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Professional wrestling has accrued a considerable amount of jargon throughout its existence.Much of it stems from the industry's origins in the days of carnivals and circuses. In the past, professional wrestlers used such terms in the presence of fans so as not to reveal the nature of the business. In recent years, widespread discussion on the Internet has popularized these terms. Many of the terms refer to the financial aspects of professional wrestling in addition to in-ring terms.
A management employee, often a former wrestler (though it can be a current wrestler), who helps wrestlers set up matches, plan storylines, give criticisms on matches, and relay instructions from the . Agents often act as a liaison between wrestlers and higher-level management and sometimes may also help in training younger wrestlers. They are referred to by WWE as "producers" and by AEW as "coaches".
A wrestler intentionally cutting themselves (or, more rarely, allowing themselves to be cut by the opponent or referee) to provoke bleeding to the opponent's offense.
To determine and schedule the events of a wrestling . The person in charge of setting up matches and writing is a "booker". It is the wrestling equivalent of a screenwriter. A booker can also be described as someone who recruits and hires talent to work in a particular promotion. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa defined a booker in 1956 as "[...] any person who, for a fee or commission, arranges with a promoter or promoters for the performance of wrestlers in professional wrestling exhibitions". Booking is also the term a wrestler uses to describe a scheduled match or appearance on a wrestling show (ie, "a booked match").
A match that ends in a time limit draw.
The lowering (relegation) of a wrestler's status in the eyes of the fans. The opposite of a , it is the act of a promoter or causing a wrestler to lose popularity and credibility through means such as forcing them to lose in matches, losing continuously, allowing opponents to no- or of said wrestler's , or forcing them to participate in unentertaining or degrading storylines. A burial is often used a form of punishment due to real-life backstage disagreements between the wrestler and the booker, the wrestler falling out of favor with the company, or sometimes to demote an unpopular performer or .
A reigning champion's right to retain a title, should he or she lose a championship match by countout or disqualification.
A point in a match in which the heel stops the face's attack or comeback and goes on the offensive.
Also lackey or heavyA (typically larger) wrestler who accompanies another wrestler as a to matches and acts as a bodyguard.
A wrestler who is heroic, who is to be cheered by fans. are the opposite of faces, and faces commonly perform against heels.
In a tag team match, the member of a team who is dominated by the team for an extended period of the match. The tactic can be used to help get the crowd behind the face tag team and is usually followed up with a . During the 1980s, Ricky Morton of the Rock 'n' Roll Express was typically in this position while teaming with Robert Gibson; so much so that "playing Ricky Morton" has become synonymous with the term.
A brief offensive flurry by a , before losing momentum back to a after being dominated for several minutes. Usually, it occurs before the actual .
The character portrayed by a wrestler. Can be used to refer specifically to the motif or theme evoked by a character, as indicated by their name, costume or other paraphernalia, or to refer to any aspect of the ed presentation, sometimes negatively (eg. a gimmick match).
A who defeats "pure jobbers" as well as mid-card wrestlers in matches, but consistently loses to level wrestlers.
An untelevised event.
A smaller wrestling company that operates at a local (rather than national) level and typically employs freelance wrestlers, as opposed to signing wrestlers to exclusive contracts.
A wrestler who routinely loses in order to build the credibility of other wrestlers.
1. Refers to real-life incidents or events that have not been or scripted and are therefore not part of the fictional and presentation. It is often used to describe a genuine injury to a wrestler, as opposed to one scripted as part of a storyline.
A portion of a match, usually the very start of the match, where two wrestler join together in a collar-and-elbow tie up.
Derisive term given to a member of a tag team who, upon the breakup of the team, achieves markedly less success than their partner. Coined in reference to Marty Jannetty, who teamed with Shawn Michaels to form The Rockers. While Michaels went to become a four-time world champion and two-time WWE Hall of Famer, Jannetty was released from the WWF two months after the team's breakup, and would repeatedly be hired and fired from the promotion (and other promotions) over the next twenty years, almost always participating in storylines which related to his status as Michaels's former partner. Other wrestlers often seen as a Jannetty of a team include Rick Steiner of The Steiner Brothers, Stevie Ray of Harlem Heat, and Jim Neidhart of The Hart Foundation.
A move or series of moves which are mistimed.
A wrestler, often a respected or feared shooter or street fighter, responsible for enforcing the promoter's will against recalcitrant wrestlers by performing unscripted or painful moves within a match, punishing or intimidating them for defying the management. In today's industry it is a largely outdated because such tactics are illegal if they can be proved. Typically it is only still used by and outside commentators who believe one wrestler is deliberately placed in matches against more dangerous opponents and injured deliberately after disagreements with management. While allegations of this sort persist, including being made by wrestlers themselves, few have been proven. Also describes a wrestler who keeps order in the locker room by threats of physical force.
