WWE SMACKDOWN HERE COMES THE PAIN PS2 video game CIB PlayStation 2 wrestling vtg

$56.99 Buy It Now or Best Offer, $6.01 Shipping, eBay Money Back Guarantee

Seller: sidewaysstairsco ✉️ (1,145) 100%, Location: Santa Ana, California, US, Ships to: US & many other countries, Item: 204247833368 WWE SMACKDOWN HERE COMES THE PAIN PS2 video game CIB PlayStation 2 wrestling vtg. The Ultimate Warrior. The Fighting Cholitas in Bolivia. Start of the Attitude Era (1997–1999). The original Elimination Chamber structure. 2012 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno February 21 (season 20, episode 93). Check out my other new & used items>>>>>>HERE! (click me) FOR SALE: Some call it the best wrestling video game ever made 2003 WWE SMACKDOWN! HERE COMES THE PAIN PS2 VIDEO GAME DETAILS: A 9 out of 10 wrestling/fighting video game! Most pro wrestling and video game fans place WWE Smackdown! Here Comes The Pain at or near the very top of a list of all wrestling video games ever made - for many it is their all-time favorite. The much improved gameplay and modes provided by the developers at Yuke's in Osaka, Japan plus the non-politically correctness allowed at the time and outlandishness of match types, available weapons, and more is what makes Here Comes The Pain the perfect blend of WWE wackiness, expansion, skill, and gameplay. WWE Smackdown! Here Comes The Pain officially turns vintage (20 years old) in October 2023. Feel old yet? We do! Are you ready for the pain!?! The must have pro wrestling video game for all wrestling fans! CONDITION: In very good, pre-owned condition and complete with case and manual . Disc, case, and manual have normal wear. Please see photos. To ensure safe delivery all items are carefully packaged before shipping out. THANK YOU FOR LOOKING. QUESTIONS? JUST ASK. *ALL PHOTOS AND TEXT ARE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF SIDEWAYS STAIRS CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.* "WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain (known as Exciting Pro Wrestling 5 in Japan) is a professional wrestling video game developed by Yuke's and published by THQ for PlayStation 2 in North America on October 27, 2003. It is the sequel to WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, the fifth and last game in the WWE SmackDown! series based on World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and the final game to be named after the weekly television show of the same name. Here Comes the Pain received "generally favorable" reviews from critics and "universal acclaim" from users.[1] The game would be succeeded by WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw in 2004. Gameplay The games introduced a more advanced and extensive grappling system, while still retaining the series' fast gameplay. Alongside a new grappling system, body damage displays and submission meters (for both the person applying the move and the person breaking out of the move), as well as the ability to break the submission hold when grabbing the ropes, and individual character attributes that consisted of statistics (such as strength, endurance, and speed) were all introduced to the series for the first time. Here Comes the Pain also marks the first time the Elimination Chamber and the Bra and Panties Match would be featured in a wrestling game. Alongside a playable roster of over 50 Superstars who were active members of the WWE roster at the time of the game's release, legends were introduced for the first time in the series, which included wrestlers such as Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, as well as former iterations of current wrestlers, such as The Undertaker with his original "Deadman" gimmick. It also marks the final time that The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin would appear in a WWE game as non-legends, and is the first WWE game to feature future mainstays John Cena, Batista, and Rey Mysterio as playable characters. It is also the first game to depict Kane without his mask. Additional updates were also made to Season Mode, with decisions (such as where you wanted to go and what you wanted to do next) being made on a new menu screen in your locker room, while players could enter the General Manager's room to ask for title shots and brand switches, as well as having the opportunity to talk to various wrestlers appear backstage. There are multiple titles to go after depending on if you go to SmackDown! or RAW. Development Early beta versions of the game featured Jeff Hardy, Hulk Hogan (along with his alter-ego Mr. America and his 1980s appearance) and The Ultimate Warrior. However, Hogan and Hardy were removed from the game when they left WWE, and Warrior was ultimately omitted due to legal issues. Data for other omitted wrestlers, including Al Snow, Spike Dudley, Billy Kidman, Billy Gunn, William Regal, Bradshaw, Molly Holly and 3-Minute Warning remains on the final disc, with none of them having any finished character models. The concept of having multiple versions of Hogan in one game was finally realized with his inclusion in the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006. Reception Reception Aggregate scoreAggregator Score Metacritic 85/100[1] Review scoresPublication Score Electronic Gaming Monthly 7.5/10[2] Eurogamer 9/10[3] Famitsu 29/40[4] Game Informer 8.5/10[5] GamePro [6] GameSpot 9/10[7] GameSpy [8] GameZone 9.2/10[9] IGN 9.1/10[10] Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine [11] WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain received a "Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA),[12] indicating sales of at least 300,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[13] The game received "generally favorable" reviews from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[1] IGN called the game "one of the best wrestling games we've ever played...With its ultra-improved gameplay mechanics, enhanced visual engine, smarter career mode, and established create-a-character feature, Yuke's and THQ are definitely the track to success."[10] GameSpot said, "What the game lacks in innovation, however, is more than made up for in sheer playability."[7] Eurogamer called it "a superb blend of traditional and wrestling-specific fight mechanics, and there's so much variety here that it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say you could play this one from now until the next SmackDown without getting bored or running out of things to do."[3] GMR said, "Submission moves finally makes [sic] sense, thanks to a logical location-based damage system, and wrestlers' weights are accurately presented."[14] Other reviews were more mixed. Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine called it "the first game in the series that tries to accommodate both sides by combining quick action with the technical elements of wrestling, and it works -- almost."[11] In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of 29 out of 40.[4] Accolades Distributor: Category: Result: 1st British Academy Video Games Awards Sports Game Nominated[citation needed] 2003 Spike Video Game Awards Best Sports Game Best Fighting Game Won[15]" (wikipedia.org) "WWE 2K, formerly released as WWF/E SmackDown! and SmackDown vs. Raw, is a series of professional wrestling sports video games that launched in 2000. The premise of the series is to emulate the sport of professional wrestling, and more specifically, that of WWE. The games were originally published by THQ and developed by Yuke's. 2K Sports took over as publisher beginning with 2013's WWE 2K14, and the series was co-developed with Visual Concepts until Yuke's departure in 2018. Visual Concepts would take over lead development of the series beginning with WWE 2K20 in 2019. History and development Main article: List of WWE 2K Games video games Release timeline THQ games in light green 2K games in dark green 2000 WWF SmackDown! WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role 2001 WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It 2002 WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth 2003 WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain 2004 WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2005 WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006 2006 WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 2007 WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 2008 WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 2009 WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010 2010 WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 2011 WWE '12 2012 WWE '13 2013 WWE 2K14 2014 WWE 2K15 2015 WWE 2K16 2016 WWE 2K17 2017 WWE 2K18 2018 WWE 2K19 2019 WWE 2K20 2020 WWE 2K Battlegrounds 2021 2022 WWE 2K22 2023 WWE 2K23 The first game, WWF SmackDown!, was developed by Yuke's, published by THQ, and released on March 2, 2000; this arrangement would continue until 2012. The series was originally named after one of WWE's weekly television programs, SmackDown, and was initially exclusive to Sony's PlayStation 2.[1][2] The series engine was originally based on the one used by the Japanese Toukon Retsuden, which was also developed by Yuke's.[3] The series rebranded with 2004's WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw, following the introduction of the brand extension, which saw WWE's roster divided between the SmackDown and Raw brands; the latter named after WWE's flagship program, Monday Night Raw. After using subtitles in previous installments, voice overs were introduced to the game's "Season Mode". With the exception of 2003's WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain, pre-recorded commentary by WWE commentators has been included in each game since the release of WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It in 2001.[4] Yuke's studios in Yokohama, Japan worked with WWE writers to create storylines for the "Season" modes of each game since 2005's WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006.[5] Up until the release of SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006, Yuke's had released previous entries of the series in Japan under the title of Exciting Pro Wrestling. That year, THQ took over as the Japanese publisher and rebranded the Exciting Pro Wrestling series under the western name.[6] 2006's WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 was the first game in the series to be released for multiple game consoles. The series continued to expand to various seventh-generation consoles, handhelds, and mobile devices. Yuke's revealed they had to port their original game codes that make up each game mode and graphic designs to a new game engine that supported the new consoles. When new features are added to future games, the developers had to create new gaming codes for these features. The developers also had to test the game for any errors.[7] While there were no errors, the game received a lot of reports for overheating in the earlier releases. The series relaunched in 2011 with the release of WWE '12. However, after THQ's bankruptcy, liquidation, and eventual dissolution in January 2013, publishing rights for the WWE video games were acquired by Take-Two Interactive.[8] Take-Two confirmed the acquisition in February, saying that it would also retain the services of Yuke's and the THQ staff that worked on the WWE series. As a result, the WWE branding would be retired with 2012's WWE '13.[citation needed] 2013's WWE 2K14 was the first game to be released under the 2K Sports branding.[9] In 2015, a mobile-only spin-off was released for Android and iOS. 2K's license of the series extended in early 2016.[10] 2018's WWE 2K19 was the last game in the series to be developed by Yuke's.[citation needed] 2019's WWE 2K20 was the first game in the series to be developed solely by Visual Concepts, who had worked with Yuke's on previous games under the WWE 2K banner.[11][12] The game received generally negative reviews for various changes seen as a regression from 2K19, and for numerous bugs and technical issues upon its launch. The series went on a two-year hiatus in response, with WWE 2K Battlegrounds released in 2020 as a replacement for a previously-planned WWE 2K21 game.[13] WWE 2K22, the twenty-second instalment of the series, was released in March 2022 to a generally more favourable reception than its predecessor. Gameplay The first game in the series, WWF SmackDown!, had a clear cut system[clarification needed] for moves such as combining an arrow key with the circle button for grappling and moves and combining an arrow key with the X button for striking moves. Most of the later games, from WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role to WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2006 used the aforementioned control scheme. With WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2007 new game mechanics were introduced, in which a new control scheme altered the grappling system of the game, called "Ultimate Control moves". Unlike the previous games, where the player pressed two buttons to perform a grapple or an attack, players were able to place their opponents into a grapple position and then choose to perform a move by moving the directional buttons of their system's controller. For example, the player could place their opponent in a suplex grappling position and then either perform a normal suplex or an inverted suplex slam.[14][15] Before the release of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008, in order for players to force a character to submit, they had to tap buttons to move a marker towards the end of the meter labeled "Submit", and the only way for opponents to escape was for them to move the meter towards "Escape". Included with the release of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 was a new submission system, in which the player had to move the analog sticks of their system's controller in different directions to force the opponent to submit, while the opponent could do the same to escape the submission hold.[16] Every game in the SmackDown vs. Raw series used to have the amount of damage inflicted to the player's chosen character, measured with a meter on the HUD, where a design of a male figure presented the damage. As a move was performed against a character, the affected area of the body flashed—the more damage that is done to that specific body part, the more likely it is for the character to submit. Colors were used to represent the amount of damage done to a specific body area; yellow represented minimal damage, orange represented moderate damage, and red represented maximum damage.[17] Included with the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw was the option of fighting "dirty" or "clean". When players select "dirty", the player character is booed by the audience in the game; conversely, the "clean" character is cheered by the audience. With the "dirty" or "clean" option comes the inclusion of performing a special maneuver when playing. Players using a "dirty" character must direct them into building up their "dirty" meter by performing "dirty" tactics, such as attacking the referee or taking the pad off the ring's turnbuckle. Unlike performing dirty tactics, "clean" characters build their meters by performing "clean" tactics, such as an aerial technique or performing a taunt. When "dirty" character' meters build up, they are able to perform a signature low blow; likewise, "clean" characters can perform their signature move at double its normal damage.[18][19] With the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006 was the inclusion of a stamina system, which was a measure of the characters' stamina. The stamina system was measured by a meter on the HUD; the meter decreased when performing a variety of moves. The meter increases, however, when the player does nothing with the character or holds down a selected button that increased the stamina, which varied depending on the player's system. When the character's stamina was low, the wrestler reacted by moving slower when performing moves, walking, and running. If the meter decreased completely, they fell to the ground until the meter increased.[20][21] This system is disabled by default for WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 and was disabled until 2K took over the series, bringing in a similar system with WWE 2K16.[22] The weak/strong grapple system from the past games was removed from WWE '12 onwards. Characters now perform different moves based on their opponent's current physical state. Players now have a window of opportunity to attack while still in a downed state and can also interrupt moves and Royal Rumble eliminations with attacks. Similarly, the pinning meter from the past games has been reworked to make it more difficult to kick out as a wrestler takes more damage. The game's artificial intelligence has also been adjusted to prevent players from overusing the same move. In addition, the ability to store finishing moves has returned. "Dynamic Comebacks" gives players on the verge of losing the opportunity to successfully hit a combination of moves to gain two finishing moves. New "wake up taunts" bring a downed opponent to their feet for a finishing move (such as pounding on the ground before RKO finishing maneuver).[23] Players also have the ability to target specific limbs during matches and perform submissions through a "Breaking Point" submission minigame.[24] Story modes In the WWE SmackDown vs. Raw series, the player was able to choose a character from a roster and compete in an arcade-like feature called season mode. In season mode, players direct their characters through different career obstacles through a year of WWE programming to gain respect by other wrestlers and popularity among the fans. Like storylines from WWE, the characters in the WWE SmackDown vs. Raw series season mode are involved in storylines that affect their career mode in some way. Beginning with the release of WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, the WWE Brand Extension has been included in season mode, and characters are exclusive to one brand of WWE. A result of this feature is that the player's character may only wrestle others and compete for championships from the same brand on which they are a part of. In season mode, the player's character has the ability to earn and wrestle for a variety of championships based on actual WWE Championships. When characters win championships, their respect and popularity increase, which also increases their involvement in main event matches. As the character's respect and popularity increases through the year of WWE programming, it becomes more likely for the player to achieve the main goal in season mode, which is to earn a World Heavyweight Championship or WWE Championship match at WrestleMania, the WWE's flagship pay-per-view event and the final stage in season mode. After the final stage, season modes begins again with the same character chosen before, though the player has the option of switching characters. They are then a part of the WWE Draft Lottery and assigned to a brand.[25][26] Exhibition mode A screenshot of a ladder match featuring Jeff Hardy and Kurt Angle in WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role Other than the season mode, every game features an exhibition mode, where different professional wrestling match types are available. Basic matches included in every game are "one-on-one" matches, where a player chooses one character to wrestle another bot operated or human operated character, or tag team matches, where a pair of characters team together to face another team, Mixed Gender Tag Team matches have been removed in WWE 2K18. These basic matches may also expand into six-man tag team matches or non-elimination type matches, which include four or more characters.[27] Besides basic matches, hardcore based matches are also included, such as the Steel Cage match, which has been included in every game, the Ladder match, the Elimination Chamber, which was first included with the release of WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain,[28] and ECW Extreme Rules matches, which is basic hardcore wrestling based on the ECW brand of WWE (which first appeared with the release of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008).[29] Also included in every game is the Royal Rumble match, which is based on WWE's actual Royal Rumble match, in which a player chooses to compete as one character, and must wrestle against twenty-nine other characters.[30] Online gameplay Starting with the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw, online gameplay was made available through PlayStation 2's Sony Network Adapter. Online gameplay was kept at a minimum, as online players only had two game modes to compete in: one-on-one and a Bra and Panties match, in which a player competes as a WWE Diva and strips the opposition of her clothes, until she is left with only her undergarments.[31] When WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006 was released, the online gameplay was changed, and players were able to compete in more match types, defend the created championships, and compete with up to four players in each match.[32] With the release of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 on the Xbox 360 console (PS3 would not see this feature until WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009), players were able to select music from their system's hard disk drive into the video game, where the music can be used in character' ring entrances.[33] Roster Every game in the WWE series includes a roster of characters, "superstars" and "divas", based on people who perform for WWE. Every year, WWE acquires new people and releases old ones. As a result, every time a WWE SmackDown vs. Raw game is released, the new characters are added into the game and the old are removed from the game to reflect the changes in the actual WWE. From the release of WWF SmackDown! to the release of WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It, characters were not divided into brands. In 2002, the WWE split its roster into two brands of wrestling, called Raw and SmackDown!, which were named after WWE's television shows.[34] The WWE Brand Extension was first featured in WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth.[35] In 2006, WWE launched a new brand, called ECW, which was named after the original Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion.[36] The new ECW brand was first featured in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008.[37] WWE holds an annual draft lottery, in which WWE characters switch brands. The games in production when the draft occurs include the changes that take place in the draft. For example, when WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 was in production during June 2007, the 2007 WWE Draft took place, and the draft changes were included in the video game. Another brand of wrestling included in the series is the legends program, which was first included with the release of WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain.[38] Popular WWE alumni or members of the WWE Hall of Fame have been included since then under the legends program. This was featured up until the release of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008, as alumni and Hall of Fame members were not featured in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 due to production of WWE Legends of WrestleMania.[39] WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 was also the first game to feature characters as downloadable content (DLC).[40] WWE '12 has 56 wrestlers and 78 by DLC, WWE '13 with 84 and 107 by DLC, WWE 2K14 with 82 and 103 by DLC, WWE 2K15 with 76 and 113 with DLC, WWE 2K (Mobile) with 19, WWE 2K16 with 133 including DLC giving this title "the highest character roster in the video game's history" with 165. WWE 2K17 carries 145 for the physical disc versions for PS3 and Xbox 360; 150 for the NXT Edition made for PS4 and Xbox One with DLC at 172. WWE 2K18 contains 197 for the standard version (202 via Deluxe and Collector's Edition) with DLC announced at a later date. An update on the WWE 2K18 roster revealed on September 25, 2017, the final roster is 220 (197 on disc virtually reading 204 by attires counted). WWE 2K19 has 217 characters on disc (224 via Woo Edition) and 236 with DLC counted as final. WWE 2K20 has 217 characters on disc (221 via SmackDown 20th Anniversary Edition) with DLC yet to be finalized.[41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50][51][52][53][54][55] WWE 2K22 has 173 in its base roster with the DLC pushing the expanded character list to 214.[citation needed] Create mode The series features a create-a-superstar mode, where players are able to create their own wrestler, including their move set and ring entrances. The feature was introduced when WWF SmackDown! was released in 2000. As new games were released, the mode was altered; the first change came with the release of WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role, which featured a mode in which wrestler taunts could be created and customized. This was further modified in WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, which enabled players to create the walking style of a wrestler.[56] With the release of WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2006, the game first featured the ability for players to make an entrance for the created character.[57] The feature was expanded with the release of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007, as players could place pyrotechnics and special effects in any part of the character's entrance.[58] Reception Aggregate review scores Game Metacritic WWF SmackDown! (PS1) 86%[59][a] WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role (PS1) 90/100[60] WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It (PS2) 76/100[61] WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth (PS2) 82/100[62] WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain (PS2) 85/100[63] WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw (PS2) 80/100[64] WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006 (PS2) 84/100[65] (PSP) 81/100[66] WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 (PS2) 80/100[67] (PSP) 78/100[68] (X360) 81/100[69] WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 (NDS) 61/100[70] (PS2) 71/100[71] (PS3) 74/100[72] (PSP) 68/100[73] (Wii) 59/100[74] (X360) 71/100[75] WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 (NDS) 58/100[76] (PS2) 78/100[77] (PS3) 78/100[78] (PSP) 72/100[79] (Wii) 79/100[80] (X360) 79/100[81] WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010 (NDS) 75/100[82] (PS3) 81/100[83] (Wii) 78/100[84] (X360) 80/100[85] WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 (PS3) 74/100[86] (Wii) 72/100[87] (X360) 75/100[88] WWE '12 (PS3) 72/100[89] (Wii) 74/100[90] (X360) 71/100[91] WWE '13 (PS3) 76/100[92] (Wii) 74/100[93] (X360) 78/100[94] WWE 2K14 (PS3) 74/100[95] (X360) 75/100[96] WWE 2K15 (PC) 70/100[97] (PS3) 55/100[98] (PS4) 62/100[99] (X360) 50/100[100] (XONE) 56/100[101] WWE 2K16 (PC) 74/100[102] (PS4) 73/100[103] (XONE) 72/100[104] WWE 2K (iOS) 73/100[105] WWE 2K17 (PC) 61/100[106] (PS4) 69/100[107] (XONE) 68/100[108] WWE 2K18 (NS) 35/100[109] (PC) 64/100[110] (PS4) 66/100[111] (XONE) 67/100[112] WWE 2K19 (PS4) 77/100[113] (XONE) 77/100[114] WWE 2K20 (PC) 43/100[115] (PS4) 43/100[116] (XONE) 45/100[117] WWE 2K Battlegrounds (NS) 56/100[118] (PS4) 60/100[119] (XONE) 58/100[120] WWE 2K22 (PC) 72/100[121] (PS4) 76/100[122] (PS5) 77/100[123] (XSX) 78/100[124] The original WWF SmackDown! sold over 975,000 units for the PlayStation,[125] and selling over one million copies in the United States.[126] By 2003, the series had sold more than 4.7 million units for the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 in the United States.[127] The series as a whole initially received generally positive reviews, however, overall reception would began to decline in the late 2000s, as later games were criticized for their lack of innovations or improvements from previous installments." (wikipedia.org) "Professional wrestling is a form of athletic theater[1] that revolves around mock combat matches that are usually performed in a ring similar to the kind used in boxing. The dramatic aspects of pro wrestling may be performed both in the ring or—as in televised wrestling shows—in backstage areas of the venue, in similar form to reality television. Professional wrestling as a form of theater evolved out of the widespread practice of match fixing among wrestlers in the early 20th century. Rather than sanction the wrestlers for their deceit as was done with boxers, the public instead came to see professional wrestling as a performance art rather than a sport. Professional wrestlers responded to the public's attitude by dispensing with verisimilitude in favor of entertainment, adding melodrama, gimmickry, and outlandish stuntwork to their performances. Although the mock combat they performed ceased to resemble any authentic wrestling form, the wrestlers nevertheless continued to pretend that it was authentic, and the fans played along—this is a tradition known as kayfabe. History United States Main article: History of professional wrestling In America following the civil war of 1861-1865, wrestling was a popular sport, with catch wrestling emerging as the most popular style. At first, professional wrestlers were genuine competitive athletes, but towards the end of the century, wrestlers increasingly rigged their matches, agreeing with each other in advance as to who would be the winner. There were a number of reasons for this practice. For one thing, fixing matches was convenient for scheduling. A real ("shoot") match could sometimes last hours, whereas a fixed match can be made short, which was convenient for wrestlers on tour who needed to keep appointments, or who needed to share venues. Fixed matches also carried less risk of injury, which meant shorter recovery.[2] A fixed match could also be choreographed to make for a more entertaining spectacle (Greco-Roman wrestling in particular was boring to watch[3]). A major influence on professional wrestling was carnival culture. Wrestlers around the turn of the 20th century sometimes worked as carnival attractions. For a fee, a visitor could challenge the wrestler to a quick match. If the challenger defeated the champion in a short time frame, usually 15 minutes, he won a prize. Such carnival wrestlers used catch wrestling because they could quickly defeat their challengers with a painful hold. To encourage visitors, the carnival operators staged rigged matches in which a plant in the audience challenged the champion and won, giving the audience the impression that the champion was easy to beat. This practice taught wrestlers the art of staging rigged matches and fostered a mentality that spectators were marks to be duped.[4] The term kayfabe is thought to come from carny slang.[5] By the turn of the 20th century, most wrestling matches were fixed, and journalists regularly exposed the practice.[6] American wrestlers are notorious for the amount of faking they do. It is because of this fact that suspicion attaches to so many bouts that the game is not popular here. Nine out of ten bouts, it has been said, are pre-arranged affairs, and it would be no surprise if the ratio of fixed matches to honest ones was really so high. — The National Police Gazette. July 22, 1905[7] There were a number of reasons why professional wrestling became fake whereas boxing endured as a legitimate sport. Firstly, wrestling was more entertaining when it was faked, whereas fakery did not make boxing more entertaining. Secondly, in a rigged boxing match, the designated loser must take a real beating in order for his "defeat" to be convincing, but wrestling holds can be faked convincingly without inflicting injury. This meant that boxers were less willing to "take dives", they wanted to have a victory for all the pain they subjected themselves to. In the early years of the 20th century, boxing suffered periodic bans in various states and counties over concerns over match fixing. Professional wrestling somehow escaped similar bans even though match fixing was even more rife there, which suggests that the public did not care about the integrity of professional wrestling and accepted it as performance art. Since the public knew that almost all professional wrestling matches were faked, nobody ever felt cheated because nobody was fooled. But since a substantial number of boxers fought honest shoot matches, the public could not tell whether a boxing match was honest or rigged, and consequently felt cheated from time to time. Promotional cartels for professional wrestling emerged in the 1910s in the East Coast of the United States (up to that point, professional wrestling's heartland was in the Midwest). The promoters routinely fixed the matches to make them more entertaining. For instance, it allowed them to artificially turn their more charismatic wrestlers into champions; audiences preferred charismatic champions to boorish ones. Fixing matches was also more convenient for scheduling. With shoot matches, a promoter would often have to wait to see who won the match before making further plans with either participant.[8] Fixed matches were also less strenuous for the wrestlers, thereby allowing them to recover faster and perform more frequently. The promoter cartels quashed what little authenticity professional wrestling still had. Before the cartels, professional wrestlers occasionally had to fight authentic (shoot) matches in order to preserve their credibility. But as promoters gained control over more of the country's wrestlers, there were fewer independent wrestlers who could publicly challenge the promoters' wrestlers to shoot matches. And if it did so happen that an independent wrestler made a public challenge, the cartel wrestler could use his contractual obligations to his promoter as an excuse to refuse the challenge. Some promoters even used "policemen" to deter independent wrestlers from challenging their stars. These policemen were powerful wrestlers who lacked the charisma to become stars themselves. The independent would be forced to face the policeman first, and the policeman would give the independent a vicious thrashing that would put fear in him and force him to spend a long time recovering.[9] Promoters also had to deal with "double-crosses", wherein a wrestler who had agreed to throw a match instead fought for real and won, forcing the promoter to award him the title of champion for the sake of preserving the facade of sport. The promoters punished such double-crosses by blacklisting the wrestler. This could be fatal for the wrestler's career, such was the dominance of the cartel.[10] By the early 1930s, most wrestlers had adopted personas to generate public interest. These personas could broadly be characterized as either faces (likeable) or heels (villainous). Native Americans, cowboys, and English aristocrats were staple characters in the 1930s and 1940s.[11] In addition to this, wrestlers often used some sort of gimmick, such as a signature move, eccentric mannerisms, or out-of-control behavior (in the case of heels). The matches could also be gimmicky, such as the wrestlers fighting in mud or in a pile of tomatoes. The most successful and enduring gimmick to emerge from the 1930s was tag-team matches. Promoters noticed that matches slowed down as the wrestlers in the ring tired, so they gave them partners to relieve them. It also gave heels another way to misbehave by double-teaming.[12] Wrestling promoters struggled to find wrestlers who were both trained in authentic wrestling forms and had charisma. Towards the end of the 1930s, faced with declining revenues, promoters chose to focus on grooming wrestlers who could draw crowds regardless of their skill. By this time, most of the public knew and accepted that professional wrestling was performance art, so a background in authentic wrestling no longer mattered. After this, matches became more outlandish and gimmicky, and any semblance professional wrestling had to catch wrestling faded. The personas of the wrestlers likewise grew more outlandish.[13] Although the wrestlers no longer cared to make their mock combat look convincing, they still pretended it was authentic. Unlike boxing, professional wrestling didn't take off on the radio because the action was difficult for ringside announcers to describe.[14] Professional wrestling did become very popular on television, however. The first televised professional wrestling was in 1939, but televised wrestling really took off after World War 2. In 1989, Vince McMahon testified before the New Jersey Athletic Commission that professional wrestling is not a competitive sport and that its matches have predetermined outcomes. He did this to have the World Wrestling Federation (his business) exempted from sports licensing fees.[15] Shortly thereafter, New Jersey deregulated professional wrestling.[16][17] The WWF rebranded itself as a "sports entertainment" company. Scope and influence This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) A crowd gathers to watch a Rikidōzan match in 1955 Show wrestling has become especially prominent in Central/North America, Japan and Europe (especially the United Kingdom).[18] In Brazil, there was a very popular wrestling television program from the 1960s to the early 1980s called Telecatch.[19][20] High-profile figures in the sport have become celebrities or cultural icons in their native or adopted home countries. Although professional wrestling started out as small acts in sideshows, traveling circuses and carnivals, today it is a billion-dollar industry. Revenue is drawn from ticket sales, network television broadcasts, pay-per-view broadcasts, branded merchandise and home video.[21] Pro wrestling was instrumental in making pay-per-view a viable method of content delivery. Annual shows such as WrestleMania, Bound for Glory, Wrestle Kingdom and formerly Starrcade are among the highest-selling pay-per-view programming each year. In modern day, internet programming has been utilized by a number of companies to air web shows, internet pay per views (IPPVs) or on-demand content, helping to generate internet-related revenue earnings from the evolving World Wide Web. Home video sales dominate the Billboard charts Recreational Sports DVD sales, with wrestling holding anywhere from 3 to 9 of the top 10 spots every week.[22] AT&T Stadium during WrestleMania 32. WWE claims a record attendance of 101,763 for the event Due to its persistent cultural presence and to its novelty within the performing arts, wrestling constitutes a recurring topic in both academia and the media. Several documentaries have been produced looking at professional wrestling, most notable of them being Beyond the Mat directed by Barry W. Blaustein, and Wrestling with Shadows featuring wrestler Bret Hart and directed by Paul Jay. There have also been many fictional depictions of wrestling; the 2008 film The Wrestler received several Oscar nominations and began a career revival for its star Mickey Rourke. Currently, the largest professional wrestling company worldwide is the United States-based WWE, which bought out many smaller regional companies in the late 20th century, as well as primary competitors World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) in early 2001. Other major companies worldwide include All Elite Wrestling (AEW) in the United States, Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL), and Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (AAA) in Mexico; and the Japanese New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), and Pro Wrestling Noah promotions. Industry conventions This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) In professional wrestling, two factors decide the way of proceedings: the "in-show" happenings, presented through the shows; and real life happenings outside the work that have implications, such as performer contracts, legitimate injuries, etc. Because actual life events are often co-opted by writers for incorporation into storylines of performers, the lines between real life and fictional life are often blurred and become confused. Special discern must be taken with people who perform under their own name (such as Kurt Angle and his fictional persona). The actions of the character in shows must be considered fictional, wholly separate from the life of the performer. This is similar to other entertainers who perform with a persona that shares their own name. Some wrestlers also incorporate elements of their real-life personalities into their characters, even if they and their in-ring persona have different names. Kayfabe This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Main articles: Kayfabe and Shoot (professional wrestling) Lou Thesz, c. 1950s Those who participated felt that maintenance of a constant and complete illusion for all who were not involved was necessary to keep audience interest. For decades, wrestlers lived their public lives as though they were their characters. The practice of keeping the illusion, and the various methods used to do so, came to be known as "kayfabe" within wrestling circles, or "working the marks". An entire lexicon of slang jargon and euphemism developed to allow performers to communicate without outsiders' knowledge of what was being said. Mil Máscaras pictured wearing his mask during a public event. It is common for wrestlers to wear their masks in public to maintain kayfabe. Occasionally a performer will deviate from the intended sequence of events. This is known as a shoot. Sometimes shoot-like elements are included in wrestling stories to blur the line between performance and reality. These are known as "worked shoots". The vast majority of events in professional wrestling are preplanned and improvised within accepted boundaries. Gradually, the predetermined nature of professional wrestling became an open secret, as prominent figures in the wrestling business (including World Wrestling Entertainment owner Vince McMahon) began to publicly admit that wrestling was entertainment, not competition. This public reveal has garnered mixed reactions from the wrestling community, as some feel that exposure ruins the experience to the spectators as does exposure in illusionism. Despite the public admission of the theatrical nature of professional wrestling, many U.S. states still regulate professional wrestling as they do other professional competitive sports.[23] For example, New York State still regulates "professional wrestling" through the New York State Athletic Commission (SAC).[24] Some states are considering removing, or have removed, professional wrestling from the purview of the state's athletic commissioners.[23] Performance aspects I watch championship wrestling from Florida with wrestling commentator Gordon Solie. Is this all "fake"? If so, they deserve an Oscar. — S. R. Welborn of High Point, North Carolina, question posed to sports Q&A column written by Murray Olderman, 1975[25] Professional wrestling shows can be considered a form of theater in the round, with the ring, ringside area, and entryway comprising a stage. There is less of a fourth wall than in most theatric performances, similar to pantomime involving audience participation. The audience is recognized and acknowledged by the performers as spectators to the sporting event being portrayed, and are encouraged to interact as such. This leads to a high level of audience participation; in fact, their reactions can dictate how the performance unfolds.[26] Often, individual matches will be part of a longer story line conflict between "babyfaces" (often shortened to just "faces") and "heels". "Faces" (the "good guys") are those whose actions are intended to encourage the audience to cheer, while "heels" (the "bad guys") act to draw the spectators' ire.[27] In pro wrestling matches, performers often execute a series of pre-planned moves and attacks, ranging from grappling and throws found in some traditional forms of wrestling, to more spectacular stunts, sometimes involving props and special effects. The attacks in these matches are designed to appear dramatic whilst reducing the risk of serious injury as much as possible. Overall, the performers aim to minimize the actual injurious impact of their moves while maximizing their entertainment value. Shows produced by the largest professional wrestling promotions like WWE are traditionally performed in indoor venues, flagship events in this profession like WrestleMania are sometimes staged at outdoor venues; these shows are generally video recorded for live or delayed broadcasting for an audience all over the world. Additionally filmed footage known as “segments” or “promos” are usually used to accompany the drama in these shows.[28] Prior experience in legitimate wrestling is not a requirement for aspiring professional wrestlers, but is seen as an advantageous background. Despite its scripted format, there have been quite a number of performers throughout the history of pro wrestling who have had prior experience in legitimate wrestling, before transitioning to its theatrical form. A popular performer, Kurt Angle, is the first Olympic gold medalist in professional wrestling history, having won his gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in freestyle wrestling. Another prominent performer is Brock Lesnar,[29] a former NCAA Wrestler who won the NCAA Division I National Championship in 2000.[30][31] Dramatic elements This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (November 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) While each wrestling match is ostensibly a competition of athletics and strategy, the goal from a business standpoint is to excite and entertain the audience. Although the competition is staged, dramatic emphasis draws out the most intense reaction. Heightened interest results in higher attendance, increased ticket sales, higher ratings on television broadcasts (greater ad revenue), higher pay-per-view buyrates, and sales of branded merchandise and recorded video footage. All of these contribute to the profit of the promotion company. Character/gimmick Main article: Gimmick (professional wrestling) Mexican wrestlers Blue Demon Jr. (in blue) and El Hijo del Santo, both parents of this performers were two of the early luchadores to have a gimmick. El Santo was known as "El Enmascarado de Plata" (The Silver Masked) and Blue Demon was his long time frenemy In Latin America and English-speaking countries, most wrestlers (and other on-stage performers) portray character roles, sometimes with personalities wildly different from their own. These personalities are a gimmick intended to heighten interest in a wrestler without regard to athletic ability. Some can be unrealistic and cartoon-like (such as Doink the Clown), while others carry more verisimilitude (such as Chris Jericho, The Rock, John Cena, Steve Austin, and CM Punk). In lucha libre, many characters wear masks, adopting a secret identity akin to a superhero or a supervillain, a near-sacred tradition.