Brock University sociology prof steps into wrestling ring

A Brock sociology professor who teaches North America’s only undergraduate course about professional wrestling has stepped into the ring himself for the first time.

Dan Glenday, 61, wrestled at the Brock Brawl, a pro wrestling card on campus on Nov. 15 that featured wrestlers like Bloody Bill Skullion and the Kentucky Butcher. Glenday was part of a six-man tag-team match.

The event was not only be a pro wrestling spectacle, but an assignment for his students. Glenday, who has been a Brock professor since 1979, has taught the popular course “The Sociology of Professional Wrestling” since 2006.

His course addresses what he calls the misunderstanding surrounding professional wrestling since it is an easy target for skeptics. The course description notes wrestling is criticized for its “excessive violence, sexism, homophobia, ethnic/racial stereotyping, date violence among teenagers and the increase in bullying by girls and boys”.

The course aims to better understand professional wrestling by situating it within changes in popular culture, while at the same time examining it as a major cultural phenomenon itself.

“Pro wrestling and wrestlers are a misunderstood subculture in our society,” says Glenday.

Former pro wrestler Chuck “the Butcher” Simpson, a native of Wainfleet, Ont., who retired from pro wrestling in 1989, coached Glenday for his debut.

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