Originally, along with "grunt-and-groan", used by the mainstream media when presenting a derisive story on professional wrestling, which often stereotyped the participants and audience. Now refers to a style of wrestling popular in the Mid-South region of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas (primary city is Memphis, Tennessee), and as a result, the southeastern United States, which emphasizes and , generally with fewer matches and longer , hence the more recent "southern style" or to be specific compared to the Carolinas (Jim Crockett) or Georgia styles, "Memphis style".
When a champion loses his or her title to another, this may be invoked to procure a title rematch in the near future. This fictional clause is often ignored in storylines.
A match finish which occurs sooner (and often differently) than planned. It is used when a wrestler is legitimately injured and cannot continue as planned, when the match is approaching its time limit (or a television segment is running long), or after a botch significantly changes the plot of the match. The term "audible" is also used, referring to the finish being known to happen upon verbal instruction from outside the ring.
To book an angle and/or match so as to explain in kayfabe a wrestler's upcoming (and usually inconvenient) absence.
A rookie, particularly in Japanese professional wrestling. The term "young lion" is used for the trainees from the New Japan Pro-Wrestling dojo; although they usually perform at NJPW shows, typically on the lower card, they are also assigned other tasks such as security around the ring.
Professional wrestling, often shortened to pro wrestling or simply wrestling, is a form of performance art and entertainment that combines athletics with theatrical performance. It takes the form of events, held by touring companies, that mimic a title-match combat sport. The unique form of sport portrayed is fundamentally based on and evolved from classical and "catch" wrestling, with modern additions of striking attacks, strength-based holds and throws and acrobatic maneuvers. Much of these derive from the influence of various international martial arts. An additional aspect of combat with improvised weaponry is sometimes included.
Many types of wrestling matches, sometimes called "concept" or "gimmick matches" in the jargon of the business, are performed in professional wrestling. Some of them occur relatively frequently while others are developed so as to advance an angle and such match types are used rarely. Because of professional wrestling's long history over decades, many things have been recycled. These match types can be organized into several loose groups.
In professional wrestling, a heel is a wrestler who portrays a villain or a "bad guy" and acts as an antagonist to the faces, who are the heroic protagonist or "good guy" characters. Not everything a heel wrestler does must be villainous: heels need only to be booed or jeered by the audience to be effective characters.
In professional wrestling, a face (babyface) is a heroic or a "good guy" wrestler, booked (scripted) by the promotion with the aim of being cheered by fans. Traditionally, they wrestle within the rules and avoid cheating while behaving positively towards the referee and the audience. Such characters are also referred to as "blue-eyes" in British wrestling and técnicos in lucha libre. The face character is portrayed as a hero relative to the heel wrestlers, who are analogous to villains. Not everything a face wrestler does must be heroic: faces need only to be clapped or cheered by the audience to be effective characters. When the magazine Pro Wrestling Illustrated went into circulation in the late 1970s, the magazine referred to face wrestlers as "fan favorites" or "scientific wrestlers," while heels were referred to as simply "rulebreakers."
A shoot in professional wrestling is any unplanned, unscripted, or real-life occurrence within a wrestling event. It is a carny term shortened from "straight shooting" which originally referred to a gun in a carnival target shooting game which did not have its sights fixed. This term has come to mean a legit attack or fight in professional wrestling, and its meaning has broadened to include unscripted events in general. The opposite of a shoot is a work.
In professional wrestling slang, a job is a losing performance in a wrestling match. It is derived from the euphemism "doing one's job", which was employed to protect information related to kayfabe from being revealed. The term can be used a number of ways. When a wrestler is booked to lose a match it is described as "a job". The act itself is described with the verb jobbing, while the act of booking to job is called jobbing out. To lose a match fairly is to job cleanly. Wrestlers who routinely lose matches are known as jobbers. A regular jobber skilled at enhancing the matches he loses, as opposed to a mediocre local rookie or part-timer, is called a carpenter. In the post-kayfabe era the term has taken on a negative connotation, leading to the use of the neutral term enhancement talent.
A house show or live event is a professional wrestling event produced by a major promotion that is not televised, though they can be recorded. Promotions use house shows mainly to cash in on the exposure that they and their wrestlers receive during televised events, as well as to test reactions to matches, wrestlers, and gimmicks that are being considered for the main televised programming and upcoming pay-per-views.
In professional wrestling, a feud is a staged rivalry between multiple wrestlers or groups of wrestlers. They are integrated into ongoing storylines, particularly in events which are televised. Feuds may last for months or even years or be resolved with implausible speed, perhaps during the course of a single match. WWE's terminology discouraged the use of the term along with the word "war".
