Adam Joseph Copeland (born October 30, 1973) is a Canadian actor, podcaster, and retired professional wrestler better known by his ring nameEdge. He is currently in WWE, as a member of the WWE Hall of Fame.
Copeland was trained by professional wrestlers Sweet Daddy Siki and Ron Hutchison. Throughout the 1990s, he wrestled in various U.S. independent promotions. During his time in these promotions, he competed in singles and tag team competition, the latter with long-time friend Christian. In 1997, Copeland signed a developmental deal with the WWF and began competing for the company later that year; he made his televised debut the following June under the ring name Edge. In July 1999, he won the WWF Intercontinental Championship at a house show in Toronto, making it his first title reign with the company. He and Christian, billed as brothers and later childhood friends in WWF/WWE storylines, went on to win the WWF Tag Team Championship on seven different occasions. During this time, they gained notoriety in the tag team division, partly due to their participation in Tables, Ladders, and Chairs matches.
Edge is one of the most decorated professional wrestlers of all-time, having won 31 championships in WWE overall, including the WWE Championshipfour times, the World Heavyweight Championship a record seven times, the Intercontinental Championship five times, the United States Championship once, the WWE Tag Team Championshiptwice, and the WWF/World Tag Team Championship a record twelve times. He is WWE's 14th Triple Crown Champion and 7th Grand Slam Champion. He also won the 2001King of the Ring tournament, was the first Money in the Bank ladder match winner in 2005, and won the Royal Rumble match in 2010, making him the first wrestler in history to achieve all three of those accomplishments. He headlined multiple pay-per-view events for WWE, including WrestleMania XXIV, and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Christian in 2012. His wife Beth Phoenix joined the Hall of Fame in 2017, making them the first real-life couple to both be inducted.
Aside from professional wrestling, Copeland appeared in the fantasy film Highlander: Endgame and WWE Studios' Bending the Rules. He has made guest appearances on television shows such as Weakest Link, Mind of Mencia, Deal or No Deal, MADtv, and The Flash. He appeared on the SyFy series Haven as recurring character Dwight Hendrickson, and also appeared as recurring character Kjetill Flatnose in the fifth season of Vikings.
Copeland was born in Orangeville, Ontario, the son of Judy Copeland, a single parent who worked two jobs to support her son. Copeland has stated that he has never met, nor ever seen a picture of, his father. He became interested in professional wrestling at a young age; his favorite wrestlers included Mr. Perfect, Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Ricky Steamboat, Shawn Michaels, and Bret Hart. As a teenager, Copeland attended WrestleMania VI sitting in the eleventh row at ringside. He was cheering on WWF World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan against The Ultimate Warrior, and he credits this match with making him realize he wanted to be a wrestler. When he was 17, he won an essay contest with his local gym, and his prize was free wrestling training with Sweet Daddy Siki and Ron Hutchison in Toronto. He put his wrestling aspirations aside to help pay the bills. He held numerous jobs and then attended Humber College, where he graduated with a degree in radio broadcasting, then received training.
Professional wrestling career
Early career (1992–1995)
During Copeland's training, he trained one weekday and all weekend. The school's practice ring was a 12-by-14-foot boxing ring with a harder mat than that of a typical wrestling ring. The ceiling above it was low, with exposed pipes, preventing top-rope moves from being performed. Copeland later credited this environment with forcing him to drill and improve his technical mat-based wrestling. His classmates included Johnny Swinger, Joe E. Legend, and Rob Etcheverria (who later became notable for training wrestlers such as Gail Kim, Angelina Love, and Taylor Wilde).
Throughout the 1990s, Copeland wrestled on the independent circuit in Ontario and the Great Lakes region of the United States under the ring name Sexton Hardcastle. He became a part of the tag team Sex and Violence with Joe E. Legend. In the mid-1990s, he wrestled as Adam Impact for Tony Condello's Winnipeg promotion. In 1997, Sex and Violence became part of a larger stable called Thug Life, joining Christian Cage (Copeland's childhood friend), Zakk Wyld, Bill Skullion, and Rhino Richards. During his independent career, he won the MWCW Tag Team Championship twice with Legend and the ICW Street Fight Tag Team Championship twice (once each with Legend and Cage).
The duo of Hardcastle and Cage were known as Hard Impact before changing their name to The Suicide Blondes. They also worked in Japan under the name The Canadian Rockers. Copeland also wrestled briefly as Damon Striker against Kevin Sullivan and Meng on separate episodes of WCW Pro. In the summer of 1995, he worked a show in Ajax, Ontario, where Bret Hart's business manager, Carl De Marco, was watching. Impressed, he suggested Copeland send an audition tape to the WWF. Copeland did not hear back from WWF, but some time later, De Marco was appointed President of WWF Canada and told Copeland that he'd put in a good word.
World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment/WWE
Early years (1996–1998)
On May 10, 1996, Copeland (as Sexton Hardcastle) replaced Bob Holly's opponent on short notice in the opening match of a WWF house show in Hamilton, Ontario.
In 1996, Copeland initially made $210 per week while working for WWF without an official contract. The company also paid for his outstanding college debt, which was around $40,000. After a Grand Prix Wrestling tour in the summer of 1997, De Marco urged Copeland to go to Calgary, where Hart was informally training wrestlers while recovering from knee surgery. He spent his tour earnings on a plane ticket and landed with no money or place to stay. He called Johnny Smith, whom he would met twice, and Smith agreed to give him food and shelter. Smith also drove Copeland to and from the gym and Hart's house, where he trained alongside Ken Shamrock, Test, Mark Henry and Kurrgan. Copeland returned to the Maritimes for another Grand Prix tour before going back to Hart's house, bringing Christian with him. After this camp, Hart was impressed enough to put in a good word for both men at the WWF.
Copeland received a developmental contract with the WWF in 1997. On Remembrance Day 1997 in Cornwall, Ontario, he (under his real name) faced Christian Cage at a Shotgun taping, a match included on WWE Home Video's 2008 retrospective, Edge: A Decade of Decadence. Upon completing his training, Copeland made his WWF television debut on the June 22, 1998 episode of Raw as Edge, a loner character who entered the arena through the crowd for his matches. This had been preceded by weeks of vignettes for the character, which included him aimlessly walking around the city streets and assaulting innocent pedestrians. Copeland took the name Edge from an Albany radio station.
Edge's first televised match was against Jose Estrada, Jr. of Los Boricuas, which ended prematurely by countout when Edge performed a somersault senton from the ring to the outside, legitimately injuring Estrada's neck. In his first pay-per-view match at SummerSlam in August, he served as Sable's mystery tag team partner against Jacqueline and Marc Mero, and body-slammed Sable onto Mero in a pinning position to pick up the win. At Breakdown: In Your House, Edge faced Owen Hart in a losing effort. On October 11, 1998's edition of Sunday Night Heat, Edge defeated Vader in singles competition and at WWF Capital Carnage, Edge faced Tiger Ali Singh in a losing effort.
Edge and Christian (1998–2001)
Main article: Edge and Christian
Edge was then placed in a feud against the vampire wrestler Gangrel. During the feud, Gangrel introduced Christian, Edge's storyline brother, as his ally. Eventually, Gangrel and Christian convinced Edge to join them, and the three of them formed an alliance known as The Brood. At Rock Bottom: In Your House, The Brood defeated The J.O.B. Squad in a six-man tag team match. At the Royal Rumble, Edge competed in the 30-man Royal Rumble match and was eliminated by Road Dogg. The Brood was later abducted and converted into The Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness. In May 1999, the Brood broke away from the Ministry after Christian was attacked by Ken Shamrock and forced to reveal the location of the captive Stephanie McMahon. The Undertaker chose to have Christian punished for his trespass, but Edge and Gangrel stood by him and betrayed The Undertaker, leading to a brief feud with the Ministry. At Backlash: In Your House, the Brood faced Ministry members Bradshaw, Faarooq, and Mideon in a losing effort. At King of the Ring, The Hardy Boyz defeated Edge and Christian in a match to determine the number one contender to the WWF Tag Team Championship, after their first match on Sunday Night Heat ended in a no-contest.
