Wrestling culture has changed considerably over the years. Social media has been an integral part of that change, delivering many benefits, but also problems! Let us take a closer look at how social media affected wrestling culture, both good and bad!
Fan and Wrestler Interactions
Interactions between fans and wrestlers on social media can be a double-sided coin. On the positive side, wrestlers are more approachable than ever for fans. Instead of having to travel hours just to catch a glimpse, you can follow your favorite wrestler on social media. Of course, these interactions can be detrimental for wrestlers. Social media makes it easier to track people in an almost stalking manner. Many current WWE wrestlers have experienced this problem, sometimes to the extreme.
Another problem that comes with social media is wrestlers breaking character on their social media accounts. While many wrestlers attempt to keep their social media aligned with their role, there is an occasional deviation. One prime example of a wrestler who does the occasional character break on social media is Kevin Owens. While I have no problems with that, I find it difficult to dislike Kevin Owens as a heel, since he is a genuinely lovely person.
More Events and News Than Ever Before
Social media provides access to more events and almost instant wrestling news. A recent example of such an event is the mixed tag team challenge, which is limited to Facebook.
The idea for the mixed tag team challenge was probably not bad. Not only did it enable fans to pick the teams they wanted, but it also allowed a whole new way of getting matches they are personally invested in, without having to watch a live event.
Reduced Need to Attend Live Event
With so many events happening online, many fans no longer feel the need to see their favorite superstars in person. Even though online events will never replace real interaction with your favorite superstar, some fans no longer need the live attendance to see their wrestling needs fulfilled.
Unless you want to know absolutely everything about an event or a superstar like me, social media can provide serious spoilers! While it used to be easy to give some element of surprise for wrestling events, it becomes a whole lot harder with social media spoilers.
Wrestling fans are quite sharp when it comes to spotting a certain star before an event takes place. Reports of the Undertaker or the Rock being backstage are often released hours before a pay-per-view or live event is aired, causing some serious spoilers for those among us who like surprises. One of the more recent examples is the return of the Hardy Boyz, which was rumored months before WrestleMania.
While I have no problem with spoilers, my other half is someone who likes the element of surprise. It becomes harder for my partner not to get spoilers from Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, limiting him to who he can follow or not. So, the double-sided coin of social media in wrestling culture is not limited to wrestlers and WWE’s creative department alone.
What is your opinion on the role of social media in wrestling culture? Do you believe social media has contributed positively to wrestling? Or has the positive been overshadowed by the negative? Let us know your opinion in the comment section below!