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View Full Version : Watching as a fan vs. watching as a critic


Supreme Olajuwon
01-05-2011, 11:59 AM
Which do you do or do more often? And if you watch as a critic, why?

To go into a bit more detail, do you watch wrestling and root for certain things to happen as part of the story, or do you watch to see the construction and execution of the product? And if you do both, which way do you see yourself going more often?

And 2 followups to those of you who watch as a critic: 1) have you found that to be more or less enjoyable than just simply watching as a fan, and 2) do you watch any other form of entertainment as critic?

Lara Emily
01-05-2011, 12:07 PM
Definitely a fan ;)

Nah total critic and I do the same thing for everything I watch. I enjoy things even more because of it

Supreme Olajuwon
01-05-2011, 12:20 PM
That's interesting. What extra enjoyment do you think you get out of it?

Xero
01-05-2011, 12:21 PM
I do both. I can get REALLY into a well-written storyline and do root for wins and whatnot. But for the most part I'm a critic. And it makes me enjoy the product a lot more. Are some of my things nit-picky? Absolutely. I notice little things like refs counting or the way a match is being called to put over a certain event. Does that make me a bad fan, as it some people seem to believe? I don't think so, I think it shows a true love for the business.

Now, has me watching as a critic put me off from things? Absolutely. It's a bit of a trade-off. I get more enjoyment out of being critical but it does take a bit away from being a real fan and there are some things, if I weren't so jaded, I could enjoy. But the fact that I CAN get into well-written, logical storylines (with room for suspension of disbelief) is it really me not being a fan or me just excepting a better standard for something I love?

MoFo
01-05-2011, 12:24 PM
As a critic, and I hate it. After certain matches I think 'fucking ____ should of won', etc rather than think of how good the match was. I have other smarky traits like looking for botches in Sabu matches, moaning about Christian returning on ECW rather than be pleased he was back in the first place, little things like that. Might try and quit reading spoilers and watching it as a fan again.

I still mark out on occasions though, like Miz winning the title, Jericho v Rey last yr amongst others.

Xero
01-05-2011, 12:27 PM
A good analogy to the wrestling fan critic is the comic book fan critic. They're always bitching about continuity, the writer of certain storylines or when it's adapted to a movie they go apeshit because The Green Lantern's costume is missing a jewel or some shit like that.

bigslimjj
01-05-2011, 12:29 PM
this site has helped to turn me into a critic even more so...but I am still a fan when it makes sense.That's all I ask.Tv show writing should make sense.I hate on all shows, especially wrestling.i criticize CSI when it messes something up too.I just like to complain.

The Naitch
01-05-2011, 12:31 PM
as a fan in 99-00, but then again, that was in 99-00 when wrestling was hott anyways, so it's hard to say

now as a critic, wrestling today is not (marketed) for me, it's for kids

YoungFlyFlashy
01-05-2011, 12:34 PM
When HBK left in 98 I stopped watching wrestling altogether, only tuning into ECW's One Night Stand during that time period, then when he returned so did I, only to find myself come back as a critic. So from that time until 2008 I would briefly watch, and only watch as a critic which made things miserable to view anything from a negative, when you approach anything in life with every intention to judge and your not a true professional at it who knows how to separate the past from the present that tends to happen. Then I went to WM 24, and I have been attending quite a few live events a year since then and the live experience has really made me fall in love with the product all over again and appreciate it for what it is...wrestling, the male's soap opera. So now I watch from a fan's perspective, and it's just a lot more enjoyable.

Xero
01-05-2011, 12:38 PM
The Indy events lately I've gone to have really brought back that feeling of being a fan for me. I don't know if it's because it's fresh to me or the product is better on a whole, but I didn't sit there all night saying "yeah, this doesn't make sense" or "fuck this is stupid". I didn't love everything, obviously, but there was just something that made the mark in me come out.

Of course, that happens anytime I go to a WWE event live too, but to a lesser degree. Probably because I really know the product. That's when I'm not AS critical as I normally would be, unless the show is REALLY bad. Going live is the time I'm 80% fan.

Nicky Fives
01-05-2011, 12:46 PM
a healthy balance of the two.....

The Naitch
01-05-2011, 12:48 PM
a healthy balance of the two.....

it helps to stay away from the internet and stuff

RiX1024
01-05-2011, 12:52 PM
A bit of both.

Cool King
01-05-2011, 01:04 PM
I'm a fan. :)

I always root for things to happen, people to win matches and so on. I even root for people to win that I know won't win. (Ex: Zack Ryder & Chavo Guerrero)

I do find it alot more fun watching it like that. It's just the great feeling you get when the guy who you wanted to win, wins. A good example would be WrestleMania XXVI. I wanted Jack Swagger to win the MITB Ladder Match so I chose him for Tipsters. I had a small feeling he would win but he was the dark horse in that match but I still chose him to win. It was just a feeling I had. But when he won the match, I completely marked out and it was great. Mostly because that little feeling I had of him winning, was right. If I had went with everyone else and chose Christian to win, and if he won, I know I wouldn't have enjoyed the end of the match as much as I did with Swagger winning.

