Excerpts from Mazer, “The Doggie Doggie World of Professional Wrestling”


At its worst, a wrestling performance is an oversimplistic display of male bravado and vulgar social clichés. But at its best, wrestling is a sophisticated theatricalized representation of the violent urges repressed by the social code, of the transgressive impulses present in the most civilized of people. Most of all, wrestling activates its audience through a series of specific strategies. Instead of leaving passive onlookers in the dark, the wrestlers, through their play, make spectators an integral and essential part of the performance. (Mazer, “The Doggie Doggie World of Professional Wrestling”)

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