Wrestling Lingo – 401
Welcome back, class. It’s time for the 401 lesson. For this installment of Wrestling Lingo, I’ve decided to dig a little bit deeper down that well. The first three classes were full of words that even casual fans could know.
Hopefully, that wont be the case this time.
Mark: a mark is very simply, a fan. I’m a huge HBK mark.
Smark: a smark is a smart mark. You mush those two words together and you’ve got yourself a smark.
To give you a little context: my buddy John, who I’ve mentioned before, is a smark. I like to call him the King of the Smarks, mostly because it makes him very angry. I don’t know why. I’m a smark. Everybody’s a smark, nowadays. If you like wrestling and you have a computer, you qualify. This really only meant something back in the days of kayfabe.
Perfect lead in, Joe. Crushin’ it.
Kayfabe: the version of reality that exists within the ropes.
Let me explain. Ok. The way the WWE Universe is starting to be portrayed. Let’s start there. Universe is a buzz word, thrown in for effect, but it sounds a lot better than kayfabe. People don’t know what the hell that means. And I’m not doing the best job explaining it, am I? What I’m trying to get at with the WWE Universe: it’s portrayed as its own world. We’ve got Total Divas, which follows the “lives” of most of the Diva’s and a few of the top male Superstars, including John Cena and Daniel Bryan.
What you see isn’t them, though. With the aid of the WWE Network and its 1 million subscribers, in recent years, Vince McMahon has been able to convince a lot of people that kayfabe is basically dead. That it’s a notion fit for smoky gymnasiums and not the massive arenas that WWE works out of. He did that in a way very much befitting of the character Ed Harris played in The Truman Show. Stick with me here. Look at what he’s done. He’s made the WWE into a 24/7 enterprise. They have breaking news on the Network now. Paul Heyman did a segment about the Brian Williams controversy. Vince didn’t kill kayfabe, he took it to the next level.
If you sign a WWE contract, you don’t just agree to wrestle, but you become a reality star, as well. He’s begun to shine a light on every aspect of his business. I like to imagine that he spends most of his days in an office the size of the one Monty Burns has possessed for the last quarter of a century. He’s got a multiple monitor setup across from his desk though, and not a trap door. Similar to the one Ozymandias has in Watchmen. And he just sits there, stroking a white cat, satisfied at the progress that his empire has seen. The truth is that it’s been 24/7 for him for years, and I guess he wants everybody working at his level now? I don’t know. But the evil genius image is way funnier than one of Vince McMahon with reading glasses on, sitting down and banging out scripts.
Dark Match: a dark match is one that wasn’t shown on live, televised airwaves. It’s an opening act, meant to wet the in-house crowd’s appetite for some wrasslin’.
A young Kurt Angle wrestled dark matches for over a year when he first started out in the WWE. After turning him down originally, Vince made Kurt prove he belonged there when he came back. He signed that contract and got right to work, impressing live crowds across the entire country.
Botch: to botch is to mess up in the ring. The recent Lucha Dragons versus Buddy Murphy and Wesley Blake match for the NXT Tag Team Championships at Takeover: Rival had a few of them, unfortunately. I haven’t seen Sin Cara botch so badly since the original man was behind the mask. Back then that dude couldn’t help but f–k up.
Gorilla Position: the Gorilla position is the area right outside the curtains that the wrestlers walk through to go out into the arena. It is so named after the legendary Gorilla Monsoon. After his on screen time had come to an end, Vince gave Gorilla a behind the scenes role. One that required him to be at the staging area with McMahon himself, and the other producers of whatever show they were doing. The men and women of the WWE locker rooms during Gorilla’s time in that role became so used to seeing him there, they coined the name.
House Show: house shows are any wrestling show that isn’t televised. This is obviously used more among the companies that have television deals in the first place. WWE holds a lot more house shows than I think a lot of people realize. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be taking their frustrations with Vince out on the entirely overworked locker room. They do what their told guys!
That’s going to be it for the 401 session. I’ll see you all back here bright and early for the 501 class.
PS: No, I don’t actually know when Wrestling Lingo – 501 will be up. Ok? You caught me.