everyone at one point in there lives was a mark. "Mark" meaning just a fan who didn't know otherwise about the inner workings of the business.
so here's the question: who did you like when you were a mark, and who did you like after you were privy to the inner workings of the business?
for me, i always dug how the worker moved when i was "just a fan"; there has always been a certain way how the wrestler did what he/she did that made me like them. when i was a mark, i always liked jake roberts, bret hart, dynamite kid, randy savage, the great muta, and others due to how original, and unique they worked; i.e. how they threw punches, moved, there overall style.
after my incarnation to the internet, i was privy to the political side of things, and i looked at wrestlers in a different light.
No offense, maybe you are a lot better at it than most people, but I still find it hard to believe that you can "turn off your smark cap".
I'm not arguing that you can't enjoy wrestling as entertainment, and not that you won't have mark moments, but the definition of being a smark is that you have knowledge that it is damn near impossible to forget.
For example, a true mark who didn't read internet reports would have virtually no knowledge that Kurt Angle is seriously injured. As a smark no matter what you do, you wont be able to just forget that fact, and therefore you will have some knowledge of what the WWE is going to do to address the issue.
I guess a good analogy would be Santa. You still enjoy the Christmas traditions after learning that Santa isn't real, but you enjoy it in a different way. And no matter what you do, you still have knowledge that you can't make yourself forget.
Well, I'm sorry you can't just tune it all out but I find it quite easy. Sometimes you just have to let it all go and enjoy the show you are watching be it wrestling or what have you. I'm not entirely sure how to explain it to you, but I don't go into everything on TV thinking it is the most serious thing on earth and should be treated as such. When I watch wrestling, I watch to have a good time and not worry about all the evils in the world, in the backstage, or anywhere else. To make a long story short (too late) I let all the crap just hit the floor and I worry about what I am seeing on TV, not what I "heard" on the net.
As a mark I loved Warrior and Savage which tore me up when they went at it at WM7 although it was still the perfect ending.
I turned Smark 5-6 years ago so Warrior wasn't really around and Savage had stopped bumping like a maniac.
Right now I cheer for Booker T and Kurt Angle. Even with all the backstage news and general Smark tastes going around this forum, I could care less about wrestling ability (see Warrior) as long as the guy entertains me and those two do.
When I was a kid I was all about the Ultimate Warrior. I hated Hulk Hogan. It might have been that mustache. I stopped watching wrestling for a few years in the early nineties. Later, I marked out for Foley, Austin and Kane.
These days I'm a fan of Kane, Booker T, Austin, Angle, Benoit, RVD and Victoria.
I think there is two types of wrestling fans now a days: Smarks and Cynmarks. You can have the casual wrestling fan, but they are starting to die out.
Cynmarks are guys who are purest. They love Benoit, Angel and anyone that outright wrestle. Yet, they hate Rock, Austin and Booker T, because they are not pure wreslters. Add in the fact that smarks and casual fans love those guys is more of the primary reason. Cynmarks are the guys that take the internet as gospel and go on message boards to trash smarks and the WWE. They find no good in anything even though Angel has the belt and they are starting to push the younger guys on Raw. They also worship Scott Keith. The old wrestling days where so much better than now its possible to compare even though the main events on Raw and Smackdown are fans wet dreams come true.
Smarks are guys who enjoy the product no matter what. They are entertained by almost everyone including HHH to a point. They do got the internet sites, read the spoilers, discuss with their friends and still watch Smackdown. They are intrigued by the politics, but when Raw is on the politics is thrown out of the window. They can find at least two or three things liked about the show. They not easily entertained by everything, but they can mark out for stuff cynmarks will give ** to. They are there for the fun and passion of it rather than the wrestling and the bitching for bitching sake mentality of the cynmarks.
I'd like to say I'm a smark. Yes, I hate HHH's politics, but I marked out huge for Austin/HBK just sharing a screen togeter. Its all a matter of taste yet both fans will stay with the product no matter what. They are devoted as any other fan to their sport. Every sport has these types of fans. You have the guy screaming plays from his couch to the guy who sit backs and enjoys watching someone playing the game.
