The toxicity of the wrestling fandom

Wrestling couldn’t have become the global phenomenon it is without its fans. However, for every fandom there exists a toxic element inside of it. In recent years many have said that professional wrestling has one of, if not the most toxic fandom. Unlike other forms of entertainment, wrestlers are often accosted by fans for actions they took part in while in character. In Hollywood, actors and actresses may get a bad review for a performance from a critic, but don’t typically have to worry about fans approaching them in the airport or hotel lobby to accuse them of being a bad person for playing that character. Many people blame the relentless nature of wrestling “dirt sheets” for the increased scrutiny placed upon wrestling fans. The likes of Dave Meltzer, among others, and the almost cult-like nature of fans that read their newsletters have created a culture of “if you don’t agree with me you’re wrong” mentality. Another massive factor in the rise of the toxic wrestling fan base is tribalism. Fans of WWE, AEW, NJPW and Impact (to name a few) argue that their particular brand of wrestling is far superior and everything else is not worth mentioning in any positive fashion. There are many inside the wrestling community who would state that the toxicity of the wrestling fan base is nothing new and we as a community have only seen it brought to the surface in recent years due to the prevalence of internet culture. Absolutely any fan with a keyboard or phone can spew whatever opinion they have and anyone in the world can see and/or hear it. What does the wrestling fandom need to do to shake this label? Join us Sunday at 6pm CDT on “Issues With Wrestling” as we debate this important topic. 
Photo Credit: WWE

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