Playing With / Kayfabe

Basic Trope: Characterization and plot as applied to wrestling.
  • Straight: Joe Goodguy is pitted in a match against Bob Badguy, the outcome of which is predetermined.
  • Exaggerated: Months leading up to the big match feature Bob and Joe's allies and enemies mixing it up, and a well-developed storyline involving We Used to Be Friends, Abduction Is Love, Heel–Face Revolving Door, and More Dakka, just to name a few tropes.
  • Downplayed: The outcome of Joe Goodguy vs. Bob Badguy is predetermined. There is nothing else planned out in advance, not even how the match will play out, just who will emerge victorious.
  • Justified: It helps draw out fights and make them more interesting to watch (gains ratings), and also helps prevent injuries because the matches are controlled.
  • Inverted:
    • Bob and Joe wrestle, but the outcome of the match is not predetermined, and there is no storyline or character; it's just two guys fighting.
    • Joe Goodguy and Frank Face wrestle even though they're not supposed to. Everything they say is made up on the fly.
  • Subverted: The match doesn't appear to have much story behind it or make sense.
  • Double Subverted: But then Joe plays the We Used to Be Friends card and gives an epic "World of Cardboard" Speech detailing How We Got Bob thinks for a minute before proceeding to continue beating up Joe.
  • Parodied:
    • The wrestling is set to ballet music, in slow motion, on a theatre stage instead of in a ring.
    • Bob and Joe are holding copies of the script for the entire match, complete with Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: Wrestling is a legitimate physical competition/sport with no pre-planned results or storyline at all.
  • Enforced: "We need to make our wrestling match more about giving these guys a reason to fight?"
  • Lampshaded: "That throw was definitely not faked!"
  • Invoked: Bob and Joe are seen outside the ring at a public appearance, and taunt each other as they would in the ring.
  • Exploited: Someone uses their wrestling character as a means to express their (perhaps controversial) personal beliefs and opinions.
  • Defied: Bob and Joe are seen eating lunch together at a restaurant, laughing it up and talking like best friends even though everyone and their grandmother knows the two are mortal enemies.
  • Discussed: "Wrestling is so fake. It's like going to the theatre to watch two people whale on each other!"
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: As with anything else involving storylines, the storylines must be carefully crafted so as not to break the Willing Suspension of Disbelief or rely on Cliché. And it must appeal to longtime fans as well as new ones, casual viewers as well as dedicated ones. Otherwise, the audience will either be confused, bored, or both.
  • Reconstructed: The storyline is well-written, and Joe Goodguy (and his stable) don't necessarily always win against Bob Badguy. Also, they are good enough at making the moves look like the real deal (even though they are fake.)
  • Played For Laughs: Bob and Joe engaged into a barrage of Flowery Insults and over-top-taunting.

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