Internet Wrestling Community Ethnographic Vignette

With the introduction of the internet, many communities and fandoms have been altered. Among them would be that of Professional Wrestling. Professional Wrestling is a sport where the results are predetermined, making it less of a sport and more of a form of entertainment. The internet expanded the variety of wrestling that fans could get a hold of and in a much fast pace.

Before the internet, fans had to trade tapes with each other to see anything outside the territory they were in. But once television started expanding, that became more a thing of the past. This was also brought on by the number of promotions slimming down to 3–5 major promotions.

A map of the National Wrestling Alliance territories. It is notably missing the territories in Mexico (EMLL) and Japan (JPWA, AJPW, and NJPW). Source:

The internet gave fans the chance to explore new promotions and styles. From Puroresu to Lucha Libre, comedic to strong style, and technical to hardcore. All these styles started gaining traction similar to musical genres, though not as many. They mixed and mashed with each other and has led to interesting results. However, some are not fans of some styles and vice versa.

One of the first promotions to show off the multiple styles in one show was Paul Heyman’s Extreme Championship Wrestling, which ran from 1994–2001. Source:

With this topic, I am planning on going in depth in description as well as getting perspectives from 2 podcasters.