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Kayfabe confusion[edit]

Hi guys, I know pretty much nothing about wrestling but would be interested to know at least some basic facts. I had a look at the kayfabe article and wasn't able to figure out how, and if, it differs from simply "acting". The issue is: if it's just acting then the article could be much shorter, and if it is something different I am not able to grasp that from the article. Is it just me? --Gennaro Prota 17:04, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Kayfabe refers to the acting; however the events are portrayed as real. For example, WWE doesn't acknowledge that Stephanie McMahon and Triple H are married, nor do they recognize their influence behind the scenes. In Carlito's case, he could simply be making up history to suit his character. Your question may be better suited for the talk: Kayfabe page, however. I'm going to copy and paste part of the discussion over there. This page is about Carlito OsFan 22:56, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Kayfabe in the modern form could pretty well be summed up as "just acting"; however, kayfabe throughout history encompassed much more. It was an overall mindset of "protecting the business", making it look real to outsiders. Kayfabe was Vince McMahon having Ted DiBiase flown everywhere on a private Lear Jet to make people think he was rich. Kayfabe was Chris Benoit and Woman travel together and sleep in the same hotel room to put over the idea that Woman was cheating on Kevin Sullivan with Benoit (a situation that became real life later). Kayfabe was Jerry Lawler and Andy Kaufman brawling on the set of Late Night with David Letterman. Kayfabe was "Dr. D" David Schultz slapping the crap out of John Stossel because Stossel committed the one cardinal sin that anybody who covered wrestlig could committ at the time--he asked if it was fake. Kayfabe is a little acting, a little stage magic, and (until recently) a whole lot of covering-up. That's just my take anyway. --HBK|Talk 04:42, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
    • I thought the John Stossel thing was real? His whole story was abotu trying to expose the secrets behind wrestling... but he ended up getting slapped. And filing lawsuit. This is the first I have heard of that situation being kayfabe... Khal 19:13, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
    • John Stossel was actually open-hand slapped, as is done in the ring, twice by David Shultz. Shultz was suspended by deputy state athletic commissioner, Marvin Cohn. Stossel later sued and won $425,000 from the WWE organization. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:14, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

I don't see any etymology of this term; unless I've missed it, maybe someone in the know could give it a try? 1canuckbuck (talk) 11:16, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

Already addressed on this talk page (see below). The short answer is that it's been repeatedly deleted, coincidental with the general attitude that Wikipedia's coverage of professional wrestling need not acknowledge much of anything beyond wrestling storylines. As I have better things to do with my life than engage in edit warring, I gave up. I did mark it as needing attention for WP Linguistics, but I guess no one over there has taken the bait. RadioKAOS / Talk to me, Billy / Transmissions 05:04, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

More kayfabe confusion[edit]

A few weeks ago on RAW, Vince mentioned that Stephanie was pregnant. Isn't he breaking kayfabe when he says something like that? In the WWE world, Steph and HHH are divorced. So, what is she... knocked-up? In kayfabe, I mean. -Abdullah- 13:17, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Vince never said that Triple H was the father, although I wonder what they will do when she gives birth. TJ Spyke 18:54, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
There is a disgusting rumour on this (later proved true by Vince himself on the McMahon DVD) that he was going to kayfabe that he was the dad in an incest angle, when Steph rightfully turned it down he then suggested her brother Shane (yes he really is her brother) to be the father. again this was turned down, thankfully. God Vince is an idiot.
[The above was unsigned. Usually a bot will correct, but not this time. Anyone want to claim it?]

Ragityman (talk) 15:20, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

I know this conversation is old, but for future reference please remember that talk pages are for discussing the article, not for general conversation about the article's subject.Mmyers1976 (talk) 19:08, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Opening Paragraph[edit]

Maybe someone should re-word the part about Diesal and Razor Ramon. At the time Diesal was storyline wise a heel, and not a rival of Triple H(who was also a heel). TJ Spyke 19:03, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

On the subject of the opening paragaph, is it only me who finds the wording confusing? Surely it could be simplified in some way? --SesameRambler 15:34, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Agreed, it's incomprehensible. - KR Nixa —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:33, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

What is this section: Translation of first paragraph, first reading? Could you do that in a sandbox? Anyway I think the first paragraph is better than the "translation".-- (talk) 16:58, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

