Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Professional wrestling slang
Professional wrestling has 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 the slang itself is often referred to as 'carny talk'. Often wrestlers would use this lingo in the presence of fans so as not to reveal the preplanned nature of the business. In recent years, widespread wrestling discussion on the Internet has both popularized and corrupted some of these terms.
- A Team, a group of a wrestling promotion's top stars who compete at a given event. The organization's second-tier of stars is referred to as a B Team, and so forth. Often, the B Team will compete at a different venue the same night wrestlers on the A Team are competing in a different event elsewhere, although a promotion will schedule an event with B Team wrestlers to test a new market. (This term is not to be confused with the NBC-TV series of the same name.)
- Abortion, to discontinue a feud or gimmick suddenly for whatever reason, usually without explanation. Usually, this is due to a lack of fan interest, or if an angle is poorly executed or fans find the storyline morally objectionable. An older term not used today because of its objectionable basis.
- Agent or Road agent, management employee, often a former veteran wrestler, that helps wrestlers set up matches and relays instructions from the bookers. Often acts as a liason between wrestlers and higher-level mangement
- Angle, a fictional storyline
- Apter mag, an older-type professional wrestling magazine that sticks to kayfabe. Refers to the magazines connected to journalist Bill Apter .
- Babyface, a good guy (compare "tweener" and "heel")
- Backyard wrestling, the act of copying professional wrestling by untrained persons, usually involving excessive violence and extreme stunts
- Batman match, alternate term for a very poorly executed match, with blown spots and showing light. Term takes its name from the 1966-1968 ABC-TV series, in which the fights lacked verisimilitude.
- Blade, a sharpened object used for "blading"
- Blading, the act of cutting oneself open in order to bleed, usually on the forehead (compare "juicing")
- Blow off, The final match in a feud, usually at a pay-per-view event or on cable TV. 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, when a wrestler completely exhausts all of his energy, either because he has low stamina, or by performing too many exhilarating moves early in the match making him extremely fatigued
- Blown spot, a spot that does not go as planned, also botch
- Booker, the person in charge of setting up matches and writing angles; referred to as the "Creative Team" by WWE
- Booking, what a "booker" does
- Botch, a scripted move that failed
- Boys, what wrestlers call themselves (as in "the boys in the back")
- Broadway, when two wrestlers wrestle to a draw in a 60- or 90-minute match
- Brock, to blow the biggest move in the biggest match, also to double-clutch on the top rope. Refers to Brock Lesnar after such an incident occurred at WrestleMania XIX.
- Bump, when a wrestler hits the mat or ground (as in "take a bump" or "sick bump")
- Bury, when a wrestler loses popularity by forced losses, especially by being squashed (compare "push")
- Canned 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 matches
- Cheap heat, when a wrestler (often a heel) incites a negative crowd reaction by insulting the crowd (for example, by insulting the city, or a local sports team) or by using a news event as part of his promo (compare "cheap pop")
- 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) (compare "cheap heat")
- Clean finish, when a match ends without cheating or outside interference (compare "screwjob")
- Closet champion, a current titleholder (usually a heel) who ducks top-flight competition, cheats to win (usually 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.
- Clusterf**k or Cluster, A call made in the back to signal most, if not all wrestlers to enter the arena and begin a large fight in the middle of the ring. Usually used to end a boring match or disrupt a lull in the show. (compare "over-book")
- Crimson Mask, A face covered in blood
- Curtain jerker, the first match on the card, or a wrestler who wrestles in the first match of the card, especially on a regular basis
- Dark match, a non-televised match at a televised show (compare "house show")
- Dirtsheet, a newsletter, magazine, or website that portrays wrestling as scripted entertainment, rather than portraying it as a sport.
- Diva, a woman involved in wrestling, either as eye candy or as a wrestler
- Double-clutch, to hesitate and bounce before jumping off the top rope, resulting in limited airtime and height
- Draw, to be able to attract the attention of the audience
- Dropping the strap, when a titleholder agrees to be booked to lose the title to a contender
- Dud, a very poor, boring or otherwise uninteresting match. Can also be a match with morally objectionable elements.
