Wikipedia describes professional wrestling as “an athletic form of storytelling that portrays a combat sport.” The finest form of this athletic storytelling is exhibited by the members of the @wwe, and the finest place to chronicle their fables is on Tumblr. Throughout 2016, there were over a million posts and reblogs about the #WWE and we analyzed every one of them.
The thing to know about wrestling on Tumblr is that it’s huge. Andre The Giant–huge.
And a whopping 294% more original posts than Gotham
As you can see in the chart below, WWE peaked every Monday throughout the summer. There are no hiatuses in the WWE. August’s SummerSlam and its corresponding Raw episode was one of the biggest moments in the sport in 2016. In fact, there were 692% more original posts made about #WWE on August 21st and 22nd than there were for Supergirl, Shadowhunters and Gotham combined.
The uninitiated might assume that John Cena is number 1, but actually the most popular wrestler is Dean Ambrose (aka alternate universe Ed Sheeran), who was posted about 408% more than the Leader of the Cenanation. Probably because Ambrose was the top WWE champion for most of the year, but maybe also because people were shipping Ambreigns. On the Diva side, @sashabankswwe was the most talked about, coinciding with her draft to Raw and her first Women’s Championship title win in July.
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To the casual channel-flipper, professional wrestling might look like base, unsophisticated brawling. If you stick around and pay attention, you’ll find out that it’s a flamboyant, convoluted opera. Also it makes for some truly excellent GIFs. Here are some wrestling Tumblrs:
It’s wrestling, but get this: no context. If you’re not looking to learn about kayfabe and decade-long feuds but you still want to see the Strong People act goofy, this is the Tumblr for you. Look how happy the good boy is!
He kissed me and said “Message me when you get home.”
On my way home, in this blue bus, my thoughts were talking about you. Fuck, this bus still smells of you, I guess the driver wonders what happened to us, I bet he liked you, you always used to thank him after getting off the bus.
I passed this green station where we couldn’t stop kissing each other, your hands wanted only me and you did not care about other people passing by, because all you craved was me and my mouth and my body. On that day we created the universe from the beginning.
I almost got home and messaged him “I’m home.”
One minute later, I got a message from him, “Yeah, you’re home, I mean, you’re my home.”
How wonderful it is to read such words.
And how tragic it is to get them from the wrong person.