Pro wrestling & jouissance

From an article on Wrestling Inc. on the work that Al Snow is doing at OVW:

I'm also doing something here that no one's teaching anymore. I'm teaching the art of how to work a professional wrestling match — not wrestle a professional wrestling match — and those two things are dramatically different.
That difference, Snow says, lies in character work, which is what people have been buying tickets to see since the carnival days of wrestling. That would mean less in the way of orchestrated, high-flying acts and more in the way of characters deeply rooted in reality, making them believable for an audience and therefore easy to buy into.

I find this to be very interesting because characters that people can relate to are what makes a wrestling promotion successful. You can have incredible acrobatics and in-ring work from the wrestlers/performers, but people will not care about that as much as they do when they identify with the characters the wrestler is portraying.

A good professional wrestling promotion and good pro wrestlers understand that they are telling a story (a very choreographed athletic story, but a story nonetheless) that gives people a way to experience jouissance. What kind of jouissance, the jouissance of fighting a good enemy. Later in the article Snow says,

Athleticism alone, doesn't sell tickets in boxing. It doesn't sell tickets in MMA. It doesn't sell tickets in football, baseball, basketball, [or] hockey," he reasoned. "Either it's team vs. team or it's player vs. player and it's all about that person and why — what's at stake.

The man gets it.

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