|The Wrestling Dictionary|
Carny: Carnival terminology. Most of the words that I am discussing in this article date back to the days when wrestling was mainly a part of a carnival side show act. Carny is also a language used by wrestlers to talk to each other around people not associated with the business so they wouldn’t understand what they were saying. Often used to keep the secrets of the business.
Clean Finish: A match at that ends with the result not being due to interference or by any other form of cheating or illegal move.
Dark Match: A wrestling match that occurs during a wrestling television show taping or before the start of a PPV. This is often used to get a crowd warmed up, to try out new talent in front of a larger audience, and also to test the broadcast equipment. Most wrestlers in the WWE work several “Dark Matches” before they appear regularly on RAW or Smackdown.
Feud: A series of matches and events between two wrestlers. Usually starting with some sort of angle and ending with a match or another angle.
F-Bomb/Dropping the F-Bomb: When a wrestler uses a certain four letter swear word starting with F and having the same last 3 letters as truck. Very rarely does this make it through on WWE television. Especially shows like Smackdown, Heat and Velocity that are all pretaped.
Gas/on the Gas/Gassed up: A term used to describe the use of steroids to make yourself bigger and more muscular. Prime examples of this are Hulk Hogan, Scott Steiner and Triple H.
Gimmick/Gimmicked: This term is used to describe a few things in wrestling. A wrestler’s persona or character is often called his gimmick. A gimmick can also be used to describe a weapon or object used during a match. Gimmicked is used to describe an object that is altered for use in a match for example a gimmicked table is pre cut to break more easily.
Go Home: This is an instruction wrestlers get either from each other or from a referee to finish a match.
Green: A term used to describe someone who is inexperienced. Usually it makes reference to the fact that someone needs improvement or makes quite a few mistakes. La Resistance is considered to be very green mainly due to mistakes they make in the ring like recently when they didn’t throw Spike Dudley far enough to go through a table. Spike ended up taking a horrible fall hitting his head on the side of the table and then on the concrete as a result of their mistake. The term green is very common in many other sports as well.
Gusher: A deep cut that bleeds a lot. Usually this is caused by a mistake while blading but sometimes it is intentional.
Hardway: A term used to describe a wrestler bleeding not due to blading. This is sometimes accidental. Often in hardcore style gimmick matches like barbed wire matches it’s a natural part of the match.
Heat: Heat is used to describe two things in the wrestling business. Crowd reaction both positive and negative is referred to as heat. Someone who gets a good reaction you would say has really good Heat. Heat is also used to describe when a wrestler or any other backstage personnel is angry at someone else. For example Raven was recently angry with the Sinister Minister Jim Mitchell on NWA TNA when he cut Raven’s head quite a bit while shaving him after a Hair vs Hair match. It would be said that Raven “had heat” with him.
Highspot: A move that is or is perceived to be very dangerous. Usually used to describe aerial moves like Moonsaults, 450 splashes, etc.
Hope Spot/False Comeback: When the face is being dominating in a match and then makes a brief comeback controlling the offense but then has his comeback stopped shortly afterwards. Used usually to increase crowd excitement.
Hot Tag: A term used to describe when a face wrestler finally manages to tag in his fresh and rested partner after being dominated and beaten up for an extended period of time by the heel team. Again often used to increase crowd excitement.
House Show: An event that is not being taped to shown on television or PPV.
ANGLE : The current storyline or sequence of events a worker is involved in.
Hulking up: A term to describe a face who is making a comeback while after no selling the heel’s offense for a bit. Hulk Hogan did this in almost every match he ever had and that’s why the term bears his name.
Job/doing a job/put over: Terms used to describe losing a wrestling match. When someone is booked to lose a match they are said to being “doing the job” or “putting over” their opponent.
Jobber/Jabroni/Enhancement Talent/Ham and Egger: All of these are terms to describe a wrestler who is used often to put over other wrestlers. They lose very frequently to put over more established stars. Funaki is an example of a jobber on the Smackdown roster. Steven Richards is an example of a jobber on the RAW roster.
Kayfabe: A carny word that means “fake”. This is generally used to describe the act of keeping the secrets of the wrestling business. Exposing the inner workings or secrets of the wrestling business is said to be “Breaking Kayfabe”. It is also used to describe the carny language wrestlers use to communicate with each other to avoid giving away the secrets of the business. Wrestlers also use the word Kayfabe to say to each other to warn them that an “outsider” to the business is coming near to let them know to keep quiet or change the topic of discussion to prevent giving away inside info or expose any secrets of the business.