- Dusty Finish, a finish in which a substitute referee's decision in a match, usually in favor of the face, is overturned by the original referee. Refers to Dusty Rhodes, who booked many such finishes in WCW.
- Face, short for "babyface"
- False comeback, when a face mounts a brief offensive flurry before losing it to a heel wrestler after being dominated for several minutes. Usually, a false comeback happens before the actual comeback.
- Feud, a battle between two or more wrestlers or stables, often involving matches, promos and angles. A feud usually lasts for several months.
- Filler, a match or segment that has no form of importance or backstory to it. Used mainly to occupy extra time on the event card
- Finish, the planned end of a match (see also "Dusty Finish," "Clean Finish")
- Finisher, a wrestler's trademark move
- Front office or Office, the headquarters and staff that handles the administrative affairs of a wrestling promotion.
- Garbage wrestling, "hardcore" matches wherein wrestlers use nothing but weaponry to attack each other, also outrageous gimmick matches that have no obvious elements of traditional in-ring competition. Promotions that have built their reputation on this type of matches include XPW (Xtreme Pro Wrestling) and CZW (Combat Zone Wrestling). Can also refer to certain types of backyard wrestling.
- Gas, steroids (see also juice and roids). Also, stamina (as in out of gas, when a wrestler is tired and unable to perform properly)
- Gimmick, a unique trait that defines a wrestler's identity, or an implement used to cheat i.e., William Regal's gimmick was to knock out opponents with his brass knuckles (brass knucks were a "gimmick").
- Get the tights, grabbing the opponent's upper part of the trousers or shorts, or the lower part of the shirt or tank top in order to get the pin.
- Go home, a saying that a wrestler is told by a ringside commentator or the referee. It indicates that the wrestlers should finish the match. Also see Take (it) home.
- Gorilla position, the staging area just backstage of the entrance curtain. Named in honor of WWF mainstay Gorilla Monsoon, since applied to this area in most U.S. promotions.
- Green, refers to a wrestler (often called a green boy) who is in the early stages of his career and, as a result, often makes mistakes because of his inexperience.
- Hardcore wrestling, matches that focus on the use of weapons such as chairs, chains, fireballs, ladders, and tire irons rather than traditional wrestling holds and techniques, also referred to by some as "garbage" wrestling
- Hard-way juicing, bleeding that is not self-inflicted (compare "blading" and "juicing")
- Heat, a wrestler getting a crowd reaction (see also "cheap heat", "canned heat")
- Heel, a bad guy (as in "monster heel"; compare "tweener" and "babyface")
- Hooker, a wrestler with strong mat-wrestling abilities, usually 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.
- Hot tag, in a tag team match, when a face wrestler tags in a fresh partner after several minutes of being dominated by his heel 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")
- Hoss, a large wrestler who lacks talent, and has a low workrate
- Indy, short for "independent promotion", refers to a wrestling group that is too small to compete on a national level.
- Indy pants, shiny, black, baggy trousers. Often worn as ring gear in independent promotions.
- Job, a scheduled loss (also "jobbing", "jobber", "jabroni", and "job cleanly"; compare "screwjob").
- Jobber, a wrestler whose primary function is losing to better-known wrestlers. Some synonyms include preliminary wrestler, enhancement talent, loser, jobroni and ham-and-egger.
- Juice, steroids (see also gas and roids). Also, blood (see juicing).
- Juicing, bleeding (frequently, but not always, self-inflicted) (compare "blading" and "hard-way juicing").
- Kayfabe, the illusion that professional wrestling is not staged (i.e. that it is authentic athletic competition); often used to refer to storyline and setting elements.
- Lead ass, a wrestler who is often uncooperative in the ring; or, the act of being uncooperative in the ring.
