A Guide to WWE Terminology
We break down the lingo of the world of wrestling.
Booker – A booker is the writer of the WWE script, the person who sets up matches and determines what angles get played out. They also recruit talent for various promotions.
Face – A good-guy wrestler. Someone ‘turns face’ when they go from being a bad guy to good. Hulk Hogan was one throughout his career.
Heel – The bad-guy wrestler who fans love to hate. The most popular heel was The Undertaker.
Job – Refers to when a wrestler is scripted to lose in a match in order to push their opponent. These wrestlers are also called ‘jobbers.’
Kayfabe – The illusion that all the story lines, rivals, and matches are real, in which the WWE audience willingly participate.
Over –When a wrestler is “over” it means the fans have accepted his perceived character as a heel or as a face.
Promotion – A wrestling league of federation to which most wrestlers belong.
Push – A single or series of wins by a wrestler in order to boost their popularity. When it’s done against the interests of the fans it’s called ‘pushing down throats’, which is what happened to John Cena.
Screwjob – this refers to incidents where the pre-determined outcome of a match is changed without the knowledge of the wrestler who was supposed to win. The Montreal Screwjob is the most famous incident in which WWF Champion Bret Hart got double-crossed by owner Vince McMahon in losing his title just before Hart was leaving for WCW.
Sell – the performance by wrestlers that make wrestling seem realistic. It includes selling pain after a move has been performed and mimicking the effects of being beaten.
Shoot – This refers to incidents where a wrestler breaks kayfabe by not following the script or by breaking out of character.
Smark – A fan that admits to WWE being scripted but still enjoys watching the matches.
Squash – An easy win for superstar wrestlers against lesser-known opponents.
Tap out – When a wrestler submits to a hold by tapping on the floor or against the opponent’s body.
WWE Universe – Refers to the fanbase of WWE.