Relevance of the term "Kayfabe"[edit]

Why is this annoying, ancient term being used to describe storyline events in nearly every wrestling article that Wikipedia has to offer? It's confusing to people who aren't "in the know" and just makes each article it appears in come off as though it was written by some smart-alecky wrestling fan (notice how I refrained from using the word "mark" there). Why don't we leave words like "kayfabe" where they belong: in the grave with the carnival managers who invented them in the early 1900s. It's 2009---can't we as wrestling fans be a little more normal, a little more "professional" when writing articles, instead of coming across as geeky in-the-know types? (talk) 18:51, 4 January 2009 (UTC)fdfdrdry

When it is used in an article, it is Wikilinked. And so, readers can also be "in the know". Encyclopedias are meant to educate. If we refrained from using terms and concepts ignorant people are unfamiliar with (in any topic), this would be a pretty useless website. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:57, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
That's not entirely correct. You shouldn't use unfamiliar words just to get readers to click on them. And the goal of every article should be for readers to read that article, not to click away from it unnecessarily. Kafziel Complaint Department: Please take a number 02:11, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

es innesesario poner todo lo que sea kayfabe , aun cuando ni siquiera se esta seguro oficialmente de una fuente directa que lo sea. de todas maneras poner a cada rato lo que es kayfabe y lo que no, no creo que sea necesario en un articulo. es como si quisieran desprestigiar la lucha.-- (talk) 00:11, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

I'm aware the information contained in this article is accurate, but it needs to be sourced. Much of it seems like someone watched TV and transcribed what happened. I know that's not the case, in most of the instances, but that's why it needs to be sourced and the whole article could probably use a rewrite. -- Chickenmonkey X  sign?  07:30, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. The article seems to be based partially on gossip amongst Internet-based wrestling fans. While that does not necessarily mean that it is inaccurate, it would be best if reliable sources were cited for each section. Hermiod (talk) 08:02, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Bryan Danielson[edit]

This article says Danielson was suspended for strangling Justin Roberts with a camera wire. But another article says Roberts was strangled with his own tie. Which one's right? --Shreek314 21:27, 9 September 2010 It was his tie. The video proves it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:42, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Examples/example farm[edit]

This article is on the verge of being an example farm. It's also guilty of recentism, as far too many of the examples listed are from the past 10-15 years. Here's some more examples which aren't so recent, though:

  • Outlaw territories - how wrestling fans used to seeing one (and intentionally, only one) wrestling promotion in their town for years and years suddenly see two promotions competing with each other. Most examples of this also produced examples of breaking kayfabe. The most extreme example would be Randy Savage, who as the star of International Championship Wrestling often walked around armed in the course of publicly threatening Jerry Jarrett's wrestlers, even going so far as to pistol-whip Bill Dundee on one occasion. The only problem is that is an example with no real modern relevance.
@RadioKAOS: How can you complain about recentism while saying that a historical example is problematic because it has "no real modern relevance"? Either examples older than (name your span) are relevant or they aren't. Make up your mind. --Thnidu (talk) 22:36, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Satoru Sayama writing a book entitled Kayfabe.
  • Lance Von Erich - Gary Hart specifically mentioned how World Class fans told him this was the first time the Von Erichs had lied to them. Translated, this breach of kayfabe was far too obvious compared to any others. Fritz's public declaration of non-relation didn't make that situation any better. The coverage (including inconsistencies therein) of the various Von Erich deaths and tragedies in general would make for a good example.
  • The 20/20 piece. To a lesser extent, Eddie Mansfield and Jim Wilson's respective campaigns to expose the business, which predated the 20/20 piece by years. Wilson has long been acknowledged by most reliable sources within the business as being one big nothing. At least Mansfield drew a little money in a few places. Since I mention these names, Thunderbolt Patterson is another good example of someone who exposed the business in response to not getting what he wanted out of it.RadioKAOS (talk) 11:06, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
I've started work on incorporating some of this into the article. As it is (as of this moment) rather incomplete, feel free to delete anything I've posted so far which doesn't currently fit. I saved a working copy to edit offline, which means that it will be ready in anywhere from days to months, depending on my mood or how well a job I do of burying the file within the depths of my hard drive.
Here's another example, which I don't believe I read in the article, probably because it didn't air on an episode of Raw within the past 5 years - Vince McMahon exposing the business in order to discontinue athletic commission oversight of his events.
Another angle to pursue - a revealed lack of any grasp of reality by a wrestler, or a view of reality which appears mind-boggling to the average person. Laughable attempts by Bret Hart and Kevin Von Erich at shoot interviews was the first thing to come to my mind. Dave Meltzer mentioned Eric Embry, who as the "big star" of USWA did a promo one time in which he mentions Wilt Chamberlain as someone the fans should worship as a hero. Only problem is, this promo occurred ca. 1991, or nearly two decades after Wilt's retirement, when the second or third generation of players to come along after Chamberlain were starting to become big stars in basketball.RadioKAOS (talk) 04:08, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Another angle[edit]

