|TORCH GLOSSARY OF INSIDER TERMS
|The following is a list of over 200 wrestling terms, many of which are insider terms (i.e. "jargon") or are mainstream terms with their insider definition, which generally have been exclusive to the behind-the-scenes aspects of the wrestling business for most of this century, although in recent years as the inner-workings of the wrestling industry have become more open, many terms have been adopted by staunch fans and journalists who cover professional wrestling.
Many of the terms date back to pro wrestling's carnival days in the early-1900s. Basic wrestling terms such as bodyslam and turnbuckle are not defined. (A term which is defined elsewhere, but used within a definition is denoted with "[dfn.]" in case cross-reference is desired.)
This list was originally published in the 1992 Torch Yearbook and amended over the next several yearbooks. We also republished the terms in booklet form and offered it as a bonus to new subscribers in the mid-'90s.
It has now been updated and amended with over 50 new terms and definitions.
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A-Show (n) A wrestling event featuring the biggest name stars on a given night when another card is being run that same night by the same promotion in another town with lesser perceived wrestlers. B-Team [dfn.] and C-Team are how lesser shows are referred to.
A-Team (n) A group of wrestlers who are currently participating on A-shows [dfn.].
Abortion (n) A failed angle [dfn.], match, or feud [dfn.]; a flop. (Term being phased out in some circles due to emotions associated with that word; considered in some circles a tasteless term.)
Angle (n) An event or series of events, usually a confrontation of some kind among wrestlers and managers, that begins or intensifies a feud.
Apter Mags (n) 1. Used to describe family of magazines of which Bill Apter is part of the staff. The magazine group, most prominent of which is Pro Wrestling Illustrated, came to be identified with editor Apter in the '70s. 2. Sometimes used to describe all magazines that contain fictional articles rather than straight journalism.
Arm Color (n.): A bleeding arm, usually through blading [dfn.]
Around the Horn (n.) The road trip to each town or a series of towns in which a promotion runs events.
Around the Loop (n.): See "Around the Horn."
B-Show (n) A wrestling event featuring the secondary team of lesser name-value wrestlers when on the same night in another town a group of bigger name wrestlers are putting on an event. The other show is the A-show [dfn.].
B-Team (n): 1. A group of wrestlers who are currently participating on B-shows [dfn.]. 2. The second tier group of wrestlers who aren't seen as being as big of draws as the top wrestlers or aren't as skilled in the ring.
Baby (n) Short for "babyface" [dfn.], although "Face" [dfn.] is more commonly used as short for "babyface."
Babyface (n) The "good guy" or "hero." The performer whom the promoter books [dfn.] in the position of being cheered.
Beatdown (n) When a wrestler or other performer is given a massive beating, often by a number of other wrestlers.
Blade (v) To cut one's self, usually with a small portion of a razor blade with tape wrapped around all but a fraction of a millimeter of the cutting edge. The exposed portion is then run across the skin to cause a clean, shallow slice in the skin which bleeds.
Blow Off (v) To end a feud [dfn.] or marriage [dfn.] at a wrestling card, usually a pay-per-view, with a decisive finish to a match between two feuding wrestlers; each wrestler usually moves on to feud with someone else although at times it is one or both wrestlers' final match for the given promotion.
Blow Up (v) To become cardiovascularly exhausted during a match.
Blown Up (n.): Out of breath, lacking the cardiovascular endurance to keep up in a match at the pace it has been going.
Book 1. (v) To schedule a wrestler for a card. 2. (n) Slang for booking position.
Booked (n) Past tense of book [dfn.], to be scheduled for a card.
Booker (n) One who books [dfn.] and hires wrestlers, decides who wins and loses matches and in what manner those finishes occur, plans the long-term direction of the company, and organizes and plots television programs.
Bootleg (adj.) Describing an item that is illegally duplicated and sold or traded, usually copyrighted tapes, either wrestling broadcasts or commercial tapes, traded among wrestling fans around the country. Also describes someone who deals in bootlegged material. (There is also public domain selling and trading that takes place which is legal and not considered "bootleg" dealing.)
Boom Boom Boom (n): Shorthand for "the meat of a match," often done right before the finish [dfn.], where the wrestlers do their key signature spots. In planning out a match, a wrestler may say to another: "We'll start out with a test of strength, then..., then boom boom boom, and the heels run in for the DQ."
