As a teacher of youngsters (yes, friends, I am trusted with the future leaders of the world – be very, very afraid), I have to deal with a lot of childish behavior. An inability to share, peeking at neighbor’s papers, trying to fool me with seven-year-old stealth, all of it.
Yet there is no single behavior that boils my (and honestly, most people’s) blood than whining.
Every year, right around mid-September, I spend part of each and every work day discussing whining behaviors, and how people hardly ever get what they want from it. “You need to express your opinions like grown-ups do,” I say, “because when you whine, people immediately stop listening to you.”
And they get it. . . Well, most of them do. Over the school year, most of my students (who, I remind you, are 6 and 7 years old) will slowly begin expressing themselves in a more adult manner. The tone of their voice changes, they use better descriptions to express their current emotional state, and best of all, they come up with (in some cases) compelling pieces of evidence to argue their case.
“I don’t want to do this” becomes “Can I please have a bit of a break before I finish my work?” “This is sooo harddd” becomes “I’m not sure what to do here. Can you help me?”
I mention this simply because these students of mine. . . Once more, 6 and 7 year old children. . . Seem to have a better grip on this fairly simple life lesson than the vast majority of wrestling fans I’ve seen on Twitter these last few weeks.
Dear God, there are some world-class whiners that are members of the IWC. It’s seriously unbelievable.
I’ve been an active wrestling fan again for the last two months or so and in that time, here’s what I’ve learned.
“RAW’s have sucked. Summer Slam was going to suck. No, wait, Summer Slam was great (at least Lesnar beating Cena was), but then once again, RAW’s sucked. The build-up for Night of Champions sucked. Then, when the PPV seemed to exceed expectations (full disclosure – Only saw the first half. Woke up to watch the rest early, but was too irritated by whiners and felt the need to write this instead), that didn’t seem to matter to many Twitter wrestling “fans” – the PPV sucked. That leads to RAW tonight, which better not suck.”
If this was my classroom. . . . Hey, wait! This IS my classroom. Meet me on the rug, boys and girls. . . We need to have a chat.
Class, we need to discuss a problem that is running wild through our global Twitter classroom, and how we can fix it. So, to start, let’s do a quick exercise.
I want you to close your eyes. . . No peeking, Kyle!. . . Close your eyes, and I want you to think back to a time in your life when you’ve had to deal with whining. Maybe it was with your brother or sister, because as we all know, they always seem to whine, don’t they? Maybe it was with a classmate, or at a friend’s house. Think back to a time in your life when somebody was whining.
OK, open your eyes. How did that whining make you feel? Not very good, right? Did you want to continue playing or working with that person if they were whining? Did you want to give them what they wanted based on their behavior?
This is our problem, boys and girls. Too many times, I’ve had to deal with these whining behaviors when it comes to our wrestling reactions, and we need to put a stop to them right now if we’re going to continue making the kind of progress we want to make this year.
Look, am I entirely happy with the direction WWE is heading in? Of course not. I, too, wanted to see Bray Wyatt at Night of Champions. I think bringing Cena back so quickly after Lesnar’s epic beatdown was not the best booking decision, nor was having him suddenly become so much stronger and tougher in just four short weeks. So, I agree with you that there are issues that I’d like to see fixed.
(Though, and this will likely be a future post, Miz winning the IC belt again for having an excellent gimmick is not one of them – He is the Miz, and he is AWESOME.)
Whining, however, is not going to help get our issues addressed. It’s not really even going to make us feel better. When we post a whiny Tweet about our problems with WWE, all we’re doing is announcing to the world that we’re a whiner and that we shouldn’t be taken so seriously.
So, today’s lesson is on how we can take our thoughts and feelings about this sport and art we love and frame them in a way that makes people want to listen to us, that makes people take us seriously. We know that the powers-that-be in WWE are listening, and we know (thanks to good people like @NewAgeInsiders and the power of #DrWhizPip) that we can be heard.
Here’s what we need to do.
- Ease up on the overtly negative vocabulary. Words like “suck” aren’t productive and they just make people assume you’re going to be whiny no matter what.
- Rather than spending all of our time focusing on what we disliked, #PromotePositivity. Take a few minutes to talk about what you liked and how you’d like to see more of it.
- For those things you do have a problem with, ask probing questions or provide alternatives, so people know you’ve put thought into it, and aren’t just trying to troll.
These three simple things will not only make your Tweets and thoughts better and more grown-up, but they also will increase the following you get. People will take you seriously if you’re actively working to improve the product, rather than just hiding behind your computer screen and whining into the darkness.
Let’s practice. I’m going to write a quick letter to WWE right now about my feelings on last night’s Night of Champions.
I wanted to take a minute and share my thoughts on the Night of Champions PPV. I really enjoyed the parts I saw last night, and look forward to catching up with the rest on the WWE Network. Speaking of which, I appreciate that I wasn’t inundated with #NineNinetyNine references. It was funny for the first few days, though I think we all can agree that the joke is over.
I thought the first half of the PPV was excellent from top to bottom, and I sincerely hope we see an increased focus on the “mid-card” titles in future weeks. Guys like Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz and Bray Wyatt are really the “next generation”, as you so mysteriously tweeted about some days ago, and they deserve as much screen-time as you can give them. While I’m on the subject, I’d like to let you know how disappointed I was to see that Bray Wyatt was not on the PPV. I understand that he didn’t have a major story heading into this event, but he’s one of my favorites and a top talent, and should have been featured in some capacity.
I thought that Cesaro vs. Sheamus was the best match of what I saw last night. Both of these talents could be main event stars, especially the Swiss Superman, who seems to have phenomenal matches on a weekly basis. I was hoping for truly great things when he won the Andre battle royal at Wrestlemania, yet he seems to have floundered since then. Is there any reason you’re particularly down on Cesaro? I think his potential is limitless.
As for the main event. . . Look, I understand the power, both from a publicity and marketing standpoint, of #KidsAndTroops. However, I have to disagree with the post-Summer Slam handling of John Cena. I don’t need him to turn heel (in fact, any change in his character is just going to result in more cheers than anything else), but I do think he should have been off of WWE television for much longer to “sell” the loss to Lesnar. As we learn time and time again, absence makes the heart grow fonder, so not seeing Cena for a while might have given we fans a chance to actually miss him. Having him come back a week later and then take a shot at The Undertaker was. . . curious at best. Although, come to think of it, a Cena / Undertaker match at Wrestlemania 31 based on that one comment alone would be very entertaining. Food for thought.
I don’t want to take up too much of your time, so I’ll close here. Night of Champions was a very good PPV event, and I hope we see more high-quality matches featuring these “so close to top level” stars in the future.
See, class? Isn’t that so much nicer and more adult than “NOC sucks. Why you burying all the good guys? I’m going to threaten to get rid of WWE Network for the 8th time this week! #WhinersGonnaWhine”
So, what did we learn today? Whining, complaining, bitching. . . Call it what you will. . . But all of those behaviors aren’t productive or helpful. In fact, they just make people assume you’re not very bright. If we frame our concerns in a grown-up manner, if we focus on what we did like instead of what we “hated”, if we treat those who will read our social media posts with respect, we will have a much easier time being heard and listened to.
Here’s your homework assignment. Try #PromotingPositivity for the next week or so. Post about what you loved from the world of wrestling. Encourage WWE to continue doing more of the same. If you didn’t like something, either don’t give it the time of day on your Twitter feed, or be creative and come up with an alternative you’d rather see.
Basically, STOP WHINING, IWC!