July 25, 2000
We're all marks at heart
You know, when you actually sit down and think about it, we're all marks in the end. Allow me to explain.
You and I both frequent the Internet and the many, many sites dedicated to professional wrestling including this one. Would you consider yourself a 'smart' or a 'mark'? Wait, before you answer, let's consult the unofficial wrestling dictionary:
MARK: A fan. Someone who thinks wrestling is real and/or believes the story lines COMPLETELY.
SMART: A fan of wrestling whom has inside knowledge about the pro wrestling industry including terms, angles, personas etc. Example, if you were a 'smart', you would've skipped the last two statements.
Since you're here at this website and reading the various news reports, I do believe that makes you a smart. So I've answered my own question for you.
We read report after report of speculation day after day, but still wait eagerly every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and throughout the weekends to see "what's really going to happen". We see names like Meltzer, Scherer and Keller posting reports about current and future situations going on "behind the scenes" to give fans insight into the pro-wrestling world. What we forget very easily is that these men are fans as well, they just happen to have friends in high, interesting places. At the end of the day, they too are marks for wrestling. They, like you and I, sit right in front of their television sets every day when wrestling is on the air and comment on it just as I do every week. They probably recite catchphrases along with the rest of us as well -- and you know you do it!
The point I'm getting at here is that they are all like us: fans! The only men who are really in the know are Eric Bischoff, Vince Russo, and Vince McMahon. Ultimately, they decide what we see on wrestling broadcasts. Everything else is just filler and is probably propaganda sent out by them for our amusement (and theirs). That's why when either of them speaks, it's taken as gospel. I may be stating the obvious, but it's the only truth that matters.
These days, the differences between 'smarts' and 'marks' are becoming blurred to the point where 'smart-mark' or 'smark' is now the rule of thumb. WCW.com posts inside information about their company that normally would end up on the 'dirt sheet websites' as Chris Jericho calls them like Keller's and Meltzer's.
WWF.com is arguably one of the most visited websites in the world. Fans can read Jim Ross handing out inside information in his weekly reports. Two years ago, neither of these things existed. 'Marks' were continually subjected to the loss of their favorite superstars for long periods of time without knowing why (usually injury). Or when a particular superstar would be on RAW one week and NITRO the next (or both like the late Rick Rude once did).
Ultimately, these were the reasons why I myself ventured onto the Internet. I was in search for the real truth behind that madness. My first question was simple: "What the hell is Diesel doing on WCW Monday Nitro?" The Internet not only answered my question, but it baptized me in all kinds of wrestling info.
In the end, all it boils down to is that we're all the same. Marks waiting to see what'll happen next.
Junior Nurse is from Brampton, ON. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. He wrote a guest column back in April 1999 titled: Past gimmicks can haunt.