Edge captured his first singles championship, the WWF Intercontinental Championship, on July 24, 1999, defeating Jeff Jarrett at a house show in Toronto, Ontario. He lost the title the next night to Jarrett at Fully Loaded. At SummerSlam, Edge and Christian competed in a Tag team turmoil match where they eliminated 3 teams: The New Brood (Matt and Jeff), Mideon and Viscera and Droz and Prince Albert before getting eliminated from the match by The Acolytes. At Unforgiven, Edge and Christian faced The New Age Outlaws for the WWF Tag Team Championship but failed to win the titles.
Later in the year, he was placed in a storyline angle with The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff). Gangrel soon betrayed both Edge and Christian and formed The New Brood with their enemies, The Hardy Boyz. They feuded with the Hardy Boyz, as they went on to compete in a ladder match at No Mercy in October for the "managerial services" of Terri Runnels and $100,000, which the Hardy Boyz won. At Survivor Series, Edge and Christian and The Hardy Boyz faced Too Cool and The Hollys in a four-on-four Survivor Series elimination match where they lost. At Armageddon, Edge and Christian competed in an 8-team battle royal which was won by The Acolytes. At Royal Rumble, Edge competed in the Royal Rumble match where he was eliminated by Al Snow and Val Venis. At No Way Out, Edge and Christian defeated The Hardy Boyz in a tag team match to determine the number one contenders to the WWF Tag Team Championship. At WrestleMania 2000 on April 2, Edge and Christian defeated the Hardy Boyz and the Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) to win the WWF Tag Team Championship in a TriangleLadder match, which ultimately led to the creation of the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match (TLC).
Following this victory, Edge and Christian found success as a villainous duo, winning the WWF Tag Team Title six more times (for a total of seven). During this time, their trademark became the "five second pose" where they performed a pose in the ring for five seconds "for the benefit of those with flash photography" to mock, insult, or otherwise amuse the fans. At Backlash, Edge and Christian defeated D-Generation X (X-Pac and Road Dogg) to retain the titles. At Judgment Day, Edge, Christian and Kurt Angle lost a six-man tag team match to Rikishi and Too Cool. Soon after, they lost the tag titles to Too Cool but won them back in a Four corners elimination match at King of the Ring. At Fully Loaded, they defended the titles against The Acolytes Protection Agency (Faarooq and Bradshaw) where they got disqualified but retained the titles. After retaining the titles at SummerSlam, at Unforgiven, Edge and Christian defended the titles against The Hardy Boyz in a Steel Cage match where they lost the titles and were not allowed another title shot. At No Mercy Edge and Christian, masked as Los Conquistadores, defeated The Hardys for the titles. The next night on Raw, the Hardy Boyz dressed as the Los Conquistadores and defeated Edge in a handicap match after Christian was taken out backstage to regain the WWF Tag Team Championship.
At Survivor Series, Edge and Christian teamed with Right to Censor's Bull Buchanan and The Godfather in a four-on-four Survivor Series elimination match, where they lost to The Dudley's and The Hardy's, They regained the tag titles at Armageddon in a Fatal Four-Way match, but lost them 8 days later to The Rock and The Undertaker. They won them back days later on Smackdown! thanks to special guest referee Kurt Angle. During Edge and Christian's run as a tag team, they also competed as a team in the first three TLC matches, winning the first two over The Dudley Boyz and The Hardy Boyz, at SummerSlam in 2000 and then again at WrestleMania X-Seven. At the 2001 Royal Rumble, Edge and Christian were defeated by the Dudley Boyz and lost the World Tag Team title. They unsuccessfully attempted to regain the tag team title at No Way Out against the Dudley Boyz and The Brothers of Destruction (The Undertaker and Kane), but they succeeded at WrestleMania X-Seven against the Dudley Boyz and The Hardyz in the second TLC match. At Judgment Day, Edge and Christian competed in a Tag Team Turmoil match which was won by Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit. Days later on the May 24, 2001 SmackDown, Edge and Christian competed in a Fatal 4-Way Tag Team TLC Match for the WWF Tag Team Championship where Benoit and Jericho retained the titles.
Championship reigns and various feuds (2001–2003)
Edge went on to solidify himself as an emerging singles competitor by winning the King of the Ring tournament in 2001 and becoming a face again by siding with the WWF during the Invasion storyline. Christian betrayed Edge shortly afterward, and the two feuded over Edge's Intercontinental Championship at SummerSlam that he later lost to Christian at Unforgiven, though Edge later captured the title. Following this, Edge lost the Intercontinental title to Test and shortly afterwards won the WCW United States Championship from Kurt Angle. On November 3 at Rebellion, Edge defeated Christian in a Steel cage match to retain the Intercontinental Championship, then Edge defeated Test at Survivor Series to unify the Intercontinental Championship with the U.S. Championship. From there, Edge was placed in a feud with William Regal for the Intercontinental Championship. Edge first defeated Regal at Vengeance to retain the championship: however, he would come up short in the new year, losing the title to Regal at Royal Rumble 2002 and then coming up short in his rematch against Regal at No Way Out in a Brass Knuckles on a Pole match. On the March 3 episode of Sunday Night Heat, Edge defeated Mr. Perfect, and at WrestleMania X8, Edge found himself in a match with Booker T that was the result of Edge beating out Booker for a fictitious Japanese shampoo endorsement. Shortly after defeating Booker T at WrestleMania, Edge was drafted to the SmackDown! brand in the first WWF Draft Lottery.
Upon arriving there, he began a feud with Kurt Angle. At Backlash, Edge defeated Angle and later culminated in Edge shaving Angle's head following a hair vs. hair match at Judgment Day in May. On the May 30 episode of SmackDown!, Edge defeated Angle in a Steel Cage match to end the feud but during the match Edge speared Angle from the top rope. In the process, Edge injured his arm and would be forced out of action for a month. Two months later, he would end up winning the World Tag Team Championship alongside Hollywood Hulk Hogan on July 4, 2002. Edge and Hogan lost the titles at Vengeance to Lance Storm and Christian, and at SummerSlam, Edge defeated Eddie Guerrero then lost to Guerrero at Unforgiven. They met one final time days later on SmackDown! in a No Disqualification match where Edge won, ending the feud. He then formed a tag team with Rey Mysterio, and the two participated in a tournament for the newly created and SmackDown!-exclusive WWE Tag Team Championship. They lost to Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit in the finals of the tournament at No Mercy; the match was voted Match of the Year by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. After they failed in winning the title, Mysterio and Edge defeated Los Guerreros in a number one contender's match on the October 24 episode of SmackDown! to earn a title shot. At the Rebellion pay-per-view, Edge faced Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman in a Handicap match for the WWE Championship where Lesnar retained the title after Lesnar pinned Edge. On the November 7 episode of SmackDown!, they defeated Angle and Benoit in a two out of three falls match to win their first Tag Team Championship. They soon lost the tag titles to Los Guerreros in a Triple Threat Elimination match that also involved former champions Angle and Benoit at Survivor Series.
After losing the title, Edge and Mysterio went their separate ways to focus on their singles careers. Edge competed in the 30-man Royal Rumblematch on January 19, 2003, where he had three eliminations before getting eliminated by Chris Jericho. Edge then teamed up with Chris Benoit, facing Team Angle (Kurt Angle, Charlie Haas, and Shelton Benjamin) in a series of singles and tag team matches. Prior to No Way Out, Edge suffered a legitimate neck injury, rendering him unable to compete in his scheduled match. At the event on February 23, Edge was written off television through a backstage attack. He then underwent surgery with Dr. Lloyd Youngblood and was sidelined for over a year.
