One of the more controversial aspects of being a pro-wrestler is having to deal with fans in different places. Although most wrestling companies setup official autograph or meet-and-greet sessions, some fans take their desire for interaction a step further by going after wrestlers when the wrestlers aren’t prepared for it.
A common and longstanding practice among some diehard people has been to look for wrestlers when they’re traveling and ask for autographs there. Some recent cases of this behavior have highlighted the contrasting mindsets among wrestlers and various groups. Some think that wrestlers are normal people that shouldn’t be bothered when they’re traveling and those seeking autographs should wait for official moments to do that.
Others, meanwhile, have operated with the mentality that fans willing to shell out money and give attention to these wrestlers are the reasons for said wrestlers’ success and so they feel entitled to getting what they want out of these performers.
Matt Hardy condemn “vultures” that pursue wrestlers at airports
Hardy was unsympathetic towards those that’ve gone after his fellow wrestlers for last-second autographs, calling them “vultures” and was especially critical of those that went after his brother Jeff Hardy, who was far more reluctant to say no to such demands because he’s “more of a people-pleaser”.
“He’s open to signings and cons and stuff like that. Two a month. And he’s really put his foot down with that. (…) I almost feel like he needs to put his foot down even with these photos as well.”
Additionally, Matt Hardy warned of roaming groups of people calling themselves “fans” who will carry large stacks of items to be signed and will then try and sell those photos online for a quick turnaround. That, to Hardy, is “inappropriate”.
Lastly, Matt Hardy outlined what he thinks is the proper protocol and etiquette for approaching wrestlers when they’re not in professional settings. He boiled it down to not bothering wrestlers when they’re eating or with family, to be respectful, and to not ask for anything outrageous.
H/t SEScoops for the transcription