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Professional WrestlingSport and Spectacle, Second Edition$
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Sharon Mazer

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496826862

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496826862.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 17 June 2021

“Real” Life

“Real” Life

(p.135) 6 “Real” Life
Professional Wrestling

Sharon Mazer

University Press of Mississippi

What fans come to recognize and interact with as they “get in on the game” and move from “mark” to “smart,” is the play outside the play: first the signs of a hero or villain, then the inevitable failure of the representatives of authority in the ring to assure a fair fight and a just end, and finally that the true power lies in the hands of the promoter whose purchase of a wrestler includes the right to dictate his success or failure. For fans, not only are the stories that are told to them in the ongoing professional wrestling narratives drawn from life, life itself can be read through the structures and understandings that professional wrestling provides. The real contest is not between wrestlers, with whom fans identify, but between themselves as competing experts and, most important, between themselves as consumers and the guys with the money and power.

Keywords:   Fans, Spectatorship, Early internet discussion lists, Fake versus real, Smart versus mark

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