World championship pursuits (2004–2005)
Edge was placed on the Raw brand in the 2004 WWE draft lottery after WrestleMania XX and returned to in-ring action shortly after the event. At Backlash, Edge defeated Kane, and on the April 19, 2004 episode of Raw, he and World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit won the World Tag Team Championship. They continued a close partnership even after losing the title; at Bad Blood, Edge and Benoit defeated La Résistance in a Tag team match for the World Tag Team Championship by disqualification but didn't win the titles. The team disbanded when Edge won the Intercontinental Championship at Vengeance defeating Randy Orton, thus becoming a five time Intercontinental Champion. At SummerSlam, Edge defeated Chris Jericho and Batista in a Triple threat match to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Following a legitimate groin injury in a non-televised match, Raw General ManagerEric Bischoff stripped Edge of the Intercontinental title.
Upon his return, Edge began to show some heel characteristics centering on his obsession for the World Heavyweight Championship. Edge, Chris Benoit, and Shawn Michaels received a title shot for Triple H's World Heavyweight Championship at Taboo Tuesday in October 2004. Michaels won the audience vote to receive the title shot, giving Edge and Benoit a tag team title shot. During the match, an angry Edge abandoned his partner (although Benoit managed to win the title on his own) and instead interfered in the main event, costing Michaels the championship. On the November 1 episode of Raw, Edge and Benoit lost the World Tag Team Championship with Edge abandoning Benoit again and sitting in a chair and watching the match. After the conclusion of the match, Edge attacked Benoit, officially turning heel for the first time since 2001. Edge then adopted a drastically different gimmick, becoming a crazed and brash villain in the process. At Survivor Series, Edge was part of Team Triple H along with Triple H, Batista and Snitsky. They were defeated by Team Orton (Randy Orton, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho and Maven). During the match, Edge eliminated both Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho before getting eliminated by Randy Orton.
On the November 29 episode of Raw, both Edge and Benoit competed in a number one contender's battle royal, but they eliminated each other simultaneously at the conclusion of the match, resulting in a draw. As a result, Triple H was forced to defend the title in a triple threat match. In the match, Benoit locked the Crippler Crossface on Edge, who shifted his weight putting Benoit's shoulders on the mat for a pin. This match also ended in a draw for Benoit and Edge, as Benoit made Edge submit at the same time the referee counted a pinfall for Edge. As a result, the World Heavyweight title was vacated the following week on Raw. In January 2005, Edge competed in his first Elimination Chamber match at New Year's Revolution for the vacant World Heavyweight Championship. Shawn Michaels (acting as special guest referee) performed a superkick on Edge, in retaliation for an accidental spear by Edge, causing Edge to be the first eliminated. This led to a match at the Royal Rumble later in the month, in which Edge defeated Michaels.
WWE Champion (2005–2006)
Subsequently, at WrestleMania 21, Edge won the first ever Money in the Bank ladder match, gaining a contract that gave him a shot at the World Heavyweight championship within one year. According to a podcast interview with Chris Jericho, Copeland said that he did not initially like the idea of the ladder match and even told WWE management not to include him on the Wrestlemania 21 card altogether. However, he was talked into competing by the other participants like Jericho and Glenn Jacobs who said the match had the potential to be a big success. At Backlash, Edge defeated Chris Benoit in a Last Man Standing match to end the feud. Several weeks after, Edge was then paired with Lita, his real-life girlfriend at the time, in an angle in which she betrayed her storyline husband Kane, by costing him a number-one contender match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Edge faced even more scorn from fans due to this relationship, which lasted over a year. The next week, Edge received his World Heavyweight Championship match against Batista, which he lost. Edge started a feud with Kane leading to several matches between them including one at Vengeance, when Edge lost to Kane. After trading several victories on Raw, the feud ended in a stretcher match on the July 25 episode of Raw that Edge won, but shortly after, Kane performed a tombstone piledriver on Lita.
On the July 11 episode of Raw, Edge's match with Kane was interrupted when Matt Hardy made a surprise appearance. Hardy referred to Edge as "Adam" and issued a threat to Lita as well. When Hardy was officially brought back to Raw, he and Edge continued their feud, including a match at SummerSlam where Edge defeated Hardy, causing Hardy to have excessive blood loss. On the August 29 episode of Raw, Edge and Hardy fought in a Street Fight, which resulted in a no contest when Hardy performed a side effect on Edge off the entrance ramp into the sound speakers and other electrical equipment. They also fought in a Steel cage match at Unforgiven in September in which Hardy defeated Edge. The feud culminated in a Loser Leaves Raw ladder match at Homecoming on October 3, which Edge won. After the match, Hardy left the Raw brand to go to the SmackDown! brand, while Edge suffered a legit torn pectoralis major muscle that kept him shelved for a couple of months. During his time off, he starred in his own talk show segment on Raw entitled The Cutting Edge, dubbing himself the "Rated-R Superstar". Edge used his talk show to start a feud with Ric Flair following Flair's well-publicized arrest in connection with a road rage incident. Edge eventually began using The Cutting Edge as a soapbox to run down Flair until, after weeks of public mockery, Flair eventually showed up and attacked Edge. Edge and Flair formally met at the New Year's Revolution event in 2006 in a match for Flair's Intercontinental Championship, which resulted in Flair retaining after Edge was disqualified.
Although Edge had lost his scheduled match at New Year's Revolution, that would not be his only match that evening as the main event saw John Cena, the reigning WWE Champion, defend his title in an Elimination Chamber match. After a bloody Cena won the match, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon revealed that Edge was cashing in his Money in the Bank contract to face Cena for the championship immediately. After two spears, Edge quickly defeated Cena to win the WWE Championship, marking his first world title win. The following night on Raw, Edge decided to celebrate his victory by having "hot, unbridled sex" in the middle of the ring. He and Lita engaged in foreplay until they were interrupted by Flair, who called Edge a disgrace and "that he was horrible in the sack". Flair, however, ended up on the receiving end of a con-chair-to on the announcers' table until Cena came out to Flair's aid and performed an FU on Lita. The "Live Sex Celebration" segment earned Raw a 5.2 rating, the highest Raw rating in over a year, leading Edge to call himself the "most watched champion ever". On the January 16 episode of Raw, Edge defeated Ric Flair in a TLC match to retain the WWE Championship. At the Royal Rumble, Edge lost the WWE Championship back to Cena.
Edge then lost a return match on a special Thursday episode of Raw held in February and blamed special guest refereeMick Foley for his loss, claiming biased officiating and attacked him. At Saturday Night's Main Event, Foley got revenge on Edge by assaulting him with a con-chair-to. They feuded until WrestleMania 22 in April, where Edge defeated Foley in a Hardcore match by spearing him through a flaming table but suffered second degree burns. Following his feud with Foley, Edge once again challenged John Cena for the WWE Championship. Triple H was involved in a feud with Cena at the time, resulting in a triple threat match at Backlash, where Cena pinned Triple H to retain the title. After Backlash, Edge continued his feud with Mick Foley as they entered a triple threathardcore match. Foley, however, betrayed his friend Tommy Dreamer with Edge's assistance. Edge and Foley then proclaimed that, because of their brutal match at WrestleMania, they were the true Hardcore Champions. At June's pay-per-view event One Night Stand, Edge, Foley and Lita defeated Dreamer, Terry Funk and Beulah McGillicutty in an Extreme Rules tag team match. Later in the event, Edge interfered in the WWE Championship match between John Cena and challenger Rob Van Dam, helping Van Dam win the title after he speared Cena through a table.
