The Surreal Reality of Professional Wrestling: A Wrestlemania Reflection

Any WrestleMania weekend experience is going to be marked by surreal moments. From the shear spectacle of the WWE’s collection of events and activities, to the overwhelming amount of professional wrestling occurring over seven days, and to the breathtaking risks and frequently draw-dropping storytelling of the performers on cards all across the weekend’s host city, … Continue reading The Surreal Reality of Professional Wrestling: A Wrestlemania Reflection

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WrestleMania 34 Rhetorical Recap: Golden Spotlights, Crimson Masks, and the (Unconscious) Race Politics of Smarks

Throughout the year, the Professional Wrestling Studies Association has offered a range of event coverage for WWE Pay Per Views as well as a host of vintage and indie shows and performers. Our goal is to cultivate an exclusive space for creative and scholarly writing, from close readings and fan perspectives. WrestleMania 34 offers the … Continue reading WrestleMania 34 Rhetorical Recap: Golden Spotlights, Crimson Masks, and the (Unconscious) Race Politics of Smarks

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

Tom Phillips on Netflix’s GLOW

Britain's real female wrestler activists are better and badder than GLOW's could ever be. Tom Phillips, University of East Anglia.  Professional wrestling is a man’s game – or at least that’s what you may be led to believe, thanks to popular favourites such as former WWE wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who made an easy … Continue reading Tom Phillips on Netflix’s GLOW

Online Relationships with Wrestlers

This piece goes to the work I am doing on convergent wrestling. Writing back in 2006, Henry Jenkins discussed how convergence culture was allowing more fans to have more power. Basically, in this context, convergence culture is this idea that digital technologies like smartphones and the internet have blurred the lines between audiences and producers. … Continue reading Online Relationships with Wrestlers

Breaking the Fourth Wall in Reverse

Without a doubt, one of the proudest moments of my life occurred on January 29, 2013, when I made my professional wrestling debut in a tag-team match in a show co-hosted by American Pro Wrestling, an upstate South Carolina based promotion, and Wofford College, the institution that made me a tenured professor the year before. … Continue reading Breaking the Fourth Wall in Reverse

Smarks and Convergent Wrestling

As part of the project on understanding professional wrestling through the theoretical lens of convergence (i.e. convergent wrestling), I recently wrote out an explanation for how Christopher Olson (Seems Obvious to Me) and I see this concept of convergence being able to describe various aspects of professional wrestling. Now, being that we are academics, one … Continue reading Smarks and Convergent Wrestling

The Co-Construction of Kayfabe

This blog post expands on the ideas of the co-construction of kayfabe, an idea I presented at the Popular Culture Association 2016 conference in Seattle. For this post, I reflect on a live wrestling event I attended in an attempt to define what my partner, Christopher Olson, and I mean by "convergent wrestling." The entire presentation … Continue reading The Co-Construction of Kayfabe