SummerSlam is quickly approaching, and there are more than a couple exciting matches on this year’s card. AJ Styles vs. John Cena. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor. Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton. WWE pulls out the big guns for its big events, and SummerSlam is second only to WrestleMania in terms of importance. Casual professional wrestling fans—of which you may be one—are going to tune in.
But if you’re a casual fan, and you’re watching the PPV with diehard wrestling fans, you might be confused by their language; they’re probably using all sorts of insider-y slang terms. For decades, wrestlers and hardcore fans have used these terms as a way of keeping their business insular and secret, away from common knowledge and the prying curiosity of the public.
To keep you in the conversation, we present The Secret Language of Pro Wrestling, Decoded. And remember, it’s not “fake.” It’s “predetermined”!
The act of advancing a wrestler’s importance within a wrestling promotion. A wrestler who receives a push will regularly beat his opponents, get a large share of screen time, and participate in media campaigns. If fans respond to the push, the wrestler may be pushed even higher, and eventually contend for a title belt.
Fan #1: Wow. On his debut on Monday Night Raw, Finn Balor won a Fatal 4-Way and pinned Roman Reigns.
Fan #2: It’s one of the biggest pushes I’ve ever seen. Do you think he’ll become champion at SummerSlam?
A hilariously one-sided match, where the defeated opponent barely puts up a fight. Squash matches usually involve jobbers, and the purpose of them is to make the winner look as powerful as possible and to get their moves over.
Fan #1: Is Scotty 2 Hotty okay?
Fan #2: I’m not sure. The medics were checking on him after Kurt Angle squashed him.
A preplanned element in a match. Wrestlers typically have a series of signature moves that they perform in every match, and these are mapped out backstage before the show begins. Wrestlers might also preplan a daredevil stunt, like jumping off the top rope, falling off a ladder, or going through a table. A particularly intense stunt is called a “high spot.”
Fan #1: “My favorite spot of all time is when Undertaker threw Mankind over the side of the Cell.”
Fan #2: “He dislocated his shoulder doing that! Shane McMahon had a similar high spot at Wrestlemania 32.”