accrued a considerable amount of slang
in-references, and jargon
. Much of it stems
from the industry's origins in the days of carnivals
and circuses, and the slang itself is
often referred to as "carny
talk." In the
past, wrestlers used this lingo in the presence of fans so as not
to reveal the worked
nature of the business. In
recent years, widespread wrestling discussion on the Internet
popularized the terms. In fact, many of
the terms refer to the money-making aspect of the sport rather than
the athletics themselves.
- A-Show: A wrestling event where generally a company's biggest
- A-Team: A group of a wrestling promotion's top stars who
compete at a given event. (Compare "B-Team")
- Abortion (or abort): To discontinue a feud, angle, or "gimmick" suddenly, usually without explanation or due to
a lack of fan interest. This is an older term, not generally used
today because of its objectionable basis.
- Agent (road agent): Management employee, often a former veteran
wrestler, who helps wrestlers set up matches, plans storylines, and
relays instructions from the bookers. Often acts
as a liaison between wrestlers and higher-level management.
Referred to as "producers" by WWE. Sometimes they help train and
teach younger active wrestlers and give criticism.
- Angle: A fictional storyline. An angle usually begins when one
wrestler attacks another (physically or verbally), which results in
revenge. An angle may be as small as a single match or a vendetta
that lasts for years. It is not uncommon to see an angle become
retcon due to it not getting
"over" with the fans, or if one of the wrestlers
currently involved in the angle is released from his contract.
- Apter mag: An old-style professional wrestling magazine that
sticks to kayfabe and usually consists of
made-up articles and interviews. The term refers to the magazines
at one time connected to journalist Bill
Apter, such as Pro
- Attitude Era: Refers to a time
period from WrestleMania XIV to
WrestleMania X-Seven when the
Federation product shifted from being family-oriented
entertainment to being "edgier," more crude, and dealing with more "adult"
situations (frequently sexual in nature).
- B-Show: a wrestling event featuring the middle and lower-level
talent of a wrestling promotion.
- B-Team: group of wrestlers on a B-Show. Frequently, the B-Team
will compete at a different venue the same night wrestlers on the
A-Team are competing in a different event,
although a promotion will sometimes schedule an event with B-Team
wrestlers to test a new market.
- Babyface: a good
guy. (Compare "tweener" and "heel")
- Backyard wrestling: the act
of staging pro-style wrestling (not to be confused with sport
wrestling or amateur wrestling) as a hobby rather than a job,
usually (but not always) by untrained performers, predominantly
teenagers. The term can also be used for an independent promotion
that has very little, if any, notability.
- Beat down: when a wrestler or other performer is the recipient
of a beating, usually by a group of wrestlers.
- Blade: a
sharpened object used for "blading". The blade is usually concealed
in tape on the hands or somewhere it can be utilized without being
- Blading: the
act of cutting ones self or another person open in order to bleed,
usually done on the forehead (also called "juicing"). The opposite of bleeding hardway.
- Blind: when a referee has his back turned while the other side
is cheating. Usually done by heels in order to gain the advantage
in a match.
- Blind tag: a tag made in a tag team match where the wrestler on
the apron, tags his partner unbeknownst to him or without his
consent. It can also refer to such a tag where the tagger's
opponent is unaware a tag has occurred, leaving him open to a
blind-side attack. Most often occurs when the partner in the ring
is thrown against the ropes or backed into their own corner.
- Blow off: the final match in a feud. While the involved
wrestlers often move onto new feuds, sometimes it is the final
match in the promotion for one or more of the wrestlers.
- Blow Up: to become cardiovascularly exhausted during a
- Blown Up: Out of breath, lacking the cardiovascular endurance
to keep up in a match at the pace it has been going.
- Booked: a term that refers to the predetermined nature of
wrestling. For example, a booker will book a wrestler to win or
lose a match, or a booker will book a wrestler to engage in a
- Booker: the person in charge of setting up matches and writing
angles; referred to as the "Creative Team" by WWE. It is the
wrestling equivalent to a screenwriter.
- Booking: what a "booker" does. Booking is also the term a
wrestler uses to describe a scheduled match or appearance on a
- Botch: a scripted
move that failed.
- Broadway: a time limit draw
- Bump: when a
wrestler hits the mat or ground.
- Burial/Bury: refers to the worked lowering
(relegation) of a popular wrestler's status in the eyes of the
fans. It is the act of a promoter or booker causing a wrestler to
lose popularity by forcing him to lose in squash
and/or participate in unentertaining or degrading storylines. It
can be a form of punishment for real-life backstage disagreements
or feuds between the
wrestler and the booker, the wrestler falling out of favor with the
company, or the wrestler receiving an unpopular gimmick that causes him to lose credibility regardless of
win-loss record. It is also a result of a company seeing a wrestler
as having no potential or charisma. The
term can also be applied to a wrestling company that jumps the shark, rapidly loses ratings,
fans, and finally becomes bankrupt. According to many critics, the most
infamous burial of a company was The Fingerpoke of Doom, a pivotal
incident in the Monday Night Wars
that took place in January 4, 1999 on WCW Monday Nitro at the Georgia Dome. (Compare "push")
- Business: the term used to describe professional wrestling
instead of referring to it as a profession or sport.