How about any similarities between kayfabe and fnord?RadioKAOS (talk) 03:27, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

This article is plagiarized![edit]

This article is almost word for word an exact copy of The Free Dictionary's 'kayfabe' article. Even the same words are hyperlinked! Tsk tsk ... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:33, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

If you look at the bottom of the The Free Dictionary page its states that its copied from this page so there's nothing wrong.--SteamIron 19:30, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

WrestleMania 28 Press conference[edit]

Isn´t it a break in kayfabe when matt striker appears at the stream of the press conference when he was kidnapped on nxt?--Nakurio (talk) 19:48, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

It would be if there actually was such a thing as kayfabe in 2012. Let's put it this way: if a mainstream media outlet chose to do a "wrestling is fake"-type story and use this as an example, would the WWE deny it? I would think that as a publicly-traded company, WWE is subject to more scrutiny and therefore wouldn't.RadioKAOS (talk) 20:46, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
  • are you sure there eis no kayfabe in 2012? I mean there are still story lines and so on. we still scripting a lot and most of the workers haven´t freedom to say what they want. there for i would think if you see the kayfabe as a kind of a codex wwe did break it with the appearance of matt striker. --Nakurio (talk) 21:00, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Why would someone add a bit about president Bush in the wrestling article?[edit]

Someone is vandalizing this article by adding a section about president Bush and his administration. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:49, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Origin of the term[edit]

It seems an obvious omission, especially for what is otherwise a very detailed article. Can we have, preferably before the contents box, an explanation of the term's origin or sources? I read through far too much wrestling trivia just to establish that it wasn't there. Many thanks in advance. (talk) 13:47, 26 December 2012 (UTC)]

Not so much obvious as absolutely howling. — Scott talk 13:28, 15 November 2013 (UTC)
Actually, it keeps getting deleted from the article. In fact, I believe the same editor has deleted it multiple times, on occasion citing lack of sourcing, but I haven't poured through the revision history to confirm that. I pointed this out to WP:PW one of the times it was deleted, mentioning that it makes no sense to have an article about a word which fails to at least attempt to explain the meaning of that word, but that was ignored. Not at all surprising, really. I've been going back and forth with the regulars on that project for years. Most of them appear content to drink the Kool-Aid and push the POV that only a finite number of sources exist in the entire world regarding professional wrestling, namely certain websites which do have solid content, but too much of a fanboy bent for my tastes. Combine this with the "no URL = no verifiability" attitude which pervades thoughout much of the encyclopedia, and you can see the challenge. The reason why you see so much "wrestling trivia" is because it's reflective of the project's favored sources. This and Glossary of professional wrestling terms are articles which would benefit from reliable book sources, as a great many wrestling books discuss not only wrestling terminology in general but kayfabe specifically in varying amounts of detail. There's been a reluctance to use any of those sources even when the books can be found on Google Books. RadioKAOS / Talk to me, Billy / Transmissions 05:13, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Bill Watts[edit]

The unique approach to kayfabe employed by Bill Watts could probably fill an entire article. I don't wish to waste my time throwing out numerous examples which will likely be ignored. My favorite: during the height of the Dick Murdoch-Killer Karl Kox feud in late 1975, Championship Wrestling aired an interview with Murdoch. He was standing in an All Japan Pro Wrestling ring, and specifically remarked that his absence from the Tri-States territory wasn't because he was injured, but rather that he was in Japan taking part in the tag team tournament with Dusty Rhodes. That went contrary to what every other promoter and booker at the time would have done. That promo had other ramifications: Murdoch was a highly popular "gaijin face" in All Japan, similar to Dory and Terry Funk. Kox appeared on multiple All Japan tours during 1976 with Murdoch, where they faced each other in matches. RadioKAOS / Talk to me, Billy / Transmissions 05:13, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