[32] An individual wrestler may use their real name, or a minor variation of it, for much of their career, such as Bret Hart, John Cena and Randy Orton. Others can keep one ring name for their entire career (Shawn Michaels, CM Punk and Ricky Steamboat), or may change from time to time to better suit the demands of the audience or company. Sometimes a character is owned and trademarked by the company, forcing the wrestler to find a new one when he leaves (although a simple typeset change, such as changing Rhyno to Rhino, can get around this), and sometimes a character is owned by the wrestler. Sometimes, a wrestler may change their legal name to obtain ownership of their ring name (Andrew Martin and Warrior). Many wrestlers (such as The Rock and The Undertaker) are strongly identified with their character, even responding to the name in public or between friends. Proper decorum is for wrestlers to refer to each other by their stage names/characters rather than their birth/legal names, unless otherwise introduced.[33] A character can become so popular that it appears in other media (Hulk Hogan and El Santo) or even gives the performer enough visibility to enter politics (Antonio Inoki and Jesse Ventura). Gorgeous George's flamboyant gimmick made him one of the most famous wrestlers of his era Typically, matches are staged between a protagonist (historically an audience favorite, known as a babyface, or "the good guy") and an antagonist (historically a villain with arrogance, a tendency to break rules, or other unlikable qualities, called a heel, or "the bad guy"). In recent years, antiheroes have also become prominent in professional wrestling. There is also a less common role of a "tweener", who is neither fully face nor fully heel yet able to play either role effectively (case in point, Samoa Joe during his first run in Impact Wrestling from June 2005 to November 2006). At times, a character may "turn", altering their face/heel alignment. This may be an abrupt, surprising event, or it may slowly build over time. It is almost always accomplished with a markable change in behavior. Some turns become defining points in a career, as when Hulk Hogan turned heel after being a top face for over a decade. Others may have no noticeable effect on the character's status. If a character repeatedly switches between face and heel, this lessens the effect of such turns, and may result in apathy from the audience. Big Show is a good example of having more heel and face turns than anyone in WWE history. Sometimes a character's heel turn will become so popular that eventually the audience response will alter the character's heel-face cycle to the point where the heel persona will, in practice, become a face persona, and what was previously the face persona, will turn into the heel persona, such as when Dwayne Johnson first began using "The Rock" persona as a heel character, as opposed to his original "Rocky Maivia" babyface persona. Another legendary example is Stone Cold Steve Austin, who was originally booked as a heel, with such mannerisms as drinking on the job, using profanity, breaking company property, and even breaking into people's private homes. The fans' response to Austin was so positive that he effectively became one of the most popular antiheroes in professional wrestling. Austin, along with the stable of D-Generation X, Bret Hart and his Hart Foundation, is generally credited with ushering the Attitude Era of WWF programming. Story While real exhibition matches are now not uncommon, most matches tell a story analogous to an episode of a serial drama: the face will from time to time win (triumph) or from time to time lose (tragedy), and longer story arcs can result from a couple of matches. Since most promotions have a championship title, opposition for the championship is a frequent impetus for stories. For added stakes, anything from a character's own hair to their job can be wagered in a match. Some matches are designed to further the story of only one participant. It could be intended to portray an unstoppable force, a lucky underdog, a sore loser, or any other characterization. Sometimes non-wrestling vignettes are shown to enhance a character's image without the need for matches. Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock were frequent rivals throughout WWF's Attitude Era Other stories result from a natural rivalry. Outside of performance, these are referred to as feuds. A feud can exist between any number of participants and can last from a few days to decades. The feud between Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat lasted from the late 1970s into the early 1990s and allegedly spanned over two thousand matches (although most of those matches were mere dark matches). The career-spanning history between characters Mike Awesome and Masato Tanaka is another example of a long-running feud, as is the case of Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon, one of the most lucrative feuds in the World Wrestling Federation during 1998 and 1999. In theory, the longer a feud is built up, the more audience interest (aka heat) lasts. The main event of a wrestling show is generally the most heated. Commonly, a heel will hold the upper hand over a face until a final showdown, heightening dramatic tension as the face's fans desire to see them win. Throughout the history of professional wrestling, many other elements of media have been utilized in professional wrestling storytelling: pre- and post-match interviews, "backstage" skits, positions of authority and worked behind-the-scenes feuds, division rankings (typically the #1-contendership spot), contracts, lotteries, news stories on websites, and in recent years social media. Anything that can be used as an element of drama can exist in professional wrestling stories: romantic relationships (including love triangles and marriage), racism, classism, nepotism, favoritism, corporate corruption, family bonds, personal histories, grudges, theft, cheating, assault, betrayal, bribery, seduction, stalking, confidence tricks, extortion, blackmail, substance abuse, self-doubt, self-sacrifice; even kidnapping, sexual fetishism, necrophilia, misogyny, rape and death have been portrayed in wrestling. Some promotions have included supernatural elements such as magic, curses, the undead and Satanic imagery (most notably the Undertaker and his Ministry of Darkness, a stable that regularly performed evil rituals and human sacrifice in Satanic-like worship of a hidden power figure). Commentators have become important in communicating the relevance of the characters' actions to the story at hand, filling in past details and pointing out subtle actions that may otherwise go unnoticed. Promos Main article: Glossary of professional wrestling terms § Promo The Undertaker cuts a promo with Vince McMahon, Brock Lesnar and Sable looking on A main part of the story-telling part of wrestling is a promo, short for promotional interview. Promos are performed, or "cut" in wrestling jargon, for a variety of reasons, including to heighten interest in a wrestler, or to hype an upcoming match. Since the crowd is often too loud or the venue too large for promos to be heard naturally, wrestlers will use amplification when speaking in the ring. Unlike most Hollywood acting, large and highly visible handheld microphones are typically used and wrestlers often speak directly to the audience. Championships Main article: Professional wrestling championship Sting and Ric Flair holding a replica of the Big Gold Belt, which represented six different championships Professional wrestling mimics the structure of title match combat sports. Participants compete for a championship and must defend it after winning it. These titles are represented physically by a title belt that can be worn by the champion. In the case of team wrestling, there is a title belt for each member of the team. Almost all professional wrestling promotions have one major title, and some have more. Championships are designated by divisions of weight, height, gender, wrestling style and other qualifications. Typically, each promotion only recognizes the "legitimacy" of their own titles, although cross-promotion does happen. When one promotion absorbs or purchases another, the titles from the defunct promotion may continue to be defended in the new promotion or be decommissioned. Behind the scenes, the bookers in a company will place the title on the most accomplished performer, or those the bookers believe will generate fan interest in terms of event attendance and television viewership. Historically, a world champion was typically a legit shooter/hooker who had the skills to prevent double crosses by shooters who would deviate from the planned finish for personal glory. Lower ranked titles may also be used on the performers who show potential, thus allowing them greater exposure to the audience. Other circumstances may also determine the use of a championship. A combination of a championship's lineage, the caliber of performers as champion, and the frequency and manner of title changes, dictates the audience's perception of the title's quality, significance and reputation. Kazuchika Okada held the IWGP Heavyweight Championship (the former world championship of New Japan Pro-Wrestling) five times and holds the record for longest reign A wrestler's championship accomplishments can be central to their career, becoming a measure of their performance ability and drawing power. In general, a wrestler with multiple title reigns or an extended title reign is indicative of a wrestler's ability to maintain audience interest or a wrestler's ability to perform in the ring. As such, the most accomplished or decorated wrestlers tend to be revered as legends due to the amount of title reigns they hold. American wrestler Ric Flair has had multiple world heavyweight championship reigns spanning over three decades. Japanese wrestler Último Dragón once held and defended a record ten titles simultaneously. Non-standard matches Main article: Professional wrestling match types Often a match will take place under additional rules, usually serving as a special attraction or a climactic point in a feud or storyline. Sometimes this will be the culmination of an entire feud, ending it for the immediate future (known as a blowoff match). Perhaps the most well-known non-standard match is the cage match, in which the ring is surrounded by a fence or similar metal structure, with the express intention of preventing escape or outside interference—and with the added bonus of the cage being a potentially brutal weapon or platform for launching attacks. The WWE has another provision where a standard cage match can end with one wrestler or wrestling team escaping the cage through the door or over the top. Another example is the WWE's Royal Rumble match, which involves thirty participants in a random and unknown order. The Rumble match is itself a spectacle in that it is a once-yearly event with multiple participants, including individuals who might not interact otherwise. It also serves as a catalyst for the company's ongoing feuds, as well as a springboard for new storylines. The WWE has made many other match types such as the Inferno Match and the First Blood match. Ring entrance Melina Perez performs a split in order to enter into the ring. This is one of the signature things this wrestler does while doing her entrance While the wrestling matches themselves are the primary focus of professional wrestling, a key dramatic element of the business can be entrances of the wrestlers to the arena and ring. It is typical for a wrestler to get their biggest crowd reaction (or "pop") for their ring entrance, rather than for anything they do in the wrestling match itself, especially if former main event stars are returning to a promotion after a long absence. All notable wrestlers now enter the ring accompanied by music, and regularly add other elements to their entrance. The music played during the ring entrance will usually mirror the wrestler's personality. Many wrestlers, particularly in America, have music and lyrics specially written for their ring entrance. While invented long before, the practice of including music with the entrance gained rapid popularity during the 1980s, largely as a result of the huge success of Hulk Hogan and the WWF, and their Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection. When a match is won, the victor's theme music is usually also played in celebration. Because wrestling is predetermined, a wrestler's entrance music will play as they enter the arena, even if they are, in kayfabe, not supposed to be there. For example, in 2012 through 2014, The Shield was a trio of wrestlers who were (in kayfabe) not at the time under contract with WWE (hence their gimmick of entering the ring through the crowd), but they still had entrance music which was played whenever they entered the arena, despite the fact that they were kayfabe invaders. With the introduction of the Titantron entrance screen in 1997, WWF wrestlers also had entrance videos play along with their music. Other dramatic elements of a ring entrance can include: Kane is known for using fire pyrotechnics in his ring entrance Pyrotechnics such as a ring of fire for The Brood when they ascend to the stage, multi-colour fireworks (most notably for Edge), fire for Kane and Seth Rollins, a stage of smoke for Finn Bálor and (for a short period of time) falling fireworks for Christian Cage. Additional visual graphics or staging props to complement the entrance video/routine or further emphasize the character. For instance, Kane's entrance graphics employ heavy use of fire-themed visuals, The Undertaker's entrance features dark lighting, fire, fog and dry ice, and lightning-themed effects, and Goldust has been known to use on-screen visual effects in his entrance to simulate the presentation of a feature film (i.e. widescreen, production company credits), as to emphasize his Hollywood-themed film aficionado character. A distinct sound or opening note in the music (used to elicit a Pavlovian response from the crowd). For example, the glass shattering in Steve Austin's entrance theme, The Undertaker's signature bell toll, sirens, such as used by Scott Steiner or Right to Censor and the sound of bells and a cow's moo in JBL's theme. Darkening of the arena, often accompanied by mood lighting or strobe lighting, such as in The Undertaker's, Triple H's, or Sting's entrances. Certain colors of lighting have been associated with specific wrestlers; for instance, blue lighting for The Undertaker and Alexa Bliss, green lighting for Triple H, D-Generation X, and Shane McMahon, a mixture of red and yellow lighting for Brock Lesnar, a lot of red for Seth Rollins (mainly for his "Embrace The Vision" character, a.k.a when using his theme named "Visionary"), a mixture of red and orange lighting for Kane, multicolored lighting for John Morrison, gold lighting for Goldust, pink lighting for Val Venis and Trish Stratus, and so forth. Driving a vehicle into the arena. For example, Eddie Guerrero arrived in a lowrider, The Undertaker (in his "American Bad Ass" biker gimmick), Chuck Palumbo, Tara, and the Disciples of Apocalypse on motorcycles, The Mexicools on riding lawn mowers, JBL in his limousine, Alberto Del Rio arriving into the arena in various luxury cars, Steve Austin driving an all-terrain vehicle, and Camacho and Hunico entering on a lowrider bicycle. Talking to the crowd using a distinctive patter. For instance, chanting or rapping along with the music (i.e. Road Dogg, R-Truth). Another example is Vickie Guerrero entering to no music, but announcing her arrival with the words "Excuse me!" Many heels with narcissistic gimmicks (Lex Luger, Shawn Michaels, Cody Rhodes, Paul Orndorff, etc.) admired themselves in mirrors on their way to the ring. Coming through the audience, such as The Sandman's beer drinking and can smashing entrance, or Diamond Dallas Page's exit through the crowd, or Jon Moxley entering through the crowd. Accompaniment by a ringside crew or personal security, as Goldberg did. Entering the arena by a lift in the stage, such as Kurt Angle, The Brood and Rey Mysterio Special ring entrances are also developed for big occasions, most notably the WrestleMania event. For example, WrestleMania III and VI both saw all wrestlers enter the arena on motorized miniature wrestling rings. Live bands are sometimes hired to perform live entrance music at special events. John Cena and Triple H are particularly notable in recent years for their highly theatrical entrances at WrestleMania. Women participation Main article: Women's professional wrestling See also: Women in WWE and Impact Knockouts The Fighting Cholitas in Bolivia The women's division of professional wrestling has maintained a recognized world champion since 1937, when Mildred Burke won the original World Women's title. She then formed the World Women's Wrestling Association in the early 1950s and recognized herself as the first champion, although the championship was vacated upon her retirement in 1956. The NWA ceased to acknowledge Burke as the Women's World champion in 1954, and instead acknowledged June Byers as champion after a controversial finish to a high-profile match between Burke and Byers that year. Upon Byers's retirement in 1964, The Fabulous Moolah, who won a junior heavyweight version of the NWA World Women's Championship (the predecessor to the WWE Women's Championship) in a tournament back in 1958, was recognized by most NWA promoters as champion by default. Intergender Main article: Intergender wrestling For most of its history, men and women rarely worked against each other in professional wrestling, as it was deemed to be unfair and unchivalrous. Andy Kaufman used this to gain notoriety when he created an Intergender Championship and declared it open to any female challenger. This led to a long (worked) feud with Jerry Lawler. Comedian Andy Kaufman became notorious in professional wrestling for his matches against women. Cathy Davis sued the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) in 1977 because she was denied a boxing license because she was a woman, and the case was decided in her favor later that year, with the judge invalidating New York State rule number 205.15, which stated, "No woman may be licensed as a boxer or second or licensed to compete in any wrestling exhibition with men."[34][35] In his opinion the judge cited the precedent set by Garrett v. New York State Athletic Commission (1975), which "found the regulation invalid under the equal protection clauses of the State and Federal Constitutions". The NYSAC filed an appeal of the ruling, but later dropped it.[36][34] In the 1980s, mixed tag team matches began to take place, with a male and female on each team and a rule stating that each wrestler could only attack the opponent of the same gender. If a tag was made, the other team had to automatically switch their legal wrestler as well. Despite these restrictions, many mixed tag matches do feature some physical interaction between participants of different genders. For example, a heel may take a cheap shot at the female wrestler of the opposing team to draw a negative crowd reaction. In lucha libre, cheap shots and male-female attacks are not uncommon.[32] Intergender singles bouts were first fought on a national level in the 1990s. This began with Luna Vachon, who faced men in ECW and WWF. Later, Chyna became the first female to hold a belt that was not exclusive to women when she won the WWF Intercontinental Championship. Intergender wrestling was uncommon in Impact Wrestling. ODB, had participated in intergender matches and once held the Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championship with Eric Young for a record 478 days. Other notable Impact Knockouts that competed in intergender matches include Scarlett Bordeaux; Tessa Blanchard, who became the first woman to win the Impact World Championship; and Jordynne Grace, who became the inaugural Impact Digital Media Championship. Midget wrestling Further information: Midget wrestling Mexican midget wrestlers Microman (in blue) and Zacarías el Perico during a match Midget wrestling can be traced to professional wrestling's carnival and vaudeville origins. In recent years, the popularity and prevalence of midgets in wrestling has greatly decreased due to wrestling companies depriving midget divisions of storyline or feud. WWE has made a few attempts to enter this market with their "minis" in the 1990s and the "junior's league" as recent as 2006. It is still a popular form of entertainment in Mexican wrestling, mostly as a "sideshow". Some wrestlers may have their own specific "mini me", like Mascarita Sagrada, Alebrije has Quije, etc. There are also cases in which midgets can become valets for a wrestler, and even get physically involved in matches, like Alushe, who often accompanies Tinieblas, or KeMonito, who is portrayed as Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre's mascot and is also a valet for Mistico. Dave Finlay was often aided in his matches by a midget known mainly as Hornswoggle while in WWE, who hid under the ring and gave a shillelagh to Finlay to use on his opponent. Finlay also occasionally threw him at his opponents. Hornswoggle was given a run with the WWE Cruiserweight Championship and feuded with D-X in 2009. Country differences This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) The U.S., Japan and Mexico are the three countries where there is a huge market and high popularity for professional wrestling, but the wrestling styles of each region are different, given their independent development for a long period. Professional wrestling in the U.S. tends to have a heavy focus on story building and the establishment of characters (and their personalities). There is a story for each match, and even a longer story for successive matches. The stories usually contain characters like faces, heels, and - less often - "tweeners" (antiheroes). It is a "triumph" if the face wins, while it is a "tragedy" if the heel wins. The characters usually have strong and sharp personalities. The opposition between faces and heels is very intense in the story, and the heels may even attack the faces during TV interviews. The relationship between different characters can also be very complex. Mexican wrestlers: Gran Guerrero, Último Guerrero and Euforia performing a triple team move on their opponents. This is a characteristic in Lucha Libre, wrestlers can enter into the ring without being disqualified on time if it is a tag team match, something that in American wrestling is illegal and a cause of losing by disqualification Although professional wrestling in Mexico (Lucha libre) also has stories and characters, they are less emphasized. Mexican professional wrestling tradition repeats very usually brutal tactics, specially more aerial holds than professional wrestlers in the U.S. who, more often, rely on power moves and strikes to subdue their opponents.[32] The difference in styles is due to the independent evolution of the sport in Mexico beginning in the 1930s and the fact that wrestlers in the cruiserweight division (Spanish: peso semicompleto) are often the most popular wrestlers in Mexican lucha libre. Wrestlers often execute high flying moves characteristic of lucha libre by utilizing the wrestling ring's ropes to catapult themselves towards their opponents, using intricate combinations in rapid-fire succession, and applying complex submission holds.[37] Lucha libre is also known for its tag team wrestling matches, in which the teams are often made up of three members, instead of two as is common in the U.S.[38] The style of Japanese professional wrestling (puroresu) is also different. With its origins in traditional American style of wrestling and still being under the same genre, it has become an entity in itself.[39] Despite the similarity to its American counterpart, in that the outcome of the matches remains predetermined, the phenomena are different in the form of the psychology and presentation of the sport. In most of the largest promotions, such as New Japan Pro-Wrestling, All Japan Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Noah, it is treated as a full contact combat sport as it mixes hard hitting martial arts strikes with shoot style submission holds,[40] while in the U.S. it is rather more regarded as an entertainment show. Wrestlers incorporate kicks and strikes from martial arts disciplines, and a strong emphasis is placed on submission wrestling, and unlike the use of involved storylines in the U.S., they are not as intricate in Japan; more emphasis is placed on the concept of "fighting spirit", meaning the wrestlers' display of physical and mental stamina are valued a lot more than theatrics. Many of Japan's wrestlers including top stars such as Shinya Hashimoto, Riki Chōshū and Keiji Mutoh came from a legitimate martial arts background and many Japanese wrestlers in the 1990s began to pursue careers in mixed martial arts organizations such as Pancrase and Shooto which at the time retained the original look of puroresu but were actual competitions. Other companies, such as Michinoku Pro Wrestling and Dragon Gate, wrestle in a style similar to Mexican companies like AAA and CMLL. This is known as "Lucharesu". Developed culture Frank Gotch, 20th century professional wrestler Professional wrestling has developed its own unique culture.[41] Those involved in producing professional wrestling have developed a kind of global fraternity, with familial bonds, shared language and passed-down traditions. New performers are expected to "pay their dues" for a few years by working in lower-profile promotions and working as ring crew before working their way upward.[42][43] The permanent rosters of most promotions develop a backstage pecking order, with veterans mediating conflicts and mentoring younger wrestlers.[44] For many decades (and still to a lesser extent today) performers were expected to keep the illusions of wrestling's legitimacy alive even while not performing, essentially acting in character any time they were in public.[45] Some veterans speak of a "sickness" among wrestling performers, an inexplicable pull to remain active in the wrestling world despite the devastating effects the job can have on one's life and health.[46] Fans of professional wrestling have their own subculture, comparable to those of science fiction, video games, or comic books. Those who are interested in the backstage occurrences, future storylines and reasonings behind company decisions read newsletters written by journalists with inside ties to the wrestling industry.[45][47] These "rags" or "dirt sheets" have expanded into the Internet, where their information can be dispensed on an up-to-the-minute basis. Some have expanded into radio shows.[48] Some fans enjoy a pastime of collecting recordings of wrestling shows from specific companies, of certain wrestlers, or of specific genres. The internet has given fans exposure to worldwide variations of wrestling they are unable to otherwise see.[49] Since the 1990s, many companies have been founded which deal primarily in wrestling footage. When the WWE purchased both WCW and ECW in 2001, they also obtained the entire past video libraries of both productions and have released many past matches online and on home video.[citation needed] Like some other sports, fantasy leagues have developed around professional wrestling. Some take this concept further by creating E-feds (electronic federations), where a user can create their own fictional wrestling character, and role-playing storylines with other users, leading to scheduled "shows" where match results are determined by the organizers, usually based on a combination of the characters' statistics and the players' roleplaying aptitude, sometimes with audience voting.[citation needed] Mainstream This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Bill Goldberg during his tour of USS Ronald Reagan From the first established world championship, the top professional wrestlers have garnered fame within mainstream society. Each successive generation has produced a number of wrestlers who extend their careers into the realms of music, acting, writing, business, politics or public speaking, and are known to those who are unfamiliar with wrestling in general. Conversely, celebrities from other sports or general pop culture also become involved with wrestling for brief periods of time. A prime example of this is The Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection of the 1980s, which combined wrestling with MTV. Professional wrestling is often portrayed within other works using parody, and its general elements have become familiar tropes and memes in American culture. Some terminology originating in professional wrestling has found its way into the common vernacular. Phrases such as "body slam", "sleeper hold" and "tag team" are used by those who do not follow professional wrestling. The term "smackdown", popularized by The Rock and SmackDown! in the 1990s, has been included in Merriam-Webster dictionaries since 2007. Mexican wrestler El Santo became a folk hero in that country and a statue of him stands in his home city of Tulancingo Many television shows and films have been produced which portray in-character professional wrestlers as protagonists, such as Ready to Rumble, ¡Mucha Lucha!, Nacho Libre, and the Santo film series. At least two stage plays set in the world of pro wrestling have been produced: The Baron is a comedy that retells the life of an actual performer known as Baron von Raschke. From Parts Unknown... is an award-nominated Canadian drama about the rise and fall of a fictional wrestler. The 2009 South Park episode "W.T.F." played on the soap operatic elements of professional wrestling. One of the lead characters on the Disney Channel series Kim Possible was a huge fan of pro wrestling and actually featured it on an episode (with two former WWE wrestlers voicing the two fictitious wrestlers featured in the episode). The 2008 film The Wrestler, about a washed-up professional wrestler, garnered several Oscar nominations. The 2017 TV series GLOW, based on the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling promotion, gained critical acclaim, including a nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards. The 1950 film noir Night and the City, directed by Jules Dassin and starring Richard Widmark and Gene Tierney, told the story of a promoter in London trying to make it big, and featured a match involving real professional wrestler Stanislaus Zbyszko. Wrestling has also gained a major following on YouTube, with WWE being the most subscribed wrestling channel and sixth most subscribed channel in the world. Other promotions, such as All Elite Wrestling, Major League Wrestling, Impact Wrestling and the National Wrestling Alliance have distributed their own weekly programming on the platform. Study and analysis Mick Foley, who was one of the subjects of the Beyond the Mat documentary, became a New York Times best-selling author for his books about professional wrestling With its growing popularity, professional wrestling has attracted attention as a subject of serious academic study and journalistic criticism. Many courses, theses, essays and dissertations have analyzed wrestling's conventions, content, and its role in modern society. It is often included as part of studies on theatre, sociology, performance, and media.[50][51] The Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a course of study on the cultural significance of professional wrestling,[52] and anthropologist Heather Levi has written an ethnography about the culture of lucha libre in Mexico.[53] In the early 20th century, once it became apparent that the "sport" was worked, pro wrestling was looked down on as a cheap entertainment for the uneducated working class,[45] an attitude that still exists to varying degrees today.[47] The French theorist Roland Barthes was among the first to propose that wrestling was worthy of deeper analysis, in his essay "The World of Wrestling" from his book Mythologies, first published in 1957.[26][45] Barthes argued that it should be looked at not as a scamming of the ignorant, but as spectacle; a mode of theatric performance for a willing, if bloodthirsty, audience. Wrestling is described as performed art which demands an immediate reading of the juxtaposed meanings. The logical conclusion is given least importance over the theatrical performers of the wrestlers and the referee. According to Barthes, the function of a wrestler is not to win: it is to go exactly through the motions which are expected of him and to give the audience a theatrical spectacle. This work is considered a foundation of all later study.[54] While pro wrestling is often described simplistically as a "soap opera for males", it has also been cited as filling the role of past forms of literature and theatre; a synthesis of classical heroics,[55] commedia dell'arte,[56] revenge tragedies,[57] morality plays,[57] and burlesque.[58] The characters and storylines portrayed by a successful promotion are seen to reflect the current mood, attitudes, and concerns of that promotion's society[47][49] and can in turn influence those same things.[59] Wrestling's high levels of violence and masculinity make it a vicarious outlet for aggression during peacetime.[60] Documentary filmmakers have studied the lives of wrestlers and the effects the profession has on them and their families. The 1999 theatrical documentary Beyond the Mat focused on Terry Funk, a wrestler nearing retirement; Mick Foley, a wrestler within his prime; Jake Roberts, a former star fallen from grace; and a school of wrestling students trying to break into the business. The 2005 release Lipstick and Dynamite, Piss and Vinegar: The First Ladies of Wrestling chronicled the development of women's wrestling throughout the 20th century. Pro wrestling has been featured several times on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. MTV's documentary series True Life featured two episodes titled "I'm a Professional Wrestler" and "I Want to Be a Professional Wrestler". Other documentaries have been produced by The Learning Channel (The Secret World of Professional Wrestling) and A&E (Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows). Bloodstained Memoirs explored the careers of several pro wrestlers, including Chris Jericho, Rob Van Dam and Roddy Piper.[citation needed] Injury and fatality See also: List of premature professional wrestling deaths Wrestler Johnny Grunge delivering a chair shot to his opponent, this is one of the examples of a stiff wrestling move Although professional wrestling is choreographed, there is a high chance of injury, and even death.[61] Strikes are often stiff, especially in Japan, and in independent wrestling promotions such as Combat Zone Wrestling. The ring is often made out of 2-by-8-inch (5 by 20 cm) timber planks. There have been many brutal accidents, hits and injuries.[62] Many of the injuries that occur in pro wrestling are shoulders, knee, back, neck, and rib injuries. Professional wrestler Davey Richards said in 2015, "We train to take damage, we know we are going to take damage and we accept that."[63] As of September 2021, 31 years after the 1990 WrestleMania VI, 16 of the 38 competitors had died, including André the Giant and main event winner The Ultimate Warrior, with only two of the deceased having reached the age of 64 (Dusty Rhodes at 69 and "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka at 73).[64] See also History of professional wrestling Independent circuit Professional wrestling moves (disambiguation) Terminology Foreign objects (e.g. folding chair) Glossary of professional wrestling terms Professional wrestling match types Professional wrestling tag team match types Professional wrestling tournament Lists of wrestlers List of family relations in professional wrestling List of professional wrestling rosters Types of professional wrestling All-in professional wrestling Fantasy wrestling Hardcore wrestling Lucha libre Modern Freestyle wrestling Puroresu Radio programs Live Audio Wrestling Talksport Wrestling Observer Live In fiction List of wrestling-based comic books The Wrestler" (wikipedia.org) "Brock Edward Lesnar (/ˈlɛznər/ LEHZ-nur; born July 12, 1977) is an American professional wrestler, former mixed martial artist (MMA), amateur wrestler, and professional American football player who holds both American and Canadian citizenship. He is currently signed to the professional wrestling promotion WWE, where in storyline, he is a "free agent", allowing him to appear on both the Raw and SmackDown brands. Lesnar, often regarded as one of the most prolific athletes in the world, is the only person to have won all of the primary heavyweight championships in WWE, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW),[12] and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).[13] Lesnar competed in collegiate wrestling for the University of Minnesota, winning the NCAA Division I national championship in 2000. He soon signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, renamed WWE in 2002), rising to industry prominence in 2002 by winning the WWE Championship at age 25, setting the record for the youngest performer to win the championship. In 2004, Lesnar departed WWE to join the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL), but was cut from the team during pre-season. He returned to pro-wrestling and signed with NJPW in 2005 where he won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Years later in 2012, he re-signed with WWE; his 504-day first reign with the WWE Universal Championship is the seventh-longest world championship reign in the promotion's history and he holds the record for most reigns as Universal Champion at three. He also won the Royal Rumble match twice (2003 and 2022), the Money in the Bank ladder match (2019), the King of the Ring tournament (2002), and has headlined several pay-per-view events, including WWE's flagship event WrestleMania five times (XIX, 31, 34, 36, and 38); in addition, he also ended The Undertaker's undefeated WrestleMania streak in 2014. Lesnar began an MMA career in 2007, and signed with the UFC in 2008. He quickly won the UFC Heavyweight Championship, but was sidelined with diverticulitis in 2009. On his return in 2010, Lesnar defeated Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion Shane Carwin to unify the heavyweight championships and become the undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion. After a set of losses and further struggles with diverticulitis,[14] Lesnar retired from MMA in 2011.[15] He returned at UFC 200 in 2016 to defeat Mark Hunt, but his victory was overturned to a no-contest after he tested positive for clomiphene, a banned substance on UFC's anti-doping policy. He then retired from MMA for the second time in 2017. A box office sensation, he competed in some of the bestselling pay-per-view events in promotion history, including headlining UFC 91, UFC 100, UFC 116, and UFC 121. He also co-headlined UFC 200, briefly being the main headliner before that spot was given to Amanda Nunes vs. Miesha Tate.[16] Early life Brock Edward Lesnar was born in Webster, South Dakota, on July 12, 1977,[1][17] the son of Stephanie and Richard Lesnar.[17] He is of German descent,[18] and grew up on his parents' dairy farm in Webster.[19] He has two older brothers named Troy and Chad, and a younger sister named Brandi.[17] At the age of 17, he joined the Army National Guard and was assigned to an office job after his red-green colorblindness was deemed hazardous to his desire to work with explosives.[17][20] He was discharged after failing a computer typing test and later worked for a construction company.[17] Amateur wrestling Lesnar attended Webster High School, playing football[17] and competing in amateur wrestling, placing third in the state championships his senior year.[21] He then went to Bismarck State College, where he won the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) heavyweight wrestling championship in his sophomore year.[1] Lesnar attended Bismarck State College for two years before transferring to the University of Minnesota on a wrestling scholarship, where he was roommates with future WWE colleague Shelton Benjamin, who was also his assistant coach.[17] Lesnar won the 2000 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I heavyweight wrestling championship his senior year after being the runner-up to Stephen Neal the year prior. He finished his amateur career as a two-time NJCAA All-American, the 1998 NJCAA Heavyweight Champion, two-time NCAA All-American, two-time Big Ten Conference Champion and the 2000 NCAA Heavyweight Champion, with a record of 106–5 overall in four years of college.[22] Professional wrestling career World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment Ohio Valley Wrestling (2000–2001) In 2000, Lesnar signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and was sent to its developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), where he first met future friend and manager Paul Heyman.[23] OVW booker Jim Cornette paired Lesnar with his former college roommate Shelton Benjamin in October 2000.[24] They were known as The Minnesota Stretching Crew and won the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship on three separate occasions.[25] Lesnar wrestled several dark matches in 2001 and 2002 before being called up to the WWF's main roster.[1] The Next Big Thing (2002–2003) Lesnar debuted on WWF television on the March 18, 2002, episode of Raw as a heel, attacking Al Snow, Maven and Spike Dudley during their WWF Hardcore Championship match, while also being accompanied by Paul Heyman, who was seen giving instructions to Lesnar.[26] When the brand extension was introduced in the WWF, Lesnar was drafted to the Raw brand.[27] Later, Heyman was confirmed to be Lesnar's agent and gave Lesnar the nickname "The Next Big Thing".[28] Lesnar's first feud was with The Hardy Boyz. He defeated Jeff Hardy by knockout after Hardy did not respond to referee Theodore Long at Backlash on April 21, his first official televised match.[29][30] The next night on Raw, Lesnar faced off against Jeff's brother, Matt Hardy, and defeated him in the same fashion.[31] Lesnar and Shawn Stasiak lost to The Hardy Boyz at Insurrextion on May 4 after Stasiak was pinned, but Lesnar attacked all the participants after the match.[32] At Judgment Day on May 19, Lesnar and Heyman defeated The Hardy Boyz. This was also the first pay-per-view held after the WWF was renamed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). In June 2002, Lesnar won the 2002 King of the Ring tournament, defeating Bubba Ray Dudley in the first round, Booker T in the quarter-finals, Test in the semi-finals and Rob Van Dam in the finals,[33] earning him a shot at the WWE Undisputed Championship at SummerSlam. At Vengeance on July 21, Lesnar lost to Van Dam in a WWE Intercontinental Championship match by disqualification. On July 22, Lesnar joined the SmackDown! brand.[34] After a quick feud with Hollywood Hulk Hogan in August 2002, Lesnar defeated The Rock at SummerSlam on August 25 to become the new WWE Undisputed Champion and youngest WWE Champion at age 25.[35] He also became the second fastest professional wrestler to win the WWE Championship since his debut (126 days) behind only Ric Flair (113 days).[36] At the time, the WWE Undisputed Championship was being defended on both brands, so Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff expected Lesnar to return on Raw the following night. SmackDown! General Manager Stephanie McMahon declared that Lesnar was only required to defend the title on SmackDown! shows and events, prompting Bischoff to establish a new championship for the Raw brand (the World Heavyweight Championship); the WWE Undisputed Championship was then renamed the WWE Championship.[37] Lesnar during his third run as WWE Champion Lesnar's rapid rise to the top of WWE in 2002 led to a feud with The Undertaker, which involved a match at Unforgiven on September 22.[38] The match ended in a double disqualification, with Lesnar retained the title. Lesnar faced The Undertaker again at No Mercy, this time in a Hell in a Cell match. Leading up to the match, in the storyline, Lesnar broke The Undertaker's hand with a propane tank.[39] Despite Heyman begging McMahon not to let The Undertaker use his cast as a weapon, the request was denied and the match went on as planned.[40] At No Mercy on October 20, Lesnar defeated The Undertaker in the Hell in a Cell match to retain the title, thus ending their feud.[38] He retained the WWE Championship in a handicap match with Heyman against Edge at Rebellion on October 26.[41] Lesnar's next opponent was Big Show and Heyman was convinced more than anyone that Lesnar could not win, trying to talk him out of defending the title.[42] Lesnar refused and defended the championship against Big Show at Survivor Series on November 17. At Survivor Series, Heyman turned on Lesnar, allowing Big Show to chokeslam him onto a steel chair and pin him to win the WWE Championship, resulting in Lesnar's first pinfall loss in WWE. This led to Lesnar turning face for the first time.[43] Following Survivor Series, Heyman made it clear that Lesnar would not get a rematch, and had snuck a special clause saying so into his contract.[44] To gain his revenge on Big Show and Heyman, Lesnar interfered in Big Show's first title defense, which came against Kurt Angle the next month at Armageddon on December 15, where Lesnar executed the F-5 on Big Show, which enabled Angle to win the WWE Championship. On the following episode of SmackDown!, Angle introduced Heyman as his manager and, despite promising Lesnar a title shot earlier in the evening, declared that Lesnar still would not get it. Lesnar's rivalry with Heyman and Big Show resumed, which culminated in a match at the Royal Rumble on January 19, 2003, with the winner being placed into the Royal Rumble match later in the evening. At the Royal Rumble, he defeated Big Show and entered the Royal Rumble match as the #29 entry. He eliminated Matt Hardy and Team Angle (Charlie Haas and Lesnar's former OVW teammate Shelton Benjamin), who at the time, were mentored by Angle as a three-man stable. He eliminated The Undertaker last and won the Royal Rumble match, which guaranteed him a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania XIX since he was a SmackDown! wrestler.[43] After the Royal Rumble, Lesnar and Chris Benoit defeated Angle, Haas and Benjamin in a three-on-two handicap match at No Way Out on February 23, despite Team Angle injuring their partner, Edge, backstage before the match.[43] At WrestleMania on March 30, Lesnar defeated Angle to win his second WWE Championship; during the match, he botched a shooting star press (a move he had used numerous times in OVW) and landed on his head and neck, resulting in a concussion. This forced Angle (who entered the match with a broken neck) and Lesnar to improvise the finish of the match. Lesnar attempting the botched shooting star press at WrestleMania XIX WWE Champion (2003–2004) After WrestleMania, Lesnar turned his attention to John Cena, who had returned from injury in February 2003 after an F-5 into a ringpost from Lesnar, with Cena claiming that Lesnar nearly ended his career and even named his new finishing move the "F.U." as a jab at the new champion.