The purpose of this paper is to outline the historical and political broadcasting conditions that hindered the success of British professional wrestling and allowed the rise to dominance of the American World Wrestling Federation.
Because of the nature of professional wrestling, the paper utilises a range of secondary sources (audience research conducted by the Independent Broadcasting Authority, and interviews with retired wrestlers) and primary research (government papers, magazines, newspapers).
The paper finds that the World Wrestling Federation benefited from neo‐liberal television policies, but also created a product that attracted a new generation of fans.
The paper examines an under‐researched area of study (British professional wrestling) to explore and complicate existing debates about sports marketing and British media institutions in the 1980s and 1990s.
Litherland, B. (2012), "Selling punches: free markets and professional wrestling in the UK, 1986‐1993", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 578-598. https://doi.org/10.1108/17557501211281914Download as .RIS
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