Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Understanding Professional Wrestling, Pt.1

Posted by tristendenney14 on March 20, 2017

As we get back into writing our blogs after spring break, I am once again confused but interested in how these multiple forms of media all relate. For example, after previously discussing soap operas and their history and influence, I was quite shocked when we found out our next topic was professional wrestling. When I grew up, I never got into professional wrestling or WWE, but after reading the two articles by our professor Sam Ford, I can see why people continue to enjoy this sport and form of entertainment. I honestly believe it all goes back to the “stickiness”, “spreadability”, and what the audience wants. This is seen in the second article titled, “WWE’s Story World and the Potentials of Transmedia Storytelling.” This article talks about the transmedia influence and multiple ways WWE and professional wrestling continue to gain popularity and entertain audiences, and I personally think it is brilliant. For example, the polls audience members get to participate in, and the “audience-created” storylines also known as “user-generated content” that get used in the shows are a great way to not only give the audience a choice, but literally let them create the storyline they want to see. Also, by allowing the cast members to remain in character and interact with fans on social media, the WWE continues to encourage audience interaction, and people today want to feel included. Although there are negatives to the WWE, like drawing out storylines too long or dropping future ideas after “hyping” them up, the WWE is obviously doing something right seeing that this type of entertainment originated years and years ago in carnivals. Furthermore, relating back to the first article titled, “Mick Foley: Pro Wrestling and the Contradictions of the Contemporary American Hero”, the WWE’s change is a good thing as seen in this article where Mick Foley’s description is quite the opposite of the typical American hero. Therefore, as the media industry continues to evolve, WWE will continue to not only change, but further include fans and thrive worldwide.


3 Responses to “Understanding Professional Wrestling, Pt.1”

  1. Drake Kizer said

    I think you made a lot of good points in this post, and I especially enjoyed reading your perspective because you are not already a professional wrestling fan. I definitely agree with your assessment that WWE allowing fans to have more and more input into the content they want to see is a great thing. Just like fans of anything, audience members want to feel like their opinion matters and is really having an impact on the product they are consuming. You put it perfectly when you said that “people today want to feel included”, and most of WWE’s continued success is definitely due to their dedication to pleasing as many members of their audience as possible.

  2. kaufmansw said

    One thing I really like about your post is the fact you mentioned the storyline behind the match. The plot is what has the fans eager. I will agree that sometimes it is a little too drawn out.

  3. emilyjones232 said

    I like how you brought up transmedia, which is something I never thought about within the context of wrestling.

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