PWSA Ringside

Nylons and Midriffs: Near? Far? Wherever You&#

Nylons and Midriffs: Near? Far? Wherever You&#

In the words of the great feminist writer Roxane Gay, every day is a month in this new world of social distancing. As a fan of wrestling, I am glad to still have this form of entertainment during ...

Nylons and Midriffs: The Syndrome (March 11, 2020)

Nylons and Midriffs: The Syndrome (March 11, 2020)

If you’re a long time wrestling fan like me, you know how this time of year feels when it comes around. While it infamously has no off-season, wrestling — when viewed as a cyclical& ...

Nylons and Midriffs: Back in My Day (February,

Nylons and Midriffs: Back in My Day (February,

Good day, wrestling fans! I’m back here on your tiny screens to describe how the scenery is looking on the Road to WrestleMania so far. NXT Takeover: Portland has passed, and AEW Revolution is ...

Nylons and Midriffs: Go Fix Your Braid (February

Nylons and Midriffs: Go Fix Your Braid (February

Happy 2020 wrestling fans! It’s good to be back here with you all, hashing out what we love (and hate) about women’s wrestling in WWE and AEW. We have a lot of ground to cover so far ...

MPCA/ACA 2020 CFP Wrestling Studies

CALL FOR PAPERS, ABSTRACTS, AND PANEL PROPOSALS Wrestling Studies Area Co-Chairs CarrieLynn D. Reinhard (creinhard@dom.edu) and Christopher J. Olson (olson429@uwm.edu) Midwest Popular Culture ...

Nylons and Midriffs: Slow Burn (Year in Review,

Nylons and Midriffs: Slow Burn (Year in Review,

As we close out 2019 (and more generally, the decade), it is time now to look back and consider the short- and long-term implications of the year’s events on women’s wrestling as an ...

Nylons and Midriffs: Guns and Glitter (December

Nylons and Midriffs: Guns and Glitter (December

Ho Ho Ho and so forth! We are a fortnight away from a new decade and closing yet another chapter to women’s wrestling history. But before we look back fondly (or otherwise) on the year that, ...

Call for Papers: Special Issue on Cultural

Working the Circuit: Cultural Studies of Florida Guest Editors: Aisha Durham, Wesley Johnson, and Sasha Sanders, University of South Florida Florida figures prominently in the US American imaginary. ...

Nylons and Midriffs: Push or Pull (December 4,

Nylons and Midriffs: Push or Pull (December 4,

I believe I can speak for us all when I say that we were fed very well over the last week — both literally and figuratively (in terms of wrestling, of course). Because I am sure many of us ...

Nylons and Midriffs: East Coast, West Coast

Nylons and Midriffs: East Coast, West Coast

As we round the corner toward the holidays, I find myself becoming a little burnt out from a tumultuous year for wrestling fans and journalists alike. We’re nearing Survivor Series, and it is ...

Nylons and Midriffs: War and Peace (November 6,

Nylons and Midriffs: War and Peace (November 6,

It has been a bittersweet couple of weeks, friends. I feel very conflicted, seeing both the highest of highs as far as women’s wrestling, as well as lowest of lows as far as some of the ...

Nylons and Midriffs: Women of the Hour (October

Nylons and Midriffs: Women of the Hour (October

My oh my, friends. In a matter of two weeks, the landscape of the wrestling world (or rather, WWE & AEW) is rapidly changing before our very eyes. We just witnessed a draft on RAW and Smackdown, ...

When the Rebel Heart Met the Blackheart: Slash

When the Rebel Heart Met the Blackheart: Slash

I’ve been working on this project for awhile now, and this presentation from MPCA/ACA 2019 contains my preliminary results on slash fanfic that feature NXT wrestlers Johnny Gargano and Tommaso ...

Wrestling in Denmark

Wrestling in Denmark

John Heppen and I were interviewed for a story on Wrestling in Denmark.   ...

Nylons and Midriffs: All You Can Eat (October 9,

Nylons and Midriffs: All You Can Eat (October 9,

A whole new woooorld….a whole new place I never knew….. It is certainly a whole new world for you and me, and watching the two sides of the Wednesday Night War last week got me excited ...

