clap clap clap clap clap?
On Monday night’s post Mania Raw, the San Jose crowd stepped over the line. I say San Jose crowd, but that's not really correct as a lot of the fans in attendance were actually out-of-towners. Hence the “We’re not from here” chant when Lilian Garcia announced upcoming events in the area. The Post Mania Raw Crowd would be more accurate a term -- the PMRC for shortsies.
The PMRC was lively, which is great, and they chanted. Boy did they chant. They were the farthest thing from a dead crowd as there possibly could be. They chanted loudly and a lot, and occasionally they even unironically chanted for the wrestlers and the matches. Occasionally. Unfortunately, they all too often went the now traditional post Mania Raw route and did whatever the heck they wanted regardless of what was presented to them. Admittedly, WWE booking Kane and the Big Show in the main event did little to mitigate matters.
I’m not saying fans should go to a show and sit on their hands. Silence is death at a wrestling show. Be loud, be vocal. Cheer the wrestlers you like. Boo the wrestlers you hate. Be silly. Have fun. I’m not going to tell someone what they can or can’t chant at a wrestling show. I could honestly give two s#%ts what people chant, to an extent. If you think Sheamus looks stupid with his braided beard and mohawk (he does), then shout it. Express your opinion. That’s hilarious. He is presenting himself a certain way, and you are responding accordingly. I love it. You’re making the show about the wrestlers, not yourself, even though you’re still a big part of it.
It’s when the fans become offensive that I begin to have an issue. Here are some chants heard during the 6-Woman Divas match:
“You suck Cena”
“You suck Bryan”
“You suck USO”
"You suck Tyson"
“Let's go AJ”
Photo Courtesy of WWE.com
What's it gonna be? Are you invested in the match? Are you cheering and booing the wrestlers accordingly, or are you stating which sexual acts they may or may not perform with their respective partners? Don't worry, it's rhetorical. Clearly the goal is to just hear yourselves chant. It's not what you're saying, it's just making sure you're heard saying it. Saying Sheamus looks stupid (he does) is great. He’s a heel and he looks stupid. Heckle him all you want. Being degrading to women, and identifying them by whom they are in a relationship with is complete BS and has no place in wrestling, or anywhere for that matter. To the PMRC’s credit, they were into the match towards the finish, but only after being horribly offensive and degrading to women everywhere.
While not as insulting or as disrespectful to women as the previously mentioned chants, the "We are awesome" chant is the one that I find the most infuriating. Let me tell you who and what in my opinion is awesome:
- Brock Lesnar suplexing the Samoan out of Roman Reigns. Very awesome.
- Roman Reigns busting his ass to improve his game, and selling Lesnar's multitude of suplexes wonderfully. Even showing some subtlety with his facial expressions. That is progress, and progress is awesome.
- Suplex City. Pretty awesome.
- Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kota Ibushi at Wrestle Kingdom 9. The Awesomest.
- Every wrestler putting their bodies and lives on the line day in and day out to entertain us, the fans. That's awesome of them, and something we (I know I do at least) sometimes forget to appreciate.
- Daniel Bryan's induction of Connor "The Crusher" Michalek at the Hall of Fame Ceremony. Absolutely beautiful. Connor and Daniel Bryan are awesome.
- Perro Aguayo Jr. doing what he loved right down to his last breath. That's terribly sad. But he was awesome.
- Purchasing a ticket to a wrestling show, traveling to said show, watching and enjoying said show. That's fantastic. You're supporting pro wrestling the best way possible. Hats off to you.
- Going to a show and trying to make it all about yourself. Now we've got problem.
This may come as a shock to some, so be warned, but you and me, the fans, are not the focus of a wrestling show. People didn’t buy tickets to see and hear us. They bought tickets to watch wrestlers wrestle and be entertained. Sure, we the fans are a big part of the show. Interaction between the fans and the wrestlers is very important. Wrestlers feed off the crowd. Good wrestlers embrace the crowd reactions and adjust what they are doing in the ring accordingly.
However, chanting “We are awesome!” as a match is in progress is simply awful. Those who chant it are ignoring the performers they paid to see. It’s completely self-serving, it’s detracts from the matches, and it’s insulting. It's a slap in the face to professional wrestlers. These performers, these wrestlers are literally killing themselves to entertain you, and you are awesome? Give me a break. Be loud, be vocal, be heard, be amusing, participate, but also try showing some respect.