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  #1  
Old 08-28-2016, 12:28 PM
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SSJPhenom SSJPhenom is offline
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Default What Created the 'Smart Fans' of Professional Wrestling?

When the internet started to become more and more accessible to everyone, more and more insider information about the wrestling business became easier to find. Soon, sites like this one became the norm and everyone that was a wrestling fan knew far more then they ever had before. We started learning insider terms like selling, getting over, babyface, heel, pushing, etc. Was it really the internet's fault though? Sure, the internet made the information accessible to more people, but the internet didn't necessarily put fans in the know. I think the creation of the 'Smart fan can be blamed on promoters, bookers, and the wrestlers themselves. Let me explain....

Say a promoter/booker has a card and right before the main event match, two dog shit awful local boys of the territory go out and have just a god awful match. After that, the other guys have to come out and put on an exciting compelling match to get the crowd back. If the wrestlers that went before the good performers were really awful, they'd botch moves, the selling would be awful, and they could be seen giving each other ques for the next sequence. You all heard the rumors when you were kids. Adults would tell you that if you went to a wrestling event that you could see the wrestlers talking to each other in the ring, that they didn't really punch each other, etc. We just never believed it.

The onus can also be put on the very best of the best in the wrestling business, though. Let me give you an example. Ric Flair, who many consider the very best ever, is a great example. Flair would go out and night after night, whether on TV or in local arenas, and have the exact same match with everyone. Sure there were exceptions, but most of the time, a really devoted fan could call a Flair match before it happened. You knew he was going to get his opponent in the corner and chop him. You knew that when the face made his comeback that Flair was going to beg. Then he'd get thrown into the corner, run out, and take that crooked back body drop. Then he'd get thrown back into the corner, flip over the ropes, run to the other side on the apron, get on the top rope, and get slammed off. You knew sometime during the match that he was going to be getting beat down in the corner and then when the ref broke it up, Flair would take that face first bump he always took. Those things happened in every Ric Flair match for 25 years. Fans were bound to notice it. Flair wasn't the only one, though, most top guys did the same succession of moves every night. Take my favorite, the Undertaker for instance. He'd always get thrown off the ropes, duck a clothesline, then comeback with a flying clothesline. He'd forever miss that elbow drop that he always went for and then there's old school.

What I'm saying is that, while the internet made the information more widespread, it didn't necessarily create the 'Smart Fans'. The business itself did that. What do you guys think? Do you agree with my assessment or am I wrong? What do you think created the 'Smart Fans'? Let me know your opinions.
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Last edited by SSJPhenom : 08-28-2016 at 12:55 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-28-2016, 01:00 PM
Kodo Sawaki Kodo Sawaki is offline
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Nah, its just variety of informations. You could see it with movie industry also where you have same thing with new movies. Now you have trailers, promos, spoilers, reviews even before movie came out with just one click of a mouse away from you. Before you had maybe trailer and even that you maybe wouldnt see if they dont put it on TV. When I saw "Mission Impossible" I knew nothing about the movie. Now would know everything about franchise and even if movie was good or bad based on reviews of people who saw it. Its a same with Flair, in his days you would have to be hardcore fan to even know that its a same match because you would have to follow his every show from town to town. Now you could just see his last few matches on youtube or just read few reviews of shows. In his days fans where happy to even just see Flair. Nowadays you would have army of fans that demand Flair to go face or heel and to stop that choping thing because his character got boring and needs to change or something like that. Times have just changed and so are the fans and demand. And industry just goes with the flaw.
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  #3  
Old 08-28-2016, 02:03 PM
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Vince pulled the curtain back for a number of reasons. At the top of that list was to cover his behind on a few legal issues. The federal investigation during the '90s and to get State Athletic Commissions off his back. Pulling back the curtain and beginning the transformation towards Sports Entertainment was on Vince.
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  #4  
Old 08-28-2016, 02:54 PM
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One very reason is the WWE acknowledging Cena's negative reaction. It was just so loud at PPVs that they had to go with it and in the runup to WM22, H openly blasted it night in night out.This same year, in his second run as the top draw ECW ONS happened and he was on the card against RVD. It kinda died down after that in the late 2000s but again when Punk got hot in 2010 with that saviour gimmick Jesus fuck! It was back.

The Summer of Punk kinda cemented it. Atleast the angle upto MOtB did.
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Old 08-29-2016, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allah Loves PaperGhost View Post
One very reason is the WWE acknowledging Cena's negative reaction. It was just so loud at PPVs that they had to go with it and in the runup to WM22, H openly blasted it night in night out.
Yeah, and when he was getting booed by half the crowd, the McMahon-ordered line for the announcers to say was, "he's the most controversial champion in WWE History". He was controversial because he got booed when he was supposed to be cheered? Uhh, no. It was ironic because the reason he was GETTING booed is because he was the LEAST controversial champion. "Kissing babies and hugging fat chicks" as Batista said at a later time.

As for the "Smart fan" conversation, the NY Daily News used to have an article in the sports section every Friday by a columnist called "The Slammer". It was basically a "best of" of what was going around in dirt sheets at the time (which i did not subscribe to or even know about until later).

I was a teenager when Scott Hall showed up on Nitro. I knew that Hall and Nash were both done with WWF, and had signed contracts with WCW. It was still cool as hell to see them show up on WCW and act like they were invading from the WWF, but I knew they were not employed by the WWF anymore. I think I was in the minority w/ that. Had it not been for that little weekly article in a newspaper, i would have been in the dark about everything until the internet took off.

It used to be that the "smart" fans were mostly in the Northeast. The fact that the NY Daily News covered wrestling in the manner they did may have contributed to this. But the fact is that now, everyone is a "smart" fan.
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  #6  
Old 09-01-2016, 07:50 PM
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It's kinda a misconception that fans weren't smart to the business till the internet age but that is a myth, fans have been smart to it for a lot longer than that. I remember as a kid in the mid 80s reading was a poll in the newspaper asking if readers thought wrestling was fake and something like 97% said fake. I know the New York Times stopped reporting the results in the 50s I believe because it was fake.

But to answer your question, I really don't know a specific thing. Maybe the advent of cable TV where people got to see a wrestler more and more so it was easier to see that it was fake. Before you would only see a Ric Flair in your town once ever 6 months or so then he would be off to another town. So you really didn't get an idea of how he worked each match.
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