- Busted open: term used to describe a wrestler that is bleeding.
- Call: when one wrestler instructs the other of what is going to
happen in the match.
heat: when cheers or boos are pumped into an arena via the
sound system or added to a television show in post-production.
- Card: the lineup of the matches that will be staged at a given
venue for a given performance. The card is generally performed in a
roughly inverse order to the way in which it might be printed for
posters or other promotional materials. The major matches between
well-known opponents may be for "titles" and are said to be "top of
the card" or "headliners" while the preliminary matches between
lesser-known opponents are said to be the "undercard." In Lucha libre,
cards are generally five matches although big events might have
more and smaller promotions might not run the full five match card.
The first match is called the Primera Lucha, the second is called
the Segunda Lucha, the third is usually the Combate Especial or the
Lucha Especial, the fourth or second to last match is called the
Lucha Semifinal, and the main event is called the Lucha Estelar or
- Carny: A language used by wrestlers to
talk to each other around people not associated with the business
so they would not understand what they were saying, often used to
keep the secrets of the business.
- Championship: in
kayfabe, a recognition of a wrestler being
the best in his or her promotion or division in the form of a
championship belt (also "title" or "strap"). Outside of kayfabe,
championships are won/held by a wrestler whom the bookers believe
will generate fan interest in terms of event attendance and
- Cheap heat: when a wrestler (often a heel) incites a negative
crowd reaction by insulting the crowd (by insulting the city or a
local sports team) or by using a news event as part of his
- Cheap pop: when a wrestler (often a face) incites a positive
crowd reaction by "kissing up" to the crowd (for example,
mentioning the name of the city or complimenting a local sports
team). Heels often
follow the same principle but in reverse: insulting the city or
bringing up something it is infamous for (such as an
under-performing sports team) to get booed.
- Cheap shot: when a wrestler uses a low blow or a foreign object
to get an advantage over his opponent.
- Chemistry: when two wrestlers work well together by pulling off
each others moves well and telling the story well to the
- Clean finish: when a match ends without cheating or outside
interference, usually in the center of the ring. (Compare "screwjob")
- Closet champion: a current titleholder (usually a heel) who ducks top-flight
competition, cheats to win (often by managerial interference),
and—when forced to wrestle good opponents—deliberately causes
himself to be disqualified (since titles often do not change hands
by disqualification) to retain his title.
- Color: a term used by wrestlers and promoters to discuss the
amount of bloodshed in a match.
- Color commentator: a member of
the announcing team who assists the play-by-play
announcer by filling in any time when play is not in progress,
providing humor, and explaining storylines.
- Cross-promotion: an event which occurs when two or more rival
promotions put together one card or wrestling event. Some promoters
have used cross-promotion style angles to further interest. Cross
promotion dates back to the early days of wrestling as challenges
between rival promoters in the same area often occurred.
- Cue: a term that lets other wrestlers know when something
should happen, usually after a move.
Call or The MSG Incident:the incident
at Madison Square Garden in the spring of 1996, when WWF superstars
Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Razor Ramon,
and Triple H (The
Kliq) broke kayfabe in front of a live
sold out New York crowd, playing it out in a farewell to the crowd
and a group hug.
- Dark match: a non-televised match at a televised show used to
warm up the crowd (compare "house show"). A dark match before the
show is often used to test out new talent or to warm up the crowd.
A promised dark match after the show is typically set featuring
main-event level wrestlers in order to sell more tickets and send
the crowd home happy.
- Dead weight: when a wrestler goes limp in the middle of a move.
This could be done intentionally, either to make his opponent look
weak or just "rib" him, or unintentionally
because the "dead weight" wrestler is unfamiliar with the
cooperation needed to pull off a particular wrestling hold (or just
not paying attention) or as a result of injury. See (Sandbag)
- Decision: a decision simply refers to the result of a match, by
whatever means it came about.
- Dirt sheet: an insider newsletter (or website) in the
professional wrestling business.
- Diva: aside from the usual colloquial
meaning of a hard to work with individual, this term is used,
mainly by WWE, to
refer to any woman involved in wrestling, either as "eye candy" or as a wrestler (or
- Double turn: the rare occurrence when both the heel and the
face switch roles during an angle or a match. An example of this is
the Bret Hart/Steve Austin match at WrestleMania 13 and the Powers of Pain/Demolition at Survivor Series 1988.
- Draw: a wrestler who is able to attract the attention of the
audience; someone fans are willing to pay to see.
- Drawing power: having recognition with the fans as a star, with
fans paying to see them.
- Drop: when a wrestler is booked to lose to a contender (the
loser agreed to drop the match to the winner).
- Drop the belt: When a champion is booked to lose to a
challenger; thus having the title and belt change hands. It is
usually seen as an honor to give another wrestler the championship;
conversely those who refuse to drop the belt and hog the title are
seen often unfavorably.
- Dud: a very poor, boring, or otherwise uninteresting match. It
can also be a match with morally objectionable elements.
- Dusty Finish: typically a finish in which the face appears to
win a big match, but the decision is later reversed. Can also refer
to an ambiguous finish to a match where either wrestler can be
claimed the winner. The "Dusty" in the term refers to Dusty Rhodes, who booked many such
finishes in NWA and
later in WCW.
