Wrestling fans are a passionate bunch and on live TV, that passion is easy to spot. Through posters and t-shirts, fans share love for their favourites and fight for what they believe in — but in the background of wrestling shows, something even deeper has been brewing. See, most people settle arguments in person, or online. But wrestling fans are doing it another way: by bringing passive-aggressive posters to wrestling shows.
As pointed out by Twitter user @RRIVERA992011 recently (and by Botchamania’s Maffew Gregg in 2019), an “RPG war” has been silently carried out in the wings of live wrestling matches for years. And now that fans are back in arenas, the war is continuing to heat up.
It’s common for fans to bring jokey posters or memes to wrestling shows in an effort to be noticed on camera, but over the last three years posters have started tackling deeper issues. In fact, they’re tackling an issue close to the hearts of many gamers: which Final Fantasy is best.
While newer posters decrying Persona 5 have recently made their way to TV, the most common front of this long-raging wrestling poster RPG war is the argument about Final Fantasy.
The oldest poster spotted appears to be the “FFVIII IS UNDERRATED” sign which appeared on an episode of WWE Raw at some point pre-2019.
This was then answered by a fan who insisted “Final Fantasy 8 Sucks / Is Filth” at subsequent shows. Another fan joined the fray with the bold statement “FFX2 > FF8” which opened the floodgates for all kinds of deranged takes.
On a recent episode of AEW, a fan declared Final Fantasy 6 was “still goat“. Later, a clued-in fan brought a sign saying, “While they argue Final Fantasy VIII, we stan Final Fantasy Tactics”, which might actually be the most ‘right’ take of them all. Another fan held a sign saying “Persona 5 sucks”.
And as wrestling fans noticed the argument unfolding on live TV, the phenomenon began to spread.
It’s not just Final Fantasy at the mercy of wrestling fans anymore, either. “Kingdom Hearts Sucks” once dogged WWE’s Asuka to the arena. Another fan carried a sign requesting the ‘ban’ of Bayonetta. There was also a sign referencing an obscure Smash payment controversy.
But perhaps the most important sign to emerge from the wrestling RPG war is this one, which humbly requests Nintendo finally localise Mother 3. That’s something we can all get behind.
With wrestling fans slowly returning to arenas following a year-and-a-half-long absence due to coronavirus, we can expect to see the RPG wars heat up in future. While we may not agree about which Final Fantasy is best, we can all look forward to seeing more drama unfold in the background of live TV.
There’s guaranteed to be more unhinged signs just waiting in the wings.
This story originally appeared on Kotaku Australia.