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 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.


  • A-Show, a wrestling event where generally a company's biggest "draws" perform.[1]
  • A-Team, a group of a wrestling promotion's top stars who compete at a given event.[1] (Compare "B-Team")
  • Abortion, or simply Abort, to discontinue a feud, angle or "gimmick" suddenly, usually without explanation or due to a lack of fan interest.[1] This is an older term, not generally used today because of its objectionable basis.[1]
  • Agent or Road agent, management employee, often a former veteran wrestler, who helps wrestlers set up matches and relays instructions from the bookers. Often acts as a liaison between wrestlers and higher-level management. Referred to as "producers" by WWE.
  • Angle, a fictional storyline. 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 retconned 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.[1] The term refers to the magazines at one time connected to journalist Bill Apter, such as Pro Wrestling Illustrated.[1]
  • Arm Color, a wrestler with a bloody arm, which is usually the result of blading.[1]
  • Around the Horn or Around the Loop, a tour where a wrestler puts on matches in most of the major cities a particular promotion covers.[1]
  • Attitude Era, refers to a time period from 1996 to 2001 when the World Wrestling Federation product shifted from being "family-oriented" entertainment to being "edgier," more crude, and dealing with more adult situations (frequently sexual in nature) and ultimately was the most successful time-period for the company.


  • B-Show, a wrestling event featuring the middle and lower-level talent of a wrestling promotion.[1] (WWE Velocity and Heat, TNA Xplosion, WCW Saturday Night)
  • B-Team, group of wrestlers on a B-Show.[1] 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.[1] (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.[1]
  • 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 obvious.[2]
  • Blading, the act of cutting ones self or another person open in order to bleed, usually done on the forehead.[2] (Compare "juicing")
  • 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.[1] 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.[1]
  • 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.[1]
  • Blown spot or botched spot, a spot that does not go as planned.
  • Bomb scare, poorly attended match.[3]
  • 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 particular storyline.
  • Booker, the person in charge of setting up matches and writing angles;[1] referred to as the "Creative Team" by WWE.
  • Booking, what a "booker" does. Booking is also the term a wrestler uses to describe a scheduled match or appearance on a wrestling show.[1]
  • Botch, a scripted move that failed.
  • Boys, what wrestlers call themselves (as in "the boys in the back").[1]
  • Broadway, when two wrestlers go to a time limit draw, usually 60 minutes.[1]
  • Bozark, old term for a female professional wrestler.[1]
  • Bull, an older, more "carny" term for a wrestling promoter.[1]
  • Bump, when a wrestler hits the mat or ground.[1][4]
  • Bump Ring, a wrestling ring designed with extra padding to be more comfortable for taking bumps.[1]
  • Bury, refers to the worked lowering (relegation) of a popular wrestler's status in the eyes of the fans.[1] It is also the act of a promoter or booker causing a wrestler to lose popularity by forcing him to lose matches badly (squash) and/or making him participate in unentertaining or degrading storylines. It can be a result of 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. (Compare "push")
  • Busted Open, term used to describe a wrestler that is bleeding. (Compare "juicing")


