Yes, this is the second story about professional wrestling appearing on Longreads in a single month week day. But Dan Brooks’ story — about an upstart character in an upstart league who upends everything you thought you knew about the sport — is also one of the best explications of kayfabe’s meta-fineries I’ve ever read, and accomplishes the nearly impossible task of making me wish I followed the sport.

Danhausen’s dubious command of occult forces is only one aspect of his absurd presentation, which blurs the line between what is supposed to be real in the fictive world of pro wrestling and what is supposed to be his character’s own delusion. He is not “6-foot-7, probably,” as his self-reported measurements claim, nor does he weigh in at “over 300 pounds.” At 5-foot-10 and roughly 175 pounds, the real Danhausen is physically unimposing. It was this final element — active denial of his own limitations as a wrestler — that turned his whole gimmick into a kind of commentary on wrestling itself. And he has found that this commentary resonates deeply with the class of obsessive fans who attend indie shows and watch videos of indie wrestling on the internet.