Genre Savvy / Professional Wrestling

  • Pretty much any time that a wrestler manages to actually use an obvious way around the usual suspension of the laws of physics needed for some of pro wrestling's more elementary sequences (such as Irish whips that lead to almost "textbook" dodging), although these moments are usually played for laughs. Specific examples would be the classical Tiger Mask feint kick where he fakes an out of ring dive if he knows the opponent is fully capable of walking away from it and indeed Samoa Joe in ROH casually walking out of the way of opponents jumping off of the top rope... same goes for Kevin Steen's reaction to Nigel McGuinness' rebound lariat off of the ropes.
  • "Rowdy" Roddy Piper wrestled much the same style as a Heel or a Babyface, meaning that he often cheated. Moreover; he could anticipate other Heels' cheating, and counter-act with his own moves. He was rarely caught with eye-pokes, chairshots or low-blows like other Faces would, allowing him to gobble up even a Heel's offense and work the guy over without interruption.
  • One of Sting's long defining traits has been his complete lack of genre savviness. As a nearly career-long face, he'd been set up by the Four Horsemen, Dungeon of Doom and the nWo countless times over the years. Around 2000ish, he was feuding with Lex Luger, and Miss Elizabeth had left Luger and sided with him. During their grudge match, Elizabeth tried to spray mace in Sting's eyes, but he'd seen it coming and swapped the mace out with silly string.
    • One time, Brutus Magnus tried to attack him for behind, but Sting sidestepped because Magnus yelled while charging.
  • In an amusing case on a June 2, 1998 episode of WWF Raw is War, the New Age Outlaws were defending the Tag Team Titles against the Disciples of Apocalypse and Legion of Doom in a Three Way Match. The Outlaws spent the majority of the match allowing their opponents to beat each other up while they looked on amused. Having enough of their antics, the opposing teams tagged in both Billy Gunn and Road Dogg to have them go at one another. Realizing that the teams just basically handed them a win, Billy Gunn would lay down for Road Dogg to get an easy pin and retain their titles.
  • Quite possibly the single greatest display of Genre Savviness came during the infamous "Pillman's Got a Gun" segment, when Brian Pillman, whom "Stone Cold" Steve Austin had injured the week before, was being interviewed at his house. Partway through the interview, Austin showed up outside and assaulted his friends. Pillman knew he was there because he was watching his own segment on Raw. He then pulled a gun when Steve entered, which was Genre Savvy to game-breaking degree, as the entire setup of pro wrestling becomes meaningless when lethal weapons are introduced.
  • Done to hilarious effect by Chavo Guerrero, Jr. at WCW Bash at the Beach 1998. A very common tactic for heels is to send out a much bigger "spoiler" against an opponent the heel doesn't want to face at full strength. Chavo's uncle Eddie Guerrero did this to Chavo at a pay-per-view by sending out the massive (compared to Chavo) Stevie Ray. Chavo, going through a "crazy guy" gimmick at the time, offered his opponent a handshake. When Ray took the bait, Chavo tapped out as though he were in excruciating pain, causing himself to lose, but also keeping himself fresh for the match with Eddie that immediately followed.
  • Goldust always counters his opponents when they telegraph a move. For example: when his opponent telegraphs a back body drop, he will stop and uppercut them.
  • CM Punk and BJ Whitmer's early ROH feud, and by extension the Prophecy-Second City Saints feud, was kicked off mostly by locker room or other wise out of arena segments that were still shown the audience, as well as CM Punk's commentary. BJ Whitmer had the nickname of the smartest man in pro wrestling(in contrast to Sting) for establishing that ROH wrestlers could see things that were often completely ignored on other shows.
  • As part of WWE wrestler Batista's Heel-Face Turn, his entire gimmick became that he was Genre Savvy enough to see all the Heels' dirty tricks coming a mile away. (He turned after he overheard his faction plotting against him but played along up until the end.)
  • On the episode of WWE Smackdown that aired the Friday before the Unforgiven 2008 Pay-Per-View, MVP and Shelton Benjamin attempted to interrupt HHH's show-opening promo. HHH then made a Genre Savvy speech about the usual course of events that take place during the show-opening promo, where the champion talks for a while about the upcoming Pay-Per-View, his opponents interrupt him and try to attack him, and the champion overcomes the opponents. However, HHH did wind up being attacked by a third opponent he didn't see coming (who could be said to have been Genre Savvy enough to notice how his presence wouldn't be cliche enough to notice).
