Guest Column: Life as a Pro Wrestling Fan and How to Avoid Hating Pro Wrestling

Note from John Canton: This is a guest column from Andy Mullen. It was sent to us by Andy after he inquired about writing a column, I told him to check out our Contact Us page that has simple instructions on how to send in a sample column. I think I’m going to make a post on TJRWrestling later in the month asking for more writers because I want more writers on the team, but I know it can be intimidating. Anyway, here is what Andy sent in talking about his life as a wrestling fan while also suggesting some simple ways for us to enjoy the product even more. Here’s Andy.


We’ve all heard it. Wrestling just isn’t the same. The product isn’t good enough anymore. Trust me I’ve been there myself, but I set out to try to find out why. Is it the TV product? Could it be the in-ring work? No, I think the problem is us. We, the fans, have ruined wrestling. Perhaps ruined is too strong of a word. We have made it harder to enjoy it at times.

It’s April 1st, 1990. I am 7 years old and my father has shelled out $39.95 to watch Wrestlemania 6! A memorable night for me. It was the first time we had bought a PPV, but dad promised us since the main event featured our favorite wrestlers, Hulk Hogan, and The Ultimate Warrior. We sat there and watched Demolition win the tag titles and pained through a few other matches until the main event. My brother and I had our brawling buddies of Warrior and Hogan ready. It was amazing. I still remember cheering like crazy when Warrior won the WWF Title. Afterward, I was talking with my Dad and all we could talk about is how Hogan would get the belt back somehow. Our focus was the next match they would have and nothing else.

It’s March 26th, 2001. I am a senior in High School and my brother and I are watching the final Monday Nitro. The wasn’t all that great as a dark cloud hung over the show since we knew from reading the dirt sheets/internet earlier in the day that WWE had bought WCW and that certain stars weren’t happy about it. After the show, I went to the messages boards and had a conversation about the matches that night but mostly we talked about who would end up where. Since I had read some internet rumors, I knew that things wouldn’t transition smoothly and our favorites like Sting and Goldberg were gonna be nowhere to be seen.

It’s October 28th, 2020. I’m a grown man. I just finished watching NXT’s Halloween Havoc. I was entertained by guys like Johnny Gargano, who honestly can’t do anything wrong at this point. Shotzi Blackheart is a star just by being herself (just a bit amped up). I’m loving the stuff with Pat McAfee and his new crew (which I’m taking credit for and calling them “The Brand”). A fun main event made two hours seem like 30 minutes. I then head over to AEW on delay. I’m enjoying the different presentation of the product and seeing some new stars that I did not know much about before. Afterward, I head on to Facebook to check out some wrestling groups, and obviously, the conversations vary, but many of them are negative…ALL THE TIME! People are arguing about who is getting “buried” and who “botched” their 630 double moonsault plancha. I even see where people are talking about quarter-hour ratings and demographics. This is where the problem is. WE ARE THE PROBLEM!

In the late 1980s through late 1990s, wrestling was everything to me and many other people my age. Each week we hung on the words of our favorite superstars like it was life and death. We cheered our favorite stars till we were hoarse, and booed till we cried when the villains got their ways. But not once ever in my life did I care about a PPV buyrate, or a TV quarter-hour rating or who has heat in the back with “the boys”. When wrestling peeled the curtain back and we all walked into the working world of pro wrestling, we ruined it. Instead of wondering if Stone Cold was gonna crash The Rock’s title celebration, we become more concerned with the fact that Malenko, Saturn, Guerrero and Benoit were unhappy at WCW and wanted to jump ship.

Nowadays people love to argue about quarter-hour breakdowns between NXT and AEW or how many stars Meltzer is gonna give a match. If you care more about Meltzer’s star rating then you do about the story being told in the ring, then you are contributing to the death of this business. If you see some say “hey I really liked that match with Cameron Grimes and Dexter Lumis on NXT,” then someone fires back with “yeah but the rating was better on AEW”, that person is killing the business.

There are high powered executives who are paid way more than me to figure out buy rates and TV ratings. We only have one job to do as fans. Buy a ticket or turn on the TV and enjoy what’s there for what it is. It’s entertainment, it’s a television show, it’s an escape. I somehow doubt fans of Days of our Lives care if General Hospital beat them in the ratings.

Wrestling can be great again if, instead of being match critics (with no knowledge of wrestling or interest in how matches actually work) or concentrating on ratings (without looking at the numbers and being able to explain them right off the sheet) let’s just be fans. Take the time to become invested. Chances are because you’ve become jaded you may be missing out on two great things the WWE is doing right now with Roman Reigns and over on Raw with Alexa Bliss.

My point is this: Be 7 years old again. Watch wrestling because you love it. As soon as you try to become too much of an insider, you just start to hate it.