Despite never having missed an episode of WWE Raw or Smackdown, and owning a closetful of wrestling t-shirts and expensive replica belts, 39-year-old Todd Branksome of Milwaukee insists he merely watches “ironically.” 

“I am not a wrestling fan,” says Branksome, a former sandwich artist who has attended eight of the last 10 WrestleMania events. 

“I watch wrestling as a joke, you know?” he added. “It’s so campy, and my friends think it’s hilarious that I have such a detached, cynical take on it.”

In reality, Branksome has spent tens of thousands of dollars on wrestling events and merchandise, and his three friends (well, two friends and a bartender he knows) retort that his wrestling fandom is not detached, cynical or hilarious — rather but genuine, all-consuming, and sad. 

Branksome fancies himself a kind of educated wrestling hipster, too jaded to get wrapped up in the preposterous storylines and over-the-top performances.

His mother, however, had to console him for days the Undertaker’s streak was broken. 

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