And a technical matter[edit]

It appears that Kayfabe (professional wrestling) was moved to this article title in June 2005. Since I wasn't around then, I dunno if this was due to limitations of the software or due to negligence, but there is an orphaned revision history and accompanying discussion still floating around out there. Any admins reading this who may care to fix that? RadioKAOS / Talk to me, Billy / Transmissions 03:53, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Still an example farm[edit]

Man, this article is the worst "example farm" I've seen in an article yet. I would just cut out a lot of it it myself, but I get the feeling that all the one-line mentions are more recent examples or are more notable than they are given credit for. Since I'm not a WWE fan myself, I can't really judge what's notable and what's not... But all but maybe two of the examples are uncited, so I suppose that someone should just be bold and excise most of it. --V2Blast (talk) 06:45, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Kayfabe "closely guarded secret before 1989" claim dubious[edit]

The lede claims that kayfabe was a closely guarded secret until 1989, and since the internet it has become an open secret. The citation it uses for the claim that it was a closely guarded secret DOES NOT actually say that it was a closely guarded secret before 1989, it only says that McMahon confessed "once and for all" before the New Jersey State Senate, that wrestling matches were staged events. "Once and for all" indicates the truth, that McMahon was only finally admitting to what everyone already knew for decades. For example, in Season 8, episode 11 of "You Bet Your Life," dated December 19, 1957, pro wrestler Ralph "Red" Berry asked Groucho Marx if he had ever been to a wrestling match, and Marx quipped "no, but I'd love to see one of your rehearsals sometime," to general laughter and applause. I am changing the last three sentences of the first paragraph of the lede to address this.Mmyers1976 (talk) 19:25, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Exactly! All wrestling fans (except children and retards) know the action is scripted. Anyone who has been in any type of street fight or martial arts training, knows that the "combatants" are not seriously contending. Both sides pretend to take it seriously, so pro-wrestling becomes a theater of the absurd.

But I don't think that term "kayfabe" was not generally known to wrestling fandom until recently, at least I had never heard it.

"usually" < "more often"?[edit]

Section "Injuries" says

These returns are usually given a particular date in order to increase viewership and ticket sales, as the public are promised a star they have wanted to return. Even more often, a wrestler's return will not even be advertised. It will just suddenly happen in order to get a huge pop out of the crowd.

"Usually" means "more often than not", so how can something else happen more often than what usually happens? Rewriting. Thnidu (talk) 21:55, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

This page is full of clutter[edit]

I'm sorry, but some of the stuff on this page is just laughable. The section about real life being mentioned on screen for instance. "Sheamus has been referred to as being from Ireland." Like seriously? How is this relevant to an article on kayfabe. Does this really need a section? And if there should be a section, only put IMPORANT / HISTORICAL facts in it. Not every single injury someone has in a match etc. "Adrian Neville was injured in a match in 2016". "Nikki Bella was injured in a match in 2015 but kept on wrestling". A lot of the info on this page is useless clutter. It's laughably bad. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:15, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

Major edits made[edit]

I went ahead and made some major edits to this article, based off of the various discussions on this talk page. I primarily removed the large amount of unnecessary examples, and also removed large chunks of completely unsourced information. As I indicated in my edit summary, please do not revert any of these edits without first coming on here and explaining why a particular piece of what I removed should be restored. Thank you everyone. Bobharris1989 (talk) 07:09, 26 January 2017 (UTC)