  • Call, when one wrestler instructs the other of what is going to happen in the match.[1]
  • Canned Heat, when cheers or boos are pumped into an arena via the sound system or added to a television show in post-production.[1]
  • Card, the lineup of the matches that will be staged at a given venue for a given performance.[1] 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 Lucha Estrella.
  • 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.[1]
  • Carry, the act of one wrestler doing most of the work (selling moves, calling spots) to make a match watchable.[1]
  • Ceiling, lose matches.[5]
  • 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 television viewership.
  • 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 promo.[1]
  • 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). Mick Foley notoriously uses cheap pops by using the city's name and giving a foolhardy "thumbs-up" to the camera.
  • 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 other's moves well and telling the story well to the audience.
  • 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.[1]
  • Color, a term used by wrestlers and promoters to discuss the amount of bloodshed in a match.[1][2][6]
  • 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 and characters. Color commentators are often retired professional wrestlers with a business sense, such as JBL, Tazz, and Jerry Lawler.
  • Crimson mask, a face covered in blood. (See "Muta scale")
  • Cue, a term that lets other wrestlers know when something should happen, usually after a move.
  • Curtain Call or the MSG Incident, the incident at Madison Square Garden in the Spring of 1996, when WWE superstars Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Razor Ramon, and Triple H (The Clique) broke kayfabe (out of character) 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").[1] A dark match before the show is usually used to test out new talent (often local to the event).[1] A dark match after the show typically features main-event level wrestlers either to sell more tickets, or send the crowd home happy.
  • Dead Weight, when a wrestler goes limp in the middle of a move.[1] This could be done intentionally, either to make his opponent look weak or just "rib" him,[1] 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)
  • The Deal, another term for title belt.[1]
  • Death Match a more extreme version of a Hardcore Match that involves more weapons and where bleeding / blading is commonplace.
  • Decision, a means in which a wrestler in an Iron Man match scores a point against his opponent. In Iron Man matches, decisions can be rendered by pinfall, submission, count-out, disqualification or knockout. A point is given to the appropriate wrestler, and the wrestler with the highest number of points at the end of the allotted time wins the match. Less frequently, a decision simply refers to the result of a match, by whatever aforementioned means it came about.
  • Dirt sheet, an insider letter in the professional wrestling business.[7]
  • Diva, Aside from the original 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 frequently both).
  • Do Business, when two wrestlers work together to get a match or an angle over or when a wrestler does a job or angle when asked regardless of whether it helps him/her.[1]
  • Double Juice, when two wrestlers blade during a given match.[1] Can be expanded to "triple juice", "quadruple juice", etc.[1]
  • 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.
  • Draw, to be able to attract the attention of the audience.[1]
  • Drawing Power, having recognition with the fans as a star, someone fans pay to see.[1]
  • Drop, when a titleholder agrees to be booked to lose the title to a contender.
  • Dud, a very poor, boring or otherwise uninteresting match.[1] Can also be a match with morally objectionable elements.
  • Dusty Finish, an ambiguous finish to a match where either wrestler can be claimed the winner.[1] The "Dusty" in the term refers to Dusty Rhodes, who booked many such finishes in NWA and later in WCW.[1]


  • Enforcer, a wrestler who accompanies another to matches, and acts as a bodyguard.[1] 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 WrestleMania XIV).
  • Extreme wrestling, a style of wrestling based heavily on highspots and weapon attacks. See also Hardcore wrestling.
  • 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 SmackDown! superstars.


  • Face, short for "babyface",[1] which means the good guy.[8]
  • Faction, see "stable."
  • Fall, usually, the ending of the match. A fall can either be a pin or the result of a submission maneuver. In a Two out of three falls match, a wrestler wins the match after either pinning or forcing his/her opponent to submit twice instead of only once. (See decision and near fall)
  • False comeback, when a face mounts a brief offensive flurry before losing it to a heel wrestler after being dominated for several minutes.[1] Usually, it occurs before the actual comeback.
  • Feeding, the heel's role during a face comeback where he runs at the face only to be repeatedly fended off, with the hope that the series of bumps by the heel will generate positive fan heat for the face.[1] A babyface could also feed the heel in hopes of generating fan sympathy.[1]
  • Feud, a battle between two or more wrestlers or stables, often involving matches, promos and angles.[1] A feud usually lasts for several months.
  • Finish, the planned end of a match.[1] (See "Dusty Finish" and "Clean Finish")
  • Finisher, a wrestler's trademark move that leads to a finish.[1]
  • Flair Flip, 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.[1]
  • Flat back bump, a bump in which a wrestler lands solidly on his back with high impact, spread over as much surface as possible.[1]
  • Foreign Object, an object that is illegal to the match, such as a chair, brass knuckles, garbage can, etc.[1]
  • Freebird rule, an unofficial rule which allows any two members of a tag team with three or more members to defend a tag team championship. Named for the Fabulous Freebirds, who famously did this in Georgia Championship Wrestling.