Light/Lightly: When a wrestler is working light or lightly it means that their punches, kicks, or moves are very soft and not very believable.
Mark: A term that was originally used to describe someone who believes in the legitimacy of the wrestling business. It is now more frequently used as a derogatory comment or insult to describe a gullible fan. It can also be used to say you are a fan of or appreciative of something in the wrestling business. For example a big fan of Steve Austin would be considered a Steve Austin mark. This term is also used to describe someone who is the victim of a con artist.
No Sell: When a wrestler gives a move or a strike by another wrestler no reaction as if it didn’t hurt him. Usually to give the appearance that they are “invincible”. Wrestlers who have done this a lot in their matches are Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, the Undertaker, and Goldberg.
Paper: A term used to describe giving away free tickets to make a crowd larger. Often used to make crowds larger for televised events.
Plant: A wrestler or someone who works for the wrestling company who is placed in the audience to pose as a fan and is used in a wrestling angle.
Pop: A big reaction in the crowd either cheering or booing. It is used more often to describe cheering than it is for booing.
BABY : Term uses to describe the "good" wrestler. People on the net tend to use the word "face" as the full name is Babyface. Wrestlers themselves tend to use "baby".
Potato/Stiff: To legitimately hit an opponent with a lot of force either with a punch or kick or even an object. This is often by accident but can be on purpose.
Promo/Cutting a Promo: A term used to describe an on screen interview with a wrestler.
Push: When a wrestler is being elevated to a higher spot on television or into major matches he is said to be getting a push.
Ref Bump: A term used to describe when the referee gets knocked out usually allowing the heel to cheat unnoticed or to allow for outside interference to go unnoticed.
Rest Hold/Rest Spot: A wrestling hold that is applied that is very light and allows for the wrestlers to take a rest or a breather usually after a high spot or after several minutes of fast paced action. For example a chinlock, a headlock, or usually any submission can be used for this purpose. A double knock down can also be used to accomplish this.
Rat/Ring Rat: A woman who attends a wrestling show with the intention of meeting and sleeping with a wrestler. “Rats” will often seek out the wrestlers after a wrestling show hanging out near hotels, bars or other local attractions.
Road Agent: The person/people who run House Shows backstage, they also assist the bookers with putting together a television program. Dean Malenko, Pat Patterson, Fit Finlay, Arn Anderson, Tim White, Jerry Brisco, Tony Garea, Michael Hayes, Johnny Ace, Bruce Pritchard and William Regal all currently work for the WWE in this capacity.
Screw Job: A match that ends with an ending that is not enjoyed by fans. This is usually a match that ends due to interference, or not by pinfall or submission.
Sell/Selling: The art of acting as if you are legitimately hurt by a wrestling hold or move. Some moves do hurt legitimately but the ones that don’t really require a wrestler to “sell” the hold in order to make it seem effective and believable to the audience.
BLADE : To cut oneself with a sharp object (ie: to blade). May also refer to the object used (ie: he used a razor blade to blade himself). Often used by net people but wrestlers more commonly refer to it as a GIG.
Shoot/Shooting: Any events that occur in wrestling that are not considered to be part of the storyline and are actually “real”. This can refer to a legitimate fight breaking out between wrestlers, sometimes even just one move by a hot tempered wrestler. It can also be in a verbal sense where a wrestler is discussing something in reality and not created in the wrestling business. True “Shoots” or “Shooting” does not happen very often on WWE television. They will however often take elements of something that is real or is based on reality and use that to make a wrestling angle seem like a “shoot”.
Shooter: A term used to describe a wrestler than can handle himself in a real fight. Usually this refers to a wrestler to has a lot of legitimate martial arts training or real fight experience.
Showing Light: To unintentionally expose the fans to a move that didn’t connect. Usually a result of flawed execution on the part of the wrestler on the offense.
Smart/ Smart Mark/ Smark: A term used to describe a wrestling fan who has a lot of knowledge of the inner workings of the wrestling business. Or in some cases they just think they do.
Sports Entertainment: This a term made popular by the WWE as they use it to describe what their product is instead of calling it professional wrestling. It is also used as a term to describe some of the non-wrestling aspects of the business such as promos, angles, skits, etc.
Spot: A move or series of moves that takes place in a wrestling match. A blown or missed spot is often referred to as a “botched” spot.