Paradigm Shifts: A Brief History of the Life,

Paradigm Shifts: A Brief History of the Life,

Wednesday, October 2, 2019, marks the first time in 6764 days professional wrestling has aired on the TNT network; it’s also been that long since the Monday Night Wars officially ended even though ...

International Association for Communication and

Earlier this week, Karen Hartman, Executive Director of the International Association for Communication and Sport, contacted us regarding their upcoming 2020 conference. They will host this ...

Nylons and Midriffs: There’s a Storm

Nylons and Midriffs: There’s a Storm

Although many associate the cliched film line “there’s a storm coming” as a bad omen, in the context of the wrestling world at the moment, the storm in question could be stirring ...

Is It Terrible or Terrific? We Needs a Better

 I gave it four stars.  You gave it two and a half stars.  Fair enough.  It’s just our opinion, right?  Wellsort of.  While it is true that match rating is a subjective process, that does not mean ...

Nylons and Midriffs: Four Horsewomen of the

Nylons and Midriffs: Four Horsewomen of the

Well, well, well. The more some things change, the more they stay the same. The Four Horsewomen are finally clashing all at once on WWE TV, and I, like many fans, feel like a kid in a candy store. ...

Wrestling and Disability: David “Silento&

Professional wrestling studies has yet to fully engage the turn toward disability studies in the humanities and social sciences.  Publications like Disability Studies Quarterly and professional ...

Nylons and Midriffs: (Almost) Having It All

Nylons and Midriffs: (Almost) Having It All

With SummerSlam in the rear view, we are effectively entering the end of the year, folks. The last quarter of the year is usually when the wheels start to fall off for WWE, but with competition on ...

The Problem with “Indie Wrestling”

The Problem with “Indie Wrestling”

For the last couple decades, wrestling fans have been used to a wrestling universe divided into two categories of promotions: (1) the so-called “indies” (or “independent wrestling” or the “indie ...

Nylons and Midriffs: Back to School (SummerSlam

Nylons and Midriffs: Back to School (SummerSlam

School is back in session, good wrestling fans! Well, for me, at least. After taking a must-needed break from WWE over the last several weeks, I am back to my old tricks — giving you the good, ...

Call for Proposals: PCA 2020 in Philly

Call for Proposals: PCA 2020 in Philly

From Paul Heyman to Mike Quackenbush, Philadelphia has given birth to some pretty amazing professional wrestling promotions. In the late 1990s, ECW brought a hardcore, grunge aesthetic to sports ...

Nylons and Midriffs: Best of Both Worlds? (July,

Nylons and Midriffs: Best of Both Worlds? (July,

Two weeks have passed, good wrestling fans, and I am still bored. I feel that every week I watch the WWE product, I sink deeper into an abyss of grey. I don’t feel any investment in the women& ...

Nylons and Midriffs: Brand New? (June 17, 2019)

Nylons and Midriffs: Brand New? (June 17, 2019)

I think all WWE fans can agree that the product is stale and stagnant as far as storytelling currently. With exception of the bright humor of the 24/7 title shenanigans, I can find little, if any, ...

“Da Crusher” Celebrated in Milwaukee

“Da Crusher” Celebrated in Milwaukee

Wrestling legend Baron Von Raschke, Larry Lisowski and “The Incredible” Kenny J stand with the life-size bronze statue of Reggie “Da Crusher” Lisowski at Crusherfest on June. ...

Nylons and Midriffs: Cards on the Table (June 3,

Nylons and Midriffs: Cards on the Table (June 3,

It’s time to lay it out, friends. This week, we’re taking a step back for once to consider the women’s and larger wrestling scenes at large. Because it would be nearly impossible ...

Nylons and Midriffs: Checks and Championships

Nylons and Midriffs: Checks and Championships

I’ll be honest with you all. My interest in the WWE product has dipped drastically since WrestleMania. As we all know, we were heralded into a “new era” several months ago, with ...

