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garynysmon

Lapsed fandom

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I've never really considered myself fully 'lapsed' in the sense that I still read news online and podcasts etc, but haven't watched a WWE match in a year or two apart from the Crown Jewel shitshow (yet brilliantly nostalgic) match involving the Undertaker and HBK.

But it was only when I came across something on Facebook now did it hit home how madly lapsed I am.

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He made his main roster debut in 2015, four fucking years ago!

It was obviously meant to be a humorous post pointing some kind of mistake on the action figure, but I've genuinely never seen any of his matches and couldn't even tell you how Tyler Breeze even looks like. In honestly, the same goes for a good chunk of the mid and under card in the WWE these days who haven't been through TNA at some point or another. 

I don't think I've ever been so out of touch with WWE wrestling since I started watching regularly in 1992, even when I was at Uni and didn't have access to Sky I still kept up with clips etc while nowadays I genuinely don't give a shit even though its so much more accessible.

So how lapsed are you? Or have you had years out only to be dragged back in?

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Edited by garynysmon

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I've never really lapsed since I started watching in 1991. A few times pre-Internet where I wasn't watching as much due to not having Sky Sports etc, but I've never lost touch with it. I don't know a lot of the NXT and 205 wrestlers now, mind.

That figure is a Tyler Breeze head on another wrestler's body, with a Karl Anderson t-shirt.

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I definitely lapse if we're talking about WWE - I read the results and watch a segment or match that's got good reviews or sounds interesting, but I've not watched a show, TV or PPV, for probably a year, and that was NXT.

As a wrestling fan though, never. There's so much out there that I'll happily spend a few hours on YouTube, tapping in great names from older eras. Not even classics, just random TV matches. My tastes change as I get older, so I end up rediscovering or suddenly appreciating different things in matches I might have seen several times already.

I guess I'm a fan of what I think wrestling can be, not necessarily what it is now. Having said that, it's not all retro kicks - some NJPW, especially featuring my man Tanahashi, is right up my alley.

So yeah, WWE yes, rasslin' no.

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I realised I'd become a lapsed fan over a year or so ago now. Probably longer actually. In fact I didn't know Undertaker and HBK had wrestled until I read your post in here. It's a shame, I do miss wrestling especially after reading the other thread about how great it can be. I'd say the last time I was following it properly would've been WrestleMania 30. In hindsight it was a great show to finish on, I'd followed Bryan's career and was a huge fan of Undertaker's streak which both culminated then. 

It's arguably the best time ever to be a fan and yet I've never watched so little of it. The best analogy I can use for how I feel is that it's like seeing all the top football teams in the world play each other in friendlies for a few years. Yes, you're gonna see some of the best players, goals and matches ever but ultimately without any meaning. That's how I felt for 90% of the wrestling I saw until I stopped. 

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I think WWE bring it on themselves a bit by producing so much content. I've seen Triple H (or maybe it was George Barrios) saying they don't expect everyone to watch everything, that people pick and choose, but to me, that's taking the approach that nothing worthwhile ever really happens. If you create the aura that people don't need to tune in all the time, then they won't... and so people gradually stop tuning in as much and drift away, and lo and behold, record low ratings.

I suppose that's more of a broad strokes interpretation of the fandom. For me personally, it's a few things. One, I don't have Sky so can't watch Raw/SD. Two, I don't really have the time. For a long time I tried to always watch the PPVs, but without watching the weekly build, it's not quite the same. And also, even if I only watch the PPV, I can't watch it all in one sitting. I think I watched the rumble over 3 nights. I was so done by that 3rd night, it felt like I'd been watching every day for years. 

Maybe that's just the problem with being a fan for a long time, or maybe it's the fundamental flaw with how WWE present themselves these days. I watched a hidden gem on the network a while back, a tag team match filmed at a house show (possibly MSG). It was Stone Cold & Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels & HHH. It was shot on one camera that was basically shoved under the bottom rope and it had the feel of an early 90's fan bootleg tape. But it was brilliant. I was totally invested in this match, even with the one terrible camera angle, no commentary and no idea of the storyline coming in. Yes, you have four of the biggest stars ever in there, but it's just a house show, a nothing means anything match, and I cared more about it than anything I've seen in the last two years that had a slick, multi-million dollar production value. So this is what happens when they don't make stars, when they make the brand the draw, when everything's homogenised and pasteurised, everything's Michael Cole. You just sort of stop caring, gradually. 