[45][unreliable source?] The feud ended in a match at Backlash on April 27, where Lesnar defeated Cena to retain the WWE Championship. On the following episode of SmackDown!, Lesnar resumed his rivalry with Big Show after, in the storyline, Big Show injured Rey Mysterio during their match at Backlash. Big Show's attack resulted in Mysterio being carried out on a stretcher and backboard, and Big Show took Mysterio off the stretcher and swung the backboard into the ringpost, compounding the injury.[43] Lesnar called out Big Show, who demanded that Lesnar put his title on the line against him. This led to a stretcher match for the WWE Championship at Judgment Day on May 18, which Lesnar won.[46] During a rematch on the June 12 episode of SmackDown!, Lesnar lifted Big Show off the top-rope in a superplex which caused the ring to collapse on impact.[47] As Lesnar and Big Show continued their rivalry, Kurt Angle returned from his neck surgery and began to form a more friendly rivalry with Lesnar, as the two were allies, yet contenders for the title. At the first-ever SmackDown! brand-exclusive pay-per-view on July 27, Vengeance, Lesnar lost the WWE Championship to Angle in a triple threat match involving Big Show, after he was pinned by Angle. Lesnar and Kurt Angle after their WWE Championship match at WrestleMania XIX Lesnar continued to aggressively pursue the WWE Championship despite his friendship with Angle. Mr. McMahon became involved in the angle, at first berating Lesnar, who had involved himself in McMahon's rivalry with Zach Gowen, for losing to Angle. This all turned out to be a swerve that came into focus on the August 7 episode of SmackDown!. That night, Lesnar and McMahon were to face each other in a steel cage match with Angle as the special guest referee as per McMahon's orders on the previous week's program. During the match, Lesnar had passed out due to a staged backstage incident and McMahon was set to pin him, but Angle refused to allow McMahon to win that way. As the two men began to argue, Lesnar attacked Angle with an F-5 and kept attacking Angle while McMahon watched and celebrated with him afterward, turning heel once again in the process.[48] At SummerSlam on August 24,[49] Lesnar lost to Angle after submitting to the ankle lock.[50] On the September 18 episode of SmackDown!, Lesnar defeated Angle in an Iron Man match to win his third WWE Championship[51] by a final score of five to four, thus ending their long-standing feud.[52] Lesnar successfully defended his newly won title against the debuting Paul London on the October 9 episode of SmackDown!. He returned to feud with The Undertaker, as Lesnar had previously cost Undertaker the title in a match against then-champion Kurt Angle on the September 4 episode of SmackDown!, which granted him a shot at Lesnar's title.[53] At No Mercy on October 19, Lesnar defeated Undertaker in a Biker Chain match after interference from The Full Blooded Italians and Vince McMahon.[54] After Paul Heyman returned to WWE as SmackDown! General Manager, Lesnar aligned himself with Heyman. With Survivor Series coming up, he challenged Angle to a traditional Survivor Series elimination tag team match. Lesnar chose Big Show as his first teammate, with Heyman adding a returning Nathan Jones and a debuting Matt Morgan to bring the team number to four. Angle chose Chris Benoit and The APA (Bradshaw and Faarooq) to join his team. Faarooq was injured during a match with Lesnar and Angle's team was forced to find a replacement for him. Lesnar's team picked A-Train to fill the fifth and final spot for them after he attacked John Cena, who refused to accept an invitation to join Lesnar's team. Cena instead joined Angle's team and Angle added Hardcore Holly as the fifth member (Lesnar had legitimately injured Holly the year before and he had not wrestled since).[55] On November 16 at Survivor Series, Lesnar was eliminated after Benoit forced him to tap out to the Crippler Crossface. His team lost the match.[54] On the December 4 episode of SmackDown!, he defended the WWE Championship from Benoit after Benoit passed out to Lesnar's debuting submission hold, the Brock Lock.[56] Feud with Goldberg and departure (2003–2004) Lesnar demonstrating his strength on Eddie Guerrero during a SmackDown! taping in February 2004 Survivor Series in November 2003 also marked the first time Lesnar met Goldberg from the Raw brand. After Lesnar claimed in a backstage interview that he could beat anybody in the world, Goldberg interrupted the interview and introduced himself to Lesnar, shaking hands with him before leaving with a staredown.[54] Lesnar followed this rivalry with a feud involving Hardcore Holly.[57] In the storyline, Holly wanted revenge on Lesnar for legitimately injuring his neck during a previous match between the two in 2002 which left Holly in need of neck surgery and out of action for a year. At the Royal Rumble on January 25, 2004, Lesnar defeated Holly to retain the WWE Championship.[58] Later in the Royal Rumble match, Lesnar attacked Goldberg with an F-5, enabling Kurt Angle to eliminate him by throwing him off the top rope.[54] Lesnar defended the WWE Championship against Eddie Guerrero at No Way Out on February 15. Goldberg attacked Lesnar with a spear while the referee was unconscious, allowing Guerrero to get a near-fall on Lesnar. Lesnar then attempted an F-5 on Guerrero but Guerrero reversed it into a DDT on the title belt and executed a frog splash to win the WWE Championship. An angry Lesnar then began feuding with Goldberg, blaming him for losing his title, and a match was set up between the two at WrestleMania XX on March 14.[59] During the feud with Goldberg, Lesnar was also at odds with Stone Cold Steve Austin, who was shown suggesting to Goldberg that he attack Lesnar at No Way Out.[60] After Lesnar attacked Austin on the February 23 episode of Raw and stole his four-wheeler, Austin was inserted as the special guest referee for the WrestleMania match.[61] On the March 4 episode of SmackDown!, Lesnar defeated Hardcore Holly in his last match on a weekly WWE televised show until 2019. Behind the scenes, it was widely known that the match was Goldberg's last in WWE. Only a week before WrestleMania, rumors surfaced that Lesnar too was leaving WWE to pursue a career in the National Football League (NFL).[62] As a result, Lesnar's match with Goldberg became a fiasco as the fans at Madison Square Garden jeered and heckled both of them vociferously.[63] Goldberg defeated Lesnar after a Jackhammer and both men subsequently received Stone Cold Stunners from Austin.[63] After WrestleMania XX, Lesnar left WWE. Japanese promotions (2005–2007) On October 8, 2005, Lesnar won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship on his debut match in a three-way match with Kazuyuki Fujita and Masahiro Chono at a New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) show in the Tokyo Dome.[64] Lesnar is one of the few American wrestlers to have held this title.[64] He won the match by pinning Chono after an F-5, which he had renamed the Verdict since WWE owns the trademark on the F-5 name.[65] After the match, Lesnar stated that this name was referring to his lawsuit against WWE, who filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to prevent Lesnar from continuing to work with NJPW on December 6, but the court did not grant it. Following that, he had two non-title victories against Manabu Nakanishi and Yuji Nagata.[66][67] Lesnar successfully defended the championship on January 4, 2006, against former champion Shinsuke Nakamura.[66] On January 13, WWE once again filed an injunction against Lesnar to stop him from defending the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, which was also not enforced as he went on to retain his championship against former Sumo Wrestling Grand Champion Akebono on March 19, at the Sumo Hall.[68] Lesnar had another successful title defense against Giant Bernard on May 3. This was the first American vs. American title match in NJPW since Vader vs. Stan Hansen in 1990.[69] On July 15, NJPW stripped Lesnar of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship as he did not return to defend it due to visa issues. A tournament was held on July 16 to determine the new champion, which was won by Hiroshi Tanahashi. Lesnar continued to possess the physical IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt until late June 2007.[70] Approximately one year later on June 29, 2007, Lesnar defended his IWGP Heavyweight Championship against TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle in a champion vs. champion match, at the debut event of the Inoki Genome Federation (IGF). IGF promoter Antonio Inoki had stated Lesnar was the "proper" IWGP Heavyweight Champion as he was not defeated for the title. Angle made him tap out to the ankle lock to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship as recognized by IGF and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA).[70][71] This was Lesnar's last match as a professional wrestler until 2012, when he re-signed with WWE. Return to WWE (2012-2020) Return and ending The Streak (2012–2014) Lesnar faces off with John Cena upon his return in April 2012. After executing an F-5, Lesnar stands over John Cena the night after WrestleMania XXVIII. Lesnar returned to WWE on April 2, 2012, on Raw, as a heel, by confronting and delivering an F-5 to John Cena.[72][73] The following week on Raw, General Manager John Laurinaitis revealed that he signed Lesnar to bring "legitimacy" back to WWE and become the "new face of the WWE". Laurinaitis also scheduled Lesnar to face Cena at Extreme Rules in an Extreme Rules match.[74] At Extreme Rules on April 29, Lesnar lost to Cena despite dominating the match.[75] The following night on Raw, WWE's Chief Operating Officer Triple H refused to give in to Lesnar's unreasonable contract demands (which included being given his own personal jet and having Raw renamed to Monday Night Raw Starring Brock Lesnar), resulting in Lesnar attacking him and breaking his arm with a kimura lock in storyline.[76][77] The next week on Raw, Paul Heyman returned as Lesnar's legal representative; he claimed that Lesnar was quitting WWE[76] and was suing WWE for breach of contract.[76][78] At No Way Out in June, Triple H challenged Lesnar (who was not present) to a match at SummerSlam,[79] which Lesnar refused.[80] Stephanie McMahon later goaded Heyman into accepting the match on Lesnar's behalf on July 23 at Raw 1000.[81][82] At SummerSlam on August 19, Lesnar defeated Triple H by submission after once again breaking his arm in storyline.[83][84] The following night on Raw, Lesnar declared himself the new "King of Kings" and said that he would depart from WWE after his victory over Triple H, stating that he had conquered everything in the company.[85][86] Lesnar broke The Undertaker's undefeated WrestleMania streak in 2014. Lesnar returned on the January 28, 2013, episode of Raw, confronting Mr. McMahon who was about to fire Heyman, and despite Heyman's pleas, Lesnar attacked McMahon with an F-5,[87] breaking McMahon's pelvis in storyline.[88] The following week during The Miz's Miz TV talk show, Raw Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero revealed herself as the one who signed Lesnar to a new contract to impress McMahon.[89] On the February 25 episode of Raw, Lesnar once again attempted to attack McMahon, only to get into a brawl with the returning Triple H, which resulted in Lesnar legitimately having his head split open and requiring eighteen stitches.[90] The following week on Raw, Triple H issued a challenge to Lesnar, requesting a rematch with him at WrestleMania 29, which Lesnar accepted but only after Triple H signed a contract and Lesnar named the stipulation.[91][92] After Triple H signed the contract and assaulted Heyman, the stipulation was revealed as No Holds Barred with Triple H's career on the line.[93] At WrestleMania on April 7, Lesnar lost to Triple H after a Pedigree onto the steel steps.[94] On the April 15 episode of Raw, Lesnar attacked 3MB (Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre, and Jinder Mahal) before Heyman challenged Triple H to face Lesnar in a steel cage match at Extreme Rules,[95] which Triple H accepted the following week.[96] At Extreme Rules on May 19, after interference from Heyman, Lesnar defeated Triple H to end their feud.[97] Lesnar returned on the June 17 episode of Raw, attacking Heyman's fellow client CM Punk with an F-5.[98] Despite the accusations from Punk, Heyman claimed that he was not behind Lesnar's attack on him.[99] Heyman turned on Punk in July,[100] and claimed that Punk could not beat Lesnar, which led to Lesnar making his return and attacking Punk on the July 15 episode of Raw.[101] The following week on Raw, Punk challenged Lesnar to a match at SummerSlam on August 18, where Lesnar defeated Punk in a no disqualification match.[102] On the December 30 episode of Raw, Lesnar returned with Heyman to challenge the winner of the upcoming WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between Randy Orton and John Cena at the Royal Rumble.[103] Lesnar then dared any wrestler who disapproved of that notion to challenge him, which was answered by Mark Henry. The ensuing brawl ended with Lesnar delivering an F-5 to Henry.[104] The following week on Raw, Henry challenged Lesnar again, only to have Lesnar dislocate his elbow with the Kimura lock in storyline, which led Big Show to confront Lesnar,[105] thus starting a feud which was settled at the Royal Rumble on January 26, 2014, where Lesnar defeated Big Show after attacking him with a steel chair before the match began.[106] On the February 24 episode of Raw, Heyman stated that Lesnar had requested a match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXX, but received an open contract to face anyone else of his choosing instead. The Undertaker then returned and attacked Lesnar with a chokeslam through a table, setting up their match at WrestleMania XXX.[107] At WrestleMania on April 6, Lesnar defeated Undertaker after executing three F-5s, ending his undefeated WrestleMania streak at 21, a feat that was described by Sports Illustrated as being "the most shocking result since the Montreal Screwjob".[108] WWE World Heavyweight Champion (2014–2015) Lesnar, with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, across the ring from John Cena at the Night of Champions pay-per-view in September 2014 At SummerSlam on August 17, Lesnar defeated John Cena to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship; during the match he delivered sixteen suplexes (most of which were German suplexes) and two F-5s to Cena, who barely managed any offense.[109] In a rematch at Night of Champions on September 21, Lesnar was disqualified due to Seth Rollins interfering, but retained his championship.[110] Later in the year, Rollins reunited with The Authority and was added to Lesnar and Cena championship match at the Royal Rumble on January 25, 2015, making it a triple threat match,[111] which Lesnar won despite (storyline) breaking a rib during the match.[112] Lesnar's next challenger was Roman Reigns, who had won the Royal Rumble match to earn a title match at WrestleMania 31 on March 29.[113] During his main event match against Reigns, Lesnar delivered multiple suplexes and was heard exclaiming, "Suplex City, bitch!" and thereafter "Suplex City" became one of his signature catchphrases and merchandise motifs. After Lesnar and Reigns traded a few false finishes, Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract while the match was in progress, making it a triple threat; Rollins then pinned Reigns to win the title after delivering a Curb Stomp.[114] The following night on Raw, Lesnar tried to invoke his rematch clause and subsequently attacked commentators Booker T, John "Bradshaw" Layfield and Michael Cole, as well as a cameraman after Rollins refused the rematch, which led to Stephanie McMahon suspending Lesnar indefinitely in storyline.[115] Lesnar returned on the June 15 episode of Raw, being chosen by The Authority as the number one contender to Rollins' WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Battleground.[116][117] On July 4, Lesnar made his first non-televised wrestling appearance for WWE since his 2012 return, defeating Kofi Kingston at The Beast in the East live event in Tokyo in a quick winning effort; he also delivered F-5s to Kingston's New Day stablemates Big E and Xavier Woods after the match.[118] At Battleground on July 19, Lesnar dominated Rollins, delivering thirteen suplexes, but mid-pinfall, after performing an F-5, he was attacked by The Undertaker (who incapacitated Lesnar with a chokeslam and two Tombstone Piledrivers), thus ending the match with Lesnar winning by disqualification and Rollins retaining the championship.[119] Suplex City (2015–2017) Lesnar and Dean Ambrose during their match at WrestleMania 32 The following night on Raw, Undertaker explained that he had attacked Lesnar not for ending his WrestleMania streak, but rather for Lesnar allowing Heyman to constantly taunt him about it, which led to the two brawling throughout the arena and a WrestleMania rematch being scheduled for SummerSlam on August 23,[120] where Undertaker controversially defeated Lesnar. The timekeeper rang the bell as Undertaker had supposedly submitted to Lesnar's Kimura lock, though the referee had not seen any submission. In the ensuing confusion, Undertaker hit Lesnar with a low blow and applied his Hell's Gate submission hold, in which Lesnar passed out.[121] The following night on Raw, Lesnar and Heyman challenged Undertaker to an immediate rematch, only to be confronted by Bo Dallas (who mocked Lesnar about his defeat); Lesnar responded with five German suplexes and an F-5.[122] At Hell in a Cell on October 25, Lesnar defeated Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match after a low blow and F-5 onto the exposed ring floor, ending their feud.[123][124] The match was later voted "Match of the Year" during the 2015 Slammy Awards.[125] On the January 11, 2016, episode of Raw, Lesnar returned, attacking The New Day, The League of Nations (Sheamus, King Barrett, Rusev and Alberto Del Rio) and Kevin Owens, before performing an F-5 on Roman Reigns.[126] The following week on Raw, he brawled with Reigns until they were attacked by The Wyatt Family.[127] At the Royal Rumble on January 24, Lesnar was the 23rd entrant, eliminating Jack Swagger and The Wyatt Family minus Bray Wyatt before being eliminated by the Wyatt Family members he had eliminated first. He later defeated Wyatt and Luke Harper in a two-on-one handicap at the Road Block pay-per-view event.[128] On the January 25 episode of Raw, Stephanie McMahon scheduled a triple threat match between Lesnar, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose for Fastlane to determine who would challenge Triple H's for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 32.[129] In the following weeks, Lesnar was continuously provoked by Ambrose, with Reigns saving him from the subsequent attacks by Lesnar.[130][131][132] At Fastlane on February 21, Lesnar dominated most of the match before he was put through two broadcast tables by Ambrose and Reigns; he lost the match after Reigns pinned Ambrose.[133] Because of this, Lesnar attacked Ambrose in the parking lot as he was arriving at the arena. Ambrose returned later in the night, having hijacked an ambulance, and challenged Lesnar to a No Holds Barred Street Fight match at WrestleMania 32 on April 3,[134] where Lesnar defeated Ambrose after an F-5 onto a pile of chairs.[135] Lesnar performing the Kimura lock on John Cena On the July 7 episode of SmackDown, it Lesnar was revealed as the returning Randy Orton's opponent for SummerSlam.[136] Two days later on July 9, WWE allowed Lesnar to have a one-off fight for UFC 200. Lesnar failed two of his drug tests for this fight but was not suspended by WWE because he is not a full-time performer.[137] On July 19 at the 2016 WWE draft, Lesnar was the #5 draft pick for the Raw brand.[138] Reports claimed that he would have been #1 had he not failed his UFC drug tests.[139] Orton was drafted to SmackDown, thus making their match an interbrand match, while WWE billed their face-off as a match fifteen years in the making.[140] Along with Heyman, Lesnar made his return to Raw on August 1 (his first appearance on WWE programming since WrestleMania 32), but during his segment Orton appeared and attacked Lesnar with an RKO.[141] Lesnar then attacked Orton during his match the following night on SmackDown Live, performing an F-5 on Orton.[142] At SummerSlam on August 21, Lesnar defeated Orton by technical knockout, leaving Orton with a forehead wound which required ten staples.[143] He then hit Shane McMahon with an F-5.[144] The end made many people believe Lesnar had gone off script due to the severity of Orton's head wound,[145][146][147] out of which Vince McMahon confirmed that the ending was planned.[148] Lesnar was later storyline fined $500 for delivering an F-5 to SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon and his assault on Orton.[149] On September 24 at a house show in Chicago, Illinois, Lesnar defeated Orton in a no-disqualification rematch, with the match being billed as a Suplex City death match.[150] On the October 10 episode of Raw, Heyman, on Lesnar's behalf, challenged Goldberg to a fight after the pair had been feuding for several months through social media and during promotional work for the WWE 2K17 video game, which featured Lesnar as the cover star and Goldberg as the pre-order bonus.[151] Heyman stated that Goldberg was the one blemish on Lesnar's WWE career, as Goldberg had defeated Lesnar at WrestleMania XX in 2004.[152] On the October 17 episode of Raw, Goldberg returned to WWE after a twelve-year absence and accepted Lesnar's request for a fight with their match later scheduled for Survivor Series.[153][154] On the final Raw before Survivor Series, Lesnar and Goldberg had a confrontation for the first time in twelve years, resulting in a brawl with security after Heyman insulted Goldberg's family.[155] On November 20 at Survivor Series, Lesnar quickly lost to Goldberg in 1 minute and 26 seconds,[156][157] marking the first time in three years that Lesnar was pinned.[158] The next night on Raw, Goldberg declared himself the first entrant in the 2017 Royal Rumble match.[159] The following week on Raw, Heyman addressed the Survivor Series match, stating that they underestimated Goldberg and that the match was a humiliation and embarrassment for him and Lesnar, who would also be in the Royal Rumble as he has something to prove.[160] Lesnar returned on the January 16 episode of Raw to confront other Royal Rumble participants, attacking Sami Zayn, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns.[161][162] At the Royal Rumble on January 29, Lesnar entered at number 26 and went on to eliminate Enzo Amore, Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler before confronting Goldberg, who entered at number 28 and quickly eliminated Lesnar after a spear.[163] Year-long Universal Championship reign (2017–2018) The following night on Raw, Lesnar challenged Goldberg to a final match at WrestleMania 33.[164] On the February 6 episode of Raw, Goldberg accepted Lesnar's challenge and was named number one contender for Kevin Owens' Universal Championship,[165] which he won on March 5 at Fastlane[166] thus turning his match with Lesnar into a title match.[167] At WrestleMania on April 2, Lesnar beat Goldberg to win his fifth world title in WWE and became the first man to have won both the WWE Championship and the Universal Championship. Lesnar also became the second person to kick-out from Goldberg's Jackhammer and gave him the first clean singles loss of his professional wrestling career.[168][169] After several weeks of feuding, Lesnar's first title defense came at the inaugural Great Balls of Fire event on July 9, 2017, where he successfully retained against Samoa Joe, before defeating him a second time for the title at a house show. Lesnar facing Roman Reigns before their Universal Championship match at WrestleMania 34 On the July 31 episode of Raw, Lesnar was scheduled to defend his title in a fatal four-way match at SummerSlam against Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman. Lesnar and Heyman stated that both would leave WWE should Lesnar lose the championship in the match.[170] At SummerSlam on August 20, Lesnar retained the title by pinning Reigns.[171] The next night on Raw, Lesnar was attacked by Strowman. The subsequent title match at No Mercy on September 24 was won by Lesnar.[172] Lesnar then defeated WWE Champion AJ Styles in an interbrand Champion vs Champion non-title match at Survivor Series on November 19. His next title defense was scheduled for the Royal Rumble on January 28, 2018, where he successfully defended the title in a triple threat match against Strowman and Kane. Lesnar then re-ignited his feud with Roman Reigns, who won the Elimination Chamber match at Elimination Chamber on February 25 to become the number one contender to Lesnar's title at WrestleMania 34.[173] At WrestleMania on April 8, Lesnar pinned Reigns to retain the title in the main event.[174] Rumors arose that Lesnar would leave WWE and rejoin the UFC.[175] On April 9, Lesnar re-signed with WWE.[176] At the Greatest Royal Rumble pay-per-view on April 27, he again defeated Reigns in a steel cage when Reigns speared Lesnar through the cage wall. As Lesnar escaped the cage first, he was declared the winner.[177] After the Greatest Royal Rumble, Lesnar was absent from WWE television for nearly three months. At Extreme Rules on July 15, Raw General Manager Kurt Angle threatened to strip Lesnar of the Universal Championship if he did not show up to Raw the following night.[178] The following night on Raw, Heyman agreed that Lesnar would defend his title at SummerSlam; Reigns became the number one contender later that same night.[179] On the July 30 episode of Raw, Lesnar was at the arena but refused to appear in the ring. Angle threatened to fire Heyman if he could not persuade Lesnar to come to the ring. Throughout the broadcast, Heyman's attempts were unsuccessful. At the end of the show, after Angle had fired him, Lesnar appeared to attack Angle and choke Heyman.[180] Two weeks later, the dissension between Lesnar and Heyman was revealed to be just a ruse when Lesnar returning on the August 13 episode of Raw to attack Reigns.[181] At SummerSlam on August 19, Strowman was at ringside ready to cash in his Money in the Bank contract on the winner. Lesnar incapacitated Strowman, allowing Reigns to capitalize on the distracted Lesnar and win the Universal Championship, ending Lesnar's title reign at 504 days. The reign was the sixth-longest world championship reign in WWE history and the longest since 1988.[182][183] World championship reigns and first retirement (2018–2020) Lesnar returned at Hell in a Cell on September 16, interrupting the Hell in a Cell match between defending Universal Champion Reigns and Braun Strowman, kicking in the door and attacking both men, thus rendering the match a no-contest and costing Strowman his Money in the Bank cash-in match.[184] The next night on Raw, Acting General Manager Baron Corbin scheduled Reigns to defend the Universal Championship in a triple threat match against Lesnar and Strowman at Crown Jewel on November 2.[185] After Reigns relinquished the title due to a legitimate leukemia relapse, the match was changed to a singles match between Lesnar and Strowman for the vacant title.[186] At Crown Jewel, Lesnar defeated Strowman in three minutes to become the first two-time Universal Champion, thanks to a pre-match attack from Baron Corbin.[187] After his title win, Lesnar was scheduled to face WWE Champion AJ Styles at Survivor Series in another Champion vs Champion non-title match. Five days before, Styles lost the WWE Championship to Daniel Bryan on SmackDown. At Survivor Series on November 18, Lesnar overcame a late rally from Bryan to defeat him.[188] Lesnar then successfully defended the title against Finn Bálor via submission at the Royal Rumble on January 27, 2019.[189] The next night on Raw, Lesnar attacked 2019 Royal Rumble match winner Seth Rollins with six F-5s, setting up a title match for WrestleMania 35.[190] At WrestleMania on April 7, Lesnar attacked Rollins before the match. Rollins then attacked Lesnar with a low blow while the referee was down and pinned Lesnar, ending his second reign as Universal Champion at 156 days.[191] At Money in the Bank on May 19, 2019, Lesnar surprisingly replaced Sami Zayn in the Money in the Bank ladder match. Before the match, Zayn had been attacked backstage. Later, the match began with only seven of the scheduled eight participants. At the climax of the match, Lesnar ran in, took out Ali, who was on top of a ladder, and won the Money in the Bank contract, granting him either a Universal Championship or WWE Championship match at any time of his choosing within the next year.[192] After teasing cashing in on Universal Champion Seth Rollins and WWE Champion Kofi Kingston and failing an attempt to cash-in on Rollins at Super ShowDown on June 7, Lesnar successfully cashed in his contract to win the Universal Championship from Rollins at Extreme Rules on July 14 right after Rollins and Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch had retained their respective titles against Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans in an Extreme Rules mixed tag team match.[193] At SummerSlam on August 11, Lesnar lost the title back to Rollins, ending his third title reign at 28 days.[194] Lesnar and Heyman returned on the September 17 episode of SmackDown to challenge Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship. Kingston accepted and Lesnar proceeded to F-5 him.[195] On SmackDown's 20th Anniversary on October 4, Lesnar quickly defeated Kingston in about eight seconds to win his fifth WWE Championship;[196] this was Lesnar's first match on SmackDown in 15 years. After his victory, Lesnar was attacked by former UFC opponent Cain Velasquez, making his WWE debut.[197] Lesnar was then scheduled to defend the WWE Championship against Velasquez at Crown Jewel on October 31.[198] During the 2019 draft, Lesnar was drafted to SmackDown.[199] At the Crown Jewel event, Lesnar defeated Velasquez in under five minutes via submission with the Kimura Lock. After the match, Rey Mysterio attacked Lesnar with a chair.[200] On the November 1 episode of SmackDown, Lesnar and Heyman quit the brand in order to go after Mysterio, who had been drafted to Raw, thus transferring to Raw with the WWE Championship.[201] This led to Mysterio challenging Lesnar for the WWE Championship at Survivor Series on November 24, which was made official[202] as a No Holds Barred match,[203] where Lesnar retained, despite Mysterio's son, Dominik's attempt to aid Mysterio during the match.[204] Lesnar returned on the January 6, 2020, episode of Raw to declare that no one deserved an opportunity at the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble, so instead he would enter the Royal Rumble match as entrant number one.[205] At the Royal Rumble on January 26, Lesnar eliminated the first thirteen competitors he faced, tying the record for most eliminations in a Royal Rumble match, before being eliminated by Drew McIntyre, who won the match.[206] After retaining the championship against Ricochet at Super ShowDown on February 27,[207] Lesnar ultimately lost the WWE Championship to McIntyre in the main event of WrestleMania 36 Part 2 (which was taped on March 25–26 and aired on April 5).[208] This was his final appearance until 2021 – it was later reported by several sources that Lesnar was not under contract with WWE after the match.[209][210][211] Lesnar confirmed in March 2022 that he had initially retired from professional wrestling after WrestleMania 36, until deciding to return in 2021.[212] Second return to WWE (2021–present) Lesnar, now sporting a cowboy/farmer look with a beard and ponytail, returned at SummerSlam on August 21, 2021, as a face, confronting Universal Champion Roman Reigns after his successful title defense against John Cena.[213] During the 2021 WWE Draft, it was revealed that Lesnar had become a free agent, allowing him to appear on any brand.[214] He then primarily appeared on SmackDown, and he and Reigns faced each other for the title at Crown Jewel on October 21, which Lesnar lost after interference from The Usos.[215] On the following episode of SmackDown, he started a locker room-clearing brawl with Reigns, resulting in an indefinite suspension by on-air authority figure Adam Pearce, whom Lesnar attacked.[216] On the November 26 episode of SmackDown, it was announced his suspension had been lifted.[217] On the December 3 episode of SmackDown, it was announced that Lesnar would once again face Reigns for the title, this time at the Day 1 event.[218] The match was canceled after Reigns contracted COVID-19, and Lesnar was instead added to Raw's WWE Championship match at the event to make it a fatal five-way match.[219] At Day 1 on January 1, 2022, Lesnar won his sixth WWE Championship, defeating Bobby Lashley, Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, and defending champion Big E, who he pinned.[219] On the following episode of Raw, Lesnar reunited with his advocate Paul Heyman.[220][221] At Royal Rumble on January 29, he lost the WWE Championship to Lashley due to Reigns' interference and Heyman's betrayal (who realigned with Reigns), ending his sixth reign at 29 days, however later that night, he entered the Royal Rumble match as the surprise 30th entrant and won the match by last eliminating Drew McIntyre and becoming the fourth person to win from the #30 spot (after The Undertaker in 2007, John Cena in 2008, and Triple H in 2016). This made Lesnar the ninth two-time Rumble winner, after his first win in 2003, while also making him the first person to lose their world championship and then win the Rumble in the same night. Among the other multi-time Rumble winners, Lesnar also set a record for the longest time between Rumble wins at 19 years. He also set the record for the least amount of time spent in the Rumble before winning it, being in the match for 2 minutes and 30 seconds and beating Edge's 2010 record by 5 minutes and 7 seconds.[222] On the following episode of Raw, Lesnar revealed he would challenge Reigns for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 38, and was also scheduled to compete in the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship on February 19 at Elimination Chamber.[223] Lesnar won the match to win the title for a seventh time by single-handedly eliminating all other opponents (Seth "Freakin" Rollins, Riddle, AJ Styles, and Austin Theory), except Lashley, who was removed early in the match due to a concussion protocol. This also converted his Universal Championship match against Reigns at WrestleMania into a Winner Takes All match.[224] The following night on Raw, their Winner Takes All match was then stipulated as a title unification match. Lesnar lost the WWE Championship to Reigns in the unification match at the event on April 3.[225] On the June 17 episode of SmackDown, Lesnar once again returned to confront and attack Reigns after he successfully defended the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against Riddle, renewing their rivalry.[226] This resulted in a Last Man Standing match being made for the title at SummerSlam, with WWE billing it as the ultimate finale to the feud.[227] At the event on July 30, Lesnar failed to beat Reigns for the title after interference from The Usos and Heyman.[228] On the October 10 episode of Raw, Lesnar made a surprise return, attacking United States Champion Bobby Lashley and injuring his shoulder before his scheduled title defense against Seth "Freakin" Rollins, resuming their feud.[229] At Crown Jewel on November 5, Lesnar defeated Lashley despite Lashley dominating the majority of the match.[230] Lesnar's next appearance occurred on Raw Is XXX on January 23, 2023, where he caused Bobby Lashley to lose his United States Championship match.[231] At the Royal Rumble, Lesnar entered the Royal Rumble match at #12 but was eliminated by Lashley.[232] Professional wrestling style and persona Lesnar preparing the F-5 against The Undertaker Since Lesnar's debut, he was portrayed as a powerhouse athlete. He is often called by his nickname "The Beast Incarnate" or simply "The Beast". During his initial run when he was consistently main-eventing, WWE was in what is labeled by the company and fans as the "Ruthless Aggression Era". His go-to finishing maneuver for his entire career has been a fireman's carry facebuster[233] known as the F-5 (or The Verdict when he wrestled outside of WWE).[234][235] After his return in 2012, Lesnar focused on an MMA-oriented gimmick, sporting MMA gloves during his matches and adding the Kimura lock as a submission hold.[236][237] Lesnar is also known for performing several suplexes (especially German suplexes) on his rivals, with these often being described as the opponent being taken to "Suplex City",[238] named after an ad-lib Lesnar delivered to Roman Reigns during their WrestleMania 31 match.[239] Lesnar has been managed by Paul Heyman for the majority of his WWE career with Heyman being Lesnar's mouthpiece for storylines and feuds. Throughout the second half of the 2010s, Lesnar began to receive an increasing amount of criticism for his character and performances. Many reporters thought his Suplex City character "jumped the shark" and his matches had "become formulaic".[240][241] He was largely criticized due to his absences from television during his time as Universal Champion. It was pointed out that he had the longest world championship reign since Hulk Hogan, but only defended the title 13 times, all on pay-per-views, with Tim Fiorvanti from ESPN commenting that he had "removed the top title on Monday Night Raw from circulation".[242] The short length of his matches were also criticized by journalists and fans.[243] Former WWE Champion Bob Backlund criticized the fact that Lesnar used mostly suplexes during his matches, saying "it gets old to do the same thing over and over and over again".[244] Professional football career After his match at WrestleMania XX in March 2004, Lesnar sidelined his career in WWE to pursue a career in the National Football League (NFL) despite not playing football since high school.[245] WWE issued this statement on their official website, WWE.com, following his departure: Brock Lesnar has made a personal decision to put his WWE career on hold to prepare to tryout for the National Football League this season. Brock has wrestled his entire professional career in the WWE and we are proud of his accomplishments and wish him the best in his new endeavor.[246] Lesnar later told a Minnesota radio show that he had "three wonderful years" in WWE, but had grown unhappy and always wanted to play professional football, adding that he did not want to be 40 years old and wondering if he could have "made it" in football. In an interview about the NFL, he stated: This is no load of bull; it's no WWE stunt. I am dead serious about this. I ain't afraid of anything and I ain't afraid of anybody. I've been an underdog in athletics since I was five. I got zero college offers for wrestling. Now people say I can't play football, that it's a joke. I say I can. I'm as good an athlete as a lot of guys in the NFL, if not better. I've always had to fight for everything. I wasn't the best technician in amateur wrestling but I was strong, had great conditioning, and a hard head. Nobody could break me. As long as I have that, I don't give a damn what anybody else thinks.[247] Lesnar had a great showing at the NFL Combine, but on April 17 a minivan collided with his motorbike and he suffered a broken jaw and left hand, a bruised pelvis and a pulled groin.[248][249][250] Several NFL teams expressed interest in watching Lesnar work out.[251] The Minnesota Vikings worked out Lesnar on June 11, but he was hampered by the groin injury suffered in the April motorcycle accident.[251][252] On July 24 it was reported that he was nearly recovered from his groin injury.[251] He signed with the Vikings on July 27 and played in several preseason games for the team.[253][251] He was released by the Vikings on August 30.[253][251] Lesnar received an invitation to play as a representative for the Vikings in NFL Europa, but declined due to his desire to stay in the United States with his family.[253] He had several football cards produced of him during his time with the Vikings.[11] Mixed martial arts career Hero's (2007) On April 29, 2006, after the final match of the K-1 World Grand Prix 2006 in Las Vegas, Lesnar stated his intent to join K-1's mixed martial arts league, Hero's. He trained with Minnesota Martial Arts Academy under Greg Nelson and Minnesota Assistant Head wrestling coach Marty Morgan.[254] Lesnar signed the deal in August.[255] His first fight was scheduled against Hong-man Choi of South Korea on June 2, 2007, at the Dynamite!! USA show.[256][257] Prior to the match, Choi was replaced by Min-soo Kim. Lesnar submitted Kim with strikes in 1:09 of the first round to win his first official MMA match.[258] Ultimate Fighting Championship (2008–2011) Debut and UFC Heavyweight Champion During UFC 77 on October 20, Lesnar joined Ultimate Fighting Championship with a one-fight contract.[259][260] On February 2, 2008, Lesnar made his debut with the promotion in an event titled UFC 81: Breaking Point against former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir.[261] Due to his large hands,[262] Lesnar was wearing 4XL gloves for the fight, making him the second man in Nevada's combat sports history to wear such gloves, after Choi Hong-man.[263] Lesnar secured an early takedown and began landing numerous punches, but was docked a point after a punch hit Mir on the back of the head. He scored another takedown and continued landing ground and pound, before Mir secured a kneebar and forced a submission at 1:30 of the first round.[261] Despite losing his debut, he was offered a new contract and at UFC 82 on March 1, former UFC Heavyweight Champion and Hall of Famer Mark Coleman was announced to fight Lesnar at UFC 87.[260][264] Coleman withdrew from the fight due to an injury and was replaced by Heath Herring.[265] In the first round Lesnar scored an early knockdown and went on to dominate the fight winning via unanimous decision by 30–26 on all three judges' scorecards.[266] Lesnar then faced Randy Couture for the UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 91 on November 15.[267] He denied Couture's takedown attempts and outstruck him on the feet, eventually knocking him down and landing ground and pound until he was awarded the technical knockout and UFC Heavyweight Championship.[268] On December 27 at UFC 92, Frank Mir defeated Antônio Nogueira for the Interim Heavyweight Championship and was to face Lesnar for the Undisputed UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 98. Immediately after winning the Interim Heavyweight title, Mir found Lesnar in the crowd and shouted, "You've got my belt". Due to a knee injury to Mir, the title unification match with Lesnar that was originally slated to be the UFC 98 main event was postponed.[269] Lesnar instead fought Mir at UFC 100 on July 11, 2009. Mir attempted to grab ahold of Lesnar's leg early in the fight but was denied and Lesnar held top position landing punches for the rest of the round. In the second the two traded blows but Mir hurt Lesnar with a knee and a punch, leading him to take Mir down and land heavy ground and pound winning the fight via technical knockout in round two. During his post-match celebration, Lesnar flipped off the crowd who had been booing him. Lesnar also made a disparaging comment about the pay-per-view's primary sponsor Bud Light, claiming they "won't pay me nothin'" and promoted Coors Light instead. Lesnar later apologized for his remarks at the post-fight press conference, where he held a bottle of Bud Light and endorsed their product.[270] On July 1 it was reported that the winner of the Shane Carwin vs. Cain Velasquez fight at UFC 104 would face Lesnar, but the match was scrapped and Lesnar was scheduled to defend the title against Shane Carwin at UFC 106 on November 21.[271] On October 2 Lesnar pulled out of his Carwin bout due to an illness. UFC President Dana White said Lesnar had been ill for three weeks, claiming he had never been this sick in his life and that it would take him a while to recover, therefore his fight with Carwin was rescheduled for UFC 108 on January 2, 2010.[272] Lesnar initially sought treatment in Canada, but later told reporters that he had received "Third World treatment" at a hospital in Brandon, Manitoba and that seeking better treatment in the United States saved his life. Lesnar went on to criticize Canadian health care further and stated that he shared his experience to speak "on the behalf of the doctors in the United States that don't want health care reform to happen".[273] On November 4 it was confirmed that Lesnar had mononucleosis and that his bout with Carwin would have to wait a bit longer and the fight for Lesnar's heavyweight championship was canceled.[274] On November 14 at the UFC 105 post-fight conference, Dana White stated, "[Lesnar]'s not well and he's not going to be getting well anytime soon" and that an interim title match might need to be set up.[275] In addition to mononucleosis, it was revealed that he had developed a serious case of diverticulitis, an intestinal disorder, which required surgery.[276] After further diagnosis, Lesnar underwent surgery on November 16 to close a perforation in his intestine that had been leaking fecal matter into his abdomen, causing pain, abscesses and overtaxing his immune system to the point that he contracted mononucleosis. From the level of damage to Lesnar's system, the surgeon estimated that the intestinal condition had been ongoing for around a year.[277] In January 2010, Lesnar revealed on ESPN's SportsCenter that he was scheduled to make a return to the UFC in the summer.[278] A match between Frank Mir and Shane Carwin took place on March 27 at UFC 111 to determine the Interim Heavyweight Champion and Lesnar's next opponent.[279] Shane Carwin defeated Mir via knockout in the first round, becoming the new Interim Champion. After the fight, Lesnar came into the ring and stated, "It was a good fight but he's wearing a belt that's a make-believe belt. I've got the real championship belt".[280] Lesnar faced Carwin at UFC 116 on July 3 to unify the heavyweight titles.