JG's Columns
JG's Ten Insider Wrestling Terms You Shouldn't Use When Talking About Something Besides Wrestling
By James Guttman
Jul 29, 2013 - 7:46 AM

Originally Published January 8, 2011

Wrestlers use inside terms all the time because, well, they're inside. Fans, on the other hand, come into contact with many outside the business. Sure, some words like "heel", "swerve", and "turn" can work. You can look the used car dealer in the eye and say, "Don't work me, pal." He'll understand. But there are some others that you should probably save for the 'rasslin' talk. Words like...


Wrestling Definition: Time Limit Draw

Reason Why You Shouldn't Use It: Rule of thumb. If you have to explain it to someone, you shouldn't use it in regular talk. That goes pretty much across the board. So, do this. Go out right now and ask ten people what they think it means when a wrestling event features a "Broadway". I'll wait.

Welcome back. Did at least eight of those people guess that there was some sort of singing involved? Did one or two say, "Does that mean it's a big show?" All I'm sure of is that most of them didn't guess "a time limit draw" because how the hell would they?   They think of this:

Ridiculous Real World Example:

Excuse me, sir. I know this defensive driving class is like three hours long, but is there any chance we can get out early?

Sorry. We have a lot to cover. We're going a Broadway.

Really!  Eeeeeee! Phantom! Can we see Phantom?



Wrestling Definition: a wrestler with strong legitimate mat-wrestling abilities and an array of match-ending (or in extreme cases, career ending) holds known as "hooks," hence the name. In the early 20th century, one who has worked for carnivals taking on "all comers." Since these types of events are on the decline, this word is falling out of common usage. A hooker is the opposite of a pure performer.

Reason Why You Shouldn't Use It:  I got the exact meaning from Wikipedia. I was impressed that no one had come on and vandalized it. I thought for sure I'd have to delete "crack whore" or "hoochie mama" from somewhere. But no. My faith in humanity is restored, if but for a moment.

So yeah. Do I need to explain this one? Hooker. They called him a hooker.

Now, I know what you're thinking. But James, that was before they called women who had sex for money "hookers." Yeah. No.

The often-cited reference for Hooker came from Civil War General Joe Hooker who...well, liked prostitutes.  The only problem was that the term was used long before him.   It was a funny coincidence. He's just a guy named hooker who liked hookers.   It's like knowing a girl named Crystal who does Crystal.

General Joe Hooker

Apparently the earliest use of the term "hooker" for a lady of the night was from an 1835 New York Transcript newspaper by George Thompson of New York University. In it, he  describes a court proceeding where a woman of the street is called a hooker because she "hangs around The Hook." The Hook was an area called Corlears Hook in New York which was said to have a high visit-count for docked sailors looking to get their decks scrubbed, if you catch my meaning.

Didn't expect to learn that today, huh? You're welcome.

Even before that, some say the term was used in some forms of British Slang. Either way, it happened a long time before there were too many "hookers" in wrestling. You'd think one of them would have been like, "Hey, this is the best name we can come up with?"

Ridiculous Real World Example:

Good luck in this fight here, Charlie.  All the other kids are watching.  Be careful, though. He's a hooker.

OK...Wait. What? Guys or girls?

Oh he hooks them all. Guys, girls, even a bear once. He said he's going to hook you and shoot.

Ugh! I'm not fighting him!

Another win for The Hooker!



Wrestling Definition: The Rock's term for his penis.

Reason Why You Shouldn't Use It:  Here's the bottom line. If your penis looks like a strudel, you're in deep trouble.

For starters, it's stuffed with things like cheese, pork, and apples.  I'm sorry but if you have anything like that inside your private area, you need to be seeing a doctor...not propositioning Lillian Garcia.

Secondly, there's nothing sexy about what a woman would do with your "strudel". It's not a lollipop. It's a food. They slice it up, stab it with a fork, and chew it. That sucks. Who wants that? Scary.

Third. This is how it's usually served.

So, seriously. Who thought this up? Just because the pie analogy worked for girls, you can't just plug pastries in because they sound funny.

Ridiculous Real World Example:

Thanks for inviting me back to your room, Travis.  I can't believe how much we drank tonight....OH MY GOD!  WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!  PUT IT AWAY!  PUT IT AWAY!

Dusty Finish

Wrestling Definition: A match that features one wrestler winning, usually a championship, only to have the decision reversed at a later time. Named after booker Dusty Rhodes.

Reason Why You Shouldn't Use It: There is really no place in life that you can use this except maybe on a TV show that "swerves" you at the finale. Even then, chances are you'll have to explain it to someone who will just roll their eyes or else ask what a "booker" is. Then you have to explain that. Then, after you've explained that a booker creates the matches and chooses the winner, they'll ask you if wrestling is fake. That's when you hit them with something. The police come and it's a big to-do.

