If you’ve ever watched professional wrestling, you know that it is a fast-paced and entertaining show. The main debate about professional wrestling is if there are scripted aspects. So, let’s talk about it. 

Professional wrestling is a scripted entertainment show. This means that match outcomes and promos get written ahead of time. However, this does not take away from the physicality and potential dangers of being a professional wrestler. 

Let’s talk more about how professional wrestling works and what it means that wrestling is a scripted show.

What Does Wrestling Being Scripted Mean?

Being scripted means that writers decide on match decisions, segments, and promos ahead of the show. There is a script in professional wrestling  when it comes to production as well. 

If you have heard of pro wrestling, you’ve heard the age-old term “it’s not fake, it’s scripted.” This comment has silenced many haters of professional wrestling, but it is important to explain exactly what we mean when we say scripted. 

Let’s start by talking about the parts of the show that are scripted and, therefore, predetermined. Segments are the names given to each on-screen moment in professional wrestling. These segments are written into a physical script for each show, especially for companies like WWE, live on TV. 

Writers allot each segment a certain amount of time on the show. This includes breaks, promos, and matches. Time slots are segmented carefully in pro wrestling to ensure that every wrestler gets time on TV. 

For WWE, being scripted means that promos are pre-written and match winners are predetermined. Scripted segments aren’t all that we see on TV. In fact, some segments are impromptu. 

Wrestlers sometimes go off script for promo segments when they want to add-lib something of their own. This happens most in WWE because the company has pre-written promo segments where some other companies allow wrestlers to speak freely. 

Now, let’s talk about matches. In every WWE match, there is a scripted winner chosen before the match happens. Sometimes the script may specify the way that the wrestler wins or certain spots in the match. But the entire match is not scripted. 

As wrestlers perform a match, they can control the moves they use throughout the match and are given a lot of creative freedom. 

Are the Unscripted Parts of Wrestling Dangerous?

Wrestling moves are dangerous and require nearly perfect skill, timing, and execution to prevent injuries. Parts of wrestling are safer now than they once were. But there are still risks involved. 

While professional wrestlers train to wrestle in a way that avoids injuries, there are still dangers. Whether it is injury, paralysis, concussions, or even death, there is a risk to wrestling. 

Don’t let the term scripted allow you to believe that pro wrestling isn’t dangerous. Wrestlers are athletes that train their bodies to perform moves safely, but accidents can happen to anyone. 

Without being able to choreograph and script every move, there is always a threat of injury. Wrestling fans have seen it more times than we can count. Thankfully, there have been many studies on the long-term effects of wrestling, and wrestling is safer than it once was. But that doesn’t mean it is completely safe. 

Do Wrestlers Still Get Hurt Despite It Being Scripted?

Career-ending injuries still happen in professional wrestling, and there is rarely someone to blame when it does happen. If two wrestlers are executing a move and one person’s timing is off, that can be enough to severely injure someone. 

Often, it is no one’s fault, nor do they mean to do it. But it is a risk that wrestlers take when they step into a ring. If every move was completely safe and posed no risk, then fans would quickly become bored with the stale material. So, wrestlers must balance danger and entertainment. 

Over the years, wrestlers have learned that certain moves are more likely to cause injuries. It took until 2010 for WWE to fully outlaw chair shots to the head after being made aware of the danger they pose to wrestlers. But it’s important to talk about what set this change in motion for a company that has an entire PPV dedicated to Tables, Ladders, and Chairs. 

Three years before the official chair shot policy change, a devastating tragedy shook the wrestling community. Popular and beloved wrestler Chris Beniot took the life of his son, wife, and eventually himself in a double murder-suicide. 

While speculation ran wild, the real answer would come from Beniot’s autopsy report. The autopsy stated that at 40 years old, Beniot had the same brain as an old man with Alzheimer’s due to so many concussions. 

From this point forward, WWE and other wrestling companies vowed to protect their wrestlers from concussions to prevent another tragedy like this one. So, wrestlers’ safety is a much bigger priority for wrestling companies because they have seen what it can do to their bodies and brains. 

Final Thoughts

Professional wrestling is a scripted entertainment show, but it is important to know that not everything you are watching is scripted or rehearsed. There are plenty of real and potentially dangerous elements to professional wrestling.