The Spectacle of Excess Posts

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,…

June 22, 2017 /

So let’s say you’re an inexperienced wrestling fan who’s made an unwise and hasty vow to watch everything two indie wrestlers have ever done over the last 13 years (let’s say you’re me).  This is kind of like suddenly being handed a huge bag of Lego blocks and told “Here it is, there’s a really cool thing here, but you have to do the work to put it together.”  You stare at all the tiny…

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…

June 7, 2017 /

I am hating Kevin Owens. I know the grammar sounds wonky there, but believe me, it’s accurate.  It’s early 2015, I am in the passenger seat of a rental car driving down the Florida coast, and I am consciously, deliberately, and actively hating Kevin Owens. From the driver’s seat, Dan listens patiently as I list once more the new NXT champ’s offenses:  assault, title-stealing, repeated powerbombing, gloating, and generalized friendship failure are only the beginning…

May 24, 2017 /

Usually one wouldn’t describe a severed artery as a “lucky break” for anyone.  But this is wrestling, so sure, why not.   By mid-2004, the tireless work of IWS’s publicist, Michael Ryan, has gotten some IWS wrestlers spots in two East Coast promotions, Jersey All Pro and Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW).  One of them, Sexxxy Eddy, slices his arm in the middle of a CZW hardcore match, hits an artery and ends up with a…

May 23, 2017 /

Greetings Spectacle Readers! I have several cool posts simmering, but I’m feeling inspired to keep up with the prolific J.J. McGee, who has brought this blog back to awesome with her bi-weekly Sami/Kevin history project! Instead of trying to force my next Punkrockbigmouth art crit piece to completion before it’s fully cooked this week, I’m sharing the first chapter of the novel I wrote for my MFA thesis well over a decade ago. I wasn’t ready to…

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 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…