Assignment of victory

A pinfall attempt is only considered successful when both shoulders of the pinned wrestler are on the mats. In this case, the referee starts the count – as a statement of a successful hold, he makes three claps on the mat (English three count). To hold the attacking wrestler, it is enough to put any part of the body on the opponent lying on the shoulder blades – including the arm or leg.

Unfair hold-down methods include rope assistance (the heel wrestler holds on to the ropes, increasing pressure on the opponent. In case the referee sees the holder contact with the ropes, he will stop the count) and holding the opponent by the clothes (again, to increase pressure).

In the event that the shoulders of both wrestlers are on the mats, a draw is awarded after a hold-down, and, as a rule, a rematch is appointed (sometimes following directly after the match ended in a draw).

John Layfield, while working as a commentator on WWE Friday Night SmackDown, noted that many wrestlers hold holds almost at the beginning of the match, knowing that the opponent is not very exhausted. One way or another, this approach will bear fruit in the future – after all, in order to break out of the hold, you need to spend energy.

A hold can be compared to a technical knockout countdown in boxing – except that in boxing, the countdown is carried out for ten seconds versus three in wrestling. This fact gave rise to the phrase “It only takes three seconds to beat your opponent”. Indeed, seemingly invincible heavyweights can easily be held down by roll-ups.

Pain hold, knockout

In the case when the wrestler forces the opponent to surrender (by pain or in any other way forcing him to refuse to continue participating in the match), he is also credited with a victory (or a fall).

Capturing a wrestler in submission can also result in a knockout. For example, in WWE, the referee raises the wrestler’s hand, then releases it, thus determining if the wrestler is knocked out. If the hand of the captured wrestler drops three times and the wrestler cannot find the strength to lift it into the air, the referee will record a knockout. At present, more and more often, a victory in this way is counted as a victory by a successful submission.

A victory by knockout of the opponent is also counted after the wrestler is unable to respond to the referee’s gestures. As a rule, such a victory was achieved by wrestlers whose gimmick was mental imbalance – they did not strive for victory, but only tried to instill fear in everyone as much as possible.

Even though in a title match, the championship is technically only won by a hold or successful submission, if the champion is knocked out, he also loses his title.

John Cena delivers his STF submission to Mark Henry

The wrestler may verbally inform the referee of the unwillingness to continue the fight. The wrestler can also signal his desire to submit by tapping the mats several times with his palm.[36] In order to get to the ropes, the wrestler can help himself move by using his hand on the mats, and this will not be considered the desire of the prisoner to surrender.

Win by countout

A victory by countout (eng. countout, count out) is awarded to a wrestler standing in the ring, whose opponent was not able to climb into the ring during the time counted by the referee. As a rule, the countdown in standard types of matches is up to ten, in Japan – up to twenty. If both wrestlers do not have time to climb into the ring before the time expires, the match ends in a draw.


The countdown starts again as soon as the wrestler, who is in the ring, goes down to the mats outside the ring (this technique is called “breaking the count” by American commentators. If the wrestler comes back, the count continues for his opponent. If both wrestlers return to the ring, the referee stops the count .

A countout loss is also considered a disqualification of a wrestler for not interrupting a painful hold on an opponent who reached the ropes within five seconds.

In many title match promotions, losing a champion by countout usually does not result in the loss of the title. Either way, the person in charge of scheduling fights can add a condition in which the champion can lose the title by losing by countout.


Disqualification (English abbreviation – DQ) happens if one of the wrestlers violates the rules of the match, which automatically leads to his loss in the current match. By the way, a loss by countout can also be considered a disqualification (the match ends with the defeat of the wrestler who violated one of the rules of the match), but at the same time, as a rule, disqualification and defeat by countout are separated as different concepts. Normally, no disqualification matches will also override the out-of-the-ring rule, but there are rare cases where the out-of-ring count continues even in a No DQ match.