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 WWE…

Introducing the Professional Wrestling Studies Association

I am writing today to announce the formation of the Professional Wrestling Studies Association. Last spring, several wrestling studies fans and scholars met at the Central States Communication Association conference in Minneapolis to discuss the formation of an organization to promote and produce professional wrestling studies. Based on this conversation, we began drafting the plan…

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 some…

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), Matt…

Wrestling Studies MPCA/ACA 2017 CFP

Midwest PCA/ACA 2017 Area: Wrestling Studies Area Co-Chairs: CarrieLynn D. Reinhard and Christopher J. Olson The 2017 Midwest PCA/ACA conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch from Wednesday-Sunday, October 18-22.  Call: Past, Present and Future of Professional Wrestling Since this is the inaugural conference for this new area, the 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 and…

Convergent Wrestling: Call for Chapters

Official Call for Chapter Proposals Title: Colliding Inside the Squared Circle: The Convergent Nature of Professional Wrestling Editors: CarrieLynn D. Reinhard (Dominican University) & Christopher J. Olson (Dominican University) Purpose: The concept of convergence represents one of the most pervasive buzzwords in media studies, but with good reason. In essence, convergence concerns how the boundaries…

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…

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 to…