The one thing that brings wrestling fans together is also what tears them apart, that’s the love and sometimes hate for the business. Wrestling fans can hate wrestling more than anyone else in the world, even when they get what they want they can find something that will bring them down. Wrestling fans have become one of the most toxic fandoms, sometimes it’s scary to watch them at work on social media platforms.
The internet wrestling community has become a bitter place, where a lot of fans cannot find the enjoyment out of anything but find pleasure in tearing down wrestlers and promotions alike on social media. Some fans go as far as to stalk and continue to send vulgar messages. Any hint of someone liking something other than what they enjoy, is met with anger, abuse and becomes a terrible ordeal.
It’s true, no one hates wrestling more than wrestling fans, for many it’s an us vs them mentality with their like for just one product over another. An example of this would be the rabid fanbase that ECW enjoyed, they were almost cultlike in their love and admiration for ECW and those that competed in those walls, but hated the other two though it became apparent that WCW was the larger of the two evils.
AEW fans and WWE fans alike find solace in attacking each other and their favourite talent, promotion and anything remotely within those promotions. It was the same for WCW and the WWE when the Monday Night Wars were ongoing, towards the end it was more prevalent with the rise of the internet and the ability to join messages boards, chatrooms and other such things to express oneself.
Fast forward to today and you have many social media platforms to do this, you can engage more with the talent either on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and sometimes Tiktok or for a select few they have an OnlyFans. In some fans eyes their favourite promotion can sometimes never do wrong, but with an outsider they can never do much right. Then you have the fan that just can’t find satisfaction in anything that they watch, but they still watch it to complain about it. They would finally get something good, but they’d find something that wasn’t good.
In today’s age it seems harder to impress the wrestling fan that seems to identify themselves as far too smart for the average fan and finds themselves critiquing everything and anything. It’s almost as fans have leapt from fandom into critics and find themselves finding new ways to be toxic on the products in front of them.
There is that slither of fans though, that will have an opinion that isn’t done to inflame others to start a flame war. They’re the ones that can be targeted the most, the actual wrestling fan that likes variety and other promotions but gets attacked from both sides for seeing the good, but also seeing the bad and will praise the good and still try and find some positives out of what they’re watching.
They’re also less likely to get on social media and flame the wrestlers they don’t seem to like or start acting very creepily to the ones they do like and start begging for attention when they don’t get it go bitter and start a very different fixation.
It’s a sad state to see fans actively tearing down other wrestling and wrestling personalities as well if they do not work for their beloved promotions. They’ll even troll those that leave for the others promotion, it was seen when Cody Rhodes arrived back in WWE, some AEW diehards were quick to lay into him.
When Adam Cole, Malakai Black, and others ended up in AEW there were WWE fans doing the same, they were ripping into the fact that AEW signed “WWE rejects” forgetting how WWE signed many talents in past years from various promotions.
But hypocrisy and selective memories are something that unfortunately go hand in hand with some of the online wrestling community that are ready to tear down someone and a promotion because they can’t see that various wrestling promotions are good for the business and the business needs these places not just for workers, but for other fans to still enjoy the wrestling.