After watching this years Summerslam, hell, since getting back into watching wrestling on a regular basis in 2011 after a lengthy absence, I find myself consistently aggravated by a contingent of the wrestling community who feel that their knowledge & love of wrestling eclipses all others and justifies some sense of obnoxious entitlement. I am talking about Smarks, or smart marks, or people who like to constantly be a dick about something you may share a common bond over.
Now, I’m not entirely guilt free here, I have on more than one occasion uttered the words “F**k John Cena” I am big enough to hold my hands up to that, it’s pretty much always in jest and I am more than aware of what he has done for the industry and for countless charity organisations, he’s a great guy. Smarks however, sorry, “dedicated fans” will happily make you feel like an idiot if you cheer for the wrong person or don’t know the meaning of a piece of terminology they may use. They are the complete opposite of what a dedicated and supportive fan community should be.
At this years WWE Summerslam event, the smarks were out in force. They loudly chanted ‘boring’ over a title match for the WWE Champion, being contested by two wrestlers they more than likely would have championed themselves only a little time ago. Then when a new championship belt was unveiled a little time later, a contingent of the amassed crowd thought it was more productive to chant “that belt sucks” rather than cheer for the frankly great match that was going on in the ring. One of the competitors, Finn Balor, had flown his family over from Ireland to watch him compete in this match, his first Pay Per View as a main rosta talent, how must they have felt to have to listen to such flagrant disrespect whilst proudly watching their son?
It boils down to essentially what all forms off bully like behaviour boils does, a sense of superiority, of knowing more than the next guy, of knowing how it should be done and how what is being done is garbage and anyone who likes these things is nothing more than a target for ridicule. And much like a bully, a smark never admits to what they are, they aren’t the ones with the problem you see? It’s the companies they pay money to watch, the people who run these companies and have done so successfully for MANY years. It’s the talent who wrestle in these companies who have very little control over what they are directed to do creatively. The problem is the young fans who keep these companies alive doing what they love by cheering on and buying the merchandise of the popular ‘face’ wrestlers and who may not know who El Generico or Kevin Steen are. It’s definitely not the problem of a self congratulatory vocal minority with a chip on their shoulder thinking they are superior to everyone else because ‘They, they just don’t get it!’