Each year, the Columns Forum votes on their yearly awards. The biggest award of the year is the Columns Forum Columnist of the Year. This year, there was a tie between two writers. Over the next day or so, I’m going to spotlight those writers for you. Yesterday I turned the MP over to Cult Icon. Today, I give you the other winner Kleckamania. Kleck has, in a short time, carved his own path with creative, intriguing, and thought-provoking columns. Please show Kleck some love and leave a comment or two. Enjoy!
Trolls Don't Cry- CF Columnist of the Year Co-Winner Kleckamania
Jan 29, 2015 - 10:26:15 AM
Thank you for joining me on this somber day. You see, a fair few of those reading this on the main page have lost something very close to them. A tragedy befell those in mention on Monday January 19th, 2015. It happened on Monday night RAW- well not really. It happened off camera, but let's skip semantics. For that percentage of you the pain was still all too real. On Monday January 19th, 2015 we apparently said goodbye to Kayfabe forever...
For those unaware of what I am talking about- A fan posted pics on Twitter that detailed a situation that happened between the wrestler known as Triple H (Paul Levesque), and a fan. The fan in question was an 8 year old boy named Lucian Deering, who was sitting towards the front row slightly behind Triple H. During the main event, when Cena was getting throttled in his 3-1 handicap match the boy was noticeably upset over the matches happenings, started calling out to Triple H, and Triple H turned to play into his heel role.
When he did though, he found that what he had done was make this little boy cry. He had crossed a line in the real world and he had realized it. So what Triple H did then was shed Kayfabe off camera and become Paul Levesque.
Paul consoled young Lucian- giving him a hug and assuring him that everything would be alright. Shortly after Lillian Garcia gave the boy some merchandise; a couple tee shirts, hat and other things. And after Cena had managed to pull off the "unthinkable", the boy was invited backstage for a meet and greet...
Doesn't sound so bad, right? Well when the article detailing this situation was posted here on the main page of Lords Of Pain, quite a few of the responses were incredibly negative and damning. Let's take a look at a few...
Wingus: Now I know why the attitude era will never come back.... and it's not the kid, it's a bunch of people on here. So many hypocrites who claim to want to attitude era but then defend this tripe. God forbid somebody doesn't commend HHH for what he did they are called a heartless monster. Listen, that kid is old enough to where he shouldn't be crying over a wrestling match, yet all you people jump to defend him... (After a brief non sensical Cena rant he went on further...) The kid crying is obviously an over sensitive mammas boy who is going to have a long road ahead of him in school is he doesn't man up. I didn't see any other little kids crying. (In another post Wingus went further...) Also, who cries at a wrestling show? I have been watching since I was 3 and not once have I cried. In fact, I remember one time in WCW Sting was facing Hogan for the title and lost, which upset me to no end. However, instead of crying I grabbed a Hogan action figure set it on the sidewalk outside and smashed it with a rock.
You heard it here first. If you ever cry as a result of anything that happens in the professional wrestling world you are weak and pathetic according to this mouth breather. I have to wager a guess and say I am not the only person reading this who has cried because of something that happened in professional wrestling. Oh wait...I mean I am big and tough. I never cry. I eat lightning and crap thunder. I am void of any and all emotion. Like Wingus or a super human robot man...
Okay not really. I cried as a young Kleck when Ultimate Warrior beat my beloved Hulk Hogan for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania VI. It was still real to me damnit, and I was about that boys age at the time. Also again at Survivor Series '92 as a slightly older child Kleck, I cried when Undertaker no sold Hogan's offense, crushed him, and Heenan played his role perfectly in exclaiming Hulkamania was dead. For a kid who looked up to the guy, that was brutal. Amazingly, contradictory to what Wingus up there had to say, I was one of the tougher kids in my school so no one was making my road any longer. Still cried though. Huh...weird. And weirder yet millions of kids cried during the 2 wrestling moments I mentioned. Yet miraculously... The Attitude Era still happened!!! (*Gasps*) This is unreal! And certainly in moments like when Owen Hart fell to his death, fans found out about the Benoit Tragedy, or when RAW held a tribute episode to the then recently deceased Eddie Guererro not a single person watching got teary eyed or emotional, right? I mean why would they? If they did they wasted their energy. They could have been like good old psychotic Wingus here- bottling up their emotions and instead resorting to the more sensible alternative- property destruction and physical violence. That's healthy right?
Let's see what another "fan" had to say about the situation in question...
Dingus: that's why i HATE kids from today.
