Insistent Terminology: Professional Wrestling

  • They don't play characters, they have gimmicks. Not a villain, a heel, crowd responses trump actions (inversely face for the same reasons). Not a storyline, just an idea to hook the audience that the wrestlers largely improvise as they go, it's an angle. Wrestlers who always lose are not losers, they're jobbers. When you're popular, you're over. Rather not call them writers because so little is written besides names in a book, they're bookers. Those examples are somewhat justified, the insistence on calling backstage "the locker room" or simply "the back" is the trope played straight. Just because pro wrestling is showbiz doesn't mean you have to be open about it.
  • Pro wrestling isn't "fake". You can call it anything else (scripted, simulated, worked, ect) but fake will upset people, sometimes fans more than the athletes themselves.
  • Some wrestlers, such as Ric Flair, have gotten away from some traditional terms like "heel", preferring to be called "bad guy" now that "marks" know it. Fans are marks because they get hooked by angles but some fans identify as smarks, since they know pro wrestling is show business. The argument here is that marks still get worked and the only "smarts" are those who have worked in the industry and thus intimately know how to work marks.
  • Within WWE, the people who wrestle are not "wrestlers", they're "superstars", and female wrestlers are called "divas". And the titles they wrestle for are not "belts", they're "championships". They don't have bookers, they have "writers", they 'write' 'compelling' "story lines" instead of work "angles". They have full on "characters" in place of simple "gimmicks".(on the creative front, some of that is coming true, for better or worse) Nor are "wrestling fans" called such; they're the "WWE Universe". Also, it's not even called pro-wrestling anymore, it's "sports entertainment"... or at least, it was. "Sports" has been put in the banned list too, so now it's just "entertainment" or "action soap opera". And they don't even have "athletes" or "sportsmen", but "entertainers with tremendous athletic prowess". Vince McMahon doesn't seem to like to be reminded that he runs a professional wrestling company. This has led to a fun game of Loophole Abuse with rival company TNA. A few TNA fansites have begun to claim that TNA is now the number one wrestling company in the world, since WWE is fighting the world "wrestling" at every turn. Over the past decade or so, anyone whose seen to be particularly rebellious or anti-establishment within WWE (ex: Joey Styles, Chris Jericho, CM Punk) will make fun of the term "sports entertainment", boldly emphasize "wrestling", or simply do both. Interestingly, many of these people have some significant connection to ECW. On the flip side, other wrestling companies who don't even have "writers" or such have fallen into using WWE terminology just because WWE is so insistent it starts to wear off. Alternatively, you can tell where WWE penetration isn't particularly strong by how little of its terminology they pick up (Championships are events in CMLL and the International Wrestling Cartel while wrestlers hold titles and belts, for instance, while New Japan Pro Wrestling does refer to the IWGP belts as "championships", though given that they call a governing body a "grand prix" Engrish is also clearly in effect)
  • Newsletters (such as The Wrestling Observer Newsletter) are referred to exclusively as "dirtsheets" or "inside trade papers" depending on whether the person is portrayed in a negative or positive light or what information is being reported.
  • Similar to, and possibly the inspiration for, the Grinch movie example elsewhere, is wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. Piper is legitimately of Scottish descent, and often wears a traditional kilt to the ring. Of course, his opponent will invariably comment about how he doesn't want to wrestle someone in a "skirt". Piper's response: "It's not a skirt, it's a kilt!", followed by some serious pummeling. The apex of this came at the 1992 Royal Rumble, where "broadcast journalist" Bobby "The Brain" Heenan was openly rooting for Ric Flair and mocking Piper at every turn, until Piper saved Flair from an attack.
    Heenan: It's a kilt. It's not a skirt, it's a kilt!
    (30 seconds later, Piper attacks Flair)
    Heenan: YOU SKIRT-WEARING FREAK! It's not a kilt, it's a skirt!
  • 237 lbs? Playboy Buddy Rose is a slim 217, thank you.
  • Ultimate Warrior's arm tassels are "Belief Banners"
  • Weapons that aren't supposed to be used in a wrestling match are commonly called "foreign objects". During a period of time in which WCW was trying to present itself as a cleaner and more tolerant alternative to the WWF, these were renamed "international objects" because standards and practices didn't like that use of the word "foreign". This came about due to a miscommunicated directive to all Turner divisions (most specifically, CNN) to replace speaking instances of the word "foreign" with "international" in a news context. Nobody at WCW thought to get the directive rescinded in their case, and since they were in the middle of a financial downward spiral, it was easier just to go along with it.
  • Bryan Alvarez insists on calling wrestling moves by the name he finds to be the coolest, directly in the face of proper context at times. Who cares who invented it, the STO is still the Downward Spiral to him. What, they're kind of different moves? He's still going to call the Glam Slam a Bitch Clamp! No, you're the one who'd best learn the difference!
  • Every suplex is a Tazzplex when done by Tazz.
  • Michael Cole has a tendency to substitute "skull" for head and "spine" for back, no matter how accurate or relevant the wording might actually be. In this sense, the Smackdown vs Raw games are better than his usual broadcast work, as he will be more likely to say "squeezing down on the head" or "small of the back".
  • TNA doesn't do Gimmick Matches, it showcases Concept Matches.
  • Jillian Hall did not have a wart, mole, growth, tumor or rice cake! Just a blemish!
  • What's this? Why does TV Tropes have no pages with text about Osamu Nishimura? We know not this person you speak of. Perhaps you meant Mr. Muga?
  • A certain someone has a tendency to demand a certain introduction when in certain venues, emphases italicized "Standing at 5 foot 5 Inches of perfection, weighing in at 120 perfect pounds, she is from the most perfect city in the world, Lisbon in the great nation of Portugal, Portugal's Perfect Athlete, SHANNA!
  • Forget everything you know about The Addiction and especially don't bring up anything about Fortune or Bad Influence. The Extraordinary Gentlemen's Organization is an entirely new alliance!
  • Former WWE Authority figure John Laurinaitis seemed to make it fit to refer to himself (and have everyone call him) as "Mr. John Laurinaitis, Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and Interim General Manager of Monday Night Raw." Later it became "General Manager of both Raw and Smackdown".
  • The X-Box 360 Lucha Libre game had the tag line "It's not pro wrestling! It's Lucha Libre!" Never mind the terms are often used interchangeably in the industry itself, such as the Lucha Libre Internacional having all its titles over seen by the Universal Wrestling Association or the World Wrestling League having the tag line "Un nuevo mundo de lucha libre". Even arguing "Lucha Libre" and "Pro Wrestling" are different is a generalization as there are, several different styles of "Lucha Libre" and "Pro Wrestling".

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