It is the year 2002. We now have a spaceship for tourist and the ability to access any information instantly. We may be a decade or two, before I can trick out my car Back To the Future style. But, we are in the 21st Century. do you think we can get rid of a word we (as wrestling fans) associate to people? The word, mark. I know wrestlers and carnies started to call us that a long time ago. But in this day and age, do you really think anyone over the age of 12 (and normal I.Q.) thinks rasslin' is real? Can you really call someone who doesn't read the Torch or Smackdown spoilers a mark, while those that do are known as smarts, smarks, or whatever.
My doctor likes Taker, and Hulk Hogan. He doesn't care who Taker and Hogan have held down and won't sell to. He is way smarter then me, he just knows it's unrealstic to have Taker or Hogan getting beaten by The Hardys. He knows its all scripted, and as a doctor he understands the premise of juicing. He even goes to WWF.com to buy his son a T-Shirt every now and then. He can actually sit down and enjoy watching Stone Cold shoot Nash with a net gun. That is what I want, to be able to sit my ass down and enjoy the show the way I use to before I discovered Micasa and Meltzer.
You have Football fans who watch and cheer a team all though the season and will go to a game every now and then. You also have the ultra die hard type, who will pay thousands for seasons tickets AND subscribe to direct TV so they can watch any game. They know who works in the back office, all the assistant coaches, and even all the players' high school stats. Does that sound familar? Will that ultra fan give the football fan shit for not knowing who the towel boy for the Lions is?
Now, if your ever at a WWF event and everyone around you is pissing Angle off by going "what". Do you fold your arms and scream shut up to everyone around you? When people are cheering Big Show, would you tell the person in front of you to stop because he refuses to lose weight and is friends with Hogan? One person remarked, how sheep like the marks are. If you want to see sheep, then look at the internet posters. For a while it's HHH is a devious bastard, then Jericho sucks because he can't do a dangerous lionsault full on. All you need is one of the big 5 (you know who they are) to single a wresler out and it's baaaaa, follow the leader.
Bradshaw said in a W.O.W. interview, he hates the word mark, because a mark is basically a fan who enjoys the show enough to spend money on it. In that logic we are all marks, it's just some of us can't enjoy ourselves.
I am really offended by everything you said...because I didn't think of it first. You're very right about "mark" being a dirty word. Too many people use their knowledge of something, be it books, music, wrestling or whatever as a weapon, a way to belittle others and make themselves feel superior. This goes on all the time and seems to be to be such an empty pursuit that I just feel sorry for anyone who follows it. Wrestling is just good fun entertainment. Sure, we can groan and complain about it; that's your right. But don't try to set up any type of dividing line between fans based on their knowledge of it or lack thereof.
"Oh! The light! [pointing to the setting sun] Blackness comes when the light goes away!" "Yeah, but this is getting to be a pretty regular thing." "I don't care. It still scares the sh*t out of me."
"Fritz! Get up for God's sake, get up! They've killed Fritz, they've killed Fritz!"
This is really embarassing. But in '97 the day before Pillman died in St Louis (The Bad Blood PPV). I met Shawn Micheals at Union Station. He was signing some autographs and had a beautiful girl with him. For some reason I wanted to show my "smarkness" with him. So I went up to him and said, "Hey whats up Mr. Hickenbottom." He gave me the coldest glare and said "Whatever." And walked away. Some of the people getting autographs looked at me strange too. They couldn't understand why would I call Shawn Micheals that name.
The moral of the story is....if your last name was Hickenbottom, wouldn't you change it too?
I suppose you walked up to HHH and call him "Jean" too, right?
I have a lot of wrestling knowledge, but I'm not to smug about it because either
1. I would come to find out some of my relatives either are bigger fans than I am, or even worked in the business for a time, and tell me I don't know what I'm talking about (believe me that is embarassing for a magazine reader and avid surfer to find that out), or
2. some don't care and get annoyted when I show it off.
To those who don't know, "mark" was originally a carny term meaning (more or less) sucker, someone who is fooled into spending money to see, for example, the bearded lady or Jo Jo the Dog Faced Boy.
I personally like being a smart fan. But I hate people who have to "show it off." Sure, I went through that phase, when I was a teenager, and yelled out peoples' real names and such. But I grew out of it, certainly by the time I was working backstage at indy shows.
An intelligent person (as opposed to a "smart" person") knows how to use his knowledge efficiently without being seen as a know-it-all, be it in wrestling, politics or thermonuclear dynamics.
FYI, in the immortal words of General Melchitt, "crevice is a dirty word, Blackadder."
(edited by odessasteps on 15.3.02 1205)
"The best reason for committing loathsome & detestable acts -and let's face it, I am considerably something of an expert in the field - is purely for their own sake. Monetary gain is all very well, but it dilutes the tastes of wickedness to a lower level that is obtainable by anyone will an overdeveloped sense of avarice. True and baseless evil is as rare as the purest good - and we all know how rare THAT is." - Acheron Hades, THE EYRE AFFAIR by Jaspar Fforde
I'm guessing this likely has more than a little to do with Bradshaw's gimmick change to JBL -- she turned him from a blue jean / cutoff shirt wearing redneck into a refined, upper crust businessman, and lo and behold, that's what happened on TV.