Squash: A match where one wrestler completely dominates the other often with the opponent getting in little or no offense whatsoever. Often using a jobber to “put over” someone to help start them on a “push”.
Stretch/Stretched: Describes the art of a wrestler physically dominating another legitimately. Often using stiff holds and moves to accomplish this. To be stretched is to be injured either legit or as part of an angle requiring the wrestler to be carried out by medical personnel.
Swerve: Swerve has three definitions in the wrestling business. It can be a prank a pro wrestler plays on another worker. It is also used to describe a false report leaked to the press by a wrestler or a promoter. It is also used to refer to a finish of a match that often shocks the fans and sometimes even wrestling insiders.
Turn: When a wrestler changes from being a face to being a heel or vice versa. Turns are often used to change a gimmick or help a wrestler get more heat.
Tweener: A term used to describe a wrestler who is not a face and is also not a heel but actually has characteristics of both. The character of Stone Cold Steve Austin is perhaps the best example of this at least it was when it really started getting popular.
BOOKER : Formerly, one or two people were in charge of deciding everything involved in the storylines of a promotion - who wins, who loses, how they lose, who gets pushed, etc. Currently, the trend is to have a booking commitee made up of serveral members who contribute to the idea. It is considered dangerous to have a worker (be it manager or wrestler) in a booking position. A worker would have to have their ego in check all the time to be a booker.
Vignette: A taped video segment meant to help get a wrestler’s gimmick or character over — OR — to introduce a character.. Can take place in any setting or location..
Work: This is the term used to describe aspects or events of the business that aren’t real. That basically covers almost everything you see in pro wrestling.
Work Rate: This is a term used to describe the in ring performance of the wrestlers. It doesn’t take into account any aspect of a wrestling other than the physical action. Examples of wrestlers who are considered to have a strong work rate are Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Jericho.
BUMP : The way in which a wrestler lands on the mat, floor, etc. in order to lessen the impact and damage on their bodies. Online fans often refer to a person taking a nasty "bump". The worker is in fact doing a spot while falling and then taking the "bump" correctly.
FACE : Common net term for a "good" wrestler. Derived from Babyface, wrestlers use "baby" instead.
FEEDING : The act where an experienced wrestler will set himself up in positions to let less experienced wrestlers execute moves easier. Only formally trained wrestlers can identify these moves in a match and it is generally regarded as the sign of an excellent wrestler. Ric Falir and Arn Anderson are some of the best "feeders" in the world while Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and most other "top" names are terrible feeders. Feeding your oponent is one of the key elements of making your opponent look good.
FINISH(er) : Before a match, the wrestlers will work out what the ending (finish) of the match will be. Usually, the wrestler going over will do so with his finisher (final move).
GIG : Same as blade but used by wrestlers when speaking to one another. As with blade, you can use a "gig" (sharp object) or "gig" yourself (cut your self).
HEAT : The level that a crowd is involved in a wrestling match and / or a wrestler. Good heat ensures continued employment and a push. Wrestlers often interject themselves in other wrestler's "heat" situations to "steal" their "heat". This is of course considered extremely bad and unprofessional. There is also CHEAP HEAT which is getting a crowd reation based not on any move or character developement but on a proven, simple act (IE: giving the fans the middle finger)
HEEL : Description of the "bad" wrestler. Used by both online fans and wrestlers.
HOOKER : Years ago, wrestling would from time to time become a legitimate contest (especially if someone put a shoot on another wrestler). There were wrestlers that began to learn moves that could seriously injure a man to defend themselves against such a threat. There were only a handful of these men - Ed Lewis and Lou Thesz being two of the greatest ever. They were used primarily to settle disputes - be it business or territorial. Hooker's basically employed a full-blown shootfighting style when the time required it. Due to the "softness" and "weakness" of the current wrestling scene, hookers no longer exist or are used.
KAYFABE : Old carny term used to refer to the level of secrecy about the inner workings of the wrestling world. Once used to describe letting out even the mildest of hints that wrestling was not real it is now thrown around carelessly to describe any revealed knowledge of the inner workings of the business.
MARK : Traditionally used to refer to people who did not know the business was fake. Currently, the term can be expanded to people who simply enjoy certain wrestlers (ie: I am a Ric Flair mark). With the advent of wrestling news pages and sheets, several people who know it is fake and think they have inside information (they really don't) created a term to describe themselves - smarts..who suck (see definition)
OVER : To be popular or to have people come to see a worker based solely on their character and wrestling ablilty. Can refer to both heels and babies but is usually reserved for babies.
