The Pop Culture Lens Takes on Professional Wrestling

In the fifteenth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Chris and I welcome friend of the podcast, and friend in general, Joe Belfeuil to discuss the largest professional wrestling company in the world, World Wrestling Entertainment, at the time when it ruled the 1980s as the World Wrestling Federation.

Both Chris and Joe grew up with the WWF, but I am a newcomer to sports entertainment and know more about the WWE. Together, we discuss what the WWF was like, including the ways in which it was rather problematic in its depiction of people outside of the United States, women, people of color, and non-heterosexuals. We also discuss how professional wrestling, especially as epitomized by the WWF/WWE, represents convergent culture and the creation of a simulation of reality or hyperreality. We also touch on the problems the WWE still faces, how the company perhaps creates these problems, and what could be done to fix the problems — basically, they smark out as any good professional wrestling fan should!

The music at the end comes from a music video made by the WWF Superstars and perfectly represents the Rock and Wrestling era of the 1980s discussed in the episode. And you can see it here!

I’ve written about sports entertainment here before, and Chris and I are interested in putting together a book project on this idea of “convergent wrestling” that we touch on this podcast episode. We have organized conference panels on this topic, at this past Central States Communication Association and at the upcoming Midwest Popular Culture Association. Hopefully we can get this project together — so if you are interested in contributing, contact us!

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