Serial Escalation / Pro Wrestling

  • What ridiculously awesome move will somebody pull off next? What dastardly act will the Heel perpetrate to make the feud evem MORE personal? What kind of stacked odds will John Cena face and overcome?
  • Weight classes in pro wrestling. In the early days, 180 lbs would be considered small, but passable for a heavyweight. This increased to 200 lbs, then 215, then 220, to the point men weighing above 230 lbs were being considered "Crusierweights" in WCW's heyday. As steroids became less popular and the biggest acquisitions from the talent pool, already dried up due to the collapse of the territories, started to age, 220 was again almost universally considered an acceptable standard for heavyweights by 2003, with CMLL going back down to 214, then WWE Cruiserweight Classic stating none of the competitors would be over 205 lbs, as the process continued to go in reverse.
  • Professional Wrestling as a whole was the definition of this trope in the Monday Night Wars as the main promotions one-upped themselves while the indy promotions (namely ECW) did more and more outlandish things in order to just stay noticed. How violent can hardcore wrestling get? How high will a wrestler fall as part of a stunt? How contrived can the flippy moves get? It got so bad in the late 90s that the WWE now is purposely defying this to the point of inverting it.
    • On the contrary, most people loved hardcore matches and high flying wrestlers. It's only in recent years that people have started to complain about it, due to indy leagues doing it badly.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest counter ever.
  • Concerning Hulk Hogan's famous bodyslam on André the Giant at Wrestlemania III, Andre's weight gets bigger and the time between the event and his death gets shorter.
    • To elaborate, Andre is usually billed as slightly over/under 500 pounds. Hogan once said that due to Andre's declining mobility, he unintentionally dead-weighted Hogan, so it felt like 700 pounds. Eventually it turned into Andre simply weighing 700 pounds. Concerning his death, Andre died six years after that match; Hogan once said he died several weeks later. Eventually wrestling fans started joking that the bodyslam killed Andre.
  • WWE's Hell in a Cell match was looking to go in this direction after the legendary third Cell match in which Mankind flew off the top both into the announce table (which was planned) and then through the ceiling mesh (which was not), leading to concerns in the industry that attempts to meet or surpass the standards set by the match would cause very real dangers. Luckily Vince McMahon put his foot down following this and made sure no future Cell matches ever tried to top what they did in that match (although the Cell match with Triple H and Cactus Jack in 2000 attempted to homage many of the moments from this match, albeit in a less dangerous way).