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Shades of the Masked Man!
August 13, 2014 9:01 PM   Subscribe

BAH GAWD! (exp.) — A shocked evocation of the deity in order to underscore the gravity of a moment or situation, popularized by announcer Jim Ross. Must be screamed loudly in a pinched Southern tenor. (Related expressions: MAH GAWD!; GOOD GAWD ALMIGHTY!; slobberknocker — an unsightly brawl; shades of [wrestler X] — when a wrestler uses a move in a manner reminiscent of a previous wrestler; business has just picked up — an unexpected entrance that raises the stakes in a segment; bowling shoe ugly — a roughneck or plainly (and woefully) uncoordinated match; That’s [wrestler X]’s music! — a surprise appearance by a wrestler, as forewarned by his entrance music playing before he appears in person.)

Feeling overwhelmed by wrestling, sorry, sports entertainment lingo? David Shoemaker at Grantland presents the Grantland Dictionary: Pro Wrestling Edition.
posted by Ghidorah (31 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think the world would be a better place if we could just all agree that on the scale of Things That Are Terrible For You, watching Pro Wrestling is wayyyy down on that list, somewhere around "having a second slice of cheesecake"

Yea, you probably shouldn't, but in the end, it's just harmless fun. Like using the word "Slobberknocker" in real life.
posted by WeX Majors at 9:27 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


Like using the word "Slobberknocker" in real life.

MAH GAWD! GOOD GAWD ALMIGHTY!!!!
posted by eriko at 9:31 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


Real Talk though, One of my favorite things ABOUT being a fan of this silly niche, is the awesome Insider Terms that can go back 114 years. A lot of the terms that involve Crowd Reactions, I use all the time, because if Marking Out doesn't describe your reaction perfectly to say...The Red Wedding, or other key moments in Walking Dead or any other time you've ever Fist Pumped in excitement, what other term could be used? But the idea that certain Old School Wrestlers hate Fans using the terms because "You're Not In The Business" reminds me of the same sort of attitude that thinks that TxtSpeak is destroying the english language.
posted by WeX Majors at 9:42 PM on August 13 [4 favorites]


Pinfall, rubber match, and bell-to-bell (also between the bells) might be obvious, but I would have included them anyway. I'm a little surprised not to see shortarm, which is when a tag-team wrestler backs into his corner refusing to let his wounded partner tag out.
posted by cribcage at 11:01 PM on August 13


Saying "marking out" just seems so natural now in everyday pop culture discussion, like saying "heel turn" or "angle" or asking "work or shoot?" It's the sort of thing where I completely forget that other people have no idea what I'm talking about.

"Nikki and Paulo? Ooh, talk about X-Pac heat."
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 11:02 PM on August 13 [3 favorites]


So many of these terms are useful in other entertainment forms as well. Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence have all been getting major pushes lately. Robin Thicke has been getting buried.
posted by The Gooch at 11:24 PM on August 13


Ugh, Robin Thicke would have been such a better example for me to use than Nikki and Paulo. God, look at me and my dated references over here, I'm worse than Lawler.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 12:29 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


This is a great resource, if only for this gif that I could watch all damn day.
posted by Etrigan at 6:01 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm happy this corner of pop culture gets as much love as it does on Metafilter - Modernist classical music composers, history involving cyclones in Hong Kong, using pneumatic cannon to launch living fish upstream, and a glossary of pro-wrestling terms. A good day on the blue.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:03 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


WARNING: Using these terms among those in the professional wrestling business will not endear you to them. In fact, the exact opposite effect may occur.
Yes. It's important to recognize that there are wrestling terms that, unlike the Jim Ross slang quoted up there, are insider terms and are never, ever uttered on TV broadcasts. It is rumored that the announcing career of Matt Stryker was cut short because he couldn't help to yell "I'm marking out, bro!" while announcing his first Royal Rumble.
posted by infinitelives at 7:25 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


It's important to recognize that there are wrestling terms that, unlike the Jim Ross slang quoted up there, are insider terms and are never, ever uttered on TV broadcasts.

I was astounded at the last (possibly 2013) Royal Rumble when Michael Cole said something to the effect of "This is the [so-and-so] character's first appearance in the Royal Rumble," explicitly drawing an on-air line between the character and the person. That's always been a huge smark no-no -- I've seen perfectly pleasant conversations shut down instantly when someone uses a real name (someone in an autograph line called Edge "Adam," and he just snapped into "Whatever, dude" mode and moved the line along).
posted by Etrigan at 7:38 AM on August 14


The gifs made the article, to me. I'm torn between Matt Hardy falling off the ropes to illustrate "drizzling shits" and Flair whooooooooing to highlight Space Mountain.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:15 AM on August 14


> Yes. It's important to recognize that there are wrestling terms that, unlike the Jim Ross slang quoted up there, are insider terms and are never, ever uttered on TV broadcasts. It is rumored that the announcing career of Matt Stryker was cut short because he couldn't help to yell "I'm marking out, bro!" while announcing his first Royal Rumble.