Edge, who won a number one contender's match to face Van Dam for the WWE title, was unable to win their match at Vengeance. Two weeks later on Raw, Edge pinned Van Dam in a triple threat match, after blindsiding Cena with the title belt, to become WWE Champion for the second time. This angle re-ignited Edge's feud with Cena, and he lost by disqualification at Saturday Night's Main Event in order to retain the title. Subsequently, a match was made for the August event SummerSlam with the stipulation that if Edge disqualified himself, he would lose the title. At the event, Edge retained the title by pinning Cena after he hit him in the back of the head with a pair of brass knuckles when the referee was not looking. The night after SummerSlam, Lita disposed of Cena's customized "spinner" belt into the Long Island Sound at Edge's command, who declared it the end of the "Cena era" in his life. Edge later unveiled the new "Rated-R" version of the belt. Cena, however, interfered in Edge's match with a returning Jeff Hardy later that night, chasing him down to the outside of the building, assaulting him, and tossing Edge into the Long Island Sound. The following week, Cena made a deal with Edge: if Edge could defeat him in a match for the WWE Championship, he would sign a contract to move to SmackDown!. Edge accepted, on the condition the match be a TLC match held at September's Unforgiven event in Edge's home town of Toronto. At the event, he lost the championship after Cena performed the FU on him, sending Edge crashing through two stacked tables from a ladder. At one point during the match, Cena locked in a modified STFU while Edge was in a ladder, who later said he was legitimately choked unconscious, the first time he had been knocked out in a match during his career.
Main article: Rated-RKO
On the October 2, 2006 episode of Raw, interference from the newly reformed D-Generation X (DX) (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) cost Edge his "final chance" at John Cena's WWE Championship in a Steel cage match, though their interference was a response to the interference of Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch, led to Edge approaching Randy Orton and asking him to join forces to defeat DX, which Orton accepted and joined an alliance with Edge. The two formed the tag team Rated-RKO. Rated-RKO became the first to defeat DX since their reunion, at Cyber Sunday, Rated-RKO defeated D-Generation X with Eric Bischoff as the special guest referee, at Survivor Series, Rated-RKO teamed with Johnny Nitro, Mike Knox and Gregory Helms to face Team DX (Triple H, Shawn Michaels, CM Punk and The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy)) but all members of Team Rated-RKO were eliminated. Rated-RKO quickly dominated the Raw brand's tag team division to become tag team champions, making Edge a record holder of 11 World Tag Team Championship title reigns in his WWE career. Due to Lita retiring that night, her on-screen relationship with Edge abruptly ended, with no explanation.
As part of the storyline angle, Rated-RKO attacked Ric Flair with steel chairs to enrage DX on November 27. At New Year's Revolution in January 2007, Rated-RKO faced DX in a title defense, but the match was declared a no-contest when Triple H suffered a legitimate injury during the match. At Royal Rumble, Edge competed in the 30-man Royal Rumble match where he lasted the longest in the match with a time of 44:02 and eliminated 5 men and made it to the final 4 in the match before getting eliminated by Shawn Michaels, With Triple H out of action, the team continued their on-screen rivalry with remaining DX member Shawn Michaels. Michaels teamed with John Cena to defeat Rated-RKO for the tag team championship on January 29, 2007. Edge and Orton suffered a series of losses to Cena and Michaels in the following months, In April 2007, Edge competed in the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania 23. During the match, Matt Hardy threw him onto a ladder and encouraged Jeff Hardy, who was close to the winning briefcase, to finish him off. Hardy then leaped off the 20-foot-high (6.1 m) ladder, and drove him through the ladder with a leg drop, seemingly injuring both Edge & himself. The two were unable to continue the match and were removed from ringside on stretchers. After this Edge and Orton also became rivals in their goals of achieving the WWE Championship. Neither Edge nor Orton won the championship, and they lost their claims as number one contenders after a failed match with Cena at Backlash in April.
La Familia (2007–2009)
Main article: La Familia (professional wrestling)
On the May 7, 2007 episode of Raw, Edge interrupted an in-ring promo by the winner of the 2007 Money in the Bank contract, Mr. Kennedy. Kennedy had said for weeks that he would not cash in the contract until the following WrestleMania, but Edge decided to goad him into a match for his briefcase. Edge attacked Kennedy before the match even started, severely injuring his shoulder, and took advantage of the injury to beat Kennedy and take the briefcase. Edge thus became the first person to gain the Money in the Bank contract twice and the first not to do so in the ladder match. (This was done to give Kennedy time to recuperate from what was originally thought to be a completely torn triceps tendon, but later turned out to be a much less severe injury.)
On the May 11 episode of SmackDown!, World Heavyweight ChampionThe Undertaker retained his title against Batista in a steel cage match. Then, Mark Henry attacked the Undertaker. Despite being part of the Raw roster, Edge came out, cashed in his Money in the Bank contract for a title match, and speared Undertaker for the victory and his first World Heavyweight Championship. As a result, Edge became a member of the SmackDown! roster. Edge then began a feud with Batista and successfully defended his championship title against him at Judgment Day, in a Steel Cage match at One Night Stand, and a third and final time by count out in a last chance match at Vengeance. Edge then began a feud with Kane after SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long announced Kane as the new number one contender for the World Heavyweight title. Edge was forced to relinquish the World title due to a legitimately torn left pectoral muscle injury on the July 20 episode of SmackDown! following an attack by Kane.
At November's pay-per-view event, Survivor Series, Edge made his return, interfering in a World Heavyweight Championship Hell in a Cell match between Batista and The Undertaker. The following SmackDown! show saw Edge and General Manager Vickie Guerrero make their relationship public, making his official in-ring return in a World title match against Batista on November 30, a match that ended after The Undertaker interfered. At Armageddon, Edge won the World Heavyweight Championship, after giving The Undertaker two chair shots and pinning the defending champion Batista (who had been Tombstoned by Undertaker prior) in a Triple Threat match. During the match, Edge used two look-a-likes to distract Batista and The Undertaker. It was later revealed that these look-a-likes were the Major Brothers, who were then repackaged as Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder. Edge also formed an alliance with Chavo Guerrero, nephew of Vickie Guerrero, and on the January 22, 2008 broadcast of ECW, he assisted Chavo in winning the ECW Championship from CM Punk, even though Chavo previously rebuffed Edge and allied himself with Rey Mysterio, Edge's scheduled opponent at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. The group eventually came under the name of La Familia. On the Valentine's Day episode of SmackDown, Edge proposed to Vickie, to which she accepted.
At WrestleMania XXIV, Edge lost the World Heavyweight championship to the Undertaker when he tapped out to the Hell's Gate. In a WrestleMania rematch, The Undertaker defeated Edge once again at Backlash to retain the World Heavyweight championship. Following Backlash, The Undertaker was stripped of the World title by Vickie Guerrero and faced Edge for the title at Judgment Day in May and then again at One Night Stand in a TLC match in June. The first match ended with a countout victory for The Undertaker but no champion was crowned due to the circumstances. The second match at One Night Stand saw Edge walk away champion, which also meant Undertaker was forced to leave the company.
