The Pop Culture Lens on Professional Wrestling Studies

For this special episode of The Pop Culture Lens, co-hosts Christopher J. Olson and I address a question they have been working on answer: why study professional wrestling? Their answers delve into the many ways that professional wrestling has impacted societies and cultures around the world to understand just how important pro-wrestling is. From the WWEContinue reading “The Pop Culture Lens on Professional Wrestling Studies”

Community at 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 Auditorium, 115 Bourbon Street, the Berwyn Eagles Club, and Joe’s Live at Rosemont. We have watched someContinue reading “Community at AAW”

Past, Present and Future of Pro-Wrestling

At the 2017 C2E2 convention, I was joined by a great panel of professional wrestling professionals, fans and scholars to discuss how we see the past, present and future of “sports entertainment” from this particular point in time. On this panel are the following: Dave Prazak (Shimmer Women’s Professional Wrestling), Mike Kingston (Headlocked comic), MattContinue reading “Past, Present and Future of Pro-Wrestling”

ECW on The Pop Culture Lens

In the thirty-fourth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson (Seems Obvious to Me) and I welcome friend of the podcast Ryan Schriml to discuss the innovative nature and legacy of Extreme Championship Wrestling — or, ECW! ECW! ECW! In this episode, our discussion focuses on how the innovations of Paul Heyman andContinue reading “ECW on The Pop Culture Lens”

Experiencing the Co-Construction of Kayfabe: AAW Take No Prisoners

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 event I attended in an attempt to define what my partner, Christopher Olson, and I mean by “convergent wrestling.” The entire presentationContinue reading “Experiencing the Co-Construction of Kayfabe: AAW Take No Prisoners”

Professional Wrestling, Smarks, and Convergent Media

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 (Seems Obvious to Me) and I see this concept of convergence being able to describe various aspects of professional wrestling. Now, being that we are academics, oneContinue reading “Professional Wrestling, Smarks, and Convergent Media”

Convergent Wrestling: The Nature of Professional 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 that professional wrestling functions as a convergent media product, representing a vital text for examining the media landscape of the 21st century. TheContinue reading “Convergent Wrestling: The Nature of Professional Wrestling”

A First Encounter with Live Sports Entertainment

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 admiration roar and shake the building. The room still reverberates with the booming baselines of their entrance music, leaving the audiences’ ears toContinue reading “A First Encounter with Live Sports Entertainment”