Monday, February 22, 2021

Day 16

12:30 A.M.

If I'm addicted to Wreddit, I might as well lean into it.  Get it out of my system.  Well, I don't know if "may as well" is the best strategy, but I'll try it.  The thing about Wreddit is that 90% of the posts are neutral, but then you get these subtle WWE vs. AEW posts.  You have WWE fans who don't want AEW to succeed, and (presumably) you have AEW fans who don't want AEW to succeed.  But the rivalry can be really subtle and indirect at times.  Like, you have a lot of people taking shots at F4W and Dave Meltzer / Bryan Alvarez, and a lot of it would probably happen even without AEW existing, but I'm convinced that a lot of it is an indirect way to wage memetic warfare against AEW.  

And that's what I'm fascinatd with--the bolstering of each sides.  You have a lot of stans for both sides, and I'm convinced that, like 90% of the stan posts are just bad.  You can rip apart the AEW stan posts, but you can also rip apart the WWE stan posts.  I watch WWE more than I watch AEW, so it's easier to pay attention to the WWE stan posts.

There's a wrestling war going on right now, and I'm convinced that you could change the tide of the war just by adjusting the tone on Wreddit.  The same way that a message board like The_Donald was able to change the outcome of the 2016 election.  I mean, there were a million other factors, but in a close race, The_Donald change the outcome.  Plus Comey, plus blah blah blah...but if you remove The_Donald, the outcome of the election changes.  

I kind of get a kick out of the totally nonsensical posts.  Here's one titled "Alexa or Abadon" which is just a graphic for a hypothetical match that won't take place any time soon between Alexa Bliss and Abadon.  It's the type of post a 14-year-old would make if they knew the basics of, like Photoshop, and it's hilarious how these types of posts coexist with flame wars.  Here's another meme posts someone made about how they get molested by their uncle, and I find that type of stuff hilarious when it pops up, even though obviously it's going to get removed by the moderators.  I kind of wish it didn't get removed by the moderators.  Here's another "match card" graphic with Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks, and I noticed the OP also submitted it to /r/WrestlingHumiliation, which is a fapping subreddit, so that's just a random place ot post it.

There have been a lot of random Bad Bunny posts.  Here's one that got removed for having a vague title.  The Bad Bunny situation is interesting because it kind of brings the stans out in full force because they want to defend the idea of booking Bad Bunny in WWE, so there was this weird backlash against anyone who didn't know who Bad Bunny was.'

Here is a post about Damien Priest.  It's a link to FighterFans.com, and it's obvious that the OP, JakeJeremy, is the author of the article, and that he basically runs FighterFans.com, and he's been promoting/posting/spamming his links in Wreddit for the past month.  One person asked "Why is the front page flooded with this website suddenly" and that comment got 18 upvotes, so people are noticing that links from FighterFans.com are making the front page a lot, but no one has figured out that the OP is spamming his site.  And really, you're allowed to promote your stuff on Wreddit, but...it's kind of spam at the same time.  I don't know exactly where the line is, and if I were a moderator I'd be inclined to let it slide.  Like...it's obviously spam, but I don't think spam is always a bad thing.  This is a case where people are upvoting the spam, so...you know...it's probably okay, and he'll probably get away with it unless one day a moderator just wakes up on the wrong side of the bed and looks at his history and decides for whatever reason they're not a fan of the site.  That hasn't happened, and it may never happen.   Like I said, I'm not opposed to spam.  But there's a weird sort of logical conclusion that will result from the scenario where people just post links to their own newz sites all the time.  There's a nice balance to be had, and I feel like this guy is creeping towards the line that marks that balance, because I do kind of roll my eyes when I see his links.  I feel like the limit should be one link per day of self-promotion, or maybe I would let two links per day slide, and he posted a total of 4 links combined on Saturday and Sunday, so he's right at that limit which I would set in the hypothetical situation of being a moderator.

Here is a funny post from SOAL92 titled "When did early 90's WWF end?"  What a random fucking question.  