"I think there is two types of wrestling fans now a days: Smarks and Cynmarks."
Get over yourself.
If you really want to segregate wrestling fans, theres two groups one can realibly go by without all the stereotypical non-sense. Hardcore and Casual. That goes for most any pop-culture medium. And you'll tend to find fanbases have a lot of range to their sub-cultures. Chris Benoit is my favorite wrestler, I dig the Rock and Austin, I collect wrestling tapes from around the world, I read the Observer and I think Scott Keith is a fucking idiot. So where do I fit Fanboy?
I'd consider myself a hardcore wrestling fan. I don't wear the shit as a badge (its rather sad really), but I don't "take off my smark cap" when I'm watching watching wrestling either. WTF does that mean anyway? What am I supposed to take off exactly? My brain? I'm going to enjoy what I'm going to enjoy. Despite what some pretentious McMahon apologist may want to poorly generalize and categorize, so do most fans out there.
You know, some people actually find it enjoyable and a part of the wrestling experience to over-analyse everything and have that insider point of few. There are millions of football, baseball, basketball, and hockey fans who memerize stats, lineups, coaching decisions, backstage antics, and player personal problems because it's part of a sport they love. Yet, for some reason when wrestling fans do it, they're "over critical nerds with no lives who should just shut and enjoy the ride." I would think that since they follow the business with such a passion that they would very much enjoy the product.
Some of this post is WAY over generalizing and trying to group everyone into seperate camps so it's easier to ignore the "critical nerd" point of view if you can make the ignorant point that they all behave the same way. Why is it that when I say I like Benoit, Jericho, and Angle, I'm some how being "unrealistic and overcritical" but when I say I don't want to see Triple H, Undertaker, and Big Show on my screen I'm "bashing for bashing's sake and just worshipping Scott Keith?" Why am I not allowed to seperate BAD WRESTLERS from GOOD WRESTLERS and BAD TV from GOOD TV? When I say the necrophillia angle was stupid and I think Booker T's push has stalled, why is it that suddenly I'm "not being a fan and not enjoying the ride.?" Did it ever occur to you that SOME shit the WWE does lately pisses me off and makes me wanna vomit, while on the whole I still think they're an entertaining show? Must I accept everything in black and white terms, meaning if I thought only 1 thing about a show was bad I must hate the entire product and should "stop watching because I can't enjoy it?"
(does my dead-on Lumberg from Office Space impression) A Fan, if you could just clear up those questions for me...that would be grrrrrrreeeeeaaaaaaat...
(edited by Venom on 18.3.03 0213)
Hah...hah...hah...hah! YA SCUM!!! Krankor: The Man, The Myth, The Legend
Although I agree with Cerebus' assesment concerning fan levels I found A Fan's take on the situation to be pretty interesting. I believe only in this respect could I actually be considered a Smark, as by most internet wrestling fan's observations I'd probably qualify more as a mark, due to my general optimism and appreciation for lesser than top-notch grapplers like Nash, Hogan, Hall, etc. Although I still very much appreciate the Angles, Benoits, Jerichos, Harts as well. Infact my favorite style to watch is Lucha, but I can appreciate wrestling in all its forms.
Said by A Fan "Smarks are guys who enjoy the product no matter what."
If there are people who enjoy anything no matter how crappy it gets, I really pity those folks. I just love when discernment became a crime, not just in wrestling, but all entertainment. Daring to say you don't like HHH/big blockbuster movie/huge record/etc. yet prefer Benoit/art film/indie album somehow becomes a statement instead of just your tastes. Some of us didn't start liking good wrestling simply to piss off others or to suck up to Scott Keith, hard as this might be to believe. Just as some people really loved the Ultimate Warrior, some of us prefered Flair and Steamboat. Big plodding guys bored me when I was 8 years old, and that hasn't changed.
