New Japan Pro Wrestling Podcast

For the fifty-fifth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and I are joined by unofficial third co-host Joe Belfeuil to discuss the history and significance of New Japan Pro Wrestling aka NJPW. The trio consider how NJPW emerged, and its early relationship with other big professional wrestling federations like WWF and NWA….

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…

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…

Legion: Or, the Exorcism Movie that Makes Me Sad for Roddy Piper

I recently came to be interested in professional wrestling. For awhile there — as in most of my life — I thought wrestling to be beneath me, an entertainment that degrades those who do it and those who watch it. I was wrong: there are many layers to this sports entertainment, and it is quite…

Genre Mashing in Professional Wrestling

After the event of this weekend, where normally we are only needing to remember our veterans but must now also remember those young men and women who died at the whim of a terrorist — of a misogynist extremist — I need to take a break from discussing fractured fandom and the sexist, and misogynist,…