Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Understanding Pro Wrestling Part 2

Posted by jasendavis on March 23, 2017

Reading the essays about fan interaction with wrestling scares the crap out of me. I’ve never seen a fan so emotionally invested in anything to where they felt the need to join the action and put themselves or the performers at risk, but the idea seems too farfetched for my mind to register. The accounts of Funk, Ventura, Flair and Heenan are too outlandish to fathom. In my view of the “sport”, the element they call kayfabe would signal to me that the action being portrayed is obviously fake. Who can be an insufferable ass all the time? But to others, it incites them. I have only watched a handful of matches in my life, and I find them to be hilarious. Who gets punched, falls down, gets up and then continues to walk into another punch almost immediately? It’s ridiculous. I feel as though they sport preys upon those that are too easily fooled by the trick. They need to elicit some reaction, and what worries me is the reactions come despite the general format that the genre takes. I’ll call it the “every dog gets its day” format. If a guy loses a match, there are going to be opportunities in the future. I did some research for this. Daniel Bryan suffered the worst loss in Wrestlemania history, still went on to win a championship. I yell when my team loses a game, but I would never fly to New York or Boston and try to stab a player, even though that may be the final opportunity I have to witness such a thing. I honestly believe that studying wrestling fans would be a very complex psychological endeavor.   


4 Responses to “Understanding Pro Wrestling Part 2”

  1. Sean Hull said

    I have to wonder if this obsessive behavior is more prominent due to Pro Wrestling’s widespread engagement with fans. For example, though most people would not attempt to murder an actor for their role in a piece of media, there may still be some who would engage in such behavior. However, those actors generally remain in a specific geographical area, or are otherwise relatively isolated from the public, reducing their likelihood of encountering such individuals. Contrast this with the spectacle of Pro Wrestling, in which a never-ending production, combined with changing locations of competition, collides with a medium that encourages fan interaction, allowing for Pro Wrestlers to interact with a far larger pool of individuals on a regular basis, and, by extension, a larger pool of lunatics.

  2. adusheck said

    I agree that it is completely ridiculous and definitely fake. I realized this especially after watching the matches in class. Nobody gets their face stomped on and doesn’t bleed, have a mark, or have flawless make up afterwards.

  3. briannaembry said

    I think that this is the interesting thing about professional wrestling. It seems to combine so many different aspects of entertainment into one- drama, violence, athletics, and even romance. MOstly every viewer is very aware that the act is fake, but its just crazy that although that fact is known, people still get so into it that they are willing to do some crazy things with the emotions the performance brings.

  4. I agree how the show is rather ridiculus and full of fake action. Personally, a show or match lacking an authentic and real perspective loses any interest I would have in the show.

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