The sad truth about internet wrestling trolls

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Sad no? You know exactly who I am talking about with the title of this article. The “fanatics” who constantly put down a product they don’t even see or like. Those who will find fault with every booking decision made or will criticize the outcome of every match.

Worse are those who want laughter in any perceived misfortune of a company. Can you believe it? Laughing at misfortunes out of mere spite that you don’t like a product. Possibly even worse than that are those who refuse to believe any legitimate statistics to prove a narrative wrong in order to preserve their own confirmation bias.

Am I talking about AEW? Not necessarily. I have seen many trolls criticize both products. I’ve seen WWE fans heavily insult WWE talent (Alexa Bliss, for example), and the same goes for some AEW fans.

AEW Double or Nothing it drew the first million dollar gate in company history, nearly sold out T-Mobile Arena, and was the biggest Double or Nothing seen in AEW’s short, nearly 4-year history.

Though I’m sure trolls have tried to tear that narrative apart in some way. In reality, while both groups of fans are posting shit about each other, it seems like AEW is being misled much, much worse. Look for yourself; Anti-AEW trolling is much more prevalent within this topic. I have a theory on this, but first, let’s dive into some pieces of interest, including the psychology of some internet wrestling trolls.


Hana Kimura RIP


I have an honest question for you basement dwellers who find nothing better to do with their time than criticize the mythical failings of others.

Why watch, comment, insult or tweet about a product you don’t like?

For example, I see a guy hiding behind a profile picture of Jim Cornette that hangs on every AEW-related post on social media. He comments a lot and never says anything good about the company.

What is this for?

On a much broader level, we have legitimate trolls who are outspoken and dedicated to insulting and belittling wrestling talent who are just doing their job. Nothing is ever satisfactory, and any opportunity for online abuse is quickly exploited.

This brings me to Hana Kimura.

A star in the making, Kimura appeared in Stardom, Ring of Honor, and many others. In 2020, she was a part of the Japanese reality show Terrace House. After a series of insulting tweets directed at Kimura for no good reason, others joined in and fanned the flames of hate. Probably unbeknownst to these trolls, Kimura was a victim of bullying in her childhood. On May 23, 2020, Kimura sadly took his own life.

Fighters are human beings. have you forgotten?

When a person actively trolls, belittles, or criticizes every little unnecessary detail to fit their own narrative of a product, to me, it all falls into the same category.

Bullying.

@WWEGareth, @VVWrestleCringe, @AllEliteCringe, @wwe_wwf_Junkie, @HecBitw and probably many others I’m missing. they are active stalkers within the internet wrestling community. His actions are no better than the actions that led to Hana Kimura’s suicide.

And before you refute, there just isn’t much to offer on the other side. All of the biggest troll accounts belong to strictly anti-AEW banners. It’s sad, it’s useless and it doesn’t help anyone.


The psychology of trolling


“Trolls aspire to violence, to the level of trouble they can cause in an environment. They want it to start. They want to promote unsympathetic emotions of disgust and indignation, which morbidly gives them a sense of pleasure.” – Tom Postmes, Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology at the Universities of Exeter and Gronigen

According to Postmes, the key factors involved in the flames of the Internet are reduced to a level of deindividuation without risks. Simply defined, deindividuation is when others engage in devious acts in which they cannot be identified.

See how wrestling’s top contributors find their way into the hands of anonymous trolls. So why hide behind a veil to insult and troll others?

Some reasons.

According to Dr. Jennifer Golbeck of the University of Maryland, often the dark triad of behaviors tends to become visible in Internet trolling. These three traits are narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. While these traits are not always present, they tend to recur in cases of minimal or extreme trolling.

Studies have also linked such behavior to low self-esteem and the potential for an ongoing, inconsequential personal life. In many ways, we should feel sad for these people who have nothing to bring to a social media post other than negativity and contempt.

But his toxic behavior is really harmful, not only to professional wrestlers, but to the entire fan base and the sport in general.


a hard truth


Be honest, when was the last time you created a stir in WWE? Did you count the arrival of former AEW fighter Cody Rhodes? It seems strange, huh? It couldn’t have been Lesnar vs. Reigns for the third time. When was the last time WWE television was “can’t miss” due to the hype of the internet?

I’m guessing, but I’m assuming the truth hidden in many anti-AEW trolling comes with a level of jealousy. In not even four short years, Tony Khan has cemented a No. 2 promotion, a cable TV deal, top-tier god-level wrestling talent, and a working relationship with Japan’s biggest promotion.

The most talked about news in WWE tends to come in the form of new talent launches, members of the McMahon family retiring, or gimmick or name changes. AEW buzz comes in the form of new roster additions, record ticket sales, and unfortunate contract disputes that may or may not be a job.

Like it or not, AEW is still the hot product right now.

Hell, Punk’s recent world title victory ended on ESPN. AEW talent is appearing on multiple reality shows including Bar Rescue and Carpool Karaoke; And in this current TV climate, keeping around a million loyal viewers a week is worth a lot of money.

WWE loyalists don’t have to like the product, but they certainly don’t have to insult it either.


Where do we go from here?


“I think people just go on Twitter just to be listened to in a negative way. They just want to say something nasty, hateful, and mean, so they’ll go to Twitter literally without [other] right and they just say it and make sure to tag you too.” – Britt Baker, DMD

There has always been a clear difference between constructive criticism and direct publication of bullshit. However, even with “constructive criticism” a question arises.

Why are you watching or commenting on something you don’t like?

It is worth repeating.

In many ways, yes, true fans could just stay away from social media. The silent majority of wrestling fans will stand on their own and simply enjoy their brand of wrestling without the need to demean anyone else.

I hope you are the same.

There is no “right way” to wrestle. Everyone has their own tastes, so why do some feel the need to insult, belittle and criticize others?

It is because they are sad human beings. Instead of finding their self-esteem through a therapist or close family and friends, they find it through destructive and toxic behavior online. The mental health of fighting trolls, however, is not our responsibility.

It brings down the fan base, it brings down the fighters, and it serves no purpose as a whole. This is a time when unity in our different tastes is desperately needed.

Email me for inquiries/comments/insults at jdbachm@yahoo.com

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