Here is a post from 19 days ago titled, "Jake Atlas: The treatment Bad Bunny is getting is a prime example of American ‘superiority complex’ - because he’s not from here or doesn’t sing in English, there is no way he can be an international superstar & more mainstream than your favorite artist will ever be. But he is."  The post got 1,049 upvotes.  That's part of the Bad Bunny PR campaign (and I'm not being 100% serious when I use the phrase "PR campaign," but it's what it feels like).  I don't see how Bad Bunny had been getting poor treatement, but the point is to bash people who don't know who he is. 

Pro-WWE post talking about how the Elimination Chamber was trending on Twitter and Google Trends.  It doesn't serve any purpose but to say "Hey look, WWE is popular"

Here is a post from five days ago with a tweet from Bayley that says "Bayley on Twitter : I want to wrestle @shirai_io."  Wreddit has this fetish thing about getting really, really excited when wrestlers tease matches on Twitter.  And the tease is never a storyline thing, it's always a wrestler going into business for themselves and trying to push their own storyline.  A lot of wrestlers just push for their own matches on Twitter, because it's more effective than asking the writers I suppose.  And then everyone on Wreddit gets excited when they see these tweets.  "OMG!  Bayley vs. Io Shirai!" and it really has nothing to do with telling a story, it's just two wrestlers wanting to work with each other.  WWE doesn't do a good job of hyping up matches, so it's left to the wrestlers on social media and Wreddit to get artificially excited about these matches.  Sometimes you actually have good hype for matches.  There was an NXT segment last week with Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax, Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez that was really well done, but then half the time you just get these out-of-character tweets instead.  There was another post post where Big E teased a match with Christian which got 1,045 upvotes, but at least that sort of makes sense in character because Big E is the Intercontinental champion and he's a fighting champion.  I think Big E was teasing the match; the tweet itself was just a photo, but that's how Wreddit interpreted it.

Here is a post titled "Which wrestler do you think was better? Kurt Angle or Mick Foley?" which is just about the most random fucking comparison I can think of, since they had such different styles.  Posts like that just stick with me, so I have to document them quickly to get them out of my head.  

1:05 A.M.

There's a rule on Wreddit that says "Be Civil."  I hate that fucking rule, because when you tell people to be civil, you're not going to change their nature.  They're still going to want to be uncivil.  So they have to channel that urge in a way besides being uncivil.  The urge doesn't go away.  There was a post on Wreddit 18 days ago titled "daddy meltzer makes me cream my pants."  I love that type of post, because it just reflects how some people feel about Dave Meltzer, and the person posting it isn't using a filter.  Maybe it was a reverse troll--you always have to be aware of that--but I don't think it was.  The post was a photoshopped image showing Dave Meltzer as the pied piper playing his horn for a bunch of neckbeard wrestling fans who were wearing AEW and NJPW shirts.  So that's, like the unfiltered way that people view Dave Meltzer--he praises AEW and NJPW a lot and the ugly neckbeard wrestling fans will follow his views because they're under a spell.  The image was originally posted in SCJerk with the title "Dave Meltzer is the Pied Piper of incels."  Now, if the whole WWE/AEW flame war followed that format, I'd be cool with it.  You have one subset of wrestling fans attacking another subset for being incels.  I guess 3 of the 5 guys in the photo didn't really have neckbeards, so "incels" is the actual term here.  That's the type of flamewar I find entertaining.  It's unrestrained.  You have insults and photoshops.  But Wreddit wants people to be civil, so you won't get posts like that.  You get people attacking Dave Meltzer for his journalism.  Or you get people attacking him and claiming the things he says are racist or misogynistic.  It's kind of like a GamerGate thing, where the driving force behind it was this middle school mentality, but you're not allowed to say that, so it adopots this "ethics in journalism" mantra which really doesn't make sense.  The middle school mindset makes sense.  Or maybe it's a high school mindset, because the whole thing started because a girl slept around and lied to her boyfriend about it, and she was part of this informal clique that people didn't like.  The Kotaku clique.  It was all just middle school gossip, but you're not allowed to act like a middle schooler on the internet, so it gets dressed up as something different.  So with Dave Meltzer, it's not really an "ethics" thing, but people are just endlessly attacking his journalism or attacking his opinions, and some of it is warranted, but I'm convinced at the end of the day that it really just boils down to this image.  This is how people feel about him:


But you're not allowed to boil things down to that degree on Wreddit, so it takes other forms, and that's when people attack him for being racist/sexist etc... because that's how you attack someone without being uncivil.  You take the high road.  And then you can attack his journalism as well, and some of his journalism and the way he communicates does suck, because he's 61-years-old, and you can't be a top-level journalist at 61-year-old.  The problem there is that reporting is such a clusterfuck in general that you can't tell what's accurate and what's inaccurate until months or years down the line.  So a lot of times you can't tell if Meltzer is making a good point or not because you'll have to wait months and months or years for the dust to settle and the fog to clear.  And then of course a lot of what Dave says in his newsletter or on the radio programs is opinion, but there is a blurring effect between opinion, analysis, and reporting, so sometimes he'll give his opinion but he's presenting it as analysis, and people take issue with that.

2:00 A.M.

WWE has 73.5 million subscribers on YouTube, which is a pretty high number.

2:35 A.M. 

Wreddit enjoys good wrestlers and good characters, but they also enjoy bad wrestlers and bad characters.  One of their favorites right now is Billie Kay, who's a comedy figure on SmackDown, and she's entertaining in short segments, but not really that funny.  She's okay in short bursts, and she has great mannerisms, but Wreddit really has a soft spot for these short bursts.  Some commenters have talked about how Billie Kay splitting from the IIconics was the best thing to happen to her career, since it shows she's a versatile comedy character.  But she was already a good comedy character before.  Nonethelesss, people really, really like her as a comedy character now, even though she's pretty much at the same level as she was with the IIconics.  The top post a few days ago was a fan drawing of Billie Kay.  It was a pretty good drawing, actually.  The post got 4,275 upvotes and is titled "Trying to help Billie spread the word before tonight. Illustration by me <3" so that's an example of how Wreddit will run with something even when it's not good.

Sasha Banks did an interview with Steve Austin recently.  There were like a dozen different clips posted to Wreddit at various times through v.redd.it and Streamable, but none of them reached the top of the subreddit.  That's surprising how none of them broke through.  There's always the chance another clip brekas through tomorrow, or that a newz site sums up part of the interview and someone like JakeJeremy submits a thread with a quote in the title, and that breaks through.  There are also multiple threads being submitted about Angry Miz Girl tonight, since The Miz won the title again, but so far none of those has broken through.  Again, there's always tomorrow morning, but I'll be surprised if, at the end of this 1- or 2-day cycle, nothing about Sasha Banks's interview or Angry Miz Girl hss reached the top of the subreddit.

2:55 A.M.

I realize Wreddit probably doesn't have the same reach as Facebook, and maybe not even the same reach as Twitter, but it's way more tangible.  There's a lot more structure to Wreddit than there is to Twitter or Facebook, even though the amount of messages and comments on Twitter or Facebook would absolutely dwarf the amount of message and comments on Wreddit.  Wreddit only gets about 240 posts per day, and if you average 100 comments per post (taking a wild guess) that's 24,000 comments.  24,000 comments is a rather low amount.  One person could make five posts per day without it veering into spam territory, they could comment in about a third of the threads without it coming off as too crazy, and make an average of two comments per thread, so that would be 160 comments per day.  Or 10 comments per hous; I guess that's feasible.  5 posts, 160 comments.  I'm completely ignoring the live threads, because I don't know how you'd alter the tone of those.

None of this involves spamming the community.  This is just what one person could do by themselves.  It's totally possible for one person to alter the tone of the subreddit, you just have to figure out how to make your posts and comments as effective as possible, and I probably don't know how to do that.  

