PWTorch Style Guide and Formatting Conventions for Contributors


Growing up reading newsstand wrestling magazines, one thing that really stood out to me was the professionalism of the style that Pro Wrestling Illustrated and its affiliated magazines had compared to their competitors, who often had freelance articles articles that didn’t fit the typical presentation of how to format names, match results, and titles. That always stuck with me as something important, and it was further emphasized in my journalism classes in college. It’s a service to the reader for one article to the next within a single publication to honor certain conventions of formatting.

The following is PWTorch’s decades-in-the-making best attempt at guiding you to follow our style. Some of the decisions I’ve made might seem arbitrary. They often are, because sometimes you just have to pick one format from several choices and go with it to avoid a sense of randomness and an overall unprofessional scattershot vibe.

Other times, there is a good reason, either for the sake of clarity for the reader or visually just looking better on the printed page or screen, if all else is equal. In most situations which apply more generally to all writing and not situations specific to pro wrestling, I follow the Associated Press Style.

You can get a good overview of their time-tested recommendations that most journalists follow HERE. Professionals in the field have agonized over these decisions which would probably bore 98 percent of you to tears to come up with. That said, this mix of logical and sometimes arbitrary rules serve the reader well if we adhere to them.

-Wade Keller, editor


Some TV reporters post directly to the website using Word Press. Other contributors email in their articles and we post them.

If you email us your reports, please send as both an attachment and as text pasted into the email. Depending on your software and your settings, there can be excessive code and formatting that Word Press doesn’t interpret the same way it looks on your screen, so the more “stripped down” and basic your report is, usually the better. We will learn whether the attached document or the email text works better for us when cutting and pasting into Word Press for formatting.

Send your reports to

At the beginning of TV reports, please use all caps and this format:

JULY 10, 2019

If it’s recorded, indicate it’s recorded with the date, so like this:

JULY 10, 2019 (Recorded 7/9)

Bold this section if you can.

If you are posting directly in Word Press, please choose from the “Paragraph” drop menu the “Heading 3” style instead. You should see that drop menu at the top left of the main text field you are paste or type your report into. It will increase the size of the header to look like this…

JULY 10, 2019 (Recorded 7/9)

When listing match numbers, use this format:



Not this format

1 –

2 –

Not this format:



Not this format:



Always use the full name of anyone in a match listing, even if you have referred to their full name in the text earlier in a TV report. So if Jon Moxley is referenced from a promo early in a TV report, still list him this way in the match report:




When listing people at ringside, always place them in parenthesis. Don’t put spaces before or after the “/”. It looks better, and it prevents an awkward line-break after the “/” on computer screens if the reference comes near the right edge of the screen.

CORRECT: Lance Archer (w/Jake Roberts)

INCORRECT: Lance Archer (w/ Jake Roberts)

CORRECT: NIGHTMARE COLLECTION (Dustin Rhodes & Q.T. Marshall w/Brandi Rhodes)

INCORRECT: NIGHTMARE COLLECTION (Dustin Rhodes & Q.T. Marshall) w/Brandi Rhodes

Do NOT use all caps in parenthesis when clarify wrestlers in a tag team.


(1) THE NEW DAY (Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston)



Throughout the report, write in past tense, not current tense. Since you aren’t broadcasting commentary on something happening “live” at this very second, you are writing for someone read somewhere between one minute and several days (or even years!) later. So it’s part of the past. This applies even if you are writing a report on a live TV show or PPV broadcast and posting it right away.


Kenny Omega suplexed Cody.


Kenny Omega suplexes Cody


MJF yelled at Tony Schiavone


MJF yells at Tony Schiavone.

In TV reports, please indicate a commercial break this way: [c]

Put it right at the end of the final segment before the break. Don’t use other formats such as (c) or [break], etc.

Please do indicate when there are commercial breaks. Please also note when it’s on a split-screen by saying so in the last sentence before the break is indicated. “They cut to a commercial, but stayed with the action on split-screen.”

When listing matches, put the incumbent champion first. You can indicate who the champion is with a (c) after their name.

Also, please indicate in the results the outcome this way:

WINNER: Moxley in 23:00 to retain the AEW World Hvt. Title.

So list the winner, the rounded length, and note which title was retained.Do not needlessly write that a match is a “six-man tag team match.” That’s also self-evident from the fact that you listed three wrestlers vs. three wrestlers. Same applies to a Triple Threat or three-way match. It’s self-evident if there are three wrestlers or teams listed all facing each other.

