|Scope/Focus:||A long time? Say 1980 onwards, for no particular reason. The TV show RAW premiered in 1993, but popular culture of wrestling pre-dates that.|
|See also:||World Wrestling Entertainment, Total-non Stop Action Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling, Extreme Championship Wrestling, Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla|
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Professional Wrestling is a relatively large, albeit disorganised, fandom, that straddles the line between RPF, media fandom, and shares numerous aspects of its make up with bandom (i.e. attending live shows, enjoying interviews, and attending meet 'n greets more often than fans of other genres might). It also has a devoted vidding element, located primarily on YouTube, and a large fic-writing section, located primarily on LJ and Fanfiction.net. Some older, more established fic-writers have moved to archiving on the Archive of Our Own, as well. A smaller fan-art segment of the fandom can be found on DeviantArt. Many fannish sites were located on Geocities, and have been either lost or hopefully archived by fans/OOCities/documented as a part of the Geocities Rescue Project. One such site that has been archived by fans and documented is Shadows of the Moon.
Companies in wrestling are known as 'feds', and only certain feds are popular in fannish circles, though there are many, many more. World Wrestling Entertainment, as the most popular federation in the world, is the main focus of fannish attention, though Total Non-Stop Action, Extreme Championship Wrestling, and World Championship Wrestling have and do feature in many works. Well-known indie feds like Ring of Honor and Pro Wrestling Guerilla also have a smattering of fanworks. The notorious and well publicised (and fictionalised) sale of WCW and ECW to WWE in 2001 has lead to much cross-continuity between feds, and the usual back-and-forth of talent (especially with the rise of the WWE's practice of 'raiding' the indies for talent, rather than utilising its own developmental feds) has encouraged this. However, canon is at the constant mercy of retcons, swerves, and fanon.
The fandom is characterised by terminology unused in other areas -- Wikipedia gives a good list.
Predominance of Slash over Het
The fandom is hugely dominated by slash fanworks, and het and femmeslash are obscure, more than likely due to the poor treatment of women by the big feds. (The) one big het pairing was Chris Jericho/Stephanie McMahon, a pairing dominated by misogynist taunts on his part.
Influence of Fans
Fanboys & Fangirls -- The Division in the Fandom
Like Star Trek, games, such as Final Fantasy, and other fandoms, Professional Wrestling fandom is sometimes split by gender lines. For example, fanfiction (especially the slash portions), is primarily done by people who generally identify as female, while news reports and scoops seem to be reported by and commented on by a more male-identifying audience. However, as this Fanlore editor will attest, some writers of both will cross the field quite regularly -- the existence of such blogs as Fuck Yeah Wrestling Confessions and WrestleGasm is a testament to that.
- John Cena/Randy Orton
- Cody Rhodes/Ted DiBiase Jr.
- Randy Orton/Evan Bourne
- The Miz/Alex Riley
- Justin Gabriel/Heath Slater
- Shawn Michaels/Triple H
- Randy Orton/Cody Rhodes
- Randy Orton/Cody Rhodes/Ted DiBiase Jr.
- Rob Van Dam/Sabu
- Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins
It's often agreed among (again, mostly slash) fans that:
- Jack Swagger is hung like a horse.
- Randy Orton and John Cena are married in all but law. Except when they're not, because Randy and Evan Bourne are.
- The Miz is a Little Black Dress.
- The Undertaker is an uber!top.
- Triple H is generally evil, even when he's face, unless he's OTP'd with Shawn Michaels or OT5'd with The Kliq. This fannish opinion comes from Hunter's backstage reputation and presumed politicking.
- The Miz had a bad breakup with John Morrison, leading to many rebounds with others (see Little Black Dress), until he settled down with Alex Riley, who both are now going through relationship troubles.
- Ricardo Rodriguez worships the ground Alberto Del Rio walks on, and is happy to give him sexual favours in return for pleasant treatment.
- CM Punk likes sex a lot, contrary to his legitimate 'straight edge' lifestyle, which dictates no promiscuous sex.
- He is lately married to Colt Cabana, though a small segment of fans like to pair him with John Morrison.
- Shane McMahon is insecure. Fanworks did depict him somewhat as a rich snot, but his depature from the family company has changed this opinion somewhat.
- We do not talk about Chris Benoit, or what happened on June 22, 2007. Fanworks made before that date are generally given warnings.
- Edge/Christian are OTP:
Wrestling fans, like all other fans, like tropes:
- Let Me Be Weak, Let Me Sleep
- Vince (McMahon) is a homophobe -- (might be true, might not be).
- Mary Sues -- no, really, there are lots
- Rape Recovery
- Big Guy, Little Guy
- Established Relationship
- Everyone Is Gay
- Everyone Is Related (this happens in canon)
- Forced Bed-Sharing (not as much as you might expect, but it is done)
- Alternate Universe (Either rewriting actual canonical wrestling history or creating a hypothetical promotion. Commonly known as "Fantasy booking.")
Things that wrestling fanworks do not have much of:
- Genderswap (only three or so fic exist to this author's knowledge)