One thread you have to get in is Zero Fucks Friday, but you can't be a try-hard about it.  You get the top comment there, and that's where all the hardcore AEW-bashers congregate, but they wouldn't identify themselves as hardcore AEW-bashers.  The other approach is to just do a ton of research and adopt a cause.  I'm more interested in the Zero Fucks Friday thread, because that involves a lot of rhetoric.  You just voice an opinion, and some of the opinions get upvoted to the top.  Would it be possible for an anti-WWE comment to make it to the top of the ZFF thread?  I don't think so. It couldn't be unabashedly anti-WWE.  It would have to be indirect.  It might have to be a comment which is pro-WWE, but which turns some people off or which some people disagree with.  Something like that Jake Atlas tweet, which gets a lot of attention at first but which has a short shelf life and goes stale.  You don't make it anti-WWE.  You make it pro-WWE, but you give it a short shelf life.  And it has to be true.  You can't just go in there and voice an opinion that you don't agree with.

This guy, abhilash1991, keeps posting a Sportskeeda link for an interview he did with the Angry Miz Girl, and it's just not taking off.

3:10 A.M.

I'm assuming they didn't ban Jim Cornette posts.  People are still sharing his YouTube videos in the new queue, and they all get downvoted and sit at 0 upvotes, and sometimes the commenters complain about him being sexist.  It doesn't accomplish anything except teeing people off.  Everyone browsing the new queue will already know who Jim Cornette is.

There's a brand-new post where someone is complaining about Austin Aries taking photos with fans at a meet-and-greet without wearing a mask.  Everyone browsing the new queue will know who Austin Aries is, and that's the type of post that may garner momentum even though it's the middle of the night.  There were already a couple posts about Austin Aries and the meet-and-greet yesterday, but you might still see one or two more posts about it slip through.  Actually I stand corrected.  The newest post is a direct link to one of Austin Aries's tweets where he says "Austin Aries signed Tin Foil Hats were a hit today at my signing in NY. I spoke to many who strongly disagree with the handling of covaids and see the agenda for what it is. All smiles being able to remove their face diapers while visiting and taking photos."  That's going to have a hard time gaining momentum.

3:20 A.M.

There was a post more than a year ago.  It was a drawing of a stained-glass image of Alesiter Black, Mustafa Ali, and Ricochet, titled "The Night. The Light. The Flight. @Oniwanbashu."  It got 1,493 upvotes.  It was inspired by one match where the three of them tagged together.  I think it was one match; maybe it was more than one, but the top comment in the thread says "I love how these three guys became the wrestling internet's favorite stable (real or otherwise) after just one match with a shared taunt and one cool Twitter post from Ali."  The tweet from Ali was a gif of the three of them bounding into the ring together with the caption "Avengers Assemble"  You know what's interesting?  That old tweet from Ali now has the message: "This Tweet from @AliWWE has been withheld in response to a report from the copyright holder."  It's like an error message; the tweet and the gif is no longer visible.  Anyway, this was an example of WWE throwing together a team for one match, and the team doing one cool thing, and Wreddit running with it.  And you might think, "Oh, that's the magic of fandom.  Fans will latch onto an idea they think is cool and run with it."  But I'm not enamored by it.  It's this tendency to take a totally random thing and idolize it.  It's like how people made Renaissance paintings out of the Twitch Plays Pokemon team, but that came about through randomness.  The randomness and the chaos was the point of Twitch Plays Pokemon, which is what made the artwork so awesome.  People are reacting to WWE the same way people reacted to Twitch Plays Pokemon.

3:55 A.M.

The site Wrestling-Online.com has a section called the W-O Newsletter, which appears to be a bold attempt to make people think they're getting something akin to the Wrestling Observer newsletter.  The site (or at least the Twitter account) is run by a guy named Colin Vassallo.

4:00 A.M.

