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Michael D. Giardina

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Truth Untold? Evidence, Knowledge, and Research Practice(s)

Michael D. Giardina and Jason Laurendeau

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What is this “Physical” in Physical Cultural Studies?

Michael D. Giardina and Joshua I. Newman

In this article, we identify various points of ontological, epistemological, and methodological intersection from which an embodied, generative Physical Cultural Studies project can emerge. We follow scholars such as Ingham (1997) and Andrews (2008) in arguing that contemporary “body work” scholars might benefit from “framing” (Butler 2009) embodiment and corporeality within the general coordinates of 1) cultural studies’ politics of articulation (as theory and method) and radical-contextualism and 2) the cultural exigencies of the body (i.e., cultural physicalities)—and in the “messy” practices of reflexivity, empirical vulnerability, and writing (as representation and performance) such embodied research as/in practice demands.

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Through the Perilous Fight: A Case Analysis of Professional Wrestling During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Nicholas P. Davidson, James Du, and Michael D. Giardina

The rapidly escalating COVID-19 pandemic has forced the sport industry into unchartered territory. Beginning on March 11, 2020, when the National Basketball Association suspended its season, the American sports landscape has consequently encountered an unprecedented number of temporary suspensions, postponements, and cancellations. Although most major leagues and their pertaining sports have halted to a sudden stop, professional wrestling has surprisingly continued on, including World Wrestling Entertainment’s WrestleMania 36, which was held without fans in attendance. The maintenance of professional wrestling during the COVID-19 crisis has presented a unique situation, in which fans and companies involved in the sport have rallied on social media platforms behind the sport’s relative normality in a time of global uncertainty. Leveraging publicly trackable Twitter data, we analyzed public sentiments toward two of the largest companies (e.g., World Wrestling Entertainment and All Elite Wrestling) in the professional wrestling industry and related trends during the widespread onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. The results represent exploratory insights surrounding the continuation of professional wrestling during the COVID-19 pandemic.