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Wrestling On Fast Forward: A Kind Rewind of How Hardcore Fans Played the Videotape and Gave Pause to Professional Wrestling


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I just wanted to say how much I really liked this article, and I hope we get more of these types of long-form, in-depth pieces examinations of wrestling from angles most people would never consider.

I don't want to spoil the piece, which is certainly worth reading in its entirety, but I do want to highlight one of my favorite passages.


Accounts vary on the extent to which fans perceived wrestling to be real, but let’s say that a booker lays out an angle in the Mid-Atlantic area, then becomes a booker in Florida and lays out a similar angle in Miami a year later. It might even feature at least one of the same players. Are fans who saw both versions of the angle to think they only witnessed coincidence? In addition, fans who grew up in parts of the country with subpar performers who headlined shows in bad matches were now exposed to great wrestling happening elsewhere. These types of revelations couldn’t help but erode the mystique of the home promotion, and in some ways professional wrestling as a whole. Slowly but surely, wrestling fans who could at least play along with the idea that they were fans of real sport found it more challenging to suspend their disbelief.

Fantastic stuff, Charles.

Here's the link for anyone else who hasn't read it already:


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Thanks, guys! Someone recently suggested doing an updated version of this (this article is about four years old) to account for streaming services. I thought that was a great suggestion and something I'll try to make time to do at some point.

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I agree. Fantastic article. 

We do not have a catch-all main site feedback thread, but I just wanted to say that all the reviews and articles have been great and I have loved reading every one of them. I must make a special mention of the Lawler-Snowman article; that was particularly awesome. 

Excellent work Loss and as a reader and wrestling fan, I am so glad you are doing this!

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I dig it. Very good analysis of the effects of tape trading on wrestling. Unless I'm misunderstanding, I'm not really sure about the idea that tape trading introduced the idea of looking at wrestling as a performance, though. You can find plenty of old timers on Wrestling Classics recounting thinking about wrestling from that perspective, even back in the 60's.

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