Times they are a changing. Triple H now refers to conversations with his friend Mark, and why sometimes Mark can't have what Mark wants.
posted by vbfg at 8:27 AM on August 14


True. I'm still not sold on this "Reality Era" thing, and it's the drizzling shits a lot of the time, but HHH sure knows how to work the internet marks.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:31 AM on August 14


> explicitly drawing an on-air line between the character and the person

Well, even in kayfabe sometimes people change characters. Mankind, Cactus Jack, and Dude Love all being Mick Foley was the whole point; more recently, Cody Rhodes’s evolution into Stardust happened on-screen.

I don’t remember Cole’s line in particular, but was it about Tensai? Because I think they storyline-recognized that yes, that was [Prince] Albert, who had returned from a decade wrestling in Japan with a new style. And they’ve given kayfabe explanations for both “Michael McGillicutty” and “Curtis Axel” being used as stage names by Joe Hennig.

On the other hand, when Windham Rotunda dropped from the televised roster to development and came up with his new character, there was no acknowledgment at all that Husky Harris and Bray Wyatt were the same person (despite chants from the audience). And there’s no on-screen acknowledgment that the original Sin Cara has been replaced by Hunico, even though the tattoos are clearly visible.

In conclusion, *BRAP!* 🌌🐑👊💫
posted by nicepersonality at 8:44 AM on August 14


I don’t remember Cole’s line in particular, but was it about Tensai?

Man, now I have to watch a bunch of Royal Rumbles again. grumblegrumblebriarpatchgrumble
posted by Etrigan at 8:49 AM on August 14


Man, now I have to watch a bunch of Royal Rumbles again.

It's not all that bad. I mean, there's at least two or three of them that didn't end with John Cena overcoming the odds to win the rumble. At least two or three. Maybe.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:10 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]


The gifs made the article, to me. I'm torn between Matt Hardy falling off the ropes to illustrate "drizzling shits" and Flair whooooooooing to highlight Space Mountain

Another "Thank heavens I grew up before the era of cameraphones and youtube" moment: As a teenager it was more or less impossible for me to put on a suit without standing in front of the mirror and reciting a full scale Ric Flair "...if you want to RIDE Space Mountain" promo
posted by The Gooch at 9:38 AM on August 14 [3 favorites]


I don’t remember Cole’s line in particular, but was it about Tensai?

Man, now I have to watch a bunch of Royal Rumbles again.


Ah, here it is. 2014 Rumble, 2:20 into the broadcast: JBL enters at #24 from the broadcast position, and Cole says, "The JBL character has never ever entered a Royal Rumble match. This is his debut in the Royal Rumble match." Various Bradshaw incarnations appeared in four Rumbles between 1998 and 2004 before becoming JBL.
posted by Etrigan at 9:54 AM on August 14


Oh wow on the Husky Harris - Bray Wyatt thing, I suddenly remembered when Punk introduced Luke Gallows (now huge in Japan as DOC Gallows) mentioning that "you might remember him as Festus". And I was "Why!? What was the need to shine light on the guy's previous stupid as hell gimmick of a dim hillbilly that went berserk as soon as the bell rang?"

More to the point of the article, it must be noted you don't need to know any of the terms to enjoy wrestling, even full knowing that it is scripted. They are mostly useful to navigate message boards and dirt sheets, because they refer to backstage stuff that the general audience supposedly is better not knowing as to not further fracture the already fragile illusion of their storytelling.

For me, finding out what a "jobber" was really put the whole thing on its head when I was a kid. Not that it was planned that a guy would lose, which I knew, but that it was important that he would lose, as to make the other opponent look good. Opened my eyes to pro-wrestling hierarchies and the roles of the low and mid cards.
posted by infinitelives at 2:12 PM on August 14


Thank you, Ghidorah, and the rest of y'all here.

The intersection of "[past or current] wrestling fans" and "MetaFilter users" is where My People are, and posts like this make me very happy.

(Not kayfabe).
posted by graphnerd at 6:56 PM on August 14 [2 favorites]


Infinitelives, I remember growing up watching things like Saturday Nights Main Event and whatever shows would pop up on non-cable channels. It took me years to realize that Koko B Ware was never going to lose on one of those shows, even though I was always terrified he would. To some extent, the original push of Ryback taking on local jobbers made me realize how much things have evolved with wrestling. In the eighties, you almost never saw big names wrestle each other unless it was on a ppv or SNME. The Saturday afternoon wrestling shows were just pure filler, really. Some of the people I've read say that having Lesnar win, and only show up occasionally will be good for restoring some of the weight the belt used to have.

The thing is, we're so used to seeing names fight other names, and the outcome always being in question (exception:Cena always wins, and recently, Cesaro must lose, for some stupid reason). I doubt many fans are as gullible as I was, worrying that Joe Mcjobberpants would actually beat Brutus the Barber, and I wonder how people would react to it. I mean, anything that makes Heath Slater, Dolph, even Sandow look good, I'm all for it.

