Category: Art of Wrestling

January 11, 2018 /

The air is heavy with the scent of rice crackers and seaweed-wrapped rice balls, and I am grieving. It’s February 2016 in Osaka, I’m here for the New Beginning show, and three days ago Daniel Bryan announced his retirement from wrestling. The people around me are nibbling on snacks, chatting about the card in the darkened arena, waiting. Beside me, Dan is bowed over with his head in his hands. He started to get a…

November 29, 2017 /

(Quick warning for some bloody imagery below.) Some moments in wrestling are staggeringly momentous, huge enough to fill a stadium with emotion, so titanic that the audience’s reaction becomes itself part of the moment: the Miz winning the world title; the breaking of the Undertaker’s streak. Some are smaller, more intimate, shared with a group of hundreds at a small show or a live event. Some are so fleeting and personal they may only touch…

November 25, 2017 /

Greetings friends! I have emerged from the abyss with the fourth in my series of posts about the art  of the fabulous Punkrockbigmouth. Check parts I, II, and III if you’re interested, and be sure to check out all of PRBM’s work on punkrockbigmouth.tumblr.com. The term “cartoon satire” doesn’t structure quite right for an -ism, but let’s get over ourselves. Not all -isms can logistically take on the suffix, and I’m just making all this…

November 15, 2017 /

Wrestling is repetitive. At its worst, it’s a frustrating experience, full of dead ends and pointless loops, events that pile up without a story to tie them together, jolting along until they merely stop without closure. But there’s promise and potential there, too. Given enough time and patience, some luck and stubbornness and inspiration, you could put all those repeating patterns together into stories that echo and resonate off each other, like bells that never quite…

October 19, 2017 /

“I’m not sure I should watch this,” I say. We’ve gotten home from work and Smackdown is queued up and ready to go. I know Sami cuts a promo on Daniel Bryan and then he and Kevin win the main event together. Everyone on my timeline is thrilled. It’s the storyline I’ve been looking forward to for years. “I mean it,” I say. “I’m really not sure I should watch this.” “Aren’t you happy for…

September 26, 2017 /

Who are we, as wrestling fans, and what have we lost? It’s March 28, 1962, in Los Angeles, California. It’s a Wednesday night at the Grand Olympic Auditorium, just south of Downtown, the famous arena about which Charles Bukowski once wrote, “the gallery boys went ape and the fighters fought like fighters and the place was blue with cigar smoke, and how we screamed, baby baby, and threw money and drank our whiskey.” That night…

September 8, 2017 /

So I was deep into a post about the unique women’s narrative in a match between Ivelisse and Sexy Star inspired by Ivelisse’s Twitter misadventures of late, because as you know, Ivelisse is my spirit animal, and I too am the baddest bitch in the building I am in. Also, I just can’t abide by the Twitter police all the time—this shit becomes its own form of exclusion and tyranny. But then Sexy Star had…

August 30, 2017 /

It’s early summer, 2015, and WWE is coming to Japan in a couple of months. We have tickets for one of the two shows, and to my delight, Kevin Owens, NXT champion and newly arrived on the main roster, is on the card. In preparation, I have gone to the stationary store and bought nice paper, the kind with gold threads woven into it, and a new pen. I sit down and I put the…

August 2, 2017 /

Some of the very best moments in wrestling are about redemption. Redemption is Miss Elizabeth throwing herself into Randy Savage’s arms; it’s Shawn Michaels saying “I’m sorry, I love you” to Ric Flair; it’s Daniel Bryan holding those two titles aloft in New Orleans. It’s those fleeting moments where something is lifted out of doubt and darkness and held up as worthy, as valued, as clean and bright and true. Wrestling fans, we love a…

July 14, 2017 /

It’s a question wrestling fans ask themselves with a regularity that’s surprising, given the nature of the industry: Which of these people could win a fight for real? The Legit Tough Guy is the answer, a folkloric figure whose assured existence and debated identity is perhaps unique to wrestling, which straddles the line between sport and drama. It’s hard to imagine ballet-goers, for instance, debating which ballerina is a swan in real life, and there’s…