There are a lot of Wreddt posts talking about the statistic of how it's been 10 years between The Miz's two title reigns.  Like, three or four or five posts mentioning the same statistic.  And there's no real meaning to the statistic.  It's just something people were repeating because they thought there was meaning behind it.  It does speak to The Miz's longevity, but that's not what people were saying.

12:15 P.M.

Here is a Pokemon hieroglyph that was made around the time Twitch Plays Pokemon took off.  That's what the Black/Ali/Ricochet drawing reminded me of.  People take this random stuff, and they try to imbue it with significance, or they turn it into religious artwork.  And with Twitch Plays Pokemon, it was tongue-in-cheek because everyone knew Twitch Plays Pokemon was complete chaos.  There was no rhyme or reason for a lot of the decisions that wound up being made in the game.  And WWE tends to throw a lot of shit at the wall to see what sticks, and people on the internet are left with the responsibility of forming their own head canon and trying to make sense of a lot of it.  And a lot of the storylines do make sense; there are characters; there are beats.  But fans are still left with the responsibility of creating a lot of head canon.  I just remember this one random comment where someone said they were forming their own head canon for why SmackDown one week was chaotic.  Adam Pearce was absent, and Sonya Deville was in charge, and this commenter said they were forming their own head canon where Sonya Deville was sent to SmackDown to sabotage it, which isn't 100% outside the realm of possibility but it would still be a pretty random storyline and there's been nothing to hint that that's the case.  It's why you see wrestlers tweeting out their own desired matches, and people getting excited about those tweets, because the actual on-screen storylines don't provide enough material.  Wrestleres have to go on Twitter and social media and fill in the gaps, and fans run with it.

The Black/Ali/Ricochet tag team was an example of throwing three random wrestlers together who don't really have anything in common except they're babyfaces.  And the fans suddenly jump on it like, "Oh!  New superhero team!"  And the characters have nothing in common.  I was sort of watching NXT at the time, and it made no sense why Aleister Black (a loner) would form a tag team with Ricochet (a random flippy dude), or why they would form a union with Ali.  They were just thrown together randomly, and people try to imbue it with greater weight.  And I'm not sure if they ever teamed up again and Black and Ali stopped teaming together a short while later I think.  

12:25 P.M.

The top post on Wreddit right now is a tweet from Santana talking about an action figure.  The post is only 2 hours old, so that's probably going to sit at the top until tonight unless a major news story breaks.

12:45 P.M.

The #6 post on Wreddit is titled "ELIMINATION CHAMBER SPOILERS: WWE with some foreshowing from way back in May of 2020."  It's a clip of MVP saying he will cost Drew McIntyre the WWE championship.  And it's an example of fans trying to imbue something with extra significance.  MVP managed Bobby Lashley in a championship match against Drew McIntyre in June of 2020.  There's no reason for me to think WWE had a long-term plan for Bobby Lashley to then challenge for the WWE title at WrestleMania next year.  I assume WrestleMania season came along and they just decided to go with him again.  But if you scroll through enough old promos, you're going to find stuff like this, and you can bring it up later and be like, "Look, it was foreshadowing."  I don't even know if the OP was being tongue-in-cheek or what.  It feels like something that could go either way.  It might be one of those things where, in the back of your mind, you know it's not foreshadowing, but you roll with it anyway because it's up to the fans to imbue storylines with significance.  Also, Drew McIntyre beat Lashley at the pay-per-view in June and then he lost the title to Randy Orton a few months later, so MVP's comment doesn't even make sense as foreshadowing because Drew lost the title without any action being taken by MVP.  Drew just happened to win the title back a few weeks after losing it the first time.  You could still call it foreshadowing, but it's not really effective foreshadowing if he already lost the title in a 1-on-1 match that had nothing to do with MVP.  

12:50 P.M.

