The Spectacle of Excess Posts

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 13, 2017 /

“Everyone is looking at us.”   There are two thousand people settling into their seats in the Gifu gymnasium, nestled deep in the Japanese Alps.  Only two of them are not Japanese. “Everyone is not looking at us,” Dan says firmly as we try to find our seats.  It’s late 2015; this is only the fourth wrestling show we’ve ever attended, and all the others were WWE shows.  But we’ve decided to try a New…

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…

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…

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…

January 5, 2017 /

I feel very, very conflicted about the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 11. I wanted Kenny Omega to win that belt for a few reasons: 1.) Look at this fucking guy. His “Cleaner” gimmick is ripped straight from Cobra, he came out to a Terminator intro, and he’s a sneering cartoon villain with a rubbery face. I’m into his whole thing. 2.) He’s one of the best wrestlers in the world, and his run in…