Opinion: Letting fans behind the scenes causes loss in interest

Jacob Ruffo is a junior journalism major and columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]

Jacob Ruffo

The lack of staying in character on Twitter is what is keeping World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) from being popular again.

Twitter, among other things, is offering WWE fans a closer look into the lives of WWE Superstars and Divas out of the ring. 

This is a bad thing.

I, as a fan of WWE, already have to deal with the “You know it’s fake, right?”, so the least the wrestlers could do is take it seriously.

If the Big Show is tweeting fans pictures of (John Cena) doing autograph signings, then why do I care when he is beating up the main good guy?

I understand that these guys are just doing their job and are all probably friends behind the scenes, but by letting fans more behind the scenes than ever, it really makes me lose interest in storylines.

“Kayfabe” is a term used in wrestling that means to keep your character up at all times so people don’t see how fake it all is. Having Triple H’s Twitter bio say “Whether in the office or playing a bad guy on TV…” is bad. He isn’t supposed to be “playing a bad guy on TV”. He’s supposed to be a bad guy in general.

At the highest points in wrestling’s history, two larger-than-life characters who were still believable carried the illusion. Kids in the 80s believed, and more importantly believed in, Hulk Hogan.

They did the training, they said the prayers, they took the vitamins along with their hero. In the late 90s you wanted to drink beer and buck the establishment with Stone Cold Steve Austin. These characters were genuine and drew people in.

There are two relatively simple ways to fix this: Don’t let the bad guys tweet, or make them tweet in character.

This has happened in the past. During Ryback’s time as a bad guy, he would only ever tweet to make fun of fans, and would immediately delete it.

The latter, and more entertaining option, is having the bad guys tweet only in character. The New Day, the current WWE Tag Team Champions, do this perfectly.

They are as cocky and obnoxious on Twitter as they are in the ring. Recently, to spark interest in their feud against The Dudley Boys, a group famous for putting people through tables, The New Day sparked the #SaveTheTables campaign. They started an online petition and retweeted many examples of how an absence of tables would negatively impact people’s lives.

Making bad guys tweet in character allows for more character growth outside of the ring. It’s a waste not to do it. Allowing bad guys to do things that gather any sort of appeal on Twitter is erasing the work they do on WWE programming.

With all of the social media emphasis WWE has on its shows, it can’t afford to have its stars breaking kayfabe on Twitter anymore.

Jacob Ruffo is an opinion columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].