Basic wrestling rules

Aspects of performing arts

Wrestling can be compared to a theatrical production, as it has its own “stage” where the action takes place – the ring, the space surrounding it and the scenery. The concept of the fourth wall in wrestling is more limited than in theatrical production. The audience plays an important role in the course of a wrestling show – their reaction is important in determining the character’s role. Often, two or more characters are involved in separate plots, adjoining different sides – as a rule, the main concept is “good versus bad”. Naturally, for the one who joined the good side (in wrestling they call him the “face” (English face) – this is a character who does good deeds and in the concept of “fighting evil”) the audience is sick, and the one who joined the side of the “bad guys” (bad guys in wrestling is called “heels” (eng. heel)) will receive an angry reaction.

Most types of stage combat try to minimize the risk of pain and injury to the actors, and theater fans generally agree that stage combat cannot look very real. But wrestling fans demand the best illusion, and so the performers perform physical feats that often result in real pain and injury.


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There are no officially approved rules in wrestling. There are certain standards for different promotions, although the general principles and many rules are similar in them. The rules listed below are the main rules that have been established in major promotions for decades.

Due to the staged nature of wrestling, these are not real rules in the sense they would be treated in similar articles about real sports such as freestyle wrestling. Instead, the rules in this article are implemented and ostensibly followed in order to keep keifeb.

Basic Rules

Matches start in a structure that has two or more sides – these are called “corners” (English corners). Each corner can have one wrestler, or a team of two or more performers. Most team matches are based on the tag team structure (see below). There can only be one (or none) winner in a match, be it an individual performer or a team.

Victory (English fall) is reckoned in the following ways:

  • Hold (eng. pin) – the wrestler presses both shoulders of the opponent to the ring, after which there is a count (usually) up to three (most often the count is made by the referee, clapping his palm on the surface of the ring – usually it is necessary to “tap” three times to hold, different conditions can increase or decrease this number).
  • If the fighter raised at least one shoulder before the third clap, then the fight continues.
  • Pain (eng. Submission) – the wrestler gives the opponent a painful hold, after which he can surrender, signaling the referee about his inability to continue to fight with the capture.
  • Disqualification – violating the rules prescribed for this type of match, the wrestler loses it by disqualification. Some types of matches include a special “No Disqualification” rule in which a win by this route cannot be counted.
  • Countout – if the wrestler is outside the ring for more than the specified time, the referee can award his opponent a victory by countout. In some types of matches, a win by countout cannot be counted.
  • Knockout is the physical inability of a wrestler to continue the fight.
    A victory by hold or submission in a regular match is counted only if the attempts to hold or hold or hold were made within the ring. One way or another, some rules provide for the possibility of holding holds and submissions anywhere outside the ring.

The standard for today’s wrestling is one fall – to win, you only need to get a fall once in any way possible. At the beginning of its development, in wrestling, the rules “2 out of 3” (eng. 2 out of 3 falls) or “3 out of 5” (eng. 3 out of 5 falls) were more often used – in this case, to win, the wrestler needs to earn two or three fouls respectively – in any possible way provided by the rules for this type of match. Nowadays, “2 out of 3” and “3 out of 5” are also used, but much less frequently. However, British wrestling promotions rely on getting two fouls to win.

A wrestling match can be time-limited – if at the end of the time neither opponent gets enough falls to win, a tie will be declared. An alternative to a timed match is the “Iron Man match” type of match – victory is awarded to the wrestler whose number of fouls at the end of the time will be more than the number of fouls of the opponent.