- Legit, anything that is "real"; for example, a "legit" wrestler has a background in actual fighting, a "legit" event is one that actually took place (outside of kayfabe), a "legit" fight is when two wrestlers actually come to blows. Often used as a synonym for shoot.
- Legit heat, a real-life conflict between wrestlers
- Lucha libre or Lucha, Mexican professional wrestling
- Luchador, a Mexican wrestler
- Lucha rat, a fan that prefers Mexican-style pro wrestling over American-style
- Manager, performer assigned to accompany a wrestler to the ring and put him over in interviews. Often used to help a heel cheat and incite the crowd. Less popular today than years past.
- Mark, a fan who believes wrestling is real (compare "smark")
- Marking out, a moment of enjoying professional wrestling 'for what it is' rather than analyzing its staged nature
- Máscara, a Mexican masked wrestler (from the Spanish word for mask)
- Money mark, someone who invests money into a promotion only in order to rub shoulders with pro wrestlers. A "money mark" is usually ridiculed by wrestlers when he/she is not within their presence.
- Monster heel, a villian who is portrayed as unstoppable, usually to set up a feud with a promotion's lead face.
- Muta Scale, a scale to measure the amount of blood lost by a wrestler in a match, on a scale of 0.0 to 1.0. A Muta rating of 0.0 corresponds to no blood loss, and a Muta rating of 1.0 corresponds to the amount of blood lost by The Great Muta during a 1992 match against Hiroshi Hase , during which Muta performs what is widely hailed as the most gruesome bladejob of all time.
- No-sell, giving no reaction to another wrestler's offense
- No-show, when a wrestler doesn't show up for a match
- Nash, when a wrestler suffers a serious injury by doing something simple, like walking. Made famous by Kevin Nash, who tore his quadriceps muscle by walking towards the corner. Other wrestlers who have pulled a Nash include Triple H and Vince McMahon.
- Over, popular, accepted by the fans
- Over-book, to book a finish to a match that involves interference from a large number of wrestlers who are not involved in the actual match. (Compare "clusterf**k")
- Over-sell, showing too much of a reaction to another wrestler's offense e.g. The Rock's reaction to the Stone Cold Stunner.
- Paper, to give away a great number of free (comped) tickets to make a crowd look bigger
- Plant, a trained wrestler who poses as a fan in the audience that a wrestler can physically attack to score some "heat"
- Policeman, a wrestler – usually one who has worked with a promotion for several years and loyal to the top officials – who shoots with an uncooperative opponent to make a point.
- Pop, a sudden crowd reaction (as in "name pop", "cheap pop")
- Potato, when a wrestler is injured after being hit too hard by another wrestler
- Promo, 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 an angle or feud.
- Promotion, a group that organises professional wrestling events
- Pull-apart brawl, A match that originally involves two or more wrestlers but degenerates into a brawl. At that point, other face and heel wrestlers from the locker room storm the ring, after which an all-out brawl results. Usually, these matches end in a no contest or double disqualification. Alternate: Two wrestlers are brawling without regard to the rules, and other referees and officials enter the ring to break it up.
- Puroresu, also Puro, Japanese professional wrestling
- Push, when a wrestler gains popularity by forced wins, especially squashes (compare "bury")
- Rest hold, a relaxing hold applied more lightly at a designated point in a longer match, often between high spots. Sometimes, wrestlers (whose match is airing on television) are directed to use rest holds when told of commercial breaks.
- Rib, a practical joke played on a wrestler.
- Ribber, someone involved in the pro wrestling business that is well-known for playing practical jokes. Owen Hart and Mick Foley are perhaps the best known ribbers.
- Ring rat or Rat, a (usually underage) female fan with amorous feelings for wrestlers; a woman who frequents wrestling events to flirt or pursue sexual liasons with wrestlers
- Roids, steroids (see also gas and juice)
- Rudo, a Mexican heel wrestler
- Run-in, when wrestlers not participating in a match interfere with it
- Sandbag, to not cooperate with a throw.
