Category: Wrestling Theory & Criticism

July 19, 2017 /

Run-ins are the bane of anyone trying to look back and re-assemble a story in wrestling.  You could, for example, watch every single match between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in the WWE and never come across the first time they interacted on Raw–because it happened at the end of a match between Kevin and Neville, where Sami comes out and interrupts a post-match beatdown: Lots of feuds and alliances are born in unrelated matches,…

July 3, 2017 /

On Sunday July 2, 2017, in his Twitter war with CNN, the president of the United States dropped a gif meme like an awkwardly-aimed missile, in which footage of him pounding on Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania 23 was altered so that McMahon’s head is the CNN logo. Behold: It’s so bizarre to be writing about this. I shouldn’t be surprised after the recent trajectory of increasing surrealism in the Trump storyline—the orb, covfefe, Reality Winner,…

May 10, 2017 /

I’m watching wrestling while hiding under the sheets so my parents won’t catch me. Clarification: I am a grown-ass human being of full adulthood, and I’m watching wrestling while hiding under the sheets so my parents won’t catch me. This is because I still haven’t figured out a way to explain to my parents that it’s terribly important I watch Sami Zayn defend his NXT title against Kevin Owens; that I have in fact flown…

April 30, 2017 /

I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this post for quite a while. This is deeply personal and highly sensitive, the sort of thing I’ve learned I’d best keep my trap shut about on the interwebz (lolol). But in light of recent events, I’ll just cut to the chase here: circa 1989-90, when I was in eighth and ninth grade, I had an intense, aching crush on Marty Janetty. Marty Janetty was my…

April 27, 2017 /

Once upon a time in Montreal… It’s October 2003, and Kevin Steen and El Generico are just nineteen years old.  Kevin has just come out of three years of routinized wrestling school into truly impromptu wrestling; Generico has been trained by a guy who took his money to teach him how to take bumps on frozen grass in the park.  Kevin’s been wrestling for IWS for a couple of months now, but only now is…

April 10, 2017 /

I am thrilled and honored to present this guest post by Tom Breen, from whom I very much hope we will see more in the future. It was Tom who just a couple months ago turned me onto Joey Janela, the indie talent whose brilliant carny antics have reinvigorated my love of professional wrestling in a major way. Tom articulated so much here about a wrestler whose work I’m just scratching the surface of how…

April 1, 2017 /

I’ve given myself a bit of a complex about this moratorium on writing about WWE. It’s been great to force myself out of my comfort zone, seek out new wrestling to watch and figure out how to go about watching it and writing about it. The process has been slow and faltering, but highly rewarding. However, as a wrestling theorist, I simply cannot ignore a near monopolistic-sized chunk of the market that is my topic…

March 29, 2017 /

Once upon a time seems a good way to start this story.  It’s a story almost too narratively perfect to be true, which includes forbidden wrestling, miraculous moonsaults, emotional breakdowns and epiphanies, and ambition renounced for art.  It’s the beginning of one of the greatest friendships, and rivalries, and stories in wrestling.  It may even be the beginning of two of the greatest friendships, and rivalries, and stories in wrestling. And as pieced together from two shoot interviews…

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…