Format a match as follows:

(1) NEW DAY (Kofi Kingston & Big E w/Xavier Woods) vs. LUCHA HOUSE PARTY (Lince Dorado & El Metalik) – WWE Smackdown Tag Team Title match

Then include match details after skipping a line. Then list the match result this way:

WINNER: New Day in 12:00.

Please always include estimated match time rounded up to the nearest minute, roughly. If it goes 12:03, then 12:00 is fine. If it goes around 12:25, just round up to 13:00. This isn’t anything to sweat over. If it’s a 12:45 match and you estimate 14:00 or 11:00, that’s fine.

If you list exact match times to the second, then say “at 11:34,” not “in 11:34.” You’re noting the exactly second of the finish, so it happened “at” that point, not “in” that timeframe.

Don’t skip estimated match times. It’s one of the most important pieces of information to convey to the reader, perhaps in some cases more important than who won or what the finishing move was. Match time allotment says a lot about the confidence the promoter had in the ability to hold an audience. If someone beats someone in four minutes, that’s a completely different situation that beating them 16 minutes.

When a title is at stake in match, list it this way. (Please bold it if you are posting directly within Word Press)

(1) RIC FLAIR vs. RICKY “THE DRAGON” STEAMBOAT – NWA World Hvt. Title match

-Capitalize all the words associated with a complete description of the title at stake, but not the word “match.”

-It’s fine to list a nickname or not list a nickname. There’s no hard and fast rule. However, if a nickname isn’t firmly attached to the wrestler’s name, skip it. For instance, “The Enigma” Jeff Hardy isn’t necessary nor is “The Viper” Randy Orton. Those are nicknames, but not as commonly attached to the wrestler’s name as “Nature Boy” Ric Flair or Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Don’t overdo it or feel obligated to include nicknames. Skipping them is almost always totally fine.

When listing the result of a title match, mention that at the end.

WINNER: Moxley in 12:00 to retain the AEW World Hvt. Title.

Put a period at the end.

Abbreviate “Heavyweight” this way: “Hvt.”

At the end of TV reports or live event reports, please give some final thoughts and format like this:


FINAL THOUGHTS: This event exceeded expectations….


Final thoughts: This event exceeded expectations…


Overall thoughts: This event exceeded expectations…


When listing teams in a match heading or when speaking about a collective action or statistic by a team, link them together with the “&” symbol, not “and.”

EXAMPLE: Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson have won many tag team titles.

EXAMPLE, ALSO CORRECT: Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson are two wrestlers who formed the best tag team of the 1980s.

In the first example, while you’re using the plural “are” not “is,” you’re still speaking of them for collective actions. In the second example, you’re speaking of them as individuals.

When listing more than two wrestlers teaming together, link all of them with “&” symbols for clarity instead of using commas, as you would in a typical listing of people.

EXAMPLE: Big E & Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods, not Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods.

The second incorrect version indicates Big E as a singles wrestler followed by a collective team of Kingston and Woods. That is confusing. Just link everyone in a team for a match, no matter how many, with “&” symbols.

On first reference to any wrestler in a report or article, always refer to anyone by their full name. Never list them by only their last name, no matter how obvious you think it is. Exceptions are if a wrestler is almost always referred to only by one word and their first or last name has essentially been dropped (for better or for worse). For example, Trent Beretta is now just Trent.

On subsequent references, you can use their first or last name, but be consistent. Don’t switch back and forth “for variety’s sake.” Variety isn’t important in writing in this way. Consistency and clarity is important.

So if you choose to refer to Seth Rollins as “Seth” after the first reference, do your best to stick with that; don’t switch between “Seth” and “Rollins” on purpose.

Be sure not to usually refer to men by their last names and women by their first names. The best rule is to refer to them as they are most commonly referred. So “Kenny” for Kenny Omega is perfectly fine, as is “Becky” for Becky Lynch. For Dustin Rhodes, it’s best to refer to him as “Dustin” to avoid confusion with Cody.

When referring to a wrestler’s initials, always use periods.



Exception: This does not apply to three letter acronyms for companies or groups:







If someone has a conventional made up name that isn’t their legal birth name, such as Steve Austin as his “stage name” instead of Steve Williams (his legal birth name), of course don’t put quote marks around it. But do put quote marks around the nickname.