Call for PWSA’s Inaugural Symposium

The President of the PWSA invites submissions for the association’s inaugural PWSA Symposium: WrestlePosium I. This virtual symposium will happen online on Saturday, April 4th, to coincide ...

Nylons and Midriffs: The More Things Change&;

Nylons and Midriffs: The More Things Change&;

Greetings good wrestling fans. I hope the weather has started to warm up wherever you may be! In the post-Superstar Shakeup world of WWE, things in many ways are heating up. But, for some female ...

CFP: Professional Wrestling Studies Journal

The Professional Wresting Studies Association invites submissions for the inaugural issue of the Professional Wrestling Studies Journal, an open-access, peer-reviewed academic journal. We welcome ...

Nylons and Midriffs: Boss of Who? (April 22, 2019)

Nylons and Midriffs: Boss of Who? (April 22, 2019)

It has been an interesting two weeks since WrestleMania for the women’s division. I know the drama surrounding a certain female wrestler has filled the dirt sheets for the better part of that ...

Professional Wrestling, Smarks, and Convergent

Some of the first presentations that led to the formation of the Professional Wrestling Studies Association. ...

“Our Uncle Vanya”: Red Ladder’

By Claire Warden In 1957 Roland Barthes famously said, “The virtue of all-in wrestling is that it is the spectacle of excess. Here we find a grandiloquence which must have been that of ancient ...

Nylons and Midriffs: WrestleMania Review (April

Nylons and Midriffs: WrestleMania Review (April

WrestleMania “weekend” has finally come to an end and whew! I am just about burnt out on wrestling content! As I discussed a little before WrestleMania, there were only two women’s ...

Who Really Loses When “Winner Takes All&

Who Really Loses When “Winner Takes All&

I thought this year would be the year. The year when finally, I thought to myself, WWE would give us what we want. For the first time to my knowledge, we were going to have three women’s ...

Nylons and Midriffs: The End of the Road (April,

Nylons and Midriffs: The End of the Road (April,

We are just about out of gas on the road to WrestleMania, folks, and how did we do on mileage? Well….well…… We’re rolling on two flats, friends. While things certainly looked ...

Call for Presentations

Call for Presentations

Calls for MPCA/ACA 2019: Wrestling Studies Division. Deadline: May 15, 2019 With so much to talk about in professional wrestling right now, we’re looking forward to papers that cover a range ...

Nylons and Midriffs: Fastlane, or Roadblock?

Nylons and Midriffs: Fastlane, or Roadblock?

Life comes at you fast, wrestling fans, hence why we are less than one month away from the show of shows, WrestleMania. As Fastlane was last night, and it’s been a few weeks since we’ve ...

Nostalgia and the Wrestling Fan

Nostalgia and the Wrestling Fan

We should perhaps reconfigure in terms of a distinction between the desire to return to an earlier state or idealized past, and the desire not to return but to recognize aspects of the past as the ...

The Emotionality Behind Ciampa/Gargano: Part 1

One night while working on the Ciampa/Gargano slash project i.e. reading fanfic and luvin it), I realized how all these fanfics are not attempts to recode the Ciampa/Gargano (CG) NXT story (e.g. ...

Nylons and Midriffs: Between a Chamber and a

Nylons and Midriffs: Between a Chamber and a

The first stop on the Road to WrestleMania is behind us, and as expected, we’re left with more questions than answers leading up to the show of shows. In this post, I will revisit how the& ...

2019 Inaugural Election Results

February 18, 2019 For More Information, please contact: Jack Karlis, jackkarlis@gmail.com The Professional Wrestling Studies Association announces its inaugural Executive Committee and Editorial ...

Wrestlers in Comics: Leaping Lanny, the Genius

Wrestlers in Comics: Leaping Lanny, the Genius

The story of Lanny Poffo, as told in the recent biography by Squared Circle Press, is a story of family. Poffo’s first wrestling opponent, in this biography, was his father.  But the story ...

Comic Biography of Bruno Sammartino

Squared Circle comics continues its wrestling biography series with a look at Bruno Sammartino.  The story begins in Italy, and the bulk of the first issue of the series is set in Italy and then ...

