Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

“I Was Stabbed 21 Times by Crazy Fans”: Pro Wrestling and Popular Concerns with Immersive Story Worlds

Posted by taylorbelcher on March 22, 2017

I definitely found the first reading ““I Was Stabbed 21 Times by Crazy Fans”: Pro Wrestling and Popular Concerns with Immersive Story Worlds” very interesting. One of the first quotes that stood out to me was at the top of page 34. It says, “Murray’s 1985 piece quoted earlier emphasizes a concern that those “lower” people cannot ultimately be rescued: “(W)restling is like sex. You can rail against it, legislate against it, condemn it, threaten it with punishment and campaign against it. But you’ll never make it unpopular with the masses.”” I thought this was a clever comparison. Also, in this quote, “Work refers to “any rehearsed or preestablished plan or movement” in wrestling (Kerrick 1980), while “convincing his audience that he is…in great pain or incensed” is called selling…as “the wrestler must sell the spectator, just as a vacuum-cleaner salesman would convince a homeowner” (142–3). In other words, workers must sell if they are going to convince the marks,” I like how it explains and gives another comparison for the reader. It made it easier for me to understand in my opinion. There’s another quote that says, “Wrestling’s “business” was built on the idea that fans were being duped into believing the show was real. And, while wrestling now typically admits “the con” outside the narrative, this language of “fooling the marks” persists.” Like I said before in a previous blog post, I grew up watching wrestling and believed it to be real. When I became aware of all of it being staged and scripted, I kind of lost interest. Lastly, the most interesting part of this essay was when it discussed the many memoirs of wrestlers being attacked by fans.


2 Responses to ““I Was Stabbed 21 Times by Crazy Fans”: Pro Wrestling and Popular Concerns with Immersive Story Worlds”

  1. Sean Hull said

    It’s interesting to hear your point of view on losing interest in Pro Wrestling. I would not presume to put words in your mouth, but more generally it raises questions of how feelings of audience betrayal affect their enjoyment of media. Though the assigned readings assert that most fans comprehend the falsehood of Pro Wrestling, it would be interesting to learn how people who were initially duped reacted, including those who are no longer fans as a result. Unfortunately, I don’t really know how anyone would go about learning that.

  2. vene131 said

    I can understand how watching something and then finding out it was not real would ruin the experience. I legit thought I was going to get a Hogwarts letter when I was eleven and ding dong I was wrong.

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