- Enforcer: a
wrestler who accompanies another to matches, and acts as a
bodyguard. This term was coined by Arn
Anderson, whose nickname was "The Enforcer". Another definition
is an individual (usually a celebrity) who acts in a "special guest
referee" capacity from outside the ring, usually favoring one
wrestler over another (such as Chuck
Norris at Survivor Series
1994 or Mike Tyson at
- Extreme wrestling: a style of wrestling based heavily on
highspots, no limits, and no boundaries. Matches
that are more fast-paced and over the top with high impact style
are seen in Japan and Mexico. Sometimes confused with hardcore wrestling due to the fact that
the rules are more relaxed allowing the use of chairs and tables,
but it involves much more wrestling abilities than hardcore
- Extremists: term briefly used by WWE to refer to its ECW brand wrestlers to emphasize that they,
and the ECW brand, are more "extreme" in comparison to the Raw and
- Face: short for
"babyface", which means the good guy, or the wrestler who the
crowds are intended to cheer for.
- Faction: see "stable."
- Fall: usually, the ending of the match. A fall is obtained by
gaining a decision in any manner, normally
consisting of a pinfall, submission, count-out, or
disqualification. In a two
out of three falls match, a wrestler must gain two decisions to
win instead of only one. (See decision and
- False comeback: when a face mounts a brief offensive flurry
before losing it to a heel wrestler after being dominated for
several minutes. Usually, it occurs before the actual
- Feud: a battle
between two or more wrestlers or stables, often involving matches,
promos, and angles. A feud usually lasts for several months.
- Finish: the planned end of a match. (See "Dusty
Finish" and "Clean Finish")
- Finisher: a wrestler's signature move that leads to a
- Flair Flip or Flair Flop: a move, popularized by Ric Flair, where a wrestler is flipped upside down
upon hitting the corner turnbuckle and often ends up on the other
side of the ropes on his feet on the ring apron.
- Flat back bump: a bump in which a wrestler lands solidly on his
back with high impact, spread over as much surface as
object: an object that is illegal to the match, such as a
chair, brass knuckles, garbage can, etc. WCW announcers called these
implements "International Objects" for a time in the 1980s when WCW
owner Ted Turner banned use of the word
"foreign" throughout his media empire.
rule: an unofficial rule which allows any two members of a
stable with three or more members to defend a tag team
championship. Named for The
Fabulous Freebirds, who famously did this in Georgia Championship
Wrestling. The New World Order
used this rule when holding the WCW World Tag Team Championships. A
more modern example would be The Spirit
Squad, a five man group that collectively held the WWE World Tag Team
Championships throughout 2006.
- Gaijin: a non-Japanese worker in Japanese
promotions. This is not specifically wrestling term, simply the
standard Japanese term for a foreigner (considered derogatory by
some foreigners though not implicitly intended to be).
- Garbage wrestling: "hardcore"
matches or extremely spot heavy matches wherein
wrestlers use nothing but weaponry or highly planned out spots to
attack each other; the term also refers to outrageous gimmick
matches that have no obvious elements of traditional in-ring
competition. The term was coined by Giant
Baba of All Japan
Pro-Wrestling when he referred to Atsushi Onita's FMW promotion (which used
barbed wire and other such dangerous implements) as "garbage." The
term later evolved to encompass spotfests as well.
- Gas: 1. Steroids (see also juice and roids) or 2. Stamina (as in "out of gas", when a
wrestler is tired and unable to perform properly)
- Gate: amount of money generated from ticket sales. Merchandise
sales are often a part of "the gate."
- Get over: a campaign designed by the bookers to make a wrestler
(or a group of wrestlers) either popular or a credible threat; in
other words, someone that an audience would pay to see.
- Gig: the blade a wrestler uses to cut himself.
- Gimmick: a wrestler's personality and/or
other distinguishing traits while performing. It can also be an
implement used to cheat. In recent years, the emphasis has been on
more realistic gimmicks (with rare exceptions such as The Undertaker) which portray the wrestler as
an actual person, albeit with exaggerated personality traits, as
opposed to previous years during which gimmicks could be best
described as "cartoonish". A wrestler may be expected to portray
many gimmicks during their career, most of which may be implausible
or inconsistent. Sometimes a wrestler may undergo a complete change
of on-screen personality from one week to the next.
- Gimmick table: place where a (usually independent) wrestler
sells his merchandise, usually by the concession stand.
- Go over: to beat someone.
- Gorilla Position: the staging area just behind the entrance
curtain, where wrestlers wait before they come into view of the
crowd. Named after Gorilla Monsoon,
who established the position's importance and could often be found
- Green: refers to a wrestler (often called a green
horn) who is in the early stages of their career and, as a
result, may be prone to make mistakes because of their
- Gusher: a deep cut that bleeds a lot, usually caused by a
mistake while blading but can be intentional.
- Hangman: when a wrestler twists the second rope over the third
with his neck caught in-between, which results in the illusion of
the wrestler hanging by his neck from the ropes.
- Hardcore wrestling: matches
that focus on the use of weapons such as chairs, chains, fireballs,
ladders, and tire irons, often combined with brawling all over the
arena, rather than traditional wrestling holds and techniques, also
referred to by some as garbage wrestling.
