I've got a general wrestling thread, but I've been thinking of doing this for a while and decided a separate might be the best way of doing it. Basically I've been gradually obsessed with professional wrestling for about two years, and I'd like to maybe share it with you. So I've decided to come up with a little guide where I first break down some basics of pro wrestling, then do a guide to the different companies there out there - strengths, weaknesses, certain styles and storytelling methods, etc. - so people who may be interested can have an idea of what they wanna do. If you have any questions, please let me know! So let's get started on this thing. A trusty guide to basic wrestling terms: Pro wrestling very much has its own vocabulary, just like any other real or fake sport. These get thrown out quite a bit, so I'll do a quick dictionary guide here. Cool? Cool. Work (n) - A "work" basically means something planned to happen. Wrestling as a whole is a "work" - generally predetermined and choreographed, acting. Work (v) - To act in the constructs of the greater "work." A wrestler Shoot - The opposite of a work. Anything unplanned that happens in a wrestling match is a "shoot." It can be intentional or unintentional. Unintentional would be a wrestler accidentally breaking out of an accent that's part of his/her character. Intentional could be a wrestler getting mad at his opponent for messing up and actually hitting him. Worker - Basically another term for "wrestler," though it is sometimes used to describe anyone involved in the "work" of wrestling, including commentators, managers, etc. Kayfabe - Kayfabe is the umbrella term for the storylines of wrestling. A wrestler keeps kayfabe by staying in character and acting like everything's real. Kayfabe is "broken" when outside, non-storyline life is referenced. Worked Shoot - The intentional breaking of kayfabe to make wrestling feel more "real." A small example would be somebody in a speech referring to Triple H by his real name, Paul. The idea is to make things in feuds more personal. When done well, it can be really good. It is often not done well. Promo - A speech given by a wrestler or manager. Often done in live settings in the ring, but can be done backstage or in pre-shot videos. Generally used to establish/build characters when they're not having matches, or to get reactions before and after matches. Gimmick - The particular character a wrestler is playing. Face/Technico - The hero of a match Heel/Rudo - The villain of a match Tweener - Someone who isn't necessarily good or bad. Note: Face/heel roles in general are blurred nowadays because cheering heels and booing faces is a lot more common than it used to be. Turn - A wrestler going from face-to-heel, heel-to-face, etc. Belt - Because belts are generally the trophies wrestlers win for earning championships, the word "belt" is often used in place of "championship" or "title" in general. Sell - A wrestler acting hurt, "selling" the damage taken in a match. Swerve - A twist in the storyline to shock fans Stiff/Snug - Wrestlers using actual strikes on each other for a more realistic feeling in matches Jobber - A wrestler whose purpose is to lose and get other wrestlers over with the crowd Stable - A collection of wrestlers who have a common purpose. Manager - A non-wrestler who aids the wrestler. This can include cutting promos for them, providing general moral support for them or cheating to help the wresetler win. Pop - Vocal audience approval Heat - Vocal audience disapproval. Pops and heat are used to measure fan reaction. Ideally, faces should get pops and heels get heat. --- Brief History of Pro Wrestling Pro wrestling has its origins in carnivals, as companies would put on fake fights for the entertainment of fans. Wrestling is often still referred to as a "carny business" due to a lot of people backstage wanting to rip-off fans and/or workers themselves. It's ****ed up and sad. Eventually throughout the 20th century, wrestling moved on from just being a carnival attraction into an attraction of itself. Up until the mid-late 80s, usually one promotion dominated a particular region of the country. That changed when a particularly greedy mother****er named Vincent Kennedy McMahon decided to take over the competition and expand his territory (the World(Wide) Wrestling Federation) nationwide and eventually globally. Cable and television deals helped expand the popularity of wrestling especially, and wrestling companies had a much greater reach. In the 90s, there were two major companies in World Championship Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation competing for American televisions. Both companies had flagship shows on Monday nights, so this was dubbed the "Monday Night Wars." This was the time wrestling was most profitable and popular in the mainstream. Eventually a series of **** decisions basically killed WCW's popularity and the company was bought out by WWF. Now, wrestling is generally considered a mroe niche interest and there's not a whole lot of realistic competition. However, while there's still only one real major player in the market, there's more alternatives than ever due to the internet making it easy for other, smaller companies to get their product out. Different Styles of Wrestling Wrestling has different styles, many of them have their origins in regions, especially worldwide regions. Here are the most prominent. Sports entertainment - This is the WWE style, as "sports entertainment" is what McMahon prefers people call wrestling. Production values are increased, often more focus on out-of-ring content. Inside the ring, it's a lot safer style and generally lower risk. Character work in matches is just as important/perhaps more important than the actual physical acts. Puroresu - Japanese pro wrestling. It's often associated with "strong style" pro wrestling - so this is more influenced by MMA. So there's a lot more strikes and submission holds in this style to give it a more athletic feeling. Lucha libre - Mexican pro wrestling. Oftentimes workers adopt masks as part of their characters and keep their real identities hidden. Things move a lot faster in lucha, and more high-flying maneuvers are used here. With the larger-than-life, almost superhero-like characters that luchadors use, there's a lot less selling and there's often not as much of an effort at making things feel real. Catch-style - This is a more European-centered style. Once again this has some roots in MMA, but also other forms of "shoot" wrestling. Strikes and high-flying maneuvers can be used, but often the grappling and submission aspects are the most important. Former MMA fighters and amateur wrestlers tend to adopt catch and "technical" style wrestling styles. Hardcore - Hardcore wrestling isn't necessarily regional, although it is more popular in other regions (the American south loves hardcore wrestling). There's more of a brawl-type feel here, and weapons are often used. This style also can have varying levels of blood/gore. A streetfight where chairs and ladders and tables are used but there's no blood is hardcore. It's just not as hardcore as literal "deathmatches" where wrestlers cut themselves the hell up. Obviously, your mileage may vary. Shoot-style - This is a style that's not as popular today, though you most often see it in European companies. This is like catch-style and puroresu but there's even more emphasis on making it seem like MMA. Often only submissions and knockouts are allowed. Sometimes matches are divided into rounds. These are very general styles of wrestling, and modern wrestling companies all around the world usually use a mix of all the styles in some degree for variety's sake. Whew. That was a lot. If you wanna stick with me, next time I'm going to break down the three major American promotions. That's WWE and the two most prominent competitors - Impact Wrestling and Ring of Honor.