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YMMV: Professional Wrestling
  • And The Fandom Rejoiced: It has had its fair share of rejoicing.
  • Complete Monster: Ox Baker may well have originated the notion of the "monster" Heel (think Brock Lesnar) during his career, which stretched from the sixties into the eighties. Billed as a Psycho for Hire and Hero Killer, with the Catch Phrase "Hurting people is fun," Ox more than lived up to his reputation as an unfeeling brute. During a tag team match, Ox used his Heart Punch to fatally injure Alberto Torres, who died three days later of a ruptured appendix. Whether this was intentional or not, Ox firmly established his monster credentials not only by being completely unapologetic—and in fact, constantly boasting about killing Torres—but by continuing to use the Heart Punch (now known as the Hurt Punch) as his Finishing Move, this time with intent to kill. This resulted in another death, this time of Ray Gunkel, who died in the ring of a heart attack after receiving Ox's Heart Punch. While his performer Douglas A. Bakernote  would go on to portray faces, the Ox Baker persona never experienced a Heel-Face Turn, and would spend the rest of his career boasting about how any match against him just might be somebody's last.
  • Creator's Pet: Happens to wrestlers who the fans feel gets overpushed. This trope applied so aptly to Drew McIntyre that the bookers actually made it part of his gimmick.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: A side effect of prolonged exposure to the Boring Invincible Hero.
    • You know you have an ensemble darkhorse on your hands when a wrestler is extremely popular regardless of how they're booked, and even if they've never had a push or held a belt. Booked to lose constantly? Cheers! Given a stupid gimmick? Cheers! Permanently in the midcard or undercard? Still gets pops that rival or even exceed the top guys in the company! Being an Ensemble Darkhorse can also be a drawback for this reason, though. If a wrestler is already over where they are, sometimes bookers don't see the point in giving them a push or putting the belt on them, since it won't make them any more popular than they already are.
  • Evil Is Cool: Also a type of Popular Heel. Ditto, Ditto, and Ditto from Draco In Leather Pants...
  • Fan Hater: Yes, we know it's staged! You can stop "informing" us.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Pretty much any wrestlers involved in a feud can have this.
    • A good example was when Randy Orton approached John Cena backstage at Backlash 2007 just before their Fatal Four-Way match with Shawn Michaels and Edge. He suggested that he and Cena team up to take out the competition, but unfortunately he used the words "get together" - and, to top it off, tried to appeal to Cena's vanity by noting how "young" and "good-looking" they both were. Cena, being the Deadpan Snarker he was, replied that, while he was okay with Orton's lifestyle, "that's not how I roll." He then walked off, leaving Orton yelling, "Very funny, Cena! But you know how this is going to end - with you on your back and me on top of you!" Enter the always-outspoken Ron Simmons, complete with his "DAMN!" T-shirt. Hilarity Ensues.
    • Chris Jericho and Stephanie McMahon.
    • A lot of wrestlers working in America remain hugely popular in their country of origin or descent, despite being low-card acts in the US. Some examples:
    • Stan Hansen of AJPW, who is vaguely notable to American pro wrestling history but remains one of the most popular and recognizable stars in Japan years after his retirement;
    • Terry Gordy and Steve Williams were enormously renowned in their territorial days but resigned to relatively bit roles on WWE and WCW were also very popular in AJPW, teaming as the Miracle Violence Connection.
    • Mark Jindrak, a mid-carder from WCW and WWE, revived his career in Mexico as Marco Corleone;
    • Genki Horiguchi, a lower-card Dragon Gate wrestler whose Bald of Awesome gimmick has made him one of DG's most popular wrestlers in the US.
      • Similarly with Akira Tozawa. A generally middle of the road guy in Dragon Gate (who wasn't even the highest ranked member of the stable that bore his name), in the summer of 2010 he began an extended tour in the United States wrestling mainly for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. His ability to put on great matches and seemingly crazy/eccentric personality quickly won over American crowds making him a far bigger deal on the American indies than he had been in his home promotion.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • Hulk Hogan and his all-American character is popular in Canada, and absolutely beloved in Toronto. After returning to WWE as the leader of the New World Order, his face turn was induced by the Toronto fans who adamantly refused to boo him.
  • HSQ
  • Hype Backlash: Seemingly becoming more common nowadays as fans sometimes turn on wrestlers/personalities that are shoved down their collective throats or, conversely, cheer for more entertaining villains.
  • Jumping the Shark:
    • Professional wrestling has its own specific flavors. Both are just as subjective as the trope itself but are recognized and worked around by bookers and promoters.
    • Within the scope of an individual show, matches need to be ordered properly to avoid the crowd burning out. Putting an incredibly awesome match in the middle of the card will essentially cause the show as a whole to Jump The Shark and multiple awesome matches need to be spaced out with not-as-awesome matches and promos.