  • Gaijin, an American, or other foreign worker in Japanese promotions. (Not strictly a wrestling term, as it is a Japanese word for a foreigner).
  • Garbage Wrestling, "hardcore" matches or extremely spot heavy matches wherein wrestlers use nothing but weaponry or highly planned out spots to attack each other, also outrageous gimmick matches that have no obvious elements of traditional in-ring competition.[1] 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[1] (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.[1] Merchandise sales are often a part of "the gate."
  • Geek, to cut oneself.[1]
  • 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.[1]
  • Gig mark, a scar from blading.[1]
  • Gimmick, a wrestler's personality, behavior, attire and/or other distinguishing traits while performing. It can also be an implement used to cheat. For example, Jeff Jarrett's gimmick is knocking out opponents with his guitar, and the guitar itself is also a "gimmick." In recent years, the emphasis has been on more realistic gimmicks 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.
  • Gimmicked, an object that has been altered to break easily.[1]
  • Gimmick Table, place where a (usually independent) wrestler sells his merchandise, usually by the concession stand.
  • Gizmo/Gizzmo, old term for gimmick.[1]
  • Go home, a phrase said to a wrestler by a ringside commentator or the referee to indicate that the wrestlers should end the match shortly thereafter.[1] (See Take (it) home)
  • Go over, to beat someone.[1]
  • Go through, a time limit draw.[1]
  • Going bush, a wrestler who moves from a major league promotion to a regional or independent promotion.[1]
  • Good Hand, a wrestler who other wrestlers enjoy working with due to the wrestler being in total control during the match, not getting lost, and not working too stiff or too light.[1]
  • Gorilla Position, the staging area just behind the entrance curtain, where wrestlers wait before they come into view of the crowd. Named after the legendary Gorilla Monsoon, who established the position's importance and could often be found there.
  • Green, refers to a wrestler (often called a green boy) who is in the early stages of their career and, as a result, may be prone to make mistakes because of their inexperience.[1]
  • Gusher, a deep cut that bleeds a lot,[6] usually caused by a mistake while blading but can be intentional.[1]


  • 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.[8]
  • 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.
  • Hard Flop, a match that kayfabe ends by a ref's decision because one wrestler is incapacitated and unable to finish.
  • Hard way, when a move does much more damage than a worked move.[1] It can also refer to bleeding that is real, as opposed to using a blood capsule or blading.[6]
  • Heat, a wrestler getting a negative crowd reaction.[1] (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 them.
  • Heel, a bad guy.[1][8] (Compare "tweener" and "face")
  • Highspot, a top-rope move, or a series of maneuvers perceived as dangerous.[1]
  • Hood, the mask of a masked wrestler.[1]
  • 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.[1] 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 include Lou Thesz or Kurt Angle.
  • Hope spot, when a babyface is being beaten on by a heel and teases a brief comeback, only to have the heel take over offense again.[1]
  • 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.[1] Also applies to angles or turns that are done for shock value rather than acting as a part of an ongoing storyline.[1]
  • 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.[1] 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.[1] (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 Comeback")


  • Indy, short for "independent promotion," refers to a wrestling group that is too small to compete on a national level.
  • International Object, a 1980s alternate term for "foreign object" during a time when Ted Turner had a policy on his networks that no one was to use the word "foreign," but instead "international."[9]


  • Job, a scheduled loss.[1]
  • Jobber, a wrestler whose primary function is losing to better-known wrestlers.[1]
  • Jobber to the Stars, a mid-card wrestler who is fairly well-known and gains victories over lesser-known wrestlers on occasion, but is primarily used as a jobber to talent higher on the card than him.
  • Juice, steroids.[1] (See gas and roids). It can also mean blood, usually from the forehead.[1]
  • Juicing, bleeding (frequently, but not always, self-inflicted).[2] (Compare "blading" and "hard-way juicing")


  • 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).[1] Also used by wrestlers as a signal to close ranks and stop discussing business due to an uninformed person arriving in earshot.[1][10] The term is said to have been loosely derived from the Pig Latin pronunciation of the word "fake" ("akefay").
  • Knockout, a modern term for a female performer with actual, legitimate wrestling abilities. Originated and popularized by Total Nonstop Action Wrestling's female division. Compared to WWE's counterpart, the "Diva".


