2.8. The Royal Rumble

In this episode: Buzzer. Pause. Music.

The Royal Rumble is WWE's crowning achievement in the world of gimmick matches. Brilliant in its simplicity yet endlessly flexible, it is a unique stage upon which to tell stories. The Rumble is in many ways the perfect introduction to what WWE is at any given moment in time. This time around, we explore what makes the Rumble unique, the kinds of stories that it can tell, its significance in the WWE calendar, and what separates a great Rumble from a bad one. With the 2018 edition airing on Sunday, January 28, consider this your introduction to one of wrestling's greatest treats.

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2.7. The Fashion Files

2.7. The Fashion Files

In this episode: Drew and Stefan walk the runway. (Do you ever run the runway?)

One of the primary objectives of any wrestling performer is to distinguish himself or herself from the crowd. In a primarily visual medium, costuming and ring attire are effective tools for standing out from the cavalcade of similar looking athletic performers. Costuming communicates critical information about a performer's character and may play an important role in helping a wrestler get over with an audience. In this episode, we dive into the clothes that make the men, and explore what the choice of attire says about the performer.

 

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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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