Nylons and Midriffs: All the Small Things (Royal

Nylons and Midriffs: All the Small Things (Royal

Welcome back to Nylons and Midriffs, good wrestling fans! I hope 2019 is treating you all well so far. I am ecstatic to rehash what went down at this year’s Royal Rumble for you all, as I feel ...

Nylons and Midriffs: The Year of the Woman (Year

Nylons and Midriffs: The Year of the Woman (Year

While it’s a bit corny to say, there really isn’t a better time to be a fan of women’s wrestling in WWE. Through the ups and the downs, this year was truly unforgettable for the ...

The Best of NXT in 2018

This review of NXT from 2018 comes from more of a fangirl perspective than an academic one, and it is meant to reflect only my own preferences for the best part of the WWE Universe. I would love to ...

Nylons and Midriffs: TLC Review

Nylons and Midriffs: TLC Review

Holiday greetings from your favorite wrestling blogger! The Tables, Ladders, and Chairs pay-per-view is in our rearview, and in Nylons fashion, I thought I’d share my thoughts about how the ...

Nylons and Midriffs: Same Old, Same Old

Nylons and Midriffs: Same Old, Same Old

Greetings fans and friends. This week I’ll be mostly discussing how I feel as if I am stuck in a looping timeline watching WWE TV every week as of late. I think around this time of year, WWE ...

Andre the Giant [Critical Reflections on a

Andre the Giant [Critical Reflections on a

Research in comics studies has gone a great distance toward defining comics as a medium, not a genre.  Within the American context, comics as a medium was, for decades, conflated with comics as a ...

Pro-Wrestling Slash

Pro-Wrestling Slash

When I first got into professional wrestling — way back in 2014! — my first favorite wrestler was The Miz. I was watching WWE Main Event, which aired Wednesday nights on our Ion TV ...

Nylons and Midriffs: A Fall from Grace (November

Nylons and Midriffs: A Fall from Grace (November

How are you doing, good wrestling fans? I hope you all are staying warm and gearing up for the holidays. I have not yet begun my Christmas shopping, as I’m still in disbelief that we are already ...

Nylons and Midriffs: We Witnessed An Evolution

Nylons and Midriffs: We Witnessed An Evolution

I’m still on a high, friends. If you are expecting this to be an overly critical, borderline cynical blog post as is the usual with Nylons, you may want to read elsewhere this week. In this ...

“Ladies All Across the World!”: An

“Ladies All Across the World!”: An

EDITOR’S NOTE: There is a spoiler here for NXT UK and is marked as such. This past Sunday night was WWE’s first ever all women’s pay-per-view called Evolution. While other promotions feature ...

Nylons and Midriffs: What’s Happening in

Nylons and Midriffs: What’s Happening in

Greetings and salutations good wrestling fans. I can’t believe this will be the last post before Evolution. It is mind-boggling how fast this year is going, and how quickly this “ ...

Nylons and Midriffs: What’s Happening in

Nylons and Midriffs: What’s Happening in

Greetings good wrestling fans. I hope some autumn leaves have blessed your front lawns by this point! Fall is by far my favorite season of the year, and as far as wrestling goes, it brings us closer ...

Nylons and Midriffs: What’s Happening in

Nylons and Midriffs: What’s Happening in

Greetings wrestling fans, and welcome to the post-Hell in a Cell edition of Nylons and Midriffs. The last few weeks have been interesting to say the least, in both exciting and mildly worrisome. ...

WWE and WizKids: An opportunity to rethink game

by David Beard, Associate Professor of Rhetoric, University of Minnesota Duluth WizKids has announced that they have licensed WWE intellectual property for their tabletop games. WizKids, the leader ...

Review – All In

Review – All In

For those unaware, All In, which took place at the Sears Centre Arena just outside Chicago, IL on September 1, 2018, came about because of a tweet posted on May 16, 2017 by Dave Meltzer of the ...

Nylons and Midriffs: What’s Happening in

Nylons and Midriffs: What’s Happening in

Many greetings to you, wrestling fans near and far. I hope those of you in the U.S. had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend. As I’m sure we’re all still trying to digest all of the savory ...

