Category Archives: Wrestling

Trump Breaks Kayfabe

“At this point in the Trump era, it’s hard to imagine the president outdoing himself on Twitter, where he recently boasted that his “use of social media is not Presidential – it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL.” But on Sunday—in his latest volley against the news media—he may have done it, posting a crudely edited video in which he clotheslined a figure whose face was covered by a superimposed CNN logo, and then pummeled it senseless.”

Read more at Slate.

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Rich Swann’s journey from Rosedale to the WWE

“Rich Swann’s first memory of pro wrestling is a vivid one: he was 5 years old and watching “Power Rangers” when his older brother came home from basketball and turned the TV to “Monday Night Raw,” the flagship program of the WWE—then WWF. “There’s Bret Hart with the jacket, the awesome pink lights, the epic music, he gives his sunglasses to the kid,” Swann, who grew up in Rosedale’s Park East Apartments, recalls wistfully. “I was mesmerized.”

Read more in the Baltimore City Paper.

Mat Men

“It’s Friday night in the middle of February, and the Annandale Volunteer Fire Department is electric. There’s the scent of fried food and the sound of butt rock in the air. A couple hundred people are seated around a deep blue wrestling ring, surrounded by wrestlers hawking merchandise off card tables. Promptly at 8 p.m., the rowdy crowd is treated to three hours of everything from a half-ton tag team to a pair of female Hot Topic devotees. The crowd eats it up, chanting, cheering, booing, and throwing streamers overhead. This is pro wrestling, in all its carnivalesque grandeur. This is NOVA Pro Wrestling.”

Read more in the Washington City Paper.

Heel in Chief

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“Linda McMahon, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head the Small Business Administration, will carry several distinctions should she be confirmed. McMahon, the former president and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, who has also appeared at pro wrestling events as a fictionalized version of herself, will be the first Cabinet-level official who has received the Stone Cold Stunner from Steve Austin. She will be the first to have been Tombstone Piledriven by the Demon Kane. And she will be the first to have kicked WWE announcer Jim Ross in the crotch.”

Read more at Slate.

What Donald Trump learned about politics from pro wrestling

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“Trump might not have been playing by the rules of politics, but he won the game. So how did he do it? Those looking to his career as a developer or reality TV host came up short in predicting Trump’s survival and eventual victory, because those are only part of the story. The most important lessons Donald Trump ever learned were in a pro wrestling ring.”

Read more in the Washington Post.

Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, UFC’s own WWE feud

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“For nearly two years, Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier have given UFC one of its most exciting and personal feuds. Their interactions have resulted in a Las Vegas brawl, death threats on a hot mic, internet insults, and one brutal title match. As they prepared for a (now delayed) rematch to decide the rightful holder of the Light Heavyweight Championship, the shit-talking has continued: UFC’s last media day culminated with Jones giving Cormier a “suck it” crotch chop, a move popularized by the WWE’s D-Generation X.

That’s not the only thing the feud has borrowed from the world of pro wrestling. As an infuriated Cormier asked Jones last month, “Is this not real now? Are we pretending again?” It was a question that underscores what makes their feud so telling: like a WWE wrestler, Jones is forcing the audience to question the reality of “real” fighting.”

Read more at Vice Sports.

The New Day and being black in WWE

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“The best professional wrestlers know how to make an entrance, whether it’s Stone Cold Steve Austin’s shattering glass, the Undertaker’s church bell “gong,” or the Rock’s “If you smell what the Rock is cooking.” That’s certainly true for the WWE’s three-man tag champions the New Day, who have turned their entrance into a spectacle unlike anything else in the company.

The scene plays out on nearly every episode of WWE programming: “Don’t you dare be sour. Clap! For your world famous, two-time champs, and feel the power!” bellows a voice over the PA. “It’s a New Day, yes it is!” The group’s contemporary gospel theme song—somewhere between Kirk Franklin’s “Revolution” and “I Smile”—hits, and three black wrestlers in bold neon spandex enter the arena. Fans clap, and cheer “New Day rocks!” or “New Day sucks!” depending how they feel about the often-villainous group. It’s one of the biggest reactions of the night.”

Read more in Vice Sports.