Is Pro Wrestling Scripted?

M.V.P. pins Dolph Ziggler during a match at WWE SmackDown at Madison Square Garden on April 28, 2009, in New York City.

Photo by George Napolitano/Getty Images

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Answer by Bobbi Billard, former WWE developmental contract wrestler:

Yes and no.

In regard to the moves done in the ring, with the TV show Women of Wrestling, it was like a dance routine, and every move was scripted and practiced in advance for a month leading up to the show. With WWE, they do their matches live weekly, and they are on the road traveling, so they don’t have time to rehearse a whole match in advance. The outcome of the match is scripted, but the moves within the match are called to their partner in the ring and/or planned a bit backstage, but it is mostly choreographed on the spot, based upon crowd reaction and a psychology of the match, which is learned. It’s sort of like storytelling between the face and the heel, and some people are better at it than others.


I equate wrestling to be much like being a trained stunt performer. In that sense, you are trained on how to land when you take these falls. And while you are doing certain moves, like a body slam for instance, it isn’t really that person picking you up and slamming you to the ground like it appears. You are actually working with that person and planting off their thigh and doing a sort of handstand up into the air, using teamwork.

With wrestling, things aren’t necessarily what they seem. And while people may say that it is fake, I can assure you, from experience, that the bumps, bruises, and injuries you get from doing the wrestling moves are 100 percent real.

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