Every profession comes with its own special set of terms and jargon. Becoming familiar with said jargon can take some time, but you won’t be considered a true insider until you become fluent in the language. Sports and entertainment also have their own sets of phrases and words. There’s batting “cleanup” in baseball and a “scat back” in American Football. No matter what the topic, if you wish to be viewed as legitimate and knowledgeable, well, you better use the terminology correctly.
Professional wrestling is the exact same way. In fact, it may even take this notion to a new extreme. There are so many terms used throughout the WWE landscape that people unfamiliar to the sport may feel like WWE fans speak a completely different language. Those trying to become involved in the sport shouldn’t be deterred though, we’re here to help.
Even regular WWE fans misuse a variety of terms on a day-to-day basis. These slang terms can be extremely minute and hardly used, or something that is said in virtually every single WWE match. Those of you looking to brush up on your WWE knowledge should look no further. It’s time to correct some of the most common mistakes in WWE terminology. Here are ten professional wrestling terms you always seem to get wrong:
The word “spot” is thrown around quite commonly. Usually, it’s synonymous with the term “bump”, and it’s used to describe wrestlers with a high-flying style. Wrestlers like Neville or Sin Cara who frequently take to aerobatics to display their wrestling prowess are labeled as “spot monkeys.”
This usage is actually completely incorrect. A spot is simply defined as a wrestling move, and this current shift in using it to describe acrobatic moves is misplaced. A spot doesn’t even have to be a signature move of any sort; it could be as simple as someone falling down after being hit. Technically, a match consists of one spot after another. So, WWE fans, stop labeling wrestlers as spot monkeys, because literally every superstar uses a spot every time they enter a wrestling ring.
9 "Worked Shoot"
A worked shoot simply does not exist. It’s a prime example of two terms being mashed together that are actually direct opposites. A “work” is essentially anything in the wrestling world that’s presented in order to further a storyline. It can be a cut promo, a surprise interference, or simply a wrestler in the ring with the mic in their hands. A “shoot” is basically a work’s antonym. Shoots have no intention of furthering storylines whatsoever.
Many fans mistakenly label “worked shoots” as whenever a wrestler discusses something a bit more personal than usual. A good example of this is CM Punk’s infamous “breaking of the fourth wall” moment back in 2011. In reality, that entire sequence was designed to further Punk’s character, and his storyline split from the WWE. Do you really think McMahon would’ve let the microphone stay on for so long if it wasn’t?
This is an informal slang term that has been born over the internet. Interestingly enough, it even describes the internet itself. IWC stands for “Internet Wrestling Community”, and is often used in a negative way to describe those who discuss the wrestling scene online with a “holier than though” mentality.
It’s clear to see where this began. In the early days of the internet, there were members who labeled themselves the IWC and were considered the true wrestling insiders. They not only watched the bigger leagues, but knew everything about the independent circuits as well. They looked down on those who were less knowledgeable. Nowadays, the term IWC is still used to describe such people, but in reality literally everyone online discussing wrestling is a member of the IWC. It’s a term that encompasses much more than just the people that are using it.
Being “buried” is similar to another entry on our list, yet it differs because it is in context with the entire league rather than a singular wrestler. When a wrestler is being “buried”, their character is being diminished with no real explanation by the league. In essence, the league buries the character into eventual nonexistence because they feel it has no real potential. How do they do this? By having them lose a bunch of matches and downplaying their feuds.
The problem many WWE fans have is in overusing the phrase when it really isn’t necessary. You’ve probably wondered to yourself why the league is trying to "bury" a certain wrestler, when in reality they’ve only lost a handful of matches. Sure, that’s nothing to brag about, but it certainly doesn’t spell the end of their WWE career either.
This one comes with a bit of history. In order to understand it, one must know that the term “mark” can mean a few things. Those outside the industry use it to describe fans of professional wrestling. The actual fans of the WWE also use it to describe wrestling characters who cannot separate their character from their real-life person. One example of this would be Ultimate Warrior, who literally changed his name to Warrior.
