First off, Sam, if this is a completely inappropriate post, please do away with it. I know that this board is meant to serve as an educational aid for your class, and not a sounding board for guest speakers, but I've got a lot to say about some of your students and the assinine things that they are posting.
I agreed to participate as a special guest speaker in hopes that I'd be able to impart some knowledge and better understanding of this entertainment medium of pro wrestling that I love and respect so much. Between my time doing research on the subject in the mid-90s and then my five years working for and then owning an independent wrestling company, I thought I had a lot to offer, but reading most of the drivel on this board, I'm beginning to wonder.
Professional wrestling is not theater. It was never derived from theater. It doesn't intentionally borrow from aspects of Shakespeare or Greek tragedies. If you believe it does, you're using too much energy to draw parallels that don't matter anyway. Just because Fall Out Boy and Mozart both played music doesn't mean there's any real connection there. Trust me, there are no bookers or TV writers sitting around saying "What would Shakespeare have done in this situation?"
Professional wrestling has no relationship with Greco-Roman style wrestling. One traces its roots to ancient Greece. The other to carnivals of the late 19th century. Simply because they both have the word "wrestling" in the name doesn't mean a thing. See "ice hockey" and "ice cream" for proof that identical words don't mean the same thing.
Womens' wrestling is dead and buried in the US unless it involves pretty girls or physical freaks and it's not coming back. It's alive and well in Japan, but anybody expecting characters empowering for women will only find them if they come with big boobs and sell a lot of posters. The history is interesting, but it died in the late 80s. Any impact female wrestlers have had, including Moolah, is marginal at best.
Analyzing the audience is a waste of time. What are you hoping to accomplish? You might as well go sit in a movie theater this weekend when "300" opens and start psychoanalyzing the people who come to watch the movie. Is it possible, just slightly possible, that the audience wants to be entertained and that's the end of the story. Every person in the audience will have a backstory. Good things and bad things have happened to all of us that we don't try to fix by watching TV. Is it possible they're not coming to search for messiah figures or to subsconsciously rectify negative feelings in their life? Maybe they're just having fun.
Analyzing Andy Kauffman is a waste of time. He was a not-funny comedian who was more of a performance artist. He tossed out grenades of bad taste, outrageous behavior, and over-the-top commentary. That's not very hard or creative to do. He did well with wrestling, but little else. And for the love of God, of course "Breakfast with Blassie" was staged.
Most importantly, wrestling is a business. There would be nothing for you to over-discuss if there were not a host of people putting on shows that don't have the time and luxury to over analyze their vocation the way you are doing. I'm not just talking about the wrestlers, but the promoters, the guys who set up the ring, the booker, the gophers, the sound and lighting guys. If they did not present a visually appealing show filled with enough athletisism and story that could cause fans to pay for a ticket, there would be no next show. Wrestling does not exist to serve as a moral barometer of society. It exists to make money...and that is all.
Reading the opinions on this board, I can't help but think that you guys sit there and watch American Idol and try to figure out why the people who called in chose one singer over another and what that says about the attitudes on the country and what that means in the bigger picture as where we're going as a society. It's just a singing show, enjoy it. Wrestling is just an action-filled soap opera, enjoy it. If you really enjoy overthinking things, you don't need college for that. Marijuana is far cheaper and has the same effect....or so I'm told.
If you're taking this class and you've never been to a wrestling show live, as it's clear a whole lot of you haven't, go to one. You wouldn't take an art class without hitting a museum or gallery along the way. And if you think to yourself "I wouldn't be caught dead at a wrestling show" you're way too elitist to even be learning about it.
You're all going to be entering the real world sooner or later and as a resident in that world, I can tell you that the regular people of the world are going to have you for lunch. Go to a wrestling show and start talking like you do on here. People will look at you strange....not because they don't get it, not because they couldn't converse with you, but because there's nothing of substance behind it. It's diarrhea of the mouth, much like the diarrhea of the keyboard you're providing on the board. It's time to wipe yourself and give me something substantial.