[281] Early in the first round, Carwin knocked Lesnar down with heavy punches, and continued landing ground and pound throughout the round, opening a cut on Lesnar's eye. In the next round, Carwin was noticeably fatigued and Lesnar scored a takedown, attained full mount, then move into side-control and finish the fight with an arm-triangle choke. With the victory, Lesnar became the undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion, earning his first Submission of the Night and giving Carwin his first loss. The win also tied a UFC record for most consecutive successful UFC Heavyweight Championship defenses. Title loss and first retirement Lesnar's next defense was against undefeated top contender Cain Velasquez on October 23 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California at UFC 121.[282] Dana White announced via SportsNation that the UFC would bring back UFC Primetime to hype the fight.[283] In the first round, Lesnar scored a takedown and land some heavy knees but eventually succumbed to Velasquez's superior striking and was finished by technical knockout late in the round.[284] Lesnar was advertised as a coach of The Ultimate Fighter Season 13, opposite Junior dos Santos,[285] with the two expected to fight on June 11 at UFC 131,[286] but he was struck with another bout of diverticulitis and had to withdraw from the fight on May 12.[287] He was replaced by Shane Carwin, who ended up losing against dos Santos.[288] Lesnar underwent surgery on May 27 to help battle his problems with diverticulitis. Dana White said that he had a 12-inch piece of his colon removed.[14] In its May 2011 issue, ESPN's magazine published a story listing the highest-paid athlete based on base salary and earnings for the most recent calendar year or most recent season in 30 sports. Lesnar topped the list for MMA at $5.3 million, which included his reported bout salaries and estimated pay-per-view bonuses.[289] In the summer of 2011, Lesnar announced that he was returning to action, stating, "I feel like a new man. Healthy. Strong. I feel like I used to feel".[290] His return match was scheduled to be at UFC 141 on December 30 in Las Vegas against former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.[291] Lesnar attempted to takedown Overeem but was unable and ate heavy body shots to his surgically repaired stomach, eventually being finished with a liver kick and punches.[292][293] Lesnar then retired from MMA, mentioning his struggles with diverticulitis and saying "tonight was the last time you'll see me in the octagon".[292][293] Speculation about a return to MMA lasted until March 24, 2015, when Lesnar revealed in an interview on SportsCenter that he had re-signed with WWE and officially closed the door on a return to MMA, even though he was offered a deal "ten times more" than what he had made previously in his MMA career. He further elaborated that, while he was training for months for a return to the UFC, he felt "physically great but something was lacking mentally".[294][295] Lesnar added that "[he's] an older caveman now, so [he] makes smarter caveman decisions" and that he chose to sign with WWE instead of returning to MMA because he could "work part-time with full-time pay".[296] Return to the UFC (2016–2018) Fight against Mark Hunt Though Lesnar said he was "closing the door on MMA" in March 2015,[297] UFC announced on June 4, 2016, that he would return at UFC 200 on July 9.[298] WWE confirmed it had granted Lesnar "a one-off opportunity" to compete at UFC 200 before he returned to the company for SummerSlam on August 21.[299] Lesnar dominated the first and third rounds, battering Hunt with ground and pound in the third to secure the unanimous decision win. He also was paid a UFC record $2.5 million purse.[300][301][302] This record was broken at UFC 202 by Conor McGregor, who was also the previous holder.[303] Suspension and second retirement On July 15, 2016, Lesnar was notified of a potential anti-doping policy violation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) stemming from an undisclosed banned substance in an out-of-competition sample collected on June 28.[304] On July 19, a second test sample taken in-competition on July 9 was revealed as positive for the same banned substance discovered in the previous out-of-competition sample.[305] On August 23, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) confirmed that Lesnar had twice been tested positive for clomiphene and was suspended.[306] On December 15, it was confirmed that Lesnar was fined $250,000 and suspended from competition for one year by the NSAC. He would be eligible to return in July 2017. As a result of the suspension, the result of his fight with Mark Hunt was overturned to a no contest.[307] As of January 2019, Lesnar has yet to pay the fine.[308] On February 14, 2017, it was reported that Lesnar had notified UFC he was retiring from MMA for the second time.[309] On July 7, 2018, Lesnar stormed the cage after the main event fight at UFC 226 and challenged the new UFC Heavyweight Champion, Daniel Cormier.[310] On July 8, USADA confirmed that Lesnar had begun the process to get back into their drug-testing pool.[311] UFC officials were reportedly targeting a bout between Lesnar and Daniel Cormier for the UFC Heavyweight Championship but Dana White claimed Lesnar told him he was "done" with MMA and the bout ultimately did not occur.[312][313] In September 2020, White said he could organize a fight between Lesnar and Jon Jones if both men wanted it.[314] That same month, Bellator president Scott Coker expressed interest in booking Lesnar to fight Fedor Emelianenko.[315] Lesnar did not respond to either man's comments, and once again confirmed in March 2022 that he would stay retired.[316] Other media In 2003, WWE Home Video released a DVD chronicling Lesnar's career entitled Brock Lesnar: Here Comes the Pain. It was re-released in 2012 as a three-disc DVD and two-disc Blu-ray collector's edition to tie in with Lesnar's WWE return. It was also expanded to include new matches and interviews. In 2016, a new home video was released on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as a collector's edition, called Brock Lesnar: Eat. Sleep. Conquer. Repeat. and includes accomplishments from his second run in WWE.[317] Lesnar was featured on the covers of Flex and Muscle & Fitness magazine in 2004[318][319] and Minneapolis' City Pages in 2008.[320] He is the cover athlete for the WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain, UFC Undisputed 2010 and WWE 2K17 video games.[321] In 2009, Lesnar signed an endorsement deal with Dymatize Nutrition. A CD containing footage of Lesnar training was included with Dymatize's "Xpand" product.[322] Lesnar co-wrote an autobiography with Paul Heyman, titled Death Clutch: My Story of Determination, Domination, and Survival, which was published by William Morrow and Company in 2011.[323] In a 2013 post on his blog, Attack on Titan author Hajime Isayama revealed that he drew inspiration from Lesnar for the character of the Armored Titan.[324] Filmography Film Year Title Role Notes 2014 True Giants Himself Film debut Foxcatcher Wrestler Cameo Uncredited 2016 Countdown Himself Uncredited Television Year Title Role Notes 2008 E:60 Himself October 21 2009–2010 Rome Is Burning 3 episodes 2010 UFC Primetime Episode: Lesnar vs. Velasquez 2011 ESPN Friday Night Fights January 14 Late Night with Jimmy Fallon March 28 (season 3, episode 49) 2012 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno February 21 (season 20, episode 93) 2016 Mike and Mike in the Morning August 18 SportsCenter February 16 (season 38, episode 47) UFC Ultimate Insider July 3 (Season 5, Episode 520) Video games WWE Video games Year Title Notes 2002 WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth Video game debut Cover athlete 2003 WWE Crush Hour WWE WrestleMania XIX WWE Raw 2 WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain Cover athlete 2011 WWE '12 DLC 2012 WWE '13 2013 WWE 2K14 2014 WWE 2K15 Motion capture (Next-gen & PC) 2015 WWE 2K16 Motion capture (Next-gen & PC) 2016 WWE 2K17 Motion capture (Next-gen & PC) Cover athlete 2017 WWE 2K18 Motion capture 2018 WWE 2K19 Motion capture 2019 WWE 2K20 Motion capture 2020 WWE 2K Battlegrounds 2022 WWE 2K22 Madden NFL Video games Year Title Notes 2005 Madden NFL 06 First appearance in a non-wrestling video game UFC Video games Year Title Notes 2009 UFC 2009 Undisputed 2010 UFC Undisputed 2010 Cover athlete 2012 UFC Undisputed 3 2014 EA Sports UFC DLC 2020 EA Sports UFC 4 DLC ... Personal life "It's very basic for me. When I go home, I don't buy into any of the bull. Like I said, it's pretty basic: Train, sleep, family, fight. It's my life. I like it. [...] I just don't put myself out there to the fans and prostitute my private life to everybody. In today's day and age, with the Internet and cameras and cell phones, I just like being old school and living in the woods and living my life. I came from nothing, and at any moment, you can go back to having nothing." — Lesnar on his private life, 2010[336] Lesnar married fellow WWE performer Rena Greek, better known as Sable, on May 6, 2006.[337] They relocated in 2014 to Canada, where they reside on a farm in Maryfield, Saskatchewan,[338] and Lesnar later acquired Canadian citizenship.[339] Together, they have two sons named Turk (born 2009) and Duke (born 2010), both of whom play ice hockey.[340][341] With his former fiancée, Nicole McClain, Lesnar also has twins who were born in 2002: a daughter named Mya Lynn, who competes in track and field,[342] and a son named Luke, who also plays ice hockey.[343] He is also the stepfather of Greek's daughter with her first husband.[17] Lesnar is an intensely private individual who has expressed his disdain for the media; he rarely participates in interviews and avoids questions pertaining to his private life.[336] He is a supporter of the Republican Party[273][344] and a member of the National Rifle Association, making an appearance at the NRA's annual meeting in May 2011 to discuss his passion for hunting and his role as a spokesman for the Fusion Ammunition company.[345][346] He is a fan of the Winnipeg Jets ice hockey team[347] and the Saskatchewan Roughriders Canadian football team.[348] Lesnar developed addictions to alcohol and painkillers during his first run in WWE, later claiming that he would drink a bottle of vodka per day and take hundreds of Vicodin pills per month to manage the pain caused by wear and tear on his body.[17] He cited the incident in which he botched a shooting star press at WrestleMania XIX and landed on the top of his head as a primary source of pain.[17] As a result of the addiction and mental exhaustion, he says that he cannot remember the entire two years that made up his first WWE tenure." (wikipedia.org) "A video game,[a] also known as a computer game, is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device – such as a joystick, controller, keyboard, or motion sensing device – to generate audiovisual feedback. This feedback is most commonly shown on a video display device, such as a TV set, monitor, touchscreen, or virtual reality headset. Some computer games do not always depend on a graphics display; for example, text adventure games and computer chess can be played through teletype printers. Video games are often augmented with audio feedback delivered through speakers or headphones, and sometimes with other types of feedback, including haptic technology. Video games are defined based on their platform, which include arcade video games, console games, and personal computer (PC) games. More recently, the industry has expanded onto mobile gaming through smartphones and tablet computers, virtual and augmented reality systems, and remote cloud gaming. Video games are classified into a wide range of genres based on their type of gameplay and purpose. The first video game prototypes in the 1950s and 1960s were simple extensions of electronic games using video-like output from large room-size computers. The first consumer video game was the arcade video game Computer Space in 1971. In 1972 came the iconic hit arcade game Pong, and the first home console, the Magnavox Odyssey. The industry grew quickly during the golden age of arcade video games from the late 1970s to early 1980s, but suffered from the crash of the North American video game market in 1983 due to loss of publishing control and saturation of the market. Following the crash, the industry matured, dominated by Japanese companies such as Nintendo, Sega, and Sony, and established practices and methods around the development and distribution of video games to prevent a similar crash in the future, many of which continue to be followed. Today, video game development requires numerous skills to bring a game to market, including developers, publishers, distributors, retailers, console and other third-party manufacturers, and other roles. In the 2000s, the core industry centered on "AAA" games, leaving little room for riskier, experimental games. Coupled with the availability of the Internet and digital distribution, this gave room for independent video game development (or indie games) to gain prominence into the 2010s. Since then, the commercial importance of the video game industry has been increasing. The emerging Asian markets and mobile games on smartphones in particular are altering player demographics towards casual gaming and increasing monetization by incorporating games as a service. As of 2020, the global video game market has estimated annual revenues of US$159 billion across hardware, software, and services. This is three times the size of the 2019 global music industry and four times that of the 2019 film industry." (wikipedia.org) " Many types of wrestling matches, sometimes called "concept" or "gimmick matches" in the jargon of the business, are performed in professional wrestling. Some gimmick matches are more common than others and are often used to advance or conclude a storyline. Throughout professional wrestling's decades long history, some gimmick matches have spawned many variations of the core concept. Singles match The singles match is the most common of all professional wrestling matches, which involves only two competitors competing for one fall. A victory is obtained by pinfall, submission, knockout, countout, or disqualification. Some of the most common variations on the singles match is to restrict the possible means for victory. Duchess of Queensbury Rules match A Duchess of Queensbury Rules match is a singles match contested under specific, often disclosed rules is replaced by a title usually meant to sound traditional for one combatant. A wrestler challenging another wrestler to a match to be contested under some kind of rules without going into any detail, then making up rules in their favor as the match progresses and feeding them to the ring announcer. This match type was first occurred at Backlash (2001) pay-per-view between Chris Jericho vs. William Regal, which Regal won. No Count-Out match A No Count-Out match is a singles match in which both competitors can stay outside of the ring without being counted out. A well known example is at Vengeance (2003) between Stephanie McMahon and Sable, which Sable won.[1] One Sided Rules match A One Sided Rules match is a singles match where one of the competitors cannot be disqualified or counted out, while the other opponent can. This stipulation can give the other opponent a serious disadvantage to win. One example of this match took place at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules in 2020 between Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre, in which the latter won despite having the disadvantage. Another example was Carlito vs. Triple H at 2007's Unforgiven in a no disqualification match where the no-disqualification rule applied only to Carlito where, despite this advantage, Carlito lost. Pinfall match A Pinfall match (also known as Pinfall Only) is a singles match where any wrestler can only achieve a pinfall inside the ring to gain the victory. There are no submissions, no disqualifications and no count-outs (or sometimes count-outs) in this match. Pure Wrestling Rules match A Pure Wrestling Rules match most commonly appeared in Ring of Honor (ROH). It is a singles match where each wrestler is allowed only three rope breaks. Once they are all used up, the wrestler cannot use the ropes to escape pins or submissions. Closed fists are illegal, and using them will cause the wrestler to be penalized a rope break – if they are out of rope breaks, they will be disqualified. This match can be won by pinfall or submission. Time Limit match A time limit match is a singles match contested in a set time limit until any wrestler achieves a victory or the time reaches zero, resulted as an official draw. Sometimes, a match that ends in an draw will ruled as a "no contest" if both competitors receive an disqualification or getting counted out. The match can be won by pinfall, submission, disqualification or count-out. Special Challenge match A special challenge match often used in WCW to refer to a singles match in which the champion is not defending the title so the title doesn’t change hands if the champion loses the match. It can be announced by name, as a non-title match or as a singles match. It was also used in a tag team format. World TV Champion Arn Anderson vs Paul Orndorff at Clash of the Champions XI was one example. Orndorff won the match however Anderson remained champion. Attire-based variations Some matches are based on different attire where competitors must wear specific outfits, reduced clothing, or blindfolds. Blindfold match In a Blindfold match, the two participants must wear a blindfold over their eyes for the entire duration of the match. A well-known example of this match is the WrestleMania VII match between Jake "The Snake" Roberts and Rick Martel. Reduced clothing Women's match types include those in which women wrestle in less clothing. This may include bikinis (Bikini match), lingerie (Lingerie match), wet clothing (Wet and Wild match), or no clothing (matches in the Naked Women's Wrestling League). Trading Places match In a Trading Places match, the two participants must dress up as each other. In addition to dressing up as the other, a participant also uses the other's entrance theme as his own. Battle royale-based variations The battle royale is a multi-competitor match type in which wrestlers are eliminated until only one is left. Typical battle royales begin with 20 or more participants all in the ring at the same time, who are then eliminated by being thrown over the top rope and having both feet touch the venue floor. Battlebowl Main article: Battlebowl The Battlebowl is a two-ring variation on a battle royale, the wrestlers start in one ring and try to throw wrestlers into the second ring, after which they can be eliminated by being thrown out of that ring. The last remaining wrestler in the first ring can rest until only one wrestler is left in the second ring, after which they fight in both rings until one is eliminated and a winner is declared, in similar fashion to a double elimination tournament. This was held by World Championship Wrestling at the 1991 Starrcade event, but future Battlebowl matches were contested under normal battle royale rules. Battle Zone The battle zone features any number of men in one ring over the top rope elimination. Typical battle royale, except this one features tables covered with barbed wire, thumbtacks, and light bulbs on the outside of the ring, which may catch wrestlers as they are thrown out of the ring. Bunkhouse Stampede The National Wrestling Alliance's (NWA) Bunkhouse Stampede involved wrestlers wearing what was described as "bunkhouse gear"—cowboy boots, jeans, T-shirts—instead of their normal wrestling tights and not only allowed but encouraged the bringing of weapons. In 1988 the NWA named a pay-per-view after the Bunkhouse Stampede, headlined by a Bunkhouse Stampede match held inside a cage.[2] Fulfill Your Fantasy battle royale The Fulfill Your Fantasy is a women's battle royale with the addition of fetish outfits, such as a French maid, lingerie, nurse, schoolgirl, etc. Often the type of outfit is chosen by an audience poll. This match may allow women to be eliminated by being thrown through the ropes, under the ropes, or over the top rope as stipulations. Hardcore battle royale A battle royale with hardcore rules (no disqualifications and no count-outs) involving several competitors in the ring at the same time. The match could last for either 15 or 20 minutes. All participants are not eliminated by being thrown out of the ring and both feet touching the floor. Pinning or forcing to submit whoever was current Hardcore champion would result in the victorious participant becoming the interim champion. Whoever the person held the title at end of the time limit would be declared the winner of the match and the official champion. Last Blood battle royale A Last Blood battle royale is essentially a multi-competitor First Blood match. All competitors start at the same time and wrestlers are eliminated when they start bleeding. The winner is the last wrestler in the match not bleeding. This match was held in the Tri-State Wrestling Association, a predecessor to Extreme Championship Wrestling.[3] Reverse battle royale Generally used in TNA/Impact Wrestling, a reverse battle royale begins with wrestlers surrounding the ring instead of inside it. At the start of the match they battle for half of them to get into the ring, at which point a standard last person standing wins the battle royale. The Cage Reverse Battle Royale is another TNA variation of this match type. This actually has three stages; It begins the first stage as an inside-out battle royale with 15 or more wrestlers involved. The first seven to enter the ring over the top cage will advance to the second stage which is a Gauntlet Match. When it gets down to the final stage, only two wrestlers will battle in a singles match which is decided by pinfall or submission.[4] Semi-final battle royale A semi-final battle royale consists of a battle royale where when a specific number of wrestlers are remaining, the match ends, and those that remain are placed in a standard wrestling match for the prize at stake. In All Elite Wrestling, it is known as a Dynamite Dozen Battle Royale, as twelve competitors compete until it is reduced to two, and there is a subsequent episode where the final two compete, in this case, "AEW Dynamite Diamond Ring".[5][6] In New Japan Pro-Wrestling, the 2021 New Japan Rumble at Wrestle Kingdom 15 was conducted as a semi-final battle royale. Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale, Tetsuya Bushi, and Toru Yano were the final four that competed in a championship match the next day. Tag Team battle royale The tag team battle royale consist of designated tag teams of wrestlers with two members on the team. This match uses the normal battle royale rules, teams may be eliminated when either one or both partners are thrown over the top rope with both feet touching the floor. This match is conducted similarly to a battle royale but in these cases, both wrestlers are considered active at the same time and there are no tags using the tornado tag team stipulation. Also, another variation of the tag team battle royale was used during the 2011 WWE Draft on April 25, 2011; where the wrestler's team has to eliminate all members of the opposing team, much like an elimination tag team match where the losing wrestler of a team, who just got thrown over the ring ropes with both feet on the floor, must return to their locker room. The team winner receives a #1 draft pick for their respective brand. Thunderbowl The Thunderbowl is another variation of Battlebowl, involving 100 wrestlers split into 50 in two rings. The only way to be eliminated is to be thrown over the ropes. No matter how and where you hit, whether its apron, floor or barricade you are also eliminated. When 25 wrestlers are left in each ring, stage two begins. This second stage is when all 50 wrestlers get into one ring and there is no elimination. After a five-minute period, the match turns into a Battle Royale where elimination is gained by throwing your opponent over the ropes and to the floor. When five wrestlers remain, stage three begins. This third stage then turns into a five-way match where pinfall and submission will eliminate an opponent. When two wrestlers are left, the match turns into a last man standing where KO is legal. TNA Knockout Makeover battle royale The TNA Knockout Makeover will begin as the multi-women over-the-top elimination battle royale. They are eliminated from the match if they are thrown over the top rope and both feet land on the floor, until the final two competitors are left. The final two competitors will face each other in a ladder match, where the winner will receive a TNA Knockout Championship match, while the runner-up will have her head shaved. Women's battle royale A women's or divas battle royale which only features female competitors. Some stipulations of this match may allow women to be eliminated by being thrown through the ropes, under the ropes, or over the top rope; As stated by Jonathan Coachman on February 20, 2006, edition of RAW, during the #1 contender's battle royale, but since the WWE Divas Division was rebranded as the WWE Women's Division in April 2016, the rules are the same as the men's battle royale with the competitors being eliminated by being thrown over the rope. World War 3 Main article: WCW World War 3 Created by World Championship Wrestling in 1995, the World War 3 battle royale involved a three-ring setup and 60 competitors; 20 wrestlers started in each of the three rings in which they would wrestle under regular battle royale rules. Once there were 30 competitors remaining (except in 1997, where the number was 20), all competitors would enter the center ring and continue under regular rules until only one wrestler was left standing. Cinematic match A cinematic match is not technically a match type itself, but rather, it is a term used to refer to matches that are produced with various cinematic techniques. The rules vary from match to match, but generally have a basis in hardcore wrestling. Unlike a normal wrestling match, which is done in one take and typically in front of a live audience, cinematic matches are shot over several hours with various scenes filmed, similar to filmmaking, with higher-budget production involved. The final product (the complete match) generally lasts from 20 to 40 minutes and airs at a later time, typically for a pay-per-view event. They are also usually filmed on-location or at a custom built set.[7][8][9] While not considered a cinematic match at the time, the Hollywood Backlot Brawl between Roddy Piper and Goldust at WrestleMania XII in 1996 is considered an early cinematic match by the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE), as it used techniques now featured in cinematic matches. Unlike future cinematic matches (which typically air during one segment), the match aired during several segments in between matches inside the ring, and featured both pre-taped segments outside the Arrowhead Pond of the two fighting as well as Piper "chasing" Goldust's solid gold Cadillac in a white Ford Bronco in an obvious reference to the then-ongoing O. J. Simpson murder case. (Vince McMahon mentioned on commentary without completely breaking kayfabe that the "footage looked awfully familiar"; in reality, repurposed footage of Simpson's infamous Bronco chase was actually used as part of the match.) The match eventually ended in the ring live, when Piper stripped Goldust down to women's lingerie and kissed him as part of "making him a man".[10] WrestleMania XII featured a second cinematic match between "The Huckster" and "Nacho Man". At SummerSlam 1996, The Undertaker faced Mankind in a "Boiler Room Brawl" that was largely pre-taped, incorporating props and unorthodox camera angles. In 2016, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA, now Impact Wrestling) held a match entitled the "Final Deletion" between brothers Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy for the July 5 episode of Impact Wrestling, which was filmed at Matt Hardy's compound. It was a hardcore wrestling match with falls count anywhere.[11] The sequel was a brawl between The Broken Hardys and Decay titled "Delete or Decay".[12] The Broken Hardys and Decay continued their feud at Bound for Glory, where Decay lost their TNA World Tag Team Championship to The Hardys in "The Great War". The Hardys issued an open tag team invitational at their compound on the December 15 episode of Impact Wrestling, titled Total Nonstop Deletion. The main event was the "Tag Team Apocalypto" where The Hardys last defeated Decay.[13] Although not contested as a match, WWE followed this up shortly after and filmed a cinematic-style brawl between The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods) and The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, and Braun Strowman) that was held at The Wyatt Family Compound and shown on the July 11, 2016 episode of WWE Raw.[14] WWE then taped their own cinematic match for their 2017 pay-per-view Payback, called a House of Horrors match between Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt. Similar to the "Final Deletion" match in TNA, this one was held at an abandoned house, but instead of falls count anywhere, this match had to end in the ring in the arena that the event was held in (the House of Horrors scenes were pre-taped, while the in-ring portion was live).[15] The next cinematic match would occur on the March 19, 2018 episode of Raw, which featured Matt Hardy, who had returned to WWE and became "Woken" Matt Hardy, against Bray Wyatt and was called the "Ultimate Deletion;" this was just like the "Final Deletion," including being held at Matt's compound.[16] Cinematic matches became more frequent in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; the pandemic began affecting the professional wrestling industry in March that year, forcing promotions to hold events behind closed doors. WWE would hold several cinematic matches at their pay-per-views between March and August, being highly praised for the two that occurred at WrestleMania 36; a Boneyard match between The Undertaker and AJ Styles, which was a Buried Alive match held at a custom built cemetery set in the Orlando area,[17][7] and a Firefly Fun House match between John Cena and "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt. (Although the match ended with The Fiend pinning Cena in a ring, the match itself was a dream-like sequence of Cena's career, showing his perceived character flaws; the various segments were filmed at WWE's Titan Towers headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut).[18][19] Following this, cinematic matches occurred at Money in the Bank in May, which was the event's eponymous ladder matches that occurred at WWE's headquarters,[20] a Backlot Brawl between Adam Cole and Velveteen Dream in the parking lot of Full Sail University at NXT TakeOver: In Your House in June,[21] a cinematically produced singles match between Edge and Randy Orton at Backlash also in June,[22] and a Wyatt Swamp Fight between Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules in July.[23] Since the introduction of the WWE ThunderDome and Capitol Wrestling Center (CWC) staging arenas in August and October, respectively, the use of cinematic matches were greatly reduced, as these new staging arenas allowed fans to attend the events virtually. To go with the Halloween-theme at NXT: Halloween Havoc in October, a Haunted House of Terrors match was held between Dexter Lumis and Cameron Grimes, which was similar to the House of Horrors match from Payback 2017.[24] Matches involving Randy Orton, "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt, and Alexa Bliss have also used cinematic techniques, such as the Firefly Inferno match between Orton and The Fiend at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in December, where Orton set The Fiend's entire body on fire,[25] and an intergender match between Orton and Bliss at Fastlane in March 2021, where Bliss used supernatural powers.[26] Since the resumption of live touring in July 2021, WWE has ceased producing cinematic matches. All Elite Wrestling (AEW) also incorporated cinematic matches during pandemic restrictions in 2020 to 2021, most notably the Stadium Stampede match at Double or Nothing 2020, which was a 5v5 empty arena match in the TIAA Bank Field stadium.[27][8] During that period, AEW featured at least one cinematic match at each of their PPVs: a "Tooth and Nail match" at All Out 2020 between Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. and Big Swole at Baker's real-life dental office,[28] a match entitled "The Elite Deletion" at Full Gear 2020, featuring Matt Hardy against Sammy Guevara and similar to the other "Deletion" matches involving Hardy,[9] and a tag team street fight pitting Darby Allin and Sting against Team Taz (Brian Cage and Ricky Starks) at Revolution 2021, which was held at an abandoned warehouse somewhere in Atlanta, Georgia.[29] At Double or Nothing 2021 the Stadium Stampede match was a hybrid cinematic match with the first half recorded at TIAA Bank Field. then concluding live at Daily's Place. The audience in attendance watched the first half of the match on video screens before the action spilled into the amphitheater. This would be AEW's final cinematic match produced before the company resumed live touring in July that year. Impact Wrestling would also return to producing cinematic matches in 2021 when Ethan Page wrestled his alter ego "The Karate Man" at Hard to Kill in a Mortal Kombat–style cinematic match that saw The Karate Man "kill" Page in what would be Page's last appearance with Impact before leaving for AEW. Container-based variations Some matches have a container stationed in or near the ring, with the object of the match being to trap the opposing wrestler in it. All of these matches are fought under hardcore rules, and many of these matches take the name of the container, such as Ambulance match and the Casket match. A similar type of match aims to restrain opposing wrestlers somehow, and the match often takes the name of the restraining device – for example, the Stretcher. None of these matches can end in a pinfall, submission, countout, or disqualification. Common containers used for these matches are caskets (connected to The Undertaker's Deadman persona, either using a typical coffin or a double-deep, double-wide casket, sometimes specially designed for specific opponents The Undertaker takes on), ambulances, dumpsters, hearses (known as a "Last Ride match", also connected to The Undertaker gimmick), and stretchers. Ambulance match An Ambulance match is fought under hardcore rules, no pinfalls, no submissions, no disqualifications, no countouts and the only way to win is for one wrestler to force their opponent into the back of an ambulance and close the door. The first ambulance match took place at Survivor Series 2003 where Kane defeated Shane McMahon. The second one took place at Elimination Chamber (2012) which also involved Kane as one of the competitors. His opponent was John Cena, who won the match, where an additional rule was added in that the ambulance has to leave to win. The third Ambulance match was part of Three Stages of Hell match at WWE Payback on June 16, 2013, in Rosemont, Illinois between John Cena and Ryback for the WWE Championship. The most recent was at NXT Halloween Havoc in October 2022, between Julius Creed and Damon Kemp. Buried Alive match A Buried Alive match is in which the object is for one wrestler to throw his opponent into a grave dug out of a large mound of soil placed outside the ring. Once in the grave, the wrestler must bury his opponent in dirt and soil to the referee's discretion.[30] Equipment ranging from shovels and wheelbarrows to bulldozers are often made available to completely bury the opponent. The Buried Alive match is one of three of The Undertaker's signature matches (the Casket and Last Ride matches being the others). A cinematic Buried Alive match was held between The Undertaker and AJ Styles for WrestleMania 36, referred to as a "Boneyard match" . The match took place outdoors in a cemetery-like setting near an abandoned warehouse, rather than in a traditional ring.[31][32] Casket match The Undertaker in a casket match against CM Punk The casket match (originally known as the coffin match) has a casket near the ring, with the objective of the match being to trap the opposing wrestler inside.[33] The casket match began its life as a one-off coffin match in the 1970s fought between Dusty Rhodes and Ivan Koloff.[34][35][36] The coffin match was revived as one of The Undertaker's signature matches and first appeared on television at the Survivor Series as the coffin match against Kamala. Prior to that, at a house show on July 14, 1991, the Ultimate Warrior defeated the Undertaker in a casket match in St. Louis, Missouri at Busch Stadium. There have been 17 casket matches, 11 of which have been won by The Undertaker. The 20th edition was held at Halloween Havoc and the first following the retirement of The Undertaker involving Grayson Waller vs. Apollo Crews in which Crews won. In addition to WWE, the casket match has recently been adopted for use in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and Lucha Underground, with Lucha Underground denominating it as the Grave Consequences (subsequently Graver Consequences) match. Another toned-down version of the Casket Match is when a victory is not obtained by placing the opponent in the coffin but by pinfall or submission. However, the defeated wrestler is then placed into the coffin. Last Rites match The Last Rites match is a TNA variation where a casket is lowered into the center of the ring, and the objective is to get your opponent into the casket, which is raised to the ceiling following the match. Only one Last Rites match was done, between Sting and Abyss. Vince Russo came up with this match, the match was perceived to be a disaster because neither wrestler could work properly due the placement of the casket in the center of the ring, which limited and obstructed their work space. The match went over so badly that during the match, the enraged crowd screamed "Fire Russo!" so loudly that the commentators had to yell into their microphones to be heard. Dumpster match A dumpster match is a no-disqualification, no-submission, no-countout, no-fall hardcore match which is the only objective to win by forcing your opponent into a dumpster and closing the lid. The first match occurred was at WrestleMania XIV, pitting The New Age Outlaws against Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie. Last Ride match A Last Ride match is a hardcore match similar to an Ambulance match, in which the victory condition is for one wrestler to force their opponent into the back of a hearse, close the door, and drive it out of the arena. This is one of The Undertaker’s 3 specialty matches. The first match of this type occurred at No Mercy when Undertaker challenged John "Bradshaw" Layfield for the WWE Championship, although a match was held previously with similar stipulations. The second match of this type occurred at Armageddon when The Undertaker challenged Mr Kennedy and defeated him. Stretcher match A stretcher at ringside prior to a stretcher match In the stretcher match, one wrestler must incapacitate their opponent to such an extent that they are able to get them onto a stretcher and roll them to the finish line for the victory; usually past a line at the top of the entrance ramp. The first match of this type was different as a wrestler lost if after being pushed out of the ring, four medics were able to load him on a "carry" stretcher, pick him up all the way, and start walking out with him. Enclosure-based variations Some matches take place in specific enclosed environments. Although the majority of these enclosures are set up either in or around the ring, some of them are placed apart from it. In all cases, the structure itself is considered "in play" and most enclosure-based matches are decided by pinfall or submission unless specific other stipulations are made beforehand. Steel Cage match A steel cage match at a 2013 Impact Wrestling event Steel cages are one of the oldest form of enclosures used in professional wrestling. The earliest known "steel cage matches" of any kind took place on January 9, 1936, in Caruthersville, Missouri, in a card that included two such "chicken wire fence" matches between Jez and Otto Ludwig, and Joe Dillman vs. Charles Sinkey.[37] These matches took place in a ring surrounded by chicken wire, to keep the athletes inside, and prevent any potential interference.[38] They have evolved a great deal over time, changing from chicken wire[39] to steel bars to chain-link fencing (the latter is now the standard, due to it being cheaper to manufacture, lighter to transport, and more flexible and thus safer for the wrestlers). A steel cage match is a match fought within a cage formed by placing sheets of mesh metal around, in, or against the edges of the wrestling ring. The most common way of winning is by simply escaping the cage, either over the top of the cage wall and having both feet touch the arena floor, or by escaping through the cage door with both feet touching the arena floor. The other occasional ways to win a steel cage match are by pinfall or by submission. It is also possible to have one wrestler attempting to escape over the top of the cage wall while another tries to escape through the cage door.[40] In Mexico, steel cage matches are won by just climbing to the top of the cage wall. In Impact Wrestling's past, the matches were often called six sides of steel as the cage surrounded their six-sided ring. WWE also used the classic blue cage that was used on occasion from around WrestleMania 2 to around Rebellion (2001), though it was painted black in 1999. Asylum match The Asylum match is the name given to two different types of matches, both involving a chain link cage in the shape of a circle placed in the middle of the ring. The first Asylum match type was a match created by Scott Steiner in WCW, held within a small chain link cage in the shape of a circle placed in the middle of the ring. Victory occurred only by submission. On May 16, 2016, a second type of Asylum match was introduced and scheduled between Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho at Extreme Rules, a variation to the steel cage match where weapons are suspended above the cage and escaping the cage is not a means of victory, leaving only pinfall or submission. On August 10, 2019, a third type of Asylum match, which also included a barbed wire steel cage stipulation (a type of match where the steel cage door is locked with chains and a padlock) was introduced after Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano tied one to one after a normal match and a no holds barred match at NXT TakeOver: Toronto (2019) where weapons are connected to the steel cage and barbed wire on the top. Barbed Wire Steel Cage match A barbed wire steel cage match is a match that uses strands of barbed wire in a steel cage match in some capacity, usually around the top of the cage. Simply using barbed wire in an otherwise regular steel cage match does not make the match a barbed wire steel cage match; the barbed wire must be part of the cage's design. This type of match is one where escape from the cage is almost impossible, because in addition to the barbed wire preventing escape over the top of the cage, the cage's door is also locked with chains and a padlock, like a Hell in a Cell match. One particular example was John "Bradshaw" Layfield vs. Big Show at No Way Out 2005 where in addition to the barbed wire there was also razor wire wrapped around the top of the cage in a circular fashion; and another example was Adam Cole vs Johnny Gargano at NXT TakeOver: Toronto 2019 where in addition to the barbed wire and the chain-locked door, various weapons were made available at the top of the cage; this cage however did not have razor wire.[41] Razor Wire Steel Cage match Other variations are the razor wire steel cage match, a similar concept to that of the barbed wire cage match, however the barbed wire is replaced by larger and thicker razor wire and is wrapped around the top, corners, and walls of the cage, and barbed wire razor wire steel cage match is the same as the barbed wire cage match, however the top, corners, and walls of the cage are covered with barbed wire, then also further covered with razor wire. There are also boards in the ring that are covered in razor wire. Cage of Death match Main article: CZW Cage of Death The Cage of Death match is type of steel cage match with various weapons littered in the cage, such as electrified cage walls, cacti, tables, light tubes, glass, thumbtacks, baseball bats, barbed wire and numerous other weapons and objects have been used in it. This match always features as the main event of CZW's biggest show, Cage of Death. Some of these matches have been done under WarGames style rules with two rings being used. Chamber match In TNA, The Chamber match starts off between two wrestlers (or up to six) fighting inside a chamber. Wrestlers who were not involved in the match surrounded the chamber. About five minutes into the match, the outside wrestlers throw weapons into the chamber. This match only ends when one wrestler knocks out his opponent. Chamber of Extreme match The Chamber of Extreme match, came from Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling (ECCW), in which the 8-feet-high steel cage which surrounds the ringside area with the top wrapped in barbed wire and "extreme" weapons scattered around the ring and ringside area. Disqualifications, count-outs and rope-breaks do not apply. The winner is decided by pinfall, submission or being unable to stand up at 10-count. Chamber of Horrors match A Chamber of Horrors match was an enclosed steel cage match between two teams of four men. In the middle of the cage there was a smaller cage with an electric chair connected to a lever. The way to win this match is to put the opponent in the chair and switch the lever on (which was attached to the outer cage and six feet off the ground), so as, in kayfabe, the person is electrocuted. This match was used in WCW only once, with Abdullah the Butcher being electrocuted accidentally by his teammate Cactus Jack after being placed in the chair at the last second by Rick Steiner. Dixieland match A Dixieland match (named for TNA President Dixie Carter, who "invented" the match) is a hybrid steel cage/ladder match. The wrestlers start the match in the ring enclosed in a steel cage. To win the match, a wrestler must first climb out of the cage, then go up the entrance ramp where a championship belt is hung from the ceiling, and finally climb a ladder to retrieve the belt. The first match of this type occurred during the Impact Wrestling: Final Resolution taping on December 3, 2013, as Magnus defeated Jeff Hardy to become TNA World Heavyweight Champion.[42] Doomsday Cage match Also called a Tower of Doom, the Doomsday Cage is a three-story cage – the middle one split into two rooms – all of which house wrestlers. The object of the match is for a team of wrestlers to fight their way from the top cage to the bottom, where pinfalls and submissions come into play.