- Heat: a wrestler
getting a negative crowd reaction. (See "cheap
heat" and "canned heat")
- Head drop: a move which, as a result of a botch, causes the receiver to be dropped on their head,
often resulting in a legit concussion or other
injury such as a broken neck. Also, especially in puroresu, the term can refer to a bump which is intended to make a move appear as if the
receiver landed on his/her head. In reality, the full force of the
move is intended to be taken on the upper back and shoulders,
though such moves still carry a high degree of legitimate risk with
- Heel: a bad guy.
(Compare "tweener" and "face")
- Highspot: a top-rope move, or a series of maneuvers perceived
- Hooker: a wrestler with strong legitimate mat-wrestling
abilities and an array of match-ending (or in extreme cases, career
ending) holds known as "hooks," hence the name. In the early 20th
century, one who has worked for carnivals taking on "all comers."
Since these types of events are on the decline, this word is
falling out of common usage. A hooker is the opposite of a pure
performer. Examples of a hooker include Lou
- Hoss: a term used chiefly in the past by Jim Ross of WWE to refer to large
wrestlers with a very limited move capacity, inspired by Hoss
Cartwright of Bonanza.
- Hotshot: when a promoter or booker rushes to a feud, a climax
of a feud, or books a big match on television instead of at a pay-per-view in order to get a short-term boost
for business. Also applies to angles or turns that are done for
shock value rather than acting as a part of an ongoing
- Hot tag: in a tag team match, when a face wrestler tags in a fresh
partner after several minutes of being dominated by his opponents.
Often the hot tag happens after several teases (where the other
face is enticed into the ring, only to be stopped by the referee
and the heels getting away with illegal tactics).
- House show: a non-televised show.
(Compare "dark match")
- Hulking Up: when a wrestler begins to come back in a match by
no-selling a wrestler's moves and fights back.
Named for Hulk Hogan, who did this in
many of his matches in America. (See "Superhuman
- Indy: short for "independent
promotion," refers to a wrestling group that is too small to
compete on a national level or is not owned by a big
storyline: Refers to an angle in 2001 from
WrestleMania X-Seven to the
Survivor Series relating to
the World Wrestling Federation's purchase of World Championship Wrestling
(WCW). It involved the WCW wrestlers "invading" WWF television in an attempt to "take over" the WWF.
In June 2001, the angle grew in intensity as the WWF storylines
somewhat abated to make room for the central Invasion storyline.
WCW and Extreme
Championship Wrestling (ECW) merged to form The Alliance and
challenged the WWF's control over the wrestling industry.
- Job: a scheduled
- Jobber: also known as a job man, a wrestler whose
primary function is losing to better-known wrestlers.
- Juice: steroids. (See gas and roids). It can also mean blood, usually from the
- Juicing: bleeding (frequently, but not always, self-inflicted).
- Kayfabe: term used to describe the
illusion (and up-keep of the illusion) that professional wrestling
is not staged (i.e. that the on-screen situations between
performers represent reality). Also used by wrestlers as a signal
to close ranks and stop discussing business due to an uninformed
person arriving in earshot. The term is said to have been loosely
derived from the Pig Latin pronunciation
of the word "fake" ("akefay").
- Knockout: When a competitor is knocked
out by their opponent, usually by a large blow to the head, or
exhaustion. This can be by accident, or intentionally. This is
usually a term used in "Last
Man Standing" matches after a 10 count is issued to a downed
competitor, or in kayfabe, where a wrestler is announced to have
"won by knockout", a term rarely used in wrestling. Also a term
used to describe female wrestlers in TNA.
- Legit: short for "legitimate". A term used to describe a match
or event which has not been booked, or a
performer who relies on wrestling skill
and ability, as opposed to his gimmick, to gain
notoriety and popularity with fans. The term is also often extended
to mean a wrestler with a legitimate background as an actual street
fighter or brawler (the individual may be a former professional
boxer, a stuntman, martial artist, or have crossed over from some
other professional or amateur sport), who brings legitimate
fighting skills to the apparent, but often tightly controlled,
"chaos" of the pro wrestling arena. The term can also be attributed
to an incident where a legitimate injury occurs during a
professional wrestling match. Often used as a synonym for
heat: a real-life conflict between wrestlers.
- Lock up: a grapple
at the beginning of a match.
- Low blow: where a wrestler hits the other wrestler in the
- Low-carder: A wrestler who wrestles usually at the start of the
program or sometimes even performs rarely.
- Lucha libre or
Lucha: Mexican professional wrestling, which translates to "Free
Fighting". It is used to describe the Mexican style of wrestling
that consists of high-flying acrobatic moves.
- Luchador: a Mexican wrestler.
- Main eventer: a wrestler who is viewed by management to be one
of the top draws on the roster and thus is promoted in Main
- Manager: a
performer assigned to accompany a wrestler to the ring and,
usually, put them over in interviews. They are
often used to help a heel cheat and incite the
- Mark: a fan who believes that the characters and events of some
or all of professional wrestling are real. The term can also be
applied to a fan who idolizes a particular wrestler, promotion, or
style of wrestling to a point some might consider excessive.
