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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

Do's & Don'ts For Wrestling Fans - The Fouls Of Fandom
Posted by Justin Watry on 06.24.2014

No "Who Was Better?" column this week. As I was putting together the next debate, the choices started to pile up. Kane vs. Sting? Vader vs. Mark Henry? Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle? It was becoming too much. Keep in mind I have to select two wrestler who are either done or very close to being done. Thus, right when I FINALLY decided on the perfect matchup on Wednesday of last week, another idea fell into my lap. The next "Who Was Better?" column can wait a bit. Stay tuned on that folks. Now to THIS column, let me explain.

WWE has compiled a list of the best and worst things to do as a wrestling fan. A bucket list type of deal. Attend the Raw after WrestleMania, have your tweet shown on television, get a Superstar to autograph your sign, successfully Beat The Streak in WWE 2K4, etc. Lots of cool stuff for all ages. However, they also listed ten items named "Fouls Of Fandom" and called bad behavior from wrestling fans. How guilty are YOU folks? For this sake of this column, I will list each of the ten and discuss my thoughts. Fun, huh?

Reminder: This list was put together by WWE, not myself. Credit goes to them for the ideas.

Believe it or not, there IS an order to this. It starts with minor offenses (#1) and builds to strong, uncalled for actions (#10). Without anymore stalling, here we go...

1. Screw up the count during a Cesaro Swing - Yeah, not really a big deal. I just just following the list. Really though, you would think those live in attendance know how to count. Yet, somehow, someway...it always sounds like the fans are OFF when counting the number of intervals with a Cesaro Swing. Since going full board heel with Paul Heyman, he has stopped using this weekly. I have never been live at an arena for such a move, so maybe it is just hard to tell where he began the swing? Either way, come on people! Get it right.

2. Misspell Laurinaitis - Um, that took me awhile to type. Probably still got it wrong. For the first few months of John Laurinaitis showing up on TV, I just called him Johnny Ace. I know, improper and not cool. Too bad, I did not want to spell his name. Then when the nickname Big Johnny was introduced, I just used that instead. Anything to avoid spelling that mess of a last name. I am not going to fault anybody for misspelling that.

3. One word: Spoilers - Self explanatory here. I do not read the last page of a book and then start over. Makes zero sense. I do not look up movie spoilers. Why watch then? Same with wrestling. I never understood the cry of Smackdown being predictable, all the while fans click the *SPOILERS* link on Tuesday. Of course, it will not be worth watching when YOU voluntarily spoil the show for yourself. Also, whenever Raw is taped, it is the same thing. Fans read the spoilers hours in advance, watch the show later and then say it was dull or boring. Yeah, you think?!?! On the whole, the entire landscape of the internet fits into this. Fans will read every forum, every heading, every spoiler post, every rumor, and every little detail...and then complain that "things are not like they used to be." Or my favorite quote, "Nothing surprises happens anymore." Ha! Yep, as you yourself dig for all the plots, twists, future plans, etc. Right. Needless to say, I avoid *SPOILERS* and happily tune into Smackdown (or Raw) without already reading a recap days earlier. Makes for a much more enjoyable experience. Remember? Fun? Wrestling? Yeah, it can be done.

4. Call a championship a "belt" - This rule is not as strict as previously reported. Wrestlers and fans often joke about WWE wanting to stay away from the word "belt." Well, there may have been a memo sent out. There may have been a warning behind the scenes or decree. Something! However, I still hear it occasionally used by the commentators or WWE Superstars. Does not seem like a really STRICT edict. Just kind of a rule of thumb: Say championship, not belt. To further my point even more, John Cena said "championship belts" just three days ago on Smackdown during his opening promo. Again, not sure how strict this rule truly is...

5. Chant "U-S-A!" during a match with no American participants - Another interesting selection here. Truth be told, I will give the live crowd some slack on this. Yeah, all of us diehard wrestling fans know the birth cities, ages, and (seemingly) entire life stories of WWE Superstars. However, the internet wrestling community is BY FAR the minority of the WWE Universe. By far. Your average, casual fan has no idea where each guy is from or any details. They just want to watch wrestling. Now if it is clearly a foreign character, distinctly in the story line, or well known (Bret Hart, Paige, Sheamus, Bad News Barrett, Rusev, etc), then yeah - please no "U-S-A!" chants. Please.

6. Chant "Goldberg" at Ryback - Agreed. Why not take all that energy and just simply boo the man out of the building? React like Ryback is Vickie Guerrero and boo her SO LOUD each week it catches on? If you think he sucks, then chant RYBACK SUCKS as loud as you can! Send the message to WWE you do not want to sit through his weekly matches against local talent. Speaking from 2012, obviously. Nope, instead it was the pointless 'look at me' attention seeking fans who wanted to (once again) look to the past instead of move forward. My suggestion? Turn your back or just use the bathroom if you really did not care. Same with the "Sexual Chocolate" chants at the best heel in WWE during Fall 2011. Mark Henry did not deserve that and easily moved past his 1999/2000 gimmick...but there it was over a decade later. Recently, even golden boy Bray Wyatt got the treatment. In his huge debut segment on Raw last year, some goons in the arena tried to start up a "Husky Harris" chant. So beyond laughable and NOT in a good way. Purposely sabotaging the program and hurting new talent, all to act 'cool' for the smarks who care. You want change? You want new talent? You want your precious indy darlings pushed? Then when they do appear, you chant their former gimmick name just to get yourself over and NOT the talent. So counter productive it is not even funny. Needless to say, I am with WWE on this 100 percent.

7. Block the dude behind you with your sign - Basic courtesy here and plain common sense. I know, not exactly well known with wrestling fans. Still, the point stands. No matter what kind of public setting it is, keep an eye out for others. No long winded reply needed.

8. Meet a Superstar and call him/her by their birth names - Yeah, this is always tricky. Wrestlers have spoken on this in the past. I do not know The Undertaker. I have never met him, nor do I have any insight whatsoever on his personal life. Thus, if I ever met him, I would not be on a first name basis with the guy. If I called him Mark, it would come off strange. Same with calling Triple H Paul, or calling Dean Ambrose Jonathan or whatever. I do not know these guys outside of watching them on television with their character names. Every time I met a WWE Superstar, I either used their character names or just said "sir." With a WWE Diva, it was "mam." Can not go wrong there.

9. Get blocked by a Superstar on Twitter - Never had it happen to me. Why? Because I am not a clown online who hides behind a fake username/avatar and insults others, calls the wrestlers names, curses at them, swears obscenities, and does the whole 'tough guy on the internet' routine. If you fall under this category and have been blocked by a WWE Superstar on Twitter, just a hunch - you deserved it. Just a hunch...

Hey, if you do not want to listen to me and odds are you will not, how about we go to Cesaro? Everyone reading this loves him, right? Well, in a recent interview, here is what Cesaro had to say about the worst part of social media:

"People hide behind fake names to Tweet negative comments and I hate that. If you have something to say, own up to it."

Well said sir.

10. Shout during a moment of silence - Last on the list and no doubt the worst offense a wrestling fan can commit. If you did this and I rented out the arena that night, you would be thrown out immediately.

That concludes the top ten "Fouls Of Fandom," according to WWE. Some were silly, some were common sense, and others were actually pretty accurate.

Thanks for reading. How many 'rules' do YOU break as a wrestling fan? Let me know in the comment section!

Self-Promoting Finale

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