[43][44] In the later days of WCW, it was referred to as a Triple Decker Cage match, a reference to the match type being used in the finale of the film Ready to Rumble. The most notable match of this type occurred at WCW's Uncensored event in 1996, when Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage fought Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Meng, The Barbarian, Lex Luger, Kevin Sullivan, Z-Gangsta, and The Ultimate Solution. Doomsday Chamber of Blood match The Doomsday Chamber of Blood match was created by Abyss, even though he was never known as a creative genius; however this match came from the mind of the monster. This match is a lethal combination of the Barbed Wire Cage, Six Sides of Steel and Sadistic Madness. Also, The cage has a barbed wire roof on top. This match can be won by making your opponent bleed first then pin your opponent only. Matt Morgan and Abyss competed in one of these matches at TNA's Lockdown (2009) pay-per-view. Electrified Cage match The Electricfied Cage match is a match where the ring is surrounded by an electrified steel cage. The cage can be also used as a weapon. The only way to win is by pinfall or submission. The Lucha en Jaula Electrificada is another variation of the electrified cage match which the only way to win is by escape. The cage is turned off in a time interval, allowing the participants a chance at escape before it turns back on. Used by the AAA promotion in Mexico. Elimination Chamber match Main article: Elimination Chamber The original Elimination Chamber structure The Elimination Chamber (known as No Escape in Germany to avoid a potential brand blunder over references of gas chambers in The Holocaust), which was the result of an idea by Triple H and introduced by Eric Bischoff for WWE in 2002, is a steel cage with a grid-locked, chain-linked enclosure with support bars that surrounds the ring entirely, including creating a steel grated (later padded) floor area on the apron. Inside the cage, at each turnbuckle, is a clear pod in which competitors in the match wait to join the match. As the name implies, this is an elimination-style match, so wrestlers are eliminated one-by-one via pinfall or submission until only one remains.[45] The original Chamber, used from 2002 to 2016 was cylindrical, and a re-designed chamber introduced in 2017 was cubic, but still used the same materials with the same 4 enclosures. An Extreme Elimination Chamber took place at the 2006 December to Dismember pay-per-view, where each waiting wrestler was given a weapon. Since 2010, WWE has held an eponymous Elimination Chamber pay-per-view every February, with this match type as one of its marquee matches. At its 2018 edition, the first-ever women's Elimination Chamber match was held, as well as the first seven-man Elimination Chamber match. Fight Pit match The Fight Pit match is a variation of a cage match where the ring is surrounded by a steel cage rather than ropes and turnbuckles, with a catwalk surrounding the top. The catwalk also has chain-linked fence surrounding the outer edge (originally railings), which the wrestlers can climb up to and jump from. The match also has a no-pinfall stipulation, which means it can only be won by submission or knockout either by making the opponent unable to stand up at a 10-count or via technical knockout, making the match somewhat of a hybrid of a professional wrestling match and a mixed martial arts fight- MMA fights can only be won in those ways. The inaugural fight pit match was held during the May 27, 2020 episode of NXT, between Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher (with Kurt Angle as a guest referee).[46] A modified version of the Pit with chain-linked fencing was used at the Extreme Rules premium live event where Matt Riddle and Seth Rollins continued their rivalry (with UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier as a guest referee). The match between Riddle & Rollins was the first ever Fight Pit match in a WWE PPV. Hell in a Cell match Main article: Hell in a Cell Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens on the outside of the Hell in a Cell structure, as seen in 2017. The Hell in a Cell match is a specific kind of enclosure match run by WWE inside an enlarged 4-sided cuboid steel cage made from open-weave steel mesh chain-link fencing, which extends beyond the ring apron, leaving a gap between the edge of the ring and the Cell fence. As opposed to a conventional steel cage, the cell fencing continues across the top as a ceiling, hence the name 'Cell'. Unlike a standard cage match, there is no escape clause because the door of the Cell is locked with chains and a padlock from the outside by referees to prevent the combatants from escaping (although it has been fairly common for Hell in a Cell matches to spill out of the cell and even onto the roof of the cage). The match has a no disqualification "anything goes" stipulation, and can only be won via pinfall or submission inside the ring. One exception could be made is Hell in a Cell 2018 and 2019 where the WWE Universal Championship match ended via stoppage. Because of the "anything goes" rule, this match developed an infamous reputation in its early years. This match usually takes place on pay-per-view shows (there have only been four exceptions: three Cell Matches occurred on Raw in 1998, 2011 (as a dark match), and 2021, while the first-ever Cell Match on Smackdown happened on June 18, 2021). Many wrestlers were legitimately injured during these matches (most notably Mick Foley) thanks to the dangerous bumps involved and the chain-link fencing of the Cell. In kayfabe, it is regarded as the most dangerous match in the entire promotion. Jim Ross has referred to the cell itself as "a demonic structure" that is "custom built for injury." There have been 51 Hell in a Cell matches to date, with The Undertaker competing in 14 (with his last at WrestleMania 32), more than any other WWE performer. The first Hell in a Cell match was between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels at Badd Blood: In Your House in St. Louis in October 1997. Kennel from Hell match A Kennel from Hell match was held at WWF's Unforgiven pay-per-view in 1999, between Al Snow and The Big Boss Man for the WWF Hardcore Championship. The match was held within a steel cage, but with the Hell in a Cell cage also placed over the steel cage and the ring. The objective of the match was to escape through the door of the outer Hell in a Cell cage first, with the added obstacle of hostile attack dogs that would roam the apron between the two cages. This match was conceived by Vince Russo as part of Snow's short-lived feud with The Big Boss Man—in which he had kidnapped and killed his pet chihuahua Pepper.[47][48][49] After being unable to obtain trained attack dogs, Russo sought dogs from local owners on short notice. The dogs were playful and friendly towards Russo, and during the match, they were seen urinating, defecating, and trying to mate with one another rather than making any attempt at attacking the wrestlers when they stepped outside the steel cage. The match was deemed by critics to be one of the worst gimmick matches, if not one of the worst matches ever, in WWE history.[47][48][49] Inferno match In an Inferno match (a type of no-disqualification, no-fall, no-submission, no-countout match), the ring is completely surrounded by flames once both contenders have entered the ring. The only way to win is to set your opponent on fire. Inferno matches usually end on the outside of the ring; this way, paramedics can assist the loser of the match. Due to the potentially graphic or dangerous nature of this type of match, it is very rarely seen in North America. As of December 2020, there have only been six inferno matches in WWE, with almost all of them have involved Kane, this being his signature match.[50] The first Inferno match took place in 1987 at the Juan Pachin Vicens coliseum in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where the ropes were simply soaked with gasoline and lit on fire. This kind of match was also done again in 1992 at FMW in Japan, and was called a Hellfire Deathmatch, which featured barbed wire as the ring ropes which were lit on fire. The match was a total disaster as wrestlers such as Sabu, his uncle The Original Sheik and Atsushi Onita dashed out of the ring after just a minute; because conditions were so unbearably hot. The Sheik was badly burned as a result and went into a coma.[51] The first WWF Inferno Match was between Kane and The Undertaker at 1998 Unforgiven pay-per-view in Greensboro, North Carolina, and it was a safer and much more professional affair where special effects and pyrotechnics experts were brought in from Hollywood to set up and control the fire around the ring. Kane had been thrown out of the ring and The Undertaker had no way of attacking him unless he too went out of the ring. The match ended in The Undertaker's victory. WCW also attempted an Inferno match, known as the Human Torch match, at The Great American Bash in 2000 between Sting and Vampiro. A version of the match known as the "Firefly Inferno match" was held at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in 2020, between "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton; its title referenced Wyatt's "Firefly Fun House" gimmick. In addition to the ring being surrounded by fire, other objects that are placed around the ring are also set on fire.[52] Ring of Fire match Another variation of the Inferno match dubbed a "Ring of Fire match", took place at SummerSlam in 2013, when Kane faced Bray Wyatt. While the ring is surrounded by flames just like in a standard Inferno match, the match is decided by pinfall or submission and not by burning your opponent. In addition, the flames prevent others from possibly interfering in the match, as was the case with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan of The Wyatt Family. Lethal Lockdown match Main article: Lethal Lockdown match Similar to the WarGames match used in WCW, TNA/Impact Wrestling's Lethal Lockdown consists of a single ring enclosed by a steel cage with two teams facing off with each other. The staggered entry system is identical, but weapons are permitted and are even provided. When all competitors have entered the ring, a roof is lowered onto the top of the cage, with various weapons hanging from it. Victory can be attained by pinfall or submission. This match has become a staple of TNA's Lockdown pay-per-view event, but has also made appearances at other TNA pay-per-views. Lion's Den match The Lion's Den match is a match where a wrestler must knock out their opponent unconscious or make them submit inside an octagonal cage. The rules are made to mimic mixed martial arts matches, with the octagonal cage meant to mimic the cage used by the Ultimate Fighting Championship. This was Ken Shamrock's specialty match; the first example was at the SummerSlam (1998) pay-per-view between Ken Shamrock vs. Owen Hart (with Dan Severn), and then another example was the SummerSlam (1999) pay-per-view with Ken Shamrock vs. Steve Blackman. Punjabi Prison match The Punjabi Prison at No Mercy in 2007 The Punjabi Prison match, named after the Punjab state that The Great Khali (the match's founder) is billed from, consists of two large steel-reinforced bamboo cages. The first is four sided and stands 16 feet (4.8 m) tall, while the second has eight sides and stands 20 feet (6 m) and surrounds the first.[53] The inner cage has a four-foot (1.2 m) by four-foot door on each of its sides, with a referee standing by to open them at a wrestler's request. Each door may only be opened once and is only allowed to remain open for sixty seconds, after which it is padlocked. Should all four doors end up locked before the wrestlers escape, they are forced to climb out over the top, where the bamboo is fashioned into spikes. Between the two cages are sometimes placed two tables, on which are weapons (both "medieval" and "bamboo" variations of standard wrestling weapons). There are also extended straps at the corners of the cage which can be used to choke the opponent. Once a wrestler has escaped the first cage, he must climb over and out of the second cage, with the first wrestler having both of their feet touch the arena floor is the winner of the match.[54][55] The match was revived with modifications in 2017 as the main event of Battleground, which featured the Indian-Canadian Jinder Mahal facing Randy Orton for the WWE Championship; The Great Khali made a surprise run-in to assist Mahal. Rage in a Cage match The Rage in a Cage match is held in an oval-shaped steel cage. It is typically used as the arena for the blowoff match of a feud and can be used for a tag team or singles match. In this match, wins are usually by pinfall or submission. Alternatively, Rage in a Cage may refer to the match that held in a Florida independent organization such as NWA Florida in which 20 or more wrestlers take part in a battle royale inside the oval-shaped steel cage. Each wrestler is encouraged to bring different weapons to the match, and a wrestler is eliminated by being thrown through the cage door. The last man standing wins. Scramble Cage match The Scramble Cage match was contested exclusively in Ring of Honor (ROH), in which the ring is surrounded by a steel cage with four wooden platforms at the corners of the cage to make the "high risk" wrestling moves. All participants are allowed to be inside and outside the cage at any time. The Scramble Cage Melee is an elimination cage match held in a cage similar to the one used in the Scramble Cage match, with wooden platforms on the top corners. There are no pinfalls or submissions; wrestlers are eliminated only by aerial moves performed from the platforms. The first and only match took place in Ring of Honor (ROH) on August 24, 2004. The competitors in this match were Jack Evans, Trent Acid, Loc, Devito, Dan Maff, B. J. Whitmer, Oman Turtuga, Diablo Santiago, Fast Eddie, Altar Boy Luke, Dunn and Marcos. Thundercage AAA's Domo de la Muerte World Championship Wrestling's Thundercage, based on the film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, is a large domed structure of steel bars engulfing the ring. Although it does not have a top, the sides curve in to prevent escape. Mexico's AAA promotion tweaked the concept with the Domo de la Muerte ("Dome of Death"), which uses a similar cage but only allows victory by escaping through a hole at the top center. This variation is also used in TNA, where it was called the TerrorDome, or more recently the Steel Asylum. In AAA it is typically used for multi-man "luchas de apuestas" (bet matches), with the last man standing in the cage losing his mask or hair. The Thunderdome is a variation on the Thundercage, with the area near the top of the cage electrified. The only way for a wrestler to win the Thunderdome match is to have their opponents' "terminator" (usually a manager who stands outside of the ring) throw in the towel to stop the match. In another variation of this match, each pinned competitor in the match is handcuffed to the cage.[56] The last man left is given a key to unlock his teammates to attack the other team, who are still handcuffed.[56] Ironically, the ThunderDome name was used for WWE's bio-secure bubble during the pandemic between 2020 and 2021. Triple Cage match Triple cage matches have been held by WCW and its predecessor, Jim Crockett Promotions, in which two smaller cages are stacked on top of the cage enclosing the ring. At The Great American Bash in 1988, a "Tower of Doom" match was held, in which two teams attempted to make their way from the uppermost cage to the bottom, with victory achieved when all five members of a team escaped a door there. The cages were cut off from each other, with doors controlled from outside by referees, who only opened them for two-minute intervals. At Uncensored in 1996, a "Doomsday Cage Match" was held where Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage faced off against the Alliance to End Hulkamania, which consisted of Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Lex Luger, The Taskmaster, Lex Luger, Meng, The Barbarian, The Ultimate Solution and Z-Gangsta. Hogan and Savage had to start at the top of the three tiered structure, and on each level there were members of the Alliance waiting for them. The structure featured scaffolding with steps on it to enable the wrestlers to traverse it, with the object being to make it to the bottom cage where the ring was and score a fall to win. A triple cage match at WCW's Slamboree in 2000 was held between David Arquette, Diamond Dallas Page, and Jeff Jarrett; it was conducted similarly to a ladder match, with the objective being for the competitors to make their way to the roof of the third cage, and retrieve the championship belt. The roof of the first cage—which extended beyond the apron–had a trapdoor leading to the second cage, which contained weapons. The competitors then had to exit through a side door in the second cage, and climb the structure to reach the belt above the third cage. The third cage contained guitars, used for Jarrett's signature move. The same year, WCW conducted another match using the same structure, "WarGames 2000: Russo's Revenge", on an episode of WCW Monday Nitro. Despite sharing its name with WCW's well-known WarGames match, its only similarity was its use of teams. A belt was placed inside the uppermost cage, with the first team to have a member escape from the bottom cage with the belt being declared the winner. WarGames match Main article: WarGames match Sometimes suffixed with the tagline "The Match Beyond", the WarGames match features two rings surrounded by an enclosed steel cage (usually with a roof), with two teams (or sometimes three) of four or five wrestlers facing one another. After a portion of the match fought one-on-one, members of the two teams begin to alternate entering the other ring at staggered intervals (with the order decided by a coin toss); once both teams' members have all entered the ring, the first team to score submission or surrender over a member of the opposing team is declared the winner. Depending on the rules used, a team may also win by scoring a knockout or pinfall. This match was made famous by Jim Crockett Promotions' annual Great American Bash, and later WCW's Wrestle War, before becoming a tradition at their annual Fall Brawl pay-per-view event from 1993 to 1998. At Fall Brawl 1998, a three-team WarGames match was held, with pinfalls counting. An in name only revamp of WarGames, "WarGames 2000", was held on an episode of WCW Monday Nitro. ECW held its own version of WarGames known as an "Ultimate Jeopardy steel cage match" (typically as part of an eponymous event), with weapons available, pinfalls counting, and the losing team receiving a stipulation as a penalty. In 2017, WWE's NXT brand began to hold a live event known as NXT TakeOver: WarGames, which feature a version of the WarGames match as their signature event. The NXT version of WarGames does not use a roofed cage, and pinfalls count.[57][58] In 2021, AEW held a WarGames match between The Pinnacle and The Inner Circle as a "Blood and Guts match", during an eponymous special episode of its weekly series Dynamite. AEW adopted the WarGames rules that were used by WCW, with a roofed cage and no pinfalls.[57][58] Xscape match The Xscape match has been held by TNA/Impact Wrestling as one of the signature matches of its Lockdown pay-per-view, which exclusively features cage matches. The match begins with four to eight competitors, who are eliminated by either pinfall or submission; eliminated wrestlers leave the cage through a door. When only two competitors remain, the first to escape the cage by climbing out and reaching the floor is declared the winner. Flag match The flag match is essentially the professional wrestling version of capture the flag. For the match two flags are placed on opposite turnbuckles, each representing a specific wrestler or team of wrestlers and the objective of the match is to retrieve the opponent's flag and raise it while defending the flag in the wrestler's corner.[59] If the referee is knocked down and cannot acknowledge the win, the defender can put the flag back in its place, thus resetting the match.[60] Anthem match A Anthem match is a variation of a flag match with the added stipulation that the national anthem of the winning wrestler's or team's home country will be played in the arena after the match, similarly to a medal ceremony. This can be used to promote patriotism for the face wrestler or heat for the heel wrestler. Another variation of the Anthem catch can be a regular Interpromotion match between two wrestlers, each usually representing a different wrestling promotion, fighting for the right to raise the flag of their respected promotion. This variation was only used at ECW's November to Remember 1997 in a match between Rob Van Dam (representing WWE) vs. Tommy Dreamer (representing ECW) which ended in a no-contest. Handicap match A handicap match is any match pitting one wrestler or team of wrestlers against a team of wrestlers with numerical superiority, such as two against one or three against two. Normally the babyfaces are outnumbered with the heels having more members on their team to provide an unfair advantage.[61] In some two-on-one handicap matches, the team with superior numbers act under tag team rules, with one person in the ring at a time. In others, such as tornado tag team handicap matches, all competitors are in the ring at the same time.[62] In the 1980s and 1990s, handicap matches were used in preliminary matches involving large star wrestlers (usually heels), such as King Kong Bundy, Big Van Vader or Yokozuna, who – as a way to get a monster heel persona/gimmick over with the crowd – would completely dominate their opponents despite the latter's superiority in numbers. Hardcore-based variations Main article: Hardcore wrestling Hardcore wrestling, the most violent and bloody type of professional wrestling is a subset in which some or all of the traditional rules do not apply. Most often this simply means there are no-disqualifications, which itself eliminates countouts, sometimes allowing decisions to take place anywhere. Most hardcore matches or deathmatches often have a combination of match types within one, and elaborate titles are often used, particularly in Japanese wrestling promotions. (example: "Barbed Wire Rope, Exploding Barbed Wire Boards and Exploding Ring Time Bomb Deathmatch") Some promotions, such as Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling, the International Wrestling Association of Japan, International Wrestling Syndicate, Extreme Championship Wrestling, Big Japan Pro Wrestling, and Combat Zone Wrestling, have specialized in hardcore matches, with "standard" non-hardcore matches being the exception. Hardcore match A standard hardcore match, also known as a Devil's Playground match, a Belfast Brawl match or a Guerrilla Warfare match is a no-disqualification, no-countout, falls count anywhere, one-fall match where the only rule (unless specifically noted) is to achieve a fall by pinning the opponent for a 3-count or making them submit. Otherwise, anything goes: any weapon can be used, any amount of wrestlers who are not booked in the match can be involved, either wrestler booked in the match can be pinned anywhere and any move can be used (except moves banned by the promotion booking the match before-hand). Hardcore matches came to prominence in Japan in the 1970s, and then in the United States in the 1990s in promotions like ECW and later WWE. Blunt objects such as steel chairs, wooden event tables, ladders, wrestling ring stairs, kendo sticks, baseball bats, flour, metal cylindrical trashcans, trashcan lids and road signs are often featured in hardcore matches. Other common euphemisms for hardcore matches are the No Holds Barred match (which suggests wrestlers uses any illegal moves are allowed), Street Fight (which suggests wrestlers are to dress in normal street clothes), and World Championship Wrestling used the term Raven's rules match for hardcore matches involving the wrestler Raven. They also created their own specific brand of hardcore match, for which bouts were to begin backstage rather than in the ring.[63] Unsanctioned match A variant of a hardcore match is a non-sanctioned match or unsanctioned match, also called a Lights Out match. In addition to the match not having any rules and the objective being achieving a pinfall or submission anywhere, the match is not officially recognized by the promotion (such as in All Elite Wrestling, where the match does not count towards a wrestler's win–loss record). In kayfabe, the match is sometimes used when a wrestler is "injured" (at the hands of another wrestler) and wants revenge but cannot be "medically cleared," thus he agrees to a non-sanctioned match where "the promotion is not held liable" for any injuries incurred during the match. Deathmatch A more extreme version of a hardcore match, a deathmatch is effectively the same as a hardcore match only even more violent and bloody, hence why the match is called a "deathmatch". In addition to blunt objects, deathmatches often include sharp objects and even more dangerous objects and elements, such as bricks, nails, staple guns, explosives, thumbtacks, barbed wire, light tubes, standard glass, cactus plants, gardening tools (such as weed wackers) and even fire mixed with lighter fluid or gasoline. Although hardcore matches do on occasion feature sharp objects- particularly hardcore matches with Mick Foley, they are not used in such a gratuitous manner as they are in deathmatches. Other common euphemisms for deathmatches are extreme rules match, ultraviolent rules match (hardcore rules matches exclusively in CZW) and HardKore X-Treme match. Barbed Wire Ring Rope match Joey Kings (in white top, right) dropkicks Warhed into the barbed wire ropes A barbed wire ring rope match or no rope barbed wire match is a match where the ring ropes are replaced with barbed wire. There are four known ways to prop up barbed wire in place of ring ropes: with three strands of barbed wire run from turnbuckle to turnbuckle; with five strands of wire tied to form an "X"; "spider net", where the ring ropes are not replaced and barbed wire is wrapped up and down the ropes to create a wall of barbed wire, and finally barbed wire wrapped in the "X" fashion- that has been electrified or rigged with explosives. These types of matches were made popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s by American territory wrestling promotions, as well as Japanese promotions during the 1990s. These types of matches often included other stipulations and weapons in them.[64] Barbed Wire Massacre A Barbed Wire Massacre is a type of barbed wire rope match where the barbed wire ropes are set up in the "X" fashion and the use of additional items that have barbed wire attached to or wrapped around them are made available, such as plywood, baseball bats, steel folding chairs and other weapons. This match originated in TNA (now Impact Wrestling) in 2005. Since then, there have been four such matches, the most recent in 2021. However the fourth Barbed Wire Massacre match, unlike the first three did not remove the ring ropes and replace them with barbed wire. The Japanese Barbed Wire Massacre is a variation of the barbed wire match differs from a normal barbed wire match in the fact that there are wooden boards covered with barbed wire and have a small charge goes off when someone lands on it. Bath House Deathmatch The Bath House Deathmatch was believed to have been started by IWA Japan in 1995, The wrestlers compete in the pool of a public bathhouse, with even naked or toweled women in this bath house during this match. Besides regular wrestling rules, if they leave the pool, they are disqualified. The pool is heated by a fire that is regularly fed more logs, making staying in it harder and harder. Caribbean Barbed Wire Deathmatch The Caribbean Barbed Wire Deathmatch is a match where barbed wire is wrapped around the ring ropes in "spidernet" fashion on two sides, and on the other two sides are barricaded traps on ground level situated right next to the ring. These elaborate traps are wooden structures featuring multiple strands of barbed wire strung from short adjacent wooden poles covered by panes of glass, with a thick wooden board below as foundation for the entire trap. The wooden poles stand 18 inches high on one side, and two feet on the other side. This match was featured in the W*ING hardcore wrestling promotion in Japan and was first done in 1993. Circus Deathmatch A Circus Deathmatch is a type of scaffold match where in the ring is a scaffold and under that scaffold, there is a type of spider net made of barbed wire six feet below. The first wrestler to fall off of the scaffold into the barbed wire spider net loses. The first match was between Mad Man Pondo and Ryuji Ito in Japan.[64] Clockwork House of Fun match The Clockwork House of Fun match, known as "Raven's House of Fun" or simply "House of Fun", was created by professional wrestler Raven (legitimately, as Raven pitched the idea himself to TNA's creative team). It is a singles match for which poles attached to the ring posts measured about five to six feet above the turnbuckles, with single chains wrapped from and hanging on the poles to various points on the ring itself with many weapons hanging from and attached to steel chains above the ring, sometimes with sides of a steel cage attached to and erected on the ring.[65] In the first match the use of weapons is legal, and the only way to win was to put an opponent through two tables after throwing them off "Raven's perch" (a small scaffold),[65] but afterwards it was changed to falls-count-anywhere rules.[66] Crocodile Deathmatch A Crocodile Deathmatch is a match with the added stipulation that the loser must wrestle a crocodile after the match occurred. An example of this match would be between Mitsuhiro Matsunaga and Shadow WX. Desert Deathmatch A Desert Deathmatch is a match where there is a tank full of scorpions is placed in the center of the ring, and the first wrestler placed in this tank for 10 seconds loses. There are also barbed wire boards in the ring, and also two cactus plants in the ring on two opposing corners.[64] Electric Pool match The Electric Pool match was a very dangerous type of match which has only been held once. The ring was placed in a large pool of water, with no ropes on two sides of the ring, and exploding barbed wire on the other two sides of the ring. Wrestlers were transported to the ring via a dinghy, and the ring was put on a floating device, then it was surrounded by four metal barricades. There was a current running through these four barricades (which were essentially small sections of the pool enclosed off from the rest of the pool), enabling the water to "explode" when a wrestler was thrown into one of these barricaded areas. Considering the danger involved in allowing a current to run through water, this match was only used once in FMW in 1994, which was known for its extreme hardcore matches. Explosion/Bomb Deathmatch The Explosion/Bomb Deathmatch is usually accompanied with barbed wire ropes, a large barbed wire wrapped explosion board is placed in the ring laced with a small amount of C-4. The loser is the wrestler that is blown up. The match can be won by either a pinfall or a submission. In some versions of the C-4 match is to finish the match before the timer runs out and detonates the ring (although this does not necessarily end the match) while in others the explosives are concentrated in a specific area, with the wrestlers struggling not to get pushed onto it. Anus Explosion Deathmatch An Anus Explosion Deathmatch is a match where the only way to win is to stick a firecracker up an opponent's buttocks and light it. Once the firecracker goes off while lodged inside an incapacitated wrestler's buttocks, the match ends. This match was only done once, by Japanese hardcore wrestling promotion Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling in October 1999, where Mr. Gannosuke faced off against Hayabusa.[67] Double Hell Deathmatch A Double Hell Deathmatch is a match where exploding (or non-exploding) barbed wire is put up at two sides of the ring in place of ropes, and the other two are left with nothing. However, at ringside on the empty sides, there are huge boards laden with barbed wire and landmines/explosives (and sometimes glass). This makes it a lot easier for a participant to fall out of the ring. Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch All Elite Wrestling's variation is an Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch which is a combination of an Explosion Deathmatch, Barbed Wire Ring Rope match, Double Hell Deathmatch, and Time Bomb Deathmatch. There was three sides of barbed wire ring ropes with explosives triggered upon contact, three zones around the ringside floor wired to explosives (Triple Hell), and a 30-minute countdown timer until all explosives in and around the ring detonate.[68] The match was contested between Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley for the AEW World Championship at Revolution, which Omega won. The concept was planned to be used in the WWE but according to Court Bauer in November 2022, Vince McMahon had once accepted an idea for a Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch. This stipulation did not appear at all but it would later appear in a form of a Punjabi Prison Match which debuted at The Great American Bash in 2006.[69] Landmine Deathmatch A Landmine Deathmatch is a match where explosives are set up at ringside, usually laced with barbed wire. This match was first done with FMW in Japan in the mid-1990's. Time Bomb Deathmatch A Time Bomb Deathmatch is a type of deathmatch where explosives or fireworks set up around the ring are set off after an allotted time. This match originated in Japan and was done various times in the 1990s. Mick Foley and Terry Funk participated in a "Barbed Wire Rope, Exploding Barbed Wire Boards and Exploding Ring Time Bomb Deathmatch" as the final match of the 1995 Kawasaki Dream King of the Deathmatch tournament, where there were multiple plywood boards with barbed wire and explosives attached to them strewn around the ring.[64] Time Bomb Exploding Cage Deathmatch A Time Bomb Exploding Cage Deathmatch is a mixture of a Steel Cage match and a Time Bomb Deathmatch, where every square foot of a steel cage is wrapped in barbed wire and explosives set up around the ring go off after a set time, and five minutes before the explosion a loud siren is activated. The match, unlike a traditional steel cage match is a one-fall match and victory cannot be achieved via escaping the cage, which, if attempted would be very painful and difficult. This match also originated in Japan in the early 1990s.[64] Eye for an Eye match A Eye for an Eye match is a hardcore match that could only be won when one competitor "extracts" an eyeball out of the socket of their opponent. This match only occurred once between Rey Mysterio and Seth Rollins at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules where Rollins shoved Mysterio’s eye into the corner of the steel steps causing the eyeball to pop out giving Rollins the victory. Falls Count Anywhere match A falls count anywhere match allows pinfalls to take place in any location, negating the standard rule that they must take place inside the ring and between the ropes, and these matches largely take place outside of the ring. Submissions may or may not also be covered by this rule. This also eliminates the usual "countout" rule. A variation of the rules states that once a pinfall takes place, the pinned wrestler loses the match if they are unable to return to the ring within a specific amount of time – usually a referee's count of 10 or 30. If the pinned wrestler makes it to the ring in this time, the match continues.[70] Occasionally, this stipulation is listed as having a specific territory in which falls count (e.g. the state, county, or general location the match is in).[71] As the match may take place in various parts of the arena,[72] the "falls count anywhere" provision is almost always accompanied with a "no-disqualification" stipulation to make the match a hardcore match, so as to allow wrestlers the convenience to use any objects they may find wherever they wrestle.[73] First Blood match In a first blood match is a no-disqualification, no-submission, no-fall, no-countout match in which the first wrestler to bleed anywhere loses the match. Depending on the nuance of the stipulation, this might include bleeding noses. Although there are no-disqualifications, outside interference cannot be seen causing the participant to bleed. The first televised First Blood match was Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Kane at King of the Ring 1998, which was the main event match that came after the famous The Undertaker vs. Mankind Hell in a Cell match. This type of match became rare in the WWE since 2008 in which blood is rarely shown in its programming to adhere with the TV-PG standards. The most recent first blood match was John Cena vs. JBL at One Night Stand in 2008. Doomsday Chamber of Blood match A Doomsday Chamber of Blood match, created by Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, is a First Blood match that takes place inside of a barbed wire topped cage.[74] Sadistic Madness match A Sadistic Madness match, created by Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, is another variation of the First Blood match, the main difference being that the opponent must be bleeding before a wrestler can legally pin them.[75] Four Corners of Pain match A Four Corners of Pain match is a match where in each corner of the ring, there is a container that has a weapon or another type of harmful item. This match originated at the 2003 Combat Zone Wrestling Tournament of Death II, and at the 2006 IWA-MS Queen of the Deathmatch, Amy Lee took on Sexxxy Eddy in this match.[64] Pools of F Deathmatch A Pools of F Deathmatch is similar to a Four Corners of Pain match, only the harmful items in each corner are in small plastic pools. This match originated in the independent wrestling promotion Asylum Wrestling Revolution (AMR), where Mickie Knuckles faced Akira in this match in March 2021.[76] Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook match A Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook match is a no disqualification match where large wood barrels of Irish brandy and canes are made available at ringside. The first match of its kind was on the July 29, 2022 episode of WWE SmackDown between Sheamus and Drew McIntyre, which McIntyre won. A tag team version later took place during WWE’s 2022 edition of its Extreme Rules pay-per-view between The Brawling Brutes and Imperium, which was won by The Brawling Brutes. This is Sheamus’s signature match. Hard Ten match The Hard Ten match is a match was created by TNA/Impact Wrestling. It is contested on a points system, where the points are earned for the use of weapons. The first wrestler to earn ten points and be at least two points ahead is the winner. Regular strikes with a weapon are worth one point while putting an opponent through a table is worth five points. This match type happens only once in TNA history. Last Man/Woman Standing match A last man standing match (or last woman standing) is a hardcore-style match in which the only way to win is by count out via standing, and a wrestler can be counted out anywhere. A wrestler will lose the match if they are unable to answer a ten-count after being downed, similar to the knockout rules of a boxing match. To avoid losing, the downed wrestler must be on their feet by the count of 10, but they can not lose by leaving the ring for 10-count (ring out) if they are still on his feet while recovering.[77] Baseball Brawl match A Baseball Brawl match or Brawl Game match is variant of a Last Man Standing match where baseball bats are initially banned, but if a wrestler is counted out by 10, then baseball bats for the wrestler or team that got the count-out automatically become legal, and the match converts over to a standard hardcore match where victory is achieved by either pinfalls, submissions or count outs. This match was first done at ECW's Hardcore Heaven in August 1994, and was known as the signature match of The Public Enemy tag team. Texas Deathmatch A variant of the Last Man Standing match is the Texas Deathmatch (a.k.a. Mexican Deathmatch, or Armageddon Rules match), in which a wrestler must be pinned to a 3-count or made to submit/rendered unconscious before the referee will begin the ten-count. Some of these matches have been known to last for hours, including one that Dory Funk Jr. participated in that went on for more than four hours. This match was often done by Dory and his brother Terry Funk in the 1960s in their father Dory Sr.'s promotion Western States Sports.[78][79] Light Tube Deathmatch A light tube match is a match where hundreds (usually 200) of long, cylindrical, glass fluorescent light tubes are attached to the ring ropes (usually via tape), and mock shaped weapons and mock large objects made of light tubes are made available. These matches often end with most or all of the light tubes broken or shattered; these matches are some of the bloodiest, most gruesome and most dangerous types of wrestling matches because the glass in a light tube contains poisonous and carcinogenic chemicals, and when broken, the poisonous and carcinogenic dust from the shattered glass gets into the air and allows audience members, the referee and the wrestlers to breathe it in. Another hazard of this match is shards of broken glass still rife with dangerous chemicals laying around the ring mat and sticking in the wrestlers' bodies (when they are slammed onto the wrestling mat), but with more organized wrestling promotions there are attendants that briefly enter the ring and quickly clean the broken glass off of the mat. This type of match originated in Japan in the late 1990s and early 2000s in Big Japan Pro Wrestling, and some independent promotions in the United States feature this type of match. 2/3 Light Tube Log cabins Deathmatch A 2/3 Light Tube Log Cabins Deathmatch is a match where the only way to win is to break two shaped light tube weapons over and/or on an opponent. Combat Zone Wrestling has used this match in their Tournament of Death series.[64] Monster's Ball match A Monster's Ball match is a match invented and staged by TNA Impact Wrestling. The key premise of the match was that all contenders are sequestered alone in a locked room without light, food or water for twenty-four hours before the match. This stipulation is intended to induce extreme feelings of aggression in the competitors. Once released, the wrestlers fight one another in a hardcore match, with the usage of weapons encouraged. Victory can be achieved by pinfall or submission, with the match ending as soon as one wrestler is pinned or submits. The Monster's Ball match typically features numerous high spots. There have been 54 matches taking place under TNA, as well as several unaffiliated independent promotions hosting the match. The match has almost always featured Abyss in some capacity, wrestling in 48 and managing in one, as it is his signature match. There are various weapons frequently used in the match, including Thumb tacks, "Janice" (A board filled with nails, Abyss's signature weapon) and a bed of barbed wire.[80] No Disqualification match A No Disqualification match, also known as a No Holds Barred match,[81] or sometimes as an Anything Goes match, a Raven's Rules match, (in WWE before 2006), an Extreme Rules match (in WWE 2006 and after) or a No Ropes Catch Wrestling match (in MLW), is a match in which neither wrestler can be disqualified, allowing for weapons and outside interference. However, unlike a hardcore match pinfalls and submissions must be made inside the ring.[82] No-disqualification matches may be used in feuds in which a challenger may have won matches against the champion, but did not claim the championship because the champion was disqualified (championships usually only change hands via pinfall or submission). Unless stipulated, a no-disqualification match can end in a countout. Those that cannot are no-disqualification, no-countout matches, therefore they're called no holds barred matches. Piranha Deathmatch A Piranha Deathmatch or Amazon River Piranha Deathmatch, similar to a Desert Deathmatch is a type of highly dangerous match where a fish tank containing dangerous and flesh-eating Piranha fish is placed in the center of the ring, and the first wrestler who gets put into the tank for 10 seconds loses. There was only one match ever done, and it was at Big Japan Pro Wrestling's Summer Night Dream event in Yokohama, Japan in September 1996, where in the main event Kendo Nagasaki put Mitsuhiro Matsunaga in the tank, defeating him.[64] Razor Deathmatch A Razor Deathmatch is an often extremely bloody match where boards full of razor blades are made available as weapons. This match is known for Japanese hardcore wrestler Jun Kasai's 5-time participation in this kind of match.[83] Spike Nail Deathmatch A Spike Nail Deathmatch is a match where a large bed of six-inch spiked nails sticking out of a rectangular piece of plywood is made available. The most famous example of this kind of match was at the IWA Kawasaki Dream King of the Deathmatch, where Cactus Jack faced Shoji Nakamaki in August 1995. Another type of Spike Nail match was rather than achieving a fall to win, the first wrestler to take a bump on the huge planks of wood infested with six-inch nails at ringside loses.[64] Nail Hell Deathmatch A Nail Hell Deathmatch is a match where some boards with nails were hung on the ring ropes all the way across, and onto opposing sides of the ring there was a board, on one side there was nails and on the other side was barbed wire. Only one match like this was done, in December 1994 by IWA Japan.