- Mark-out: An act of reacting to an event in wresting as if it
was legit even though the person reacting to it knows it to be
- Mid-carder: a wrestler who wrestles in the middle of programs,
is seen as being high in seniority but less than a money draw,
usually competing for the secondary title of a federation.
- Missed spot (or blown spot): a move in which the timing is
- Money match: a non-title match which was the most heavily
promoted of the card that is placed near or at the end of a live
event, which is the main reason fans attended the event or watched
heel: a villain who is portrayed as unstoppable, usually to set
up a feud with a promotion's lead face. Particularly applies to
heels who are physically monstrous, grotesque, or just plain
- Montreal Screwjob: an incident
at Survivor Series in 1997
where referee Earl Hebner claimed that
Bret Hart submitted to Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon ordered the bell to be rung in
order to take the WWF Championship
title from Hart who was exiting the World Wrestling Federation
for World Championship
- Mouthpiece: a manager who does the promos, or all the talking,
for a wrestler possessing little or no mic skills.
- Muta scale: An informal measure among some fans, mostly smarks,
of the amount of blood lost by a wrestler during a match. Ranges
begin at 0.0 Muta, with 1.0 Muta being equivalent to the blood loss
of The Great Muta during an infamous
1992 New Japan Pro Wrestling
match with Hiroshi Hase.
- No-contest: a match which ends without a winner normally due to
a legitimate injury where the wrestler can not continue, to prolong
a feud, or because of interference.
- Near-fall: occurs when a wrestler's shoulders are pinned to the
mat for a count of two, but the wrestler manages to escape before
the referee's hand hits the mat a third time, which would signify a
- No-sell: giving no reaction to another wrestler's offense or
- No-show: when a wrestler doesn't show up for a match. No-shows
are usually staged, often for the purposes of a storyline. Legit
no-shows are less frequent, since the wrestler (or other employee)
is usually fired or suspended afterward.
- Outlaw Rule: In a tag match involving more than two teams,
teammates cannot pin each other in order to win a match. Named
after the New Age Outlaws, who
pulled this off in a three-team tag match.
- Over: refers to a performer whom the fans care about (either
positively or negatively) or the act of making someone look good,
often by losing to them. Wrestlers can be over as either faces or heels. The term suggests that
the fans are buying into what the wrestler is selling, meaning his
character. One of the most common ways a wrestler can be "put over" is by winning a match. It's also possible to
put someone over by taking bumps or selling a move.
- Over-sell: showing too much of a reaction to another wrestler's
offense. For example, tumbling head over heels all the way across
the ring from a simple punch would be an over-sell.
- Paper: to give away a great number of free (comped) tickets to
increase the size of the crowd for publicity. Up-and-coming
promotions may do this as a form of advertisement, whereas
struggling companies may do this to make their turnouts look better
than they really are.
- Parts Unknown: Billing a wrestler as being from "Parts Unknown"
(rather than from his real hometown or another actual place) is
intended to add to a wrestler's mystique. In the post-kayfabe era, it is used less and less. Sometimes,
wrestlers can hail from other, abstract places; for example, the
tag team of Deuce & Domino
hailed from "the other side of the tracks" and the Dudley Family who came from
- Paying dues: the concept that newer or younger wrestlers must
be hazed or punished in the early parts of their careers, both in
and out of the ring. When addressing a specific individual, the
speaker may call it "paying your dues." (See "job" and "rib")
- Phantom bump: when a wrestler or referee takes a bump even
though the move they are selling was visibly botched or otherwise not present. Phantom bumps are most
commonly performed when the offensive wrestler is new.
- Plant: is a professional
wrestling term for a trained wrestler or actor who poses as a
fan, usually seated in the front row of an event. Plants are a good
tool for a heel
wrestler to gain heat
from the crowd. Usually the "plant" is an unknown trained wrestler,
often off the independent
circuit. (Note: not all attacks on fans are on "plants".
Occasionally, a wrestler will start a legit attack on a
real fan who has engaged in behavior such as spitting, cursing, or
insulting the wrestler's family members). Alternatively, to get
over, some heels may do such actions as grab a
fan's hat and throw it away, or grab his sign and tear it in
the reporting of a sporting event with a voice over describing the
details of the action of the match in progress. The play-by-play
person is assisted by a color commentator.
- Pop: a sudden crowd reaction, either positive or negative. It
is measured by the amount of cheers or derision a wrestler gets
during his entrance, interviews, and
in-ring performance (especially when a trademark spot is performed by the wrestler).
- Powder: after taking a slam to the mat, powder simply means to
roll under the bottom rope out of the ring.
- a promotional interview (as in "cutting a promo"). Often
includes either an "in-ring interview" or (on television) a skit by
wrestlers and other performers to advance a storyline or feud.
- Promoter: manager of a promotion.
- Promotion: a
group that organizes professional wrestling events.
- Puroresu: Japanese professional
- Put over: to allow oneself to be pinned or otherwise defeated
by someone or to compliment them in an interview. The person who
the wrestler is putting over is said to be getting
- Psychology: the story of a match. It can be as simple as a
wrestler going after someone's bad leg or trying to hit a move to
which the wrestler knows they have a weakness.