There was another post in the #5 spot which was less than 2 hours old.  It was about NXT getting TV deal in Canada to air live on Wednesdays, and it had about 150 upvotes in 90 minutes.  The Santana post has 900 upvotes after three hours, so that's going to run neck-and-neck.  Sometimes you'll see a post get a couple hundred upvotes, and almost reach the top spot, and then just lose momentum.  And other times it gains momentum after breaking the top 5.  It's kind of weird because every post has a ceiling, and you don't always know what the ceiling will be.  The Santana post has 900 upvotes, but if its natural ceiling is only about 2,000 upvotes, then it's possible that most of the people who would want to upvote it have already upvoted it.  Once a post reaches the #1 spot on Wreddit, it becomes visible to people who might be subscribed to Wreddit but are just browsing the front page of Reddit, and they'll see it and they'll upvote it.  Or sometimes if a post just breaks the top 5, it will become visible to people who are subscribed to Wreddit and are browsing the front page of Reddit.  So you've got like two different audiences.  You've got the hardcore subscribes who are specifically going to www.reddit.com/r/squaredcircle, and you've got the people who are subscribed to Wreddit but aren't specifically checking the subreddit, and those two audiences might have different inclinations in terms of upvoting a specific thread.

3:00 P.M.

There was a random tweet from a wrestling fan with 2,151 followers.  His name was David/@LordFrenchFries and he tweeted the same MVP clip and wrote "The long term storytelling," which again only makes sense if it was long-term storytelling and wasn't just a clip people dug up from all the promos over the past year in order to fill in the gaps themselves.  Another person with 208 followers--Mohammad AL-Tamimi #Dymax / @TheFuture_OfAll--wrote "Indeed I love it when there is continuity with these long term storytelling."  It's only continuity in the sense that Drew McIntyre has continuously been champion--they didn't just wake up one day and forget he was the champion--and MVP has continuously been a heel manager since May of last year.  But wrestling fans are so desperate to believe that their is continuity and long-term storytelling that they latch onto stuff like this and highlight it bring it up nine months later.  I don't think it's a case of continuity or long-term storytelling at all.  Now, if someone had tweeted the same clip and wrote: "MVP was right!!!" that would be fine.  It would be acknowledging that MVP was wrong in the past about costing Drew McIntyre the WWE title but that it still happened anyway.

 3:10 P.M.

One of the posts in the new queue is titled "Becky Lynch V/s Finn Balor....."  It has 11 upvotes and is at 79% upvoted, and it's a old gif of Becky Lynch wrestling Finn Balor, and I'm pretty sure it's a gif from a custom match many years ago.  But no one has commented on it yet, so it's unclear if anyone upvoting it is aware it comes from a custom match.  Custom matches are kind of this weird, unspoken thing on Wreddit.  There are fapping subreddits like /r/WrestleWithThePlot, and surely anyone who comments there would know about custom matches, but I never see anyone on Wreddit talk about custom matches--not even talking about them in the sense where you acknowledge you exist.  Except for cases where someone posts a gif from a custom match and someone brings it up.  Or someone posts a gif from a match which resembles a custom match, and someone mentions it as a joke.  Maybe it comes up in the live threads more often.  It seems more like something people would mention in the spur-of-the-moment rather than make a whole thread about.  Someone on Twitter last night was joking about how Cesaro was wearing "customs" tights--maybe I saw it on Rovert's timeline, but I don't remember for sure who tweeted it.    

3:25 P.M.

Another person shared a music video they made about Sonya Deville and the incident with her stalker It's titled "Made a video based on Sonya Deville overcoming her tragic incident," and it's unintentionally creepy because the first part of the video is like that fan-made "Gravity" video of Jeff and Annie from Community, and you're like, 'Are Sonya and her stalker supposed to be an item?'  The actual description of the YouTube video says "A video based around Sonya Deville overcoming the tragic event which happened earlier this year."  It has 62 views so far.

3:40 P.M.

