My first impression of Dr. Gantz's WWF Raw Study was that it was a little out of place within the context of the wrestling. It seemed way too objective of an approach to understanding wrestling as a form of entertainment (indeed, almost like a bad science fair project). Nevertheless, it helped me understand the point of view of an outsider looking into the world of wrestling.
As someone who didn't really follow wrestling very much, I would have probably adopted Gantz's study as the reason why I didn't watch wrestling. Wrestling was a poor attempt at sport with overdramatic performers who championed stupid sayings, lewd behavior, and really bad acting. It simply didn't seem worth watching.
Taking this class has undoubtedly affected how I feel about wrestling now. I haven't become a full-fledged fan of the performance, but I have changed my way of approaching it. Wrestling, probably more than your average social phenomenon, deserves a good second look. You really can't take it at face value. The gestures, the garb, the overhyped fans are only part of the performance. It is these things--the heart of Gantz's study--that we notice when we're flipping through the channels on our tv sets. For some, it is what makes them keep flipping; for others, it may be what piques their interest. It is not, however, all that wrestling has to offer.
Gantz's work is certainly fuel for those who find wrestling to be an abominable practice. His focus is on elements of the story that the WWF program tells, but not the whole story itself. It takes much more than tabulation to fully appreciate and understand the dynamic that is wrestling. Emphasis should be placed on the social impact that wrestling has on the sports and enterainment businesses and not on a few artifacts of its presentation.