Author: Andrea Hetherington

January 31, 2017 /

There are several cool posts on slow simmer right now for The Spectacle of Excess, so it’s relevant at this time that I ask: can you smell what the blog is cooking? But currently, I’m excited to share a 2016 retrospective essay I wrote for the Cubed Circle Newsletter. It was an honor to be invited to contribute to CCN’s Yearbook and I hope to do so again next year! There’s a whole list of cool contributions to…

January 16, 2017 /

This is the second in my series of essays about the art of Punkrockbigmouth. Please check out essay #1 about Niki’s Digital Impressionism and enjoy my thoughts on -ism #2: Crosshatch Realism. Whereas brushstrokes exist as a result of the medium of paint, crosshatching is a technique that originated back when etchings and engravings were all the rage. This sort of technique, in which artists were scratching out their pictures on wood or metal, required a…

December 17, 2016 /

I cannot believe it’s been a year and a half since I wrote my first essay about the wrestling artist known as Punkrockbigmouth (and also known as Niki). I had plans for a three essay series, and then 2016 happened and I’m just now gathering my crumbled thoughts back up off the floor. As I work to find my groove in The New Era of Wrestling Theory and Criticism In Which WWE Takes a Backseat (see…

November 20, 2016 /

@HerzogBooks is a reclusive member of the IWC who emerges occasionally to tweet as though notorious brooding German filmmaker Werner Herzog himself is commenting on WWE. He has his own fictitious Herzog-themed wrestling promotion, and does Herzog/wrestling mashups on YouTube that explore the more cinematic gestures of wrestling. I invited this curious character to The Spectacle of Excess for an interview to see if I could make sense of the whole cool thing. Andrea G: Your…

November 11, 2016 /

Dear Vince, Linda, Stephanie, and Shane, We are a team of writers who view wrestling as a legitimate form of theatre and write about it from literary, economic, political, and artistic angles. Our blog is inspired by “The World of Wrestling” by Roland Barthes, which we’re sure you must be familiar with. We are spearheading a unique niche in pop culture studies that we like to call “wrestling theory and criticism” and are shopping around…

October 18, 2016 /

If you follow this blog, you know I’ve been making a lazy, extremely unscientific study of the word “machka”, a seemingly humble Bulgarian word that has taken on a heightened significance as Rusev’s rallying cry and chief buzzword. My post a few months ago called On the Progress of Machka and Its Relevance in Wrestling Theory laid out a hodge-podge of graphs and whatnot to show what happened to traffic on this site’s posts about…

October 14, 2016 /

New friend of the blog John Dvorak is making his debut guest post with a Barthesian reading of James Ellsworth, how great is that? This jobber who came out of nowhere becomes valued for that which is the opposite of traditional value in wrestling, what a perfect emblem of these strange times. Take a look:   On Tuesday I had the enjoyable opportunity to take my ten-year old son to the SAP Center in San Jose…

October 12, 2016 /

I noticed last night on Smackdown that at the end of the James Ellsworth/AJ Styles comedy match, Dean Ambrose was pointing menacingly at his package as a threat to AJ Styles. You can see it at the end of the clip in this here tweet: THAT'S RIGHT! @realellsworth has DEFEATED the @WWE World Champion @AJStylesOrg on #SDLive! @TheDeanAmbrose pic.twitter.com/46GCT7Mziv — WWE (@WWE) October 12, 2016 Their feud has been focused on the exchange of low blows,…

October 2, 2016 /

Dolph Ziggler cut a devastating promo on Smackdown this week, a monologue that made me cringe with guilt, that indicted us all for our callous indifference toward the hardworking eighties gimmick pretty boy. Ziggler got raw and real, characterizing wrestling as what it is in its ugliest form: a strange addiction, a pursuit that’s hard to quit, even when it’s become unhealthy and unproductive. His voice was unstable and veering into higher octaves as he…

September 23, 2016 /

You might have noticed I haven’t posted to this blog in like three months. AJ Styles has upended my theoretical stance on everything and thus, my affairs are a shambles. I’ve had to completely rebuild my worldview and it’s taken some time. I mean, I have been doing other things and not blogging, it’s true. Life has been on an extreme trajectory as of late. But in fact this hasn’t been writer’s block, I’ve written plenty,…