Yep. All kids. Every last one of them. The entire generation are exactly the same, and crying is a serious character flaw/weakness when you care so damn much about something that it hurts. How dare they feel emotions! It is comments like this that make me greatly dislike all Dingus'. When Dingus was a kid I bet he drank grain alcohol, lifted weights, had tattoos and prison shanked anyone who had feelings. Now that is the perfect picture of mental stability and emotional adjustment, right? Way to go Dingus! As a real man's man once said, "I'm a real man's man!" Bravo on being the manliest man alive Dingus! Bravo!
Let's see what else some of these troglodytes had to say...
Beavis: Good on HHH i guess, but this is a prime example of how society has gone so soft nowadays. Its sad really.
Yeah I know. Our entire society is now as sawft as egyptian cotton. Our prison system is prime example number 1. We have more people incarcerated today then ever in human history. Crime rates are at an all-time high. In wrestling Brock was super sawft with Cena at Summerslam too. As were Bray and Dean in their matches, or all the chair shots recently. That to me indicates not that WWE is becoming edgier, but as the brilliant Beavis has stated, 'softer'. Clearly Beavis knows exactly what he is talking about. If you care about things then you are sawft. Feelings are for weak sheep, or as trendy people who think they are cool and intelligible would say, "sheeple". Well adjusted kids and adults never cry or show emotion, and should never reach out to those who do. It is like some kind of sickness, right? Like when Dolph cashed in his MITB to win the WHC on Monday night RAW a few years ago, or when Daniel Bryan achieved the impossible at Wrestlemania 30. Not a single fan got emotional over those things because showing emotion for something you love is apparently a weakness/sickness. If you help them it may be contagious? Check with the center for disease and drug control. They may have a shot for that. If we all catch it then the world as we know it is over. Hopefully insanity isn't contagious too. You heard it from Beavis people. Our entire society is pathetic because we have feelings. Regardless of what most supposed experts would say in that displaying that you care about things is a healthy and normal sign of a fully functioning human being, Beavis may be right in that we have become so sawft that our entire society is crumbling beneath our feet.
I for one would like to subscribe to your vapid newsletter, so that I may learn how to be a robot incapable of feeling. That will make the world a better, more accepting place...
And sure enough where there is Beavis...
Butt-Head: Heels will probably be told to tone down their act even more now, great.
We are in a weird place in history. Up until now bad guys, or heels never felt anything other than extreme anger and hatred towards everything. They were completely incapable of caring for anything. And now as Butt-head has pointed out, professional wrestling is now most certainly doomed. Edge spent the majority of his career as a heel. When Edge retired he showed zero emotion, right? And the audience did the same. Just like Ric Flair or The Nature Boy before him, Buddy Rogers. In fact as imposing as Undertaker has been I am sure nobody will feel any emotions on the day he retires. After all that would be detrimental to wrestling, as many of these "fans" have so eloquently pointed out. As wrestling fans we expect our heels and faces to be completely one dimensional emotionally. After all if they weren't this would be some kind of weird Reality Era. What's that? The examples I gave were of guys who weren't necessarily in character at the time? Wait. Just like when Paul was consoling a child off camera while the home audience was completely unaware? Do go on.
Let's see what Bungus had to say...
Bungus: A prime example why WWE product is shitty. When the man in charge doesn't get what storytelling means (even if he's catering to his corporate responsibilities), you can't expect the inexperienced people in the back to get it either. Add the over-the-top corporate environment that's ****ing with wrestling in it's purest sense - where your bead and butter is working the crowd - and you get the sport entertainment that is floating meaninglessly between "reality" storytelling and Kayfabe. And it's going nowhere fast. It's the "I'm the top heel trying to make everyone hate me and (seeming interchangeably) the spokesperson for the network at the same time" approach. And you're wondering why your network is in the sorry financial shape it is.
Yeah. I'm pretty sure it was WWE that brought Paul's act to light and not just some fans in attendance. They advertised it everywhere. Billboards, magazines, Total Diva's, the WWE app. Oh wait, they literally did none of those things at all. Silly me. Great point out about Triple H blending Kayfabe and reality poorly as a heel. How dare he not act heel when the cameras aren't on him! He is clearly ruining the product by not attacking and humiliating everyone all the time. Imagine how much better the Network would be doing if Paul beat the crap out of the shareholders, or threatened to personally Pedigree anyone who didn't subscribe? Sound business strategy if you ask me. Versatility is so overrated. Plus all fans are incapable of distinguishing when wrestlers are or are not in character. If Paul Levesque does something nice, we need to believe that is Triple H doing it. Cause it is still very real to Bungus here. Cool story bro. Do you enjoy your job as a guard at Buckingham Palace? Have some sweet day dreams of those inexperienced wrestlers in the back learning that there is no such thing as ever being out of character. Or Network subscriptions tripling when Paul slams a chair into Steph's face in the privacy of their own home. When oh when will they learn? Hey Bungus I have some magical rocks to sell you. You will never experience gullibility again with them. Make me an offer.
