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Fan Appreciation WWE style


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I read something yesterday that made my blood boil.


Apparently, Ric Flair was on a UK website some time back, fielding questions from fans. When they got to one particular question, Flair did his nut. The question was: Which do you prefer; being a babyface or a heel? Apparently, Slic Ric fired a broadside at the interviewer (who was, in fact, just passing along a fan's question), and he said nothing more on the subject. When asked about it later, Flair said that he has no respect for fans who use terms like "heel" and "babyface". That those terms belong to the wrestlers. That if you aren't a wrestler, you shouldn't be using these words.


This comes a few months after Vince calls internet fans a cancer on the business. I remember a while back that Triple H blasted so-called "smart fans" as well. And just a few weeks ago, I believe Bradshaw was on Byte This and had a go as well.


Now, where do I start? I guess you would call me a smart fan, in that I know most of what goes on behind the scenes, I know how pro-wrestling works, I know the insider terms. I suppose you could also call me an "internet fan" in that I talk about it on the internet, and criticise people when I feel it neccessary. And do you know why? It's because this is the best forum I have for expressing my opinion about this business that I love so much, an opinion that it seems (more and more) means less than nothing to wwe. However just because I talk about wrestling on the internet, does NOT make me one of these people who analyse every little thing, who nothing seems to be good enough for, who seem to criticise so much that it seem impossible that they enjoy it at all. No, I'm a real fan, who can forgive most things, who continues watching even when the product isn't all that it could be. But what I CAN'T forgive is generalisations.


I'm a mark. Now, Kurtmark made a very interesting point about this in another thread, which I will now quote if I may:


There is really nothing wrong with being a mark. Marks are die-hard fans that will love what ever it is they are 'marking out for' In all sports but especially in wrestling, you need marks. These are the mainstay of the wrestling business. They are the supporters, the lifeblood and without them, you have nothing.


Now here's something to mull over I guarantee you that every wrestler that you see today on TV, with the WWE or any other federation for that matter at one time prior was a "mark" & still are in some cases. They just didn't decide one day to become a Wrestler. They had to grow up watching it, getting involved, having favorites, and then pursued it and made it a reality. They all had someone that they looked up to and developed their style from that person


Now, Vince, Flair and Bradshaw would do well to recognise this before they start running their mouths with unfair and hurtful generalisations about the people who are the very lifeblood of their industry. So I'm talking about wrestling on the 'net; so I know terms like "heel" and "face"; so I criticise people the odd time; so what??? Am I meant to feel ashamed? The outlook of people like Flair is anachronistic. In 1999, Mick Foley and the Rock brought out their autobiographies. In them, not only did they use the aforementioned terms, Rock also talked about hugging Steve Austin after their 'Mania 15 match, and Foley mentioned sharing hotel rooms with his bitter rival Vader during their run in WCW. This isn't 1974 - its 2004.


The thing is, I support the wwe with all my heart and soul, no matter what happens. Jesus, I've given them 15 years of my life. I buy their ppvs, their merchandise, their videos, etc, with MY hard-earned money. And all I ask in return is a bit of ***king appreciation.


Y'know, when I went to the Raw show in Dublin last Thursday, I went ballistic for almost everyone, even people I don't exactly like. And I had a great time, and I turned to my girlfriend after the show and said "Y'know what? I really really hope that they appreciate us". Sometimes I don't know if they do.


P.S. This is for you Ric:


Y'know Flair, you are one of the greatest "WORKERS" in the history of wrestling. And I really hope that what you said was a "WORK". Cos right now, if you and I were in the ring, you wouldn't have to "BLADE" or "BUMP". I'd just "POTATO" you a few times. And I'm sure we'd generate a lot of "HEAT", and I'm sure you'd over-"SELL" ridiculously as usual. But don't get me wrong; you're still a great "HEEL". And I hope this post doesn't "TURN" you "FACE". And please don't slap the figure four on me . . . . .


We'd be here all night :)

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Regarding the whole Flair thing,


Do you prefer being a heel or a face?


I prefer being a bad guy. Why would you say heel or face? Are you a wrestler? You're not so why would you use that terminology?



Is that the wrong terminology? It's a question from a fan actually.


Well fans who use terms like that I have no respect for, because they're not wrestlers. That's a wrestlers terminology. See that's inside talk - I don't like outsiders using inside talk - I have no respect for it whatsoever. Everybody wants to think that they're a wrestler. The guy who wrote my book the first time, I'd go on record as saying is a *%$^£&$ idiot - it had to be re-written. He took everything I said and wrote it like he was on the inside. He will go down in history and I will make sure he does, as the biggest idiot ever be given an opportunity and completely ^%$& it up, 'cos he talked like he was on the inside. You know fans want to talk to us using our terminology and it's a lot of our guys faults, cos they want to talk to the fans and get their opinions. They want to talk to them like they're on the inside. So that's why I'm asking you why you said that, but it's ok, you're asking me questions the fans have asked. I do have a lot of respect for the fans but I don't like the fans who think they can talk like they're on the inside, cos they're not. We've got too many guys in our businesses that rely on the opinion of some fan who thinks he's smart - it's a real issue for me.


Has that been a problem throughout the industry then, people who don't know what they're talking about having too much influence?


We have a lot of people who think that the end result of what we do lives and breaths on what the Internet thinks is right. I mean that would be like me trying to write an article on Mercedes Benz. Do I like four doors? Yeah, but do I really know anything about it? No. I wouldn't know anything about the design of a Mercedes Benz from the inside. I could use the terminology but I wouldn't know anything about it. Dave Melzer and Mark Madden are the only guys I've ever thought who were non-wrestlers who had the knowledge enough and the overall perspective of our business to talk like they were on the inside and use the terminology.




Ironic thing about this is that Flair uses both the "heel" and "baby face" term in his DVD set, so if he feels so strongly about this, why do he use the term on a DVD which will be watched mainly by wrestling fans.

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God help me, you're such a dickhead Flair. Any little bit of respect I had for you after the whole incident on the flight is now gone. I was gonna buy your dvd; now you can take that dvd, shine it up real nice . . . keep shining . . . turn that sumbitch sideways, and stick it straight up your candy-ass!!!
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Come on, what wrestling fan doesn't use the correct terminology. If someone does something as a sport, hobbie, or just for the enjoyment of it, they use terminology. Its a natural thing, it makes you feel more knowledgable and gives you more enjoyment of wrestling overall!


Flair, I have three words for you!


"Eat my shorts!"

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