Bounce (n) Old, rarely used term for the move that leads to the pinfall.
Boys (n) Wrestlers.
Bozark (n) A female wrestler; a rarely used old carney [dfn.] term.
Brass (n) Management.
Bull (n) Old, rarely used term for the promoter.
Bump (n, v) To fall to the mat after being on the receiving end of a wrestling maneuver or blow to the body. Common throughout a match, and can be executed by a referee late in a match in order to create circumstances where a heel can get away with cheating without the referee seeing it and disqualifying him.
Bump Ring (n.): A ring with a greater than average padded surface or bounce to it that allows hard bumps [dfn.] to be taken with less impact upon the bump taker. The opposite of a Lucha Ring [dfn.]
Bury (v) 1. To criticize or attempt to defame someone. 2. To lower someone in the eyes of the fans or their peers.
Broadway (n) A draw, called that because years ago it was considered a positive by both wrestlers.
Business, The (n) The wrestling industry.
Call a Match (v) Inform opponent throughout match of upcoming moves or spots [dfn.]; i.e. to "lead the dance."
Canned Heat (n) When crowd cheering and booing is added to a wrestling TV show in post-production.
Card (n) A line-up of matches.
Carney (n.) Short for "carnival language," the root of many insider wrestling terms where professional wrestling has roots in the early-1900s, including Kayfabe [dfn.] and mark [dfn.]. The language of carny was once common inside the ring among wrestlers and referees, similar to Pig-Latin where a syllable or more is added to any word. such as "finish" being turned into "fee-ya-zin-ish" or "gimmick" being turned into "Gee-ya-mimmick." Sometimes used by people on the fringe of the business who want to appear "insider," often resulting in snickering as soon as they leave the room. Use of Carny alone won't lead to instant acceptance among wrestlers and promoters.
Carry (v) 1. To "call a match' [dfn.]. 2. To make a lesser opponent look skillful in the eyes of the fans.
Chairshot (v) The act of hitting someone with a chair during the course of a wrestling match or brawl.
Cheap Heat (n) Usually referring to heel [dfn.] fan heat [dfn.], although can refer to any form of fan heat, to achieve heat through means that do not take polished and respected skill, such as swearing at fans, using racial epithets, making lewd hand gestures, or exploiting a political situation (i.e. a hostage crisis, war, or natural disaster).
Closet Champion (n.): A title holder who defends his title less often than average, usually a Heel [dfn..] who is considered a coward for protecting his title rather than honorably defending it often.
Color (n) Blood.
Comeback (n.): The point in a match where a wrestler, usually a babyface [dfn.] begins to show signs of life by taking over offense after the other wrestler, usually a heel, has been dominating offense for several minutes.
Copout Finish (n): A finish to a match that is in indecisive or controversial, a often considered unsatisfying, in an effort to avoid having one of the top stars involved in the match suffer a clean pinfall or submit.
Cut a Promo (v) 1. To be interviewed or give promotional speech on upcoming match in order to arouse fan interest in match. 2. (slang) To brow-beat or demean someone skillfully.
Dagger (n) A prepared blade with more of the razor exposed than necessary.
Dark Match (n) A match that is not taped for television at a television taping or live broadcast. Also can refer to a match that is taped merely to be used for review by promoters at a later time to evaluate the skill of a young wrestler, but not meant to ever air on TV.
Dead weight (n): When a wrestler goes limp in the middle of a move to make his opponent look weak or to just rib [dfn.] him. Similar to sandbagging [dfn.]
Deal, The (n) A title belt may sometimes be referred to as The Deal.
Do Business (v.): Do a job [dfn.] or angle when asked regardless of whether it helps you look good. A wrestler is known as "doing business" if he cooperates with what is requested of him. Two wrestlers "do business" together when they work together to get a match or angle over.
Doing Business on the Way Out (n.): To do jobs [dfn.] before one leaves a particular promotion. By doing clean jobs to talent that is staying is considered good etiquette in order to give those wrestlers some added momentum or credibility in the fans' eyes at the departing wrestler's expense.
Double Juice (adj.) Means two wrestlers bladed [dfn.] during a given match. Can be expanded to "triple juice," etc.
Draw (n) 1. A time-limit match with no winner. 2. Insider term for cash payment night of show as an advance on the earned paycheck to be issued later; a per diem.
