Editorial Columns

Is There Such A Thing As “Too Much Wrestling”?

With an absolute deluge of content for fans both on television and online, Benjamin Clem asks the question; ‘Is there such a thing as too much wrestling?’

Photos © WWE, Lucha Underground

Pro wrestling fans are truly a die hard breed. If you’re one of the brave few that have chosen to proudly proclaim that you love wrestling to the masses, then you most likely have been the subject of scrutiny from your friends, family, and non-fans in general.

Personally, I can’t count how many times I’ve been blasted with the classic “Y’know it’s fake, right?”. Sure, its perfectly acceptable for someone to obsess about a weekly show the likes of The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones, but if you or I choose to binge watch some late 90’s Monday Night Nitro episodes, we’re suddenly labeled as odd. The fan base of pro wrestling has to be one of the most belittled fandoms in existence.

That being said, the age of the Internet has made it easier overall to reach out and connect with other individuals that also share a passionate love for this crazy sport/art we call professional wrestling. A new golden era has dawned for pro wrestling, similar to the attitude era and Monday night war of the late 90’s. Online fan communities aside, wrestling itself is much more obtainable than it ever has been before. The creation of the WWE Network set a benchmark that became the new standard for how promotions deliver their content to the people. New Japan World, Honor Club, and Global Wrestling Network are just three of the streaming services we’ve seen come to life since the debut of Vince McMahon’s monstrous content machine.

The point I’m so terribly trying to make is this, if you want to watch wrestling, you have a multitude of options at your literal fingertips. With thousands of hours of content available from the WWE Network alone, a person could watch just pro wrestling for several months. That’s not even considering the surge of original programming that floods the network on a weekly basis. NXT, 205 Live, Super Show-Down, Starrcade, The Mae Young Classic, it’s all enough to make the most devoted fan’s head spin. Now we arrive at the subject of this piece, is it possible to have too much wrestling?

When I first started writing for this site I gleefully declared that I watched close to sixteen hours of pro wrestling a week. That included all weekly WWE programming, Ring of Honor’s weekly show, Lucha Underground episodes streamed on Netflix, WWE’s monthly pay per views, and New Japan’s monthly shows. Is that a lot? That’s probably a lot. Now, I can honestly say, I don’t see myself as your average fan. I eat, sleep, and breathe pro wrestling. It’s my drug, and at one point my considered career, of choice. I could watch wrestling all day, everyday. And, as I’m trying to clearly establish, I would! But, I’ll also be there first person to tell you that it doesn’t mean I should.

I’ll admit, watching an extensive amount of wrestling does come with certain “perks”. I’ve listed Undertaker’s Wrestlemania opponents by memory, pointed out talent talking amongst themselves mid-match, and spoiled finishes moments before they happened. And that’s just the thing, folks. Ive watched so much professional wrestling over the years that it’s gotten to the point where I’ve seen all the angles. I lived through the eras of Hogan, Hart, and Cena. I saw Luger body slam Yokozuna, Brian Pillman with his Glock 9mm, and Sting finally walk a WWE ramp at Survivor Series. And the result of all of that? Well, there isn’t much that happens kayfabe wise that truly interests me these days. That’s where the new golden age of pro wrestling fandom really comes from. Your diehard fans are beyond exhausted with storylines and gimmicks. The transition to focusing on the undeniable talent being shown inside the ring is what has made shows like NXT and 205 Live the viewing choices of the true fans.

So, can one have too much wrestling? Absolutely. We all have our obsessions, and usually there’s not a single thing wrong with that. But too much of anything can have negative results. Take the WWE Network for example. Sure, the addition of NXT U.K. has served as an amazing opportunity for a great number of the United Kingdom’s home talent to be showcased, but Starrcade was a poorly shot house show. See? Too much resulting in negativity. In closing, if watching hours upon hours of wrestling makes you happy, then do that. But if you start becoming bored, or find yourself beginning to have a bad taste for it, don’t be afraid to take a break. Wrestling will always be waiting for your return with open arms.

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