The difference between fandom and stalking.

Cards up front. I enjoy watching professional wrestling. It’s a thing, I dig it. I also follow a few pro wrestlers on Twitter – Peyton Royce and Billie Kay from the WWE, Orange Cassidy from AEW. That’s how I roll.

So yesterday, I saw this message on Peyton Royce’s Twitter feed.

Aw, man. Here we go again. Some fan or fans got too close and sent stuff to a pro wrestler’s home address. Probably sent it as part of their real name, instead of their wrestling name. Not cool.

At the same time, another WWE pro wrestler, the “five feet of fury” star Alexa Bliss, has also had to deal with creepy fans who stalk her and harass her about her upcoming real-life marriage. Like this chud who knows way more about Alexa Bliss than he should.

Meanwhile, Royce’s sometimes tag team partner Lacey Evans, whose onscreen gimmick resembles a 1940’s era “Sassy Southern Belle,” apparently also receives creepy packages to her home, an example of which she documented on her YouTube show.

I should note that you might not want to mess with Lacey Evans. The woman was a U.S. Marine prior to her WWE employment.

And by the way, Lacey Evans also mentions proper fan interaction procedures on Twitter as well.

And such is the response from another pro wrestler in the WWE family, Sonya Deville.

And Deville speaks from experience. Some jackass figured out her home address, went to her house, broke in and tried to kill her. Legit. That’s not a work, that’s not kayfabe.

Here’s the thing. What you watch on television is a performance. These are essentially actors and actresses that play scripted roles. Lacey Evans does not walk around her home in Rosie the Riveter cosplay gear. That’s a role she plays on TV.

It’s almost like the old “soap opera” syndrome from years ago, when people were so invested in the daily activities of shows like Search for Tomorrow and As the World Turns that they actually believed what was on the screen was real. Things like fans cursing out the actors in real life for what happens in storyline plotlines. “I just sent you wedding gifts last year, Erica Kane, and now you’re getting married again? What the hell?!?”

Again, listen carefully. These people are working at specific roles. And when they’re done with the roles, they put their costumes and wrestling boots in their travel suitcases, they get in their rental cars, and they go home. And home is off-limits to fans. Home is where they can actually recover and recuperate from in-ring injuries. They can unwind and relax from the long grind of touring (pre-COVID-19).

You want to be that close to a wrestler? Buy their merchandise. Show up at an autograph session. Purchase a Cameo, if they’re doing those. That’s it. Don’t go further. Because then we don’t have stories about Sonya Deville wrestling in the ring. We now get stories of Sonya Deville hiding in the closet of her house while a deranged “I won’t take no for an answer” attacker is prowling through, room by room, looking for her.

Oh, and if you think that you can overpower a female wrestler because you’re a man … be aware that you’d most likely be entering a two-on-one handicap situation, because if you’re trying to stalk a female wrestler, that wrestler’s boyfriend or husband will learn of this. You want to try to do some stuff with Naomi? She’s married to one of the Usos, and you may as well just check yourself into the hospital ahead of time. You want to try your luck with Peyton Royce? If she doesn’t break your left arm, her husband, AEW powerhouse Shawn Spears, will break your right arm.

Again, if you really, really want to send something to a wrestler, i.e., something to autograph, a fan letter, anything like that, mail it here. WWE Performance Center, attn: name of wrestler, 5055 Forsyth Commerce Rd STE 100, Orlando, FL 32807. That’s the only address you should mail your trading cards and fan art and correspondence to.

Yeah, you don’t want to be “that person” who screws it up for everybody else. Sonya Deville’s wrestling career was derailed by a deranged fan. She only recently returned to WWE, and even now it’s currently as an on-air “authority figure” role, not as a wrestler. Whether she ever gets back in the ring to fight someone is still up in the air.

And other wrestlers like Peyton Royce and Lacey Evans and Alexa Bliss don’t have time for your creepy shit, either.

Nobody does. Nobody