Drawing Power (n.): Having recognition with fans as a star, someone who fans pay to see. A wrestler with Drawing Power is considered a big enough star that when he is on an event, it draws more fans or viewers.
Dud (adj.): A poor match with nearly no redeeming value usually involving "Showing Light" and "Missed Spots," often the result of inexperienced wrestlers or lazy performances.
Dusty finish (n) To have an apparent pinfall in a match, usually counted by a second referee, only to have it overruled by the original referee, who usually was temporarily knocked out while the second referee counted a pinfall. (Although not a finish invented by Dusty Rhodes, it was used so often by Rhodes during his booking reigns that the finish [dfn.] has taken on his name.)
Enforcer (n) A legitimately tough wrestler with shooting [dfn.] skills, usually tight with the promoter, who would help get out-of-line wrestlers in check through stiff work in the ring, or threats of a locker room beatdown.
Face (n) Short for babyface [dfn.].
False Comeback (n) The point in a match where the babyface [dfn.] begins to regain offense only to quickly be stopped by heel; done to arouse heat [dfn.].
Feeding (v.): The heel's [dfn.] role during a babyface [dfn.] comeback [dfn.] where he runs at the babyface only to be repeatedly fended off, with the hope that the series of bumps [dfn.] by the heel will generate positive fan heat [dfn.] for the babyface. Babyface wrestlers like a "good feeder" (n.). A babyface can also feed the heel in hope of generating fan sympathy.
Feud (n) A feigned battle, usually a series of matches, between two or more wrestlers or teams meant to draw fans to an arena.
Fighting Champion (n.): A champion who defends his title often.
Finish (n) The ending to a match; can include a series of stock events that lead up to the pinfall, submission, disqualification, countout, or draw.
Finisher (n) Move that leads to end of match.
Flair Flip (n): A move, popularized by Ric Flair, where a wrestler when whipped into a corner turnbuckle, flips upside down and often ends up on the other side of the ropes on his feet on the ring apron.
Flat Back Bump (n): A bump [dfn.] in which a wrestler lands solidly on his back with high impact, spread over as much surface area as possible. It's considered professional to take Flat Back Bumps for an opponent, rather than land softly on the side or just drop to a knee, which is easier on the body, but doesn't make the opponent look as strong.
Foreign Object (n) An object foreign to a match; a weapon to be used to injure an opponent. (Sometimes jokingly called an "international object" stemming from Ted Turner's policy in the late-'80s of never referring to anything as "foreign," but rather to use the word "international," on television stations he owned; although primarily aimed at CNN, it was picked up by TBS wrestling announcers.)
Garbage Wrestling (n.): A term for the style of wrestling that incorporates frequent use of massive bleeding, foreign objects, gimmick stipulations, and brawling in and out of the ring without much traditional athleticism and ring psychology; a wrestling style that takes more "guts" and endurance for pain than practiced skill.
Gas (n) Steroids.
Gate (n) Amount of money generated from ticket sales.
Geek (v) Cut one's self.
Gig (v) To blade dfn.], to cut one's own forehead with a razor or another sharp object.
Gig Mark (n) A scar from blading.
Gimmick. (n) 1. The persona, usually artificially created, one has in order to draw fan interest. 2. Slang for a foreign object [dfn.].
Gimmicked (v) Slang for hitting someone with a foreign object [dfn.].(adj.) Indicates object has been altered, i.e. "gimmicked chair" would indicate it was altered to break easily when used as a weapon.
Gizzmo (n) Old term for gimmick [dfn.]
Glom (v) To stiff [dfn.] someone.
Go Home (v) Said by one wrestler to another, meaning to go to the finish of a match.
Go Over (v) To beat someone. (also, "put over")
Go Through (n): A time limit draw.
Going Bush (v) Moving from major league, full-time promotion to a regional or independent, i.e. "bush league"; an older term not used much today.
Good Hand (n): A wrestler who other wrestlers enjoy working with due to that wrestler being in total control during the match, not getting lost, and not working too stiff [dfn.] or too light [dfn.] Also called a "Steady Hand." Opposite is a "Poor Hand" or "Bad Hand."
Green Boy (n) Inexperienced wrestler.
Gusher (n) A deep, heavily bleeding cut, usually as a result of blading [dfn.]; severity of cut can be intended or unintended.
