“There was a pagan delight in display of muscle, in the strongman stunts, the braggadocio, and even scanty costumes of wrestlers that offended the nice people”

As Morton and O’Brien explain, about the Victorian era, Burly sports did not fit into the selectivity of the gentleman’s athletic club, early YMCA exercise programs or fledgling collegiate sports. There was a pagan delight in display of muscle, in the strongman stunts, the braggadocio, and even scanty costumes of wrestlers that offended the nice … Read more “There was a pagan delight in display of muscle, in the strongman stunts, the braggadocio, and even scanty costumes of wrestlers that offended the nice people”

Nylons and Midriffs: Women of the Hour (October 23, 2019)

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, and new challengers for the NXT women’s championship have announced themselves. Also, we’ve seen a couple of new … Read more Nylons and Midriffs: Women of the Hour (October 23, 2019)

When the Rebel Heart Met the Blackheart: Slash in Professional Wrestling

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 Ciampa. This work began with noticing that other fans were as interested in this pairing as I was: https://prowrestlingstudies.org/2018/11/21/pro-wrestling-slash. When I started looking into the … Read more When the Rebel Heart Met the Blackheart: Slash in Professional Wrestling

Six important messages about manhood

Below, some notes about gender in wrestling, from “Wrestling with Masculinity: Messages about Manhood in the WWE” by Danielle M. Soulliere Six important messages about manhood were revealed by the WWE programs: (1) Real men are aggressive and violent, (2) men settle things physically, (3) a man confronts his adversaries and problems, (4) real men take … Read more Six important messages about manhood

Paradigm Shifts: A Brief History of the Life, Death and Rebirth of Pro Wrestling on TNT in the US from WCW’s Demise to AEW’s First Show on Television

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 the meaningful battles ceased well before. Over eighteen and a half years have passed since the name on the contract read McMahon, … Read more Paradigm Shifts: A Brief History of the Life, Death and Rebirth of Pro Wrestling on TNT in the US from WCW’s Demise to AEW’s First Show on Television

Excerpt from “Wrestling with Masculinity” Message 6: Men are winners

Below, some notes about gender in wrestling, from “Wrestling with Masculinity: Messages about Manhood in the WWE” by Danielle M. Soulliere Message 6: Men are winners Winning and achievement are part of being a man. This was very apparent even in the contrived world of professional wrestling. Male performers who held the championship title were described … Read more Excerpt from “Wrestling with Masculinity” Message 6: Men are winners

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

Is It Terrible or Terrific? We Needs a Better Way to Talk About Professional Wrestling

 I gave it four stars.  You gave it two and a half stars.  Fair enough.  It’s just our opinion, right?  Well…sort of.  While it is true that match rating is a subjective process, that does not mean we cannot understand it.  Too often, subjective behavior (especially as related to art) is either reduced to its … Read more Is It Terrible or Terrific? We Needs a Better Way to Talk About Professional Wrestling