[64] Street Fight A Street Fight is a type of hardcore match with no disqualifications, in which falls count anywhere, and weapons are legal. The main difference between a hardcore match and a street fight is that while wrestlers wear tights in hardcore matches, wrestlers (particularly in modern times) almost always wear their own street clothes in street fights, and weapons typically used in street fights are items typically found on or are often used on city streets, such as trash cans, road signs, broomsticks, dumpsters and sometimes vehicles, among other items. Sometimes street fights have the name of the host arena's city in the name, such as "Chicago Street Fight" or "New York Street Fight". Miracle on 34th Street Fight A Miracle on a 34th Street Fight is a Christmas-themed variant of a Street Fight, named after the movie Miracle on 34th Street, involving Christmas-themed weapons including fire extinguishers, pumpkin pies, presents, Christmas trees, Christmas wreaths, candy cane themed kendo sticks, bowling balls, and teddy bears, plus common wrestling weapons such as tables and chairs. Trick or Street Fight A Trick or Street Fight is a Halloween-themed variant of a Street Fight, named after the Halloween tradition "trick or treating", involving Halloween-themed weapons including pumpkins, buckets of candy, bowls full of water and apples, skeletons, witches' brooms, gravestones, candy corn themed kendo sticks, plus common wrestling weapons such as tables and chairs. Taipei Deathmatch A Taipei Deathmatch, (also known as an Ancient Way Deathmatch) is a match where the wrestlers' fists are taped and dipped into glue or honey, and then into broken and crushed glass, allowing shards to stick to their fists. Win by pinfall, submission or escape. It is unknown why this match is named after the seat of government of the Republic of China on the island of Taiwan; the first time this match was ever held was at ECW's Hardcore Heaven in July 1995 where the Rotten brothers, Axl and Ian faced off in this match.[41][84] Thumbtack Deathmatch A Thumbtack Deathmatch is a match where one or more trays containing thousands (usually 10,000) of thumbtacks is/are made available and usually placed in either the center or apron of the ring. The most well known version of this match was at the IWA Kawasaki Dream King of the Deathmatch, where Terry Gordy faced Cactus Jack in August 1995.[64] Variants of the thumbtack deathmatch staged by TNA/Impact Wrestling have been done where the objective is modified to simply slam an opponent into the pile of thumbtacks on the mat. A variation of this match is a cross between a Ladder Match and 10,000 Thumbtacks Match called a Thumbtacks Ladder match in which a ladder is placed in the ring with a reward at the top. Thumbtacks are also spread out across the ring. A variant of the 10,000 thumbtacks deathmatch is the East Coast Thumbtack match, this match has 177,000 thumbtacks placed in the ring. The first match was introduced between Ian Rotten and The Messiah.[85] Barefoot Thumbtack match A Barefoot Thumbtack match is where both wrestlers have bare feet, and there is a large container containing thousands of thumbtacks in the middle of the ring that are legal to use it. Originated in Big Japan Pro Wrestling. Thumbtack Balloons match Big Japan Pro Wrestling staged a ‘Thumbtacks In Balloons’ match on 5/22/96. The match, which saw Axl Rotten and Shoji Nakamaki lock up with Kendo Nagasaki and Seiji Yamakawa, had six black balloons suspended above the ring. At a certain point in the match, the balloons exploded and released 30,000 thumbtacks onto the ring. Unlucky 13 Deathmatch An Unlucky 13 Deathmatch is a match was invented by Ian Rotten. In order to win the match, a wrestler must staple seven out of thirteen one dollar bills to their opponent's mouth. Location-based variations Though most matches take place in and around the ring, some are designed specifically for more exotic locales. The majority of these matches take on the name of their setting, often appending "brawl" to the end, and all of them are hardcore by definition. The following is a list of locale-based variations that supplant or replace the standard rules. The following is a list of locale-based variations that supplant or replace the standard rules. Bar Room Brawl A Bar Room Brawl is a multi-competitor no disqualification match held in a bar. During the match wrestlers are encouraged to drink while fighting, and the "last man standing" is declared winner. Wrestlers can be eliminated from the match both by the standard pinfall, submission, or by simply becoming too (kayfabe) drunk to continue the match. An known example of this match is the APA Invitational Bar Room Brawl at Vengeance 2003 which Bradshaw won after knocking down Brother Love. Another example, a Bar Fight was done in 2020, with Jeff Hardy facing off against Sheamus.[86] Pub Rules match A variation of Bar Room Brawl, Pub Rules match takes place inside the ring rather than in a bar, but there are items made available at ringside that are typically found in a bar, like beer glasses, high top tables and trash cans. An example was introduced during the September 27, 2022 edition of NXT (taped September 14) that featured Gallus against Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen with the latter emerging victorious.[87] Boiler Room Brawl A Boiler Room Brawl or Boiler Room match starts in a boiler room, with the winner being the first wrestler to successfully get out. This match is a no-disqualification, no-falls, no-countout match, so anything goes, so long as someone escapes first. The rather hazardous environment of this match featured some of the arena's internal infrastructure, such as all sorts of large, exposed metal piping with large bolts, concrete flooring and solid electrical equipment everywhere, among other features. Mick Foley participated in all of the WWF-run Boiler Room Brawls under his persona Mankind, because this persona dwelled in boiler rooms, hence this being Mankind's signature match. The first Boiler Room Brawl happened at SummerSlam 1996 with Mankind vs. The Undertaker, where in addition to escaping the boiler room the combatant had to make his way to the ring and grab Paul Bearer's urn; but when the next Boiler Room Brawl was contested at Backlash 1999 with Mankind against The Big Show, the objective was simplified to just escaping the boiler room first.[88] World Championship Wrestling used a match with similar rules, naming their match and its location the Block.[89] Body of Water match A Body of Water match is a match where the sole objective is to get your opponent into the waters of a body of water, which is often named, for example, a Gulf of Mexico match requires a wrestler to put their opponent into The Gulf of Mexico. This match was only done once, where CM Punk faced Chavo Guerrero during an ECW show in Corpus Christi, Texas (which is located right on the Gulf of Mexico) in February 2008.[90] Dungeon match A Dungeon match is a match that took place in the legendary Hart Family Dungeon in Calgary, where Owen Hart challenged Ken Shamrock to come to the Dungeon (referred to as Hart's "basement") for a fight. The match can only be won by submission. Empty Arena match An empty arena match is a hardcore (no disqualification, falls count anywhere) "anything goes" match between two or more wrestlers that takes place in an arena or stadium that although is fully set up for a wrestling event, is devoid of fans. The only people present are the competitors, referee, commentators, and cameramen. The match is broadcast, or videotaped and played later. An example of this is the WWF championship match between The Rock and Mankind that took place in Tucson, Arizona, at the Tucson Convention Center, which aired as part of a special Halftime Heat edition of Sunday Night Heat aired against the Super Bowl halftime show of Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999. One of the earliest and best known empty arena matches occurred in 1981 in Memphis, Tennessee, at the Mid-South Coliseum between Jerry Lawler and Terry Funk.[91] A lack of audience that is a legitimate aspect of the production and not a kayfabe stipulation of the match (i.e. the match is conducted normally, except a live audience is not present) is not necessarily considered an empty arena match. For example, audiences were barred from attending televised AEW, and later WWE, shows in 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.[92] Parking Lot Brawl A Parking Lot Brawl is a Falls Count Anywhere match that is usually fought in an interior location or in an outside parking lot around a tightly parked circle of cars. The first wrestler to score a pinfall, submission, or knockout in a Parking Lot Brawl is the winner. Both wrestlers are allowed to use everything around them as weapons, including the cars. The first Parking Lot Brawl was between Jerry Lawler and Eddie Gilbert in Memphis, Tennessee in 1988, which was fought all over the arena and its outside parking lot. More well known examples of a Parking Lot Brawl both involved John Cena, where he faced Eddie Guerrero in 2003 and JBL in 2008. A renamed Parking Lot Brawl, an Iron Circle match was a match where Ken Shamrock fought Steve Blackman at WWF Fully Loaded 1999.[93] Hollywood Backlot Brawl A Hollywood Backlot Brawl was a no-disqualification match that started in a Hollywood studio backlot, and it was fought between Goldust and Roddy Piper. This match also involved the two performers actually driving cars for a long period of time, and then ended with the two arriving in the Honda Center in Anaheim 30 miles away to finish their match in the ring.[94] Tooth and Nail match A Tooth and Nail match is a Falls Count Anywhere-stipulation match that is fought in and around a dental office, and any weapon is legal. This is Britt Baker's speciality match, based on her role as a dentist in both kayfabe and off-screen reality, and the objective of this match is to achieve a pinfall, submission or countout.[95] Lumberjack match In keeping with the theme, the wrestlers outside the ring may wear flannel shirts during lumberjack matches; an example of this is the 1–2–3 Kid in 1995 A lumberjack match is a standard match with the exception that the ring is surrounded by a group of wrestlers not directly involved in it.[96] These wrestlers, known collectively as lumberjacks (female wrestlers serving in this manner are sometimes called lumberjills; lumberjack matches between female wrestlers are called lumberjill matches, a play on the famous Nursery Rhyme, "Jack and Jill"), are there to prevent the wrestlers in the match from getting out of the ring.[96] The groups of lumberjacks are typically split up into groups of faces and heels who occupy opposing sides around the ring. Usually, the "opposing" lumberjacks (that is, face lumberjacks if the wrestler is a heel, and vice versa) swarm the wrestlers if they leave the ring and force them back in it. Occasional interference from the lumberjacks is common, as is an all-out brawl on the outside involving most of the lumberjacks. Early lumberjack matches even featured the lumberjacks wearing stereotypical lumberjack clothing in keeping with the lumberjack theme, though this is generally no longer done. A common theme is for the lumberjacks to consist entirely of heel wrestlers to stack the odds against the face competitor. The Lumberjill Snowbunny match is another variation of the Lumberjill match with female lumberjacks, held in a pit of snow. Canadian Lumberjack match A "Canadian" lumberjack match is a variation of a lumberjack match in which the lumberjacks are equipped with leather straps. TNA's "fan's revenge" lumberjack match did their own version of a Canadian lumberjack match where fans equipped with straps act as lumberjacks and were encouraged to whip wrestlers.[97] Extreme Lumberjack match The Extreme Lumberjack match is a lumberjack match competed under hardcore rules, where there are no disqualifications, no countouts, and falls count anywhere.[98] Multi-competitor-based variations On some occasions, a match may be held between more than two individual wrestlers or teams. Multi-competitor matches are often broken down to eliminations and non-eliminations. Basic non-elimination matches Non-elimination matches with three competitors The most common example of a non-elimination match is the three-way match (also known as a Triple Threat match in WWE, Triangle match in WCW and Three-Way Dance in ECW), in which three wrestlers compete under standard rules with the first competitor to achieve a pinfall or submission being declared the winner. Triple Threat matches are fought under no-disqualification and no-countout stipulations. Triangle matches are often contested like a tag match where only two can be in the match at one time while the third waits on the ring apron and the only elimination factor is if a competitor is disqualified. Non-elimination matches with four or more competitors In many promotions, there are typically no distinctions between the two terms. Non-elimination variations are the four-way match (known as a Fatal Four-Way in WWE, Four Corners match in WCW and Four-Way Dance in ECW), the five-way match (known as a Fatal Five-Way in WWE) or the six-way match (known as the Six-Pack Challenge in WWE), involving four, five, or six wrestlers, respectively. [99] American independent promotion USA Xtreme Wrestling hosted a match involving 8–12 competitors known as the 8 Ball Challenge. These types of matches can be used in certain situations to take a title off a wrestler without weakening him in the process. On some occasions, multi-competitor matches are contested under similar rules as a tag team match. Two competitors start the match in the ring while the other wrestler(s) wait outside the ring for a tag from another wrestler, often achieved by touching an unsuspecting competitor in the ring. Variations of this include a Four Corners Survival match or Six-Man Mayhem match in Ring of Honor. Competitors are permitted to leave their position and attack wrestlers outside of the ring, such as when one or both wrestlers have been thrown over the top rope. Basic elimination matches Matches involving a larger number of competitors are typically elimination matches. These matches may begin with all of the competitors in the ring at the same time. The standard match rules apply as wrestlers may leave the position and attack other wrestlers outside the ring with a twist that the wrestler be pinned or forced to submit is eliminated from the match. Elimination matches with three competitors The most common example of an elimination match is the Three-Way Dance, where the first fall would eliminate one wrestler, reducing the match to a standard one-fall singles match. The Three-Way Dance was a specialty of Extreme Championship Wrestling. Elimination matches with four or more competitors A Four-Way Dance is similar except it involves four wrestlers in Extreme Championship Wrestling and some promotions use a tag format for the match instead of having all the wrestlers in the ring at the same time. Elimination variations are the four-way match (known as a Fatal Four-Way in WWE), the five-way match (known as a Fatal Five-Way in WWE) or the six-way match (known as the Six-Pack Challenge in WWE), involving four, five, or six wrestlers inside the ring, respectively. The Deadly Draw match is a TNA variation where four competitors wrestle. The match begins with two competitors in the ring. After five minutes pass, the third competitor enters the ring, then after another five minutes pass, the final competitor enters the ring. Any wrestler who gets pinned or force to submit is eliminated, and any wrestler in the ring not involved in the fall is also eliminated. The last man standing wins. Beat the Clock Challenge A Beat the Clock challenge is a multi-competitor match in which wrestlers must defeat their opponent in a singles match before the clock runs out. Additionally, the next wrestler must beat the winner's set time by defeating their opponent to advance, otherwise that wrestler is eliminated. In doing so, the victorious wrestler usually gets some type of reward in return, such as inclusion in a title match, for instance. In a variation on the November 20, 2013 episode of NXT, two wrestlers completed a match, with the match duration being used as the marker for two other wrestlers to complete their match. The first ever Divas Beat the Clock challenge occurred on the August 31, 2015 episode of Raw when Paige, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair faced a different competitor to earn a WWE Divas Championship match against Nikki Bella at Night of Champions. Championship Scramble WWE features a match called the Championship Scramble in which none of the wrestlers are eliminated. Two wrestlers start the match and every five minutes another wrestler enters until all five participants are present. After the last wrestler enters, there is a predetermined time limit. Each time a wrestler scores a pinfall or submission, he becomes the interim champion. Such reigns are not recorded as title reigns. The winner is the wrestler who scores the last pinfall or submission before the time limit expires. The Unforgiven pay-per view of 2008 is arguably the most prominent showcase of this match type, as all three world titles were contested under a Championship Scramble match. Elimination Chase The Elimination Chase, first used in WWE's version of ECW brand in 2007, is a series of multi-competitor, one fall matches, with the loser of the fall being eliminated from future matches until one competitor remains.[100] Iron Survivor Challenge WWE's NXT features a match called the Iron Survivor Challenge in which none of the wrestlers are eliminated. Two wrestlers start the match and every five minutes another wrestler enters until all five participants are present. After the last wrestler enters, there is a predetermined time limit. Each time a wrestler scores a pinfall, submission, or is the victim of a disqualification, they gain a point and the wrestler they pin, submit, or who is disqualified then goes into a penalty box for 90 seconds. The winner of the match is the wrestler who scores the most falls at the end of the time limit.[101] It combines elements of the Championship Scramble, Iron Man, and Impact Wrestling's King of the Mountain matches. It was used for the first time at NXT Deadline. Special Guest Referee The Special Guest Referee is any match in which the usual referee is replaced with a "guest" filling in as the official. Celebrities (such as Muhammad Ali in the main event of WrestleMania I), managers and other wrestlers can "guest" as the special referee. In some cases, a special referee is put into a match which is already a different match type or stipulation. The special referee will often be biased towards or against one of the competitors or will be assigned as the Special Referee to ensure the match is called down the line. Special Outside Referee also known as Special Enforcer or Special Guest Enforcer is same as the Special Referee but the guest referee stays on the outside enforcing what the normal referee doesn't see. These guests are sometimes known as "enforcers", the most famous of which was Mike Tyson, who served as the Special Guest Enforcer for the WWF title match between Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XIV, and Chuck Norris who served as Special Guest Enforcer at Survivor Series 1994 in a match between The Undertaker and Yokozuna. Another example of this is Triple H vs The Undertaker in a Hell in a cell match at WrestleMania 28 with Shawn Michaels being the Special Guest Referee. Non-wrestling matches Occasionally, a match would take place under the rules of a different type of contest. Like professional wrestling matches, the matches would be worked, with the participants not being in the perceived danger and the winner being predetermined. Arm Wrestling match An arm wrestling match, in the context of professional wrestling, is a basic arm wrestling contest. It can be contested between two females, two males or between one male and one female. Often the male in the latter will be a manager going against the wrestler of a competitor.[102] Boxing match The professional wrestling version of a boxing match has standard boxing rules applied to it. Wrestlers wear boxing gloves and the match is contested in rounds with fouls given out, though the matches are generally worked and end with one wrestler cheating and using wrestling maneuvers.[103] Mixed Martial Arts match The professional wrestling version of a mixed martial arts (MMA) match under standard MMA. As in MMA, pinfalls are not a valid method of victory. Matches can typically only be won by knockout, submission, disqualification, forfeit or by going to a referee's decision. Sumo match For a sumo match, the ropes are removed from the ring and standard sumo rules apply. The first person to step outside of the ring or touch the mat with any part of the body except the soles of the feet is the loser. The most infamous match of this kind in WWE happened at WrestleMania 21 between The Big Show and Sumo legend, Akebono.[104] Sumo Monster Truck match A Sumo Monster Truck match is a regular tug-o-war contest where two wrestlers are driving monster trucks, pushing and shoving each other. An example of this match type is at the Halloween Havoc (1995) pay-per-view between Hulk Hogan and The Giant. Rumble rules-based variations In this version – unlike traditional battle royales where all the wrestlers begin the match in the ring – the competitors (after numbers 1 and 2 begin the match) enter at timed intervals in accordance with the number that they have drawn until the entire field has entered. Aztec Warfare Aztec Warfare is the Lucha Underground version of the "Rumble Rules" battle royale. Upwards to 20 participants enter every 90 seconds and elimination occurs by either pinfall or submission and has to take place inside the ring. There are no count-outs and no disqualifications. As of April 2019, four Aztec Warfare matches have occurred—one in each season of Lucha Underground. Battle Riot Main article: MLW Battle Riot The Battle Riot is Major League Wrestling's "Rumble" style battle royale. This match isn't that much different from other Pin, Submission & Over the top rope elimination rumble rules, however is different from the WWE Royal Rumble, of which you can only get eliminated via going over the top rope with both feet hitting the floor.[105] Casino Battle Royale Main article: Casino Battle Royale The Casino Battle Royale is used by All Elite Wrestling (AEW). It is a modified rumble rules battle royale that features 21 entrants. It begins with a group of five wrestlers, and every three minutes, another group of five wrestlers enter, while the 21st and final entrant enters alone. The wrestlers are grouped based on the suit they drew from a deck of cards – spades, diamonds, clubs, or hearts – and the order of when each group enters is based on a random draw of the cards. The 21st and final entrant is the wrestler who drew the joker. The winner receives a world championship match of their respective gender's division—either the AEW World Championship or the AEW Women's World Championship. The first Casino Battle Royale occurred during the pre-show of AEW's inaugural event, Double or Nothing in 2019, and was a men's match. The winner of the inaugural match was entered into the match to determine the inaugural AEW World Champion at All Out that year.[106] The second Casino Battle Royale was an all-female version and was held during the pre-show of the aforementioned All Out event. Like the first, the winner of this second iteration was entered into the match to determine the inaugural AEW Women's World Champion on the debut episode of AEW's weekly television show, Dynamite.[107] The third Casino Battle Royale—a men's match—took place at All Out in 2020 and the winner received a future AEW World Championship match. Honor Rumble Ring of Honor (ROH) also periodically features the "Rumble" style of battle royale on their shows, billing it as the Honor Rumble. This battle royal differs from a standard version of the match in that the contestants do not all begin in the ring at the same time, but instead enter the match at timed intervals in order of their assigned entry numbers (comparable in style to WWE's Royal Rumble match). Numbers are usually drawn through a lottery that is typically staged right before the event begins, although participants can also win desirable spots via a number of other means, the most common being winning a match. New Japan Rumble New Japan Pro-Wrestling's annual "Rumble" battle royale, takes place on the pre-show of Wrestle Kingdom on January 4. Participants enter at one minute intervals and are eliminated via pinfall, submission or by being thrown over the top rope.[108] Typically leaning towards light comedy, the match includes past stars as surprise entrants.[109] Royal Rampage Used by All Elite Wrestling on its program Rampage. The Royal Rampage is a two ring rumble style battle royale. It is a 20 man 2 ring battle royale simultaneously, 10 man on each ring, it begins with two wrestlers on each ring separately then other wrestlers enters in an alternating rings at time intervals such as the red ring or the blue ring, eliminations by over the top rope. There will be winners on each rings, then the two winners then face off and collide under battle royal rules to declare a winner. Royal Rumble Main article: Royal Rumble match See also: Royal Rumble 2010 Royal Rumble match WWE's Royal Rumble is the original battle royale to use this format. It begins with two wrestlers in the ring, with the remaining participants introduced one by one at a set time period, usually 90 seconds or two minutes. Elimination occurs in the normal way with the last person standing as the winner, after all participants (traditionally 30) have entered the ring eliminated by being thrown over the top rope and having both feet touch the venue floor. (referred to as the "Shawn Michaels rule" in Royal Rumble 1995) There is both a men's and women's Royal Rumble match, although WWE's first official women's Royal Rumble match debuted in 2018 used the same rules as the men's version, with the winners getting a world championship match (in their respective divisions) at that year's WrestleMania, which is WWE's biggest annual show. At the Greatest Royal Rumble in 2018, 50 participants entered the match. Stone Cold Steve Austin is the only 3-time Royal Rumble winner. Royal Sambo Dragon Gate's version takes place exclusively at touring shows at the Kobe Sambo Hall venue, as the promotion's home location is Kobe, Japan. Royal Sambo matches typically consist of 10-16 participants entering two at a time at 60 second intervals, with both wrestlers' entrance themes crossfading back and forth over the speakers. If an odd number of wrestlers are booked in the match, the final participant enters solo. Participants can be eliminated via over-the-top rope elimination, pinfall, or submission, and multiple wrestlers may pin or submit someone simultaneously. Typically booked as a comedy match, or with one high-profile wrestler as the obvious winner among others with much lower status on the roster. Square Go! Square Go! is Insane Championship Wrestling's (ICW) very own hybrid of WWE's Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank matches, and named for the Glaswegian term for a street fight. The competitors will compete in a 30-man over-the-top-rope "rumble rules" battle royale, the Square Go!, with the winner earning the Square Go Briefcase. It has mostly the same rules apply as Royal Rumble, two competitors who draw the numbers 1 and 2. The remaining participants which will enter the ring one-by-one at every two-minute intervals. Five people have drawn entry numbers that allow them to carry a weapon of their choice into the ring. Participants were eliminated when thrown over the top ropes with both feet landing on the floor. The winner will win a briefcase that will entitle him to a match for the ICW World Championship at any time and anywhere of their choosing for one year (similar to Money in the Bank). Series-based variations Series matches may involve the same match throughout, or may use different matches for some or all of the series. The most common form of a series match is extending the one-fall concept to a series of falls. Best of Series match A "Best of Series" match is similar to a two out of three falls, though takes place over several nights to extend a feud rather than settle it in one night. One variation is a Best of Five Series where a wrestler must win three matches to win the series. John Cena defeated Booker T 3–2 to win the WWE United States Championship at No Mercy (2004). The Best of Seven Series is another variation, where a wrestler must win four matches to win the series. Chris Benoit and Booker T fought in such a series to determine the #1 contender for the WCW World Television Championship in 1998. The two resumed their Best of Seven series in 2006 for the WWE United States Championship. Sheamus and Cesaro ended in a 3–3 draw when their seventh match at Clash of Champions (2016) ended in a no-contest. Death Triangle (Pac, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Rey Fénix) wrestled The Elite (Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson)) in a series for the AEW World Trios Championship in 2022. Gauntlet match A Gauntlet match, also referred to as a Turmoil match, is a quick series of one-fall one-on-one matches. Two wrestlers begin the match and are replaced whenever one is eliminated (by pinfall or submission). After a predetermined number of wrestlers have competed in the match, the last person standing is named the winner. A Gauntlet match may also be played out in multiple "parts" as part of a storyline (in which a face wrestler must face a series of a heel wrestler's underlings before facing the heel himself, for instance) this was common in World Championship Wrestling in the early 1990s. A participant involved in a Gauntlet match may be said to be "running the gauntlet" but in most cases this designation being reserved for those who are involved for most of the match. Sometimes, It could also be (one-on-three) or (one-on-four) handicap match. Unlike tag matches, the three/four-man team will challenge the person handicapped individually until he is knocked out, at which time the match is over. One example of this was on September 23, 1999, edition of WWE SmackDown where Triple H, being punished by Vince McMahon for his actions against him and his family booked Triple H in five gimmick matches in one night just three days before he was to face each of these opponents in a six-way match at a pay-per-view: A Chokeslam Challenge match (a match where the first to Chokeslam their opponent wins) against The Big Show, a Handicap Casket match against Vicera and Mideon, an Inferno match against Kane, a Boiler Room Brawl against Mankind, and a Brahma Bullrope match against The Rock. Gauntlet Eliminator A Gauntlet eliminator is a type of match in which two wrestlers start in the ring and every four minutes, another wrestler enters until all the competitors have entered. Eliminations can occur only by pinfall or submission. The last wrestler remaining wins. An example of this match was on the first night of 2021's NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver between Leon Ruff, Isaiah "Swerve" Scott, Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumis and L. A. Knight. Gauntlet for the Gold Main article: Gauntlet for the Gold Impact Wrestling (formerly Total Nonstop Action Wrestling) uses the "Gauntlet for the Gold" format, which is named similarly to the Gauntlet match but is actually very different. The wrestlers enter at regular intervals, and elimination occurs when thrown over the top rope with both feet hitting the floor (as in a Royal Rumble match). This continues until only two wrestlers remain, after which the final winner is decided by pinfall or submission. This match type was first featured on the first ever NWA-TNA PPV, with Ken Shamrock defeating Malice in the final two.[110] Iron Man/Woman match Main article: Iron Man match An Iron Man (or Iron Woman for female matches) match is a multiple-fall match with a set time limit (usually 30 or 60 minutes). The match is won by the wrestler who wins the most falls within the time limit by either pinfall, submission, disqualification, or countout. If there is ever a tie, the match goes to sudden death overtime in which the wrestler who scores one fall on their opponent will immediately be declared the winner. An example of an Iron Man Match is Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins at Extreme Rules (2018) for the Intercontinental Championship. Other examples are Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar on an episode of SmackDown! in 2003 for the WWE Championship, and Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels at WWE Wrestlemania XII for the WWE Championship. The first Iron Woman match was between Bayley and Sasha Banks at NXT TakeOver: Respect in 2015. Anything Goes Iron Man match An Anything Goes Iron Man match is the hardcore variation of an Iron Man match: there are no disqualifications, no countouts and falls count anywhere. John Cena faced Randy Orton in an Anything Goes Iron Man match at Bragging Rights 2009. Thunder Queen battle The Thunder Queen battle is a hybrid tag team/iron woman match was used in All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling where the two teams of four members wrestle each other. The match starts off with individual members will have a five-minute singles Iron Woman match (20 minutes total each), followed by a 40-minute tag team Iron Woman match. The team with the highest total number of points within the time limit wins. Ultimate Submission match An Ultimate Submission match is a variation of an Iron Man match where the only way to score a fall within the allotted time limit is to make your opponent submit. Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle had an Ultimate Submission match at Backlash 2001 for 30 minutes plus one minute and 33 seconds of tie-breaking overtime. Three Strikes match The Three Strikes match (often shortened to Three Strikes' You're Out), is a multiple-fall match where wrestlers must achieve three victories of a specific nature in a specific order before the other. The name of the match is taken from baseball, referring to the notion that having three strikes would entail losing the match. The most common arrangement for the three strikes are pinfall, submission and knockout with the entire match being fought under no disqualification and no countout rules. This match made its acclaimed return at AEW Dark between Diamante vs. Big Swole on September 7, 2021. Two out of Three falls match A Two out of Three falls match is a multiple-fall match where a wrestler/team must beat the other opponent/team not once but twice in that same match. (by pinfall, submission, disqualification, or countout). For such examples of this match type are the Extreme Rules 2012 between Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus and Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho at the SummerSlam (2000) pay-per-view. Also, a tag team version of this match type is at the Payback (2015) pay-per-view between The New Day vs. Cesaro & Tyson Kidd for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship. Gate of Heaven match A Gate of Heaven match is a multiple-fall match that is applied to tag team matches. Started in Dragon Gate, with the first match being a strict tag team match with two referees to make sure tags actually happen. The second match being the Dragon Gate rules. The third match, if necessary; tables, ladders and chairs are now legal. The first team to gain two victories before the other is the winner. Three Stages of Hell match A Three Stages of Hell match is a multiple-fall match in which two wrestlers must wrestle three special types of matches. A wrestler must achieve two victories before the other. As of 2022, there have only been five occasions in which this match has been contested in WWE history. The first Three Stages of Hell match occurred in 2001 between Triple H and Steve Austin at No Way Out (2001), which Triple H won 2–1. Another match of this type took place at Armageddon (2002) between Shawn Michaels and Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship. The most recent example of this was at NXT TakeOver 36, when Adam Cole faced Kyle O'Reilly. Three Degrees of Pain match A Three Degrees of Pain match is a hybrid two out of three falls/steel cage match where a wrestler must achieve a victory in the specific order before the other. The first victory is a pinfall, the second victory is a submission and if necessary, the third victory is to escape from the steel cage. There have only been two of these matches occurred in TNA history and both were feud-enders. For this reason, Kurt Angle is the only wrestler to have competed in both matches. Stipulation-based variations As professional wrestling seeks to also tell a story, some matches are made solely for the purposes of advancing the plot. This typically involves the loser of a match being penalized in some way. Crybaby match A Crybaby match is a singles match with the exception that the loser would have to dress as a baby by wearing a nappy and sucking from a bottle. This match only occurred once between 1-2-3 Kid and Razor Ramon at the In Your House 6 pay-per-view. Jailhouse match A Jailhouse match is a singles match with the exception that the loser would have to spend the night in a New York City jail cell. This match featured heavy brawling by both competitors The Mountie and Big Bossman at SummerSlam 1991. At one point the Mountie tried to use his cattle prod, but missed. Bossman got the pin following a double leg slam and NYC police officers came down to handcuff the Mountie and take him to jail. Kiss My Foot match A Kiss My Foot match is a singles match with the exception that the loser must kiss the winner's bare foot. Such matches included Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler during the 1995 King of the Ring and Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole during the 2011 Over the Limit pay-per-view. Kiss My Ass match A Kiss My Ass match is a singles match in which the loser has to kiss the winner's bare buttocks, or sometimes even between the buttocks, in front of the crowd; it became prominent during WWE's Attitude Era. A notable example is The Rock vs. Billy Gunn at SummerSlam 1999, which The Rock won. The match type made a reappearance for Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler at Extreme Rules 2015, where it was branded a Kiss Me Arse match in reference to Sheamus' Irish accent. Ziggler won, but Sheamus attacked him and forced Ziggler's unconscious self to kiss Sheamus' behind. Last Chance match A last chance match, also called a do or die match, is a championship match where, if the challenger does not win the title, they are banned from challenging for it again as long as the winner of the same match holds it.[111] Rarely, the loser may even be barred from challenging for that title for as long as he remains employed at the company (an example of this is Slammiversary XI's main event where Sting would be defeated by defending champion Bully Ray in a No Holds Barred variant of this match and be barred from challenging for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship ever again no matter who holds it). These matches are usually a way to finish a feud between the champion and a certain challenger, where either the title switches hands or it sets up another storyline for the challenger after losing and being unable to challenge for the title for a certain amount of time. Despite the name, these matches are mainly used as plot devices, and the loser of the match eventually finds a way to challenge for the title again if they lose, such as when another challenger defeats the champion and allows the first one to challenge for the title again (such as when Drew McIntyre was able to challenge Big E for the WWE Championship after Big E defeated Bobby Lashley for the title, who previously defeated McIntyre in a Last Chance match where McIntyre could not challenge for the title again while Lashley was holding the championship) or the ban is lifted in some other way (when Sting was able to challenge Magnus for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in a No Disqualification Title vs. Career match at Genesis (2014), though Sting lost). Loser Leaves Town match "Loser leaves town" is a generic term for any match in which the loser has to leave the current promotion or sub-division.[112] These matches were most often held during the "territorial days", when wrestlers frequently jumped from company to company. It has been held with greater frequency in WWE during the brand split; the losing wrestler typically leaves the brand (usually either Raw or SmackDown), only to go to the other brand. It is also used as a way to write a wrestler off TV to give them some time off. Loser Wears A Chicken Suit match Loser Wears a Chicken Suit match is a singles match where the loser must wear a chicken suit either following the match or at another event soon after. Col. Robert Parker had to wear a chicken suit on the January 29, 1994 episode of WCW Saturday Night following his loss to Flyin’ Brian Pillman at Clash of the Champions XXVI. Loser Wears Dress match Loser Wears Dress match is a singles match where the loser must wear a woman's dress temporarily after the match occurred. The match is won by pinfall or submission. An example of this type of match is at Souled Out (1999) between Chris Jericho and Perry Saturn which Jericho won. Luchas de apuestas Main article: Lucha libre § Luchas de apuestas Luchas de apuestas (in English meaning "gambling fights") are matches in which both wrestlers wager something specific (the mask or hair) on the outcome. The loser of the match then loses the item, being forced to take off their mask or be shaved bald. It is also possible for a wrestler to put someone else's item on the line, with the same stipulation applying in the event of a loss.[113] These matches have a storied history in Mexico.[114] Upon unmasking, it is not unheard of for a wrestler's real name and information to be published. As a form of further humiliation, the loser can be forced to physically hand the mask they just lost to the winner.[114] The most popular types of wager are the mask of a masked wrestler or the hair of a non-masked wrestler, most commonly put against each other in mask vs. mask (in Spanish: máscara contra máscara), mask vs. hair (máscara contra cabellera), or hair vs. hair (cabellera contra cabellera) matches. Throughout Mexico, when masked wrestlers lose their masks, they are not allowed to compete under a mask with that same gimmick.[114] In addition to masks and hair, championships,[115] or careers[116] — as a form of retirement match — can be put up as the wager in any combination. Bounty match Similarly the mask can be used in a bounty match, which can be a single match or series of matches where a third party will reward whoever can unmask the targeted competitor. The match can also be used to defeat a targeted individual or take them out of action with a reward. Sometimes the reward is disclosed and sometimes not. An example of the mask bounty match was Flyin’ Brian Pillman having a bounty by Barry Windham after making appearances as The Yellow Dog in order to continue wrestling after losing a loser leaves match. Move match A Move match is the objective in this match is to perform a specific move first. Usually a signature move or finisher of the wrestlers is selected, although on occasion it will be a generic move that is notoriously hard to perform on both wrestlers. The match usually takes the name of the target move if both wrestlers are trying to perform their finisher for the win. The best known of these was "Yokozuna's Bodyslam Challenge", which Lex Luger won. Another famous move match was the "$15,000 Body Slam Challenge" between Andre The Giant and Big John Studd at the first WrestleMania. Another move match was the "Masterlock Challenge" which was created by Chris Masters. A "Chokeslam Challenge" match was also done between The Big Show and Triple H on WWE Smackdown in September 1999. A "Stink Face Challenge" match is another move match where whoever delivers the Stink Face to their opponent first wins.[117] Banned Move match A Banned Move match is a singles match when one or both of the competitors is not allowed to use their finishing move or else they will be disqualified. One of the competitors cannot be disqualified if that wrestler uses the move to give an unfair disadvantage. Sometimes this stipulation is used in a feud with wrestlers whose finishers are the same or similar, in these cases it is common to see the stipulation added that the losing wrestler is no longer allowed to use that move anymore. This type of match often forces the banned wrestler to get more creative and use moves they don't normally use in an attempt to win. An example of this match took place at Extreme Rules in 2015 between Seth Rollins and Randy Orton, in which the latter's finisher is banned. Retirement match The retirement stipulation can be applied to just one wrestler[118] or both wrestlers in a match can be wrestling for their careers.[119] More loosely, the term can refer to the last match of a (usually "legendary") wrestler's career. Such a match is designed to be a last hurrah, showcasing the wrestler's talent one last time for their fans. Some examples of this stipulation of match are Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair at WrestleMania XXIV, and Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVI[120] Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal was introduced in WCW at the 1992 Halloween Havoc for the Sting versus Jake Roberts match. It was remade in TNA as the "Wheel of Dixie" and in WWE as "Raw Roulette".[121] Not a match type itself, it assigns a type to a match. Before the match, a wheel of fortune featuring a number of match types is spun, with the match landed on being used for the night.[122] WWE usually made use of this when Raw was in the Las Vegas area. It was also used at NXT: Halloween Havoc five times. Strip matches In two kinds of matches, a wrestler does not win by pinfall or submission, but only by stripping their opponent of their clothing.[123] Historically, these types of matches were contested between managers or valets, due to their supposed lack of wrestling ability. In the Attitude Era, however, full-time female wrestlers (known formerly as Divas in WWE) began engaging in strip matches for the purpose of titillation. Bra and Panties match A bra and panties match is a match consisting of two or more female wrestlers where the only way to win this match is to strip her opponent down to her bra and panties. Evening Gown match An evening gown match is usually contested by two female competitors in evening gowns. The only objective to win this match is the wrestler must remove the evening gown off of her opponent.[124][125][126] Tuxedo match A tuxedo match is usually contested by two male competitors in tuxedos. The only objective to win this match is the wrestler must remove their opponent's tuxedo.