  • Lead ass, a wrestler who is often uncooperative in the ring; or, the act of being uncooperative in the ring.[1]
  • 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.
  • Light, the appearance of being too easy on an opponent.[1]
  • Lock up, the beginning of a match.[11]
  • Loose, applying holds with less force than average.[1]
  • Low Blow, where a wrestler hits the other wrestler in the crotch.
  • Lucha libre or Lucha, Mexican professional wrestling, which translates to "Free Fighting".[1] It is used to describe the Mexican style of wrestling that consists of high-flying acrobatic moves.[1]
  • 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 Events.
  • Manager, a performer assigned to accompany a wrestler to the ring and, usually, put them over in interviews.[1] They are often used to help a heel cheat and incite the crowd.[1]
  • Mania Era, (also referred to as the Federation Years) refers to the time period spanning from 1984-1993 in WWF/WWE history when Vince McMahon took the company from being a regionally promoted business to a successful national business. The term "Mania" denoting the era is attributed to "Hulkamania" being the dominant aspect of the era. This time is also sometimes referred to as the Showtime Era, The Superstars Era, The Hulkamania Era, or the Federation Era.
  • Mark, a fan who believes that the characters and events of some or all of professional wrestling are real.[1] 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.[1] (Compare "smark")
  • Marking out, a moment of enjoying professional wrestling "for what it is" rather than analyzing its staged nature.[1]
  • Marriage, a long drawn out feud between two wrestlers, teams, or personalities.[1]
  • Mid-carder, a wrestler who wrestles in the middle of shows, is seen as being high in seniority but less than a money draw.[1]
  • Missed Spot, a move in which the timing is off or it showed "light". Also referred to as a Blown Spot.[1]
  • Money Mark, someone who invests money into a promotion or starts a promotion to rub shoulders with pro wrestlers.[1] A money mark is usually ridiculed by wrestlers when he or she is not within their presence.[1]
  • 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 the event.[1]
  • Monster heel, a villain who is portrayed as unstoppable, usually to set up a feud with a promotion's lead face.[1] Particularly applies to heels who are physically monstrous, grotesque, or just plain scary.
  • Montreal Screwjob (or just Screwjob), an incident at Survivor Series 1997 where referee Earl Hebner claimed that Bret Hart submitted to Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon ordered to bell to be rung in order to take the WWF Championship title from Hart who was exiting the World Wrestling Federation for World Championship Wrestling.
  • Mouthpiece, a manager who does the promos for a wrestler possessing little or no mic skills.[1]
  • Muta scale, a scale to measure the amount of blood lost by a wrestler in a match. The scale goes from 0.0 (no blood loss) to 1.0 (corresponds to the amount of blood lost by The Great Muta during a 1992 match against Hiroshi Hase, during which Muta performed what is widely hailed as the most gruesome bladejob of all time).


  • 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 pinfall.
  • No Holds Barred, a match than cannot end by disqualification or count-out. Its origin comes from the older days of wrestling where specific maneuvers or submission holds were illegal, such as a piledriver in Memphis, Tennessee. In today's wrestling, the rule generally permits the use of weapons and outside interference.
  • No-sell, giving no reaction to another wrestler's offense or moves.[1]
  • No-show, when a wrestler doesn't show up for a match.[1] No-shows are usually staged, often for the purposes of a storyline. Genuine no-shows are less frequent, since the wrestler (or other employee) is usually fired or suspended afterwards. Examples: Ultimate Warrior in the summer of 1996 and Stone Cold Steve Austin in 2002.


