Tuesday, 22 April 2014

DICTIONARY: Wresting Terms

Wrestling Terms


Definition: An event or series of events which are used when starting, continuing and ending a feud.

Example: A good angle is a long planned out and well executed storyline that grabs the attention of the audience. The NWO invasion angle of WCW is an example of a well executed angle.


Definition: The good guy in wrestling- the person that the fans are supposed to cheer for. Also reffered to as a Face.

Example: John Cena, Rey Mysterio, Ricky Steamboat, Hulkamania Era Hulk Hogan- good and wholesome guys who always follow the rules.

Backyard Wrestling:
Definition: Untrained individuals who perform wrestling matches and shows using unconventional means. This form of wrestling is frowned on by people in the business.

Example:People who literally wrestle in their backyard, while using gardening tools and other things as weapons/props.

Definition: When one or more wrestlers is beaten up by a larger number of wrestlers.

Example: A wrestler with no allies is subject to a beatdown if he is feuding with someone in a team.

Definition: An object used by a wrestler to cut themselves during a match, causing them to bleed. It is often done to add drama to a match but is no longer as common in major promotions.

Example: Wrestlers often keep blades hidden in their wrist tape or somewhere on their person, before discretely using them to create the illusion that their opponent caused the injury.

Definition: The end of a fued. This is usually after a build up and often ends at a Pay Per View event.

Example: Sometimes taking place in a gimmick match, it finally settles the score for two feuding wrestlers.

Definition: To become exhausted during a match due to a lack of cardiovascular conditioning.

Example: A wrestler with poor cardio training is likely to blowup during the first few minutes of a match.

Definition: The writer of the wrestling angles. The person who decides who wins and loses the matches.

Example: The WWE now uses writers for their storylines who take over from the booker. Their job is to create the storylines and write the backstage skits for the weekly shows.

Brand Split:
Definition: The division of the WWE roster into two seperate brands- Raw and Smackdown.

Example: In 2002, both of WWE's weekly telivised shows- Raw and Smackdown- were treated as two seperate brands that often feuded for superiority. This treatment of the shows ended in late 2011 when wrestlers started appearing on both shows, rather than for their specific brand.

Definition: A match that ends in a time limit draw.

Example: This was more common in the 1980s when fans enjoyed longer matches.

Definition: A show featuring lesser names compared to a show featuring bigger name wrestlers.

Example: With Raw and Smackdown as the WWE's flagship shows, Main Event is an example of the companies B-Show.

Definition: When a wrestler falls down to sell a move.

Example: When a wrestler acts like they are hurt to play into the progression of the match. Dolph Ziggler and Seth rollins are often commended today for their ability to Bump.

Definition: A rating for the Pay Per View which lets people know how a show was bought.

Example: A good buyrate makes the company money. A bad buyrate can mean someone is to blame and said someone may get fired.


Canned Heat:
Definition: When pre-recorded crowd noise is filtered into an arena to give a desired crowd noise.

Example: Usually used for taped shows to have desired reactions for particular wrestlers. Also used to make a quiet audience come across well on television.

Definition: The individual matches of an event all make up the card for the show. The card is often divided into lower-card, midcard and main event matches.

Example: A wrestling card often features 6-8 matches with the Main event- featuring the top teir stars- going on last.

Definition: When one wrestler does the majority of the work in a match to make the weaker wrestler look good.

Example: Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair were always praised for carrying a match, with many people saying that either man could be wrestling a broomstick and make it look good.

Cheap Heat:
Definition: An easy tactic used by the villian (heel) to garner a negative response from the crowd.

Example: A heel saying disprespecful things about the town they are in is an example of cheap heat. Wearing a Liverpool football jersey at a show in Manchester is another example.

Cheap Pop:
Definition: A tactic used by the hero (face) to gain the support of the crowd.

Example: A face speaking about the acomplishments of a local sports team and praising them. Mick Foley is notorious for garnering a cheap pop from the crowd stating; 'It's great to be right here in *insert city here'.

Definition: One wrestler taking advantage of another by doing something illegal when their opponent least expects it.

Example: Most common cheapshot in wrestling is a hit to their opponent below the belt when the referee isn't looking.

Clean Finish:
Definition: When one wrestler defeats the other without breaking any of the rules of the match.

Example: Winning a match by pinfall or submission without the use of any dirty tactics.

Count Out:
Definition: When a match ends due to one participent being outside the ring for more than a 10 count.

Example: A title belt does not change hands on a count out.


Dark Match:
Definition: A match held before a televised event that is not filmed for television.