- Push: when a
wrestler gains popularity with wins and positive exposure. A push
can be a sudden win over a major superstar, or becoming involved in
a high profile angle. (Compare "bury")
- Rasslin': refers to a southern style of professional wrestling which
emphasizes kayfabe and stiffness, with fewer
squash matches and generally longer feuds. It was synonymous with
promotions. Rasslin' included TV tapings
at smaller venues, as compared to the larger and more well-known
arenas utilized by northern U.S. promotions such as the AWA and WWF/E. The term is derived
from a phonetic spelling of how the word "wrestling" sounds when
spoken with a heavy Southern accent. It is also commonly used
in a derogatory manner by non-Southern wrestling fans to describe
that style of wrestling. When Ted Turner
purchased Jim Crockett
Promotions in 1988, he allegedly called Vince McMahon to tell him that he was now in
the "rasslin'" business. McMahon allegedly differentiated his
company's style by responding, "That's great, Ted. I'm in the
- Ref bump: when the referee for a match is intentionally knocked
out, generally to allow outside interference or other illegal
- Rest hold: a hold applied more lightly at a designated point in
a match in order to save energy.
- Rib: practical jokes played by or on wrestlers. Wrestlers spend
a lot of time together in close quarters and often resort to
practical jokes, either to break the monotony or to get revenge for
real or imagined wrongs.
- Ribber: someone involved in the pro wrestling business who is
well known for playing practical jokes, such as D-Generation
- Ring general: someone who commands a match with drama,
believability, and awe
- Ring psychology: wrestling a match properly so that the crowd
becomes personally involved in the show.
- Ring rat: similar to a rock and roll groupie, it is someone with amorous feelings for
wrestlers and frequents wrestling events to flirt or pursue sexual
liaisons with wrestlers. They can also be referred to as arena
- Ring rust: when a wrestler is out-of-practice, and thus more
prone to miss spots, as a result of a long period
away from wrestling.
- Road agent: (see agent)
- Roid Rage: paranoia, depression, and explosive outbursts caused
by steroid use.
- Roids: slang phrase for steroids. (See gas
- Run-in: occurs when one or more individuals who are not
actively participating in a match run into the ring. Run-ins are
almost always made by heels, typically to further
a feud with a face. More often
than not, a run-in will result in a "beat down"
in which the heel(s) pummel the face(s) until the script calls for
the beating to stop, either from the heels' satisfaction with their
handiwork, a retaliatory run-in by one or more faces, or (less
often) the entrance of one or more authority figures (referees,
agents, security personnel). Sometimes a run-in
results from a face wanting to stop a heel from physically
punishing a weaker opponent, usually to set up a feud.
- Rushed finish: when the end of a match is hurried, usually due
to a botch, injury, or time constraints. A match may have a rushed
finish for the following reasons: a person in the match is injured, and needs the match to finish as soon as
possible to protect themselves (they often do this by rolling up
their opponent for a pin or causing a
disqualification); the match is a timed match, where the viewers
can see a clock, and the match must end before a certain time on
the clock, for storyline purposes; the match is televised, and it
had been going on for too long, so its end had to be shortened; or
there was a botch in the match, and the wrestlers
have to recover the situation to make it look realistic.
- Sandbag: to not cooperate with a throw and to act as dead
weight, which makes the moves the wrestler is attempting much
harder, if not impossible to pull off. It's usually done in protest
to something that the wrestler performing the move has done
incorrectly earlier in the match, such as not protecting his/her
opponent or working stiff. An example of
sandbagging is from WWE, where in a match with Brock Lesnar and Hardcore
Holly, Holly sandbagged a powerbomb from Brock Lesnar,
resulting in Holly's neck breaking when he was put down.
- School: a school or gym that teaches students the necessary
skills to become professional wrestlers. Students undergo strenuous
physical conditioning while learning the basics of the wrestling
industry, proper performance techniques, and character development.
The courses are taught by qualified professional instructors who
have usually worked for several years as professional wrestlers
themselves. Some schools are affiliated with a specific promotion
company, others are independent.
- Screwjob: a match with a controversial or unsatisfying finish,
often involving cheating or outside interference. A worked screwjob, is part of
the storyline and the match is intended to end controversially. A
shoot screwjob is
extremely rare and occurs when a change is made without one of the
participants knowing, creating an outcome that is contrary to what
was supposedly planned for the storyline by the participants. The
most famous example of a screwjob of this type is the Montreal Screwjob. Worked screwjobs
include Paul Heyman betraying Rob Van
Dam to help Big Show win the ECW Championship.
- Sell: Reacting to an opponent's attacks in a manner that
suggests that the techniques are being applied at full-force. In
general, selling is the act of convincing the audience
that what is happening is real. Certain wrestlers have
long-established reputations for "no-selling" (generally refusing
to sell) or overselling the opponent's moves.
- Security: A group of private security guards that serve much
the same purpose as they normally would (throwing trouble-making
fans out of the building), but they can also be used in the show
itself, breaking up kayfabe fights.
- Shoot: any "real"
event in the world of wrestling. Many former or retired wrestlers
will release information seen as confidential or overly revealing
about the business or a particular performer. (Compare "worked shoot")
a wrestler who has a background in legitimate fighting (originally
catch wrestling, now more often
mixed martial arts), or otherwise
has a reputation as a tough guy. One notch below a "hooker". A well known former wrestler who had a MMA
history was UFC
veteran Ken Shamrock.
