The best way to approach pro wrestling is to look at it like a soap opera where people settle their differences by beating each other up. The basic premise is that two people don't like each other or they both want the same thing (usually a championship belt). In most instances, one of the wrestlers is a good guy and their opponent is a bad guy who cheats. There are 4 ways to win a regular match. They are by pin fall, submission, count out, or disqualification. It is important to note that a title CAN NOT change hands on a count out or disqualification.
Watching Wrestling on TV
It is best to look at televised wrestling as being an infomercial for the monthly pay per views. While you will enjoy the programming on TV, everything you see is supposed to lead up to the big battle at the pay per view event.
What am I Watching?
If the show you are watching has a ring that looks like a boxing ring (4 sided) you are watching WWE programming. This is the company that used to be known as the WWF, but they lost the use of the name to the World Wildlife Fund. WWE programming is split between three brands (RAW, SmackDown!, & ECW). Despite what they say on TV, they are both the same company and are owned by Vince McMahon. If the TV show you are watching has a ring with six sides, you are watching TNA. They are competitors of the WWE although they are much smaller. They claim to be an alternative to the WWE by emphasizing wrestling over entertainment.
How Much of This is Real?
The outcomes of the matches are pre-determined and most of the moves are planned out ahead of time. The referee is in the ring as a prop for the match. The referee also serves as a communicator between the wrestlers in the ring and the people running the show behind the scenes. He communicates to the wrestlers if the people in charge want them to deviate from the planned finish and informs the wrestlers when they need to end the match. The moves performed in the ring are very dangerous and should not be attempted at home. The wrestlers train very hard to not injure themselves or their opponents but accidents occur frequently. Most wrestlers have suffered very severe injuries during their careers.
I Like What I'm Seeing but Don't Understand What's Going On
Don't be dismayed. Wrestling has its own language and things change very quickly in the wrestling world. This site will help you navigate through the complex world of wrestling. If there is something you still don't understand after going through this site, feel free to e-mail me and I'll help you out.