On June 29, 2008, Edge faced Batista in a match for his title at Night of Champions. Due to interference from La Familia and a belt shot from Edge, he was able to defeat Batista. The next night on Raw, which happened a week after that year's draft lottery, Edge came out to gloat about his victory as well as the fact that, thanks to the draft, both the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship were both SmackDown property (Triple H, who was the reigning WWE Champion at the time, was drafted to SmackDown and had retained his title at Night of Champions as well). As Edge was leaving the ring, an angry Batista (who had been drafted back to Raw after three years as a SmackDown wrestler) came out and chased Edge back to the ring. He proceeded to assault Edge, finishing with a Batista Bomb in the ring. Just as Batista was leaving, CM Punk ran to the ring carrying the Money in the Bank briefcase he had won at WrestleMania XXIV, with referee Mike Chioda tagging along with him. Since Edge was still out of it from the attack, he did not see Punk come into the ring and therefore was unaware that Punk was cashing in his contract. Once the bell rang, Punk simply hit Edge with a Go To Sleep and pinned him to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
On the July 4, 2008 episode of SmackDown, Edge took his frustrations out on Vickie because he lost the title and told her the wedding was off. The following week, however, after Guerrero saved Edge from a con-chair-to by The Big Show, Edge re-proposed, and the wedding was back on. On July 18, 2008 at the wedding reception, Triple H came out and showed a video of Edge cheating on Guerrero the day before with the wedding planner, Alicia Fox. The angle continued at The Great American Bash in July, when Fox attempted to hand Edge the WWE Championship belt to use as a weapon against Triple H, but was stopped by Guerrero. Edge attempted to spear Triple H but hit Guerrero instead, with the distraction, Triple H performed a Pedigree on Edge to retain the WWE title. Edge attempted to apologize to Guerrero, even though he was seen talking to Fox, but she revealed to him that she had rehired The Undertaker and that Edge would face him in a Hell in a Cell match at SummerSlam. Edge then turned on La Familia during the August 8 episode of SmackDown, performing a one-man con-chair-to on Chavo in the ring, and tossed Guerrero out of her wheelchair, effectively disbanding the faction. The following week, Edge verbally assaulted Guerrero, before he forced her to apologize to The Undertaker for what she did to him. He also mentioned to Guerrero, that it was because of her that La Familia suffered. At SummerSlam, The Undertaker defeated Edge, and after the match, Undertaker chokeslammed Edge off the top of a ladder and through the ring canvas, with flames rising from the hole.
On November 23, 2008 at Survivor Series
Professional wrestling has accrued a considerable nomenclature throughout its existence. Much of it stems from the industry's origins in the days of carnivals and circuses. In the past, professional wrestlers used such terms in the presence of fans so as not to reveal the worked nature of the business. In recent years, widespread discussion on the Internet has popularized these terms. Many of the terms refer to the financial aspects of professional wrestling in addition to in-ring terms.
This is a dynamic list and may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries.
- A wrestling event where a company's biggest draws wrestle.
- A group of a wrestling promotion's top stars who wrestle at an A-show. (compare B-team)
- To suddenly discontinue a feud, angle, or gimmick due to a lack of fan interest, usually without explanation.
- A term typically only used in Japanese puroresu for a wrestler designated as the face of the promotion. Not necessarily the same as the top champion. Examples of modern aces include Hiroshi Tanahashi in New Japan Pro Wrestling and Suwama in All Japan Pro Wrestling.
- A management employee, often a former wrestler (though it can be a current wrestler), who helps wrestlers set up matches, plan storylines, give criticisms on matches, and relay instructions from the bookers. Agents often act as a liaison between wrestlers and higher-level management and sometimes may also help in training younger wrestlers. They are referred to by WWE as "producers".
- A cooperative relationship developed between two or more wrestlers, whether wrestling as a tag team or in individual matches. Alliances are often formed for the specific purpose of retaining titles between the members of the alliance, or to counter a specific foe or group of foes. The formation of an alliance can be a storyline of its own.
- A fictional storyline. An angle usually begins when one wrestler attacks another (physically or verbally), which results in revenge. An angle may be as small as a single match or a vendetta that lasts for years. It is not uncommon to see an angle become retconned due to it not getting over with the fans, or if one of the wrestlers currently involved in the angle is fired.
- An old-style professional wrestling magazine that sticks to kayfabe articles. The term refers to the magazines at one time connected to journalist Bill Apter, such as Pro Wrestling Illustrated.
- A wrestling event featuring the middle and lower-level talent of a wrestling promotion. Sometimes includes well-known wrestlers making a return or finishing up their career.
- The group of wrestlers on a B-show. Frequently, the B-team will wrestle at a venue the same night wrestlers on the A-team are wrestling in a different event, although a promotion will sometimes schedule an event with B-team wrestlers to test a new market.
Main article: Face (professional wrestling)
- A wrestler positioned as a hero, who the crowd are typically cheering for in a match. Often simply known as a face.
- A situation in which a wrestler or other performer is the recipient of a one-sided beating, usually by a group of wrestlers.
Main article: Blading (professional wrestling)
- A wrestler intentionally cutting themself to provoke bleeding. Also known as "juicing" or "gigging".
- A tag made in a tag team match where the wrestler on the apron tags his partner unbeknownst to them or without their consent. It can also refer to such a tag where the tagger's opponent is unaware a tag has occurred, leaving them open to a blindside attack. Most often occurs when the partner in the ring is thrown against the ropes or backed into their own corner.
- A missed spot.
- The final match in a feud. While the involved wrestlers often move onto new feuds, sometimes it is the final match in the promotion for one or more of the wrestlers.
- To become exhausted during a match.
- To determine and schedule the events of a wrestling card. The person in charge of setting up matches and writing angles is a "booker". It is the wrestling equivalent of a screenwriter. A booker can also be described as someone who recruits and hires talent to work in a particular promotion. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa defined a booker in 1956 as "[...] any person who, for a fee or commission, arranges with a promoter or promoters for the performance of wrestlers in professional wrestling exhibitions". Booking is also the term a wrestler uses to describe a scheduled match or appearance on a wrestling show.
Main article: Botch (professional wrestling)
- To attempt a scripted move or spoken line that does not come out as it was originally planned; a mistake.
- A match that ends in a time limit draw.
- To fall on the mat or ground. A flat back bump is a bump in which a wrestler lands solidly on their back with high impact, spread over as much surface as possible. A phantom bump occurs when a wrestler or referee takes a bump without a plausible reason (usually due to a botch or other mistake).
- The worked lowering (relegation) of a popular wrestler's status in the eyes of the fans. It is the act of a promoter or booker causing a wrestler to lose popularity and credibility by forcing them to lose in squash matches, lose continuously, allow opponents to no-sell or kick out of said wrestler's finishing maneuvers, or participate in unentertaining or degrading storylines. It can be a form of punishment for real-life backstage disagreements or feuds between the wrestler and the booker, the wrestler falling out of favor with the company, or the wrestler receiving an unpopular gimmick that causes them to lose credibility regardless of their win-loss record.
- Professional wrestling; instead of "profession" or "sport".
- To start to bleed, usually from the head after being hit with something like a chair, and typically after blading.
- An event featuring the lowest level of talent in a promotion, most notably rookies and entry-level talent. Often used as a derogatory adjective.
- To instruct the other wrestler of what is going to happen in the match.
- The lineup of the matches that will be staged at a given venue for a given performance. The card is generally performed in a roughly inverse order to the way in which it might be printed for posters or other promotional materials. The major matches between well-known opponents may be for "titles" and are said to be "top of the card" or "headliners" while the preliminary matches between lesser-known opponents are said to be the "undercard".
- A term for a wrestler whose purpose is to use their in-ring abilities to make their opponents look as good and strong as possible. This is different from an "enhancement talent" in that a wrestler is used as a carpenter because they are recognized as having great in-ring abilities and experience. Often (but not always) a carpenter is an older, more experienced wrestler, tasked with making less experienced wrestlers (often in the beginning stages of receiving a push) look like a credible threat going into their next program. In modern times, a carpenter is also used when a company is preparing to present a recent signee who may not be familiar to the audience, in an effort to help the wrestler best showcase their abilities.
- The act of one wrestler guiding a typically less experienced performer through a match. Also refers to a match or angle in which a particularly skilled performer is able to make an inferior wrestler look good, or is perceived to be doing all the work.
