Abstract

Abstract:

This essay examines industrial and labor practices in the pro wrestling industry. By analyzing the WWE Network as an "industrial disruptor," this essay suggests that this disruption shifted not only who was considered the prototypical wrestler; it also changed the relations of power within the industry. While the deployment of the streaming service increased the reach of the WWE beyond the national borders of the US, it inadvertently created a pathway for local, regional, and international wrestling companies to also utilize streaming service technology to collectively work together to mitigate some of the industrial hegemony of the WWE. Moreover, the WWE's attempt to create "digital wrestling territories" has changed the relationship between the local and the global, which has reformulated digital global intimate industrial relations. Although the WWE is a global company that has retained dominance for almost forty years, the deployment of streaming services has forever changed the business of pro wrestling.

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