Wrestling is a Community Event

I think about my favorite points in wrestling has as much to do with who I was watching wrestling with, as it had to do with what was going on in the ring.  In the WWF Hulkamana era, lots of kids were watching.  In elementary school you knew which other kids were watching and it was easy to share with them.

In high school there were a surprising number of guys on my football team who watched Pro Wrestling.  Guys on my football team would cut promos on each other all the time.  Watching WWF Superstars before high school football games was part of my Saturday routine.

In college I met a couple of guys who knew a lot about pro wrestling.  One guy had a scrap book collection of photos of Hulk Hogan being pinned.  Another guy used to give his own commentary to WWF and WCW matches.  I learned about the parts of the wrestling world that were not on free TV in the Philadelphia market.

After college ECW hit and lots of people were watching.  I had group of people that we watched the ECW PPVs.  It was a big party with pizza, wings, and beer to watch wrestling.  It became another reason to throw a party.  There was something about watching 20 drunk people that made watching a New Jack match more enjoyable.

Right now, I do not know any wrestling fans local to me.  There must be a lot of wrestling fans in the San Jose area, I just don't know any of them.  When I bring up pro wrestling to most of my friends, they roll their eyes, grimace, or stare at me in disbelief.

The community aspect of wrestling makes is driven home by the Fair to Flair guys, The Old School Wrestling Podcast, and the Wrestling Culture Podcast.  These are guys in different cities, but still communicate like friends watching and sharing pro wrestling.  I would love to watch pro-wrestling in the same room with any of these guys.  In a way, especially with the podcasts, I feel like these writers are building and sharing intimacy with their audience.

I think it behooves pro wrestling promotions to build communities.  I think that the WCW did a good job with their Nitro Viewing Parties back in the 90s.  The WWE tries to build community with the 'WWE Universe' but I am not sure they do much to bridge that gap.  I am not sure if a national promotion can do a good job seeding real world communities.  I think trying would be a good use of their marketing dollars. 


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