Women’s Wrestling and the Erasure of History

by David Beard, Associate Professor of Rhetoric, UM Duluth The history of women in wrestling was given a brief overview in Chris Kelly’s August 10th essay in The Washington Post “ ...

Deconstructing the Distinction between Marks and

by David Beard and John Heppen Fans of pro wrestling are typically divided into two groups, “marks” and “smarks.”  The fiction is that a fan is either a smark or a mark.  It’s a little like & ...

Summer Slam 2018: Coronations and Contracts

Summer Slam 2018: Coronations and Contracts

Well, the “biggest event of the summer” has arrived, and WWE has taken over Brooklyn for the fourth consecutive year. WWE’s SummerSlam is one of the WWE’s “Big Four” (Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, ...

Differentiating Regional Professional Wrestling

by David Beard with John Heppen Wrestling is an athletic performing art where the winners of the matches are prearranged.  Wrestlers  require athletic skill and physical training: be very careful in ...

Nylons and Midriffs: What’s Happening in

Nylons and Midriffs: What’s Happening in

Hello good wrestling fans. I”m back after a significant move to a new city with some somewhat fresh thoughts about WWE’s women’s division. While I’m sure many of you are ...

Reflections on Regional Professional Wrestling:

by David Beard, Associate Professor of Rhetoric, University of Minnesota Duluth There was one women’s match at FortuneBaynia, a regional professional wrestling show held in Tower, Minnesota, July, ...

Nylons and Midriffs: What’s Happening in

Nylons and Midriffs: What’s Happening in

Wow wow wow good wrestling fans. Have we got a lot to talk about this week! Unlike previous installments, my thoughts for each category this week are more general. I am currently in the midst of a ...

Nylons and Midriffs: What’s Happening in Women’s

Nylons and Midriffs: What’s Happening in Women’s

Hello good wrestling fans. I come to you with devastating news this week. After attempting to watch Extreme Rules yesterday — as I am wont to do using my brother-in-law’s account — ...

Nylons and Midriffs: What’s Happening in

Nylons and Midriffs: What’s Happening in

Hello good wrestling fans. I’m not going to beat around the bush with this post, because we have a lot to get through. I want us all to be caught up and acquainted with where things look to be ...

Before They Were Superstars:  Johnny Gargano

Before They Were Superstars: Johnny Gargano

Sometimes a wrestler becomes so well known in a certain alignment it’s strange to see them wrestle the other way. Ric Flair was widely known as a heel, but would wrestle as a face periodically. Hulk ...

CFP: Sport / Spectacle Conference

Sport­ / Spectacle: Performing, Labouring, Circulating Bodies Across Sport, Theatre, Dance, and Live Art Friday 14 and Saturday 15 September 2018, Kings College London, Strand Campus Day 1, Keynote ...

Nylons and Midriffs: What’s Happening in

Nylons and Midriffs: What’s Happening in

Hello, good wrestling fans! I’m back with another entry into the Nylons and Midriffs series. Not exactly the same time as I promised in my last post, but ’tis life sometimes. Due to ...

Nylons and Midriffs: What’s Happening in

Nylons and Midriffs: What’s Happening in

Welcome to Nylons and Midriffs, PWSA’s new bi-weekly column on women’s wrestling in WWE. In this column, we’re going to magnify women’s wrestling on WWE’s two main brand shows, RAW and Smackdown. ...

The Surreal Reality of Professional Wrestling: A

The Surreal Reality of Professional Wrestling: A

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 ...

WrestleMania 34 Rhetorical Recap: Golden

WrestleMania 34 Rhetorical Recap: Golden

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 ...

WrestleMania 34: A Travelogue

WrestleMania 34: A Travelogue

In recent years, WrestleMania weekend has become an opportunity for numerous domestic and international wrestling promotions to converge on the host city in order to capitalize on the presence of ...

Review – NXT TakeOver: New Orleans

Review – NXT TakeOver: New Orleans

This past weekend, New Orleans, Louisiana played host to several different professional wrestling promotions, all of which offered an abundance of pro graps to wrestling fans of all persuasions. For ...

