chapter  12
15 Pages

“What’s best for business”

The WWE Cruiserweight Classic and managing renegade audiences through affective economics
WithRobert Watts

The WWE Network production The Cruiserweight Classic (CWC) was an exemplary convergent text that delineated the various ways in which World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) uses its online distribution platform to negotiate and manage the disparate demands and grievances of a frequently hostile “hardcore” viewership. Adapting the concept of affective economics, the author outlines how the CWC points “renegade” consumers toward multiple paratexts, at once segmenting them from the central texts (i.e. Raw and Smackdown) while also preserving their emotional investment in them.