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What the Hell Is Marking Out? A List of Pro Wrestling Terms

Nick PashCorrespondent IDecember 7, 2010

GREEN BAY, WI - JUNE 22:   Vince McMahon attends a press conference about the WWE at the Austin Straubel International Airport on June 22, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Mark A. Wallenfang/Getty Images)
Mark A. Wallenfang/Getty Images

What the hell is a "pop?" Why am I a "mark" and what does it mean? These are just a few of the questions I see written in the comments of the articles written here on Bleacher Report.  Mark, pop, heat, face, heel, etc. What do they all mean? 

Since I couldn’t really find any articles explaining the “insider” terms of pro wrestling, I thought I’d write an article for those who might be less informed about all the terms they don’t recognize. That way, we’ll be able to understand each other. And if you already know what they mean, then awesome, thanks for checking out my article!

Plus, I want to get a lot of article views and fans. So let’s begin, shall we?

(I’m not going to cover every term known to man, just the most common ones I’ve seen here, so if you feel I left one off that should be included, let me know and I’ll add it.)

Babyface (also known as a “face”) – A good guy, someone who is popular and cheered by the fans.

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Botch – A planned move that failed.

Bump – When someone hits the ground after a move; a sick or awesome bump is one performed on a particularly risky maneuver.

Card – The lineup of matches for a show.

Clean Finish – When a wrestler beats someone else without interference or cheating.

Dark Match – A match that takes place either before or after a televised show.

Feud – A drawn-out rivalry between two or more wrestlers.

Get Over – When a wrestler becomes either popular or unpopular with the fans; usually accompanied with a large reaction by the crowd with the desired reaction.

Gimmick – A wrestler’s distinguishing character traits, i.e. arrogant rich guy.

Heat – A negative reaction from the crowd.

Heel – A bad guy, someone who is unpopular and booed by the fans.

House show – A non-televised event.

Independent (also known as indy or indies) – A wrestling promotion that is too small or too underfunded to compete on a national level; can also refer to the wrestlers in the said promotion.

Job/Jobber – A scheduled loss or someone who loses on a consistent basis.

Kayfabe – Refers to the illusion of pro wrestling as “real.”

Mark – Someone who idolizes a particular wrestler, often to the point of excessiveness; the most used term on BR I think.

Main-Eventer – A big draw for a company or promotion; someone who makes a lot of money for the company and competes at or near the end of shows.

Mid-Carder – Someone who is not as big a draw as a main-eventer, but often competes for secondary titles.

Pop – A very big crowd reaction either positive or negative; often heard when someone’s music starts playing.

Promo – Either an interview or a speech by a wrestler; often used to further a storyline.

Push – When a wrestler receives a lot of backing by a company or promotion, either through a continued storyline or a major win over a superstar.

Sell – When a wrestler reacts to an opponents move; used to keep up the “real” aspect of pro wrestling; add any prefix to this word and you can figure out what they mean from there.

Shoot – A real event in pro wrestling; can often be unplanned promos or when real life events are brought in to the story line.

Story Line – A fictional feud between two or more wrestlers; can last for as little as one month or even years.

Swerve – An unplanned or sudden change in the angle of a storyline; most commonly recognized by a wrestler turning on a friend of his.

Turn – When a wrestler goes from being a face to a heel or the opposite; a double-turn is when two wrestlers switch at the same time.

Work – A planned event at a wrestling show; something that may look very real, but is actually very well planned.

Thanks for reading, and the next article will be a list of the best-ever examples of each of these terms. I’m sure that will get a lot better response than this one will.

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