Earl William Hebner is an American professional wrestling referee, best known for his time as senior referee for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) from 1988 to 2005. Hebner played a prominent role in the inaugural The Main Event card in 1988, in which André the Giant controversially defeated Hulk Hogan for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship, as well as the infamous "Montreal Screwjob" during the main event of the 1997 Survivor Series. He also participated in a number of storylines, including feuds involving The McMahon-Helmsley Faction and The Alliance. Hebner was also the senior referee for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) from 2005 to 2017, and was inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame in 2015. In 2019, Hebner joined All Elite Wrestling (AEW) as senior referee.
Tag team wrestling is a type of professional wrestling in which matches are contested between teams of multiple wrestlers. A tag team may be made up of wrestlers who normally wrestle in singles competition, but more commonly are made of established teams who wrestle regularly as a unit and have a team name and identity.
In professional wrestling, a manager is a supporting character paired with a wrestler for a variety of reasons. A physically attractive woman accompanying, or "seconding", a male wrestler to a match is sometimes referred to as a valet.
Demolition was a professional wrestling tag team most prominent during the late 1980s and early 1990s in the World Wrestling Federation made up of Ax, Smash, and later Crush. In the WWF, Demolition were three-time WWF World Tag Team Champions, and hold the record for the most combined days as reigning champions with that championship. Their first reign with the WWF World Tag Team Championship is the second longest reign with any tag team championship in WWE history and is the longest reign on record for that specific championship. Beginning in 2007, Ax and Smash reunited for several appearances at various independent shows and legends conventions.
BattleBowl was a one-time professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event and produced by World Championship Wrestling (WCW). The show took place on November 20, 1993, at the Pensacola Civic Center in Pensacola, Florida. The event featured only the "BattleBowl Tournament", where the first round consisted of eight tag team matches where the teams were drawn at random in a "Lethal Lottery". Members of the winning teams would advance to the BattleBowl battle royal main event. Vader, who was already the WCW World Heavyweight Champion at the time of the show, received a ring for winning the tournament.
The Mega Bucks were a professional wrestling tag team that competed in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1988. The team, consisting of "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase and André the Giant, was formed in a storyline that saw DiBiase purchase André's contract from fellow manager Bobby Heenan. André was to win the WWF World Heavyweight Championship from Hulk Hogan, but then he attempted to sell the belt to DiBiase. The title was vacated, but DiBiase and André were then scheduled to face Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage in a match at SummerSlam, which Hogan and Savage won. After the match, DiBiase and André went their separate ways and the team was dissolved.
Daniel Davis is an American former professional wrestling referee and wrestler best known under the ring name "Dangerous" Danny Davis when he worked for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). For years, he competed as Mr. X, a masked wrestler while also working as a referee.
When Worlds Collide was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event that took place on November 6, 1994, at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California. It was scripted and produced by the Mexican lucha libre company Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA), now known as Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide, and their American partner, International Wrestling Council (IWC). The show was produced by the technical staff of World Championship Wrestling (WCW). WCW Executive Vice-President Eric Bischoff had helped AAA secure the show to be broadcast by American pay-per-view providers, marking the first time a non-US-based wrestling promotion was shown live on US PPV television. The show was broadcast in both English and Spanish. Chris Cruise and Mike Tenay called the action in English, while Arturo Rivera and Andrés Maroñas handled the Spanish announcing. This event also marked Tenay's first commentating role in professional wrestling. It is one of the few pay-per-view events not made available for streaming on the WWE Network service.
In professional wrestling, a referee is an authority figure present in or near the ring during matches. The referee's purpose is similar to that of referees in combats such as boxing or mixed martial arts, that is, as an arbiter of the rules and the person charged with rendering decisions. In reality, the referee is, like the wrestlers, a participant in executing a match in accordance with its script including its pre-determined outcome, and is responsible for controlling the flow of the match and for relaying information or instructions from backstage officials to the wrestlers. Like wrestlers, referees are also responsible for maintaining kayfabe, and must render decisions in accordance with the promotion's kayfabe rules.
SummerSlam (1994) was the seventh annual SummerSlam, a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by the World Wrestling Federation on August 29, 1994, at the newly opened United Center in Chicago, Illinois, which had opened eleven days earlier.
In professional wrestling, kayfabe is the portrayal of staged events within the industry as "real" or "true", specifically the portrayal of competition, rivalries, and relationships between participants as being genuine and not of a staged or predetermined nature of any kind. The term kayfabe has evolved to also become a code word of sorts for maintaining this "reality" within the direct or indirect presence of the general public.
Taboo Tuesday (2005) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), which took place on November 1, 2005, at the iPayOne Center in San Diego, California. It was the second annual Taboo Tuesday event in which the fans were given the chance to vote on stipulations for the matches. The voting for the event started on October 24, 2005, and ended during the event. Eight professional wrestling matches were featured on the event's card. The buildup to the matches and the scenarios that took place before, during, and after the event were planned by WWE's script writers. The event starred wrestlers from the Raw brand: a storyline expansion of the promotion where employees are assigned to a wrestling brand under the WWE banner.