San Diego Comic Con

In a first, the forty-eighth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast finds friend of the podcast Joan Miller (@a_wild_acafan) joining Christopher Olson and myself to discuss the importance of the grand-daddy fan convention, San Diego Comic Con. In this episode, the trio discuss how SDCC came to be the pop cultural juggernaut that it…

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 and…

Fourth Wall and Professional Wrestling

In this brief essay, I want to share an idea I have had about how the concept of audience interaction helps to define sports entertainment as existing at the intersection of sports and entertainment. Audience interaction with content (what I have written about here as content interactivity) is the idea that the audience member (either…

The Pop Culture Lens on Avatar: The Last Airbender

In the twenty-sixth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and I welcome friend of the podcast and return guest, Aaron Kashtan, to discuss the immensely popular hit from the early 21st century, Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008). In this episode – which at times features poor audio due to issues with Skype,…

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 presentation…

The Pop Culture Lens on Deltron 3030

I grew up in rural Northeastern Wisconsin. On a golf course. Country music was played in our high school gym’s fitness center. Tractors would sometimes keep you from moving at good speed on county roads. Winters were not the only thing smothered in white. I grew up at the time when hip-hop and rap cultures…

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, one…

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. The…

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…

The Convergent Nature of Professional Wrestling

UPDATED: Submissions Due Wednesday, September 24th Earlier this year, I wrote about my experience meeting Mick Foley, my new found interest in professional wrestling, and my initial academic thoughts on professional wrestling and Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment in particular. Since that time, I signed up for the WWE Network, the new online-only initiative recently launched by…