In August 2017, I went and saw Monday Night Raw at TD Garden with my meme friends on Destiny purely for the meme. The tickets were a lot more expensive than what I expected and the stadium was also way more packed than I would have guessed as well! Although I went mainly for the joke, it turned out to be a lot more informative than I imagined.

Although most of my friends here just for irony (you can see trueluis holding up a John Cena cardboard sign right above the BRAAAAUN sign – notably John Cena does not fight in Monday Night Raw), I was lucky that my friend Erons was actually a HUGE WWE fan and watched it growing up as a kid. He was very hyped about the whole thing and nearly shouted himself hoarse. He also explained a lot more of the rules and lore to me, and by the end of the night, I was actually really excited to see how Summer Slam 2017 was going to end.

Perhaps the most important thing that came out of the night was the realization that having finite time means that you can’t take on every project. After talking to Erons, when I got home, I was very excitedly researching professional wrestling, finding the CMS class that had been done about it. Somewhere between finding Jenkins citing Roland Barthes and TV Tropes arguing whether Professional Wrestling Fanfic is Real-Person fanfic or not, I realized that I didn’t actually need to do a deep dive on pro wrestling, even if I could. It sounds sort of obvious, but it was actually a really powerful realization to me that I could just leave the pro-wrestling rock unturned and keep it as a blog post – acknowledge that several of the themes it brought up were definitely related to my primary interests and move on. It’s definitely been a hard thing to manage, but as called out in my meta post, it’s been an important refinement for me.

Below are my raw (Monday Night Raw?) screening notes — because I am incapable of experiencing any media anymore without pen and pencil in my hand

  • The lack of sound from nosebleed seats except hitting the ground
  • Action looks fake even more so with this strange ballet /gymnasts style when people know when to clap and react
  • The amplified floor noise when bodies hit
  • Referee as much a part of the game – breaking spaces of ring
  • Quick changing the ring – stage hands
  • Black contestant named booker t
  • Prospect of going live – excitement of the audience
  • Reiterating story lines of 2 weeks ago incomprehensible to outside
  • Sheer momentum of bodies hitting the floor – the trust
  • Crowd cheering – illusion of affecting the action – zooming off to distance
  • A lot of talking about partnership – not as much talking
  • Fighting looks even more fake – maximizing motion for hits +but not connecting
  • People knowing chants – “you suck” “you look stupid” – “yes” sounding like “kiss”
  • We’re getting same ads as people at home as paying customers
  • Different locale on screen but look like same ring
  • Good guy on ground most of time
  • Definitely a clap if you believe in fairy thing going on – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinkerbell_effect
  • More rules from erons – able catch up on what missed
  • Intentional mats around rings
  • Yelling at ref part of the action
  • Particularly less fake /more physical is more audience appreciated
  • Learning lore from erons – theme song and who’s who
  • Sparkle people holding up phone – stadium packed
  • Repeating talking – drowned out by whole stadium of boos
  • Luis googling shark cage
  • People know chant from scratch “certified g” + this music
  • No commentary kinda sucks
    • Quote from a friend: “” I feel like the “BY GAWD”s from the commentators are a central part of the experience. Yeah it seems wrestling fans are very opinionated and love to share those opinions””
    • Normal sports also doesn’t have commentator – forgot that
  • Semi plot of maiming
  • Crowd reaction matters (ex kurt angle “you suck”)
  • Japanese guy in cruiserweight
    • Apparently Japanese pro wrestling is also just a big deal
    • More athletic / flips in Cruiserweight
  • Japanese guy won – like cruiserweight better because self-contained story that doesn’t require knowing like soap opera
    • Also like the flying jumps – probably would like lucha better
  • Explicit connection with troops?
  • Each pay per view is chapter of the story
  • Lights for bray wyatt – light up entire stadium
    • Pretty awe inspiring tbh
  • Commercial: “Wwe – for the hero in all of us”
  • Storyline important for motivation
    • Chants of “this is boring” – without story – nothing is at stake
  • haha other chants while bored: “let’s go red sox” “we lost 1-3”
  • Multiple men match
  • Man the hype machine is real
  • Brock Lesnar kind of meat head with good hype man – understand why Dan (from Giant Bomb) wants to be heel manager
    • Good lord, watching these clips again – Dan Ryckert continues to be an insane person
      • Also good lord that silicon valley hate
    • Dan Ryckert on terminology
  • That populist charisma though
  • “that’s my case for you subscribing to wwe network”
  • Shaky camera work
  • Fans online reacting about fans reaction live
  • Concept of the heel for understanding
  • Vince mcmahon getting into fights
  • Comparable wwe with soap opera lore
    • Lower class opera



Glow on Netflix
Brinkema and Tl about sports Fandom – Japanese chants


“Acts exploiting personal tragedy or death became less and less prevalent by the turn of the century with fans being more aware of the worked nature of professional wrestling.”

“The debate has been raging for years whether Professional Wrestling fic is RPF or not. It’s been around for ages and Henry Jenkins has written essays on it (along with the rest of fandom). At any rate, there seem to be three different versions…first, television-based, in which the stories are about the people in the ring being exactly who they are on the show and the matches and conflict being real. Second, character-based realism, in that the wrestlers are their characters, but the matches and conflict are scripted and all part of the show, and finally, the real-person version which is based off real life. Different writers use different methods, some explicitly only write television-based, others dabble all the way down to RPF. Of course, there’s also AU, but that’s another trope altogether.”


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