The Eternal Feud That is: Smarks vs. Marks
by, 07-25-2011 at 03:40 PM (3906 Views)
Hey everyone. This is my first ever attempt at writing one of these so apologies if it is hard to read or doesn't come across with fully coherent arguments. First and foremost, I would like to just say that I fully appreciate and respect people who find the time to write one of these columns pretty much every week. It truly is a testament to the wrestling business itself and the passionate fan base it has created over the years that us, the fans, will take time out of our schedules to express our opinions on one matter or another, whether we agree or disagree with the route it is going in.
The question I pose to everyone is: who decides and defines the boundaries of the Smark and Mark worlds? To me, the only thing that determines a Smark is that they have the ability to read a few web pages; read a few internal rumours and gossip about how they would change a business they supposedly love. People we deem marks could either choose to be that way for a number of reasons, which basically, all boils down to watching just to be entertained.
I consider myself a smart Smark. This is because I care enough about the business to want to know everything about it, but on the other hand, when I watch the shows, I try to forget about everything I've read prior. If I like something I'll like it no matter what, if I don't I'll still watch to see if it will improve. Take for instance WWE 2002-2004. They were 3 forgettable years with "stars" like Nathan Jones and the Billy Gunn/Rico episode, and don't forget the Triple H influence (burying everyone from Goldberg to Y2J to Booker T). However, I still watched as I enjoyed the escapism it provided for 4 hours a week. Events such as Raw Roulette always seemed to fleetingly reinvoke my interest in a dwindling show.
Don't slate me for this, but I've always enjoyed the Mr. McMahon character. Sure, off the screen, we all know of the things he does. CM Punk touched on a few in his now infamous worked shoot … Ego, Politics and needless Hirings/Firings are all characteristics we associate with Vincent Kennedy McMahon - the person. On screen however, because he can only be judged upon the character he portrays, I enjoy the villainy and interesting situations he is involved in.
I liken the backstage wrestling business to certain film theory's. By knowing the methods and roles each character plays, we know what each film will be about. If we know the backgrounds of each actor, our conceptions of that film involving him will automatically be swayed regardless of how good the film is. For instance, I don't care for Tom Cruise, for no particular reason. I know about his personal life, his love life etc, so if he's in a film, I won't go out of my way to see it. Much like a match involving Big Zeke or Great Khali.
One thing that I will like however is the surprise a show offers. A product can only be judged on the output. It's no fun to analyse and deconstruct every aspect of a show. Why it happened? Why that was used? The hidden meanings? Why isn’t Zack Ryder on TV? I fully acknowledge that if there is something we don't like we have the right to discuss it.
By the way, let me make this clear: This is not aimed at any particular person, I find each opinion as interesting as the next and fully accept all, whether it agrees with my perspective or not.
It's just my firm belief that it's much easier to be innocent and carefree to a show, be genuinely surprised and like whoever you want based on their appeal to you. It's an individual liking and each person has a different experience in life that draws them to a certain character. I personally like Jeff Hardy's work. People may say he's a spot monkey, unreliable backstage attitude et all, but based on his work in the ring (the only place I feel wrestlers can be judged), he is innovative and exciting. But on the other hand, I also enjoy the Bryans, the Punks, the Regals, the Angles, the Swaggers because they are different in that they can successfully draw us in based upon their work. They build an emotion and a following based solely on wrestling. I enjoy the eccentric characters such as Eric Young, Kane, Undertaker, Abyss as they give us a soap opera feel. It is all a way of being entertained.
I enjoy everything that takes place in a ring as those workers are there for our entertainment. They may or may not entertain us all the time, but one thing is for sure, no-one will ever be entertained if they decide they won't be entertained.
Would you go to the circus and hate the show before it began because you knew the methods they use? I know I wouldn't. I'd wait until after to hold an opinion. That's what we should try do. Enjoy the show then dissect the aspects.