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A wrestling ring is the ring stage in which professional wrestlers wrestle.

Configuration and construction

The configuration and construction of the "traditional" ring is very similar to that of a boxing ring, though the wrestling version has three ring ropes (one fewer than the standard boxing ring which evolved into a four-rope structure). In addition, the ring ropes are not tethered together at their midpoint. Most (if not all) wrestling rings also incorporate more in the way of padding and shock absorbing construction than boxing rings, although this varies according to the preferences of the promoter.

Wrestling rings are generally composed of an elevated steel beam and wood plank stage covered by foam padding and a canvas mat, with the elevated sides then covered with a fabric skirt to prevent spectators from seeing underneath. Around the "ring" are three cables, the "ring ropes", wrapped in various types of piping (generally rubber hosing and tape). These 'ropes' are held up and tensioned by turnbuckles, which, in turn, hang on steel cylindrical poles, the "ring posts". Some independent groups use real rope, as opposed to cables. The ends of the turnbuckles facing into the ring are usually heavily padded, while the length of the turnbuckles are now commonly covered with a lighter padding.

Wrestling rings vary in shape and size, with most measuring between 14 and 20 feet on each side, measured between the turnbuckles. World Wrestling Entertainment uses real ropes and uses a 20-foot ring while the past promotions of World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling used an 18-foot ring. Because of this, the 18-foot ring is commonly held as the "standard" for wrestling rings in the United Statesmarker and Canadamarker. Typically, wrestling rings are smaller than boxing rings. Rings typically include an "apron" area of the canvas ring floor, extending between one and two feet beyond the ropes; the ring itself is generally elevated between three and four feet above the ground.

Many rings utilize a suspension system with a large coil spring underneath the stage to keep the center of the mat from bowling in; the stiffness of such springs varies, with softer springs providing a gentler impact, at the expense of the wrestlers bouncing visibly on impact; a stiffer spring provides a more "realistic" visual experience, but at a higher risk of injury due to the harsher impact.

Types

According to Mick Foley, rings built for the World Wrestling Federation before approximately 1998 were particularly "stiff", and one of them contributed to his injuries suffered during his famous Hell in the Cell match against The Undertaker. A newer style of ring construction utilizes a "flexi-beam" system instead of a spring, where the steel beams used to construct the ring stage absorb much of the impact.

The "traditional" ring—such as that used by WWE—is four-sided, but other configurations exist, such as the six sided ring of Asistencia Asesoría y Administración and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

The term squared circle is often used by wrestling promotions and promoters to refer to the ring. It is a term that originated in traditional Greco-Roman wrestling, since the action takes place on a square mat with a circle painted on it. This format is still used by amateur wrestling leagues throughout the world. Wrestling promoters could've adopted the term from these earlier roots, or it could simply be that it is referred to as a "ring," (circle) but is square in shape.

Generally, steel cables are used to support the rope structure of the rings, with both WCW and ECW using a padded steel cable. This allowed for greater top rope balance and spring-board, which is why more high-flying and death-defying maneuvers are seen being performed in these promotions. Meanwhile, in WWE, they use an elastic rope. The elasticity of the rope offers far more comfort when running the ropes, as well as receiving moves on the ropes, but at a decrease in top rope stability.

See also



References




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