Handles (n) Names wrestlers use among themselves, sometime real names, usually not their ring names; an older term not often used today.
Hardway (adv.) A type of cut incurred without a razor blade, usually unintentionally.
Heat 1. (n) Crowd noise, usually means boos and jeers, although also refers to general crowd noise, including cheers and clapping. 2. (slang) To "have heat" is to be in poor standing with someone.
Heavy (n): A wrestler who is hard to lift, although not necessarily due to his size. A small wrestler who simply doesn't cooperate well in being lifted could be called heavy.
Heel (n) The "bad guy" or "villain." The performer whom the promoter books [dfn.] in the position of being booed.
Highspot (n) A move, usually aerial, that includes fast motion among two or more wrestlers; often risk is involved or at least perceived.
Hold Up (v) When a wrestler refuses to wrestle until he gets a payday bigger than originally agreed upon with the promoter.
Hood (n) Masked wrestler or the mask itself.
Hooker (n) A worker with legit wrestling and submission skills and a tough reputation, often an enforcer [dfn.] of a locker room. The title of being a "hooker" was earned only through years of proving ones self against other respected submission wrestlers. Antiquated term, replaced with the term "shooter."
Hope Spot (n.): While a babyface [dfn.] is being beaten on by the heel to generate heat [dfn.], he teases a comeback [dfn.] to raise fans' hope that he is making a full-fledged comeback, only to have the heel [dfn.] take over offense once again. A "hope spot" usually comes just a few seconds or minutes before a full-fledged babyface comeback.
Hot Move (n) A highspot (dfn.); a maneuver by a wrestler that is exciting.
Hotshot (n) When a promoter or booker rushes to a feud, a climax of a feud, or books a big match on TV instead of at a PPV or house shows, trying to get a short-term boost for business right away at the expense of greater revenues had patience been shown. Also applies to angles which are done for shock value rather than acting as part of a calculated ongoing storyline, also as an attempt to get a short-term boost in ratings or attendance, often at the expense of the long-term welfare of the company.
Hot Tag (n) When a battered babyface finally tags fresh partner.
House (n) Number of fans in building, can include non-paying fans.
House Show (n) 1. A card not taped for television. 2. An event in a town visited consistently by the given promotion.
Hype (v, n): The promotional efforts that are made to increase awareness and popular of wrestlers, organizations, or events.
Job (n) A planned, voluntary loss.
Jobber (n) Wrestler who loses, usually on television, to help image of pushed [dfn.] wrestler; preliminary wrestler; one who does jobs [dfn.]
Jobroni (n, slang) 1. Slang for jobber [dfn.] 2. Used to refer to wrestler with a push [dfn.] who has done several jobs [dfn.] lately. 3. A general derogatory term for someone, akin to calling someone a "loser."
Juice (v) To cut oneself in order to draw blood, usually from the forehead. (n) 1. Blood. 2. Slang for steroids or other muscle-enhancing drugs.
Kay Fabian (n):Slang term for a mark [dfn.] (See also, Kayfabe).
Kayfabe, Ka-Fabe (n, v, adj) Dating back to carnival days, this word is used in many contexts, generally referring to the protecting of industry "secrets." It's believed to originate from the word "fake" being inverted and turned into Carny [dfn.] The word is often said by one in the business to indicate everyone around him should stop talking openly because someone not privy to the inner-workings of the business just entered a room. To "kayfabe someone" is to withhold information from them. Originally in carnivals, the term was yelled to signal trouble.
Lead Ass (n., adj.,v.): A wrestler who is uncooperative in the ring. A "lead ass" wrestler will "lead ass" his opponent in the ring.
Lemming (n): A short-tailed, furry rodent known for its peculiar habit of committing mass suicide by hurling itself - along with hundreds of other lemmings - over steep cliffs and into the ocean, in essence committing mass suicide for no apparent reason other than every other lemming is doing it, too. In the world of pro wrestling, the term "lemming" began in the 1980s, referring to the WWF's large percentage of relatively uninformed, somewhat gullable, and blindly loyal fans unaware of other wrestling products in the U.S. and the world. In the 1990s, a "lemming" is a term bestowed on narrow-minded, blindly faithful fans for any promotion, not just the WWF.
Light (adv.): To work "light" or "lightly" is to give the appearance to the audience of not laying in one's punches and kicks hard or in general trying to be too easy on one's opponent. Considered derogatory.
