2.6. Best for Business

2.6. Best for Business

In This Episode: Stefan and Drew have a price.

World Wrestling Entertainment, Incorporated is a publicly-traded corporation worth approximately $2.5 billion. It is one of the largest companies in a global industry, boasting a surprisingly diverse set of revenue streams and one of the most innovative and important media technology services of the last decade. It cannot be overstated: wrestling is a business first and foremost, and the first objective of its leading promoters is and always has been to make money. This week, we dive deep on how that money is made - by promotions in general, and specifically by WWE. We also touch on a number of related issues, including talent compensation, labor market dynamics, and how business practices best suited to the carny circuit have been folded into a modern media empire.

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2.5. Wrestling with Comedy

2.5. Wrestling with Comedy

In this episode: Stefan and Drew get silly.

Professional wrestling is at its core a variety show, with different segments meant to appeal to different audiences. But while its dramatic aspects are often highlighted, its comedic segments are rarely appreciated in the same way. Sometimes its easier to laugh at wrestling than with it, but there is a proud tradition of wrestling comedy, and the masters of the form are those that understand how to combine fists and farce to make something sublime.

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2.4. The Manager - An Introduction

2.4. The Manager - An Introduction

This week: Stefan is Drew's hype-man.

Although less prominent than it once was, the role of the manager has a proud place in the annals of professional wrestling. Managers can make or break storylines, give voice and credibility to performers, and drive programs to new heights. A manager, like a wrestler, is tasked with creating a connection with an audience, but the tools in his or her toolkit are radically different than those of their in-ring charges. Those who wield those tools well can become as big a draw as the grapplers they lead.

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2.3. An Introduction to Lucha Libre

2.3. An Introduction to Lucha Libre

In this episode: Stefan and Drew are en fuego.

Wrestling's reach extends far beyond the United States, and as the medium has moved into different countries, it has come to both reflect and influence local cultures in surprising ways. In Mexico, wrestling is lucha libre, and although the basic structures are largely the same as its US counterpart, its substance, presentation, and place in Mexican culture could not be more different. In this, the first of our journeys outside of the American circuit, we present an introduction to wrestling in Mexico, its history, and what distinguishes it as a unique variation on the form.

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