Airport dwellers. Ebay sellers. Itinerary creepers. Pro wrestlers deal with them all.
Sasha Banks has drawn the ire of some fans who believe that she isn't as friendly with fans at airports as she should be. It's really hit or miss when it comes to a wrestler, and their attitude towards the situation. Chris Jericho recently spoke out saying that he's 'freaked out' when fans figure out his travel plans.
Banks recently spoke of her stance on the issue on an episode of the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast.
“I grew up a wrestling fan, so I knew that I wanted to meet all my favorite wrestlers. But always in the back of my head I never thought in my life to be like, ‘Hey, they’re gonna fly in. Maybe I should wait at the airport for like 12 hours at a gate. Hey! They don’t want any sleep. Maybe I’ll go find their hotel they’re staying at and let me bother them.’
Like to me, that’s stalking. I don’t tweet out what hotel I’m at. I don’t tweet out what airline I’m flying. I do tweet you what arena I’ll be performing at, so I do expect fans at the arena, and I’m so happy to sign at the arena, that’s fine because I’m telling you where I’m going to be at. If I see you in public, that’s fine.
But when I’m at an airport at 4 in the morning and I see somebody with a carry-on and they open it with a hundred items of everyone and they’re bothering everybody to get an autograph, and I see it on eBay - that’s not okay to me.”
Banks, however, comes under increased scrutiny. It's not hard to see that women in wrestling do, and that's not a coincidence. Take a gander at any female wrestler's Instagram comments -- especially in WWE -- and lose a little hope in humanity each time. It gets gross.
We've all heard stories of fans telling wrestlers that they owe followers autographs and photos because they "bought their house" with their support. I tweeted last week that I wonder if those fans tell the cashier at a 7-11 that they pay the cashier's cell phone bill by buying Slurpees. It doesn't work like that. Businesses exist as a trade of ability (and sometimes lack thereof) for currency. Nobody owes you anything outside of their duties of the job as contracted or agreed between the two parties.
Former TNA Champion and sure fire WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray, aka Bubba Ray Dudley spoke out on Sasha's comments on Twitter this week.
Bully Ray has been around and seen some things in his day, but things are a little different today and he knows that. WWE runs major meet and greets all over the country. WrestleMania Axxess draws tons of fans.
Accessibility gives and takes away. It often breeds entitlement. The attitude that because someone is on a screen, they signed up for the idea that people they don't know should be able to call up an airport, find out if you're on a flight, and show up with a stack of merchandise to sign. I can't pretend I agree with that notion.
Sasha Banks participates in the signings. She greets fans at live events. She's a big attraction at Axxess. When I tweeted about the matter, here are some of the responses I got (amended for spelling."
"Dude, you're missing the point. Not everyone can afford to get to a show. So if they see them in public it's fair game."
"People do dumb shit when they think it's their only opportunity."
"Do you realize they know when the wrestling events are in their area so they go to the airport and wait. They don't Google their flight."
"Only problem with this statement is that Sasha does the same but way worse, yet she just got handed the title."
They don't have to Google the flights. Stooges at the airport tell them. Surely there are privacy measures that can be put in place, but when people use terms like "fair game" as it pertains to a person's privacy. The last comment came from an airport dweller who was bodied by Sasha Banks on Twitter after he called her a bitch, his account full of proud airport photos.
Going back to accessibility , I've witnessed it in particular with women involved in MMA and pro wrestling, As both grow, many who showed a sliver of support to either often feel as if they're somehow responsible for success and should reap rewards for being ahead of the curve. Being ahead of the curve was your reward, playboy.
Maybe it's just me. I've never been an autograph guy. Never particularly cared to get a photo with someone I don't really know, especially one I'd eventually curse at on social media because they had the NERVE to be weirded out that I stalked out their flight.
Maybe it's just me!