Tag: kayfabe

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 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,…

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…

September 23, 2016 /

You might have noticed I haven’t posted to this blog in like three months. AJ Styles has upended my theoretical stance on everything and thus, my affairs are a shambles. I’ve had to completely rebuild my worldview and it’s taken some time. I mean, I have been doing other things and not blogging, it’s true. Life has been on an extreme trajectory as of late. But in fact this hasn’t been writer’s block, I’ve written plenty,…

November 30, 2015 /

So I was watching Breaking Ground, which gives a backstage look at NXT wrestlers as they develop their characters and attempt to find their place within the shambolic carnival of professional wrestling. This is on the Network, mind you, and everything you see is completely sanctioned by WWE. One episode focuses on Baron Corbin, or more specifically, Tom Pestock the Former Football Player-Turned-Wrestler, as he grumbles backstage and keeps to himself and rides a motorcycle…

February 24, 2015 /

True kayfabe is a rare bird at this stage of history on wrestling’s timeline. The fact that it is a scripted performance is now firmly a “no duh”. Or maybe a “yeah, and?” We all think about the meta in wrestling now, considering it in terms of storyline, product, and character development. We are completely aware that we cheer and boo for quality of performance, intensity of presence, and for surprises we weren’t expecting. It’s…

January 1, 2015 /

This final RAW of 2014 was fascinating, despite being pretty low key until the hostage situation at the end. There were no celebrations of Hulk Hogan or a holiday or a charity, just well-composed rising action and character development. The episode functioned as something of an airing of grievances, as is seasonally appropriate and a welcome change from the Christmas shenanigans of the previous week and the tired cliches of overall holiday season. It was…

September 28, 2014 /

I once had a secret little email friendship with a cute wrestler who went by the name Tekniq. His regular gimmick was kind of a mini-Matt Hardy: black t-shirt and stylishly-flared white pants, mildly alternative but relatively clean cut. He had icy blue laser beam eyes, and sometimes also wrestled in a yellow luchador mask as “Papi Chulo”. Oh yeah, Tekniq’s finishing move was a “619” (but it was Vegas so we called it a…

August 2, 2014 /

I couldn’t help but feel that the veil of kayfabe was wavering as John Cena railed against Paul Heyman on RAW Monday night. There was a tremble and a fervor in Cena’s voice as he laid out his grievances: he shows up and works hard every day even if he doesn’t feel like it because he “loves this place,” and where’s the respect? We may have been seeing real emotion there, his frustration as he…