Example: Usually used to hype the crowd before a show and to test out new talents before they debut on television.

Definition: When a match ends due to a wrestler breaking the rules.

Example: A title does not change hands if the champion loses by disqualification.

Definition: There are two different meanings to a draw in professional wrestling. 1. When a match ends with no winner. 2. The ability of a wrestler to get people to watch tv, pay for a pay per view or pay for a ticket to a wrestling show- or to spend any money or time on wrestling.

Example: Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock are the the biggest draws in pro wrestling history due to there major wrestling success and cross platform appeal by staring in film, tv series etc.

Dusty Finish:
Definition: When the match referee is incapacitated at some point during a match and a wrestler is declared the winner of the match by a second referee, only for the original referee to reverse the decision.

Example: The term was made popular when Dusty Rhodes was a booker for WCW, as he was the inventer of the finish.


Definition: A rivalry between two wrestlers who dislike each other.

Example: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs WWE owner Vince McMahon is the most successful feud in pro wrestling history.

Definition: The end of a match.

Example: A wrestler usually ends the match with their finishing move.

Finishing Move:
Definition: The maneuver that a wrestler uses to finish a match.

Example: Hulk Hogan uses the leg drop, Austin uses the Stone Cold Stunner etc.

Foreign Object:
Definition: An object used by a wrestler that is not allowd during a match.

Example: A steel chair or a table are the most commonly used foreign objects in wrestling. Triple H usually favours a sledgehammer.


Definition: There are two meanings for a gimmick in pro wrestling. 1. The persona/ character of a wrestler. 2. To tamper with an object in a match to favour chances of victory.

Example: The Undertaker's 'deadman' gimmick is the longest standing in wrestling and Steve Austin's rebelious employee is one of the most successful gimmicks.

Gimmick Match:
Definition: A match with stipulations that differ from the normal rules of a traditional match.

Example: Usually used to advance a storyline so that it differs from the other matches in a feud. These matchs often include specialty matches such as a cage or ladder match.

Definition: When a wrestler is inexperienced at the profession.

Example: Young wrestlers featured in independent shows are usually green.

Definition: A really bad cut.

Example: When a wrestler cuts themselves or gets cut too deep, it causing excessive bloodflow deeming it a gusher.


Definition: Wrestling in a very stiff and violent fashion- usually involving weapons.

Example: ECW popularised hardcore wrestling to the mainstream audience.

Definition: To suffer a cut without the use of a blade.

Example: If a wrestler gets hit with a severe punch, a cut can be opened the hardway.

Definition: There are two meanings for the term heat in pro wrestling; 1. The reaction the wrestler gets from the crowd (both positive and negative), 2. For a wrestler to have a troublesome relationship with other employees backstage.

Example: Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels had legitimate heat with each other.

Definition: The villain- bad guy- in pro wrestling.

Example: The heel will often commit despicable acts and break the rules to garner hatred from the crowd.

Hot Tag:
Definition: When a babyface tags their partner after being beat down for a number of minutes.

Example: The hot tag to the fresh tag team partner usually garners a pop from the crowd and injects a bit of energy into the match.

Definition: The number of people that show up at a live event.

Example: The larger the house, the more money the wrestlers earn.

House Show:
Definition: A wrestling event that takes place without being broadcast on TV or PPV.

Example: A house show does not feature the expensive stage and production elements of a televised show.

Hulk Up:
Definition: When a face doesn't sell their opponents offence after being beat up. This was often used by Hulk Hogan.

Example: Hulk Hogan would shake with every hit that he took as if the adreneline was energising him.


Definition: To lose a match.

Example: As nobody likes to lose, this is a wrestler 'doing the job'.

Definition: A wrestler that loses most of their matches. Also known as an enhancement talent.

Example: A jobber usually wrestles a bigger star to make them look better.

Definition: When a wrestler's body size gives the impression that they have used performance enhancing drugs.

Example: There are strong rumours that many wrestlers are juiced. In the past, this was often true.


Definition: An old carny term for the word 'fake'. It meets the act of keeping outsiders from knowing the inner secrets of the wrestling business.

Example: The era of Kayfabe ended when Vince McMahon admitted that his programming was sports entertainment. Nowadays, wrestling is more reality-based with wrestlers real life antics often used in storylines.

Definition: To escape a pinfall attempt.

Example: A wrestler about to be pinned kicks out to avoid a loss.


Lucha Libre:
Definition: A mexican wrestling style involving high flying action and wrestlers wearing masks.

Example: Rey Mysterio is the most famous wrestler to use the Lucha style in America.

