Reality From Ringside #68
June 7, 2010
By: Doug Lackey of Wrestleview.comFrom Phrases to Questions to Realizations
Let's be perfectly honest, I'm probably the least adept technologically of everyone on Wrestleview's staff. I've never put together my own website, I don't tweet. Sure I've posted YouTube videos but nothing to the extent that I have seen some of my friends accomplish. I just come up with the ideas; I have no earthly idea how to accomplish them.
Ever since joining the staff in February 2009, I would occasionally see news items regarding key phrases and searched items scoured on search engines like Google and Yahoo. I would typically shrug them off as signs of the immediate popularity of one of my favorite forms of entertainment, nothing more or less.
This philosophy came to a screeching halt last night when I read the following news item:Several hours after WWE Smackdown aired, the most searched items in the U.S. on Google were as follows involving The Undertaker storyline in the Top 20:
1. Did the Undertaker die?
2. What happened to The Undertaker?
4. Is the Undertaker dead?
15. Mark Calaway
16. Orbital bone
Source: The Wrestling Observer
I can already imagine the immediate reactions.
"God, wrestling fans are so stupid!"
"What makes them think Undertaker is REALLY dead?!"
"Is that really how you spell his last name?"
Take a deep breath, fellow realists. Calm yourselves. First off, you do consider yourself a wrestling fan as well, right? So you would in no way try to self-deprecate not just yourself but your entire peer group, right? Oh... you meant OTHER wrestling fans! I gotcha...
Look at those six terms again. I would like to go over each one and their own grand scheme. You may not realize this, but news item may actually be the most underrated, under-exposed, and most telling story in all of professional wrestling in regards to the current state of the fans of the industry.
Prepare yourselves... this could do one of two things. Destroy your brain or melt your heart, potentially both. Who knows?16. Orbital bone
Claim: Wrestling fans are well informed.
It is Undertaker's injury, as well as a broken nose. Members of the infamous 'internet wrestling community' are typically well-informed given they have the resources to maintain their need for information.
They are visiting professional wrestling news sites and message boards at a frequency greater than once a day. Normally, after latching onto a piece of information they may seem a little fuzzy on, it's fitting to dive for more information.
I definitely fall into this category. I would be curious to see how severe such an injury would be, the rehabilitation needed, and what the permanent effects could be. Your typical wrestling fan would not go to such lengths.15. Mark Calaway
Claim: Wrestling fans know way more than what they should.
I may be a member of the professional wrestling media. Before that, I was fan just like anyone else. When I was a sophomore in high school, the internet was in its infancy. America Online 3.0 was our home internet service provider. There was no DSL or cable modem. Surfing the internet on your phone? What are you, high?
At that time in my life, I began to learn about the truths of professional wrestling. The biggest of them were the actual names of my favorite performers. Knowing and revealing them to your most unsuspecting of friends may raise you to a level of intellectual superiority above theirs... but what advantage is it to actually have that information?
Why does it matter what Triple H's legitimate name is? So you know Adam Copeland is Edge and Phil Brooks is CM Punk, big deal.
At some point in my life, I began to differentiate between knowledge and trivia. Knowledge is interpreting the past in order to understand the present and potentially predict the future. Trivia is just useless.6. Undertaker
Claim: Professional wrestling is one of the most popular forms of American entertainment.
This cannot be denied. There is no dispute to this claim.4. Is the Undertaker dead?
2. What happened to the Undertaker?
1. Did the Undertaker die?
Claim: There are different classes of professional wrestling fans.
Some fans are tremendously well-informed, some border on the line of obsessed. Others don't even think about professional wrestling until it is on their television. Of the six claims that are made through this news item, this is probably the most important to fathom.
Not every wrestling fan is like you, nor is every wrestling fan like the ones you see on television. There is no such thing as what to should or should not be cheered or booed for. Individuality is what has sculpted this great industry and we, as fans, are the ones who determine which molds of clay are worth admiring.
Not every wrestling fan peruses news sites on a twice daily basis, nor is every wrestling fan oblivious to what is actually happening. Don't believe me? Look at the ranking of these terms. What started as a question about the death of their favorite performer evolved into looking up Undertaker's actual name and the true cause of his disappearance from last week's Smackdown program.
Not every wrestling fan embodies the same ferocity for the industry as you do, nor is every wrestling fan ignorant to the truth. Some wrestling fans (myself included) don't give a damn what 'really happened'. Some wrestling fans still want to be entertained. Allow me to the right be amazed that the magician pulled the rabbit out of the hat; don't destroy my enjoyment by revealing the secret.
Some wrestling fans still want to be entertained. Some wrestling fans don't want to be 'in the know' constantly. Some wrestling fans are not over-analyzing and fine-tooth-combing every program they watch. Some wrestling fans actually sit back and enjoy the show. After which, they may have questions that they hope to find legitimate answers to without being frowned upon by a community that at times believes is better than others.
This leads me to the ultimate claim and one that will never be disputed, regardless of the fluctuation of trivial information or legitimate news from all forms...Claim: Kayfabe is still alive and well.
Until next time, mouth-breathers!
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