Introduction to Popular Culture Studies


Posted by oliviajacobs1 on November 3, 2016

When I was in highschool, I got REALLY into professional wrestling. I think a lot of the attraction for me was the attention I got from being a petite white lady in an Undertaker tee shirt. Anyway, there was about an eight month period where I was a relative expert on what was happening in pro-wrestling media, and it was all I would talk about. I also would commission art from illustrators online of my favorite wrestlers.  

I thought it was really interesting, during this time, how difficult it was to get access to shows I wanted to watch. I wanted my parents to upgrade our cable service so I could watch wrestling, which of course they thought was absurd, even though they’re really supportive of my interests etc.

I did musical theatre in high school, too and I saw a lot of interesting parallels between musical theatre and pro-wrestling. They are both kind of about constantly being at the point of plot climax, and not really focused on other points of story. They also both have a lot of emphasis on spectacle and making subtextual aspects really latent.

I kind of gave up on wrestling when I went to a screening of The Undertaker vs. Mankind- King of the Ring 1998 and I was really uncomfortable with the culture of the people who were there, and also that match is like, really intense and jarring.

I still see some things about wrestlers every so often and just feel a sense of nostalgia for it even though I’m not invested in it anymore.


3 Responses to “Pro-wrestling”

  1. alexmalone1729 said

    I googled around a bit the last time you mentioned it in class, and I can’t for the life of me figure out what the hell a “latent subtext” is precisely. Is there anywhere you can point me?

    My rough contextual approximation/translation is that the intentional spectacle of a wrestling match naturally mutes a lot of the cultural associations and such that we might read into a different program. However, at the same time, there is this overarching sense of arcs and callbacks that theoretically supplant that which has been muted with the universe’s own “cultural connotations and such.” The same thing could be said of a stage production.

  2. mhlowhorn said

    That’s so interesting that you compared Pro Wrestling to musical theater. I can totally see that, since the point of both is to make movements/actions as exaggerated as possible in order to garner a reaction. That’s kind of how it relates to soap operas, as well. Honestly I feel like Pro-Wrestling is a really underrated art-form, and a really ingenious storytelling method. Really cool to hear it related to other methods!

  3. lucdigi said

    Never thought about the theatre thing…. you all have me intrigued with that comment! Wonder how many similarities there are…

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