I was thinking more about the discussion we had last night about the possible reading of any consistent system of core values throughout the history of professional wrestling, given the ever-shifting representatation of religion, politics, ethics, gender roles, etc. While it makes perfect sense that takes on these issues and their representation to the public would shift over time with the correlary shifts of cultural norms, several things make the historical value system of wrestling a little more strange--
-the incredible saturation of these profound issues in the entertainment medium,
-the extremity of the viewpoints expressed,
-the extreme mutability of these viewpoints,
-the seeming lack of concern for the appropriateness of their political, religious, and ethnic representations to the demographic of their audience. (Vince vs. God still completely confuses me, but I guess by now I should understand that wrestling fans do like to be outraged),
-the intertwining of the corporation and the entertainment product (as we discussed yesterday with Bryce in reference to the Apologia thesis)
-the contemporary presence of one man, Vince, as the point of origin and blame for all of these complicated, dynamic positions.
As I was trying to nail down what I see as wrestling's core values in this really complicated scene, I kept coming back to the idea of stance/ adament positioning as the consistent value. It is a well-constructed theater of 'crying wolf' in a way; because there is such constant outrage, and because of all the blurring between entertainment and reality and sport, nothing is taken as more than performatively offensive. There is outrage and offense, but it is somehow buffered by an inability to read that offensive act, portrayal, or statement as a really important, overarching value of wrestling, because it's likely to be reversed next week.
So, I would say that the exact core values of wrestling are it's lack thereof; or rather, its presentation of a rhizomatic map of extreme values, the response to which makes up a significant part of the drama in the wrestling industry.