Man, people have been really trying it with me lately. First was the whole “this doesn’t sound like you” thing, then someone stepped to me and mine on Facebook in such a way that I could only describe it as a When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong segment from Chappelle’s Show.
And then of course is the endless Roman Reigns hate that’s been spewing from the IWC since Sunday. Just a bit ago, there was a fanpost at the top of Cageside Seats titled “I Hate Roman Reigns” that I only skimmed over because it was the same shit, different day for the anti-Roman brigade.I’m going to be honest with you here, I actually like Roman Reigns. (I also like the Usos and Brie Bella, both of whom the IWC tells me I’m wrong for liking, and give no real care about notorious homophobe AJ Styles, but that’s beside the point.) I like Roman Reigns because his story is one I’ve been following since I got into wrestling nearly a year ago and I was devastated to see Sheamus cash in on him at Survivor Series. He’s a charming guy who reminds me a lot of Captain Marvel, my favorite superhero ever, in his resilience and personality. His friendship with Dean Ambrose reminds me of my own friendship with my best friend, and he’s consistently put on solid matches that have been super fun to watch since Mania last year. Not to mention looking at his face is like staring into the sun with how pretty he is.
But even if I didn’t like Roman Reigns, I would probably be more annoyed by the smark hate for him at this point than his actual persona. If it was just criticism of booking or the character, I would understand that. However, it’s more like blind hatred, vitriol and entitlement at this point. It’s basically saying, “Roman Reigns isn’t my guy, so therefore I will put blinders on to his improvements and fan following, talk constant shit, and quote a CM Punk interview from two years ago.”
And I’ll admit, I briefly bought into the thought that maybe Dean Ambrose would win the main event at Fastlane, but that’s because I didn’t even consider that with all the buildup that him vs. Brock Lesnar would be the outcome of that. Roman has been after the Authority since The Shield broke up. This is how things are supposed to go. This is Triple H putting himself in a direct position to put one of his original NXT kids over.It isn’t just Roman though. It’s making statements that Nikki Bella was reckless and caused her own injury while understanding why Daniel Bryan and Edge had to retire. Or saying “good riddance” when Brie Bella says she’s retiring when she’s going through serious shit right now and deserves all the respect for making the choice to get out while she’s still able. Or being jerks about wrestlers kids like. Or saying the WWE forced Bryan to retire to push Reigns when the man was admitting he was hiding concussion induced seizures from the medical team. Or chant “We Want Sasha” for weeks, but then chant “boring” as soon as she has a match. Or any other piece of irrational bullshit you’d read from people who consider David Meltzer a serious source.
It’s not like I don’t know fandom irrationality. I’ve been in various fandoms and communities since I was 12. I have been the irrational fan. However, it seems like since I have gotten into fandoms that are populated by majority men that this irrationality comes with an extra side of vitriol and occasionally sexism and racism. Comics are really bad about this, but wrestling might just be the worst I’ve encountered.
I know I have my own smark tendencies. I don’t watch Total Divas because I’ve never liked those type of reality shows and NXT is my favorite brand in the WWE because I prefer the shorter runtime every week, the match quality and the more fast paced style. However, I fully admit that these are just personal preferences. I don’t use those to act like I’m right all the time because I had that mentality when I was 16, realized it kind of sucks, and have been trying to grow out of it. It seems like smarks haven’t though and just want to act as if they’re the gatekeepers, even though they’re buying into what the company is selling just as much. That’s probably what makes it the most annoying. I don’t make a lot of money, so I can’t imagine buying tickets to things or paying $9.99 a month just to complain incessantly about it while you’re there/later.I don’t ask for a unified opinion. I don’t ask to be a big happy family of fans. I just wish this toxic vitriol wasn’t right at the forefront. Roman Reigns isn’t you’re guy, so you’re going to whine on the internet like a bunch of children and say you’re cancelling your network subscription like you did last year? Okay then, because I’m going to be over here drinking smark tears like a fine wine as Triple H and Roman Reigns put on a hell of a main event at Mania that you’re still going to watch. See you in 40 days.
Oh, and one more thing? Stop tagging Sami Zayn in all your Roman Reigns hate on Tumblr. It’s bad enough that you do this to Dean “President and Founder of the Roman Reigns Fanclub” Ambrose, but Sami Zayn loves everything and would be very disappointed in your pettiness. If you can’t be a decent human being for your own reasons, at least do it for Sami Zayn.