Special Edition for PCSJ on Pro Wrestling

Special Edition for PCSJ on Pro Wrestling

The editors for the Professional Wrestling Studies Association are happy to celebrate this year’s Wrestlemania week with the new special edition of the Popular Culture Studies Journal on ...

CFP MPCA 2018 Wrestling Studies

UPDATED: PROPOSALS NOW DUE MAY 15, 2018 Midwest PCA/ACA 2018 Area: Wrestling Studies Area Co-Chairs: CarrieLynn D. Reinhard and Christopher J. Olson The 2018 Midwest PCA/ACA conference will be held ...

CFP: Professional Wrestling: Politics and Populism

Professional Wrestling: Politics and Populism Call for book chapter proposals Deadline for abstracts (250 words): 15 March 2018 Contact: Sharon Mazer (smazer@aut.ac.nz) Provoked by the disruptive ...

Rhetorical Recap: WWE’s Royal Rumble and the

Rhetorical Recap: WWE’s Royal Rumble and the

In an age of bottom lines, stakeholder interests, global market competitiveness, spreadable media strategies, Internet social media and sports infotainment coverage, and political correctness, and ...

Taking Back Today: Reconciling Subversiveness

Taking Back Today: Reconciling Subversiveness

It began as anyone may have expected it would, with two solid workers from WWE’s women’s division, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch, getting the crowd hot for the first-ever women’s ...

A Softer, Wiser XFL?

A Softer, Wiser XFL?

Vincent Kennedy McMahon has always aspired to take good ol’ “rasslin” and diffuse it into popular culture. Thinks of all the guest stars he has brought into the fold. He has always desired his ...

Alpha Vs Omega

Alpha Vs Omega

Wrestle Kingdom 12 has come and gone, and New Japan Pro Wrestling picked up some new fans along the way.  This was largely due to interest in the Alpha Vs Omega dream match between Chris Jericho ...

Wrestle Kingdom 12 Review

Wrestle Kingdom 12 Review

Wrestle Kingdom is New Japan Pro Wrestling’s biggest event of the year, their “WrestleMania,” if you will (the similar name is surely no coincidence). Held every year on January 4 at the Tokyo Dome, ...

AAW Windy City Classic XIII

AAW Windy City Classic XIII

Before the dawn of 2018, AAW Pro Wrestling had one more show to put on. Every year, the Windy City Classic (WCC) is AAW’s crowning show. It is meant to be their WrestleMania. Their Wrestle ...

Marketplace of Champions

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 ...

A League of One’s Own: South East Women

A League of One’s Own: South East Women

South East Women Wrestlers (hereafter SEWW) are an artist collective in Athens, GA consisting of female and female-identified performers who seek to subvert patriarchy and the male gaze through ...

What the Audience Wants and What the Audience

What the Audience Wants and What the Audience

There is a popular meme within circles of the Internet Wrestling Community showing a still of Vince McMahon during the Stone Cold Podcast that aired on December 1st, 2014. Unlike most memes, this’ ...

Clash of Champions 2017: Jinder All the Way?

Clash of Champions 2017: Jinder All the Way?

Clash of Champions 2017 Review December 17, 2017 TD Gardens, Boston, MA Announcers Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton US championship 3-way: Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin (c) ...

Theater of the Absurd: A Brief Hustle

Theater of the Absurd: A Brief Hustle

Comic elements have featured regularly in Western pro wrestling for many decades. While presented seriously in its early decades (1890s-1930s), pro wrestling began increasingly featuring comedic ...

Comparing NXT’s WarGames To Its Predecessors

Comparing NXT’s WarGames To Its Predecessors

WWE finally took its first shot at WarGames at NXT Takeover: WarGames. The War Games concept was originally dreamed up by the American Dream Dusty Rhodes after watching Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. ...

War Games Revisited

War Games Revisited

My first encounter with a War Games match came back in the early nineties.  I can remember it well, even after all these years. I’d ensconced myself in the little attic bedroom at the top of the ...