The Naitch
01-05-2011, 01:08 PM
there was an interview where Shad Gaspard just started watching RAW again because he thought his friend JMo had a chance at winning the WWE Championship

you'd figure he'd already know how things work, that a title won't change hands like that. I guess he's more of a fan

YoungFlyFlashy
01-05-2011, 02:58 PM
there was an interview where Shad Gaspard just started watching RAW again because he thought his friend JMo had a chance at winning the WWE Championship

you'd figure he'd already know how things work, that a title won't change hands like that. I guess he's more of a fan

Or maybe he's playing to media?

Lock Jaw
01-05-2011, 03:12 PM
I watch as a fan.

BUT once the segment is over, I think back at it like a critic.

whiteyford
01-05-2011, 03:26 PM
Bit of both. I rarely read spoilers for shows, if ever, but i like reading the dirtsheets to see how the stuffs all planned out. Maybe part of the fun is trying to work out where they plan to go with stuff too.

Gertner
01-05-2011, 03:39 PM
Completely as a fan, primarily because I don't watch it that much anymore. It's kinda" if a Leaf, Jazz, Patriot or Blue Jay" game isn't on or if I need to kill time. I think watching it as a critic would make me hate it, which is why I don't get why people watch it as one. It's dumb entertainment, and I don't understand why people take it so seriously.

Razzamajazz
01-05-2011, 04:49 PM
i watch it as a critic so i can nitpick every single segment because as a member if the iwc i know more about professional wrestling than the people who are actually involved in it :shifty:

Razzamajazz
01-05-2011, 04:51 PM
i try to watch it as a fan for the most part, but it seems like everything has been done already so i find myself wondering sometimes how it could have been done differently

#BROKEN Hasney
01-05-2011, 05:49 PM
I used to watch as a critic, but it did take all the fun out of it for me. When I started it, the product was much better and I could look past it. But when it started going downhill it made it 100 times worse.

Now the product has improved again, but the only analysing I'm really doing is where a story could go in a good way and it's made watching so much better.

XL
01-05-2011, 05:52 PM
I watch wrestling the same way I do film and television: looking to be entertained first and foremost. But then I look at why I enjoyed/didn't enjoy them or what parts I didn't like and why. (My friends always complain that I criticise films "too harshly" but then when pressed as to why they enjoyed a film that I didn't like, they can't explain so what does their opinion matter?)

That's not to say that there aren't moments that completely draw me in to being a "mark". For example, when Benoit had HHH in the crossface at WM20 I was on my feet literally shouting for him to tap and a year later the same thing happened when Angle had HBK in the Anklelock (mostly cos there was word it was gonna be Angle's last match and I wanted him to go out with a win).

And there are guys I root for more than others but that's not down to the storyline. I love to see guys like Daniel Bryan and Punk do well not because I'm their biggest fan or followed them in the indies but because WWE has pretty much always been a "Big Man's Game" and they have that against them. Also, guys like Christian who the WWE have never really given the ball to and Jericho who has had to work his way through the ranks despite having the "total package". I guess rooting for those guys comes from being a "smart/smark" and "knowing the business" so even then it's from a "critical perspective".

In recent months I have stopped reading SmackDown spoilers and I try to avoid as much gossip as possible whilst still coming to these boards in an effort to "watch as a fan" but honestly, I can't tell you if it has worked or not.

XL
01-05-2011, 06:07 PM
Having said that last bit, I have watched more PPVs live this year than in the past maybe 5 years combined (and it is an effort when they start at 1am!). So maybe that shows it is working...

Graveler
01-05-2011, 06:09 PM
I find that watching as a critic hurts the viewing experience. I watched as one from '05 to '09. I got so fed up that I stopped watching all together. I now am beginning to enjoy as a fan more. I think watching a fan makes you happier in the long run. The critical side should only come out when something completely destroys your suspension of disbelief.

XL
01-05-2011, 06:15 PM
I don't understand how you can just switch from one to another!?

Graveler
01-05-2011, 06:19 PM
I don't understand how you can just switch from one to another!?

You could switch by not looking for spoilers, nitpicking minor issues, stuff like that.

XL
01-05-2011, 06:40 PM
Like I said, I don't read spoilers, etc. but I find that if you are a critical person (as I am) you can't just turn it off.

And surely when you come here you don't discuss things as a fan for the most part. Most of these threads are critiques of the product/show/business.

#BROKEN Hasney
01-05-2011, 07:01 PM
Nah, I was only critical because I gleamed every single bit of news I could. Now, unless it's totally major, I don't care.

XL
01-05-2011, 07:04 PM
What? Being critical and reading news/the dirtsheets aren't the same thing are they?

#BROKEN Hasney
01-05-2011, 07:10 PM
Not really, but for me personally, it made me think about what I had read and apply it to what I was watching. Nash only won the title again because he had creative control, HHH can bang Katie Vick because he's banging Steph etc.