CORRECT: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

INCORRECT: Stone Cold Steve Austin

CORRECT: Jake Roberts or Jake “The Snake” Roberts

INCORRECT: Jake the Snake Roberts

When referring to a multi-person match, spell out letters and use a dash. The same goes for counts in an attempted pinfall.


Eight-man tag match


8-Man tag match


Fatal Four-way


Fatal 4-Way




Tiger Mask scored a two-count on Dynamite Kid.


Tiger Mask scored a 2 count on Dynamite Kid.

Don’t let your computer’s auto-correct divide common compound words in pro wrestling into two separate words. Grammar and conventions in a specific industry often have terms that are written differently than in common language.


He got up after being bodyslammed.


He got up after being body slammed.


He got up after being body-slammed.

Dates should always be formatted as follows:

CORRECT: July 10, 2020

INCORRECT: July 10th, 2020

INCORRECT: 10 July 2020

If using numbers, use slashes.

CORRECT: 7/10/2020

INCORRECT: 7-10-2020

When referring to specific titles or championships, capitalize the entire name:

CORRECT: WWE Smackdown Tag Team Titles.

INCORRECT: WWE Smackdown tag team titles.

When speaking more generally about titles, user lowercase:

“The most WWE championships that any male wrestler has ever held is 14. The most prestigious is the WWE Title, followed closely by the WWE Universal Title. Among WWE’s secondary championships, the Intercontinental Title is the one with the most prestige. Of the other WWE secondary titles, the WWE U.S. Title is a close second.”

When referring to women’s title, it is not necessary to state it’s a women’s title. It’s okay, but it’s also self-evident, as it’s rare for a woman to hold a men’s title. Since we don’t indicate Drew McIntyre holds the WWE men’s title because that’s also self-evident, skippng the extra word (women’s) is fine.

EXAMPLE: “Bayley defended the Smackdown Title successfully.”

Do you succumb to unconventional stylized use of capital letters in wrestlers or companies or show titles. Companies can do whatever they want to brand themselves, but with rare exception (iPhone, for instance), journalists not on payroll and not part of their public relations or marketing department should stick to stand formatting. It can get ridiculous and look silly in writing.


Impact Wrestling


iMPACT! Wrestling






Monday Night Raw


Monday Night RAW





There is one exception to this – WrestleMania. Capitalize the “M” in Mania since “Wrestle” and “Mania” are two distinct words that are brought together for the sake of the naming of the event. (I don’t love that I made this exception, by the way, as it’s a little iffy, but for the sake of consistency I’m sticking with it). It makes more sense than saying “Smack” and “Down” are separate things. They’re not, and it’s odd that WWE capitalizes “D” in “down.” As with the words “letdown” or “sundown,” it’s common to create a single word with “down” at the end.

Even when wrestlers capitalize all the letters in their names, use conventional formatting. (I can be talked out of this if there’s a cultural reason to break from our conventions that justifies going with all caps. If it’s a case of “Hey, it’d be cool if I capitalized my name. It’ll stand out more!” that’s not a reason to go with it. If it’s an acronym or going all upper case has a cultural or symbolic significance, an exception can be made.)



CORRECT: Yoshi-Hashi



-Almost always avoid the word “myself.” Do not be shy about saying “me” or “I.”

CORRECT: Dave and I will hosting a podcast later.

INCORRECT: Myself and Dave will be hosting a podcast later.

CORRECT: Don’t be too critical of Dave and me just because we liked a match that most didn’t.

INCORRECT: Don’t be too critical of myself and Dave just because we liked a match that most didn’t.

Tip: When deciding what pronoun to use for yourself, remove the reference to the other person. These examples sounds “right.”

EXAMPLE: [Dave and] I will be hosting a podcast later.

EXAMPLE: Don’t be too critical of [Dave and] me just because we liked a match that most didn’t.

This example sounds “wrong.”

EXAMPLE: Myself [and Dave] will be hosting a podcast later.

Obviously, you’d say “I will be hosting a podcast later.” So when adding someone else, of course the rule is to put their name first and yours at the end, with the same pronoun for yourself that you’d use if you weren’t mentioning anyone else.

So when is it correct to use the word “myself”? Almost never, but it’s when you’re taking an action that affects you directly.

“I hit myself in the arm to see how much it would hurt.”

