WrestleFic is a portmanteau of “wresting” + “fiction” that means fan fiction writing about pro-wrestling. The genre encompasses many styles such as:
efeds -electronic wrestling federations, usually run and written by males, where entire wrestling shows, matches, promos etc., are interactively written out.
genfic -non romantic stories that may include character exploration or just “fill in the gaps” of televised canon.
hetfic – A male/female romatic story.
slash fic – male/male (or same sex in general, though female/female fic is often called “femme slash”)
(A Short) History of Wrestling FanFiction
This site, Wrestlefic, in it’s previous incarnation, was a multi author archive of wrestling fan fiction. This was back in 1998 when the fandom was still young and bright eyed.
The history of the fandom is less exact. One of the earliest archives was Erana’s Wrestling Fan Fiction site. The Women’s Wrestling Fantasy Forum was founded around the same time (1997?) As more female wrestling fans got online and developed HTML skills, other major fandom sites and boards sprung up including WrestleFic, Chiaro’s and Lady Jackyl’s message board.
To many the fandom reached it’s peak in 2001. By the start of the 21st century fandom disintegration began. A massive kerflufle on the WWFF led to a schism in the fandom. The archive sites were dinosaurs and the era of personal websites, small collaborative sites, Live Journal and mailing lists were born. The WWF Slash Mailing List (2000) became one of the leading mail lists for wrestling slash.
Live Journal (and later LJ clones) would eventually win out this stage of fandom development with the advent of the Wrestling Role Playing game. “Russo Wrote It” was the earliest organized RPG. Taking an older concept of “musing” (collaborative storytelling, usually done on a message board), RWI introduced a generation of fandom to the idea of creating a journal for a given wrestler and role playing that character based on canon, the writer’s imagination and the everchanging interaction with other writers and characters.
RWI would spawn “It’s Scripted” on Live Journal and Better Than Gerwertz on Greatest Journal, as well as dozens more smaller/spin off games. Newer members of fandom had an easier entrée thanks in large part to the anonymous nature of RPG. New blood coupled with the fresh unpredictability of collaborative writing heralded in a rennasaince of wrestlefic.
The slow death of Greatest Journal in 2007 moved fandom back to LiveJournal and a new generation of small archives.
Real Person Fiction?
I should mention fanfic.net and the controversy of Real Person Fiction and Slash and, why wrestlefic is the redheaded stepchild of fandom. In a nutshell, ff.net is the largest fic archive on the internet. In 2002 they removed and banned all “Real Person Fiction”. The general fanfic literati have always looked askance at wrestling fiction because to non fandom readers, wrestlefic looks like real person fic.
This confusion is due in large part to the very nature of pro-wrestling. The characters presented in the ring are indeed “characters” despite sharing a name with the actors who play the character.
In addition, compared to mega fandoms like Harry Potter and Buffy The Vampire Slayer, wrestlefic is a small fandom with a much higher percenage of Mary Sue badfic available for public comsumption (the quality fic tends to be squirreled away on locked journals and widely unpublicized archives).
That wraps up this very abbreviated history.If you were around back in the day and would like to fill in some of my gaps, shoot me an email.
Steel Chair to the Head: The Pleasure and Pain of Professional Wrestling An inside look at pro-wrestling fandom with a chapter dedicated to wrestlefic written by a researcher who actually spent time in the archives sites and on the message boards.
Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture (Studies in Culture and Communication) Addressing both academics and fans, Jenkins builds a powerful case for the richness of fan culture as a popular response to the mass media and as a challenge to the producers’ attempts to regulate textual meanings. Textual Poachers guides readers through difficult questions about popular consumption, genre, gender, sexuality, and interpretation, documenting practices and processes which test and challenge basic assumptions of contemporary media theory.