Cindy Crushes Programming: The Road to Wrestlemania
Every year, I do a program during the week leading up to WrestleMania and I call it Road to WrestleMania. I started doing this program when I realized that many of my teens were wrestling fans. I do this program for all ages so families can come together.
Quick History of Pro-Wrestling according to Cindy: Professional wrestling was a carnival sport where the outcomes where predetermined. Wrestling used to be divided into territories before it was changed into two major competing companies, WCW and WWF. There was also a small major company, ECW, which was known for hardcore wrestling. ECW went bankrupt and was bought by the WWF. WCW was sold to WWF after the Time Warner AOL merger. The WWF changed their name to World Wrestling Entertainment after losing a lawsuit with the World Wildlife Foundation. Professional wrestlers are now referred to as sports entertainers. Other independent competitors have made this the Golden Age of Independent Wrestling. AEW, Ring of Honor, Shimmer, and Rise are making a strong impact on the wrestling world. Pro-wrestling does have a long problematic history with race and how women’s wrestling has been treated. This year will be the first time a women’s wrestling match has headlined WrestleMania. This was announced on Monday, March 25, 2019.
I come dressed to impress. I always dress up as a pro-wrestler and try to do their unique entrance. The entrance of a professional wrestler tells you a lot about the character they are portraying.
The first activity I do is wrestling trivia. I like to do the following categories–Matches, Women Superstars, Male Superstars, Classic Wrestling, and Name that Wrestler. This is done in the style of the Jeopardy game show.
Fun Fact: The first time I ran these programs, women were referred to as Divas and now they refer to them as Superstars, which is the same title that they use for men. They also now have a new women’s tag team titles.
Next I do promo class. Promos are when the wrestler expresses their thoughts and feelings. It is usually a what, who, where, when, and how. I am really excited because in the past it has been hard to get teens to feel confident enough to participate. I have a new game that I think will help make the experience easier and more fun. I learned about this at a wrestling convention. It is called SmackTalk Showdown.
There are three types of cards.
Name cards– you will need two to make your wrestlers name.
Segment cards that are about where and when the promo takes place.
Smack: This will tell the player what their wrestler is doing during their promo.The game is similar to Superfight where one person judges the players when they performer their actions. The judge is referred to as the producer or they add more smack cards to wrestler’s segments. At the end of the game the winner is the first to have three winning segments.
I find scorecards online, which I print out for the teens to write down who do they think is winning. I found one on Squared Circle on Reddit. This is usually posted the week of WrestleMania. This one from last year was made by user, u/THEGRANDEMPEROR
If I cannot find a scorecard, I will make one myself by looking at what matches I know are going to happen based on the day of the program. What matches are going to happen is determined by time interests and injuries. I have heard this year will be the longest WrestleMania ever.
Final Thoughts: This is a program I love to do and the teens really enjoy it. I think it is so interesting to see how the world of Pro Wrestling has changed since I started this program. Women would only have five-minute matches, but now they are main eventing.
Cindy Shutts, MLIS
Cindy is passionate about teen services. She loves dogs, pro-wrestling, Fairy tales, mythology, and of course reading. Her favorite books are The Hate U Give, Catching FIre, The Royals, and everything by Cindy Pon. She loves spending times with her dog Harry Winston and her niece and nephew. Cindy Shutts is the Teen Services Librarian at the White Oak Library District in IL and she’ll be joining us to talk about teen programming. You can follow her on Twitter at @cindysku.
Filed under: Teen Programming
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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