It’s easy to see the confusion. The term is also tied to the everyday use involving con men. In this sense, “mark” is used to define their next target. Since the WWE is largely run by predetermined storylines, and they operate under the umbrella of pretend realism, people have misconstrued the word. No, “marks” are not people the league is tricking into believing it's all real, they are simply fans. In fact, there’s hardly anyone who watches professional wrestling who doesn’t realize it’s all fake, yet it’s entertaining nonetheless.
5 "Five Moves of Doom"
Here’s one term that confuses us a little bit. Not in the sense that the phrase is overly complicated, but in the general connotation that is used by fans when uttering it. Wrestlers rely on a certain set of moves. They each have patented finishers and such, and often there are a series of moves they frequently use to set those up. Fans who grow tired of these moves label them as the “five moves of doom,” and accuse wrestlers of lacking variety in their wrestling arsenal.
Truly, though, why is there so much hatred? Superstars must wrestle constantly throughout the year, and their routines help them stay on top. In fact, the alternative to having patented moves like these is a set of generic wrestling moves that don’t generate a pop. Wrestlers need their set of signature moves to deliver the final blow, and any wrestling fan who has grown knowledgeable enough to recognize them should actually be excited because they realize what is coming next. The connotation of this phrase is much more negative than it should be.
Here’s another term with the wrong connotation. It’s a slang term that’s becoming more and more popular recently, especially over the internet. Whenever a wrestler is being pushed by the league, especially babyface characters, they tend to win quite a lot. Fans familiar with the league’s inner workings will recognize this, and then begin referring to said wrestler as “Super (blank).”
This is all well and good, and it’s a clever way to denote a wrestler who, much like a superhero, triumphs over the bad guys quite regularly. The way it’s used though is in a sarcastic manner. Fans using the term do so in a way that is negative and disapproving. Sure, that all boils down to opinion, but when someone labels John Cena as “Super Cena,” it doesn’t mean he’s immune to losing. Plus, the league has always used their babyfaces as the winners. It’s been a staple of the WWE since its very beginning, yet only recently has this term been viewed as negative.
This is one word that has fallen victim to too much usage over the years. Recently, it’s been used to define a wrestler who displays potential, but falls victim to a much more established wrestler and then fades into obscurity. This is the correct use of the term, yet many WWE fans are too quick on the draw to label someone as being “squashed.”
A good example of this is John Cena. He is the face of the league, and wins the majority of his matches. He has legitimately squashed a few people, as some have been unable to recover their fan interest after losing. Others have been unfairly labeled as being squashed. Simply because they lost does not mean their careers have been thrown down the gutter. Cena recently beat Bray Wyatt in a short-lived feud, and some labeled it as Cena squashing him, but in reality there is no doubt that Wyatt has recovered his momentum and continues his upward trend throughout the WWE.
2 "Paper Champion"
The next two words come somewhat in tandem. A paper champion is actually a term that is rather obscure in the WWE universe. In fact, it’s hardly ever used, though it should be used more often. It’s used to define a wrestler who has won a belt, but will almost certainly lose it in the very near future to someone more qualified.
The term is used more frequently in other leagues, yet WWE fans seem to have overlooked it. In the early days, it was used when a heel won a championship belt due to a surprising judge decision or perhaps some outside interference. It was clear that some babyface would soon swoop in and restore justice to the league. The same storylines are used in today’s wrestling scene, yet the term is used incorrectly. In fact…
Most people use the term jobber when they truly mean paper champion. Wrong! Paper champions are allowed to win matches, in fact it’s the entire point of their character. They are heels who have been successful in gaining heat, so the league lets them win matches in order to outrage their fans and generate more intrigue for upcoming matches. They are not jobbers.
The term jobber, when correctly used, should be applied to individuals who are present in the league in order to enhance other wrestlers. They lose, time and time again. It’s a bit depressing really, but many have made a living off of it. Nowadays, wrestling fans are impatient. They’ve improperly labeled wrestlers who have lost a few matches in a row as jobbers. In reality, these wrestlers are just following the ups and downs of their storylines, and are not true jobbers whatsoever.