Also, having a long commute and two young kids 😓

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I had become lapsed, but was drawn back in at the late summer last year. I was off work for a couple of weeks after an operation and used the WWE Network to fill some of the time. I’ve watched a bit more of since like RevPro and followed the WWE UK Tournaments.

Work, home, aging parents and my wife often leave very little time to check in. Was fun and also scary to see Jonny Storm and Jodie Fleisch older and bald. Big changes from the “old days” of long hair and nights in the Colston Hall or White Oak or Fairfields!

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I watch the WWE PPVs, and sometimes NXT, though increasingly give that one a miss in recent months too. I could easily sack off WWE altogether, as their booking and visual style does nothing for me now compared to other promotions. But working in wrestling, I think it's important to have a sense of what WWE are doing, as what WWE do informs/influences everyone else - your audience, as well as your crew. That said, last year was probably the first since maybe 2001 that I've skipped PPVs and not bothered tracking them down after the fact.

I still follow other promotions - I keep an eye on the UK scene, make it to most of EVE's shows, did my first London Lucha League show this month, I try and keep up with CHIKARA, and watch the big shows/recommended matches from NJPW, AAA and so on, and keep an eye on most of the Joshi promotions. If I need something to put on the telly while I do something, I tend to shove an old WCW or ECW show on the Network. 

 

So I'm definitely not a lapsed fan, but there are wrestlers even in the bigger promotions that I'll completely forget exist if I'm not currently watching them, and I couldn't tell you most of the time who any given champion is, or anything like that. 

These days I'd say my interest in wrestling would be ranked as something like: Booking > Writing About > Performing > Watching Live > Watching on TV > Watching WWE on TV.

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I have to admit that I'm at the stage where I watch virtually no wrestling at all. 

It's not that I don't try, because I do. Usually when an NXT supershow rolls around or something I'll watch it, enjoy it, then begin watching the weekly episodes only to get bored again after a few weeks.

I have the network, but usually I only watch old stuff on it, and I'm still working through the old Raw's and Nitro's in chronological, week-for-week order, but I don't watch them every week if you know what I mean.

The current main roster on Raw or Smackdown does nothing for me, and that's fine, I'm probably not the audience they're chasing anyway. I've come to terms with the fact that I'll never be a big wrestling fan ever again most likely. 

Saying that, I'm a sucker for a retro moment. If I hear about a comeback by the likes of Jake the Snake, Hogan, Sid, Hall or Nash or any of those types then I'll be tuning in. It'll no doubt be naff to most of the kids these days, but I love it, even if they don't get the pop they once did. I also loved the anniversary Raw show they did with the old school ring, ropes and entrances. 

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1 minute ago, David said:

Saying that, I'm a sucker for a retro moment. If I hear about a comeback by the likes of Jake the Snake, Hogan, Sid, Hall or Nash or any of those types then I'll be tuning in. It'll no doubt be naff to most of the kids these days, but I love it, even if they don't get the pop they once did. I also loved the anniversary Raw show they did with the old school ring, ropes and entrances. 

I'm the same tbh. If they wheeled out whoever's still active from the 80's and 90's and put together another Legends of Wrestling PPV with all matches being -5* and stinking out the joint I would still enjoy it more than any single show I've seen over the past decade. Its all that piques my interest these days.

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Last years Wrestlemania, I got bored half way through and stopped watching. I watched maybe 30 minutes of the following RAW, got bored, turned it off.

Since then, I've only sporadically kept up via the UKFF. 

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I imagine I fall into the category that a lot of people do were I don’t watch the weekly TV, and I haven’t done for years, but I keep up with things by reading results and then maybe watching parts that I might find interesting on YouTube or whatever. I just don’t have the time to commit to watching that much WWE TV every week, and I’m amazed that some people actually do. I watch NXT week to week, but that’s much easier to do as it only goes over 1hr on rare occasions, otherwise it’s a cosy 45-55 minutes per week and that’s it. NXT UK is different in that i’ll read up what’s on the show that week, and again, I’ll watch what I think might be interesting.