PUSH : A worker who is featured positively in an angle. They do not have to be a "good" guy, they simply must have a progression in their storyline. Workers that draw good heat tend to get better pushes.
SCREW JOB : When a wrestling match does not have a clean finish in the middle of the ring. Can be anything from a ref-bump to a run-in to having your feet on the ropes. This finish has become more and more popular as workers ego's grew and they refused to job. Screw jobs are generally considered a let down to the fans and a cheap way for a worker to get out of jobbing. Occasionally, screw jobs can be used to further an angle and if so, hold more crediblity.
SHOOT : Traditionally used to describe when two wrestlers stop cooperating with one another in the ring. In the early years of wrestling, shoots were common. After the 60's, shoot became EXTREMELY rare and you can probably count on 2 hands the number of legitimate shoots captured on tape in the last 30 years. Also sometimes used to refer to interviews done where it appears that the worker is talking about something that the promotion would not want people to hear (ie: rival promotions, back-stage fights). In reality, there has not been a "shoot" interview in years. All current "shoot" interviews are actually fully worked and worded to seem like they are "shoots" aka "work shoots".
SMART : Sometimes called SMART-MARK. Smarts came about as fans grew to know more and more about the business. In recent times, "smart" has taken on an almost negative image since from time to time it is revealed just how little "smarts" know. Most online fans and especially news-posters consider themselves "smarts" or even somethine above that (although few know what an insider is). In reality, most online fans and especially news-posters are MARKS. They may know it is fake but they have no idea what it is really all about and they still find it exciting and fun to watch. There is nothing wrong with being either a mark or a smart.
SOLD SHOW: Indie promotions will sometimes be able to get schools or other oranizations to pay for them to wrestle. The school or other organization then sells the tickets and takes the profit (minus there cost for the show). Sold shows tend to be VERY profitable and are preferred by indie groups. They are however hard to get.
SPOT : A move or series of moves or fall taken by a worker in the course of the match. Difficult or aerial moves are often referred to as "high-spots". Wrestlers must notify their opponent in the ring of what spot is next and this is referred to as "calling" the spot.
SPOT SHOW : Most independent promotions rely on renting out a venue and then selling tickets. This is referred to a spot show and is the most common form. It is a dangerous venture as you must get enough paying customers to cover the rental, paying your workers and insurance.
WORKER : Usually used to refer to a wrestler but may also refer to a referee or manager. A worker is anyone who gets into the ring. (except of course those annoying fans who jump over the guard rails and invariably get beat up by a referee!
Blading/Blade/Blade Job/Gig/Geek/juice/juicing: In wrestling blood is used to help a match be considered more believable or more violent and exciting. Blood helps the effect of “gimmick matches” like cage matches seem more dangerous. Using a razor blade to cut yourself to draw more blood is known as Blading. Blading is most often done by the wrestler himself but there has been occasions where a manager/valet would do it for the wrestler and even the referee has been used for blading. When done properly it ban effective but improperly it can be dangerous. The most infamous blading incident is the “Mass Transit” incident that occured when New Jack bladed Erich Kulas (17 years old) in ECW. Kulas was a replacement in that match wrestling as Mass Transit.
Blown up/Blow up: To become physically exhausted during a match. Sometimes when wrestlers get too “Blown Up” while working they’ll use a double knock down or use a hold like a sleeper or facelock or any other submission hold to rest. For example during the famous 60 minute Iron Man match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels you’ll notice Bret and Shawn using some double knockdown spots and submission holds to rest for a minute or two. They would do it that when they got too tired after working a fast pace for a few minutes and that’s what is called “Blown up”
Bury: To book a wrestler in such a way that they lose drawing power, popularity or status. For example many of the wrestlers on the RAW roster have been “buried” as a result of always losing high profile matches, particularly when they work with Triple H. Chris Jericho and especially Rob Van Dam are good examples of this.
Canned Heat/Heat Machine: Using recorded crowd noise and cheering played through the sound system to make the crowd seem more lively and into the match on a wrestling TV show. The best examples I can think of are WCW Worldwide’s TV show when it was on. You’d hear a lot of cheering and see the crowd just sitting there quietly. Goldberg’s chants are also often done using “Canned Heat”
Boys/The Boys: A term often used in the wrestling industry to describe the wrestlers themselves distinguishing them apart in the organization from people who work in other capacities.
Broadway/Going Broadway: A match that ends in a time limit draw.