12:45-1:05: “ECW: An anti-establishment, counterculture lifestyle and an illusion of the authentic”


Joshua Botvin is a Lecturer in the English Department and a Program Coordinator at the Multiliteracy and Communication Center for the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.

Matthew Botvin is the founder of the EMS Clothing business.

An undeniable conflict lay at the heart of professional wrestling: the struggle between the work and the shoot; the scripted and the spontaneous; the authentic and the fake. Most fans understand that in any given night, these lines exist in constant flux. But those fans live for the break, the bloodshed, the real. When EWC exploded onto the national scene in the 1990s, fans were hooked on the company’s carnage, mayhem, and independent spirit. But what happens when the rebels are corporately funded? This presentation explores this central conflict of ECW, asking if corporate funding is grounds for indie-cred cancellation. 


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