What utters a raucous, chattering call, possesses an episodic memory, hunts in packs, shows expression of grief and has a total brain-to-body ratio equal to that of great apes and cetaceans? If you answered "The European Magpie," you would be correct, but I'm actually referring to another genetic nuisance.
The heel fan or, "keyboard warrior."
Back when I was a lad, they were called "armchair athletes." The most common version being the NFL's "armchair quarterback." That species was forced to evolve during the dawn of the digital age and let's face it, armchairs are for grandpas.
After all, just look at the Cageside RAW results or open thread to see the kind of activity we get every Monday night. The warriors really do come out to play and thank god, because if they didn't, I wouldn't be able to
overcharge Geno for hastily assembled posts write about wrestling every week.
In fact, there wouldn't be any wrestling.
The business couldn't sustain itself if every wrestler was a face, just as it couldn't make a mint if every fan played nicey-nice. You need the enraged passion of a keyboard warrior. Not only do they do more to keep the conversation going, they in turn make the defenders more devoted to their faith.
Our beloved Jim Ross came under fire earlier this week and he was unable to hold back on his retort, which is fine, because he's done more for professional wrestling than almost anyone on the current scene. But he should change "not too keen" with "thank you for your interest."
Every now and then, I'm able to formulate a coherent article about the pros and cons of the pro wrestling industry, but more often than not, I just shake my fist at the screen and take to the Cageside canvas to paint a picture of misogyny, poor mic skills and AJ's THIGHS!
I'm a keyboard warrior.
The performers competing in today's landscape may have this notion that they've earned some sort of immunity from the fickle fan base. After all, aren't they the ones who put their bodies on the line, dedicate their heart and soul to the craft and march out there every week to put on a good show?
Like Richard Marx said: "Don't mean nothing." Entertainers have one purpose and that's to entertain.
I buy every monthly pay-per-view (PPV) and I let my kid download the walkout songs from iTunes. She also had a WWE-themed birthday party this year which meant favors, action figures and balloons adorned with the WWE logo. Her backpack? John Cena. Lunchbox? Kofi Kingston. Tee shirts? Check. Hats? Check check.
And I won't even start on the cost of tickets.
I probably spend anywhere from $500-$800 a year on WWE shows and merchandise. That gives me the right, in no uncertain terms, to say whatever the fuck I want. Now, get your ass in that ring and entertain me. Did it suddenly become a crime to expect a little bang for my buck?
There are no refunds in pro wrestling.
If I order a steak in a restaurant and it tastes like it was seasoned in the chef's ass, I can send it back and get the chicken. But I can't call K-Mart and say, "Uh, hello, customer service? Yeah, I bought my kid a CM Punk shirt but he's since turned heel and now she refuses to wear it. Can I get a store credit?"
It's a crap shoot. I literally have to gamble with my money every time I spend it on WWE.
You think DirecTV is giving me a refund if Elimination Chamber sucks? Truth is, I don't mind. I like the product and I've been watching it since I was a kid -- though I see it differently now as an adult and I (usually) know when I'm getting worked. The more noise I make means the more attached I am to the brand. That's how they get money from me.
Any wrestler who thinks they don't have to answer to the fans, especially the crappy ones like me, should recognize they gave up the right to censor the second they cashed their first check, because when push comes to shove, I'm the customer.
And the customer is always right.