At the risk of angering Mr. Shea, I'm going to write a response to Gerald Craven and Richard Moseley's piece on the dramatic conventions of professional wrestling. This piece establishes in writing the thrust of an argument that we've discussed in one way or another in this class several times, that fans may watch wrestling performances more like a drama than one would a legitimate sports competition. Think about the Wrestling Observer, for instance, where there are regular discussions of issues like match ratings, looking at performance rather than wins and losses, etc.
Craven and Moseley trace the phrase "suspension of disbelief" back to its root, with the writing of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, describing it as that situation when a spectator "accepts momentarily as real that which is known to be unrealistic" (327). They describe a spectrum we have seen several times from the fan who accepts as real to those who follow wrestling as camp entertainment. Of course, one could still say both those extremes exist, but I would argue that most fans exist somewhere between these two, enjoying wrestling as much more than camp while also not being "duped" by the wrestling show, either.
They bring up how the "rules" of the wrestling world enable several dramatic conventions, such as the "finishing hold" and how that plays into the drama: "the convention of the disqualification" and how these matches build chapters that lead to the eventual" necessity for a rematch" (331).
In short, I wanted to write a few notes about the piece from Craven and Moseley since it was delayed getting up on the site, as I didn't want their subsntial contribution to the history of wrestling criticism to be lost in the mix of the other great pieces we've been writing about. Here, you have an explicit description of the argument that many of these other scholars are building from.