What is A Wrestling Ring Really Made Of?
I have wondered about this, since I stayed late, after a house show, when I was five and saw the ring being dismantled.
When Mick Foley fell off of the Hell in The Cell, We were all amazed. However, when Mick fell through the cell and on the mat, the locker room was much more shocked.
Why was it that all of the wrestlers were so shocked by what seemed to be a cushioned fall?
There are standards, as to how a ring is built. I will explain how the WWE, of today, constructs a wrestling ring.
There are several types of matches, built around these rings.
We know that a Hell in the Cell is made of chain link fence.
The modern Steel Cage and the cell give a softened blow, when a wrestler is put into the "steel".
As a wrestler, this spring like, cage, does not only help, but actually, kind of feels good compared to a wrestling mat.
The Elimination Chamber Match
When Eric Bischoff debuted the match, we were all told what it was made of.
For the major structure, there are groups of hard, steel, beams, which create the major shape for the walls and ceiling.
There is a hard, steel grate, which is the floor. The pods are made of Lucite. Most important, the chamber is comprised of miles, upon miles, of interlocking and unforgivably tight, steel chain.
I don't care who you are, this is nothing but 360 degrees of pain.
Now the ring itself first, the posts and turnbuckles.
When wrestling first began, we saw it done in boxing rings. Now that we have designated rings, a unique style is born.
The turnbuckles are attached directly to the customized posts themselves. There are screws from the post welds over each rope corner as well. These are joined by a common bind, to space and hold the tension.
Posts are made of thick, solid steel. There is a bit of padding around these, and the posts are attached to a foundation floor, along the base-floor of the ring underneath. In addition to other welds.
Oh yeah, the turnbuckle covers, are a logo covered set of extremely, well cushioned, bag like pillows. They are laced like shoes in the back, over and under, each (covered and cushioned as well) tension pull.
The Mat, itself, is made of an extremely tight, thin, foam cover.
Under the foam pad itself, is a 3/4''- 1" piece of plywood. Under that, we have steel beams that hold the integrity of the mat with the help of a skeletal sheet metal.
In between the metal and wood, are the tension springs, which respond accordingly to weight. This gives the superstars an easy run, with the compromise of a landing, which does not injure them as often.
Under all of this, there are thick, steel beams, which support the mat structure, and the same beams, along the four sides of the ring.
These same beams also cut the ring sides in half, to gain support from the floor.
The WWE ring, is 20' by 20', which is the largest of all promotions.
The ring/mat is elevated 4' above the ground, making it possible to get a trash can, or sledgehammer, or wrestler from underneath.
The ropes themselves are made of actual rope, with a strengthening wire on the inside.
Coating each rope is a layer of foam, with a colored tape to hold it all together.
Make no mistake about it, these ropes are pulled extremely tight, thanks to the turnbuckles.
The ropes are also a little painful to run into, and if you don't know what you are doing they are even worse.
Outside, we have standard 3/4" hard foam mats, much like in any karate studio. These run along the outside.
The stairs are steel with diamond grate along the top. These steps weigh about 150-pounds for the top set and about 250 for the bottom set.
The ring barricades are covered in the same foam as the outside floor. These barricade covers, however, are customized for each part since they need to cushion.
There is even a Velcro 8" top, to join the outside cushion with the inside cushion. The inside of the barricade is a squared-off fence made of hollow tube-like steel.
The apron does not actually affix to the mat, except with the aid of Velcro and elastic along the outside of the mat.
WWF, WCW, TNA, there are differences.
I don't claim to know of the differences, but I know a few. In the old WWF days, the ring was not nearly as forgiving.
THIS is why Foley earned the accolades of the locker room.
There was a less sophisticated spring system, more concerned with the running and integrity of the mat.
Back in the days of WCW, the ropes were not ropes at all. The ropes were actually elevator cable, which was a dreaded spring for each wrestler, making the bounce off of the ropes.
The mat in WCW had even less give with each impact, as they were concerned with a more "realistic" show. The mat also had a microphone underneath.
and in TNA... I am in the dark
Thanks for reading.