Deriding wrestling on Twitter in view of its passionate legion of fans is the internet equivalent of walking up to a wasps next and whacking it with a big old stick.
Just ask Kings of Leon bassist Jared Followill, who posted what he presumably thought was a fairly innocuous tweet on Sunday night, only to be hit with a jet ski wave of fury and memes.
Pro wrestling gets a lot of stick – unfairly, if you’re asking me. To focus on the fact that matches generally have scripted, predetermined outcomes – therefore making them “fake” – is to entirely miss the point. The ridiculous athleticism is real. The injuries – however accidental – are often real. The physical risks associated with being on the wrong end of a suplex are real. Mankind getting chucked from the top of a steel cage? Real. REAL. And the entertainment is very, very real. But the fact that millions of people continue to enjoy watching it as adults seems to irritate the detractors. By their logic, they presumably hate all movie fight scenes and James Bond car chases, too. Imagination is bad.
Anyway, to Followill’s tweet.
Hey, adults. Let's maybe not watch professional wrestling. Ya know?— Jared Followill (@youngfollowill) May 8, 2017
Uh oh. You’ve probably already guessed how this one went down.
@youngfollowill license your crappy music to a wrestling show. That would make me stop watching for sure.— Matt Durr (@mdurr84) May 8, 2017
Yeah, wrestling Twitter was not amused.
@youngfollowill Maybe let's not tell adults what type of harmless entertainment to enjoy. Yeah? You know?— Sean Ross Sapp (@SeanRossSapp) May 8, 2017
@youngfollowill This is like telling people not to listen to music or read books because you personally are tone deaf and illiterate.— Khandaghabadi (@SheikKhan) May 8, 2017
And it wasn’t just the fans. Wrestlers quickly caught wind of what was going on.
I miss when you guys were making good music or on hiatus. Ya know? https://t.co/f7rZFx7ehP— Dash (@DashWilderWWE) May 8, 2017
Kings of 2008 https://t.co/uBcH2xdqbO— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) May 8, 2017
Imagine dumping on people's passion for no reason? You sing songs for a living dude, have some perspective. https://t.co/WFJYEADTRx— Donovan Dijak (@DonovanDijak) May 8, 2017
This being a social media dispute, a large chunk of the replies were Gif or meme-based.
This guy probably spoke for everyone when he asked:
@youngfollowill Did this go how you thought it would?— Victor Puente (@thevictorpuente) May 8, 2017
And then began the great climbdown.
Ok. So I've gathered a lot of people love wrestling. Folks are angry. Really angry. I wasn't being literal. Continue to enjoy.— Jared Followill (@youngfollowill) May 8, 2017
Not having any of it.
Olive branch further extended.
Guys! Guys! Guys! So that was a test! You all passed with flying colors! I thought people were against wrestling! But nope! Not us!— Jared Followill (@youngfollowill) May 8, 2017
Still not having it.
Time for the classic “it wasn’t me”.
Ok. Look. Crazy story. Just got back from the bathroom. Somebody tweeted some dumb shit on my phone. Needless to say, suplex city! All good.— Jared Followill (@youngfollowill) May 8, 2017
But still nope.
The following morning, and wrestling-gate was still ongoing.
I'll do this once before filtering out anyone I don't follow. I'm sarcastic. It's satire. Couldn't care less what you watch. Move along.— Jared Followill (@youngfollowill) May 8, 2017
Fair play to the musician, though. This has been pinned to the top of his profile ever since.