once, either in this article or his time on the DOR board, even acknowledged any actual fan that likes ROH and objectively evaluates WWE. Not once.

Falls wrote: "Now let me just say this is not an attack on all ROH fans, this is just an attack on the fans who want to down grade everything but ROH."

I refer you to my above quotations from the DOR board, and I can easily find more.

Falls wrote: "Next I want to talk about the fan that has more power than any other type of wrestling fan, which is the Internet fan. Now once again this is not an attack on everyone just a select few."

Despite the better spelling and grammar, this is exactly the opinion he put forth on the DOR board. An ignorant generalization.

Falls wrote: "I think the internet fan has developed an attitude that if a wrestler is not Kurt Angle in the ring they are worthless."

Falls is making up wrestling fans. There isn't a living soul who believes anything of this sort.

Falls wrote: "Now don't get me wrong, if I think a match sucked I'll say it

From his posts at the DOR board, I'd wager this is the true translation: Now don't get me wrong, if a match happened in ROH I'll say it sucked.

I refer you to another quotation from the DOR board: "dude there storylines suck. SO does the WWE's msot of tthe time but ROH Is too pure wrestling and it will never make it." This quotation can be found on the page following the link I provided. Falls clearly has intense disdain for the ROH style, not to mention its fans.

Falls wrote: "Most fans forget that a lot of wrestling fans were brought up on big guys like Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, and Ultimate Warrior who were not great wrestlers but some of the more popular stars in wrestling history."

Now this is just downright silly. Can you really blame people for enjoying something when they are young and then finding something they consider better later in life and enjoying it more" If I say "War and Peace" was a good book, are you gonna tell me, "Well, you grew up reading "Hop on Pop" so your opinion sucks."

Falls wrote: "Matt Hardy is the most recent example of this action, the man decides to go back to a steady pay check instead of going to TNA, ROH, or other Indy Companies and he is considered a sell out."

I can't really argue with this, but honestly who thinks that" I've heard that the fans chanting "**** you Hardy" at his last ROH show were doing so in jest, much like many Canadians who still chant "You screwed Bret."

Also, the only reason anyone might consider him a sellout is that for weeks on his website he complained about how much he hated the WWE and was physically sickened by attempts to watch Raw, and then at a moment's notice he went back.

Falls wrote: "Now with Spanky and Jamie Noble returning I'm sure there will be people calling them sell outs."

At the 8/14 ROH show in Chicago, the same fans who were chanting "**** you Hardy" (for whatever reason) were chanting "Please don't go!" at these two, not because they'd be sellouts if they went, but because everyone knows (from experience) that their indy/ROH matches are FAR superior to anything they've done in the WWE.

Falls wrote: "Another problem with the whole Matt Hardy thing is, when he was released the whole internet got upset and said Matt Hardy was great and felt bad for him, but when he got his job back he is suddenly a bad guy."

No, he became a bad guy when he wouldn't shut up about Amy and Adam.

Falls wrote: "Another thing I hate is when some fans who read the internet think they're twenty times better than the fan who just watches the show."

What's so wrong about this" If one fan has access to information that another does not, doesn't that make the first fan "smarter" (to use an unfortunate buzzword). If a five-year old watches a card trick and thinks it's magic, but I know the magician just inserted his pinky into the deck, who's got the better grasp of the situation"

Falls wrote: "Another huge problem I have with some wrestling fans, are the push happy fans. What do I mean by "push happy"" I mean the fans who think everyone who is in the company should be getting pushed to the top of the moon.I mean people expect CM Punk to be WWE champion a month after his debut just because he had a good run in ROH."

Once again, Falls is inventing wrestling fans. People want Punk to get pushed because he's pretty darn good in the ring and excellent on the mic. He has all the talents that a performer should have, but no one thinks he shouldn't have to pay his dues with his new company.