Poor Sandow. I can't imagine any kind of push that would make people forget the last year.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:21 PM on August 14


The thing is, we're so used to seeing names fight other names, and the outcome always being in question (exception:Cena always wins, and recently, Cesaro must lose, for some stupid reason). I doubt many fans are as gullible as I was, worrying that Joe Mcjobberpants would actually beat Brutus the Barber...

This is why the 1-2-3 Kid thing was so brilliant.
posted by graphnerd at 7:38 PM on August 14


I can't imagine any kind of push that would make people forget the last year.

As terrible as the material he's been given, he has worked his ass off with it. It's the very definition of eating shit and liking it. It's a shame that he's being "wasted" in such a way, but at the same time, he's on TV every week with something to do. Yes, it's an incredibly stupid something, but he's on TV.

But yeah, I do think it's going to be hard to come back from, unfortunately.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:04 AM on August 15


That's the thing about Sandow that amazes me. Ziggler has taken to twitter loudly and often to complain about WWEs use of him, but Sandow is there for pretty much every show, coming out in whatever awful gimmick they've given him, and running with it. I'd love to know what's going on. Is he being punished for something? Is he doing this because he wants to? Like Slater, it's pretty amazing his willingness to go all out with it. But yeah, with Slater's mini-push (for Slater, winning three matches is a huge push), it's hard to really get into it because it just feels so certain that he'll be back to jobbing any moment now. With Slater, though, his character hasn't changed in years, and he's pretty established as a character. Sandow, though, he's got a character, but it's been pretty badly muddied by all of this. Damn shame.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:24 AM on August 15


Yeah, all these guys are hard workers, but I think Slater and Sandow figure that they'll always be mid-card guys and want to show that they'll make the most of it and maybe get the odd transitional push. Their personalities are tremendous and show through all the stupid crap.

Ziggler has, whether it's warranted or not, aspirations for the top, and seems to be frustrated at having to work the mid-card at all.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:37 AM on August 15 [1 favorite]


Poor Sandow. I can't imagine any kind of push that would make people forget the last year.

Now I'm trying to think of the wrestler who has come back from the worst burial to the highest pinnacle. Bad gimmicks are one thing (Rocky Maivia, Vinnie Vegas...), but straight-up Sandow level jobberism really does seem to kill you dead forever, at least in the modern (say, WrestleMania onward) era.

Maybe Glenn Jacobs, from pointless comedy acts Isaac Yankem and Fake Diesel to multiple world titles and startling longevity as Kane? But even that was more bad-gimmick than jobber-to-the-stars status.
posted by Etrigan at 6:14 AM on August 15


That's part of the problem with the product right now. There are just very few credible threats. I don't know how you fix that without gutting the roster and starting over (which ... I guess the recent signings might make that possible).
posted by uncleozzy at 8:35 AM on August 15


I think bringing back enhancement talent would be huge. Seeing Sandow lose to everybody on the roster would be a lot different if you also saw him squash the occasional local indy guy in 2 minutes every now and then. It puts over the fact that everybody above him is at a pretty elite level.

I used to use my dad as the baseline for how tough wrestlers were. I grew up watching mainly Mid-South/UWF in the 80s and there was a guy, Perry Jackson, who was just starting out at the time. He was low on the card of course, but he had a couple of matches on TV with no-name job guys who I thought my dad could probably beat up pretty easily and I got it in my head that my dad could probably hang with Perry Jackson if he ever had to wrestle him. The next time Mid-South came through my town, Perry Jackson wrestled One Man Gang. And by 'wrestled' I mean 'was destroyed by.' Gang attacked Jackson and just killed him. Security had to hold him back to keep him from attacking the paramedics who were trying to get Jackson on a stretcher. And I (7 or 8 years old at the time) just sat there numb the whole time thinking that if that monster somehow turned his attention on me that nobody in the world could protect me from him.

So yeah, enhancement talent.
posted by sporkwort at 10:11 PM on August 15 [2 favorites]


(That was also the first time my parents ever sprung for ringside seats and the last time I ever asked them to.)
posted by sporkwort at 10:14 PM on August 15


I've always enjoyed squash matches with jobbers. I don't see them as filler. They can be effective at moving storylines forward. The catch is, you need the broader structure to support that: weekly promos, involved announcers, etc. If you eliminate managers and stop taping promos and fire Jim Ross, then yeah, you require the in-ring action to shoulder more weight.

It puts over the fact that everybody above him is at a pretty elite level.

Indeed. Also, having jobbers is how you introduce new talent without knotting up the rest of your roster. In today's WWE we are constantly getting new "monsters" who maul half the roster as they march up to main-event status for one or two PPVs and then settle into the lower half of the midcard, where we're supposed to forget they were unstoppable.
posted by cribcage at 12:42 AM on August 16 [1 favorite]


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