While it is a small minority of fans who are extremely vocal, the wrestling community often faces accusations of being a toxic fandom. This leaves the rest of us wincing from the sidelines, offering apologies that never seem to be enough, like parents whose triplets are playing sheep in the Nativity play, but manage to botch it by mooing.
No other fanbase is quite as capable of pouring scorn onto the property they claim to love. It will probably pain those we are addressing that their closest fandom doppelgängers are devotees of RuPaul's Drag Race, yet, at least they can claim misguided shade.
Professional wrestling as an entertainment product is a unique entity combining the theatrical, cinematography, and sports genres into one unrivalled presentation. However, this mix, combined with social media, often means the performers and their characters become intertwined into one entity that in the minds of some supplants both. This is largely the root of toxicity in our fandom.
This article may not have you at its core, but even the most restrained among us, can still pull ahead of the pack in respecting the efforts of all involved in professional wrestling.
8. Appreciate Sports Entertainment
Outsiders often use the "it's fake" line to beat down anybody who shows a passion for pro-wrestling. Though surprisingly much of the hatred towards "fakery" comes from inside the community. It's a prerequisite that wrestling requires a suspension of disbelief, at least a minor pass, to enjoy the art. Yet, a portion of the fandom has strict limits for Kayfabe and decry the more fantastical aspects of pro-wrestling.
It is here where it helps to establish that professional wrestling is not a mere sport, it's sports entertainment. While fans en masse are comfortable with this concept when it comes to mocking Vince's adoration of large, hulking men (i.e. logical choices for wrestlers), they are less willing to invest in supernatural characters.
To get the most out of professional wrestling is to appreciate sports entertainment for all its goofiness, surrealism, and bewilderment. Even if it just means shrugging and going along with the ride. Kayfabe, no matter the extent to which it is stretched, is inherent to the entertainment aspect of the product, and what makes wrestling stand out on a sports schedule.