Actions

::Kayfabe

::concepts

Match::kayfabe    McMahon::wrestler    Their::would    Which::triple    ''Raw''::title    Between::years

{{#invoke:Message box|ambox}} In professional wrestling, kayfabe {{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}} is the portrayal of staged events within the industry as "real" or "true," specifically the portrayal of competition, rivalries, and relationships between participants as being genuine and not of a staged or pre-determined nature. Kayfabe has also evolved to become a code word of sorts for maintaining this "reality" within the realm of the general public.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> Though the general public had been aware of the staged nature of professional wrestling for decades,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=episode }}</ref> the professional wrestling industry did not formally acknowledge this until 1989 when Vince McMahon testified before the New Jersey state senate that wrestling was staged, in order to avoid taxation on his in-house shows and pay-per-view events.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Kayfabe is often seen as the suspension of disbelief that is used to create the non-wrestling aspects of promotions, such as feuds, angles, and gimmicks, in a manner similar to other forms of fictional entertainment. In relative terms, a wrestler breaking kayfabe during a show would be likened to breaking character by an actor on-camera. Also, since wrestling is performed in front of a live audience, whose interaction with the show is crucial to its success, kayfabe can be compared to the fourth wall in acting, since there is hardly any conventional fourth wall to begin with.

In years past, one tool that promoters and wrestlers had in preserving kayfabe was in their ability to attract a loyal paying audience in spite of limited or nearly nonexistent exposure. Professional wrestling had long been shunned by mainstream media due to lingering doubts over its legitimacy, and its presentation on television was largely limited to self-produced programming, not unlike infomercials of the present day. Scrutiny existed only in limited circumstances, where in certain U.S. states, promoters had to deal with activist athletic commissioners. It was commonplace for wrestlers to adhere to kayfabe in public, even when outside the ring and off-camera, in order to preserve the illusion that the competition in pro wrestling was not staged. This was due in no small part to feuds between wrestlers sometimes lasting for years, and which could be utterly destroyed in seconds if they were shown associating as friends in public, and thus potentially affect ticket revenue.

With the advent of the Internet wrestling community, as well as the sports entertainment movement, the pro wrestling industry has become less concerned with protecting so-called backstage secrets and typically maintains kayfabe only during performances. However, kayfabe is occasionally broken, including during performances, in order to achieve a number of goals, among them advancing the storylines, explaining prolonged absences (often due to legitimate injury), paying tribute to other wrestlers and sometimes for comedic effect or that of driving insider humor.


Kayfabe sections
Intro   Faces and heels    Uses    Breaking kayfabe    Breaks that are apparent but unacknowledged    Other    See also    References   

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Faces and heels
<<>>