Nylons and Midriffs: Slow Burn (Year in Review, 2019)

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 entity. Did it evolve? Did it shake the proverbial table of the wrestling world? I’m not so sure. As with any roller-coaster, … Read more Nylons and Midriffs: Slow Burn (Year in Review, 2019)

Call for Papers: Special Issue on Cultural Studies of Florida

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. It is a spectacular state of escape for spring breaking coeds, disneyfied kids, and sun-seeking “snowbirds” who flock south among resettled retirees, new migrants, longtime locals, and … Read more Call for Papers: Special Issue on Cultural Studies of Florida

Nylons and Midriffs: War and Peace (November 6, 2019)

Image credit: newsweek.com

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 problematic developments since the previous edition of Nylons.

My suitcase is full of thoughts, so let us start unpacking them together.

The Good
NXT/AEW: I am still enjoying the women’s wrestling of All Elite Wrestling, even if it is few and far between (more on that in the next section). Right now, I feel that with each new woman that shows her face on weekly TV, I’m getting a deeper sense of the holistic identity of their women’s division. Every woman seems to have their own style and in-ring presentation, that makes each woman distinct in a way that’s different than WWE. It feels almost reminiscent of WWE’s Attitude Era in that the women feel like independent and unique entities that choose to compete for a specific company, rather than a company trying to mold them into a specific shape or brand, like NXT intends to.

If you watch WWE long enough, you figure out that their ultimate goal (and some would argue, particularly with NXT) is to make each wrestler signature to their own brand and style. It’s all about getting wrestlers to assimilate to WWE’s specific presentation of “sports entertainment.” WWE acts as a parent that tells you, “You’re free to express yourself — just not like that.”

In AEW, it genuinely feels that the women are not constricted in that way. They feel fluid and rough around the edges. And that, so far, is what I really like about their women.

As far as NXT? OH BABY. For the women, NXT had a near-perfect two weeks. Let me just talk a little bit about each of the best things we saw.

Read moreNylons and Midriffs: War and Peace (November 6, 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

Nylons and Midriffs: All You Can Eat (October 9, 2019)

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 for this world’s potential. Because WWE did just have a pay-per-view, though, we’re obligated to discuss what went down. … Read more Nylons and Midriffs: All You Can Eat (October 9, 2019)

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

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 hear any other NXT fan’s reactions to this past year, and for a second opinion, and … Read more The Best of NXT in 2018

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 channel. This was before the WWE Network was launched, and before I had any access to higher level cable channels like … Read more Pro-Wrestling Slash

“Ladies All Across the World!”: An Evolution Review

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 an all women roster (Shimmer and Shine most notably), this is the first time WWE has put all the focus on their women … Read more “Ladies All Across the World!”: An Evolution Review

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 Hogan, for much of his career, also wrestled as a face — to the point that it was a … Read more Before They Were Superstars: Johnny Gargano