I watch every PPV, not necessarily out of thinking it will be a great show top to bottom, more out of the hope that there will be something happen on there to make me sit up and take notice, because they can still do some really great stuff from time to time.

I do think that WWE depends too much on nostalgia acts to get it by, and that’s not to say that nostalgia is a bad thing per se, and that’s partly down to people who scream “PG SUX” and “bring back attitude era!” that don’t move on with the show. Last year, they had to trot out Undertaker/HHH on their big Australia show and then convince Shawn Michaels to come out of retirement to salvage something from that second Saudi Show, and it achieved them nothing in the long term. I can remember watching Wrestlemania 24 and my brother walking into the room during Undertaker v Edge. He couldn’t believe that Undertaker was still wrestling even at that time, if I was to tell him that he was still wrestling as recent as 6 months ago I think he’d have a fit. Kurt Angle is having his retirement match in a couple of weeks, and I honestly don’t care at this point because I think he should’ve packed it in years ago, whereas I am still interested (despite some dodgy build recently) in what will hopefully be a great Women’s Triple Threat who have at least come into their own in this decade rather than the last century

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I'm definitely lapsing at the moment. Nothing on Raw or SD grabs me as must-see right now. I'll watch the PPVs but I won't stay up for them, even Mania (the last one I stayed up for my pizza ended up here over an hour late).

I'm far more of a gamer than a TV watcher, but it would feel funny giving up Sky and not having it there.

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I'm super-lapsed — stopped watching WWE programming regularly about three years ago, and apart from a  three month trial in early 2017 and 2018 (Rumble to Mania), I haven't watched any wrestling except for weird old stuff on obscure channels. 

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As usual, it's worth remembering that this forum is full of 30/40 somethings who signed up here years ago and so I'd expect a lot of us to have moved on from what is, let's be honest, mainly a pastime of teenagers.

My nephews were hugely into WWE about 2 years ago.  Now the oldest is 16.  He's drifting away already.  Sports, girls, exams, plus obviously he's twigged that it's predetermined.  His younger brother still wants to be a wrestler.  I've told his dad that if he's serious, I'll go to training with him.  I have to admit there's a bit of me that would enjoy running the ropes even if I was shit at it.

For my part, I drifted away big time after Benoit.  When I read that he'd died, I cried.  Then over the next few days I realised that, not only were the matches "fake" but all the stuff you think you know about the wrestlers backstage, that's mainly fake too.  The wrestling industry is still the last safe haven of the non-PC, old school crazy gang mentality.  It's amazing and lucky that the #metoo movement hasn't bothered looking into wrestling.  So much sleaze, so many terrible things.

So nowadays I watch NXT as it's perfectly weighted towards my taste, and I catch a bit of Raw or Smackdown most weeks.  But I don't assign any importance or weight to something that is, at its heart, still a carny entertainment aimed at slack-jawed inbreds in the southern states.  On rare occasions it ascends into something really amazing, but generally it's appealing to our basest instincts, and that's ok.  At least I don't watch Doctors or Holby City.

 

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I lapsed big time following WrestleMania 20 in 2004. A long term girlfriend who just didn’t get it and kept me super busy, as did finishing Uni and getting a full time job. 

I’d been watching since Royal Rumble 1994 and was pretty deep in the whole system, but went pretty much cold turky only keeping in touch through the video games and through my Grandad who continued to watch right the way through my lapse.

In that time, life kind of happened, split up with the girlfriend, got a new job, met my future wife, went back to uni, had kids and then moved to Australia in 2013.

Without the raging social life and two young children, spare time started to return. I heard about the WWE network and as an avid recorder and collector of PPV VHS I jumped on the free trial using WrestleMania 30 as my starting point and spent the next few months catching up to current TV by watching Raw and Smackdown each week.

I went through a little spell recently of just watching YouTube highlights for Raw and Smackdown, but over the last few months have been back on Raw and Smackdown every week and the PPVs obviously.

I think finding Somthing To Wrestle Podcast has helped reignite my fandom and I enjoy going back to watch classic stuff on the Network.

So in short: I watched 10 years, took a 10 year gap and have now been watching for 5 years, so should burn out again sometime in 2024

I do  sometimes wonder if I should go back and fill in the gaps!

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