Load (v.): 1. To place a foreign object to an article of clothing (boot, elbow pad, knee pad, boot, etc.) to give the impression that the subsequent move will inflict more damage on an opponent. 2. To use more top-name wrestlers than usual on an event to help increase the attractiveness of the event to customers, "to load a card."
Loose (adj.) To work loose is to be a wrestler who applies holds and moves with less force than average; considered a positive in most situations. Opposite of tight [dfn.]
Lucha Libre (v., adj.): Literally means "free fighting" in Spanish, now most often used as the term to describe the Mexican style of wrestling which consists of high-flying acrobatic moves, wrestlers often wearing masks, different tag rules than in the U.S. and Japan where tags aren't necessary to switch who is officially in the ring, and a preponderance of six-man tag matches as opposed to one-on-one matches. Traditional Lucha Libre wrestlers worked from the right side of the body rather than the left, which is used throughout most of the rest of the world. In order to be more compatible with the predominant world style, most of today's lucha libre wrestlers are able to Work from the Left Side [dfn.]
Lucha Ring (n.): Usually referring to a ring built for the Mexican style of wrestling in which hard bumps [dfn.] or flat back bumps [dfn.] aren't often taken, but acrobatic, low-impact moves are dominant in the match, so the surface is made of hard wood boards supported by steel bars with little give. This favors balance over padding. The opposite of a Bump Ring [dfn.].
Manager (n): A performer, most often a heel, who acts on air and at live events as a business associate for a wrestler. The manager is ostensibly in charge of the wrestlers business, contract, and travel matters, but is actually utilized by the promotion to cut promos for the wrestler and interfere on his behalf at ringside, thus helping him get heel heat [dfn.]. A manager is rarely actually involved in the off-camera dealings of the wrestler, although that's not always the case. For instance, Jim Cornette acted as a travel aid for wrestlers he managed over the years and Paul Ellering handled the business dealings of the Road Warriors early in their careers.
Mark. (n) 1. A person who believes wrestling matches to be real. Dates back to wrestling's roots in carnivals where the targets of carnival scams were referred to as "marks." Some sources say in the carnival days, when an operator of a scam spotted a real sucker, he would mark his back with a piece of chalk, thus literally "marking" the "mark." Other sources say the term comes from the idea of "hitting the mark" successfully, with the idea being the scam was aimed at the vulnerable sucker, and when it worked, it hit the "mark." 2. A fan of or participant in the wrestling industry who believes in whole or in part that any aspect of the wrestling industry is more important than making money (i.e. a wrestler could be referred to as a mark by a promoter or other wrestlers for being preoccupied with fan-perception (such as holding a title belt) more than being concerned with being paid what he is worth.); (n, slang) A person who believes they are an expert on the wrestling business based on limited knowledge of the inner-workings of the sport; derogatory.
Mark Out. (v, slang) To enthusiastically be into an angle [dfn.] or match as if you were "a mark"; to suspend one's disbelief for the sake of enjoying to a greater extent a match or an angle [dfn.].
Marriage (n) 1. A feud [dfn.] between two wrestlers or teams. 2. A series of matches that goes to each town in which a promotion runs live events, sometimes more than once in each town, until the feud is finished.
Marshmallow (n) A fat wrestler; old, rarely used term.
Mic Work (v.): The art of speaking, of giving Promos [dfn.]
Mid-Carder (n.) A wrestler who wrestles in the middle of events, is seen as being higher in seniority than a Preliminary Wrestler [dfn..], but less than a Money Draw [dfn.]
Missed Spot (n.): A move in which the timing is off and an injury could have or did happen or it Showed Light [dfn.]
Mizark (n, slang): The carny [dfn.] slang term for mark [dfn.]
Money Mark (n): A promoter who invests his own money in a wrestling promotion in order to get close to wrestlers and feel as if he is part of the wrestling industry. Wrestlers often pretend to be friends with the Money Mark, but snicker behind his back about fleecing him.
Money Match (n.): A match that is placed near the end of a live event which was most heavily promoted and is believed to be the main reason fans attended the event or watched the match on TV.
Monster Heel (n.): A Heel [dfn.] who dominates his opponents and is well above average in size.
Mouthpiece (n) An on-camera manager.