  • Office, when one wrestler indicates to another to reverse a submission hold. For example, when Jake Roberts had Shawn Michaels in a headlock, Jake squeezed Shawn's wrist, to indicate that he wanted Shawn to reverse the hold.[12]
  • One-Fall, a match that requires one decision to end, such as a pinfall, a submission, a count-out, or a disqualification. Certain matches can only be won by a specific fall. For example, a "No Holds Barred" match can only end by pinfall or submission. A ring announcer will generally announce "This match is scheduled for one-fall" when such a match takes place.
  • 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.[1] 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.


  • Paper, to give away a great number of free (comped) tickets to increase the size of the crowd for publicity.[1]
  • 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.
  • 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.[1] (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.[1]
  • 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.[1] Plants are a good tool for a heel wrestler to gain heat from the crowd.[1] Usually the "plant" is an unknown trained wrestler.[1] (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).
  • Play-by-play, 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.
  • Policeman, a wrestler – usually one who has worked with a promotion for several years and is loyal to the top officials – who shoots with an uncooperative opponent to either make a point or as a "punishment".[1]
  • Politician, a wrestler who establishes connections with management in hopes of garnering the backstage clout to influence creative and business decisions behind the scenes.
  • Pop, a sudden crowd reaction, either positive or negative.[1]
  • Popcorn Match, a match that the audience doesn't care about, put on the card to provide incentive for fans to leave their seats to buy from the merchandise or concession stands.[1]
  • Post, to ram an opponent into the steel ring post.[1]
  • Potato, an intentional or accidental legit punch.[1] Sometimes done when the wrestlers are close to the crowd. Other times done as a shoot or a cheap shot at a lesser opponent (a jobber) who isn't allowed to fight back.
  • Promo, a promotional interview (as in "cutting a promo").[1] Often includes either an "in-ring interview" or (on television) a skit by wrestlers and other performers to advance a storyline or feud.[1]
  • Promotion, a group that organizes professional wrestling events.[1]
  • Pull-apart Brawl, a match that originally involves two or more wrestlers but degenerates into a brawl.[1] At that point, other face and heel wrestlers from the locker room storm the ring, after which an all-out brawl results.[1] Usually, these matches end in a no contest or double disqualification. Alternatively: two wrestlers brawl without regard to the rules and other referees and officials enter the ring to break it up.
  • Puroresu, Japanese professional wrestling
  • Put Over, to allow oneself to be pinned or otherwise defeated by someone or to compliment them in an interview to get that person over.[1]
  • 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.[1] 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 the NWA-affiliated 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 W(W)WF. 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 entertainment business."
  • Red means Green, a phrase used to describe bleeding makes money.[1] If you bleed red (blood) you will get Green (more money).
  • Ref bump, when the referee for a match is intentionally knocked out, generally to allow outside interference or other illegal act.[1]
  • Repackage, to completely change a wrestler's gimmick, going beyond a simple face or heel turn. Usually, wrestlers are taken off of TV for a period of time before being repackaged. Other times wrestlers are repackaged quickly, on TV, by simply acting differently.
  • Rest hold, a hold applied more lightly at a designated point in a match in order to save energy.[1]
  • Rib, practical jokes played by or on wrestlers.[1] Owen Hart was known to pull ribs on the boys and Vince McMahon. 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.
  • Ring Rat or Rat, someone with amorous feelings for wrestlers and frequents wrestling events to flirt or pursue sexual liaisons with wrestlers.[1]
  • Ring Rust, when a wrestler is out-of-practice, and thus more prone to blow spots, as a result of a long period away from wrestling.
  • Road Agent, this person/crew of people run live events (house shows) backstage, assist the bookers, and produce the finishes of the match(s). They also help put together a televised (or non televised) program.
  • Roid Rage, paranoia, depression, and explosive outbursts caused by steroid use.[13]
  • Roids, slang phrase for steroids.[13] (See gas and juice)
  • Run-in, occurs when one or more individuals who are not actively participating in a match run into the ring.[1] Run-ins are almost always made by heels, typically to further a feud with a face.[1] More often than not, a run-in will result in a "beatdown" 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, road 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.


