5 Essential Wrestling Terms for Novice Fans

Professional wrestling is a highly popular form of entertainment worldwide, attracting thousands of fans to arenas, auditoriums, and gymnasiums to watch their favorite wrestlers perform daring moves and receive applause and cheers.

As the sport’s popularity continues to grow, new fans are constantly joining the spectatorship of professional wrestling. For those just starting out, here are five terms that will help you enjoy the matches as much as the most dedicated fans:


One of the key attractions of professional wrestling is its storyline. This refers to the story that two or more wrestlers are involved in. These storylines play out in front of the crowd to make the matches more interesting and give fans a vested interest in cheering for their favorite performer.


The term “kayfabe” refers to the illusion that wrestling is not staged. It is what you see on-screen between wrestlers, but it does not necessarily reflect what goes on behind the scenes. Kayfabe basically refers to hiding the stuff that goes on behind the scenes so fans can continue to suspend the reality of what happens in real life, leading to a better enjoyment of the product in many cases.


Most of the moves in professional wrestling do not hurt as much as they look. Instead, wrestlers “sell” a move, which means that they make it look real and painful. When someone gets body slammed, the pain on their face is them selling the move to the crowd when, in actuality, they know how to fall on the mat in such a way that minimizes the impact and pain on their body.


An “oversell” is when a wrestler makes a move look ridiculously painful or exaggerated, such as when a simple punch makes the performer do a back-flip. This type of selling is overdone and makes the moves look fake.


Feuds are just one of the things that make professional wrestling interesting. A feud is basically a set of battles or matches between two wrestlers or factions. It could involve several matches pitting the feuding wrestlers against each other along with promos designed to anger each other and make things seem more real. Feuds can last as long as several months or just a few weeks, depending on the storyline and other factors.

The Importance of Gimmicks in Wrestling

If all wrestlers just acted like themselves, wrestling would be uninteresting. This is where gimmicks come into play.

A gimmick is a unique characteristic that distinguishes a wrestler from others. Essentially, it is a persona that they portray.

For example, a wrestler dressed in a jumpsuit resembling a prison escapee would be their gimmick.

Similarly, a Russian wrestler who continuously denounces the United States and American opponents would also have a gimmick.

Gimmicks are crucial in creating feuds and storylines. The wrestler with the Russian gimmick may feud with wrestlers who have an American patriotic gimmick.


1. What is a pin in wrestling?

A pin is when a wrestler holds their opponent’s shoulders to the mat for a specified amount of time, typically two seconds. This results in the wrestler scoring points and possibly winning the match.

2. What is a takedown?

A takedown is when a wrestler brings their opponent from a standing position to the mat. This can be done by grabbing their opponent’s legs or torso and using their own body weight to force them to the ground.

3. What is a near fall?

A near fall is when a wrestler almost pins their opponent but does not hold them down for the required two seconds. This results in the wrestler receiving points, but not as many as they would for a pin.

4. What is a reversal?

A reversal is when a wrestler escapes from their opponent’s hold and gains control of the match. This can be done by using their own strength or by taking advantage of their opponent’s mistake.

5. What is a forfeit?

A forfeit is when a wrestler is unable to compete in a scheduled match and therefore concedes the win to their opponent. This can happen due to injury, illness, or other unforeseen circumstances.

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