There are a lot of WWE stans on Twitter reacting positively to The Miz's title win.  It's hard to document Twitter in comparison to Wreddit.  It's so much more ephemeral and chaotic.  Wreddit gets 240 posts per day (plus maybe 50 or so posts that are deleted by the moderators) so it's easy to keep track of and search for specific threads.  On Twitter, you might try looking up a tweet from an hour ago and have absolutely no luck finding it.  There's no way to alter the tone on Twitter unless you're a mega-popular account with hundreds of thousands of followers or you just happen to create a viral tweet.  But you can't create a tweet to start a conversation or to share a news article and expect that to be picked up.  If you don't hare a large follower count, then the only way to get a large audience for your tweets is to have a tweet go viral.  And how do you make a tweet go viral?  Well...I don't know.  You can luck into it by making a joke or a video, I suppose.  Or, in the case of wrestling twitter, you can comment on a story, or have some inside perspective on a story.  I remember when #MeToo was at its height and a girl accused Enzo Amore of raping her, one of the girl's friends had a copy of a text conversation which caused people to wonder how truthful she was being.  So in that case, the friend had texts or instant messages that were relevant to a breaking story, so he was able to put out a video talking about the texts and a lot of people noticed that.  But unless you're in that situation, or unless you're just a dogged commentator, it's really hard to make a tweet about a narrative in pro wrestling and have it get picked up.  At least from my perspective it is, because I only have like 120 followers on Twitter.

4:10 P.M.

Here's what I was trying to get at regarding Twitter:  A lot of the WWE stans are happy about the Miz's title win, bure moreso than that, they're "sticking" it to the smarks who are upset about The Miz's title win.  And, from what I can tell, no one is really upset about The Miz winning the title.  The overwhelming sentiment on my timeline is that people are happy to see The Miz win.  So it's weird to see this group of happy people voicing the same sentiment--that the smarks are "gotten to" with The Miz's win.  There are only a few people I've seen who annoyed with The Miz's title win, and they're both people who write for wrestling news sites.  Those people cover wrestling for a living, so they have to watch the product.  Everyone else watches the product because they enjoy it, and if you're still avidly watching WWE in 2021, you're not going to be the type of person who gets annoyed with The Miz winning.  No one who would be put off by The Miz in 2021 would still be watching the product in 2021.  So you have this small group of people who are thumbing their noses to an imagine group of fans that are no longer watching the product.  I hearted a few of the tweets that highlighted this pattern, but I'm really not in the mood to dredge those up right now.  It's a pain in the ass to embed tweets on blogger, and it's a pain in the ass to make a note about the account name, the handle, the number of followers they have, and the engagement they got on their tweets.  It's much easier to do all of that with Reddit posts, since there's nothing you feel obligated to embed; you can just insert a quick hyperlink.

6:25 P.M.

There's this guy on Wreddit named TheGodOfWrestling who made a couple posts yesterday bashing Dave Meltzer.  He also made a couple posts during the past week about SportsNation and WWE.  There was a post about SportsNation covering Bad Bunny winning the 24/7 title, and another post this morning about The Miz being interviewed on SportsNation.  And it's clear that both of those SportsNation posts were made so that people could get in digs at Meltzer, because Meltzer had said on Wrestling Observer Radio that ESPN was no longer working with WWE.  So that fact that SportsNation had segments on Bad Bunny and The Miz would contradict that.  Here's a summary of what Meltzer said, via Wrestling Inc:

Meltzer then indicated that there are issues between WWE and ESPN as it’s believed that ESPN was a significant part of the WWE Network talks before WWE decided on a deal with NBCU for Peacock. Disney is the parent company of ESPN, and there were rumors at one point of Disney/ESPN potentially being interest in buying WWE. Apparently ESPN found out three weeks ago that they were not getting the WWE Network deal. Meltzer then reported that ESPN has “pretty much shut down” any WWE coverage, and right now no more WWE content is to air on ESPN.

