An English Professor Explains the Appeal of WWE Wrestling

Earlier this year I taught T.S. Eliot’s poetry to my college students in the morning and attended WWE’s Monday Night Raw that night. I enjoyed both. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of WWE wrestling, but my 12-year-old daughter loves it, and I have taken her to some of the big WWE events in Los Angeles and San Diego, including Summer Slam and several Monday Night Raw shows. I have also gone with her to meet some many of the WWE superstars, including her favorite wrestler, John Cena, at special access events before the shows.

I am writing not as a fan defending the WWE, but as an interested outsider trying to explain certain aspects of its appeal. I’m writing more for people who don’t like WWE than for people who do. Fans don’t think WWE needs any defense.

The most common criticism of WWE wrestling that I hear from its detractors is Continue reading