- A reigning champion's right to retain a title, should he or she lose a championship match by countout or disqualification. Also called "champion's advantage".
- The incitement of a negative crowd reaction by insulting the crowd en-masse, typically by bringing up something unrelated to the wrestling business, usually used in a negative light.
- The incitement of a positive crowd reaction by "kissing up" to the crowd. Heels often follow the same principle, but in reverse to get booed (see "Cheap heat" above).
- An underhanded tactic, such as a low blow or a foreign object to get an advantage over an opponent.
- A match ending without cheating or outside interference, usually in the center of the ring. (Compare "screwjob")
- Matches pitting two babyfaces with no storyline animosity against each other, both obeying the rules throughout. Such matches are characterized by an emphasis on displaying technical wrestling skill instead of working the audience and a general air of sportsmanship. Although a staple of British and Japanese wrestling, it is uncommon in North America. One notable "clean" match which took place in North America is Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania VI in 1990.
- A titleholder (usually a heel) who ducks top-flight matches, cheats to win (often by managerial interference), and—when forced to wrestle good opponents—deliberately causes themself to be disqualified (since titles often do not change hands by disqualification) to retain the title.
- The amount of bloodshed in a match.
- A match in which a wrestler is being dominated and then manages to turn things around and fight back successfully. Usually done by faces to earn sympathy. The expression "feeding a comeback" refers to something heels do to increase the dramatic impact of a comeback. May become a false comeback if ended prematurely. Known informally as "Hulking up" in reference to Hulk Hogan's signature comeback trait.
- A face covered in blood, comparable to a mask.
- An event which occurs when two or more rival promotions put together one card or wrestling event. Some promoters have used cross-promotion style angles to further interest. Cross promotion dates back to the early days of wrestling as challenges between rival promoters in the same area often occurred.
- A non-televised match at a televised show (compare house show). A dark match before the show is often used to test new talent or warm up the crowd. A dark match after the show typically features main-event level wrestlers, in order to sell more tickets and send the crowd home happy, without affecting TV storylines.
See also: Hardcore wrestling
- The bloodiest and most violent form of hardcore wrestling, popular in Japan, Mexico, and some parts of the United States. In deathmatch wrestling many of the traditional rules of professional wrestling are not enforced and the usage of objects such as barbed wire, panes of glass, fluorescent light tubes, weed whackers, among others, occurs. Deathmatches are typically much bloodier and more violent than the typical wrestling contest.
- An insider newsletter (or website) in the professional wrestling business. Sometimes written in a negative tone or as a means to "get dirt". Not to be confused with traditional news.
- A tactic used in a tag team match when both members of a tag team gang up on one of the opponents, or a move that involves two wrestlers working in unison.
- The occurrence when both the face and the heel switch roles during an angle or a match. Arguably the most famous example is that of Stone Cold Steve Austin versus Bret Hart at Wrestlemania 13, where Austin entered as a heel and Hart entered as a face, but due to Austin fighting on through blood and passing out to a move by Hart, the two switched roles to end the match.
- A wrestler or program that attracts the attention of the audience; someone fans are willing to pay to see. Derived from the term "drawing money", meaning the wrestler makes money for the promotion.
- To lose a match or championship (the loser agreed to drop the match to the winner).
- A finish in which the face appears to win a big match, but the decision is later reversed due to some sort of technicality, such as interference by other heels to save the heel champion, as, in most federations, the title could not change hands on such a disqualification. It can also refer to an ambiguous finish to a match where neither wrestler can claim to be the winner. The "Dusty" in the term refers to Dusty Rhodes, who booked many such finishes in National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and later in World Championship Wrestling (WCW).
- A (typically larger) wrestler who accompanies another to matches and acts as a bodyguard. This term was coined by Arn Anderson, whose nickname was "The Enforcer". The term can also refer to an individual who acts in a "special guest referee" capacity from outside the ring, ostensibly to maintain order.
Main article: Exótico
- A wrestler (typically a Mexican luchador) who competes in drag. Examples of exóticos include: Mexico's Pimpinela Escarlata, America's Goldust, and Japan's Yosuke Santa Maria
See also: Hardcore wrestling
- A style of professional wrestling that makes frequent use of highspots and weapons. Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) is known for using this style. Prior to its acquisition by WWE, Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) was also known for this style, presenting it as an alternative to the WWE's and WCW's product.
Main article: Face (professional wrestling)
- Also referred to as "babyface". A wrestler who is heroic, who is booked to be cheered by fans.Heels are the opposite of faces, and faces commonly perform against heels.
- In a tag team match, the member of a face team who is dominated by the heel team for an extended period of the match. The tactic can be used to help get the crowd behind the face tag team and is usually followed up with a hot tag. During the 1980s, Ricky Morton of the Rock 'N' Roll Express was typically in this position while teaming with Robert Gibson; so much so that "playing Ricky Morton" has become synonymous with the term.
- A wrestler that represents the wrestling promotion that they are a part of, and frequently appears on merchandise, promotions and television adverts, amongst other things. They can be a top champion, or simply a recognisable wrestler. (Compare ace)
- The ending of a match. A fall is obtained by gaining a decision in any manner, normally consisting of a pinfall, submission, count-out, or disqualification. In a two out of three falls match, or a Mountevans Rules match, a wrestler must gain two decisions to win instead of only one. (See near-fall)
- The first televised show after a pay-per-view. (contrast with go-home show)
- A brief offensive flurry by a face, before losing momentum back to a heel after being dominated for several minutes. Usually, it occurs before the actual comeback. Also known as a "hope spot"
- A pinfall attempt which is kicked out of, usually after a finishing move or series of high impact moves, and usually kicked out of just before the referee counts to three. This builds crowd anticipation towards the actual finish.
Main article: Feud (professional wrestling)
- A staged rivalry between multiple wrestlers or groups of wrestlers. They are integrated into ongoing storylines, particularly in events which are televised. Feuds may last for months or even years or be resolved with implausible speed, perhaps during the course of a single match.
- A champion who defends his title often.
- The planned end of a match. (See Dusty finish and clean finish)
- A wrestler's signature move that usually leads to the pinfall or submission.
- A particular combination of moves that a certain wrestler tends to use in every match, often in the same sequence, usually ending with their finisher. This term is usually used pejoratively, though it was not originally intended so by Dave Meltzer, who coined the term in the 1990s to describe the finishing sequence of Bret Hart, and is most notably used today to describe the common finishing moves of John Cena.
- A weapon that is not allowed to be used in the match. Usually found under the ring or ringside, in a wrestler's tights, or handed to wrestlers by managers, interfering wrestlers or (less commonly) audience members. If a foreign object is used behind the referee's back, it usually leads to a pinfall. However, the same object is typically less effective in a match where it is legal.
- Somewhat similar to professional sports, "free agent" is a term used to describe a professional wrestler who is not under contract to a single major promotion. A wrestler who is a free agent can appear for multiple independent promotions. The term is also used within the WWE promotion to describe certain wrestlers who are not exclusive to one of their brands, being able to appear and perform on any brand (e.g., John Cena, who became a free agent in 2017 and is their only active free agent).
- Steroids, or stamina (as in "out of gas").
- Exhausted or out of breath during a match.
- The blade a wrestler uses to cut themself.
See also: Gimmick (professional wrestling)
- The character portrayed by a wrestler. Can also be used to refer specifically to the motif or theme evoked by a character, as indicated by their name, costume or other paraphernalia.
- A jobber who defeats "pure jobbers" as well as mid-card wrestlers in matches, but consistently loses to main event level wrestlers.
