Marketplace of Champions

The people sitting near me in cheap(ish) seats in Boston’s TD Garden Sunday night for the 2017 Clash of Champions represented a cross-section of northeast WWE fans. I am a middle-aged academic who has been a wrestling fan on and off since childhood. I’ve been coming to the Garden to see wrestling since long before … Continue reading Marketplace of Champions

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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

The Fourth Wall and Professional Wrestling

In this brief essay, I want to share an idea I have had about how the concept of audience interaction helps to define sports entertainment as existing at the intersection of sports and entertainment. Audience interaction with content (what I have written about here as content interactivity) is the idea that the audience member (either … Continue reading The Fourth Wall and Professional Wrestling