Definition: The name given to a mexican wrestler that uses the Lucha style.

Example: Luchadors commonly don masks and have mysterious characters.


Main Event:
Definition: The match on the card that is supposed to draw the most fans to the event.

Example: The main event is not always the final match on the show, but it has the most promotion behind it going into the event.

Definition: The word derives from the carnival sideshow era of the sport where a “mark” was the intended victim of a hustle or swindle. In that era, people believed that the event they were about to witness was legitimate.

Example: There are two types of marks in wrestling. 1. Someone who watches wrestling not knowing that the outcomes are pre-determined. 2. Those who continue to watch wrestling knowing that it is dake (also known as smart marks- or “smarks”).

Definition: An individual in the corner of a wrestler who is often seen as their business associate.

Example: Often managing a heel, a manager will break the rules behind the referee's back to favour his client.

Definition: A match on the card that isn't the opener but isn't the main event either.

Example: A wrestler that isn't a jobber but isn't a main eventer either is considered a mid-carder.


Near Fall:
Definition: When a wrestler kicks out of a pinfall right before the referee hits the mat for a three count.

Example: A great match will usually feature many near falls as it adds suspense to the action.

No Selling:
Definition: When a wrestler shrugs off their opponents offence as if they are impervious to pain.

Example: No selling is often considered an insult to the other wrestler as it can make them look weak.


Definition: When a wrestler garners a large crowd reation- positive or negative- they are said to be over.

Example: If a wrestler gets a response of indifference from the crowd, they are not over.

Definition: When a wrestler's reations to a move are completely over the top in relation to the given move. This is the opposite of no selling.

Example: The rock and Dolph Ziggler often sell a move in an over the top fassion- see 'rock takes stunner' on Youtube.


Definition: The act of giving away free tickets to an event.

Example: WWE will often paper there televised events to ensure a large crowd for the show.

Pay Per View:
Definition: The events that the storylines on tv lead to. These events are often monthly and are usually to be ordered from your service provider and can cost roughly £20.

Example: Wrestlemania is the biggest annual PPV in all of wrestling.

Definition: To win a match by keeping your opponents shoulders to the mat for three seconds.

Example: If a champion suffers a pinfall loss, he loses his title.

Definition: A large reaction for a wrestler from the crowd.

Example: A large pop from the crowd is often given to a popular wrestler.

Definition: The interview or speech used by a wrestler before and after matches.

Example: Promos are used by wrestlers to feul their storylines.

Definition: The person behind the event and running the company.

Example: Vince McMahon is the most successful promoter in the history of wrestling.

Definition: The thing that holds a match together. Showing the hatred between two opponents and portaying their story in a logical manner.

Example: A wrestler selling an injury from a previous event in the story during a match is an example of good psychology.

Definition: The elevation of a wrestler up the card to a more prominent position.

Example: A wrestler whom the promotion feels can make them money will recieve a push.

Definition: The explosions, fireworks and fire that are used during a wrestlers entrance.

Example: Pyro often adds a big-fight feel to a match.


Definition: The Nielsen TV ratings that show how many people view a program in the USA.

Example: Television ratings are of often a big focus with wrestling shows. The higher the rating for the wrestling show, the more the network can charge advertisers for commercials.

Ref Bump:
Definition: When the referee gets knocked out or injured during a match.

Example: This is often used to the benefit of a heel wrestler to use a foreign object against his opponent.

Ring Rust:
Definition: When a wrestler returns after a substantial absence and is not performing at their previous level.

Example: A returning wrestler will also use ring rust as an excuse for a bad match.

Definition: The steel cables that are stretched between the turnbuckles.

Example: In spite of the name, ring ropes are not made of rope.

Rope Break:
Definition: When a wrestler touches the ropes, their opponent must let go of whatever move they have applied and if the ref is making a pinfall count, he must stop.

Example: If a wrestler is being pinned near the ropes but can't kick out, he will have try to reach the ropes with his arms or legs to break the count. The same applies to submission holds.

Definition: When a main eventer hangs out with someone lower on the pecking order and tries to get them over just by associating themselves with them.

Example: Sometimes a wrestler will be introduced as someones relative to recieve a rub from that families legacy.

Definition: The heel in Lucha Libre.

Example: The villan in Mexican wrestling is known as a rudo.

Run In:
Definition: When a person that is not in a match runs into the ring the interfere.

Example: A run in is a common ending to a TV main event.


Screw Job:
Definition: The opposite of a clean finish. The match will usually end in this way with the heel winning.

