(Or: I will read comics AND watch pro-wrestling and you will DEAL WITH IT.)
This Sunday night is Wrestlemania. Yes, as in “guys in spandex pants performing choreographed, pre-determined fights while a crowd looks on.”
Look, stay with me here, I am going someplace with this.
Being a fan of
pro-wrestling sports entertainment WHATEVER they are calling it these days, and also a devoted comic book fan (as regular IHO Geek readers well know), I was PUMPED to see that, as part of the build-up to Wrestlemania, Marvel’s Fighting Fanboys had interviewed WWE’s CM Punk regarding his historic match with The Undertaker taking place on Sunday and drawing comparisons between ‘Taker and Thanos.
And then I broke the first rule of the internet: I read the comments.
So many Marvel fans were literally outraged that Marvel was featuring wrestling-related content on their own site and their Facebook page. There were multiple demands to know why it was there as well as decrying pro-wrestling because it is not real.
Now, in response to this, I could point out that it’s been a long time since there was any kind of attempt to so much as pretend pro-wrestling is real. It’s an open secret. While there are people who still don’t seem to understand/believe this, there are also a great number of fans who know it isn’t “real” and watch it anyway…because we find it entertaining. I could also point out that comic books aren’t “real” either, but that doesn’t seem to bother these angry Marvel fans.
I could also point out that there are more than a few comic book geeks in the WWE today. CM Punk didn’t just do the interview with Marvel, he’s a documented comic fan who wrote the introduction to the Avengers Vs. X-Men trade. AJ Lee is known for being the WWE’s resident geek girl and has talked about her love of comics at length. Former superstar Shane “Hurricane” Helms sports a Green Lantern tattoo and actually performed in a superhero “gimmick” for several years. Daniel Bryan is a comic geek who wears ring gear designed by his friend Jill Thompson…as in Jill “remember how I did art for Sandman and The Invisibles and a lot of other awesome stuff” Thompson. And Cody Rhodes is a shameless fan who admitted to channeling Doctor Doom and Mr. Sinister as part of his character.
And to end it all, I could remind people that these are over the top heroes and villains fighting fake battles between good and evil. Quick, am I talking about comics or wrestling?
But, as much as I find those arguments compelling, what I really want to get down to is this: geekery is geekery is geekery and can we stop being assholes about it?
Look, you might not like pro-wrestling. Whatever, that’s cool. But trust me, truly devoted wrestling fans who can recite character history and the WWE’s history of retcons MORE than qualify for their geek merit badge.
But it’s not just that. It’s that we can’t disqualify devoted media fans from being “geeks” just because we don’t like the media they are a fan of. And here, I’mma break out the big one:
I effing hate Twilight. HATE it with a mad passion that I cannot even scrape the surface of here. But you know what? Those fans?
THEY ARE GEEKS.
No insult to Twilight fans, by the way. You should probably realize that around here “geek” is hardly a bad thing.
But seriously: they sincerely love the media, they follow it almost religiously and can probably name facts that you can’t (nor, to be fair, do you probably care about) and they do it all with a fierce and genuine passion.
Much like Trekkies. Or fans of Star Wars. Or Harry Potter. Or wrestling. Or comics.
Point being: we don’t get to gatekeep geekery based on what people geek out over. Being a geek doesn’t mean you automatically have to love EVERYTHING considered geeky, or that you even have to pay attention to it. But comic geeks are not greater than, or lesser than, wrestling geeks. There’s a lot of crossover audience there, in fact.
And, I mean, REALLY. It’s FUCKING FACEBOOK, people. SCROLL AND MOVE ON WITH YOUR FUCKING LIVES.
…oh, and by the way? Wrestlemania IS this Sunday. So I leave you with this:
20-1! BEST IN THE WORLD!
Ashly is an IHO Geek staff writer and a Paul Heyman Girl. You can follow her on Twitter @newageamazon, OR at her wrestling account, @snarkingout.