  • 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.[1] 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.
  • Save, when one or more wrestlers enter the ring to aid an ally.
  • Schmoz, a crowd of wrestlers in a brawl, designed to end a match or angle.[1]
  • Screwjob, a match with a controversial or unsatisfying finish, often involving cheating or outside interference.[1]
  • Sell, reacting to an opponents attacks in a manner that suggests that the techniques are being applied at full-force.[1]
  • Shoot, any "real" event in the world or wrestling (as in "shoot interview").[1] (Compare "worked shoot")
  • Shooter, 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.[1] One notch below a "hooker".
  • Shootfighting, 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 no contact to his opponent when performing an attack.[1]
  • Smark, a portmanteau of "smart mark," a phrase coined by internet smart marks to describe a fan who enjoys pro wrestling despite or because they know that it is staged.[1] Brian Pillman cut an infamous promo about smarks when he made his debut in ECW. (compare "mark").
  • Smart, someone who has inside information on the wrestling business.[1]
  • 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 pop-culture entertainment.
  • Spot, a preplanned move,[1] 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. (See "high spot" and "blown 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 (i.e. aerial maneuvers), and therefore endanger the health of the participants. Spotfests tend to be more common in cruiserweight matches.
  • Spud, a match with a lot of "potatoes".[1]
  • Squash, an extremely one-sided match which is usually over quickly.[1]
  • 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 and The Four Horsemen), or supergroups that include up to half the promotion's talent roster (such as the New World Order, Planet Jarrett and Sports Entertainment Xtreme).
  • Stiff, when a wrestler puts force into his attacks or maneuvers on his opponent,[14] deliberately or accidentally.[1]
  • 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.[1] The stooge will do his boss' dirty work,[1] 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 championship/title belt in a promotion.[1]
  • Stretch, to apply submission locks and holds with full force.[1]
  • Strong Style, a Japanese professional wrestling style that is worked, yet aims to deliver realistic performances.[1] The style emphasizes stiff attacks and worked shoots.[1]
  • Superhuman comeback, when one wrestler, usually a face, no-sells his opponent's offense, usually after several minutes of being dominated.[1] This tactic usually sets up the finish and victory by the face wrestler. The most common examples are The Undertaker and Hulk Hogan.
  • 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 press.[1]


  • Tag team, a pair of superstars 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. Unheard of in World Wrestling Entertainment until late 1997 when Bret Hart tapped out to an ankle lock applied by Ken Shamrock while the referee was bumped. Previously, wrestlers vocally told the referee if they wished to submit or not. Today, the tap-out method is almost always used.
  • Three-count, a pinfall.
  • 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 Corporation'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.
  • Tope, flying over the rope from the inside of the ring to the floor.[1]
  • Transitional champion, a holder of a traditionally-short title reign which bridges two "eras," long-running title reigns by usually-popular champions.
  • Turn, when a wrestler switches from face to heel or vice versa.[1]
    • Hard Turn, is when a wrestler switch to 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).[1] This term is also used to describe wrestlers who use tactics typically associated with heels (i.e., cheating), yet are still cheered by fans in spite of (or because of) these antics.
  • 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. Other fractions are sometimes used for exaggeration or comedic effect—two and three quarters, two and seven eighths, etc.


  • Undercard, matches prior to the main event. (See also Dark match).
  • Unification, 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.


  • Valet, a female performer accompanying a male performer to the ring.[15] She functions as "eye-candy" and plays the role of an agitator.[15]
  • 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.
  • Vocal Selling, when a wrestler makes sound to imply that he's hurt. (See Sell)


  • Work, noun. an event booked to happen, from the carnival tradition of "working the crowd."[1] 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.[1]
  • Worked Shoot, a scripted segment that takes place in a show with elements of reality being exposed. 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 exhibited.[1]



External links

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