- Save, when one or more wrestlers enter the ring to aid an ally. Often, this is when face wrestlers want to stop a heel (or group of heels) from beating up a jobber or lesser face wrestler; however, heel wrestlers frequently use saves to stop a sure title match loss.
- Scientific wrestling, refers to wrestling action that relies on amateur or Greco-Roman wrestling holds and manuevers. A scientific wrestler is a wrestler who often uses these holds to defeat his opponent by conventional means or to exploit an opponent's physical weakness (such as various leg sweeps and leg holds to set up for a figure-four leglock submission hold); however, many such wrestlers are also excellent brawlers who use those skills when needed.
- Schmozz, a non-ending, designed to keep all participants from losing any heat
- Screwjob, a match with a controversial or unsatisfying finish, often involving cheating or outside interference
- Sell, making the action seem unstaged (as in "over-sell" and "no-sell")
- Shoot, an unplanned event in the show, something "real" (as in "shoot interview")
- Shooter, a wrestler who has a background in legitimate fighting (such as mixed martial arts), or otherwise has a reputation as a tough guy.
- Shoot fighting, competitive full-contact mixed martial arts tournaments, used in comparison to the staged performances of professional wrestling.
- Showing light, when a wrestler visually shows making absolutely no contact to his opponent when performing an attack (also "loose")
- Smark, a fan who knows wrestling is staged but enjoys it anyway (compare "mark")
- Smart, someone who has inside information on the wrestling business
- Spot, a planned move, as in "high spot" (i.e. a move off the top rope) or "blown spot"
- Spotfest, several high-impact moves or finishers in a row, often seen in matches with several participants
- Squared circle, the wrestling ring
- Squash, an extremely one-sided match which is usually over quickly
- Stable, a group of allied wrestlers
- Stiff, when a wrestler puts too much force into his attacks or maneuvers on his opponent
- 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, often as part of an angle. 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.
- Strap, another name for the title belt/championship in a promotion
- Stretching, applying submission locks and holds with full force as a way of disciplining an inattentive or disrespectful wrestler
- Stunt granny, an obvious plant
- Sunday wrestling (or, Saturday wrestling), often referring to syndicated wrestling shows that aired on local TV stations on the weekends, mainly during the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. These shows consisted mostly of squash matches to push established wrestlers; promos; and announcements of upcoming events.
- 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. Most frequently associated with Hulk Hogan (whose "Hulkaseizure" usually signalled the match would soon end).
- Swerve, a surprise (and often unexplained) plot twist
- 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)
- Take home, also "Take it home," the last spot of a match, or an instruction to a wrestler to finish the match
- Técnico, a Mexican face wrestler
- Turn, when a wrestler develops a new "gimmick", often by switching from face to heel or vice versa
- Tweener, a morally ambiguous wrestler, neither a bad guy or good guy. Tweeners are many times turned face or heel based on fans' reaction. (compare "babyface" and "heel")
- Undercard, matches prior to the main event
- Valet, a female performer assigned to accompany a wrestler to the ring and put him over in interviews.
- Work, a staged event
- Worker, a wrestler
- Worked shoot, a scripted segment that takes place in a show with elements of reality being exposed. Also a segment that fans are meant to believe is a shoot, but isn't (some believe that the Montreal Screwjob was a worked shoot).
- Workrate, a wrestler's talent level; or, when used by critics, an analysis of the action in a match (e.g., actual wrestling vs. anything else (such as rest holds, managerial interference, etc.)).
- Wrestlecrap, an angle or gimmick that is considered embarrassing or painful to watch. Coined by R. D. Reynolds (Randy Baer) , owner and co-founder of the website of the same name.
- X-Pac heat, when a wrestler receives negative heat (boos) not because his character is a heel but because fans legitimately think he is worthless and should stop wrestling. Named for the crowd reactions to X-Pac (Sean Waltman) at the end of his second WWE run.
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