[127] Submission match A submission match is typically a variation of a singles match in which pinfalls, count-outs, and disqualifications are not legal and the match could only end by making an opponent tap out to a submission hold. Catch-as-Catch Can match A Catch-as-Catch Can match is a match where any submission hold are allowed that is not intended to inflict injury, which contained mostly submission amateur-style wrestling. This match is altered to stipulate that a wrestler may lose by going to or being forced to the arena floor, like in a battle royale. An example of this type of match is the infamous match between Dean Malenko and Billy Kidman during WCW's Souled Out (2000), where Malenko lost in two minutes by forgetting the rules and escaping to the floor after a barrage of attacks from Kidman. "I Quit" match Main article: "I Quit" match A "I Quit" match is a match where a wrestler must force the other wrestler to submit in the form of saying the words "I Quit" into a microphone to win. This match is run under hardcore rules - no disqualifications, no countouts and the submission can happen anywhere. The referee follows the action with a microphone in hand during the event. "I Respect You" match A "I Respect You" match is also similar to an "I Quit" match, that means, anything goes. In order to win, a wrestler must hurt his opponent brutally that it leaves the other wrestler no other choice but force to say, "I Respect You" into the microphone. This match type took place at WCW's SuperBrawl VI in 1996 which marked Brian Pillman's final match in WCW in his "I Respect You" Strap Match against The Taskmaster, before Pillman shouted "I Respect You", Bookerman!", breaking kayfabe, before leaving the ring. Submission Count Anywhere match The Submission Count Anywhere match is a variation of a Submission and Falls Count Anywhere match, and was debuted at Breaking Point 2009 between D-Generation X and The Legacy. This is a match where a wrestler can be submitted anywhere to win, and there are no pinfalls, no disqualifications and no countouts. This match occurred only once in WWE history. Substance match The match is contested in a large container filled with various substances, typically between two female individuals who may or may not have experience with wrestling. Substances can include anything from mud to chocolate milk. Sometimes, specialty substances are used for certain occasions like gravy for Thanksgiving and egg nog for Christmas. A notable example of this match type was the Mimosa Mayhem Match, which was contested between Chris Jericho and Orange Cassidy at All Elite Wrestling's All Out pay-per-view in September 2020, where the only ways to gain victory were by pinfall, submission or by knocking the opponent into a large vat of mimosa. Unlike the traditional reasoning, the theme fit with both parties' gimmicks: Jericho was promoting his own line of champagne, and Cassidy is billed as "Freshly Squeezed" as part of his gimmick. Another example of this match was the Chocolate Pudding match when Candice Michelle defeated Melina in one of these matches. Blood Bath match A Blood Bath match is a no-disqualification match where the first to be covered in a vat of blood dispensed from a bucket loses. The Brood members Edge and Gangrel had a Blood Bath match on WWE Raw in August 1999. Mud match Perhaps the most notable substance match was a mud match, where wrestlers would wrestle in an area or container full of mud, usually away from the ring. Usually women would participate in these matches with some occasional male involvement. Hog Pen match A variation of a Mud Match is the Hog Pen match, which is a Mud Match held in a pig pen on a farm, often filled with mud and pig excrement. Triple H and Henry O. Godwinn participated in a Hog Pen match at WWE's In Your House 5 in December 1995. The only objective to win is to be the first wrestler to throw his opponent into a pig pen. Team matches Main article: Professional wrestling tag team match types Matches are often contested between two or more teams, most often consisting of two members each. Tag team matches can range from two teams of two fighting, to multiple man teams challenging each other. Tag Team match On most occasions, one member of the team competes in the ring with one or more of his or her teammates standing behind the ropes. Wrestlers switch positions by "tagging" one another, usually similar to a high five and, as a result, these teams are referred to as tag teams. This can create tension during the match as an injured wrestler in the middle of the ring attempts to reach his or her teammates, often with the heel team preventing them from doing so. In typical tag team matches, standard wrestling rules apply with a match ending by pinfall, submission, countout, or disqualification. Promotions usually have a tag team championship for a team of two wrestlers, and on rare occasion allies of the reigning tag team will be allowed to defend the title in the place of one of the reigning wrestlers under the Freebird rule. Though common in Mexican lucha libre, at one point, World Championship Wrestling (WCW) had a championship for teams of three. WWE also can have three (triple threat) or four (fatal four-way) tag teams going against each other as well. The Tag Team Triple Threat match (known as Tag Team Triangle match in WCW) involves three teams where a member of two teams are in the ring and can tag their partner or a member of the third team. The first team with an active competitor to win by pinfall or submission wins the match for the team.[128] The Tag Team Four Corners match (also known as Tag Team Fatal Four-Way match) is another variation that starts off with four teams positioned as in a tag team match and two wrestlers active in the ring. The two wrestlers in the ring can tag their partner or members of a team not already represented in the match. It is an advantage to have a team member tagged into the match as you can only win by being a legal competitor in the match and the one who scores the fall wins the match for the team. One example was a four team match for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship at Starrcade (2019). Another variation of the four-way tag team match is to have a member of each of the four teams in competition while their partners are on the apron and the active member who scores a pinfall or submission wins the match for the team. One example of this variation was contested for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship at Clash of Champions (2017). Sometimes a team will have members of three, four or five in non-elimination tag matches. They are often named based on the number of participants and gender involved. Six-Man (Six-Woman) Tag Team match (known as Trios match in AEW) is one variation. The Wyatt Family defeated The Shield at Elimination Chamber (2014) in a six-man tag team match. Tornado Tag Team match The tornado tag team match (Originally known as the Texas Tornado) is a hardcore-rules match where all wrestlers involved are allowed to be in and wrestle in the ring and elsewhere at the same time, and thus all wrestlers are vulnerable to having a fall scored against them. Whether or not it is truly a tag team match is debatable, as it involves no tagging, but it is contested between tag teams. The first match of this kind was held on October 2, 1937, in Houston between Milo Steinborn and Whiskers Savage against Tiger Daula and Fazul Mohammed. It was the brainchild of promoter Morris Sigel. Another well known example of this match is when The Shield (Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) challenged Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan & Kane) for the WWE Tag Team Championship at Extreme Rules (2013). Another example of this match is the renamed Anarchy in the Arena match at the 2022 All Elite Wrestling Double or Nothing pay-per-view event, where in a 5 vs 5 event Jericho Appreciation Society faced off against the Blackpool Combat Club, Eddie Kingston, and Santana & Ortiz. This particularly chaotic match has the bell ring the moment the 2nd team to go down the entrance stage appears. Elimination Tag Team match Tag team matches are occasionally held under elimination rules; that is, the losing wrestler is eliminated from the match, but their team is allowed to continue with their remaining members until all members of one team are eliminated. WWE and other promotions also has three or four tag teams going against each other as well. Anyone can be tagged in by anyone else and can be subject to immediate disqualification for failure to accept a tag. When a wrestler is pinned or force to submit, the entire team is eliminated and the last team remaining wins. In WWE, these matches are primarily featured during its Survivor Series pay-per-views, where they are billed as a "Survivor Series match". Teams of four or five, though on some occasions as many as seven, compete under elimination rules. All other standard rules apply, and team members may tag in and out in any order. While some teams are already established stables, others may need to recruit members for their team. In lucha libre promotions, a torneo cibernetico is a similar type of match between teams of up to eight wrestlers who enter in a predetermined order. Captain's Fall match A captain's fall match is a match where two teams of four competitors to compete in an elimination match and captains are assigned to both teams. The purpose of the match is to score a fall over the captain to get the win. Eliminations may occur until the captain is pinned or force to submit, the team loses if the captain is eliminated. This match type only occurred at WWE 205 Live on August 20, 2019 between Team Gulak and Team Lorcan. Tag Team Turmoil A tag team turmoil is another version of an elimination tag team match. The match has a team in each of the four corners to start the match, but as each team is eliminated another team takes its place, similar to a gauntlet match. Another variation of tag team turmoil took place at SummerSlam in 1999, Night of Champions in 2010, Night of Champions Kickoff Show in 2013, and Elimination Chamber in 2017. Two teams start, when one is eliminated a new team comes to the ring until all teams have competed, the remaining team is the winner. This was used on the May 31, 2011 episode of NXT, with a team consisting of a WWE pro and an NXT rookie. The winning team earned three redemption points for the rookie in this version. This was also used on the May 8, 2017 episode of Raw, where the winning team earned a number one contender's spot for Matt and Jeff Hardy's WWE Raw Tag Team Championship. Ultimate Endurance match Primarily associated with Ring of Honor (ROH), A Ultimate Endurance match is a tag team elimination match that typically includes three to four tag teams with the members of two. The match starts off with a particular set of special stipulations, with the stipulation changing every time a team is eliminated. These stipulations are predetermined and are not limited to any specific type. Mixed Tag Team match A mixed tag team match features mixed-sex teams that only wrestlers of the same sex may be in the ring at the same time will wrestle each other under the standard rules. For example, if a woman tags her male partner, both women leave the ring and both men enter. The Mixed Match Challenge tournament was debuted on January 16, 2018, which both team winners The Miz and Asuka won season one while R-Truth and Carmella won season two, earning themselves the No. 30 spots in the 2019 Royal Rumble matches and an all-expenses-paid vacation, respectively. Intergender Tag Team match A intergender tag team match features mixed-sex teams but it differs from the "Mixed Tag Team match" in which that both men and women can be in the ring at the same time to wrestle each other under the tornado tag team rules. This match was popularized in the early 2000s by Team Xtreme during the Attitude Era. Stadium Stampede match A Stadium Stampede match is a type of hybrid tag team, location and cinematic match that originated in All Elite Wrestling, and has been run twice at their Double or Nothing pay-per-view event. This match typically involves 10 wrestlers in a 5v5 match, and all five wrestlers of the two teams are each part of an established faction in AEW. This often violent and brutal match is contested under hardcore rules, and it starts in a ring in the middle of the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL stadium in Jacksonville, Florida, and progresses through various environments, such as bars, cargo loading areas and offices. The 2020 edition of this match stayed within the empty Jaguars Stadium and featured the teams brawling around the stadium, while the 2021 edition of this match had the combatants exit the empty stadium and then finally end up in the audience-present central event space at the adjacent Daily's Place outdoor amphitheatre, where the match was finished in the Daily's Place ring. The Inner Circle have participated in both Stadium Stampede matches.[129][130] Strange Bedfellows match A Strange Bedfellows match is a match where a member of one tag team has to team up with a member of another tag team they are feuding with. One example of this was when Matt Hardy had to team up with Christian against his brother/tag team partner Jeff Hardy and Christian's tag team partner Edge. Weapon-based variations Through the use of foreign objects, the matches generally take the name of the weapon being used ("Singapore cane match", "Chairs match"). In the following list of weapon-based matches additional rules have supplanted or replaced the standard rules. Arcade Anarchy match An Arcade Anarchy match is a tag-team hardcore match that originated in AEW where various items found in arcades like air hockey tables, mallet hammers (for Mogura Taiji (Whac-a-Mole)), various video game stalls, a claw crane and even Teddy bears filled with Lego bricks are made available and placed around the ring. There is also a "prize wall" made available with traditional hardcore professional wrestling weapons hanging on this wall. This match was first done on AEW Dynamite on March 31, 2021.[131] Bricks match A Bricks match is a match where concrete bricks are made available as weapons. Bricks were often integrated into no-rope barbed wire deathmatches, and bricks first made their appearance in Japanese deathmatches in 1993. Chairs match A Chairs match is a standard weapons match with any number of steel chairs being the only legal weapon to be used. This match can be won by pinfall or submission. Country Whipping match A Country Whipping match is a match where all competitors are armed with leather belts, which is the only legal weapon in the match. This was known to be The Godwinns speciality match. Crazy 8 match The Crazy 8 match, used mostly in the defunct Pro Wrestling Unplugged promotion, involves placing a championship belt at the top of a scaffold with the first wrestler to retrieve it being declared the winner. Placed in and around the ring for the wrestlers to use during the match are one side of a steel cage, two trampolines, and four rope swings.[132] Fans Bring the Weapons match A Fans Bring the Weapons match is a type of dangerous hardcore match where the competing wrestlers take random blunt objects from audience members and use them in the match. This match was first pioneered in Extreme Championship Wrestling in the mid-1990s. Good Housekeeping match A Good Housekeeping match is a match where various items usually found in private homes such as trashcans, kitchen sinks, ironing boards, pans, tables, brooms, utensils and various raw food ingredients are made available as weapons and these are the only legal weapons. This match is fought under no-disqualification and no-countout rules. Jeff Jarrett fought Chyna in a Good Housekeeping match at WWF's No Mercy 1999. Handcuff match A Handcuff match is a hardcore match when the only way to win is a wrestler must retrieve a pair of handcuffs then handcuff the opposing wrestler to a ring fixture but sometimes so that the opposing wrestler is unable to make use of their hands. Hangman's Horror match The Hangman's Horror match was created by Raven to end his feud with Vampiro w/James Mitchell at TNA's IMPACT Wrestling on October 29, 2003. The objective in this match is to wrap your opponent's neck with a steel chain and then proceed in hanging him over the ring ropes. Once he is declared unconscious by the referee, the person in charge of the horrific hanging will gain the victory. Kendo Stick match Johnny Devine (left) uses a kendo stick on Buck Gunderson during a match A kendo stick match, also known as a Singapore cane match or dueling canes match, is a standard weapons match with a kendo stick being the only legal weapon. Often, the ring will be lined with many kendo sticks for the wrestlers to use. Hardcore wrestling promotion Combat Zone Wrestling has used this match with fluorescent light tubes instead of kendo sticks. Ladder match Main article: Ladder match A ladder match is a no-disqualification style match in which a specific object (usually a title belt, a contract or a briefcase) is placed above the ring—out of the reach of the competitors—with the winner being the first person to climb a ladder and retrieve it. This is often used in WWE with their Money in the Bank matches.[133] The ladder may be used as a weapon. Casino Ladder match The Casino Ladder match was created by All Elite Wrestling as a variation of its Casino Battle Royale. A poker chip is hung above the ring beneath a ladder, which can be used as a weapon. The match starts with two wrestlers, with a new participant entering every 2 minutes. The first wrestler to grab the poker chip wins the match, and with it a future AEW World Championship match at a time and place of the wrestler's choosing. Notably, the match can be won before all of the intended participants have entered. Full Metal Mayhem match A Full Metal Mayhem match is a variation on a TLC match (see below), where in addition to tables and chairs being present, steel chains are made available, and any other weapon that is metallic (trashcans, thumbtacks) often make appearances. This match originated in TNA Impact Wrestling and this promotion has had at least one of these matches every year since 2005. King of the Mountain match Further information: King of the Mountain match The King of the Mountain match is described as a "reverse ladder match". Instead of retrieving an object hanging above the ring, the winner is the first person to use a ladder to hang a championship belt above the ring—after having scored a pinfall or submission (pinfalls count anywhere) to earn the right to try. A wrestler who has been pinned or forced to submit must spend two minutes in a penalty box.[134] Stairway to Hell match Used in ECW, a Stairway to Hell match is a ladder match with a weapon hanging over the ring. Rather than winning the match by retrieving this, the first wrestler to climb a ladder and retrieve the weapon is allowed to use it in the match. The match is won by standard pinfall or submission. TLC match Main article: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match A tables, ladders and chairs match, often abbreviated as TLC match, is an extension of a ladder match with chairs and tables also being present as legal weapons.[135] This match was introduced because each of the three teams specialized in one of these weapons: Edge and Christian were known for their frequent use of steel folding chairs and the tandem "con-chair-to" move; the Dudley Boyz were known for their pioneering, hard-hitting use of slamming their opponents through wooden event tables; and the Hardy Boyz were known for their high-flying acrobatics off of twin-step ladders. There had been a similar type of match at WrestleMania 2000 called the "Triangle Ladder Match" which also involved tables and chairs. But the first ever official TLC match took place between Edge and Christian, The Dudley Boyz and the Hardy Boyz at the WWF event Summerslam 2000; and another at Wrestlemania X-Seven. Due to the destructive, dangerous, violent, frenetic and physically demanding nature of these matches, every subsequent TLC match since the Wrestlemania X-Seven match was toned down to reduce the very high demands and risks this type of match poses. Since 2009, WWE has held a pay-per-view in December named TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, which features this match as its marquee matches. The match has two variations: one is competed as a ladder match, which the person/people must retrieve an object suspended above the ring, and the other is a traditional style match won by pinfall or submission. One particular spectacle that is generated from these matches is a war zone-like scene of mass destruction where destroyed tables, ladders, chairs and barely mobile wrestlers lay strewn in and around the ring. In WWE, Edge has competed in the most TLC matches (7) including the first three, and has often used this match to gain an advantage in a storyline, with some referring to it as his specialty match. Ultimate X match The Ultimate X match is a "ladder match without the ladders" where two cables are strung metal structures rising from the four corners of the ring, crossing above the middle of the ring, forming an "X" pattern. The objective of this match is to climb the turnbuckles and then climb hand-over-hand across the cables to claim the prize of the match, usually a championship belt. A signature match of Impact Wrestling's X Division, the match is contested by three or more wrestlers. Nigerian Drum Fight A Nigerian Drum Fight is a no-disqualification stipulation match where various musical percussion instruments used in traditional Nigerian music, such as bongos and a gong are made available at ringside, as are tables and kendo sticks. Big E faced Apollo Crews at WrestleMania 37 in a Nigerian Drum Fight. Object on a Pole match The Object on a Pole match, whose name is usually derived from the object being hung, i.e. "Brass knuckles on a Pole", "Steel chair on a Pole", "Singapore cane on a Pole", "Paddle on a Pole", "Viagra on a Pole", "Contract on a pole", "Michael Shechter on a Pole", "Mistletoe on a Pole" or "Judy Bagwell on a Pole", is the spiritual forebear of the ladder match. In this case, an object is placed on a pole that extends from one of the four turnbuckles on the ring with the wrestlers battling to reach it first.[136] Unlike the ladder match, however, reaching the object doesn't usually end the match; it simply allows that wrestler to use it as a weapon.[137] This is not a no-disqualification match; the weapon on the pole is merely an exception to the disqualification rule. However, this is sometimes a no-disqualification match in which any weapon, plus the one on the pole, can be used. This match is referred to by many wrestling critics as a "Russo Special", due to the propensity of WCW booker Vince Russo's use of Pole Matches during his tenure at the company. Another World Championship Wrestling specialty is the San Francisco 49ers match, where four boxes are placed in the four corners of the ring, one with the championship belt and the other three with weapons. You must find box with the belt to win the match and the championship. To date, this match is only known to have happened in a major wrestling federation once (Booker T. defeating Jeff Jarrett to become the WCW World Heavyweight champion on October 2, 2000). Multiple variations of the "Pole match" exist. In some cases the match is closer to the ladder match, in that reaching the object does end the match.[138] In others there will be objects above all of the turnbuckles.[139] Further still, there can be a mixture of the two, with an object placed at (though not above) each turnbuckle, one to end the match, the rest to be used as weapons.[140] Total Nonstop Action Wrestling used a "Pole match" as a setup to another match, placing objects at four of their six turnbuckles with the promise that the first wrestler to reach each object would be allowed to use them weeks later at an already scheduled cage match.[141] In a Feast or Fired match each case contains a contract to fight for a TNA World Heavyweight Championship, TNA Tag Team Championship or TNA X-Division Championship, with the final case contains a pink slip, mean the holder of that case would be fired immediately, but if the person holding the X-Division title shot briefcase went on to win that title, it cannot be cashed in right away for the World Heavyweight Championship (Option C). The Coal Miner's Glove match is a variation of the typical "Object on a Pole Match" in which the object in question is a coal miner's glove, which can be used on one's opponent upon retrieval. Biker Chain match A Biker Chain match is a match where a chain is attached to a pole and is the only legal weapon, but the object of this match is to pin your opponent. Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker did a Biker Chain match at WWE's No Mercy 2003. Pillow Fight A pillow fight is a match held for which pillows and a bed are placed in the ring.[125] The pillows may be used as weapons, but other than that, standard wrestling rules apply. Notably, Torrie Wilson once picked up the bed with Candice Michelle on it and threw it. Another variation, the Lingerie Pillow Fight, requires the participants to wear lingerie. Another variation, the Pajama Pillow Fight, requires the participants to wear pajamas.[125][142] Straitjacket match In a straitjacket match, a wrestler must put their opponent into a straitjacket, usually after knocking the opponent out or by rendering them unconscious by submission holds. It made its televised debut on TNA when Samuel Shaw beat Mr. Anderson by first rendering him unconscious with a chokehold and then putting him into the straitjacket.[143] On WWF Raw in June 1999, Ken Shamrock, who was the only participant confined to the straitjacket, still won his match with Jeff Jarrett after forcing him to submit to a headscissors submission hold. Strap match A strap match, known by many names and done with many slight variations, is any match in which the competitors are placed on the opposite ends of a restraint to keep them in close physical proximity. By definition, the strap and anything tied to it are considered legal and in play weapons. The most common rule for victory is to achieve a pinfall, but there is a common variation where one wrestler has to go around the ring and touch all four corners in quick order, without interruption.[144] Because of the strap's legality, and subsequent use as a choking device, submissions are generally not allowed.[145][146] The traditional strap match involves two wrestlers tied together via a leather strap, and the strap match is one of the most varied forms of professional wrestling match type, both in name and implements used, with the name used generally coming from the implement used and one or both of the participants. Common restraints include a belt, bullrope (length of rope with a cowbell the center), steel chains, one to two-foot "leash", or leather strap, where the wrestlers are tied together at one wrist. This match type is often named Caribbean Strap match when a wrestler from Puerto Rico (such as Savio Vega) is participating on the match or the match is being held on a Puerto Rican promotion like the International Wrestling Association. Dog collar match A Dog Collar match is a type of strap match where instead of a leather strap at a wrist, the competing wrestlers are bound together by the neck via dog collars and chains. Made famous by the match between Roddy Piper and Greg Valentine at Starrcade '83: A Flare for the Gold, AEW has brought the match back in recent times, with Brodie Lee vs. Cody following the stipulation in 2020 (the last match of the former's career before his death later that year), and CM Punk vs. MJF at Revolution being highly regarded for their violence. Four Corners Strap match The Four Corners Strap match is when the first wrestler to touch all four turnbuckle pads in succession without any form of interruption from his opponent or anyone else wins. If at any point a wrestler starts touching pads but is taken down before the wrestler can finish touching them all, they must start over again. There are no pinfalls, no submissions, no countouts, or no disqualifications in this match. At WCW's Uncensored 1995, Hulk Hogan actually dragged non-participant (Ric Flair) to all four corners to win his strap match against Big Van Vader. This match was renamed a Samoan Strap match for WWE's Extreme Rules 2009 pay-per-view with Umaga facing off against CM Punk. WCW has their own variation strap match as well named the Yapapi Indian Strap match between Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair at the 2000 Uncensored pay-per-view. A No Surrender Dog Collar Strap match is a match with the "No Surrender" stipulation added, meaning that neither competitor would be permitted to submit in the match. TNA had a main event at the TNA No Surrender 2005 pay-per-view for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship between Raven and Abyss, which Raven won. All Elite Wrestling (AEW) also has its own variation of the Four Corners Strap match, dubbed the South Beach Strap match, which has been used once in a match between Cody Rhodes and Q. T. Marshall at the Road Rager event in July 2021. It was named as such due to the event taking place in Downtown Miami, close to the neighbourhood of South Beach. Russian chain match A Russian Chain match is a type of strap match where instead of an elastic strap, a thick, 15-foot steel chain is used to bound the wrestlers, and this chain is often used as a weapon. This match has come under many names, including a Texas Chain match (a Biker Chain match is a variation of an Object on a Pole match) The Russian Chain match was the speciality match of Ivan Koloff and Boris Malenko. Texas bullrope match A Texas Bullrope match is a type of strap match where the wrestlers are bound together by a thick cattle rope with a cowbell attached; the objective of this match is to achieve a single pinfall, or in another variation, victory is achieved by touching all four turnbuckles successively similar to a standard Strap Match (as in the case of JBL vs. Eddie Guerrero in The Great American Bash (2004)). The Rock had his own signature match, the Brahma Bullrope match which was a renamed Texas Bullrope match. Steel Stairs match A Steel Stairs match is a match where the only legal weapon are any number of steel stairs typically situated the on opposite sides of the ring that can be used to enter the ring. The Big Show faced Erick Rowan in a Steel Stairs match at the TLC 2014 WWE pay-per view.[147] Symphony of Destruction match A Symphony of Destruction match is a match where various musical instruments are available at ringside as weapons. This is Elias's speciality match; it was first done in 2018 when Elias faced Braun Strowman.[148] Tables match Chris Jericho (left) and Shawn Michaels on a table at a 2008 house show in Puerto Rico A Tables match is a match in which, to win, one's opponent must somehow be driven through a table with an offensive move by their opponent. It can only be won with an offensive maneuver.[149] Tables matches can be contested with tag teams, under both elimination[150] and one fall rules. The first tables match in the WWE was a tag-team Tables match with The Hardy Boyz versus The Dudley Boyz (the latter were known for their pioneering use of tables in professional wrestling) at the 2000 Royal Rumble. The object of this match was to drive all team members through a table with offensive moves, but after the high level of violence and brutality, the extensive use of steel chairs, and the non-elimination and offensive move stipulations (even after one opponent had been driven through a table with an offensive move) of this particular match, the latter making the match difficult to understand and follow- the objective of every subsequent Tables match was toned down, focused primarily on tables as the premier weapon of this match and given clarity to have just one opponent to go through a table. It is common for tables matches to also include a "no-disqualification" clause, which turns them into hardcore matches by nature (although this variation may also be alternately known as a Hardcore Tables match). In some tag matches, a person can save his teammate by breaking the table with his own body. Apparently this does not count against the team.[151] Flaming Tables match A Flaming Tables Match, an Extreme Championship Wrestling specialty match, where the tables are set on fire, and the only way to win is to put opponents through the lit tables.[152] Thanksgiving Leftovers Throwdown The Thanksgiving Leftovers Throwdown is a specialty match based on the Thanksgiving holiday debuted on the November 26, 2021 Black Friday edition of SmackDown between Rick Boogs and Angel Garza. It is a standard wrestling match albeit the tables surrounding the ring with leftover foods with no opponent being thrown into the table although Humberto Carrillo, who distracted Boogs with Boogs' guitar, was thrown into one of the tables by Shinsuke Nakamura.[153] Two out of Three Tables match A Two out of Three Tables match is a hardcore match where it can only be won when a wrestler/team puts their opponent/team through two tables, but it does not have to be at the same time. Performing a move on double tables does not count as a victory. It is also a variation of a two out of three falls match. Taped fist match For a taped fist match the wrestlers are allowed to tape and/or wrap their hands to allow them to punch harder without damaging their hands. The wrestlers must compete with their fists taped, the idea being that this would make it harder to grab each other while at the same time protecting their hands while punching, basically encouraging the athletes to "fight" instead of wrestle.[154] In one variation, the Taipei Deathmatch, the taped fists are dipped in super glue, then broken glass.[155] Viking Rules match The Viking Rules match is essentially viking-themed hardcore match with the ring decorated in a style of a viking ship. This match was introduced by The Viking Raiders on the September 2, 2022 edition of SmackDown (taped on August 26, 2022) defeating The New Day.[156] Water Fight A water fight is a match which the ring is surrounded with buckets of water, water guns and water balloons to use as weapons but other than that; standard wrestling rules apply. Notably, Jillian Hall once smacked Mickie James over the head with a water gun during this match. Weapon Rumble match The Weapon Rumble match is a stipulation invented in DDT Pro-Wrestling in which, similarly to a Rumble rules match, with every time interval a new weapon is introduced in the match. The weapons are chosen by the participants beforehand and can widely vary due to the loose interpretation of the definition of a "weapon" that's used by the company in a comedic manner.[157] Weapons Wild match A Weapons Wild match is a match where various blunt weapons are made available along the padded barriers at ringside, and are all legal. Wrestlers are armed with at least one weapon when they start the match. This match originated in WWE’s NXT promotion. Winner Takes All match A Winner Takes All match, also known as a title-versus-title match, is a match in which both wrestlers (or teams if a tag team match) are champions going into the match, and the winner receives the championship of the loser, thus "taking all".[158][159] This differs from a championship unification match, where one championship is absorbed into the other and retired/deactivated. In a Winner Take All scenario, both titles are still active and defended as separate entities. In some cases such as the WWE Universal Championship and WWE Championship in 2022, the championships are defended in the same match but still remain separate entities." (wikipedia.org) "Yuke's Co. Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer based in Osaka. It was established on 26 February 1993 by Yukinori Taniguchi. The company is best known for developing the WWE video game series, based on the professional wrestling promotion of the same name, until 2018. History Founded in 1993, Yuke's was named after founder Yukinori Taniguchi's high school nickname. The first two games that the company developed were the platform game Hermie Hopperhead and the pro wrestling game Toukon Retsuden.[2] The latter title was a best-seller in Japan.[3] Though Activision purchased the rights to publish the game in North America and began localization work,[3] only the first game was localized, becoming Power Move Pro Wrestling with a different roster of wrestlers. Beginning in 2000, Yuke's began to develop wrestling games for THQ based on the World Wrestling Federation (WWF; now WWE). They were recommended to THQ by Aki, who had developed their own line of wrestling games.[2] From 2005 to 2012, Yuke's owned 54% of New Japan Pro-Wrestling, the top professional wrestling promotion in Japan.[4][5][6] In August 2019, then-series publisher 2K Games announced it had moved WWE game development to California-based studio Visual Concepts.[7] Earlier that year, Yuke's had revealed its frustration over what it had been able to achieve with recent WWE 2K games and suggested that its relationship with publisher 2K Sports was partly responsible. Producer Hiromi Furuta revealed that Yuke's had established a new development team tasked with creating a rival wrestling IP, with the intention of reinvigorating its staff.[8] On November 10, 2020, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) announced an upcoming console game developed by Yuke's, led by Def Jam Vendetta and WWF No Mercy director, Hideyuki "Geta" Iwashita.[9] Games developed These are the list of games that the company developed.[10] Year Title Publisher(s) Platform(s) 1995 New Japan Pro-Wrestling: Toukon Retsuden Tomy PlayStation 1995 Hermie Hopperhead: Scrap Panic SCEI 1996 New Japan Pro-Wrestling: Toukon Retsuden 2 Tomy 1997 Ucchannanchan no Honō no Challenger: Denryū Iraira Bō Hudson Soft Nintendo 64 1998 New Japan Pro-Wrestling: Fighting Spirit Blazing Road BRAVE SPIRITS 1998 New Japan Pro-Wrestling: Toukon Retsuden 3 Tomy PlayStation 1998 Soukaigi SquareSoft 1998 Shin Nippon Pro Wrestling: Fighting Spirit Blazing Guidance 2 - The Next Generation Hudson Nintendo 64 1999 Evil Zone Titus Software PlayStation 1999 Last Legion UX Hudson Nintendo 64 1999 New Japan Pro-Wrestling: Toukon Retsuden 4 Tomy Dreamcast 1999 Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage ASCII Corporation 2000 WWF SmackDown! THQ PlayStation 2000 WWF Royal Rumble Arcade, Dreamcast 2000 WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role PlayStation 2000 The Pro Wrestling 2 D3 Publisher 2001 WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It THQ PlayStation 2 2002 EOE: Eve of Extinction Eidos Interactive 2002 Edit Racing D3 Publisher 2002 WWE WrestleMania X8 THQ GameCube 2002 WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth PlayStation 2 2003 WWE WrestleMania XIX GameCube 2003 WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain PlayStation 2 2004 Online Pro Wrestling Yuke's 2004 WWE Day of Reckoning THQ GameCube 2004 Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō Sammy Corporation PlayStation 2 2004 WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw THQ 2004 Rumble Roses Konami 2005 D1 Grand Prix Yuke's 2005 WWE Day of Reckoning 2 THQ GameCube 2005 D1 Grand Prix 2005 Yuke's PlayStation 2 2005 WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006 THQ PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable 2005 Wrestle Kingdom Yuke's PlayStation 2, Xbox 360 2006 The Dog: Happy Life PlayStation Portable 2006 WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 THQ PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360 2007 The Dog Island Ubisoft PlayStation 2, Wii 2007 Wrestle Kingdom 2 Yuke's PlayStation 2 2007 Go! Sports Ski SCEI PlayStation 3 2007 Neves Atlus Nintendo DS 2007 WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 THQ PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Xbox 360 2007 Soukou Kihei Votoms Bandai Namco Entertainment PlayStation 2 2008 Double D Dodgeball Yuke's Xbox 360 2008 Mobile Suit Gundam 00: Gundam Meisters Bandai Namco Entertainment PlayStation 2 2008 Neverland Card Battles Idea Factory PlayStation Portable 2008 WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 THQ PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Xbox 360 2009 WWE Legends of WrestleMania PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iOS 2009 UFC 2009 Undisputed PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 2009 WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010 Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Xbox 360 2010 UFC Undisputed 2010 PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360 2010 WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Xbox 360 2011 Real Steel Yuke's PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 2011 WWE '12 THQ PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360 2012 UFC Undisputed 3 PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 2012 WWE '13 PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360 2013 Pacific Rim Yuke's Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 2013 WWE 2K14 2K Sports PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 2014 WWE 2K15 PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One 2015 WWE 2K16 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One 2016 WWE 2K17 2017 WWE 2K18 Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One 2018 WWE 2K19 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One 2019 Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain D3 Publisher Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 2020 Earth Defense Force: World Brothers Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 2023 AEW Fight Forever THQ Nordic Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S" (wikipedia.org) "THQ Inc. was an American video game company based in Agoura Hills, California. It was founded in April 1990 by Jack Friedman, originally in Calabasas, and became a public company the following year through a reverse merger takeover. Initially working in the toy business, it expanded into the video game business through several acquisitions before shifting its focus away from toys entirely. THQ continued its trend of acquiring companies throughout the 2000s. The company published both internally created and externally licensed content in its product portfolio. THQ's internally created game series included Darksiders, De Blob, Destroy All Humans!, MX vs. ATV, Red Faction, and Saints Row, among others. The company also held exclusive, long-term licensing agreements with sports and entertainment content creators, such as Disney, DreamWorks Animation, Nickelodeon, and WWE. After years of financial struggles, stock value drop, and debt, THQ filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2012 and commenced liquidation of its assets the following month. Several properties were auctioned to other companies, while the remaining staff were laid off. The "THQ" trademark was eventually acquired by developer Nordic Games (which had also acquired some of THQ's auctioned-off properties) in 2014 and assumed the name "THQ Nordic" in 2016, while continuing a variety of their franchises under said name." (wikipedia.org) "World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., doing business as WWE, is an American professional wrestling promotion. A global integrated media and entertainment company, WWE has also branched out into other fields, including film, American football, and various other business ventures. The company is additionally involved in licensing its intellectual property to companies to produce video games and action figures. The promotion was founded in 1953 as the Capitol Wrestling Corporation. It is the largest wrestling promotion in the world with its main roster divided up into two primary touring groups, along with a developmental roster based in Orlando, Florida (referred to by WWE as "brands"). Overall, WWE is available in more than 1 billion homes worldwide in 30 languages. The company's global headquarters is located in Stamford, Connecticut,[6] with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai and Munich.[7] As in other professional wrestling promotions, WWE shows are not legitimate contests but entertainment-based performance theater, featuring story line-driven, scripted, and partially-choreographed matches; however, matches often include moves that can put performers at risk of injury, even death, if not performed correctly. The pre-determined aspect of professional wrestling was publicly acknowledged by WWE's owner Vince McMahon in 1989 in order to avoid taxes from athletic commissions. WWE brands its product as sports entertainment, acknowledging wrestling's roots in competitive sport and dramatic theater. The company's majority owner is its executive chairman, third-generation wrestling promoter Vince McMahon, who retains a 38.6% ownership of the company's outstanding stock and 81.1% of the voting power. The current entity, which was originally named Titan Sports, Inc., was incorporated on February 21, 1980, in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts. It acquired Capitol Wrestling Corporation Ltd., the holding company for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), previously known as the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), in 1982. Titan was renamed World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. in 1999, and then World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. in 2002. Since 2011, the company has branded itself solely with the initials WWE, though the legal name has not changed since 2002.[8] Company history Main article: History of WWE Before Titan Sports (1953–1980) Main article: Capitol Wrestling Corporation WWE's origins can be traced back as far as the 1950s when on January 7, 1953, the first show under the Capitol Wrestling Corporation (CWC) was produced. There is uncertainty as to who the founder of the CWC was. Some sources state that it was Vincent J. McMahon,[9][10][11] while other sources cite McMahon's father Jess McMahon as founder of CWC.[12][13][14] The CWC later joined the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and famous New York promoter Toots Mondt soon joined the promotion. Vincent J. McMahon with Verne Gagne and Bruno Sammartino in 1975. Vincent J. McMahon and Toots Mondt were very successful and soon controlled approximately 70% of the NWA's booking power, largely due to their dominance in the heavily populated Northeastern United States. In 1963, McMahon and Mondt had a dispute with the NWA over "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers being booked to hold the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.[15] Mondt and McMahon were not only promoters but also acted as his manager and were accused by other NWA promoters of withholding Rogers making defenses in their cities versus only defending in Mondt and McMahon's own cities thus maintaining a monopoly on the world title. In a now infamous situation, the NWA sent former five-time world champion and legitimate wrestler Lou Thesz to Toronto to face Rogers on January 24, 1963. Thesz recalls this was not planned and prior to the match remembered telling Buddy "we can do this the easy way or the hard way." Rogers agreed to lose the fall and title in a one fall match versus the traditional two out of three fall matchup that most world title matches were defended. Once word reached back to Mondt and McMahon, at first they simply ignored the title change. From January until April 1963, Rogers was promoted as the NWA World Champion, or simply the World Heavyweight Champion, in their area. The World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) was not an immediate creation after Rogers's one fall loss to Thesz. Mondt and McMahon both eventually left the NWA in protest and formed the WWWF in the process. They brought along with them Willie Gilzenberg, long time boxing and wrestling promoter in New Jersey. In April 1963, the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship was created, with the promotion claiming that inaugural champion Rogers had won a tournament in Rio de Janeiro on April 25, 1963, defeating long time Capitol Sports favorite Antonino Rocca in the finals. In reality, Rocca was no longer in the area, as he was working for Jim Crockett Sr. in the Carolinas. Rogers also had already suffered what would later be a career ending heart attack on April 18 in Akron, Ohio, and was in an Ohio hospital during the time the alleged tournament took place.