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Rhetorical Recap: SummerSlam & WWE’s Synergistic Spectacle at Barclay’s

Summer Slam 2017. Barclay’s Center, Brooklyn, NY. Welcome to the inaugural event recap for the Professional Wrestling Studies Association. In an effort to kick off our annual event coverage of prestige wrestling shows, our aim will be covering both “mainstream” and independent bookings, and one of the best ways we can welcome a broad audience … Continue reading Rhetorical Recap: SummerSlam & WWE’s Synergistic Spectacle at Barclay’s

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Theater of the Absurd: A Brief Hustle Retrospective

Comic elements have featured regularly in Western pro wrestling for many decades. While presented seriously in its early decades (1890s-1930s), pro wrestling began increasingly featuring comedic angles or performers, perhaps first widely popularized by Gorgeous George, whose campy, prissy persona transgressed gender boundaries and expectations, infuriating most male and intriguing many, though certainly not all, … Continue reading Theater of the Absurd: A Brief Hustle Retrospective

Comparing NXT’s WarGames To Its Predecessors

WWE finally took its first shot at WarGames at NXT Takeover: WarGames. The War Games concept was originally dreamed up by the American Dream Dusty Rhodes after watching Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. It started off as two teams of five that would collide in two rings surrounded by a steel cage with a roof. One … Continue reading Comparing NXT’s WarGames To Its Predecessors

NXT TakeOver: WarGames – The Past Is Prologue, The Future Is Bright

The emergence of NXT over the last few years as a major part of the WWE’s product line has perhaps been the company’s greatest success story. Far from its origins as an also-ran reality show, NXT has become the best pure enthusiast brand in the company, offering match-ups that bring the best and brightest stars … Continue reading NXT TakeOver: WarGames – The Past Is Prologue, The Future Is Bright

WWE’s Survivor Series Dialogic Recap: The Art of Interbrand Manipulation

By Garret Castleberry and Kristine Weglarz With Survivor Series headed to Houston, WWE once again experiments with the traditional team-up versus team-up formula. A couple of years ago, WWE completely abandoned the traditional four-on-four tag team format when the abrupt injury to WWE heel champion Seth Rollins led to a rushed together tournament designed to … Continue reading WWE’s Survivor Series Dialogic Recap: The Art of Interbrand Manipulation

Interacting with AAW Heels

In this blog post, I explore the question: How much of the heel's identity and success is dependent on the wrestler's performance, and how much on the audience's (re)actions? This question relates to the work I am doing on the co-constructon of kayfabe through the moment-to-moment interactions between wrestlers and fans. For this particular blog … Continue reading Interacting with AAW Heels

Calls for Conferences

Central States Communication Association 2018 We are looking to create a panel for the 2018 Central States Communication Association convention to coincide with the release of the Popular Culture Studies Journal  special edition on professional wrestling studies. Since the convention is the same time that the special edition will come out (April 4-7, or Wrestlemania weekend), we … Continue reading Calls for Conferences

The Squared Circle and the Magic Circle

As part of the Works-In-Process aspect for the Professional Wrestling Studies Association (which you can read more about in Submissions and Contributions), I am submitting a piece I am writing on the co-construction of kayfabe between the wrestlers and their fans (which I have written about elsewhere on this blog, here and here), and how … Continue reading The Squared Circle and the Magic Circle