Those who fought against this war's coming must now stand and say we stand behind our troops and wish them the safest possible future. May as few people as possible suffer for this effort to come to a conclusion. If war must come, let it come and go swiftly and as bloodlessly as it can.
I was a "mark" for very short time. I saw Austin attack Vince in the hospital... he hit him with a BEDPAN! I was hooked on wrestling immediately (I had had ZERO exposure to wrestling before then... except some WWF trading cards that got mixed in with my huge mix of cards during the 80's). Of course, I didn't order the first Pay Per View that was offered after that- Suvivor Series. So I got online and looked up the results. And then I read some rumors. And then I went back for recaps. And I was a "smark."
I'm glad we don't call ourselves "smarts." We don't REALLY know what's going on in the world of wrestling- we just THING we do. And that's fine. I think since the "Get it?" campaign, this has been the idea. Promotions know that ALL fans (don't think you're such a minority) know SOMETHING about wrestling that doesn't happen on the screen. You can't go to a show without a smark telling everyone about something that's going on behind the scenes (just like at all professional sporting events). I think the true mark is dead. True marks would have believed that Undertaker could shoot lightning.
Of course, Cerebus is right. In true Carney speak, if we're shelling out money to ANY promotion, we are classified as marks. Pay for a PPV, live show or t-shirt and you're a mark.
Smarks, I guess, KNOW that they're being worked and LIKE it. We're a dirty bunch.
Wow, I didn't expect this much of a firestorm over my idea. Ok, let me clarify a few things.
1. This is my view of what I see not only here, but in real life as well. Please take in the account I am adding the internet posting as well as, so they tends to cloud the judgement.
2. I am not bashing Cynmarks or Scott Kieth. I am just pointing out people's taste. I would say smarks would be people who found CRZ or Hyatte's reviews more entertaining then Kieth. I'm sure the last sentence will get me in trouble with the big boss, but I call them like I see them. I have never really fully meet a cynmark until I went to TOA and came here. Please believe when I say I fear for us all if we become as bad as TOA. I have seen those guys online, but I have only meet a handful of people in real life. One I meet last week who works for 411mania. I got the vibe that whether true or false that they hire from that set of writers as well. People who enjoy the wrestling aspects of the show rather than the sports entertainment. They cynical due to the fact that sports entertainment has ruined the sport rather than helped. So, when crap like Necrophilla comes on they point to it and say "Look this is what we are talking about." And they have valid point. Yet, they point that out in almost every fun segment like Rock or Austin even though smarks find those segments the best part of the show sometimes. They can't find a middle ground at times.
3. Smarks are not stupid, but they are fericily loyal. No matter if spoilers are up or HHH has been the champ since Sept, HBK's run really doesn't count, they still will watch. Its not always a good trait, but its an admirable trait. It does keep Vince in business and does allow for Vince to have some room to manuever like pushing A-Train or give the belt to Big Show. He knows those are the core audience, so he can almost due anything. Which is why smarks could be blamed for the lack of direction or purpose in the show. Vince knows he has that amount of people just by looking at the rating, PPVS and even internet hits on various sites. That core audience more than likely won't go away. Yet, it is diwindling of late even with Rock/Austin on Raw. When those people are blaming before Mania, its a bad sign.
4. Its just a theory. I have some fact probably more fact than the HHH is holding down the locker room theory even though that one gains evidence every day. I would like to test my theory, but even I see the flaw in it. There are plenty of fans who like Nathan Jones, yet love Scott Keith or people who are workrate guys and go to CRZ's page for laughs. In any theory about society you are going to have those types of people. Yet, I thought this was as close as a good theory on wrestling fans of late then you are going to get.
The whole Abyss mess reminds me of the original Kane/Taker storyline. Russo seems to have had about 3 original ideas, ever, and has just lathered, rinsed, and repeated since then. The Christian/Tomko thing reminds me of the HBK/Diesel angle from 94-95....