Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Professional Wrestling”

A Conversation With Vampiro

Ian Hodgkinson — better known as Vampiro, the lucha libre legend and former star in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) — has a new documentary called Nail in the Coffin: The Fall & Rise of Vampiro. Having grown up watching Vampiro in WCW, I jumped at the chance to interview Ian to learn more about his thoughts on the documentary, his career in wrestling, and more.

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You Cannot Kill David Arquette

You Cannot Kill David Arquette is a new must-see documentary that I highly recommend. “Branded as the most hated man in wrestling after winning a highly controversial WCW World Heavyweight Championship in 2000, actor David Arquette attempts a rocky return to the sport that stalled his promising Hollywood career. Dangerously determined to redeem his reputation and reclaim his self-respect, Arquette will stop at nothing to earn his place in professional wrestling.” This is the premise of You Cannot Kill David Arquette, and it’s exquisitely executed.

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Audible Review: Hardcore History

Hardcore History: The Extremely Unauthorized Story of the ECW is an excellent Audible Original. Writer Scott E. Williams has pored through records and conducted dozens of interviews with fans, company officials, business partners, and the wrestlers themselves to bring listeners the most thorough account possible of this bizarre company. As someone who has watched numerous documentaries about ECW, I learned a lot while listening to this audiobook. It provides an excellent, and sometimes detailed, overview of major events related to ECW and its various incarnations.

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Pro Wrestling Demystified: You Know It’s Fake, Right?

“You know it’s fake, right?” These are the words uttered by people who don’t understand professional wrestling. How do I respond when people ask this ill-informed question? I say, “You know Darth Vader is fake, right?” Or, “You know the characters in This Is Us aren’t real, right?” Professional wrestling might as well be Rodney Dangerfield because it doesn’t get any respect. Despite the fact that professional wrestling has been around for more than 100 years, some people feel the need to cast judgment and view it as holding no redeemable value. I’ve been a fan of professional wrestling my entire life, and I’m proud of that fact. I’ve derived a plethora of value from my fandom, established friendships because of it, and had amazing experiences along the way. Professional wrestling is just as valid a form of entertainment as anything you’ll find on film, in print, on stage, or even on a sports field. This is the first in a series of posts where I’m going to take the time to help demystify professional wrestling in an effort to help those who aren’t fans understand why millions of us are. Read more…

WWE 35 Years Of WrestleMania

DK is back with another WWE book. This time it’s an updated version of WWE 30 Years of WrestleMania, a book I got autographed by “Mr. WrestleMania” himself: Shawn Michaels. This new edition expands on the previous one by adding five additional WrestleMania events, as well as other content. Below is my video review of WWE 35 Years of WrestleMania.

What Authors Can Learn From Pro Wrestlers

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I’ve been a fan of pro wrestling since I was a child. When executed effectively, this amalgam of theater and athleticism can suspend my disbelief and take me on a thrilling adventure – similar to other art forms. Unfortunately, pro wrestling doesn’t always get the credit it deserves. There are many uneducated people who approach wrestling fans and say asinine things such as, “You know it’s fake, right?” What these Neanderthals fail to realize is that wrestling fans are fully aware of the fact that it’s an intricately planned form of entertainment; so are television shows, movies and novels, but you don’t see these same myopic buffoons accosting fans of True Blood or Lord of the Rings saying, “You know vampires and hobbits aren’t real, right?”

Rather than dismissing it because you don’t understand it, I challenge those of you unfamiliar with pro wrestling to watch the match below. It’s arguably the greatest match in the history of pro wrestling. It features Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25. What makes it special is it tells a story from start to finish. From the opening video package to the match itself, there is a great deal to be learned from these two grizzled veterans. Like any skillful storyteller, they set a great pace, insert several calamities and end with a thrilling, and satisfying, conclusion.

Yes, there are plenty of terrible wrestling matches, the same way there are a multitude of dreadful television shows, films and novels. But the great ones are a spectacle to behold and, as writers, we can learn from them. We can learn that it’s important to know your audience and give them what they want, while at the same time keeping things unpredictable and fun. None of us want to produce something that is forgettable; we want to be known for drawing in our readers, having them fully invested in our characters and anxiously turning pages. Wrestling is the same. Companies like WWE seek to create compelling characters, insert them in precarious situations and let the drama unfold.

For authors, there is much to be learned from pro wrestling. Give the match below a shot and you’ll see what I mean. There are stories being told all around us; some are good, and some are bad. But if we aren’t open to experiencing all of the different mediums through which they are told (e.g., TV, movies, plays, books, music, pro wrestling, video games, etc.), then, as storytellers, we’re doing ourselves a disservice. There is a great deal to be learned, but only if we expand our horizons.

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