[16] Rogers lost the championship to Bruno Sammartino a month later on May 17, with the promotion beginning to be built around Sammartino shortly after.[17] In June 1963, Gilzenberg was named the first president of the WWWF.[18] Mondt left the promotion in the late 1960s and although the WWWF had previously withdrawn from the NWA, McMahon quietly re-joined in 1971. The WWWF was renamed to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1979. Titan Sports, Inc. (1980–1999) Early years (1980–1982) Vincent J. McMahon's son, Vincent K. McMahon, and his wife Linda, established Titan Sports, Inc., in 1980 in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts and applied trademarks for the initials "WWF".[19][20] The company was incorporated on February 21, 1980, in the Cape Cod Coliseum offices, then moved to the building on Holly Hill Lane in Greenwich, Connecticut. Boom period (1982–1992) Main article: 1980s professional wrestling boom Vince McMahon, the owner of the WWE since 1982. He was the chairman and CEO until 2022. The younger McMahon bought Capitol from his father in 1982, effectively seizing control of the company. The actual date of sale is still unknown but the generally accepted date is June 6, 1982; however this was likely only the date the deal was struck but not finalized. On WWF television, Capitol Wrestling Corporation maintained copyrights and ownership past the June 1982 date. The World Wrestling Federation was not solely owned by Vincent J. McMahon but also by Gorilla Monsoon, Arnold Skaaland and Phil Zacko. The deal between the two McMahons was a monthly payment basis where if a single payment was missed, ownership would revert to the elder McMahon and his business partners. Looking to seal the deal quickly, McMahon took several loans and deals with other promoters and the business partners (including the promise of a job for life) in order to take full ownership by May or June 1983 for an estimated total of roughly $1 million with the three business partners receiving roughly $815,000 among them and Vincent J. McMahon receiving roughly $185,000.[21] Seeking to make the WWF the premier wrestling promotion in the country, and eventually, the world, he began an expansion process that fundamentally changed the wrestling business.[22] At the annual meeting of the NWA in 1983, the McMahons and former Capitol employee Jim Barnett all withdrew from the organization.[15] McMahon also worked to get WWF programming on syndicated television all across the United States. This angered other promoters and disrupted the well-established boundaries of the different wrestling promotions, eventually ending the territory system, which was in use since the founding of the NWA in the 1940s. In addition, the company used income generated by advertising, television deals, and tape sales to secure talent from rival promoters, to which McMahon discussed in an interview with Sports Illustrated. McMahon was quoted as saying: "In the old days, there were wrestling fiefdoms all over the country, each with its own little lord in charge. Each little lord respected the rights of his neighboring little lord. No takeovers or raids were allowed. There were maybe 30 of these tiny kingdoms in the U.S. and if I hadn't bought out my dad, there would still be 30 of them, fragmented and struggling. I, of course, had no allegiance to those little lords."[22] McMahon gained significant traction when he hired American Wrestling Association (AWA) talent Hulk Hogan, who had achieved popularity outside of wrestling, notably for his appearance in the film Rocky III.[23] McMahon signed Roddy Piper as Hogan's rival, and then shortly afterward Jesse Ventura as an announcer. Other wrestlers joined the roster, such as The Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, Junkyard Dog, Paul Orndorff, Greg Valentine, and Ricky Steamboat, joining existing stars such as Jimmy Snuka, Don Muraco, Sgt. Slaughter and André the Giant. Many of the wrestlers who would later join the WWF were former AWA or NWA talent. The WWF would tour nationally in a venture that would require a huge capital investment, one that placed the WWF on the verge of financial collapse. The future of McMahon's experiment came down to the success or failure of McMahon's groundbreaking concept, WrestleMania. WrestleMania was a major success and was (and still is) marketed as the Super Bowl of professional wrestling. The concept of a wrestling supercard was nothing new in North America; the NWA had begun running Starrcade a few years prior. In McMahon's eyes, however, what separated WrestleMania from other supercards was that it was intended to be accessible to those who did not watch wrestling. He invited celebrities such as Mr. T, Muhammad Ali, and Cyndi Lauper to participate in the event, as well as securing a deal with MTV to provide coverage. The event and hype surrounding it led to the term Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection, due to the cross-promotion of popular culture and professional wrestling. The WWF business expanded significantly on the shoulders of McMahon and his babyface hero Hulk Hogan for the next several years. The introduction of Saturday Night's Main Event on NBC in 1985 marked the first time that professional wrestling had been broadcast on network television since the 1950s when the now-defunct DuMont Television Network broadcast matches of Vincent J. McMahon's Capitol Wrestling Corporation. The 1980s "Wrestling Boom" peaked with the WrestleMania III pay-per-view at the Pontiac Silverdome in 1987, which set an attendance record of 93,173, a record that stood for 29 years until WrestleMania 32.[24] A rematch of the WrestleMania III main event between WWF champion Hulk Hogan and André the Giant took place on The Main Event I in 1988 and was seen by 33 million people, the most-watched wrestling match in North American television history.[25] In 1983, Titan moved its offices to Stamford, Connecticut, though the current building was built and opened on May 13, 1991. Subsequently, a new Titan Sports, Inc. (originally WWF, Inc.) was established in Delaware in 1987 and was consolidated with the Massachusetts entity in February 1988.[26] New Generation (1992–1997) Main article: Monday Night Wars The WWF was hit with allegations of steroid abuse and distribution in 1992. This was followed by allegations of sexual harassment by WWF employees the following year.[27][28] McMahon was eventually exonerated, but the allegations brought bad public relations for the WWF, and an overall bad reputation. The steroid trial cost the company an estimated $5 million at a time of record low revenues. This helped drive many WWF wrestlers over to rival promotion World Championship Wrestling (WCW), including 1980s babyface hero Hulk Hogan. During this period, the WWF promoted wrestlers of a younger age comprising "The New Generation", featuring Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Razor Ramon, Bret Hart, and The Undertaker, in an effort to promote new talent into the spotlight. In January 1993, the WWF debuted its flagship cable program Monday Night Raw. WCW countered in September 1995 with its own Monday night program, Monday Nitro, which aired in the same time slot as Raw.[29] The two programs would trade wins in the ensuing ratings competition (known as the "Monday Night Wars") until mid-1996. At that point, Nitro began a nearly two-year ratings domination that was largely fueled by the introduction of the New World Order (nWo), a stable led by former WWF performers Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall (the former Razor Ramon), and Kevin Nash (the former Diesel).[30] Start of the Attitude Era (1997–1999) Main article: Attitude Era See also: Montreal Screwjob As the Monday Night Wars continued between Raw Is War and WCW's Nitro, the WWF would transform itself from a family-friendly product into a more adult-oriented product, known as the Attitude Era. The era was spearheaded by WWF VP Shane McMahon (son of owner Vince McMahon) and head writer Vince Russo. 1997 ended with McMahon facing real-life controversy following Bret Hart's controversial departure from the company, dubbed as the Montreal Screwjob.[31] This proved to be one of several founding factors in the launch of the Attitude Era as well as the creation of McMahon's on-screen character, "Mr. McMahon". Before the Montreal Screwjob, which took place at the 1997 Survivor Series, former WCW talent were being hired by the WWF, including Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mankind, and Vader. Austin was slowly brought in as the new face of the company despite being promoted as an antihero, starting with his "Austin 3:16" speech shortly after defeating Jake Roberts in the tournament finals at the King of the Ring pay-per-view in 1996.[32] On April 29, 1999, the WWF made its return to terrestrial television, airing a special program known as SmackDown! on the fledgling UPN network. The Thursday night show became a weekly series on August 26, 1999 – competing directly with WCW's Thursday night program titled Thunder on TBS. World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. (1999–2002) Initial public offering (1999) In the summer of 1999, Titan Sports, Inc. was renamed World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. On October 19, 1999, World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. launched an initial public offering as a publicly traded company, trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with the issuance of stock then valued at $172.5 million.[33] The company is traded on the NYSE under ticker symbol WWE.[34] Victory in the Monday Night Wars and end of the Attitude Era (1999–2002) Main article: The Invasion (professional wrestling) By the fall of 1999, the Attitude Era had turned the tide of the Monday Night Wars into WWF's favor. After Time Warner merged with America Online (AOL), Ted Turner's control over WCW was considerably reduced, and the newly merged company announced a complete lack of interest in professional wrestling as a whole and decided to sell WCW in its entirety. Although Eric Bischoff, whom Time Warner fired as WCW president in October 1999, was nearing a deal to purchase the company, in March 2001 McMahon acquired the rights to WCW's trademarks, tape library, contracts, and other properties from AOL Time Warner for a number reported to be around $7 million.[35] Shortly after WrestleMania X-Seven, the WWF launched the Invasion storyline, integrating the incoming talent roster from WCW and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). With this purchase, WWF now became by far the sole largest wrestling promotion in North America and in the world. The assets of ECW, which had folded after filing for bankruptcy protection in April 2001, were purchased by WWE in 2003.[36] In 2000, the WWF, in collaboration with television network NBC, announced the creation of the XFL, a new professional football league that debuted in 2001.[37] The league had high ratings for the first few weeks, but initial interest waned and its ratings plunged to dismally low levels (one of its games was the lowest-rated prime-time show in the history of American television). NBC walked out on the venture after only one season, but McMahon intended to continue alone. However, after being unable to reach a deal with UPN, McMahon shut down the XFL.[38] WWE maintained control of the XFL trademark[39][40] before McMahon reclaimed the XFL brand, this time under a separate shell company from WWE, in 2017[41] with intent to relaunch the XFL in 2020.[42] On June 24, 2002, episode of Raw, Vince McMahon officially referred to the start of the next era, called the "Ruthless Aggression" era.[43][44] World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (2002–present) Lawsuit and renaming (2002) WWE Chairwoman and CEO Stephanie McMahon (right) with her husband WWE CCO and Head of Creative Triple H (left). On May 6, 2002, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) changed both its company name and the name of its wrestling promotion to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) after the company lost a lawsuit initiated by the World Wildlife Fund over the WWF trademark.[45][46] Although mainly caused by an unfavorable ruling in its dispute with the World Wildlife Fund regarding the "WWF" initialism, the company noted it provided an opportunity to emphasize its focus on entertainment.[47] First brand split (2002–2011) Main articles: WWE brand extension and WWE Draft In March 2002, WWE decided to create two separate rosters, with each group of wrestlers appearing on one of their main programs, Raw and SmackDown!, due to the overabundance of talent left over from the Invasion storyline. This was dubbed as the "brand extension". Beginning in 2002 a draft lottery was held nearly every year to set the rosters, with the first draft to determine the inaugural split rosters, and subsequent drafts designed to refresh the rosters of each show. WWE expanded the brand extension by relaunching ECW as a third brand on May 26, 2006.[48] Two years later, WWE adapted a more family-friendly format and their programming received a TV-PG rating.[49] The final ECW program aired on February 16, 2010, after which it was replaced with NXT.[50] On April 7, 2011, WWE, via the WWE Corporate website, announced that the company was ceasing use of the full name World Wrestling Entertainment and would henceforth refer to itself solely as WWE, making the latter an orphan initialism. This was said to reflect WWE's global entertainment expansion away from the ring with the ultimate goal of acquiring entertainment companies and putting a focus on television, live events, and film production. WWE noted that their new company model was put into effect with the relaunch of Tough Enough, being a non-scripted program (contrary to the scripted nature of professional wrestling) and with the launch of the WWE Network (at the time scheduled to launch in 2012; later pushed back to 2014). However, the legal name of the company still remains as World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.[8] Brand reunification (2011–2016) Beginning with the August 29, 2011, episode of Raw, it was announced that Raw would feature talent from both Raw and SmackDown, and would be known as Raw Supershow (the "Supershow" suffix would be dropped on July 23, 2012).[51] Championships previously exclusive to one show or the other were available for wrestlers from any show to compete for; the "Supershow" format would mark the end of the brand extension, as all programming and live events from when the original announcement was made until July 2016 featured the full WWE roster.[52] In 2013, the company built the sports medicine and training facility WWE Performance Center in the east Orange County, Florida in partnership with Full Sail University from Winter Park, Florida. The training facility is targeted at career and athletic development for the company's wrestlers.[53] Full Sail is also home base to WWE's NXT brand,[54] which served as a developmental territory for WWE.[55] Beginning in 2015 WWE started to push Roman Reigns as their face of the company since having him win the 2015 Royal rumble match, amidst mixed reception. By 2017 Roman Reigns became their highest merchandise seller.[56] Launch of second brand split (2016–2020) Raw and SmackDown have been WWE's two main brands since the brand extension concept was first initiated in 2002. On May 25, 2016, WWE announced a relaunch of the brand extension, billed as the "New Era". Following that announcement, Raw and SmackDown now each feature their unique rosters, announcers, ring sets/ropes, and championships. A draft took place to determine which wrestlers would appear on what show. SmackDown also moved from Thursdays to Tuesday nights, which began on July 19 (the night of the aforementioned draft), and airs live instead of the previous pre-recorded format.[57] On November 29, 2016, WWE introduced a new program specifically for their cruiserweight division (wrestlers 205 lbs. and under) called WWE 205 Live.[58] The program focuses exclusively on those wrestlers who qualify for the division.[59][60] The cruiserweights – who first became a fixture in WWE with the Cruiserweight Classic tournament – were originally exclusive to the Raw brand at the onset of the 2016 brand extension, before landing their own brand.[61] On December 15, 2016, it was announced that WWE was establishing a new WWE United Kingdom Championship, with the winner being decided by a 16-man tournament to air on WWE Network featuring wrestlers from the UK and Ireland during January 2017. WWE executive Paul "Triple H" Levesque said the eventual plan with the new title and tournament was to establish a UK-based brand with its own weekly television show.[62][63] WWE subsequently launched its UK-based brand as an offshoot of NXT, NXT UK, in June 2018, with Johnny Saint serving as inaugural general manager.[64] Starting in September 2019, NXT had a weekly, live, two-hour show Wednesday nights on the USA Network and WWE began promoting NXT as their "third brand".[65][66] However, in 2021 NXT was moved to Tuesday nights, having conceded the Wednesday Night Wars to rival promotion All Elite Wrestling (AEW), and in September of that year was reinstated to its original function as the developmental brand for the main roster (Raw and SmackDown), under the name "NXT 2.0". COVID-19 pandemic and return to touring (2020–2022) Further information: Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sports In March 2020, WWE began to be impacted by the American onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In mid-March, three of the four major sports leagues had announced that they would close locker rooms to the media as a precautionary measure. As other sports cancellations and postponements were being announced, WWE officially announced on March 12 that its weekly programs, beginning with the following night's episode of SmackDown, would be filmed at the Performance Center without spectators and with only essential staff present – the March 11 episode of NXT had been recorded at the Performance Center with paying fans, thus being WWE's last event to have ticketed fans in attendance before the pandemic took full effect.[67][68] WrestleMania 36 was scheduled to take place on April 5 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa; on March 16, WWE announced that the event would also be held behind closed doors in Orlando.[69][70] WrestleMania, as well as Raw and SmackDown for a period before and after WrestleMania, shifted from live broadcasts to a pre-recorded format.[71] NXT continued to air from Full Sail University, but under similar restrictions.[72][73] Live broadcasts returned on April 13, with the existing arrangements continuing; WWE stated to ESPN.com that "we believe it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times", and that the company's programming "bring[s] families together and deliver a sense of hope, determination and perseverance".[72][73] It was subsequently reported that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had deemed WWE a business critical to the state's economy, and had added an exception under the state's stay-at-home order for employees of a "professional sports and media production" that is closed to the public and has a national audience.[74][75] The decision was met with criticism from media outlets, with several media outlets pointing out that DeSantis's actions happened on the same day a pro-Donald Trump political action committee led by Linda McMahon, who was previously a part of Trump's cabinet, pledged to spend $18.5 million in advertising in Florida, and that, also on the same day, Vince McMahon was named part of an advisory group created by Trump to devise a strategy in re-launching US economy.[76][77][78][79] On April 15, WWE announced a series of cuts and layoffs in response to the pandemic, including releasing a number of performers (Karl Anderson, Kurt Angle, Aiden English, EC3, Epico, Luke Gallows, Curt Hawkins, No Way Jose, Sarah Logan, Mike Kanellis, Maria Kanellis, Primo, Erick Rowan, Rusev, Lio Rush, Zack Ryder, Heath Slater, and Eric Young), three producers (Dave Finlay, Shane Helms and Lance Storm), referee Mike Chioda, and multiple NXT/Performance Center trainees and staff. WWE executives also took a pay cut, and the company has also suspended construction on its new headquarters for at least six months.[80] The firings caused significant backlash by fans; with Business Insider calling them "livid." Both fans and several media outlets pointed out that while WWE claimed that these actions were "necessary due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic", the WWE also claimed to have "substantial financial resources. Available cash and debt capacity currently total approximately $0.5 billion". DeSantis's claimed WWE was "essential", which meant that the company's revenues loss would be limited.[76][81] In August 2020, WWE relocated from the Performance Center to Orlando's Amway Center for a long-term residency, broadcasting episodes of Raw, SmackDown, and pay-per-views through a virtual fan viewing experience called WWE ThunderDome. Inside the ThunderDome, drones, lasers, pyro, smoke, and projections were utilized to enhance the wrestlers' entrances on a level similar to that of pay-per-view productions pre-pandemic. Nearly 1,000 LED boards were installed to allow for rows and rows of virtual fans. It was free of charge for fans to virtually attend the events, though they had to reserve their virtual seat ahead of time.[82][83][84] WWE remained at the Amway Center up through early December before relocating the ThunderDome to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.[85][86] The ThunderDome relocated to Yuengling Center, located on the campus of the University of South Florida in Tampa, beginning with the April 12, 2021, episode of Raw.[87][88] In October 2020, NXT events were relocated from Full Sail University to the Performance Center in a similar setup dubbed the Capitol Wrestling Center. It had many of the same features as the ThunderDome, but with a small crowd of select live fans included, in addition to the virtual fans. The name is also an homage to WWE's predecessor, the Capitol Wrestling Corporation.[89][90] On May 21 WWE announced that they would be bringing back fans full time, beginning with a 25-city tour, thus ending the ThunderDome residency. The July 16 episode of SmackDown started WWE's return to the road, taking place at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. In January 2021, WWE announced that WrestleMania 37, which was originally to be held in Inglewood, California on March 28, would be held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida – WrestleMania 36's original location – as a two-night event on April 10 and 11 and would have fans in attendance, though to a limited capacity.[91] This marked WWE's first event during the pandemic to have ticketed fans in attendance with a maximum of 25,000 spectators for each night with COVID-19 protocols in place.[92] Also around this time, WWE announced that the WWE Network in the United States would become exclusively distributed by Peacock on March 18, 2021 (ahead of Fastlane and WrestleMania 37). The merger of the WWE Network and Peacock did not affect the service outside of the United States.[93] NXT was moved to a Tuesday night timeslot in 2021 and was rebooted as NXT 2.0 later that year, reinstituting its original function as a developmental territory. The Performance Center became NXT's permanent home base, replacing Full Sail. Maximum capacity crowds resumed and the Capitol Wrestling Center name was phased out.[94] In February 2022, the 205 Live brand was dissolved and the 205 Live show was replaced by a new NXT show called Level Up.[95] On February 24, 2022, WWE announced a partnership with On Location, a company known for providing premium hospitality experiences for marquee events. Through the partnership, spectators will have access to hospitality packages for WWE's five biggest events, including WrestleMania, SummerSlam, Royal Rumble, Survivor Series, and Money in the Bank. The 2022 Money in the Bank was WWE's first event to offer the premium hospitality packages. These ticket and travel packages include premier seating, premium hospitality offerings, and meet-and-greets with current WWE wrestlers and legends.[96] Change in leadership (2022–present) On June 17, 2022, amidst an investigation by WWE's Board of Directors into reported "hush money" paid to a former employee by Vince McMahon following an affair, Mr. McMahon stepped down as chairman and CEO of WWE and was replaced by his daughter, Stephanie McMahon, as the interim chairwoman of WWE.[97][98] Despite the change Vince McMahon came out on WWE SmackDown, that night opening the show with a brief speech, the highlights of which "then, now, forever and most importantly together" was quoted by various news media as Vince letting people know that he was still in creative control from behind the scenes.[99][100] On July 22, 2022, Vince McMahon officially announced his retirement on Twitter, stating, "At 77, time for me to retire. Thank you, WWE Universe. Then. Now. Forever. Together."[101] Following Vince's retirement announcement, Stephanie McMahon was officially named chairwoman while she and Nick Khan were named co-CEOs of WWE.[102] Triple H would take over as head of creative, while resuming his position as Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and later being promoted to Chief Content Officer.[103][104] Commentators have highlighted the significance of McMahon's retirement, saying that it marked the historic start of a new period in WWE's history.[105][106][107][108][109][110][111] The 2022 SummerSlam event held on July 30, 2022, was the first WWE pay-per-view event to be held under the leadership of Stephanie McMahon and Triple H.[112][113] On August 18, 2022 WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels was promoted to WWE Vice President of Talent Development Creative.[114] In January 2023, Vince McMahon announced intentions to return to the company ahead of media rights negotiations. WWE's media rights with Fox and USA Network are set to expire in 2024.[115] That same month, JPMorgan were hired to handle a possible sale of the company, with companies such as Comcast (owners of NBCUniversal and long-time partners of WWE), Fox Corp (broadcaster of SmackDown), Disney (owners of ESPN), Warner Bros. Discovery (broadcasters of rival promotion AEW), Netflix, Amazon, Endeavor Group Holdings (owners of UFC), and Liberty Media being in the speculation for buying the company,[116] with CAA and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund also on the list.[117] On January 10, 2023 Stephanie McMahon resigned as Chairwoman and co-CEO, also on the same day Vince McMahon assumed the role of executive Chairman of the WWE while Nick Khan became the sole CEO of the WWE.[118] Championships and accomplishments Current championships Main article: List of current champions in WWE Main roster The WWE and Universal Championships - while maintaining their separate lineages - are jointly defended across both brands as the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship The Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Championships - while maintaining their separate lineages - are jointly defended across both brands as the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship The WWE Women's Tag Team Championship is defended across both brands. Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days held Location Notes Ref. WWE Championship Roman Reigns Tribute to the Troops 2016.jpg Roman Reignsdouble-dagger 4 April 3, 2022 320 Arlington, Texas Defeated Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 38 Night 2 in a Winner Takes All match in which Reigns defended SmackDown's Universal Championship. With both championships, Reigns is recognized as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. [119] Universal Championship 2 August 30, 2020 901 Orlando, Florida Defeated previous champion "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman, who Reigns pinned, in a No Holds Barred Triple Threat match at Payback in 2020. After winning Raw's WWE Championship at WrestleMania 38 Night 2 on April 3, 2022, Reigns is recognized as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. [120] Raw Tag Team Championship The Usos as SD Tag Team Champions (cropped).jpg The Usosdouble-dagger (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) 3 May 20, 2022 273 Grand Rapids, Michigan Defeated RK-Bro (Randy Orton and Riddle) on SmackDown in a Winners Take All match in which The Usos defended the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. With both championships, The Usos are recognized as the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions. [121] SmackDown Tag Team Championship 5 July 18, 2021 579 Fort Worth, Texas Defeated Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio on the Money in the Bank Kickoff pre-show. After winning the Raw Tag Team Championship on the May 20, 2022, episode of SmackDown, The Usos are recognized as the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions. [122] WWE Women's Tag Team Championship Dakota Kai Axxess 2018.jpg Io Shirai - 2019-04-25 - 01 (cropped).jpg Damage CTRLdagger (Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky) 2 November 5, 2022 104 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Defeated Alexa Bliss and Asuka at Crown Jewel. [123] Raw Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days held Location Notes Ref. Raw Women's Championship Bianca Belair (cropped).jpg Bianca Belair 1 April 2, 2022 321 Arlington, Texas Defeated Becky Lynch on WrestleMania 38 Night 1. [124] United States Championship Austin Theory at Alpha 1.jpg Austin Theory 2 November 26, 2022 83 Boston, Massachusetts Defeated previous champion Seth "Freakin" Rollins and Bobby Lashley in a triple threat match at Survivor Series WarGames. [125] SmackDown Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days held Location Notes Ref. SmackDown Women's Championship Charlotte Flair NOLA 2018.jpg Charlotte Flair 7 December 30, 2022 49 Tampa, Florida Defeated Ronda Rousey on SmackDown. [126] Intercontinental Championship Walter 16 Carat Gold 2020 N3 (cropped).jpg Gunther 1 June 10, 2022 252 Baton Rouge, Louisiana Defeated Ricochet on SmackDown. [127] Developmental NXT Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days held Location Notes Ref. NXT Championship Steiner in 2023.jpg Bron Breakker 2 April 4, 2022 319 Dallas, Texas Defeated Dolph Ziggler on Raw. [128] NXT Women's Championship Rok-C in July 2021 (cropped).jpg Roxanne Perez 1 December 13, 2022 66 Orlando, Florida Defeated Mandy Rose on NXT. [129] NXT North American Championship Dezmond Xavier 2019.jpg Wes Lee 1 October 22, 2022 118 Orlando, Florida Defeated Carmelo Hayes, Von Wagner, Nathan Frazer, and Oro Mansah in a five-man ladder match for the vacant title at Halloween Havoc. Previous champion Solo Sikoa was stripped of the title as he was not originally booked in the match in which he won it. [130] NXT Tag Team Championship Mark Coffey April 2019.jpg Wolfgang at Alpha-1 2019.jpg Gallus (Mark Coffey and Wolfgang) 1 February 4, 2023 13 Charlotte, North Carolina Defeated former champions The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods), Chance University (Andre Chase & Duke Hudson), and Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince & Kit Wilson) in a fatal four-way tag team match at NXT Vengeance Day. [131] NXT Women's Tag Team Championship Tesha Price.jpg Fallon Henley and Kiana James 1 February 4, 2023 13 Charlotte, North Carolina Defeated Katana Chance and Kayden Carter at NXT Vengeance Day. [131] Contracts Main article: List of WWE personnel WWE signs most of its talent to exclusive contracts, meaning talent can appear or perform only on WWE programming and events. They are not permitted to appear or perform for another promotion unless special arrangements are made beforehand. WWE keeps all wrestlers' salary, employment length, benefits, and all other contract details strictly private.[132] WWE classifies its professional wrestlers as independent contractors and not as employees. A study by the University of Louisville Law Review found that after applying the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 20-factor test, 16 factors "clearly indicate that wrestlers are employees". However, as a result of WWE terming them as independent contractors, "the wrestlers are denied countless benefits to which they would otherwise be entitled".[133] In September 2020, WWE reportedly told wrestlers that they could no longer "engage with outside third parties", such as Cameo, and claimed that the WWE "owns the real names of talent, not just their character names".[134] In December 2021, WWE revealed a new recruitment contract for athletes who are currently attending college. The NCAA-approved name, image, and likeness contracts are referred to by WWE as "next in line agreements".[135] Stock and corporate governance On October 19, 1999, WWF, which had been owned previously by parent company Titan Sports, launched an initial public offering as a publicly traded company, trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with the issuance of stock then valued at $172.5 million.[33] The company has traded on the NYSE since its launch under ticker symbol WWE.[34] The company has actively marketed itself as a publicly traded company through presentations at investor conferences and other investor relations initiatives.[136] In June 2003, the company began paying a dividend on its shares of $0.04 per share.[137] In June 2011, the company cut its dividend from $0.36 to $0.12.[138] In 2014, concerns about the company's viability caused wide fluctuations in its share price.[139] Notable executives: Vince McMahon - Majority owner, Co-Founder, and Executive Chairman Nick Khan - CEO[140] Paul "Triple H" Levesque - Chief Content Officer[141]... Terminology WWE uses a variety of special terms in promoting their product, such as describing the wrestling industry as sports entertainment. The fan base is referred to as the "WWE Universe" for the main roster shows, while for NXT shows, they are also referred to as the "NXT Universe". Main roster wrestlers are designated a "WWE Superstar", while those in NXT are also referred to as an "NXT Superstar". Retired wrestlers are described as "WWE Legends", while those who have been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame are called "Hall of Famers".[235] WWE Network and distribution deals Main article: WWE Network On February 24, 2014, WWE launched a 24/7 streaming network. The network includes past and present WWE shows, pay-per-views, and shows from the WWE Library.[236] The network reached 1,000,000 subscribers on January 27, 2015, in less than one year of its launch, with WWE claiming that it was thus "the fastest-growing digital subscription service ever".[237] In May 2014, WWE and NBCUniversal agreed to a new contract that would see both Raw and SmackDown continue on NBC owned networks the USA Network and Syfy.[238] In January 2016, SmackDown would change networks to the USA Network. The contract with NBCUniversal expires in 2019.[239] On November 17, 2016, WWE and Sky Deutschland signed a multi-year agreement to distribute WWE's premier pay-per-view events and broadcast Raw and SmackDown Live on SKY Sports starting in April 2017.[240] On April 10, 2017, WWE and DAZN, announced that Raw and SmackDown would be available live in Japan with Japanese commentary for the first time ever.[241] On April 27, 2017, WWE and TV5, announced a new agreement to broadcast one-hour editions of SmackDown.[242] On May 12, 2017, WWE and Saran Media, announced a new multi-year agreement to televise Raw and SmackDown.[243] On July 10, 2017, WWE and AB 1, extended their partnership into its 18th year with a new, multi-year agreement to broadcast WWE programming.[244] On July 20, 2017, WWE and SuperSport, announced a new, multi-year agreement to broadcast WWE programming live for the first time in more than 50 countries.[245] On August 1, 2017, WWE and Foxtel, extend their partnership into its 18th year with a new agreement to broadcast WWE programming.[246] On August 8, 2017, WWE and Canal 1, a new agreement to broadcast One-hour editions of Raw and SmackDown.[247] On August 16, 2017, WWE and Nine Network announced a broadcast agreement to air weekly one-hour versions of Raw and SmackDown.[248] On August 24, 2017, WWE and Flow announced a multi-year agreement to televise WWE's flagship programmes Raw and SmackDown.[249] On September 7, 2017, WWE and TVA Sports announced a multi-year agreement to air a weekly, one-hour only edition of Raw, in French in Canada.[249] On October 24, 2017, WWE and Sport TV announced a multi-year agreement to air Raw and SmackDown.[250] On December 15, 2017, WWE and IB SPORTS, they will extend their partnership with a new agreement to broadcast WWE programming live for the first time in South Korea.[251] On December 18, 2017, WWE and SPS HD, announced an agreement to broadcast Raw and SmackDown on SPS Sports for the first time in Mongolia.[252] On December 13, 2017, WWE and Facebook announced a new Internet in-ring series called WWE Mixed Match Challenge that will stream live in the U.S. exclusively on Facebook Watch. Premiering on January 16, 2018, the 12-episode series will feature wrestlers from both the Raw and SmackDown rosters competing in a single-elimination mixed tag-team tournament to win $100,000 to support the charity of their choice. Each episode will be 20 minutes long and will air at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.[253] In early 2021, WWE announced that the WWE Network in the United States would become exclusively distributed by Peacock starting on March 18, 2021 (ahead of Fastlane and WrestleMania 37). The merger of the WWE Network and Peacock did not affect the service outside of the United States.[93] Expansion beyond wrestling Subsidiaries Active TSI Realty Co. (1997–present): In 1997, WWE established a real estate brokerage and investment firm called TSI Realty Company.[254] WWE Archives (2010–present): Warehouses where WWE holds classic wrestling gears, props, and equipment. WWE Books (2002–present): A book series that often publishes biographies of WWE personalities, behind-the-scenes guides to WWE, illustrated books, calendars, young adult books, and other nonfiction books. WCW Inc. (2000–present): A WCW subsidiary that was originally created as W. Acquisition Company in 2000. It was renamed WCW Inc. in 2001 following the WWF's purchase of WCW and owns the rights to the video library and intellectual property for World Championship Wrestling. WWE Legacy Department (2001–present): A collection of professional wrestling videos and copyrights. WWE Studios (2002–present): A subsidiary that creates and develops feature film properties. In November 2017, WWE announced that WWE Studios will now include scripted, non-scripted, family and animated television and digital content. Formerly known as WWE Films. WWE Music Group (2006–present): A music group that specializes in compilation albums of WWE wrestlers' entrance themes. The group also releases titles that have been performed by WWE wrestlers. WWE Jet Services, Inc. (2013–present): A subsidiary formed to manage the financing and operations of the company's fleet of private jets. WWE Performance Center (2013–present): A subsidiary that serves as the usual training center for future employees. WWE Network (2014–present): A subscription-based video streaming service that uses the infrastructure of Endeavor Streaming. WWEShop.com (2015–present): A website established as the place to buy officially licensed WWE-related apparel, gear, and several other of the merchandise's products. Alpha Entertainment (2018–present): A limited liability company that was established in 2018 by Vince McMahon for the purpose of being the parent company of the new XFL. While McMahon stated that the XFL would remain as a separate company from WWE, it was revealed through WWE's 2018 10-K that the company holds a minority stake in Alpha Entertainment.[255] WWE Podcast Network (2019–present): A podcast network that features several WWE wrestlers hosting their own podcasts. WWE partnered with Endeavor Audio to launch the network.[256] Defunct World Bodybuilding Federation (1990–1992): A subsidiary of Titan Sports which promoted professional bodybuilding through a television show, magazine, and annual pay-per-view events. Radio WWF (1993) A syndicated radio station hosted by Jim Ross and Johnny Polo. The station featured shows that would cover ongoing WWF storylines and behind the scenes incidents. Radio WWF hosts also provided commentary for two pay-per-views. Wrestle Vessel (1996–1999): A series of WWF-themed cruise ship experiences. XFL (2000–2001): An partially-owned subsidiary of the WWF which comprised eight league-owned professional football teams. The league included television broadcasts on NBC (the other co-owners of the league), UPN, and TNN. The World Entertainment (1999–2003): A subsidiary of World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment that operated a restaurant, nightclub, and memorabilia shop in New York City. World originally opened as "WWF New York", and was renamed to "The World". Hard Rock Cafe took over the location in 2005. WWE Niagara Falls (2002–2011): A retail store that was located in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. The store featured autograph signings and appearances by WWE wrestlers, alumni, and Hall of Famers. WWE Classics on Demand (2004–2014): A subscription video-on-demand television service. Classics had footage from WWE's archive footage, including World Championship Wrestling, Extreme Championship Wrestling, and others. Classics offered around 40 hours of rotating programming per month, arranged into four programming buckets, and often centered on a specific theme. WWE Kids (2008–2014): A website and comic set, aimed at the children's end of the wrestling market. WWE Kids' comics were produced bi-monthly. WWE Universe (2008–2011): A social media website which was managed and operated by WWE. Its original name was "WWE Fan Nation" and was renamed as "WWE Universe". WWE Magazine (1983–2014): WWE's magazine – originally released bi-monthly, it later switching to a monthly schedule, before being discontinued in 2014. WWE Home Video (1997–present): A home video subsidiary that specialized in distributing VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray Disc copies of WWE pay-per-view events, compilations of WWE wrestlers' performances and entrances, and biographies of WWE performers." (wikipedia.org) "WWE SmackDown! Here Comes The Pain (or HCTP) is the fifth instalment of the SmackDown! series, and a sequel to WWE Smackdown! Shut Your Mouth.... Features HCTP is considered a favourite by many (whether it is for improved graphics/sound/gameplay/presentation). Secondly, this game is the second game in the series not to include commentary. Thirdly, it is the only game in the series to have won a Player's Choice Award. Fourth, HCTP boasts one of the largest wrestler roster of any Smackdown game released to date, featuring 65 Superstars and Divas from around the 2002-2003 season (if one includes the 11 WWE/F Legends that debuted in the game), with an additional 32 Create A Wrestler slots that would boost the available roster of characters to about 97 total wrestlers for players to utilize. Moreover, the game included 21 different match setups. Another bonus is that all of the Create A Wrestler parts were available from the word "go" (in Smackdown! Shut Your Mouth, players progressed through Season Mode to unlock CAW parts). Furthermore, as mentioned above, HCTP included (for the first time in the series) eleven Legends from the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Game Modes Creation Create an Appearance Create a Moveset Create an Animation Create a Stable Create a Taunt Other Notables Revamped grapple system (pressing grapple button+directional button to initiate, then grapple+directional button to do actual move) New body damage meter, which measure damage done to different parts of wrestler's body Last appearance of Create An Animation/Taunt mode. Roster A-Train Batista The Big Show Booker T Brock Lesnar Bubba Ray Dudley Charlie Haas Chavo Guerrero Chris Benoit Chris Jericho Christian D-Von Dudley Eddie Guerrero Edge Goldberg Goldust The Hurricane Jazz John Cena Kane Kevin Nash Kurt Angle Lance Storm Lita Matt Hardy Randy Orton Rey Mysterio Rhyno Ric Flair Rico Rikishi Rob Van Dam The Rock Rodney Mack Sable Scott Steiner Sean O’Haire Shawn Michaels Shelton Benjamin Stacy Keibler Stephanie McMahon Steven Richards Stone Cold Tajiri Test Torrie Wilson Triple H Trish Stratus Ultimo Dragon The Undertaker Val Venis Victoria Vince McMahon Legends Animal George Steele Hawk Hillbilly Jim Iron Shiek Jimmy Snuka Nikolai Volkoff Roddy Piper Sergeant Slaughter Ted DiBiase The Undertaker (Early ‘90s) Removed Characters Al Snow Bill DeMott Billy Gunn Billy Kidman Bradshaw Chief Morley Hardcore Holly Hollywood Hulk Hogan Hulk Hogan Hulk Hogan '80s Jamal Jeff Hardy Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli Molly Holly Mr. America Nunzio Rosey Scotty 2 Hotty Spike Dudley The Ultimate Warrior William Regal" (smackdown.fandom.com) Condition: Good, Condition: In very good, pre-owned condition and complete. Please see photos and description., Region Code: NTSC-U/C (US/Canada), Platform: Sony PlayStation 2, Release Year: 2003, Rating: T-Teen, Video Game Series: WWE 2K, Sub-Genre: Wrestling, Features: Manual Included, Multiplayer, Greatest Hits, MPN: 103768, Publisher: THQ, Genre: Sports, Game Name: WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain, Country/Region of Manufacture: United States

PicClick Insights - WWE SMACKDOWN HERE COMES THE PAIN PS2 video game CIB PlayStation 2 wrestling vtg PicClick Exclusive

  •  Popularity - 19 watchers, 0.2 new watchers per day, 105 days for sale on eBay. Super high amount watching. 0 sold, 1 available.
  •  Best Price -
  •  Seller - 1,145+ items sold. 0% negative feedback. Great seller with very good positive feedback and over 50 ratings.

People Also Loved PicClick Exclusive