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What does a Pro Wrestler do?

By D. Jeffress
Updated Feb 24, 2024
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A pro wrestler is an athlete and entertainer who often performs in front of live crowds and television cameras. He or she executes physically demanding stunts in a ring with other professionals, striving to make the action look as real as possible. A pro wrestler must train relentlessly to maintain fitness and learn how to avoid injuries. In addition to training and participating in matches, a large part of a pro wrestler's job involves acting, playing a character in an ongoing storyline that is exciting to fans.

Wrestlers are almost always in excellent physical condition, as they are required to perform difficult stunts and compete in long, demanding matches. They are dedicated athletes who spend a great deal of time training, exercising, and lifting weights. Wrestlers tirelessly practice and perfect moves outside the ring, so that they can execute them safely and believably during future matches.

Pro wrestling matches are usually scripted, and outcomes are determined before matches even begin. Opponents often plan out moves, rehearse bouts, and discuss strategies with each other prior to a match. When things do not go according to plan in the ring, however, wrestlers are required to improvise. They often communicate through whispers and hand gestures to coordinate moves and let each other know what to expect. An experienced pro wrestler may also use his or her improvisational skills to boost the excitement and intensity of a dull match by engaging with the crowd and confronting the referee.

Wrestling federations create dramatic storylines to captivate audiences. A pro wrestler must be a convincing actor who is able to take on the role of a hero or a villain. He or she might be instructed to give intense, emotional interviews, promote upcoming matches, intimidate opponents, and fake injuries. Wrestlers who are the most popular with audiences are generally given more opportunities to compete and develop detailed storylines.

To become a pro wrestler, a person must be willing to go through rigorous training. Many prospective wrestlers attend pro wrestling schools, where they learn various techniques and safety measures, gain experience performing in front of crowds, and begin to develop unique characters that appeal to audiences. Budding wrestlers are paired with expert coaches who explain how to execute convincing moves while protecting themselves and their opponents from serious injury. Wrestling schools may take anywhere from six months to four years to complete, depending on a wrestler's talents and proven skills. After wrestling school, most hopeful individuals must participate in years of amateur matches before gaining recognition by a professional wrestling federation.

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