Wrestling has always been a narrative as much as a sport as it has been dominated by larger-than-life characters, captivating storylines and incredible athleticism. Marked by a strong sense of community and tradition, an interesting change is happening in the wrestling world as the presence of influencers sparks both curiosity and controversy.
The power of influence
One of the primary draws for wrestling fans is that the sport lives at the crossroads of reality and escapism. When you consider it under that light, the attraction of social media influencers is very similar. As figures who market themselves to us with a carefully curated personality and lifestyle designed to sway public opinion and connect with audiences at a personal level, it’s clear why pro-wrestling is one of the many industries that has turned its eye to the potential that influencers can bring to the future of wrestling.
Influencers bring a loyal following with them to any match, which was evident in the case of Bad Bunny and Logan Paul whose shows both sold out, and they have a deep understanding of how to create engaging content. This opens a world of possibilities to bring an already established fanbase to the sport, as well as to exploit new avenues to attract new, young fans to wrestling.
Revitalizing the industry
As we’ve already mentioned, wrestling thrives due to its compelling storylines and larger-than-life characters. With the narrative that influencers bring to their digital platforms, they have the potential to breathe new life into this aspect of the sport. Collaborations with wrestling have the potential to infuse a fresh narrative and develop even more multi-faceted characters, which are key aspects of engagement for modern audiences.
Influencers could also offer a unique perspective on in-ring performance. Traditional wrestlers train extensively in wrestling techniques, but influencers bring to the ring other physical talents that can introduce exciting new styles and maneuvers. Agility, acrobatics, entertainment – it all enlivens the overall spectacle.
Not to mention that the addition of new and untested faces in pro-wrestling fights opens great opportunities to maximize your bets on the running point spreads by making a bet on your favorite influencer’s chances in the ring.
Fresh audiences and greater fan engagement
Influencers quite literally build their entire empire on their audience, and it’s this particular skill set that could be one of the greatest advantages to professional wrestling. Influencers have an established fan base that trusts and actively engages with them. If wrestling promoters collaborate with them, they can tap into these brand-new communities and introduce an untouched market to the world of pro wrestling.
It’s not just the fan base itself that influencers bring, as the talent they have in creating that sense of community and interactivity in the first place is incredibly important. Their social media platform is a direct line to real-time engagement and interactive experiences. This both enhances the fan experience and generates excitement, driving conversation and strengthening the bond between wrestlers and their audience.
Preserving the heart of the sport
Those who oppose influencers breaking into the industry primarily reference a desire to preserve the identity and traditions of the wrestling community. The pro-wrestling community has long been a space for those seeking a close-knit sense of community in this sport that lingers on the line between
reality and escapism. Wrestlers themselves spend years honing their skills and earning bigger contracts and larger pay cheques through long tours and grueling work skills — not to mention the danger they face while executing their dramatic moves. Understandably, wrestlers such as Becky Lynch aren’t keen on influencers like Logan Paul jumping to the big stadiums on the merit of their name alone.
If wrestling promoters keep the focus on the importance of training and respect for the craft, it is possible to retain the spirit of wrestling tradition even while opening it up to fresh audiences. The focus should remain on influencers who share a passion for wrestling. Logan Paul is quoted as saying that he feels “incredibly grateful and incredibly blessed” for finding the opportunity to do something he loves. Paul has just signed a multi-year deal with WWE and is looking forward to future appearances in the ring.
Like it or not, change is coming to the world of wrestling. There’s a paradigm shift in every major entertainment industry as modern audiences become more entrenched in social media and the power of influencers grows. It’s important that the traditional skillsets of wrestling are respected, but the sport can secure its future if it utilizes the power that influencers can offer and embraces the powerful and thrilling storytelling it offers audiences.