- Shootfighting: competitive
full-contact mixed martial arts competition, used in comparison to
the staged performances of professional wrestling.
- Sign: One of the most common ways (aside from popping and chanting) that fans interact with the show.
Fans will bring signs that they create themselves that will either
show support for babyfaces or show their hatred for heels. Because
of the love that fans have for making and bringing signs, it is
often a huge insult (and, therefore, a good heel tactic) to have security
take the signs from the fans.
- Signature move: a move performed by a wrestler on a regular
basis for which the wrestler is well-known.One example of this is
Shawn Michaels' Sweet Chin Music.
- Smark: a portmanteau of "smart
mark", a phrase coined by Internet wrestling fans to describe a fan
who enjoys pro wrestling despite or because they know that it is
staged, as well as generally knowing the "ins-and-outs" of the
company and knowing many things about the industry or wrestlers
collected by sources and are posted online. "Smarks" are generally
looked down on by wrestlers as well as other wrestling fans for
supposed inability to suspend their disbelief. Smarks may also be
criticized for believing they know more than they do in reality
about the workings of the wrestling industry. (compare "mark"). The term was also the name of an on-line
pro-wrestling related comic strip created by Al Isaacs and Terry Taylor.
- Smart: someone who has inside information on the wrestling
- Splash: Any move involving a very large wrestler dropping their
full weight across the body of a smaller opponent. Originally
coined by Big Daddy, a British
professional wrestler from the 1970s and 1980s, as his signature
move, the Daddy Splash.
- Sports Entertainment: a
term coined by WWE to differentiate its product from traditional
professional wrestling as an attempt to garner interest from a
broader audience. It refers to the mix of wrestling, scripted
storylines, and concepts which borrow from other forms of
- Spot: a preplanned move, which is designed to get a particular
audience reaction or determine the pace of the match. Spots can be
anything from an Irish Whip at a certain time, to a series of
spots, for example a succession of reversals. Wrestlers who
choreograph their matches before the show will usually decide on an
opening spot and an ending, as well as several spots to use
throughout the match. The remainder of the match will be divided
between transition moves and general offensive and defensive moves.
A high spot is a move that is particularly exciting. (See "missed spot")
- Spotfest: a match which consists mainly or entirely of spots,
normally with little flow between moves and no logical transitions.
Referring to a match as a spotfest may have positive and negative
connotations. A spotfest is normally a fast-paced, exciting match
with constant displays of athleticism. When the term is used in a
pejorative context, the match appears
choreographed (for example, it may contain Spot
shuffles, where wrestlers will put themselves in obvious
danger). In addition, spotfests often contain many high risk moves
maneuvers), and therefore endanger the health of the
participants. Spotfests tend to be more common in cruiserweight
- Spot monkey: A wrestler who is well known for focusing very
heavily on cramming as many high spots into a single match without
regard to in-ring psychology. More commonly found working in
cruiserweight or extreme style matches. It is mostly used as a
- Squash: an extremely one-sided match which is usually over
quickly. Squash matches usually consist of various wrestlers
fighting unknown jobbers, usually to help get a
gimmick or moveset over. They
are also used to portray a larger wrestler as an unstoppable
monster heel. Faces also win squash matches to show that they are
prepared for a bigger challenge.
- Stable: is a group of wrestlers within a promotion who have a common
element -- friendships, either real or storyline, a common manager, or a common
storyline -- which puts them together as a unit. Stables can be
small alliances of three to six wrestlers (such as D-Generation X, Evolution, The Main Event Mafia, and The Four Horsemen),
or supergroups that include up to half the promotion's talent
roster (such as the New World Order,
Alliance, Planet Jarrett, and
- Stiff: when a wrestler puts excessive force into his attacks or
maneuvers on his opponent, deliberately or accidentally. Vader is an example of someone known for his
stiff style of wrestling. He once broke the back of a young
wrestler named Joe Thurman, who was paralyzed from the waist down
for a couple of hours.
- Stooge: although this sometimes means "to tell on someone," it
more often refers to a heel wrestler booked in
the position of underling associate of another heel. The stooge
will do his boss' dirty work, such as getting squashed in matches against a face
(with whom the heel has a feud) to set up a run-in (and subsequent
beatdown) and future match.
- StorylineDefinition is missing ( see this reference)
- Strong Style: a Japanese-inspired professional wrestling style
that is worked, yet aims to deliver realistic performances. The
style emphasizes stiff attacks and worked shoots.
- Superhuman comeback: when one wrestler, usually a face, no-sells his opponent's offense,
usually after several minutes of being dominated. This tactic
usually sets up the finish and victory by the face wrestler. The
most common example is Hulk Hogan, but
other big time promotion stars (typically the faces) are known for
this, including John Cena.
- Superstar: a term used by the WWF/WWE when talking about a
wrestler instead of "wrestler."
