Below, some notes about gender in wrestling, from “Wrestling with Masculinity: Messages about Manhood in the WWE” by Danielle M. Soulliere
Message 2: Men settle things physically
Not only are men aggressive and violent, but their response tends to be primarily physical. Men settle debates, differences, con- frontations, and personal affronts through physical means.
For example, when Bradshaw and Farooq laugh at Booker T who complains about not being invited to the premier of Rollerball (SD 10-31-01), Booker T tells them to “lace ‘em up,” indicating that he intends to have a match with them. This suggests that men settle things physically. Booker T responds to a personal affront by challenging fellow performers to a physical contest.
On an episode of Smackdown (12-13-01), Jeff Hardy confronts Test after he intimidates Lita. He says, “You like intimidating women so bad, why don’t you try intimidating me. In the ring.” Again, this suggests that men settle things physically. Here, Jeff Hardy and Test are going to settle their differences through physical competition. Similarly, The Rock suggests to Jericho that the way to settle their differences is through physical competition:
The Rock is tired of this mamsy-pansy chicken crap going on between you and The Rock. We settle this one more time before Summerslam, this Monday night on RAW. (SD 11-01-01) Finally, it is certainly clear that men are expected to settle things physically when Commissioner William Regal tells Booker T and Rob Van Dam: “If you want to settle your differences, settle them like sportsmen in the ring tonight.” (RAW 11-05-01)