chapter  9
12 Pages

“Ultimate! Atomic! Buster!”

Street Fighter, professional wrestling, and visual semiotics
WithJustin Wigard, Ted Troxell

Capcom’s Street Fighter video game series features professional wrestling characters like Zangief (Russian professional wrestling) and E. Honda (Japanese sumo wrestling) alongside more traditional martial arts styles and combatants. Wrestlers’ costumes and styles serve as embodiments of their representative culture, while their juxtaposition alongside other forms creates a convergent text that equalizes fighting styles. This convergence of international fighting styles legitimizes professional wrestling alongside more traditional martial arts and reveals wrestling as a transcultural and transnational activity.