In the past two weeks I’ve had two grown men tell me that Batista is a great wrestler and one of their favorites. And (as the comic mentions) it wasn’t ironically, and it wasn’t in the Bootista Apologist way of saying he didn’t deserve his recent round of hate simply because he was swept up in Triple H’s promises of a Wrestlemania 30 main event. The people who said it casually watch WWE when it comes on without following any of the backstage politics or online reactions to it. They’re all snowy white and untainted from the thousands of memes of Triple H holding a shovel or Batista crying.

And this bothers me. Not really, but it makes me wonder if I would feel the same way about guys like Batista, Randy Orton, and John Cena if I didn’t spend 85% of my time online looking at wrestling stuff. Would I still like Daniel Bryan and CM Punk? Honestly, it’s hard to for me to even imagine being able to appreciate something like wrestling without trying to find out the nitty gritty details online, whether they’re real or fake.

Whenever I do encounter a casual fan though I find myself asking them questions to gently find out how much they know about wrestling. I start off with questions about who they think will win a certain match to see if they think it’s real or not (I wouldn’t admit this to non-wrestling fans, but I have met believers out there). Then I start asking what they think of certain wrestlers, like Cena, Bryan, and Kane. Almost like they’re the control group in the science experiment that is the IWC.

I know it all sounds terribly condescending, but it’s not nearly as bad as being the Comic Book Guy who publicly shames people for not knowing as much useless crap as him. I at least have the decency to go online and write about them without revealing their name or what they look like. It’s a totally different thing.