Gary Herron

OK, I confess: I’m a fan of “Monday Night Raw” and “Friday Night Smackdown,” which are WWE weekly shows.

I’ll also confess I won’t miss a local high school sports event to stay home and watch TV, plus, they re-run the Friday night shows on Saturdays and sometimes the following week.

Yes, people tell me wrestling is fake, but I enjoy the “sport” for the entertainment value.

Although the moves may be fake, these guys and gals sustain injuries falling from ladders and being “crushed” by the weight of some of the 300-pound (and heavier) wrestlers, like Otis and Omos, the Nigerian Giant.

I’ve been watching long enough to be able to predict when a wrestler in the ring is distracted by something or someone outside the ring, and then is attacked by his/her opponent from behind. (Duh, eh?) And when the lights come up in the venues being used across the U.S., you can see it’s great entertainment for thousands in those arenas, too.

Having been a regular for the past year or so, I know who the good guys and the bad guys are, and, of course, that includes the women. But, heck, even the good guys/good women can find a chair or a table under the ring and crash it on their foe’s back. (I’m not sure how fake the pain from that can be.)

And from a documentary I recently watched on A&E, it seems founder Vince McMahon is a bad guy, too.

I enjoy the antics of Bobby Lashley, AJ Stiles, the masked legend Rey Mysterio and Matt Riddle, plus Bianca Belair. And I even enjoy the antics of former U.S. Olympic wrestling champ Chad Gable. (“Shoooosh” and “Thank youuuuuuuu!”)

I’ll give thumbs down to Austin Theory, Dominic Mysterio, who figuratively stabbed his dad in the back; and the Usos, part of the “Bloodline” with champ Roman Reigns.

Here’s what I got from a recent email:

John Cena is the most ‘influential’ WWE Superstar of 2022, earning $60,000 per single sponsored social media post. On the Dec.16 Smackdown, after hearing he hadn’t had a fight in all of 2022, he announced he’d team with Kevin Owens to fight Reigns and Sami Zayn on Jan. 30’s Smackdown, something else for me to look forward to. (The big foot-ball games are on Saturday.)

Ronda Rousey is the second most influential Superstar overall and the most influential woman, earning $53,946 per sponsored post. Yeah, she left MMA and fighting Albuquerque’s Holly Holm for the glamor of “Friday Night (Other) Lights.”

Reigns has the most engaged and dedicated fan base, with the highest engagement rate on Instagram with 7.29 percent. I like his “(Fill in the city), acknowledge me” when he enters the squared circle.

Research conducted by wrestling experts Wrestling-World (Would they skew something as important as WWE?), examined the social media profiles of every current WWE Superstar, as well as influencer marketing calculators to establish which WWE wrestler has the most influential social media presence and how much they can earn per sponsored Instagram post.

That data revealed that Cena is the most influential WWE Superstar on social media.

Following Cena, Reigns and Rousey is Randy Orton, expected to earn up to $21,791 per sponsored post due to having 6.5 million followers on Instagram and an above-average engagement rate of 1.94 percent.

Alexa Bliss rounds out the top 5 as the fifth-most influential Superstar on social media. Bliss can earn up to $19,920 per post on Instagram, due to having an engagement rate of 1 percent and a follower count of 6 million.

The top 10 is rounded out by Becky Lynch ranking in sixth place, earning $18,528 per sponsored Instagram post; Charlotte Flair in seventh place; followed by Natalya, Finn Bálor and Seth “Freakin’” Rollins in eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively.

Inasmuch as I enjoy — and get criticized by my significant other — watching WWE, I have never been on Instagram, nor do I intend to use that social media.

My particular demographic is on Facebook, where I really haven’t shared my fondness for WWE… yet.