Whether you’re, say, an anarcho-communist, a democratic socialist, or just a social democrat, we can all agree that a leftist perspective on professional wrestling means calling for a better, more democratic culture for an industry where “independent contractors” have for too long been controlled, abused, and exploited.
The Left Fist is about simply pulling together these viewpoints to contribute to an increasing critique about the pro wrestling industry so that its culture can be improved for those who work in it — as performers, announcers, ring crew, commentators, or publicists.
This intersectional anti-capitalist angle means enjoying the beauty of pro wrestling and treasuring it so much that we therefore also hold it to account: to make it a better industry by and for the marginalised or oppressed – whether women, BIPOC, members of the LGBTQ+ community, disabled people, or workers as a whole. Can pro wrestling offer better opportunities and representation? Can it create safer spaces? And – ultimately – can its standards be raised to protect all who work in the industry? Can it be better regulated? Can it be unionised?
The Left Fist is, at least initially, an initiative launched by Jay Baker (he/they) from the UK, covering professional wrestling from a pro-union, leftist angle in both written form and as a podcast. As a former documentarian and a pro wrestling fan for over thirty years, Jay’s original motivation for the Left Fist was driven by a concern that the industry was broadly seen as some strange fringe phenomenon and that this lack of serious spotlight and scrutiny left its workers vulnerable to exploitation. This initiative aims to highlight these issues and provoke discussion and debate, including more people, and amplifying various voices, over time. Born the year Curt Hennig, Rick Rude, Nikita Koloff, Barry Darsow and Brady Boone graduated from Robbinsdale High School, Jay wants to harness “the spirit of Edward Carpenter-meets-Édouard Carpentier,” is a member of the IWW, and also happens to be, yes, left-handed. 🤜