Passages from “The operational aesthetic in the performance of professional wrestling” by William P. Lipscomb III
In “Why America’s Hooked on Wrestling,” Leland observes that the popularity of wrestling extends beyond the live and televised events to consumer merchandise:
The WWF’s home videos routinely rank No.1 in sports, its action figures outsell Pokemon’s and its Web site is one of the first outlets to turn streaming video into profits. The autobiographies of two WWF wrestlers, Mankind (Mick Foley) and the Rock (Dwayne Johnson), are currently Nos. 1 and 3 on the New York Times best-seller list. Add in revenue from live ticket sales, pay-per-views, platinum- selling CDs and a new theme restaurant, all in turn promoting the shows and each other. (47)
In short, professional wrestling has become a floating signifier popular enough to be applied to most any product and in turn consumed by the public.