I didn't take the time to digest it all, as I really don't have time these days. However, it looked like you categorically hacked-and-slashed anything you didn't like, sourced or not, relevant to how real life and the wrestling universe have collided uncomfortably or not. I pointed out a long, long time ago that the uniqueness of this topic requires a different approach than treating it as yet another venue to push the same tired old "sources", or a venue to try and influence rather than merely inform readers' perceptions of the topic. That's precisely why certain WP:PW regulars have avoided it like the plague in spite of its importance assessment for that project. Furthermore, the fact that this is an article about a word, yet the etymology section has been deleted at least a half dozen times that I can recall and attempts to properly source such a section have been repeatedly attacked, speaks volumes about the direction for this article attempted by certain editors, whether through their action or inaction.
The Pat Patterson quote is directly relevant to kayfabe and properly sourced; I fail to see how anyone can credibly claim that ECW Press is not a reputable publisher. I've forgotten who published Bill Apter's autobiography, but I doubt it was a self-published or 99-cent e-book sort of deal. He goes into considerable detail about how he and Stanley Weston and crew kayfabed the wrestling audience for years and years, and the mechanics of how the Andy Kaufman deal went down, including how and why it went down in Memphis rather than New York. Hint: the McMahons had first dibs on Kaufman, but due to their serious approach to kayfabe at the time, turned him down. Vince has told a revisionist version of this story in the 21st century. No one is questioning the credibility of The Oregonian, except perhaps you by removing content for which reliable sources exist. There's been an ongoing effort to whitewash any mentions of Donald Trump and Linda McMahon, evidently because the intersection of their political careers and wrestling careers have been covered by "such blatantly unreliable sources" as NPR, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Of the remaining references, most are of questionable reliability, unverifiable in their present state or primary sources related to Jerry Lawler's heart attack, despite the fact that it appeared to receive abundant coverage from third-party sources. The one halfway solid reference, to Slam Wrestling, cherry-picks one particular episode in the long-standing relationship wrestling promoters have had with state athletic commissions, an aspect of the business which is criminally underrepresented on the encyclopedia in general. In his autobiography, also published by ECW Press, Bill Watts mentions an episode where the New York State Athletic Commission altered the finish of one of his matches with Bruno Sammartino at Madison Square Garden in 1965, declaring a disqualification in a no-disqualification match. That sounds to me like as good a breach of kayfabe as the later example, though obviously not carrying the same impact. RadioKAOS / Talk to me, Billy / Transmissions 03:18, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
For what it's worth, much of what I deleted was slashing out the large number of unnecessary examples, particularly very recent examples, something many people have been continuously complaining about. That had nothing to do with what was or was not sourced, nor was it questioning the reputability of the sources that were there. If there is a particular piece of what I took out that you believe is notable enough to be mentioned in this article (i.e. things that are at least as notable as the examples that I left in there), then I welcome you or others to put it back. I took out the Andy Kaufman thing specifically mainly because of just how long that piece was. If it was a brief paragraph, I'd have left it. If it is something worth being in this article in your eyes, that's fine, but it should be far shorter then what it was beforehand. As for the sources that are remaining in the article that may not be as reputable as we may like, that's something I will leave to somebody else to tackle.
As for the "Breaks that are apparent but unacknowledged" section, I removed it entirely for two reasons. One, it was completely unsourced. And two, and more importantly, breaks like this, while a part of wrestling as a whole, are something I don't see as being a major part of "kayfabe" specifically, or at least not enough for a dozen or so examples of which to be mentioned in this article.
To put it shortly, this article should be about the word kayfabe in of itself (for which an etymology would be nice, as many have mentioned). Having examples of what kayfabe is, times it was broken, and other small related pieces are great. Having SO many examples and explanations, most of it unsourced, was totally unnecessary and made this article incredibly difficult to read. My changes were not at all based on what I "like or didn't like", but actually a concerted effort to cut down the examples to what most would consider to be most notable, especially for people unfamiliar with the term who simply want to know what it means and how it's used. Bobharris1989 (talk) 04:59, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
For the currently missing etymology section, the term has been in existence since at least 1990, per this newsgroup message. Satoru Sayama apparently named his wrestling expose book "Kay Fabe," but on Amazon, it only lists the Japanese titles, so this is hard to verify on that site. An old Geocities site does back this up. Elsewhere, there is mention that it's an old carny term, but I haven't yet seen a reliable source to quote from. --GentlemanGhost (converse) 03:53, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I am glad to see the example farm being slashed, it's still not great and really does not do that much to explain the term, background etc it's better. I'm going to take a shot at getting an Etymology section together with a couple of sources I found and some research I've done. And I still think there are too many "examples" instead of actual content in this article.  MPJ-DK  23:38, 8 April 2017 (UTC)