    • For the promotion as a whole, overuse of gimmicks and generally turning everything Up to Eleven is a good way to gain short-term ratings and attendance spikes but can leave everything overexposed: too much hardcore wrestling, for example, will cause the audience to be desensitized and force the wrestlers to come up with more violent ways of maiming themselves while having all-out brawling street fights once in a while in big situations will keep things special.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: No wrestler that's had a decent amount of airtime and attention in WWE in the last ten years has gone without being paired with somebody else in either a straight or slash fic. (Yes. Even Vince McMahon. He's got Linda, remember?)
  • Memetic Badass: Vacant. After a period where both the WWE and TNA titles were vacated during the later half of 2013 for extended periods, the IWC decided that "Vacant" must be some sort of invisible mystery wrestler, and a quick search of title histories shows him to be among the most decorated professional wrestlers of all time.
  • Memetic Mutation: Professional Wrestling
  • Older Than They Think: Given that the practice of working matches dates back to at least 1880 (and that's just works, wrestling itself is as old as Sumeria) and that virtually all matches were worked by 1920, there was very little that was truly "new" in professional wrestling by 1970. If someone does come up with something truly believed to be "new" it will be called a "Northern Light" and even to this day a good many Northern Lights (especially when it comes to moves and match stipulations) are done by accident. Basically, if you actually thought an planned it, its a good chance someone in wrestling has done so before.
  • Reviews Are The Gospel: There are people (at least the smart marks) who swear by Dave Meltzer's (of the Wrestling Observer) reviews of matches. There are a great many wrestlers and promoters who swear at them.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny:
    • As the years passed, many things in pro wrestling that used to be unique or shocking have become commonplace. Examples follow...
    • The ladder match. At WrestleMania X, it was very exciting and revolutionary for its time. Fans who grew up watching TLC matches may find this match boring.
    • The DDT was once a devastating maneuver but it is now a standard move so watching an older match end with one stretches fan's willingness to suspend disbelief. Ditto for moves like the Power Bomb, Superplex, Stampeder (running power slam), and — going back even further — the Thesz Press.
    • Watching old AWA matches, moves like the Clothesline and Dropkick were also match enders back in the day.
    • Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka famous splashing of Don Muraco from the top of a cage. An iconic Moment Of Awesome for wrestling in 1983 and for years afterward. Several wrestlers note it as the moment that inspired them to get into the business. By today's standards, it looks like just another highspot.
      • Also common among lucha libre and cruiserweight wrestlers. As the style becomes more popular, more wrestles add more flippy stuff. At Bash at the Beach '96, Rey Mysterio Jr. and Psicosis created the "highspot of the night" when Rey hit a huracarrana on Psic in mid-air. But nowadays, with Jack Evan, Ricochet and PAC and the like on the indy circuit doing double rotation corkscrew shooting star presses, that just fails to impress as it did at the time.
    • The Dynamite Kid vs Tiger Mask series in the early 80's seems slow-paced and short by modern standards. At the time, those matches more or less established the notion of "high-flying" wrestlers.
    • Back in the 1980s, title matches could be considerably shorter than they are today (Hulk Hogan's famous victory over The Iron Sheik, for example, was barely five minutes long!) and were filmed in long shot, making you feel that you were actually in the arena, thus causing the novelty of watching a wrestling match at home on TV to come off as rather pointless. Add in the general lack of music, pyrotechnics, and so forth, and modern-day fans might think they're watching a Stylistic Suck!
    • Trish Stratus was a huge success story during her career - WWE had brought in Sable as a valet in 1996 and she had a brief run with the revived WWE Women's Title before her ego took over and she made herself Persona Non Grata, but Trish herself was the first (in WWE at least) to develop onscreen from an eye candy valet with patchy mic skills to a charismatic star who is now regarded as one of the best female wrestlers in North America. These days at least 60% of the women's division in WWE (and some of TNA's roster too) is made up of former models brought in and trained to wrestle in the hopes of replicating Trish's success.
    • At the time of her debut in WWE, Lita's style of wrestling stood out for moves like headscissors, hurricanranas, and moonsaults, barely used by women in WWE. These days (see the Trish example above) due to having to work extremely short matches all the time, the models brought in by WWE will often learn flashy moves like hurricanranas to make their matches appear more exciting and cover up their lack of wrestling ability. If the models are former gymnasts this can work fine and they eventually develop into competent wrestlers (Eve Torres, Kelly Kelly) or they can just come across as sloppy spot monkeys. Moves such as moonsaults and hurricanranas are more staples of women's wrestling these days than men's, at least in WWE due to the retirement of the Cruiserweight division.
      • Averted with regards to Natalya and the Sharpshooter. Aside from a one-off Trish Stratus match, fans had never seen a woman do it before and while it's not as amazing now to see her use it, she still gets great reactions whenever she does use it to win matches.
      • Part of the reason she gets great reactions for it? She's the daughter of Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart and was trained by the Hart family, the first woman to ever be trained in The Dungeon.

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