It was a dark and stormy night in Minneapolis.
An enraged Demon, hoping to tarnish our noble Hero, was cutting a path of destruction through Hero’s life. Like Job or Luke Skywalker, Hero was being tested. Demon, a product of years of rage and hated, was trying to make our Hero give in to his anger.
Weeks before, Hero’s socially inept, and quite frankly, stupid, Friend had been attacked by the Demon. Friend had been pursuing Woman for weeks, clearly not getting her hints that she was not interested. When she finally agreed to go on a date, Demon attacked, nearly dragging Friend to Literal Christian Hell.
Soon after, Demon set his sights on Woman. Hero managed to save Woman from a terrifying near abduction, earning Hero a kiss from the relieved damsel in distress. Unfortunately, Hero’s injured Friend watched dejectedly nearby, ending their friendship on the spot.
Finally, in Minneapolis, things came to a head. After hearing that Woman was never interested in Friend, our Hero found the most public place he could and slut-shamed Woman, saying that he had traded a bro for a ho and that he wanted her gone since he was disease free and wanted to stay that way.
Meanwhile, everyone in that public space helped castigate Woman, whose two crimes were kissing a man who had saved her life and refusing the advances of someone incredibly below her.
Sadly, I was in that public place, which happened to be the Target Center last February for World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) flagship television show, WWE Raw. Our hero was played by John Cena. Kane was the Demon. Eve was the Woman. And Zack Ryder was the man-child and mental midget Friend.
Originally, this was the introduction to an essay entitled “In Defense of Professional Wrestling.” It did not make the final draft, mainly because this is clearly a shitty story that would directly contradict that essay’s thesis.
Wrestling is a storytelling medium. Like all methods of storytelling, is not inherently anything. It is what we make of it and what we demand of it. Through wrestling, I’ve seen acting, choreography, athleticism, storytelling, comedy, and participatory theater that I have not seen or experienced anywhere else.
I’ve also seen it used for sexism, racism, homophobia, jingoism, and pandering to the lowest common denominator. Although the stereotypes about professional wrestling are false, many to most of the negative stereotypes concerning WWE programming are true. WWE has a lot of problems with women.
Let’s investigate, shall we… Continue reading