NXT TakeOver: WarGames – The Past Is

NXT TakeOver: WarGames – The Past Is

The emergence of NXT over the last few years as a major part of the WWE’s product line has perhaps been the company’s greatest success story. Far from its origins as an also-ran reality show, NXT ...

WWE’s Survivor Series Dialogic Recap: The Art of

WWE’s Survivor Series Dialogic Recap: The Art of

By Garret Castleberry and Kristine Weglarz With Survivor Series headed to Houston, WWE once again experiments with the traditional team-up versus team-up formula. A couple of years ago, WWE ...

Interacting with AAW Heels

Interacting with AAW Heels

In this blog post, I explore the question: How much of the heel’s identity and success is dependent on the wrestler’s performance, and how much on the audience’s (re)actions? This ...

WWE Video Presentations

The following are two video presentations given at the Midwest Popular Culture / American Culture Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, from October of 2017. In this first presentation, Jack Karlis ...

Calls for Conferences

Central States Communication Association 2018 We are looking to create a panel for the 2018 Central States Communication Association convention to coincide with the release of the Popular Culture ...

The Squared Circle and the Magic Circle

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 ...

SummerSlam Part Two: Review

SummerSlam Part Two: Review

If you missed Part One of this SummerSlam two-parter, you’re welcome to go back and review it. In it, I discuss my pre-SummerSlam preparations, including my reengagement with WWE after many years ...

SummerSlam Part One: Preparations

SummerSlam Part One: Preparations

This SummerSlam article got away from me. It’s about eight times longer than I intended, so I’m releasing it in two parts. Part One is about my pre-SummerSlam preparations, including my reengagement ...

Rhetorical Recap: SummerSlam & WWE’s

Rhetorical Recap: SummerSlam & WWE’s

Summer Slam 2017. Barclay’s Center, Brooklyn, NY. Welcome to the inaugural event recap for the Professional Wrestling Studies Association. In an effort to kick off our annual event coverage of ...

Before They Were Superstars: Adam Cole and Kyle&

Before They Were Superstars: Adam Cole and Kyle&

Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly, along with Bobby Fish, made their presence felt when they attacked the newly crowned NXT champion Drew McIntyre at NXT TakeOver Brooklyn III. Adam and Kyle’s careers ...

About the PWSA

About the PWSA

Professional wrestling studies appears to lie at the brink of legitimization. At least two reasons exist for the creation of the Professional Wrestling Studies Association, which could help further ...

Tom Phillips on Netflix’s GLOW

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 ...

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 ...

Before They Were Superstars: Daniel Bryan and

Daniel Bryan and Dean Ambrose spent a good portion of 2013 wrestling each other. They either fought in tag matches or a few singles matches on Raw or Smackdown. None of these matches were as hard ...

Breaking the Fourth Wall in Reverse

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, ...

Before They Were Superstars: CM Punk and Samoa

One would become the “Best in the World” and the other the “Samoan Submission Machine,” but before all of their nicknames and accolades, they were simply CM Punk and Samoa Joe. In 2004 they had a ...

Before They Were Superstars: Seth Rollins and

Before They Were Superstars: Seth Rollins and

Hello, and welcome to the first installment of Before They Were Superstars, where I’ll be discussing the matches and angles that current WWE superstars were involved in before they debuted in the. ...

The Pop Culture Lens on Prowrestling

The Pop Culture Lens on Prowrestling

The Pop Culture Lens is co-hosted by PWSA contributors CarrieLynn Reinhard and Christopher Olson. The podcast looks as past pop culture texts using different theoretical lens to discuss the text and ...

An Autoethnography of AAW

Two men enter the ring — the “squared circle” — muscles tense, skin already glistening with sweat. They circle the ring, calling out to their fans in the crowd to let their ...

Defining Convergent Wrestling

Professional wrestling has been criticized for its emphasis on the fiction of its entertainment rather than the reality of its sport. My partner, Christopher Olson (Seems Obvious to Me), and I argue ...

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 ...

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 ...

The Communities of AAW

It takes a community to build a wrestling promotion. We have been going to AAW shows now for over a year. We have been to see them in the various venues they use in Chicago — Logan Square ...

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. ...