XL
01-05-2011, 07:18 PM
I guess. Here's a little bit of rep (as if you need it) for needlessly explaining yourself to the likes of me.

dronepool
01-05-2011, 09:24 PM
Both. I can't help but notice certain things, like pulling a match a certain way.

Kane Knight
01-05-2011, 10:25 PM
As a critic, and I hate it. After certain matches I think 'fucking ____ should of won', etc rather than think of how good the match was.

funny, I know "fans" who look at it that way.

Not that you're wrong, since it's your own experience. Just saying.

If a match is exciting, I won't give as much thought to the ending. Might still bitch, but as a "critic" I'd rather have a good match than a good finish.

thedamndest
01-05-2011, 10:36 PM
To some extent watching critically can help. You get more of the psychology of the match compared to just waiting until the end to find out who wins. But at the same time if you go too far you start to envision the product as your own fan-fic and hate it when things don't happen as you envision them. Some of these are justified like when angles are inexplicably dropped or retcons occur, but obviously these are not the only thing that people complain about. I try to watch the product and just let them do what they're doing.

Gertner
01-06-2011, 12:24 AM
Screw psychology. I watch wrestling so I don't have to think for two hours.

Jordan X
01-06-2011, 01:50 AM
I'm not a critic when I am swept away into a match or segment. If I'm not connecting I am thinking of reasons why and generally, it isn't my fault.

Nightwing
01-06-2011, 12:02 PM
I tend to watch more as more of a fan. When something stupid happens then I put my critic hat on. Usually if I catch TNA.

Damian Rey
01-06-2011, 03:02 PM
I love watching everything as a critic. I find that I not only enjoy it more, but always have a greater appreciation for the overall quality of all the good things that have been/are being done.

When I was just a "fan", or a mark, I was so subjective about everything. I didn't understand or appreciate certain things the way I do now. The Daniel Bryan/Dolph Ziggler week long series for instance, would have been something I'm sure I would have enjoyed as a kid, but as an adult, and someone who looks at those matches as an art and a skill rather than the black and white good guy vs. bad guy approach, I have a much greater appreciation and higher level of enjoyment than I would have had.

Sure, I care, at times, about who wins and loses, but for the most part, I just want to see a well structured, well performed match and well written storylines with dimensional characters.

XL
01-06-2011, 06:07 PM
Excellent post.

CSL
01-06-2011, 06:19 PM
When I was just a "fan", or a mark...

Because you view yourself as a 'critic' does not mean you are not a mark. Lots of 'critics' seem to make this mistake. Every single person that posts in the wrestling forum and 90% of those actually inside the wrestling business are 'marks'.

Damian Rey
01-06-2011, 08:52 PM
Because you view yourself as a 'critic' does not mean you are not a mark. Lots of 'critics' seem to make this mistake. Every single person that posts in the wrestling forum and 90% of those actually inside the wrestling business are 'marks'.

What happened to the Rude avatar :'(

And I rephrase you're quote to "When I was an oblivious and ignorant young child..."

CSL
01-06-2011, 08:56 PM
I came across that pic of Kendrick with London earlier and got a kick out of it because that part of the shoot is 'pretty rofl'. The Ravishing One (not the TPWW.net/forums poster) shall return at some point ;)

Xero
01-06-2011, 09:00 PM
Maybe I'll steal it. How would you feel about that?

I'd have the epic mustache. Your avatar couldn't even dream of growing a mustache, let alone an epic one.

CSL
01-06-2011, 09:05 PM
I will run you over with a really old tractor.

The Gold Standard
01-06-2011, 09:15 PM
I try and watch as a fan. When I watch as a critic, I am always disappointed.

Damian Rey
01-06-2011, 11:09 PM
I try and watch as a fan. When I watch as a critic, I am always disappointed.

There's no way you're always dissapointed is there? I know there has been so really, REALLY tough patches in WWE's programming the last 8 years or so, but there's got to be something that, critically, you were a fan of.

Also, knowing and understanding what you do about wrestling, and having a different viewpoint now than you did as a child, where we were all likely oblivious, do you find it difficult to look at wrestling in a non critical fashion?

Personally, at this point in my wrestling fandom days, I don't think I could ever just sit back and not analyze or critique anything WWE or any other wrestling promotion presents to me.

Damian Rey
01-06-2011, 11:09 PM
I came across that pic of Kendrick with London earlier and got a kick out of it because that part of the shoot is 'pretty rofl'. The Ravishing One (not the TPWW.net/forums poster) shall return at some point ;)

Well thank God. I was worried for a second. First it's the epic avatar, then the vintage white font.

XL
01-07-2011, 05:46 PM
Also, knowing and understanding what you do about wrestling, and having a different viewpoint now than you did as a child, where we were all likely oblivious, do you find it difficult to look at wrestling in a non critical fashion?

Personally, at this point in my wrestling fandom days, I don't think I could ever just sit back and not analyze or critique anything WWE or any other wrestling promotion presents to me.
This what I have been trying to get across.

How can you know the ins and outs of the product - the way everything happens and why it happens that way - and still maintain a "mark/fan" viewpoint?