- When a wrestler, heel or face, evokes a negative reaction not through their working of the audience but because the audience are not entertained by the wrestler and do not want to watch them perform. (See X-Pac heat)
- To finish a match. One wrestler would tell the other to "go home" when it is time for them to execute the planned ending for their match. Referees may also tell the wrestlers to go home (usually after receiving word to do so from a producer backstage).
- The final televised show before a pay-per-view event. So named because the promotion will often have no house shows (aka untelevised events) in the next few days before the pay-per-view, in order to give the wrestlers a chance to literally go home and rest up so they may bring their A-Game at the pay-per-view. (contrast with fallout show)
- When a wrestler refuses to "sell" to their opponent to get themselves more "over".
- A championship belt.
- To beat someone.
- The staging area just behind the curtain where wrestlers come out to the ring, named after Gorilla Monsoon.
- Refers to a wrestler who is in the early stages of their career and, as a result, may be prone to making mistakes because of their inexperience.
- A deep cut that bleeds a lot, usually caused by a mistake while blading, but can be intentional.
Main article: Hardcore wrestling
- A style of wrestling that emphasizes brutality and real violence with matches typically involving minimal technical wrestling, instead focusing on moderate brawling techniques and the use of weapons.
- A wrestler bleeding by any means other than blading, typically from a legitimate strike or potato.
- A move which, as a result of a botch, causes the receiver to be dropped on their head, often resulting in a legit concussion or other injury such as a broken neck. Also, especially in puroresu, the term can refer to a bump which is intended to make a move appear as if the receiver landed on his or her head. In reality, the full force of the move is intended to be taken on the upper back and shoulders, though such moves still carry a high degree of legitimate risk with them.
Main article: Heat (professional wrestling)
- Negative reactions from the live fans. When the heat is directed at a heel this is seen as a positive, as it means fans are reacting in the desired way. Also used to describe real-life tension or bad feeling between two wrestlers.
Main article: Heel (professional wrestling)
- A wrestler who is villainous, who is booked to be booed by fans.Faces are the opposite of heels, and heels commonly perform against faces.
- The top-ring rope moves or the series of moves or maneuvers, along with fast motions among two, three, or more wrestlers, that will perceived to be risky and very dangerous.
- A popular, arrogant heel persona associated with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Batista, and The Miz. Refers to the real-world fame of the wrestler.
- A wrestler with strong legitimate mat-wrestling abilities and an array of match-ending (or in extreme cases, career ending) holds known as "hooks", hence the name. One of the most famous hookers in wrestling history was world champion Lou Thesz.
- A wrestler who is physically large, but lacks other skills. A match between two large men who use plenty of stiff strikes is sometimes known as a "hossfest".
- A rushed feud, climax of a feud, or big match on television instead of at a pay-per-view in order to get a short-term boost for business. Also applies to angles or turns that are done for shock value rather than acting as a part of an ongoing storyline.
- In a tag team match, the face's tag to a fresh partner after several minutes of being dominated by both heels, usually immediately followed by the freshly tagged partner getting in a quick burst of offense. Often the hot tag happens after several teases (where the other face is enticed into the ring, only to be stopped by the referee and the heels getting away with illegal tactics, or a legal tag being made while the ref is distracted, resulting in the referee forcing the fresh partner out of the ring because "he wasn't tagged in.")
- The amount of money drawn at a particular event.
Main article: House show
- An untelevised event.
- A match that takes place, specifically on pay-per-views, that was not announced on the card before the event.
Main article: Independent circuit
- A smaller wrestling company that operates at a local (rather than national) level and typically employs freelance wrestlers, as opposed to signing wrestlers to exclusive contracts.
- A term used by WWE during their brand extension to reference a match between the Raw, SmackDown, or ECWbrands.
- Also known as cross promotion. A match or event involving wrestlers from two or more different promotions wrestling, usually against each other, on the same card.
- The act of someone who is not part of the match getting involved; this may involve distracting or assaulting one or more of the participants in the match.
- A storyline in which a group of wrestlers from one promotion appear in another promotion. In some cases, this happens suddenly without advance warning or notice, and usually involves the invaders attempting to take the promotion over.
- Internet wrestling community; the community of social media users (some of them smarks) who discuss professional wrestling online on social media platforms. The WWE has referred to this community as the Internet sports-entertainment community.
- To wrestle the first match of the card. Refers to the curtain separating the entranceway from backstage. A wrestler commonly booked in this position is a "curtain jerker".
Main article: Job (professional wrestling)
- To lose in a wrestling match, usually overwhelmingly in squash matches.
- A wrestler who routinely loses in order to build the credibility of other wrestlers; also referred to as "enhancement talent".
- Steroids. Also blood, usually from the forehead.
- To leave one promotion with intentions of performing in another.
Main article: Kayfabe
- The presentation of professional wrestling as being entirely legitimate or real. Prior to the mid-1980s, this was universally maintained across all wrestling territories and promotions.
- To use the legs to kick or power out of a pin by using the force made to lift the shoulders off the mat.
- This term describes the style of wrestling All Japan Pro Wrestling uses. It is a fusion of the Japanese strong style and a more American style of professional wrestling. King's Road practitioners incorporated increasingly more stiff strikes and head drops during the 1990s.
- Short-form of "legitimate". This term refers to real-life incidents or events that have not been booked or scripted and are therefore not part of the fictional and kayfabe presentation. It is often used to describe a genuine injury to a wrestler, as opposed to one scripted as part of a storyline. It can also be used to describe a wrestler with a genuine background in another combat sport (typically boxing, other wrestling codes or mixed martial arts) and so has proven 'real' fighting skills.
- A wrestler who is not over with an audience and is perceived as a failure.
- An unsigned wrestler that is usually put into squash matches with company wrestlers to build the other's momentum. Often used so known wrestlers from the promotion do not have to job.
- A portion of a match, usually the very start of the match, where two wrestler join together in a collar-and-elbow tie up.
- A wrestler who typically wrestles near the beginning of a show and does not participate in major storylines or matches. Often seen as being at the bottom of a promotion's hierarchy.
- A wrestler, typically, who stands close to the ring, usually in a lumberjack match, in which he or she (and others similarly called upon) are to forcibly return to the ring any wrestler who attempts to leave or is expelled therefrom. Usually, in the case of a heel, he or she is actually helping one or more (rarely all) wrestlers.
Main article: Lucha libre
- Mexican professional wrestling. Translates to "free fight" and is sometimes shortened to simply lucha, the Mexican style of professional wrestling is characterized by high-flying aerial moves, colored masks, and the rapid series of holds, strikes, and maneuvers.
- The specific fusion style of Professional wrestling that could involve the high-flying acrobatic moves of lucha libre and the suplexes, strong martial arts strikes, physicality, and psychology of puroresu or strong-style wrestling.
- The most heavily promoted, typically final match on a card.
- A wrestler who wrestles in main events. Typically among the biggest stars in a promotion and considered to be a draw. Also called a "headliner".
Main article: Manager (professional wrestling)
- A performer (usually a non-wrestler) who is paired with one or more wrestlers in order to help them get over. Typically managers are seen accompanying their wrestlers to the ring and are presented as having some sort of influence or sway over their wrestlers.
- A wrestling fan who enthusiastically believes that professional wrestling is not staged, or loses sight of the staged nature of the business while supporting their favorite wrestlers. Also sometimes used by industry insiders to describe a participant in the wrestling industry who believes that any aspect of the industry is more important than the money they can earn; for example, being preoccupied with holding a title belt rather than being paid more. Although this term has lost most of its original meaning over time; the term has been also known to be related to people have little or no knowledge in about the backstage, the industry as a whole or overzealously defends a major company or product while ignoring all others. This sub term is called a "product mark". (e.g. WWE mark, TNA mark, ROH mark; etc.)
