We all know of ‘that’ group of WWE fans, you know the ones, those fans, when you take your kids to the wrestling you hope you do not sit next to. Not that they are bad people, it’s just that they have a different level and focus of enjoyment in watching wrestling than those wrestling fans under 12. These fans (or some call ‘smarks’) want to steal the limelight and hijack the shows with their chants, deliberately booing the faces and cheering the heels and telling anyone who will listen what they would do, and that their way/idea is way better than anything the WWE is currently doing. These are the fans who still will chant “CM Punk” during a match they do not like, claim it was them who started the ‘yes’ movement, those who blame John Cena because their “indy favourite” is not champion and those who will blog or comment that the WWE is not as good as ROH or NJPW, yet still tune in every week.
It was these fans in 2015 that turned on Roman Reigns after he won the Royal Rumble, because their ‘Hero’ Daniel Bryan did not win. Even The Rock couldn’t save Roman from the hate on that night. 12 months earlier these fans did the same thing to a returning Batista after he won the Royal Rumble in 2014. The aftermath of that 2015 Royal Rumble was that Roman Reigns became the new ‘it’ guy for these fans to hate, and they found many reasons to justify their decision. It was common place to complain to anyone that would listen that Roman Reigns is;
- Being shoved down our throats
- Has a limited move set
- Didn’t earn his stripes in the mid-card level
- Bad on the mic
- Bland and boring
- Not as talented as Rollins and Ambrose who should have been pushed instead
- Not as talented as Balor, Wyatt, and others who have suffered because of WWE’s focus on Reigns
- Definitely worthy to beat the Undertaker at Wrestlemania
- Stale as a face and should have turned heel to get their respect.
Throughout this time Roman has been one of the most regular and consistent performers, having some great matches, gradually increasing his move sets and doing everything the WWE has asked. Yet it has now become so ingrained into these WWE fans that they, under no circumstance are allowed to like or respect what Roman Reigns does in the ring.
But on Monday night RAW on the 22nd of October 2018, these ‘Smarks’ showed their true colours, they showed not only the wrestling community, but the world that while they have made it their business to hate on Roman Reigns, they love and respect Joe. As humans, we know that Cancer is something we do not wish upon anyone, and what we saw on Raw on the 22 October was everyone in the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, give their hearts, prayers and thoughts to Joe and his family as he goes away to fight a battle far more important than any wrestling championship. What was shown on Monday night was the human side of all WWE fans, and not the wrestling side, and as a fan watching at home watching, this was great to see.