Example: The Montreal Swrewjob is the most famous in history where Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels cheated Bret Hart out of his last match at Survivor Series 1997.

Definition: The art of making your opponents moves look like they hurt.

Example: Selling tells the story of a match. If a wrestler is bad at selling it makes the story and delivery of the match look weak.

Definition: When something is done not according to the script of the show or its storylines. This can be either hurting an opponent and saying something out of character.

Example: Shoots are not common on televised wrestling shows. When a wrestler is let go from a promotion, they often vent their frustrations of the behind the scenes antics.

Definition: The traditional amateur wrestling attire.

Example: Jack Swagger in WWE and Kurt Angle in TNA both wear a singlet as their ring attire due to their successful amateur wrestling background.

Definition: Also known as a 'smart mark', this is a fan who thinks they know the inner workings of the business.

Example: A smart mark thinks that they know what is going to happen and becomes furious at the booking if the bookers fool them.

Definition: The are two meaning for the term of a spot in pro wrestling; 1. A wrestlers position or ranking in the company. 2. An important part of the match

Example: Wrestlers are very protective of their spot in the company and will often join in backstage politics to keep it.

Definition: A match with many important moments is usually called a spotfest.

Example: Tables, Ladders and Chairs (TLC) matches are commonly seen as spotfests.

Definition: A very quick match where the loser has almost no offensive moves.

Example: A new star is often built up as a threat by winning a number of squash matches.

Definition: A group of wrestlers working together for a common cause. Will usually have the same manager.

Example: The Four Horsemen, New World Order (NWO) and D-Generation X (DX) are the most famous and successful stables in wrestling history.

Definition: When a worker hits their opponents hard or takes very hard bumps.

Example: A wrestler that works stiff has a greater chance of hurting their opponent.

Definition: When a shooting wrestler physically dominates (but doesn't hurt) their opponent to either settle a personal grievence or show superiority.

Example: Stretching an opponent was a common hazing ritual in the old days of wrestling.

Definition: Winning a match by making your opponent give up to a painful wrestling hold.

Example: A champion that loses a match by submission, loses their title.

Definition: When a promotion makes you believe that something is going to happen in their storylines but then does the exact opposite.

Example: Smarks hate when a swerve happens.


Definition: A hand slap that is made by tag team partners that allows the person in the ring to leave and the person outside the ring to enter.

Example: A wrestler in trouble tries to tag their partner.

Tag Rope:
Definition: A piece of rope on the turnbuckle that a wrestler must hold while waiting for a tag from his partner in the ring.

Example: A heel team will often choke their opponents with the tag rope.

Tap Out:
Definition: When a wrestler taps their hand to the mat to signify that they want to quit the match.

Example: When a wrestler taps out, they lose the match by submission.

Definition: A face luchador.

Example: The good guy in Lucha Libre.

Definition: The area in which a promotion runs their live events and broadcasts their television shows. Prior to the mid 1980s, all the different federations had territories that they ran. With the advent of cable tv, some promotions became national and effectively killed the territory system.

Example: Vince McMahon put an end to wrestling territories in the 1980s with his national takeover of the genre.

Definition: When a face becomes a heel or when a heel becomes a face.

Example: A turn is often used to cause a swerve in storylines and to freshen up a stale character.

Definition: A wrestler who has the traits of both a heel and a face.

Example: Stone Cold Steve Austin did dastardly things that a heel would do, but he did them to bad people like a face. He was the most successful (and in many ways first) tweener in history.


Definition: The matches that begin a wrestling event.

Example: A wrestler on the undercard makes much less money than a main eventer.

Definition: An attractive woman (usually) who accompanies a wrestler to the ring.

Example: Miss Elizabeth was the first wrestling valet.

Definition: A pre-taped segment used to introduce or help get over a particular character.

Example: Vignettes of a debuting wrestler are often shown in the weeks leading up to their debut in order to create a hype about them.


Definition: Anything in wrestling that follows the script. It is the opposite of a shoot.

Example: All of the matches, interviews and storylines in wrestling are considered a work.

Worked Shoot:
Definition: A work that has some real life elements to it.

Example: In 2005 wrestlers Edge and Lita had began a real live affair that was weaved into a storyline where Edge feuded with Lita's real life boyfriend; fellow wrestler Matt Hardy.

Definition: The pro wrestling industry term for a wrestler.

Example: Everyone who wrestles on TV is a worker for the company.

Definition: The skill and effort put into a match by a wrestler which is shown by their overall performance level.

Example: Some wrestlers with the best workrate are often used as jobbers to make other guys look good.

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