Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Understanding Professional Wrestling part 2

Posted by Kimberlea Ferrell on March 22, 2017

What I find really interesting about professional wrestling is that the fans have a direct influence on how the story unfolds. Audience reactions can change what was scripted to happen, and that doesn’t really occur in any other form of entertainment. On top of this, fans are aware of their involvement and perform themselves.

In the Seeing Fans piece, there is mention of critics condemning wrestling for things like its effects on the aggression levels of its spectators. The funny thing about this is that there is violence everywhere else in the word, fictional or not, that everyone witnesses. We see tragedies on the news every day, so isn’t watching people perform and pretend to beat each other up a happier thing?

Also, I can surprisingly relate this topic to Steven Universe. Steven and Amethyst have costumes and their own characters to perform in local wrestling competitions. These are not as similar to the WWE scripted story lines, but have similar themes. Unlike what we have talked about, no one truly knows that the characters Purple Puma and Tiger Millionaire are Amethyst and Steven (or don’t acknowledge it for the sake of the entertainment) so there is no reason for them to remain in character outside of the matches. Their characters are more villainous than heroes. So when a fan eagerly asks for an autograph, Steven says “You couldn’t afford it!” and smacks a cup of soda out of his hand. Up until this point, Steven saw everything as acting, a big show, giving fans what they wanted, but he truly hurt this fan emotionally. The fan loved the character being portrayed but expected him to treat his fans nicely. Even after being hurt, this fan cheered for Tiger Millionaire in a later match.


One Response to “Understanding Professional Wrestling part 2”

  1. marylennoxhalf said

    It is interesting how the fans make such a big impact on how the story unfolds. By watching it, you see all of the different aspects of the matches. The fans, the music, the wrestling. Although I probably won’t watch it much anymore, I am glad I got to see the competition and the use of drama!

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