YMMV: Professional Wrestling

  • And The Fandom Rejoiced: It has had its fair share of rejoicing.
  • Base Breaker:
    • The women seem to be very prone to this. Unless your name is Mickie James or Trish Stratus (and even Trish is becoming a Base Breaker to an extent. See Seinfeld Is Unfunny below), pretty much all WWE Divas or TNA Knockouts are either base breakers or complete scrappies, at least among smarks. Even many women in the indies have divided opinions.
    • The top babyfaces, such as Hulk Hogan or John Cena are usually this, being loved by the casual fans and hated by the smarks since they usually have strong characters but weak wrestling skills, often relying on the Five Moves of Doom as well as being Boring Invincible Heroes, Kid-Appeal Characters and Creator's Pets.
  • 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.
  • Deader Than Disco: One of the many things that you can expect a Wrestling Fan Hater to throw at you following the "It's fake, gay, etc." is that wrestling is no longer mainstream and thus "it sucks." The Monday Night Wars was the only point in time where a person could admit to being a wrestling fan without being called a "redneck".
  • 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. We are also not "rednecks" or "gay".
    • This is also true within the fandom itself. Not only do fans hate a certain wrestler, they also hate the people who like them.
  • Fandom Berserk Button:
    • Saying "Wrestling's fake" like it makes you far more insightful. That cat has been out of the bag for decades now and it isn't the point at all any more than suggesting you shouldn't watch TV shows or books that are in the fiction section. Many fans will get seriously upset at the use of the word "fake" because it is usually used as an insult to imply (especially to the minds of impressionable children) that nothing you see is real, that people don't get legitimately injured, that the things wrestlers do aren't potentially dangerous to those who don't know what they're doing, and that there isn't a tremendous amount of skill in what they do. They tend to prefer the terms "scripted", in that match results are known beforehand and "staged", in that both/all of the wrestlers in the ring are performers working together to put on an entertaining show, rather than competitors. In some circles, even the word "scripted" is a berserk button, as the large majority of wrestling promotions don't use scripts and the large majority that do are farm leagues working with rookies who have not yet learned to improvise.
    • Claiming that wrestlers "just know how to fall" or otherwise don't get injured. Fans that are aware of the concept of selling and can probably tell you about a number of real injuries to occur.
    • For the love of Foley, if you don't watch wrestling (or even if you do, for that matter), don't describe John Cena or Hulk Hogan as your favorite wrestlers. Another good way to get a lot of wrestling fans to respond to you is make the audacious claim that John Cena is the best wrestler ever (surpassing such icons as Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Mick Foley/Cactus Jack/Mankind/Dude Love, The Rock or, God forbid, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin) or God help you if you ask about who that Owen Hart fellow is...
    • Claiming every wrestler is on steroids is not advised. It's true that the WWE favors large, muscular men, especially prior to the 1990s, but not every wrestler works a style or look that favors insane musculature, and not all of those who do use steroids.
    • Wrestlers aren't all drug addicts, and those cases of real addiction are more tragic than anything. It's part of the price they pay with their bodies for the work they do and the lengths they go to for entertainment.
    • Don't make fun of the concept of tights. Seriously. Not even the briefs. Don't.
    • Around Lucha Libre fans, don't make fun of the concept of masks. Seriously. Don't.
    • 90 percent of the time, you will receive a negative reaction if you say try to defend Kelly Kelly. Especially if you compare her to Trish Stratus.
    • A number of wrestling fans believe that Natalya Neidhart is Bret Hart's daughter. If you try to make this claim on a message board or some other place filled with wrestling fans, you'll most likely get reminded that she's actually his niece (hence their different last names), and that her actual father is Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart.
    • Saying anything positive about WCW or TNA will probably get you a verbal ass whipping.
  • Fandom Rivalry
    • Casual fans (Marks) vs. Hardcore fans (especially those who self-identify as smarks) since the two groups look at the product in different ways. Casual fans watch the show the way it was meant to be seen (with Kayfabe in tact) whereas smarks care more about the behind-the-scenes aspects of the business and care more about technicality than Five Moves of Doom.
    • Prior to McMahon nationalizing WWF, promoters were very defensive of their territory. The American Wrestling Association vs. the National Wrestling Alliance was common.
    • Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan, as an extension of the NWA vs WWF.
    • WWF vs. WCW vs. ECW, especially during the Monday Night Wars.
    • Also, Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart has finally settled their differences, but that doesn't stop their respective fans from engaging in flame wars regarding who was better.
    • In the new Millennium, WWE vs. TNA vs. Ring of Honor, though despite the addition of wrestlers made famous by either WWE or WCW, TNA's ratings remain stagnant.
    • From within the WWE itself are Raw vs. Smackdown (the flagship sports entertainment show vs. the wrestling show, made worse when the Draft often relocates a lot Smackdown talent to Raw), brand extension fans vs. unified company fans, Cena fans vs Cena haters, Superstars (especially Divas) with indy wrestling backgrounds vs. WWE/NXT homegrowns, Jim Ross vs. Michael Cole, and combinations of the WWE's different eras (Rock and Wrestling vs.The Wrestling/Monday Night Wars/Attitude Era vs. Ruthless Agression Era vs. WWE Universe Era)
    • People who agree with WWE regarding making Chris Benoit an Un-Person and those who want him in the Hall of Fame and his matches on DVD.note 
  • 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.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Brillante Jr/La Sombra, best known for his stints in CMLL, who is loved by Germans despite never wrestling in Germany or Europe for that matter.
    • 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.
  • 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?)
  • Love It or Hate It: Either you like professional wrestling or you don't. There isn't much of a middle ground.
  • 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 and planned it, it's 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.