Pro Wrestling as Narrative

There’s an excellent interview with WWE executive Triple H on grantland.com that explains how WWE storylines get generated, and how they play out during live events. I loved to watch wrestling as a kid, and while I no longer watch it, I still enjoy reading about it. This may sound odd, but reading about it gives me the same kind of light pleasure one would get from reading a cheap bit of genre fiction. Triple H says that “everything we do is storytelling,” and as someone who is vitally concerned with how narrative works, of course I respond to this element. I have a friend who still watches wrestling, and when people find out and say to him “Why do you watch wrestling? It’s fake” (which is inaccurate: it’s staged, not fake. There are often real injuries.), he says “Yeah, but so is Shakespeare.” It’s a snarky-yet-profound statement.

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