RedditNazura Watching professional wrestling is a culture that has it’s own vocabulary. If I were to say, “He was so Do you have any idea WTF I’m talking about? over as a babyface but got a lot of heat after turning heel. Too bad his in-ring skills were too green, now he’s being buried as a jobber in dark matches.“
How many of these terms do you know?
The story being told about why wrestlers are having a match. Rikishi hit Steve Austin with a car for The Rock. Now there’s a revenge angle in the match.
Giphy Babyface or Face
The good guy. The hero. An older concept now that wrestlers have more complex characters but in the 80s? Hulk Hogan was the ultimate babyface.
The bad guy. The villain. These days people tend to love or respect a good antagonist.
The person who decides how a match will be presented to the fans. They come up with storylines and ideas, then work with the wrestlers to figure out how a match will play out.
When the people writing the angles don’t have faith in a wrestler. They will then consistently book the wrestler to lose matches or give them storylines doomed to fail. This is also done to discipline wrestlers who have pissed off the executives in the back.
Instead of running to tell Papa Vince, it’s a way the performers govern disputes with each other backstage. The wrestlers hold a mini-court session, often judged by a ring veteran, that has people plead their case, receive punishments, the whole shebang!
Hitting the ground after taking a wrestling move. This can be a simple scoop slam to the mat or something more spectacular like diving off of a cage.
Giphy Crimson Mask
When a wrestler’s entire face is covered in blood. This is achieved by blading – a wrestler internationally cuts their forehead to start bleeding. Done to add a new level of storytelling in a physically brutal match. Also known as juicing, gigging or getting colour. Getting busted open the hard way is when a wrestler has their head split open accidentally. Blading is planned, this is not.
A wrestler who has little experience and is still learning how to perform. A wrestler can be green doing backstage promos, but it’s usually referring to their wrestling ability.
Giphy Dark Match
A wrestling match that is not shown on television. Often used to give green wrestlers a try out in front of a live crowd. Also used to get a crowd pumped up before a show.
When a crowd genuinely boos and hates a wrestler. Cheap heat is an easy way for a heel to piss off the crowd, “We’re in Dallas? The Cowboys suck!”
Tenor Doing a Favour or Doing a Job
Doing a favour is the kinder way to put it. Essentially it’s wrestlers doing their job and losing when being told to lose. This can be done as a changing of the guard of top stars. Andre the Giant did the favours for Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 3. A jobber is a wrestler who loses most of their matches to make other wrestlers look good.
To keep up the illusion that the matches and storylines in pro wrestling are unscripted and real. This has mostly gone away. Though Vader grabbing a talk show host by the necktie after being asked if wrestling is fake comes to mind as an example of keeping kayfabe alive.
Giphy Dirt Sheets
Originally printed in newsletters and magazines, the dirt sheets are the rumours, gossip and behind the scenes news about the world of pro wrestling.
A somewhat negative term to describe a fan who is extremely excited about wrestling and seems unaware that the matches are scripted.
A smart mark. Somebody who keeps up to date with the dirt sheets and what goes on behind the scenes of wrestling.
The way a wrestler reacts to their opponent’s move. Dropped on your back hard? Wince your eyes and hold your lower back. To sell is an important part of making the viewer forget it’s a scripted match.
When a wrestler shows no reaction to their opponent’s move. Hulk Hogan hulking up after getting slapped was him no-selling his opponent’s attacks. Unless it’s part of the script, no-selling a move shows genuine disrespect to your wrestling opponent. No-selling can also cause your opponent to start hitting you for real!
When the crowd screams and cheers positively for a wrestler or a spot during a wrestling match.
When a wrestler is set up to win a lot of matches usually leading to more time on television and winning a championship belt.
A series of scripted moves or one big move/stunt planned for a huge crowd reaction.
A work is how a match is supposed to play out based on the script. A shoot is when wrestlers go off-script. Usually, a shoot is when a wrestler says something they shouldn’t on live TV. Not always though. Wrestlers get pissed off and will begin to legitimately fight each other during a match. Goldberg vs William Regal and Kurt Angle vs Daniel Puder come to mind.
Being beloved by fans regardless if you’re a heel or a babyface.
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