Novelty Acts (n.): Beginning in the depression era of the early 1930s, "usual" or "freakish" performers were hired to perform on events to add extra incentive for fans to attend, such as giant wrestler, midgets, "hillbillies," hairy beasts, grotesque or deformed people, or literally trained animals (such as "Man vs. Bear" matches). Novelty Acts rarely stayed in one territory for long since their appeal was seeing them in person once, but not repeatedly.
No-sell (v.): To stop selling [dfn.] a move or moves of your opponent in order to give the impression you are invincible at that moment (i.e. Hulk Hogan's "superman comeback" [dfn.] at the end of his matches, Jerry Lawler after pulling down his strap, Road Warrior Hawk throughout much of his typical match).
No-show (v) To not show up for a scheduled appearance, can refer either to a promoter falsely booking a wrestler or a wrestler missing a scheduled appearance.
Office (n) 1. The headquarters of a wrestling promotion. 2. Slang for the promoter and office workers, source of decisions that affect wrestlers on the road.
Outlaw Promotion (n.): A wrestling organization that runs against an established promoter in a certain territory. During the days where there were dozens of established territories, promoters outside a territory would often send a top wrestler to a fellow promoter to help him battle an Outlaw Promotion's attempt to compete in or take over his territory.
Over (adj.) Popular with intended audience.
Paper (v) To give away tickets to an event, often done to fill seats for television tapings.
Paying Dues (v) General term for gaining experience and showing respect toward veterans; includes in-ring experience, long drives, hard work for low pay.
Pencil (n) A booker [dfn.] or promoter.
Phantom Bump (v.): When a referee or wrestler takes a bump even though the move they are selling [dfn.] showed a bunch of a light [dfn.].
Phantom Foreign Object (n.): When a wrestler pretends to have a foreign object (see Shakespeare [dfn.])
Plant (n) A person - sometimes a wrestler, office employee, or friend or relative of employee - in audience who feigns being a fan and participates in angle [dfn.]. Can also be a star or athlete.
Policeman (n) A wrestler skillful or strong enough to enforce a promoter's wishes; able and willing to shoot [dfn.] to make a point with unruly opponent; somewhat outdated today.
Pop. (v) A rise, usually cheering or booing, out of the crowd.
Popcorn Match (n.): The match right after intermission on a house show that is meant to provide the least incentive for fans to rush back to their seats and stop buying merchandise or concessions. Usually the match is filled with rest holds involving wrestlers fans don't currently care passionately about, or mid-carders who turn it down a notch. A wrestler with a nagging injury who can't work at 100 percent may be placed in the Popcorn Match position in order to give him an easy night of work to reduce the odds of aggravating the injury.
Post (v) To ram opponent's head into the steel ring post or similar object.
Potato (v) To legitimately, either accidentally or on purpose, hit or execute a move with force on opponent.
Preliminary Match (n.): A match held early on the card, usually not a Money Match [dfn.]. Often Dark Matches [dfn.] are considered Preliminary Matches.
Preliminary Wrestler (n.): A wrestler who wrestles early on events and isn't involved in Money Matches [dfn.], often a younger wrestler or a wrestler who is older but without Drawing Power [dfn.] and whose role is to help younger wrestler with potential to be Draws get better.
Program (n) Same as feud [dfn.] or marriage [dfn.], including matches, interviews, and angles [dfn.].
Promo (n.): 1. A speech, statement, or interview by a wrestler or other performer to try to sell his match to the viewing audience. 2. A vignette or short video hyping an upcoming match or highlighting a certain wrestler.
Promoter (n.) Usually refers to the head of a wrestling company, although can refer to regional promoters who help the head of a company promote events.
Promotion 1. (n) A wrestling company. 2. (v) Hype for an event.
Pullapart Brawl (n) A brawl involving an original batch of combatants and several more wrestlers from the locker room who intended to either take sides or break up the original brawl.
Push (v) The act of a wrestler being promoted on television and through other means in order to give that wrestler popularity or recognition, usually through victories, interviews, and television features.
Put Over (v) 1. To be "put over" is to get the pinfall victory. To "put someone over" is to get pinned. 2. To compliment someone.
Rat (n.): See "Ringrat."
Receipt (n) Used in the context of a shoot or a work, the act of gaining justified revenge, i.e. doing something that if it weren't a retaliatory tactic would be seen as being wrong.