Falls wrote: "Here is what I'm saying: why should people like CM Punk, Paul London, Frankie Kazarian, and any other Indy star be brought in and pushed to the top when most fans not only have no clue who the character is but have never seen him work"

And just exactly whose fault is that" London's been with the company for over two years, held the cruiserweight title for about five months and many fans STILL don't know who he is. Could it be because he's on Velocity every week, if he's on TV at all"

Falls wrote: "So to finish off this column I want to say I am not attacking everyone.:

Nope, just people who watch ROH, as I know from not only this article but personal experience. Falls, you are a hypocrite, a liar, and a moron.

OWW, I enjoy your site tremendously and hope you do publish this. But you've got one twat of a columnist.
Joe L wrote:
Now THAT was an epic article with epic substance and value. A remarkable demonstration of hypocrisy, ignorance and paranoia from fans that don't know their mouths from their assholes. Excellent column, Jason. It's even better than mine and that's saying something.
Ritzunzueta wrote:
Jason"Falls" just got completely owned by Mitch Lathen. Good retort, Mitch. Bad column, Jason.
Jason "XtremeFalls" Simmons (Original Author) wrote in his defense:
First off great responses so far i have had tons of great reviews I would like to personally thank Eric Schomburg, Rich Klumb, michael wheeler,Jay H., Jonathan Murphy, milly48, Keith Learmonth, Christopher "Mr. F.N. Balls" Gilmartin, Kevin Roberts, Will Snyder, Matt Kopp, Dr MD, Erkka Järvinen, and Dave Hanson. All of your replys were read and helped, I'm glad a lot of you guys agreed and realize just how much some fans can be ass holes. Also i would like to to clear two things up, One I'm not saying the fans are the complete problem because were not but we are a part of the problem, Also I am in no way telling don't like this kinda of wrestling, if you like ROH or TNA or WWE thats cool but i'm saying don't piss on something just because it isn't what you like because other people like it. Also i would like to Address the one person who rebuttle on the column that i did not mention mr. Mitch Lathen. First off remeber at the end of my column when I said this was for the fans that just don't get it, well Mitch Lathen is that fan. Dude not at one point did this column have to do with ROH or its Product i was talking about the certain Kind of fan period. I'll say it i'm not afraid to i'm not a fan of ROH, and thats my opinion. If you like it than fine have fun with it. The funny thing Mitch just like i have stated on IGN (aka the Mark Board), I don't hate ROH for its Product or its wrestlers even though i'm not impressed with them. I hate them because some of there fans are just ass holes, who don't understand most fans Like entertainment. I'm not someone who wants to watch a 50 minute match between CM Punk and Aj Styles doing chain wrestling and too many high spots because i don't like it. Mitch you see i'm not talking about the regular Ring of Honor fans i'm talking about the ass holes like you who go out of there way to down grade things i mean I love how you fail to read the rest of that board where none of you guys said one bad thing about ROH, and didn't say anything good about WWE. I mean honestly i'll say it, its the ass hole fan of ROH like you that makes me not wanna watch the product. I also find it funny i have gotten a lot of feed back Mitch and you know what Not too many people have disagreed with me on this column besides people from IGN so honestly you need to shut the hell up and actully make a point next time before you attack me. ALso to point something out why i did not attack the regular WWE fan who just watch tv, why should I insult them because they wanna watch it on tv and be entertained instead of being critics" Especially when most of the so called SMARKS don't have a freaking clue what the real world wants. Also If i'm such a hypocrite, lair and moron why did you have to take my words out of contexts to make me look bad" So dude you know what if you have a problem with me or what I say i'll tell you what you can do, DON'T READ IT. Now for the fans who were actully respectful and not complete ass clowns thank you again and to anyone else who wants to reply thank you. I really do enjoy writing for this site and love the site, anyway thanks for reading the column and I will be back soon with a new fresh column.
Will Snyder wrote:
I just have to say bravo to Mitch there. That is a guy who is a "real" wrestling fan, and not a WWE mark.

I'm goin to reiterate, that a true blue straight up wrestling fan can appreciate every single aspect of the business. I love WWE, TNA, ROH, CZW, hell I even bought an NWA: Florida DVD the other day and thought it was great! I'm from the mid-south and there are so many local promotions that you really gain a love for not only the WWE big times, but also the guys who have been working in the business for well over 15 years, but still put on great shows. I'm trying to break into the business myself, hopefully in the USWO, "REAL FALKIN WRESTLING" (sorry shameless plug), with the hope of my good friend Scotty C.