Okay. I've had my sarcastic fun. I beat that dead horse back to life and then to death again. We have seen how the less loquacious marks feel about the situation, let's actually see if we can figure out why some people with informed opinions might feel the same as these trolls.
Some fans might think that catering to the younger demographics in this way is building up a generation of fan that can't connect with the product properly, and that may result in the product becoming watered down. A valid worry- until of course you come to the realization that kayfabe gets broken constantly, and has been that way for a very long time. What's worse- Paul Levesque consoling an 8 year boy off camera, or back in 1996, when a heel Kevin Nash and heel Triple H hugged it out with Scott Hall and HBK in the center of the ring in MSG? That certainly wasn't a massive blow to Kayfabe, was it? Yet miraculously civilization and professional wrestling managed to not only survive, but flourish soon after. But wait, nobody cried in that example- okay how about at Wrestlemania VII when Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth reunited? If you watch that over you will see both child and adult fans weeping in the audience. Hell, if you remember it I am sure it made you pretty damn emotional too. I still remember that wave of goosebumps and a few tears falling down my face then.
Another argument I can not only see but agree with is the notion that if heels or faces break kayfabe on camera blatantly, not only will it affect their fan base, but also storyline continuity and character build. A few responders mentioned how old school heels would never do stuff like what Paul Levesque did. Well notice how I said Paul Levesque and not Triple H. The man wasn't on camera. And granted present day with media and social networking being as prominent as they are the ability for a wrestler to break kayfabe and not get noticed has slimmed to nil, but I bet you everything I have that there were old school heels who were kind to fans when the cameras weren't on, or when they were out in public. We assume they didn't do stuff like that because we didn't have the technology to follow these wrestler's every single movements like we do today. They are human though after all, just like Triple H, and damning him for showing compassion towards a young fan when the cameras weren't on him is baffling to me. Little Lucian represents not only the target audience for WWE, but he also represents the next generation of adult fan. If someone can't see the importance of reaching out to that demographic and connecting with them on an emotional level then I'm not entirely sure you were a fan as a child. Or a fan ever for that matter. Even Robert Jack Windham (Blackjack Mulligan) cuddled and kissed babies, including his future heel grandsons Bo Dallas and the Eater Of Kayfabe Worlds, Bray Wyatt. And not too long ago that very brooding, sinister heel had vacation pictures with his family leaked, yet nobody seemed to care this much. Guess double standards are cool.
And maybe some fans would contest that being out of character at a wrestling event is different from doing it out in the real world. Well not anymore. Maybe 30 years ago, but the times they are a changin'. Anywhere a wrestler goes these days there is the potential that they could wind up having a nationwide audience thanks to smartphones and internet. And let's be real, expecting these men and women to be in character at all times is outrageous and completely unrealistic, not to mention the only demographic of fan that would be up in arms over things of this nature are adult fans. I would wager a guess that we pretty much all know the score by now. Which is why we get so worked up over such trivial things. Analyzing the product is about all we have left as adult fans. The wool was pulled from our eyes years ago. We have lost the innocence that made us fall in love. We lost our greater connection to the product years ago. Children haven't though. Which is exactly why little boys like Lucian Deering cry when a heel snaps at them, or when their favorite suffers a tough loss. It is still real to most of that demographic, which is why they are so emotionally invested to the point that they cried when Brock Lesnar defeated the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 30, just like when a lot of us cried when Hogan got beat down by a much younger Taker many years before. To kids it is real. And that is exactly why the product affects them deeper than it does us. Does that make them weak and soft, or does that make us callous and out of touch? You decide.
So is Kayfabe truly dead now thanks to Paul Levesque? No. Kayfabe will never be dead for the entire professional wrestling audience regardless of what comes to pass. Kayfabe is only dead for those who have outgrown the product. And that isn't just based on age, but rather emotion. And to condemn a young fan, or an entire generation altogether because they display emotion or a sincere love is the only travesty on display here. The only group I question is the fans who don't get so wrapped up in the product that occasionally a few tears are shed. If it doesn't affect you that much, then who are you to question those who it does? Lucian is a real fan. Are you?