- A wrestler whose job it is to feud with the future main event stars and help get them ready for the position. Other times, mechanics are the in-ring teachers helping younger wrestlers gain experience and ability.
- A wrestler who is seen as higher than a low-carder, but below a main eventer, typically performing in the middle of a show. Often wrestling for the secondary title of a federation. An "upper-midcarder" is a wrestler who can transition between the midcard and occasional main-event programs.
- A move or series of moves which are mistimed. Also called a "blown spot" or sometimes "mis-selling".
- Someone who founds or invests in a wrestling promotion mainly to associate with wrestlers, often willfully or ignorantly disregarding financial risks a profit-focused investor would avoid.
- A highly promoted non-title match at or near the end of a card, which is a main selling point for an event.
- An extremely powerful, seemingly unbeatable wrestler, either face or heel, who often wins matches in a quick, one-sided manner.
- A manager who does the promos, or all the talking, for a wrestler possessing poor oration skills.
- An informal measure among some fans of the amount of blood lost by a wrestler during a match. The scale begins at 0.0 Muta (no blood), with 1.0 Muta being equivalent to the blood loss of Great Muta during an infamous 1992 New Japan Pro Wrestling match with Hiroshi Hase.
- An occurrence in which a wrestler's shoulders are pinned to the mat for a count of two, but the wrestler manages to escape before the referee's hand hits the mat a third time, which would signify a pinfall. "Two-and-a-half count" or other fractions used to denote even closer "counts", such as "two-and-three-quarters", are often used many times in matches to build excitement. Occasionally related to a "false finish".
- A match that ends in a draw; has no winner. This is often the result of the winning conditions for a match being impossible or unlikely to occur due to the circumstances of the match.
- To show no reaction to an opponent's offensive moves; a way to demonstrate endurance, appear invulnerable to pain, legitimately undermine an opponent or to illustrate masochistic tendencies. Compare sell.
- A wrestler not showing up for a match. No-shows can be staged for storyline purposes. Legitimate no-shows are less frequent, and the offender typically faces disciplinary action.
- A higher level of heat, when fans are agitated to the point of being legitimately angry or upset.
- The wrestler who is next in line for a championship match.
- One definition describes it as being popular with the audience. Another definition describes it as achieving the desired reaction from the fans. Babyfaces who are over will be cheered, and heels who are over will be booed. Sometimes particular aspects of a performer's presentation may be over (such as a specific move they perform or their ring entrance) without the performer themselves being considered over.
- When a wrestler issues a challenge to anyone on the roster without knowing in advance who his opponent will be. This is usually done to show a wrestler's return (such as Ryback's return on October 27, 2014) or to show a new wrestler or team being called up to the main roster or otherwise making their debut for a promotion (such as The Revival answering an open challenge issued by The New Day on April 3, 2017). Alternatively, it could be used to portray a babyface as being willing to take on all-comers (such as John Cena defending the WWE United States Championship in regular open challenges in 2016 and 2017).
- To show too much of a reaction to an opponent's offense. The match between Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels at SummerSlam in August 2005 gained infamy because Michaels frequently over-sold Hogan's moves.
- To give out tickets to an event to make it look better attended than it otherwise would have been.
- A weak or easily beaten champion, usually awarded the title by dubious means.
- A vague, fictional location. Billing a wrestler as being from "Parts Unknown" (rather than from his real hometown or another actual place) is intended to add to a wrestler's mystique. In some territories, the phrase commonly was applied to masked wrestlers, such as Kane. In the post-kayfabe era, it is used less and less, and usually with a certain air of levity. Sometimes, wrestlers can hail from other similarly abstract places, for example Stardust being billed from "The 5th Dimension" or Damien Demento being billed from "The Outer Reaches of Your Mind".
- The culmination of an angle or storyline with the intention of providing gratification for the fans. Typically involves a face finally overcoming a dominant heel.
- The act of a promotion bringing in a former ECW wrestler when in Philadelphia.
Main article: Pin (professional wrestling)
- Holding a wrestler's shoulders to the mat for a three count, to win a fall.
- A worked shoot promo where the wrestler giving the promo appears to break kayfabe. The wrestler, usually scripted to be extremely frustrated, can rip anything from their own circumstances, fans, other wrestlers, backstage personnel, even the company itself. Usually the wrestler dropping the pipe bomb can incorporate what fans are already thinking and complaining about. While appearing to be unscripted, backstage personnel are usually aware of them ahead of time and can be used to dramatically alter storylines. This was a term first used by CM Punk.
- A wrestler or actor who poses as a fan, usually seated in the front row of an event. Plants are a good tool for a heel wrestler to gain heat from the crowd, although there is a rare instance where said plant attacks the heel wrestler. At major shows, the plant is often a lesser-known wrestler from the independent circuit. Sometimes the plant might be a heel wrestler's kid portraying a young fan who is disappointed in front of the crowd in ways seen as truly mean. A good example is the WWE debut of Santino Marella in 2007.
- A wrestler, often a respected or feared shooter or street fighter, responsible for enforcing the promoter's will against recalcitrant wrestlers by performing unscripted or painful moves within a match, punishing or intimidating them for defying the management. In today's industry it is a largely outdated because such tactics are illegal if they can be proved. Typically it is only still used by dirt rags and outside commentators who believe one wrestler is deliberately placed in matches against more dangerous opponents and injured deliberately after disagreements with management. While allegations of this sort persist, including being made by wrestlers themselves, few have been proven. Also referred to as a "house shooter".
- A cheer or positive reaction from the crowd.
- A strike to the head which makes real contact. A wrestler who endures one or more potatoes is likely to potato the perpetrator back, which is known as a "receipt".
- The act of forcefully exiting the ring.
- A series of matches in which the same wrestlers face each other.
- An in-character interview or monologue. Often includes either an "in-ring interview" or (on television) a skit by wrestlers and other performers to advance a storyline or feud. The act of performing a promo is referred to as "cutting", as in "cutting a promo". When the promo is aimed at a specific opponent (which can be an individual, team, stable or faction), it is said to be cut "on" the target.
- A finisher that is made to look strong by having opponents kick out of the following pin attempt only very rarely, for example, the Big Show's Knockout Punch.
- A brawl so vicious that the combatants need to be pulled apart by others.
- An established wrestler behaving in a way so as to make a lower reputation wrestler look good or on the same level.
Main article: Puroresu
- Japanese professional wrestling. The term can be transliterated as "pro-wres".
Main article: Push (professional wrestling)
- The worked rising of a wrestler's status in the eyes of the fans.
- Originally, along with "grunt-and-groan", used by the mainstream media when presenting a derisive story on professional wrestling, which often stereotyped the participants and audience. Now refers to a style of wrestling popular in Memphis, Tennessee and as a result, the southeastern United States, which emphasizes kayfabe and stiffness, generally with fewer squash matches and longer feuds, hence the more recent "Southern style" or to be specific compared to the Jim Crockett or Georgia styles, "Memphis style".
- A term for returning a particularly stiff move back to a wrestler.
- A scenario where the referee of the match takes a bump and is knocked out and taken out of the match, temporarily or permanently. This usually occurs to allow a storyline to progress.
- When a champion loses his or her title to another, this may be invoked to procure a title rematch in the near future. This fictional clause is often ignored in storylines.
- To give a wrestler a new gimmick.
- A loose hold applied during a match, during which wrestlers catch their breath or plan the next series of spots together.
- A practical joke played by or on a wrestler.
- An experienced wrestler who knows how to work a match to its full potential.
- The process of wrestling a match in such a way that the crowd becomes emotionally involved in the show. Performing an engaging match requires acting skills and a good grasp of dramatic timing.
- Similar to a groupie, one who frequents wrestling events to pursue sex with wrestlers.
- A detriment to wrestling ability resulting from lack of practice during a hiatus.