The introduction of wrestling hotlines in the 1980's was huge business, for the first time people were talking about wrestling and giving you so called inside information. These were huge but in they still managed to keep the mystery to it all. You still had kayfabe, and the wrestlers on screen were their characters, you believed the Undertaker lived his live like that. It added to the power of what you watching.
Then gradually wrestling started to change in what it was showing and gradually the wrestling fan changed, they wanted to know more, they wanted to know what was going to happen before anyone sense. They also got a thirst for talking about wrestling with other people, they wanted to to like minded people and discuss the programming and in a lot of cases moan and complain about what was and what wasn't happening. Everyone thought they were. Booker, a promoter and better wrestlers, and then came along the greatest thing ever to a wrestling fan..... THE INTERNET
The Internet gave wrestling fans that place to vent and argue with one another round the world, there was wrestling sites popping up everywhere. It seemed at one point, unless you owned and were part of a wrestling website then you just were not a wrestling fan.
The Internet also bought about, in my opinion, the end of surprises in wrestling. Once the Internet became more readily available and as technology improved people from the industry or some who knew someone could have that information out in the wide world ready for everyone else to see. Taking away the days of turning on a TV show or PPV and getting a surprise return someone signing from another company. You could read about it in advance and that in it's self could be the difference between watching or buying a show and not.
The Internet fan was different to any other fan, the internet fan made his opinion very clear, if they thought your match sucked or thought you were just god awful then that is exactly what they put. There were a lot of wrestlers who started to hate the Internet fan, they didn't like being slagged off by some one probably sat in their mums basement getting out of breath just typing, telling them how to do their job.
I know that it is ironic that I am writing about such a thing when I read a lot of wrestling sites, I have written about wrestling for a long time on and off and the fact that your reading this right now on a wrestling site.
The reason I bring up now is the fact that we seem to have gone full circle in the sense that wrestling is now embracing the internet and social media. The use of twitter has exploded with the wrestling world, people can comment live as it happens with others, they can talk about a certain topic worldwide and have it trending. That right there has to be for someone like Vince McMahon a dream come true when people are talking about your show to the point it is one of the most talked about things in the world.
WWE alone have embraced twitter to the point they are putting the wrestlers handles on the screen graphic as they enter the ring and also encourage the use of hash tags for their show. You can't buy advertising and surveying like it, you instantly have a fans response to show at your fingers as it happens.
The word is that this is just the beginning, word is that WWE have big plans possibly set up with twitter for a major show in the future.
The Internet and wrestling will continue to grow and change the way it is viewed by its current fans and the future generation of fans as they become more interactive and with more information available to them at their finger tips.
Let me have your thoughts via twitter @buzzuk