Red. (n) Blood.
Red Means Green (phrase): A old phrase used to point out that wrestlers who bled would often get a bigger payoff from a promoter if he was willing to blade [dfn.] and bleed. Term made famous when it was featured on the 1983 ABC "20/20" story by John Stossell exposing the inner workings of pro wrestling.
Ref Bump (n.): When the referee takes a bump [dfn.] at a specified time in a match so a wrestler or manager, usually a heel, can commit an illegal move against his opponent. The referee usually remains stunned just long enough for the illegal act to take place.
Rest Hold (n) A hold that takes place during a match that gives wrestlers time to breathe between highspots, applied lightly, without pressure.
Rib (v, n): A practical joke, prank, or teasing aimed at a wrestler for laughs or to get across a point. A veteran wrestler may rib a rookie as a type of initiation, or a locker room leader may rib a disruptive force to send a message. Ribs can be light-hearted fun (common ribs are locking someone's bag handles shut with a padlock and rubbing hair removal cream on their eyebrows while sleeping on a plane) or serious (such as defecating in their bag while they are in the ring or at ringside).
Ring Rat (n.): A woman who hangs around arenas and hotels after wrestling cards looking to go to bed with wrestlers.
Rizat (n, slang): The carny [dfn.] slang term for "ring rat" [dfn.]
Road Agent (n) Employee who travels with wrestlers and oversees execution of house shows.
Run In (v) When a babyface Saves [dfn.] a colleague from an unfair attack by a heel or when a heel interferes in a match to save his colleague from being defeated fairly by a babyface.
Run-In (n.): The act of interfering in a match or running to the ring when you're not officially part of the match.
Sandbag (n.): To make another wrestler look bad by not cooperating as much with their moves, making your body "heavier" in an attempt to make the opponent look weaker and ineffective. A younger wrestler with a big push who is developing an ego problem may be sent a message by a "policeman" [dfn.] to send a message that their opponent and the promoter are truly in charge of the fans' perception of their power and skills.
Schmoz (n) A crowd of wrestlers during a pullapart [dfn.] brawl; general chaos meant to conclude an angle or match without having to book anything intricate.
Screwjob (adj.) A finish with controversial ending, usually upsetting fans, often inconclusive or unsatisfying; often a reversal against the babyface (derogatory).
Scripted (n.): A more mainstream term for Worked [dfn.], meaning preplanned, as in the case of a match, angle, or interview.
Sell (v) To act as if you have been on the receiving end of a legitimate wrestling or fighting maneuver, both in motion and in facial expression.
Shakespeare (v.): The lost art of pretending to have a foreign object that the wrestler "hides" on himself and keeps out of sight from the referee, which is "used" to inflect damage on his opponent when in fact there is no object. It was used decades ago to draw crowd heat [dfn.] and keep the referee busy, but it is rarely used today.
Sheets (n) Slang for industry trade journals, newsletters, results bulletins, fanzines, and fan club bulletins; often used in a derogatory tone. (Of those publications, those which contain "insider" information are also referred to as "kayfabe sheets." Derogatory terms include "dirt sheets," "rag sheets," and "scandal sheets.")
Shill (n): Term for a blindly loyal or biased fan or employee of a wrestling company whose inability to criticize or disagree with anything that person's favorite promotion does ultimately negates their credibility.
Shoot (n, adj.) 1. A work [dfn.] that becomes a legitimate wrestling contest or fight. 2. (v, slang) To legitimately hit or hurt one's opponent on purpose. 3. (adj.) A comment with some truth behind it.
Shooter (n) One who shoots [dfn.] using amateur wrestling skills.
Showing Light (v) Because of flawed execution, to unintentionally expose to fans that a maneuver did not connect, i.e. someone throwing a punch which the opponent sells [dfn.] when the punch did not come close to hitting the opponent.
Smark (n) A relatively new slang term for a fan who believes he or she is "smart" [dfn.] based on a certain amount of inside knowledge, but is perceived by someone else (usually someone within the industry) to be less informed than the fan himself or herself believes; combination of the words smart and mark [dfn.].
Smart (n) A person who has knowledge of the inner-workings of the wrestling business.
Soft (adj.) See "loose."
Spot (n) A wrestling move or series of moves.
Spot Show (n) A wrestling event held in a town not visited on a consistent basis.
