How Pro Wrestling Works
Professional wrestling is a form of performance art which combines athletics with theatrical performance. It takes
the form of events, held by touring companies, which mimic a title match combat sport. The unique form of sport
portrayed is fundamentally based on classical and “catch” wrestling, with modern additions of striking attacks, strength-based holds and throws and acrobatic maneuvers, much of these derive from the influence of various international martial arts. An additional aspect of combat with improvised weaponry is sometimes included to varying degrees.
Almost all of these matches have predetermined outcomes to heighten entertainment value and all combative maneuvers are executed with the full cooperation of those involved and carefully performed in specific manners intended to lessen the chance of actual injury. These facts were once kept highly secretive, but are now a widely accepted open secret.
By and large, the true nature of the performance is not discussed by the performing company in official media to sustain and promote the willing suspension of disbelief for the audience by maintaining an aura of verisimilitude. Fan communications by individual wrestlers and promotions through outside media will often directly acknowledge the dramatic and “fixed” nature of the spectacle.