    • Triple H displayed his Genre Savvy once again on a Raw episode leading into WrestleMania 25. Randy Orton had declared his intent to have Triple H arrested for the assault and home invasion HHH had committed the week before, and then use his guaranteed WrestleMania title shot to go after Edge's World Championship, rather than HHH's WWE Championship. Triple H came to the ring, allowed himself to be handcuffed, and then openly told Orton that this isn't how the story ends; that Orton needed to get revenge for Triple H having expelled him from Evolution and taken away his first championship after a mere 1-month reign, and all of this was just Orton posturing. After more goading from HHH, Orton finally agreed, had HHH released, and officially challenged him for his title.
  • To quote John Cena:
    Jonathan Coachman: "I've decided to give Umaga a very well-deserved night off."
    John Cena: "A night off? Like I haven't heard that one before. What does that mean, that he's showing up in five minutes? That he's gonna show up when I go to my car tonight? That he's gonna show up when I'm in the sho— You know what, just don't let him show up when I'm in the shower. I don't think any of us want that."
    • Another example of Cena using his inner genre knowledge came when he utilized his own Popularity Power to convince Vince McMahon to give CM Punk a shot at his WWE Championship at Money in The Bank 2011.note 
  • Michael Cole showed a rare example on the Season 2 Finale of WWE NXT; after Lucky Cannon cut a promo revealing his Face-Heel Turn, he remarked "Oh, so I guess he's a bad guy now."
    • Jerry Lawler pulled out one of his own the night before. After Kane caused the lights to go out on The Undertaker, Lawler commented "It's like he has Undertaker powers now."
  • Whenever Sheamus would try to run-in during Randy Orton's matches while Orton's back was to the entrance ramp, Orton would deduce that he was coming based on the crowd's pop, and turn to counter the ambush.
    • Orton used his Genre Savviness to thwart another attempted ambush on the episode of Smackdown before Night of Champions 2012. While Vickie Guerrero, the valet/manager for Orton's rival Dolph Ziggler, was talking to Orton, Orton interrupted her and stated that he knew she was only trying to keep him distracted to allow Ziggler to sneak up behind him, then immediately turned around to catch Ziggler in the act.
  • One of the elements in the Z! True Long Island Story webshow by WWE's Zack Ryder that's brought it widespread popularity has been his willingness to make not-very-veiled shoutouts to smarks, such as the "Han Solbro" clip or his not being pushed.
  • A very interesting case with Melina Perez. As part of her ring entrance she does the splits on the ring apron. In two separate matches, her opponent dropkicked her off the apron while she does them. At Night of Champions 2010. Michelle McCool tried to do it but Melina simply pulled herself up, leading to Michelle passing her and sliding out to the floor .
  • Tag Team Twins the Bella Twins constantly switch with each other to try and win matches, especially after their Face-Heel Turn.
    • One match saw Eve Torres bring a permanent marker down to the ring and get the referee to draw an X on the twin who was legally in the match. In a bit of irony they went for the switch and got caught but Eve got distracted by the twin on the outside which allowed the other to win the match.
    • Maryse faced Brie in the first round of a Divas' Championship tournament. When the twins usually switch places, the opponent expects an easy win only to be caught off guard and rolled up for the pin. This time Maryse simply hit Nicki with her Finishing Move, which would ensure victory regardless of which twin was in the match.
  • On the August 8th, 2011 edition of Raw, CM Punk's immediate reaction to the "main event" (a contract signing for himself versus John Cena at Summerslam to unify the WWE Championships) was to point out how often a fight would break out at such an event, and wondering aloud whether he should just flip the table over and get the fight started already.
    • Punk's genre savvyness is arguably a big part of his popularity. When John Laurinaitis had a contract signing for a Triple Threat match between Punk, Alberto Del Rio and The Miz, Punk kept interrupting the segment by asking if he could punch somebody. Near the end, when John was getting ready for a photo shoot for with all three men, Punk simply stated: "Man, if you want anything done right... I guess you just gotta do it yourself." He then proceeds to send Del Rio through a table and hit his finisher on The Miz.
  • On the April 1st, 2013 episode of Raw, CM Punk and Paul Heyman imitate the Undertaker's entrance, complete with ominous chanting and druids, with Heyman dressing up as Undertaker's recently deceased manager Paul Bearer. Undertaker storms up the ramp to attack Heyman, and stops, looking around at the druids. Anticipating an attack from Punk, Undertaker starts attacking the druids one by one trying to find Punk, before Punk assaults him from behind.

Alternative Title(s): Pro Wrestling