“When I’m in the woods, by myself, I get scared.”

Please use an oxford comma. This is a top debate among grammar nerds.

CORRECT: “Apple, bananas, and strawberries are great ingredients for a smoothie.”

CORRECT: “My favorite sandwiches are turkey and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, and grilled cheese.”

INCORRECT: “My favorite sandwiches are turkey and cheese, peanut butter and jelly and grilled cheese.”

CORRECT: Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, and Randy Savage are top stars of the 1990s.

“Try and do” is not correct.

“Try to do” is correct.

The phrase with “and” in it directly indicates the attempt was successfully accomplished. “I tried and saved the person drowning.” In that case, it has needless words. Of course you tried. You didn’t save them by accident. So tighten up the language to: “I saved the drowning victim.” However, if the person drowned, you wouldn’t say you both tried to save him *and* saved him, so “I tried and saved him” is wrong. You mean instead, “I tried to save him.” People tend to shy away from “tried to ____” because often the word “to” is right before “tried” and the two “t” words back-to-back can trip people up, so they say “and” or shorten it just “n.” Don’t write like people in correctly talk. Example: “To try to write clearly is a noble cause; good luck with that. To try and write clearly is quite an achievement; congratulations!.”

When paragraphs get too long, just find a decent place to break it up. Generally, about eight lines of text on a standard computer screen is the max, especially when you consider how many lines that will become when viewed on a narrow phone screen.

Always use the numeral for any number higher than 10. Spell out the number for any number under ten.

EXAMPLE: Charlotte kicked out at two, but then hit 25 roundkicks to the chest of Banks. Banks went down and rolled to the floor. The referee got to the count of eight before she re-entered the ring. Charlotte then chopped Banks in the chest 14 times.

It’s a six-man tag, not a 6-man tag. But it’s a 30-man battle royal, not a 30-man battle royal. It’s a three count, not a 3 count.


Never use a dash where it touches one letter or word on the left but not the right. That’s very likely a situation calling for a colon.

WRONG: Daniel Bryan- Wrestler of the Year Candidate.

RIGHT: Daniel Bryan: Wrestler of the Year Candidate.

OR: Daniel Bryan – Wrestler of the Year Candidate.

Never use the percent sign in writing. Always write out the word.

CORRECT: Raw drew 25 percent fewer viewers than Smackdown.

INCORRECT: Raw drew 25% fewer viewers than Smackdown.

Instead of saying “post-match,” say “after the show.”


After the match, Masked Superstar attacked Bruiser Brody with brass knuckles.


Post-match, Masked Superstar attacked Bruiser Brody with brass knuckles.

An example of an exception where “post-match” would make sense to use: “The post-match antics of Robert Stone have become excessive in recent weeks.” Use “post-match” as an adjective, not a noun.

The phrase “begging the question” is commonly misused. Begging the question means that a suggested answer to a question is just a way of restating the question. A good example is that Roman Reigns once replied to criticism that he has been overpushed by saying that he deserves to get a big push because he has headlined so many WrestleManias. He presented evidence that the other side would use to prove their point and presented it as if that disputed their point, and in a sense he just restated the criticism in a slightly different way, since being pushed too hard and headlining WrestleMania are the same thing, and using a history of headlining WrestleMania as some sort of rebuttal that he deserves his big push is ridiculous. And it is an example of “begging the question.”

Begging the question can be summed as “arguing in a circle.” For instance: “The iPhone is the most popular phone because more people want it than any other.” That doesn’t explain why more people are buying it or why it’s popular since those are one in the same. “The iPhone is the most popular phone because it’s the best value for the money, is reliable, looks great, and has the best operating system” is a valid statement that doesn’t beg the question because it explains why it’s popular; it doesn’t just say it’s popular in two different ways.

So, when something happens that prompts you to wonder about something and ask a question, that is not “begging the question.” That’s more aptly described as “sparking a curiosity” or “prompts a question.” Something that prompts one to wonder about something is not begging the question.

The abbreviation for etcetera is “etc.” It is pronounced “et-cet-er-a.” There is no “eck” sound in it. (You’re probably thinking of the pain med Excedrin or the word “excessive.”)

When listing a year, either use the full year such as 2020 or 1987 or abbreviate to the last two digits, but if you do, put an apostrophe before the first number. So 1987 abbreviates to ’87. The 1980s are the ’80s, not the 80’s. An “apostrophe-s” indicates possession or a missing letter in its place (such as “cannot’ becomes “can’t” with the apostrophe in place of the “n” and “o.” So the apostrophe before ’87 is indicating the “1” and “9” are missing.