Just remember this, and this was what I was taught by workers I've met, that the #1 word in the business is "respect." Don't bash WWE and don't bash ROH, instead "respect" both promotions' take on wrestling business.
Michael Eisen wrote:
Thank you for writing this article, I wrote an article like this hoping to be able to get people comment on it but it was put into the Fan Jam. Now that I think about it though your article said the same points I said but with extra details, reasons, and of course points. I agree with you 100% and the thing is the internet fans you talked about are actually worst for the wrestling business then the non-wrestling fans who call wrestling fake. I say this because it is possible to deal with those people who think wrestling is fake by convincing them it is not; however, it is almost impossible to deal with internet fans because most of them are very attached to their opinions and they can also go someplace else to give their opinions if they are not wanted at one place or another. These internet, ROH, WWE, TNA, and any other category of fans who bash other types of wrestling should not complain about the problems of the wrestling promotions they don't like; these fans should instead complain about their favorite wrestling promotion's problems that way the one/ones they like will become better not the ones they don't like.
Senor Awesome wrote:
Great article, and I agree with you on many points, just not to the extent that you make them out to be. Before I start making my points, I would just like to preface it with the fact that I am basing my "average mark" and various generalizations on myself, since I would like to consider myself normal (although some might disagree). Yes, people are negative about some matches, but usually rightfully so. The only reason we are negative is because we were, at one point in the immediate past, given a reason to feel that way. Hulk Hogan is the perfect example. Did you see that Big Boot he gave to Angle" It barely reached his shoulder. EDITORIAL: I don't think Hogan should be in the ring anymore. About us asking way too much of wrestlers, yes, in a sense that is true. However, I would like to believe that we ask a lot of wrestlers at appropriate times. I mean, yes, we expect Mick Foley to jump off of very high points in the arena..... during Hell in a Cell matches. Regular singles matches, we'd be cah-razy to expect that. And Angle, yes, we expect him to have great matwork.... granted his opponent can keep up with him. If the aforementioned conditions are met, yes, I'd like to think we are a bit upset. And yes, I'll admit that I am angry at wrestlers that are in the spotlight and don't have any wrestling talent. Why" Because there are so many people out there that have the same charisma and look to be in the spotlight and have that extra bit of talent. Although admitidly, they are hard to find, so you just gotta learn to deal. I'm not really knowledgable about RoH and indy leagues, so I won't comment on that........ what" I won't. I would like to comment on your Internet fan point in conjunction with Mr. Mitch Lathen's counterpoint. I think Falls is just saying that internet fans act all pompous and stuff about things that surface fans don't know, which can sometimes be true. About your "push happy" statement, I pretty much disagree with you on that. The whole point of pushing someone is to get them known. That's why they are getting pushed" What would you suggest happen to Paul London, CM Punk, and Kazarian" Wait for them to miraculously become well-known and THEN puch them" They are great talents that only need a little exposure, which a well placed push could do. The problem I DO have with pushes are when they push people who shouldn't be being pushed. EDITORIAL: Chris Masters. I just don't like the guy. Sue me. Finally, sometimes gross stuff can be funny.
samw wrote:
I can't agree more about Internet fans who know how to fix all the ills of sports entertainment! I wouldn't mind if they were disgruntled Ex wrestlers rather than IT people who have never been sporty let alone a wrestler!! I keep saying it, Enjoy smackdown and Raw as you are meant to and if TNA or ROH gets to a position where they have the same level of detail and quality, set aside an hour to watch it just like wwe. Until then sit back and enjoy the show that Vince puts on for us twice a week.
Tim Fountain wrote:
Nice article, you made some very good points and I'll admit sometimes I do expect too much from the wrestlers. Let me start by saying, I am a huge WWE fan and haven't been exposed to really any other company due to my age or cable package. But, I don't hate a wrestler because they aren't Kurt Angle. The things I get angry at are when people like Hulk Hogan (No I don't hate him) can just Hulk-up and bash out his oponent no matter who they are.

