On Us

Notes on the Spectacle of Excess is a collaborative blog that explores the art of professional wrestling through cultural criticism, creative non-fiction, memoir, and other such writerly points of view. We think professional wrestling is important, and we read it like it’s literature. Keep track of us on Twitter: @SpectacleofX

Here’s more about some of our current contributors:

Andrea Hetherington has loved professional wrestling since age ten, when she turned the knob on the TV one Saturday morning after cartoons and stumbled on an iconic match between Wendy Richter and Leilani Kai with Cyndi Lauper and Fabulous Moolah at ringside. She pays attention to the intersections of wrestling with things like literature, theatre, art, economics, philosophy, and international relations. She started Notes on the Spectacle of Excess with the whimsical idea of writing like 1950’s post-structuralist wrestling fan Roland Barthes as though he were a weekly watcher of WWE, but the blog has since grown into its own whole thing, which she likes to call “wrestling theory”. Check out her short story about indy wrestling: “The Unshakeable Kayfabe of Tommy Rage” on New Pop Lit. Then click here to learn about her other projects, or follow her on the Twittah.

Ryan Boyd has loved professional wrestling ever since he watched a match between Undertaker and Steve Austin with his grandfather at the age of twelve — when you’re a repressed Jesus kid, there’s nothing better than an undead necromancer battling a beer-swilling redneck — and though he’d stopped following it for years as an adult, he fell back in love while doing a classic wrestling podcast with some buddies. (He was shocked to find out that Mark Henry, Big Show and Goldust were still going, and that fans were still chanting WHAT? like it’s 2002.) There’s nothing else on earth like professional wrestling, and he believes that it deserves the same critical analysis as music or film. He’ll mostly be covering the Golden Age, New Generation, and Attitude Eras, though expect a lot of essays gushing about Sasha Banks and Shinsuke Nakamura, both of whom have a triangle choke on his heart. He lives in Los Angeles. Give him trouble on Twitter at @ryandroyd, or on Tumblr at ryanvoid.tumblr.com.

J.J. McGee says: I came very late to wrestling fandom, and was only the most casual of fans until watching TakeOver R-Evolution in December 2014.  At the time only vaguely aware that there was wrestling outside of WWE (there was some kind of Total Guerilla Action?  Or a Ring of Chikara?), I watched Sami Zayn beat Neville for the title and watched him celebrate with debuting Kevin Owens.  When Kevin turned on Sami I stood up, pointed at the television, and made a solemn vow to watch everything these two astonishing people have ever done together and understand it all.  The rest of my life as a wrestling fan has been a consequence of that rash, foolish, and completely unregretted decision.
I’m fascinated by the complex history of wrestling, the storytelling and character work, and the relationship between wrestlers and the audience, and most of my essays will touch on those topics in some way. You can find my painfully earnest self marking out at @MithGifs (my gif-making Twitter) or @Wegthorn.

John Dvorak acquired his life-long love of professional wrestling from his Slovak-Catholic immigrant grandmother, who rode the bus to the Pittsburgh Civic Arena to watch local legend Bruno Sammartino with the same religious fervor that she took to Mass each weekend. It was real to her until the day she died. John watches and writes about wrestling in between reading, traveling, running marathons, and playing mid-stakes poker.  He thinks the professional wrestling ring provides an incomparable escape from—and uncanny insight into—these strange times in which we live.  John regularly thanks the head booker upstairs for his incredible shoot wife and three boys who regularly no-sell his attempts at parenting. Say hi on Twitter @JohnNDvorak.



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