Use the word “fewer” when you can count something in individual increments. (“There were fewer chess pieces in the box than last time. That made me less interested in playing.”)

Use the word “less” when you can’t count or it’d be laborious and unusual to count (i.e. “less sugar,” not “fewer sugar.”)

-If you can count something with integers (1, 2, 3…. 350, 351, etc.), use the term “fewer” not “less.” You cannot have “less people in a crowd.” You have “fewer people in a crowd.” You can have “less crowd noise” because crowd noise cannot be measured by counting 1, 2, 3… etc.

CORRECT: “There were fewer people in this year’s battle royal than last year.”

INCORRECT: “There were less people in this year’s battle royal than last year.”

CORRECT: “There were fewer highspots in this match than I thought there would be.”

INCORRECT: “There were less highspots in this match than I thought there would be.”

CORRECT: “There were fewer matches on this year’s WrestleMania than last year.”

INCORRECT: “There were less matches on this year’s WrestleMania than last year.”

These are examples of how “less” should be used…

CORRECT: “On his back there is less acne and fewer pimples, since the last time we saw him.” (Acne is more or a mass area of blemishes and pimples are single things that can be counted.)

CORRECT: “He showed less intensity.”

INCORRECT (of course!): “He showed fewer intensity.”

CORRECT: “He has less body fat than before his injury.”

When abbreviating states, don’t use the two capital letter postal codes. Those were created by the post office to be read quickly and easily by scanners or workers who memorize them. Instead, use the abbreviations that newspapers have used for decades, which can be found HERE.


Minnesota is Minn., not MN

California is Calif., not CA

When listing just the state, spell it out. When writing the state after the city, then use the abbreviation.


“I traveled to Nevada yesterday.”


“I traveled to Nev. yesterday.”


“I traveled to Las Vegas, Nev. yesterday.”


“I traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada yesterday.”

Do not refer to women as “girls” either in print or on podcasts. In a professional environment, it’s not our place as reporters to refer to a grown adult by a term technically reserved for someone under age 18 (“high school girls basketball” vs. “women’s college basketball”). If you wouldn’t refer to a male person as a “boy,” don’t refer to a female person as a “girl.” Be consistent. In casual conversation or familiar setting among peers, “girl” is a suitable female version of “guy,” but not in a professional setting such as a publication reporting on someone or a podcast covering the industry.

Do not use the term “ladies” for a woman unless you would also use the term “gentlemen” in the same context for a man. It’s overly formal and sounds antiquated. Same for “lady” and “gentleman.” When in doubt, stick with “men” and “women” for adult gender-based pronouns.

The term “female” is an adjective, not a noun. Bayley is not “a female.” She is “female” or “a female person.” Someone can’t be “a male.” They are “male” or “a male person.”


“A female wrestler was often overlooked for her in-ring talent and instead judged on her looks.”


“A female was often overlooked for her in-ring talent and instead judged on her looks.”

The term “men’s division” is preferred over “male division.” Same for “women’s division” and “female division.” There are probably not a lot occasions you’d need to use the term “male” or “female” when switch to “men’s” or “women’s” isn’t the better choice. Like with championships, if you are referring to a division in a specific company, capitalize Division.


“Of all the tag team divisions in pro wrestling, many say AEW’s Tag Team Division has the most depth.”

“The NXT Women’s Division has future stars who will probably headline multiple women’s divisions in other wrestling promotions for the next ten years.”

The word “however” almost never belongs in the middle of a sentence. In that case, it usually should be the beginning of a new sentence.


“My favorite desert is apple pie; however, it must be hot.”


“My favorite desert is apple pie. However, it must be hot.”


“My favorite desert is apple pie, however it just be hot.”

The word “however” is not a conjunction like “and” and “but.” It is more like saying, “On the other hand” at the start of a sentence.

An exception is when the word is used differently, such as in these examples:

“I think however you feel about Donna, she will still treat you fairly.”

“Whenever I go to bed, however late it is, I still end up taking about 45 minutes to fall asleep.”

Emails (like usernames) should always be all lowercase. Websites should have capital letters to denote branding.





This will be updated from time to time!

I appreciate that you read this.