I think some are pushed too hard, and I think some aren't pushed hard enough. I think Randy Orton got pushed WAY too hard, for example, and that Hardcore Holly doesn't get enough recognition. Some of the stories they use are very poorly thought out. Randy Orton using his dad to win matches is incredibly lame.

Smackdown is very repetetive, and I WOULD like to see some variation and not three identical matches for the World Heavyweight Title.

This goes on more to the story-line creators, and though I don't like a lot of the things they come up with (Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guererro fighting for Dominic, anyone") I do suppose the crowd likes it, and that is all that matters. And for the most part, I do too. The only thing I would change is, I would like them to show more matches and do less talking in the show. A good story line is important, but I watch it more for the action. I also would like it if the genuinely good wrestlers (Benoit, Angle, Booker T) could get a shot at the title and actually hold it for a while. Would like to see the Hardcore title come back, and the Cruiserweight, Women's, and Tag-team titles a bit more revitalized though. I don't think they are as meaningful as they used to be.

I do dislike many of the characters the company thinks of, but I don't hate or dislike the wrestlers themselves. I just wish sometimes the story creators would think a bit harder sometimes.
Mitch Lathen wrote:
You're really not worth my time Falls (and that was great how you explained away what you said at the message board), but I can prove you wrong right here. I'll list 10 things I dislike about ROH and 10 things I do like about WWE. Please continue then to say I never criticise ROH and hate endlessly on WWE. By the way, I've only been an active wrestling fan last year, so your generalizations are laughably inaccurate when applied to me.

1. ROH falls victim to often putting together the same exact match. Whether this is the scramble tag team match, or the four corner survival match, or a pure wrestling showdown, these matches often don't differ much in execution and only the winner seems to change.

2. The live crowd often often ruins heel heat. Like I mentioned in my previous reply, when faces are booed and heels are cheered the show becomes a farce. ROH audiences are notorious for cheering people like Austin Aries, Christopher Daniels, and members of their respective factions, who should be the most hated heels on the roster.

3. Gabe Sapolsky has, at times, pushed good workers beyond their means. The two most obvious examples are John Walters and Matt Stryker. They, despite being very good workers, are pretty widely hated by the ROH fans. Why" Because they were pushed to the moon, pretty much without reason. When they got in over their heads, on main events and other high profile matches that really weren't warranted, the product suffered.

4. In my opinion, ROH is missing out on a tremendous business opportunity with TNA. Pretty much all of what TNA has going right now that is any good came from ROH. If the two companies merged in some way, or if ROH made even more of its roster available to in some way get its name out there more, the product would be benefited.

5. In much the same vein, I don't like how ROH and WWE are clearly close friends. This is not due to any hatred for the WWE - I just don't think it's good business. The last ROH world title switch was between two contracted WWE wrestlers (Punk & Gibson/Noble), and Matt Hardy was allowed to mention ROH on WWE TV. Pretty clear evidence of some sort of agreement between the two. But for whose benefit" If anything, it only furthered the Matt Hardy renegade angle; his ROH shows were already going to be very good sellers. I just don't see how this makes sense. Yes, WWE has all the money in the world but are they really going to get ROH's name out there"

6. As I started to mention above, the ROH world title is being hotshotted around. When you have, at most, 4 shows a month, a 2 month title reign really isn't all that impressive. Clearly, not every champion can have Samoa Joe's 2 year reign, but Punk and Gibson's title reigns seem like little more than gratuities - perhaps even an admission of a past opportunity missed.

7. Sapolsky seems downright unwilling to book strong tag team champions; since the inception of the titles no team has held and actively defended them for more than 3 months. Again, with only 4 shows a month and a title defense not necessarily guaranteed at each one, the titles don't seem that valuable.

8. ROH has, at times, had trouble keeping their top-tier talents available to them. A prime example is AJ Styles after the pure title was put on him, but just as notable is Bryan Danielson. Here's a guy who pops up in the company EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE. He and Doug Williams had two matches in ROH's early days, and planned to have a rubber match, but it never happened (in ROH). The most aggravating thing about this is that when Danielson does show up he's quite often in the title picture, which makes the outcome of his matches pretty obvious.