So here's what I realized:  TheGodOfWrestling doesn't really care that ESPN talked about Bad Bunny or The Miz.  He's obviously a fan of WWE, so he cares about it in the sense that WWE is getting publicity, but, if it weren't for the Meltzer factor, I doubt he would care enough to actually post about it on Wreddit.  So the only reason he's sharing it is to get in a dig at Dave Meltzer; that's the motivation behind making a post on Wreddit about ESPN and Bad Bunny or ESPN and The Miz.  And, maybe he thinks that if Dave Meltzer's credibility is ruined then WWE will have a clearer path towards winning the wrestling war.  

For the Bad Bunny thread, he made a text post and wrote: "Lol you guys remember when it was said ESPN was done with WWE because of the peacock deal?"  So that's obvious.  I don't have to infer anything there.  The thread about The Miz is a text post as well, and it just contains a tweet from the @SportsNation account.  The top comment in the latter thread is "Seems like a solid relationship between ESPN and WWE," and the top reply to that is "Davey boy making things up again."  So the people browsing Wreddit get it.  They know what the implied narrative of the post is.  Most of the top comments in that thread aren't about The Miz or ESPN; they're about bashing Dave.  I checked, and five of the top six comment chains are taking potshots at Dave, and then there are some actual comments about The Miz, and one comment about the grammar in the title.  

That's what I find interesting.  A guy makes a post about The Miz appearing on ESPN, but it's not really about The Miz appearing on ESPN.  The purpose of the post is to damage the credibiliyt of Dave Meltzer.  

7:40 P.M.  

There is, in fact, another post about the Austin Aries meet-and-greet, although this time the photos from his meet-and-greet were presented as a collage and they were juxtaposed with another meet-and-greet from the same location featuring the Dark Order.  The post has 40 upvotes in 36 minutes, which is the type of pace that could get thread to the #1 spot depending on the time of day, but I'm not sure how the momentum will be.

The Santana thread was the #1 post for several hours, but right now the #1 post is Anna Jay getting injured.  It's four hours old, so I would expect something from Raw to take over the #1 post by the middle of the night.  The Anna Jay post has 1,213 upvotes, but there's also a post which links to a Jon Moxley interview excerpt, which has 549 upvotes after two hours.  One thing I've noticed is that it's kind of hard to bump off the #1 post.  It's easy to rise up and get to the #2 spot, but it takes, like, an extra burst of momentum beyond what was already necessary in order to take that final step from the #2 spot to the #1 spot.  The Austin Aries post seems like the type of thing people might upvote out of political loyalty, which is why I feel like it might gain a lot more momentum once it cracks the top 25.  (It's in the #26 spot right now.)

11:55 P.M.

For some reason my TV here at the hovel hotel wasn't getting the USA network, so I couldn't watch Raw live tonight.  I was following updates online, and a couple things stood out.  Well, there was one thought I had about WWE and Bad Bunny:  A lot of people on Wreddit have been praising Bad Bunny, and praising WWE's use of him, and talking about what a boon he is, and how popular he is, and how he's the #1 streaming artist on Spotify, and how he loves wrestling, and how great his merch sales are.  No is actually saying they enjoy seeing him on TV.  Because he's mostly involved in brief comedy segments, and he's feuding with The Miz, which isn't necessarily bad, but no one is saying they enjoy seeing that stuff.  They enjoyed seeing him slap Miz, but that's about it.  The WWE stans view him being on TV as a positive.  There was a thread today talking about how an Instagram post of Bad Bunny slapping Miz got over a million views on Instagram in a short amount of time.  It's like they're viewing it from a hype and business perspective, which is understandable if you're invested in seeing WWE do well as a company.  Some people are saying they're becoming fans of Bad Bunny just from seeing how much he loves wrestling.  

And there were three different threads yesterday where people got on Dave Meltzer's case because Meltzer was hemming and hawing about how much benefit there would be to having Bad Bunny on WWE TV.  He figured it might be a big coup from WWE, but he wasn't sure about it, and a lot of people took offense at that.   

Anyway, they had Bad Bunny at ringside with Damien Priest for his match, and they did a segment backstage with R-Truth as well.

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