BY MICHAEL GOODPASTER|
Professional wrestling fans are a lot of things. They are crazy, naive, devoted and loud. They are rabid historians, child-like enthusiasts and the harshest critic. That’s what's so bizarre about wrestling fans. Unless completely sheltered, everyone who loves wrestling is in on the joke. You know it's "scripted" and it's a big athletic production. The fans ignore this and get caught up in the storylines and character arcs. It's all about how one chooses to engage.
One way wrestling fans engage is chanting. A crowd will come together as one collective voice to display a common census of opinion. It's a rally, a sing-a-long, a rite of passage.
But wrestling fans are crazy. Some chants can be mean, lame, a trend or just flat out unmerited.
Let’s take a look at a few of the more notable chants currently popular in professional wrestling and over analyze them.
“ONE MORE MATCH!"
No. The long retired wrestler cutting a speech does not mean they should lace up the ol boots one more time. I don't want to see old men make themselves look silly for allowing others to "pity bump" weakly thrown punches or moves. Let sleeping dogs lie.
“YOU STILL GOT IT!”
No you don't. Don't let a bunch of greedy nostalgic fans convince old guys to keep fighting. It's already bad enough old guys keep trying to prove "they still got it". No need to encourage it. On the flipside this can still be a cool chant if it's aimed at someone who overcame an injury to return full time. Like Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose will hopefully merit a chant like this come the next NBA season. If Shaq came back and pulled one rebound the chant would suck. Basketball metaphor aside, this one does have its use.
“THIS IS AWESOME!"
It's only "awesome" like 15 percent of the time. This was a chant that paid it's dues in the independent leagues and was reserved for huge matches and moments. In a way this is an updated "ecw" chant because they represent the same manner of appreciating a moment. Now it's bastardized. It's used so often that it's a common chant. It has much less impact. I love the idea of this chant but it's become as cliche as a "What?" Things like this makes me wish there was some kind of wrestling fan school.
There is nothing more “rasslin” than a good ol’ “USA!” chant. This one works so well because it’s such an easy one to get. You can send the lowest card wrestler out there with a flag and lungs large enough to shout “U-S-A!” and you’ll get at the very least a mild chant from the crowd. In some cases like “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan or The Patriot or certain patriotic characters it’s the actual identity of the wrestler and becomes something they can “own” as part of their shtick. There is also a flipside to this in the form of the “evil foreigner” character. You can put any anti-American wrestler in there and ANYONE can get a “USA!” chant going. In some cases things get weird because for some reason the crowd’s chanting riles up the bad guys. So why NOT do it, right? It’s magic.
Matches just suck sometimes. The pacing is slow and unengaging. You want to do something. You’re just sitting there and this monstrosity of entertainment is in the ring. What do you do? What do you do when a normal ‘boo’ just isn’t enough to show the company and performers your displeasure? You use the word “Boring” on a droning repeat. People would get uptight and say this is disrespectful to wrestling and the people busting ass in the ring. It’s more insulting to the customer to have to stop enjoying the show in order to let YOU know that you don’t know how to entertain the audience in front of you. “Boring” isn’t a heel tactic, it’s a way of saying your product is not interesting or worth the time you’re giving it.
What are your favorite chants in wrestling?