Category: Art of Wrestling

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…

July 5, 2017 /

[Warning that there are gifs in here of Sami’s match with John Cena, which he fought with a legit injury.] My father was known for approaching life with teasing irony.  Nothing was as it seemed on the surface.  “Oh, these cupcakes are terrible, let me save you from them,” he would say while pretending to steal them away, to be thwarted by giggling shrieks of protest.  “Santa got lost this year, so there are no…

June 12, 2017 /

This is the third installment of a five part series called On The -isms of Punkrockbigmouth. Check the first two here and here. Whereas PRBM’s crosshatching and impressionism are astute stylistic choices for her medium and subject, foreshortening is a very practical technique that bring the art of wrestling’s action and physicality into a visual space in such a way that allows a fast-moving tangle of bodies to be visually comprehensible. An object is foreshortened when…

February 22, 2017 /

The indie wrestler I went out with circa 2003 died recently. I’m not sure what he died of, but his Facebook page shows an x-ray of a bone with metal rods in it or something, dated like a week before he died. I think physically he really had a hard time of it. He was around 43. People on Facebook were saying he was younger, but I remember him as being a year or two older…

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…