Spuds (n): A slang term used to describe a match with a lot of potatoes [dfn.], i.e. "Spuds were flying all over the ring in that match."
Squash 1. (n, adj.) A mismatch, usually on television designed to put over [dfn.] a pushed [dfn.] wrestler who dominates offense and beats opponent, usually a jobber [dfn.]. 2. (v) To dominate offense and win a match.
Stiff 1. (adj.) To hit harder or execute holds and moves with more force than most; one who "works [dfn.] tight." 2. (v) When a promoter doesn't pay a wrestler or when a wrestler takes an advance payment and doesn't show up at the card [dfn.]
Stocking (n) Old term for masked wrestler.
Stooge 1. (n) Anyone who informs promoter of something wrestlers would prefer to be kept secret, often another wrestler or referee. 2. (v) To tell on someone. 3. (n.) An underling associate of a heel wrestler who does the "dirty work" for that wrestler.
Strap (n) Championship belt.
Stretch (v) To use a legitimate and painful amateur wrestling hold.
Stretched (v) To be injured, sometimes intentionally by opponent; also refers to a worked [dfn.] injury.
Stretchered (v) To be carried out on a stretcher while feigning an injury suffered during a match or an angle.
Strong Style Wrestling (n) A form of worked [dfn.] wrestling found in Japan that stresses realistic-looking action at the expense of highspots [dfn.]. Sometimes called "shooting," although that's rarely an accurate account of the matches it is referring to.
Submission Hold. (n) 1. A hold that fans believe can lead to the finish of a match via submission. 2. A hold that is meant to invoke high emotion due to being complicated and more devastating-looking than a common resthold.
Superman Comeback (n.): To begin no-selling [dfn.] your opponent's moves during your comeback giving the aura of invincibility in order to generate positive fan heat.
Swerve (n) 1. A joke pulled by one wrestler on another. 2. A false report by a wrestler or promoter to another wrestler or promoter or a member of the press.
Switch the Heat (v) To pass blame.
Territory (n) 1. The area in which a given promotion runs wrestling matches and airs its television show. 2. Slang for actual territorial wrestling promotion.
Tight (adj To work tight is to be a wrestler who applies holds and moves with more force than average; realistic. Can be a negative or positive quality, depending on the style the opponent prefers. Opposite of loose [dfn.], soft [dfn.]
Tope (v) Flying move over top rope from inside the ring to floor (pronounced toe-pay).
Trust (n) An alliance among regional promotions.
Turn (v) To change one's persona from heel [dfn.] to babyface [dfn.] or from babyface to heel.
Tweener. (n) One who is neither a babyface [dfn.] nor a heel [dfn.], or one who is in the process of turning [dfn.] from one to the other.
Work. (n) 1. A rationalized lie. 2. Predetermined outcome. (v) To lie, deceive, or mislead someone. 3. (v) To skillfully wrestle or act out storylines to make fans believe what they are seeing is impromptu genuine battle or arguing.
Work the Left Side (v.): The style of wrestling where most moves are executed on the left side of the opponent and to the opponent's left side. Originally wrestlers agreed to Work the Left Side so that when their opponent made their Comebacks [dfn.], they could do so believably with their right arm at full strength. Working the Left Side is predominant worldwide now, but before the 1990s, in Mexico, it was most common for wrestlers to Work the Right Side. Because of problems adapting to international matches, most contemporary wrestlers out of Mexico know how to Work the Left Side, or work from both side.
Worker (n) Wrestler. Context is usually positive.
Workrate (n) The pace of a match and the skill level exhibited therein.
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Special thanks to many wrestlers who asked not to be named but helped with this list originally and who have since made suggestions (which have been implemented) to make the list more accurate or exhaustive.
Sources used for antiquated terminology:
-Wrestling Eye magazine's 1985 article on wrestling terminology history.
-"Fall Guys" by Marcus Griffin (1937, The Relly & Lee Co., Chicago).
-"Whatever Happened to Gorgeous George" by Joe Jares (1974, Prentice Hall International).
Thanks also to the following PWTorch.com readers for their suggestions on terms not listed in our original website publishing of this list in 2000: Travis Pawlium, Steve Slagle, John Stout, Octavio Fierros, Matt Smith, Clint Lehnhoff, John J. Junkins, and Brian Rathjen.