9. Sapolsky's booking often stretches the logical time-bounds of what a feud should be. A great example of this happened when CM Punk defended the ROH world title against Christopher Daniels. This feud had been "brewing" since 2003...I guess. While it didn't include endless one-on-one matches between the two, it is unrealistic to think that fans remember, care about, or can rationalize what happened that long prior to a notable match.

10. Sapolsky has also failed to push the right people at times. Between them, AJ Styles and Paul London (widely considered the two best workers in the company's history) had six shots at the ROH world title in the company's first fifteen months. But it never once found its way around either of their waists.

1. WWE is managing to push a few of the right people. Randy Orton is in a huge high-profile feud with the Undertaker, one that will no doubt enhance his character as "The Legend Killer," Chavo Guerrero and Shelton Benjamin are entering into a program that should deliver some excellent matches (and Benjamin's had several good ones this year, most notably against Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle), and in the case of John Cena - hey, they're backing a money maker. Can't argue with that.

2. WWE is effectively booking some of its "name-only" talent, such as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and (rumored) Steve Austin. This year's Summerslam drew one of the best PPV buyrates in years, and that can be attributed in large part to the main event. It's a match many people wanted to see, and WWE very smartly gave Hulk and Shawn the proper means to build to it, with what time they had. And when Ric Flair is pulling watchable matches out of Chris Masters, you know something's going right.

3. Raw's impending move back to the USA network represents a very good business decision; it's where Raw enjoyed its most prominent run and where the program can be fully advertised and appreciated. Spike TV was doing neither for WWE.

4. Week in, week out, WWE Velocity is a flat-out enjoyable show. With workers like Nunzio, Paul London, Brian Kendrick, Ken Kennedy, Doug Basham, Scotty 2 Hotty, William Regal, Paul Burchill, and the Mexicools, it's bound to be a success. It also contained what is arguably not just the WWE's Match of the Year but anyone's - Chris Benoit vs. William Regal. This program works; hopefully what worked with it will be transferred to Smackdown once Velocity is lost.

5. Even though I disagree in large part with just who is being pushed, it is very good to see young talents get the push they should have. I contrast this with WCW, who only pushed one young talent in their last five years of existence - and look where it got them. I personally don't think Tyson Tomko, Chris Masters, and Gene Snitsky have any staying power but I could be wrong, and their respective pushes will help determine that. And if they do fail, the spots ought to be available to workers like Shelton Benjamin, Rob Conway, and Chavo Guerrero, and I see little chance of them failing if given the push.

6. WWE is doing very well at booking strong champions. The two current world champions both won their titles at Wrestlemania in April and haven't even looked threatened since. It will be a major shock when they do drop them, and a big boost for whoever they drop tehm to.

7. WWE is seemingly at least trying to restore credibility to the United States championship, a great title in its WCW days but a sad afterthought in the WWE. The way Chris Benoit's title reign has been booked so far makes that belt look like it means something.

8. WWE is making informed decisions on the basis of their audience. Whether I like to admit it or not, the diva search segments on Raw were week in week out the highest that show got. So, they brought the diva search back and it again got high ratings. Another smart business decision.

9. WWE is making smart legal decisions as well; many fans are not pleased with the WWE's attempts to hold secure their copyrights over names like "Bubba Ray Dudley" and "Billy Kidman," but such is their right (actually, their obligation) and it again is a smart business decision, especially with TNA's national TV deal looming. Many fans WILL change the channel to see and hear "D-Von, get the tables!"

10. Maybe this last one's a little snide, but it's great that Triple H finally took a little time off. I think he needed it as much as the product did. Prior to Unforgiven, Trips had main evented EVERY Raw PPV, aside from Taboo Tuesday. A little time out of not only the title picture but also the ring will make his return all the more appreciated and his presence all the more hated - in a good, heelish way.

So, tell me again why I'm an ignorant sheep of a fan" I believe I just gave you 20 reasons to the contrary. Good day.
CASE CLOSED:

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