- Swerve: a sudden change in the direction of a storyline to
surprise the fans. Usually, but not always, it involves one
wrestler turning on an ally, often to join
someone who had been a mutual enemy to that point. These swerves
almost always lead to the start of a new feud between the former
friends. Another kind of swerve is when a booker does everything in
their power to convince the fans that something specific is going
to happen at a show or someone they're expecting is going to debut
(or come back), only to then do something completely different. It
is sometimes the result of a false report by a wrestler to the
- Tag team: a pair of wrestlers working
together in a tag team match (a match which pits two or more teams
of wrestlers against one another).
- Tap out: submitting to a submission maneuver by tapping on the
mat, as in mixed martial arts, rather than verbally acknowledging
the submission, as was previously common in professional wrestling.
In kayfabe, it indicates that a wrestler is
giving up because the submission maneuver they are in is too
painful. The tap out was introduced to pro wrestling by former ECW
wrestler Taz, who was experienced and well-versed in Judo.
- Three-count: when the referee slaps the mat with his hand to
count a pinfall. In theory, a 3 count lasts for three seconds;
however, individual referees have their own cadence. When heel
referees are used in storylines, they frequently utilize slower or
faster counts to favor heel wrestlers.
- Titantron or simply Tron: a screen which is
directly above the stage area of the arena used for showing
entrance videos, other segments, and promos. Based on the naming
convention of Sony's well-known JumboTron, a large video screen used primarily in
stadiums, arenas, and other public venues, the TitanTron was
introduced as part of WWE's Raw set and was named after
the then-parent company of the World Wrestling Federation, Titan
Sports. The -tron suffix has since been used to unofficially
identify other big screens used in wrestling, such as the
"OvalTron" formerly used on SmackDown.
- Trachoma: An eye disease caused by a
mixture of ring dust and sweat, which caused blindness in several
wrestlers including Ed "Strangler"
- Transitional champion: a holder of a traditionally-short title
reign which bridges two "eras", long-running title reigns by
- Turn: when a wrestler switches from face to heel or vice
- ;Hard turn: is when a wrestler becomes a heel or face in a
sudden surprise plot twist (swerve).
- ;Soft turn: is a gradual switch to heel or face over an
extended period of time.
- Tweener: a morally ambiguous wrestler, neither a bad guy or
good guy (an inbetweener), who will fight anyone
regardless of alignment (e.g. Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Triple
H, The Rock, and Kane). This term is also used to describe
wrestlers who use tactics typically associated with heels (e.g.,
cheating), yet are still cheered by fans in spite of (or because
of) these antics (e.g. Eddie Guerrero
and Ric Flair).
- Two-and-a-half count: the count at which a wrestler is said to
escape from a pinfall when a referee's hand comes very close to
hitting the mat for a three-count.
- Undercard: matches prior to the
main event. (See also Dark match).
the act of combining two championships into one; the result of
which is either an entirely new title or the consolidation of one
title into another.
- Upset: when an underdog
defeats someone who they realistically should not be able to, such
as a new wrestler defeating a veteran, or a huge, monster-like
wrestler being defeated by a smaller wrestler.
- Valet: a female performer accompanying a male performer to the
ring. Many times she functions as "eye candy" and plays the role of an
- Vignette: any piece of video footage featuring characters or
events which is shown to the audience for the purposes of
entertainment or edification. Usually, they are meant to either
introduce a debuting character or to get a wrestler over before their TV wrestling debut. In World Wrestling Entertainment,
wrestlers rarely acknowledge that they are being filmed, forcing
the viewer to "suspend
disbelief" as to why a camera operator would be allowed to
witness and record an intimate or secretive situation.
- Work (noun): an event booked to happen, from the carnival
tradition of "working the crowd." A work can also refer to the
match itself. The opposite of a work is a shoot.
- Work (verb): to specifically and methodically attack,
especially a single body part. To "work" on a body part (i.e. an
arm) would be to repeatedly use force on that part, until it is
damaged enough to be used in the finish of the match.
- Worker: a wrestler, manager, valet, referee, announcer, or
shoot: a scripted segment that takes place in a show with
elements of reality being exposed, such as an off-screen incident
between wrestlers being used as fuel for an on-screen rivalry
between them. It can also be a segment that fans are meant to
believe is a shoot, but is not.
- Workrate: a wrestler's use of "work" to develop a match. One's
workrate is determined by his or her ability to "work" in an
intelligent and productive manner. When used by critics, it is an
analysis of the action in a match and the skill level
- Wrestler's Court: the unofficial forum among WWE wrestlers for
the policing of wrestlers that violate the rules and traditions
laid down by the company. The punishments meted out can range from
prank to paying for other wrestlers'
travel expenses. In Matt and Jeff Hardy's
book Exist 2 Inspire, they mention an incident they had
with The Court while it was still headed by The Undertaker, "We
got to the next house show and John
Bradshaw Layfield told us, 'You guys have been sentenced to
Wrestler's Court. Your trial is set for next week at
Raw. Wrestler's Court is exactly
what it sounds like. All the wrestlers gather in the
locker room, and they hold a mock trial. The Undertaker is
the judge and John Bradshaw Layfield is the prosecuting attorney. It's pretty scary,
because once you get up there on the stand, everybody's against
you." Judges for Wrestler's Court have included: The Undertaker, John
"Bradshaw" Layfield, Hardcore Holly,
and Brian Adams.