Ridiculous Real World Example:

They said he died. But they revived him. Out of nowhere, the car careened into the tree and dad hit hard. They thought he was gone. They were all set to declare him dead. I went around the corner to call my mom, but when I was gone, he, he... just came back. They say it's a miracle.

Wow. Man. Dusty Finish.

What does that mean?

Oh. Dusty Rhodes was this booker in wrestling and he would book matches where the champion would appear to lose the belt, only to have the decision reversed at a later time. Dusty Finish.

Are you saying Dusty Rhodes booked my dad's car accident?!

What? No. Just thought it was funny.

He's in a coma, you son of a bitch! HOW IS THAT FUNNY?!



Wrestling Definition: The measure of how good a performer is in the ring.

Reason Why You Shouldn't Use It: There really is no set definition for what a workrate is. Everyone has a different point of view and wrestling fans have been arguing since the dawn of time. We're not keeping score here. Guys don't get points for stuffing takedowns in pro wrestling.   It's about performance.   Judging the wrestling that you enjoy is like judging a movie or TV show.  The perception changes based on the person and it's all about personal preference. That's not to say that it can't be used by wrestling fans.   It's part of what makes the business fun as long as you don't try to make it too scientific. It also wouldn't fly at a job interview, though.

Ridiculous Real World Example:

Scott, we want you here at Kinko's. We think you'll be a great employee, but we've been reading the sheets and wanted to know what's your workrate?

My workrate?

Yes. How many stars would you give yourself?

For what? Copying paper?

Yes. That and every other aspect of your performance. Thumbs up, down, or in the middle?


Three dropkicks? A big gold star? 71 out of 250? Give me something to work with here, Scott!


Hard Way

Wrestling Definition: An unintentional cut without the use of a blade.

Reason Why You Shouldn't Use It: I couldn't think of one instance in the real world where you could use this. Know why? Because outside of an emo girl trying to show her love of Twilight by carving up her arm, EVERY cut is a hard way cut in life. I really thought about it too. Wrestlers and emo girls are the only sane people in the world who purposely cut themselves with razors.

Speaking of which, just a side note, but wrestlers have to really be thankful for emo girls. Before them, the only people buying razors in bulk were wrestlers and hardcore drug addicts. Now at least they can tell the cashier it's for their daughters or something. Just shrug and go, "I don't know. She loves the Twilight."

Ridiculous Real World Example:

Hello. Mrs. Dumphry? This is the school nurse. Seems that Sarah had a little fall and skinned her knee in school today.

Oh no. Is she ok?

Oh yes. She's fine. Just a little scrape. But it's ok. She bled hard way.

OK I understand...wait. Did you say that Penny Hardaway tripped my daughter?

What? No no. I meant that she didn't cut herself with a blade on the way down.

What the hell kind of school is this?!


"You're Fiiiiiiiirrrrred!!"

Wrestling Definition: Mr. McMahon's deep throated act of firing an employee.

Reason Why You Shouldn't Use It:  You know when someone tries to imitate Randy Savage, but they go too hard and end up hurting themselves? You know what I mean. So hard that you can see their neck contracting as loogies come hurling out of their mouth. Yeah.

That's what everyone sounds like when they do the Mr. McMahon fired thing.

They sound like that because that's what he sounds like. Vince has always done things ten degrees about the norm. When he does the catchphrase, it's no exception. So trying to imitate it on a playground or office turns you into a spitting fool. Even worse is that everyone will tell you that Donald Trump doesn't do it like that.   Depending on the age of your audience, they might think you're trying to do Mr. Spacely from the Jetsons.

Leave the spitting to the billionaire. He can afford the dry cleaning bills.


Wrestling Definition: Term used to describe a wrestling groupie. (Ringrat)

Reason Why You Shouldn't Use It:  Here's the problem. In mainstream, "rat" reminds people of a stool pigeon. You know, a turncoat with no loyalty to his family.  Some canary turning state's evidence. In mainstream, "the rat" testifies against his loved ones and he ends up swimming with the fishes.

In wrestling, the wrestlers have sex with the rats.

Yeah. That would make for a very interesting episode of the Sopranos.

In real life, there are a million terms that are applied to these ladies of back parking lot. Rat isn't one of them. The scariest part of all this is that you know somewhere, decades ago, there was a groupie who looked just like a sewer rat and started it all.

On a side note, several years ago, Eric Bischoff started a wrestling company featuring children and called it "Mat Rats". Now that's creepy right there. 

Mmmm. Hey musclely-arm. Come get that newspaper.

Ridiculous Real World Example:

Yo. Joey. We called you here today because we've been tailing you and Jimmy the Nitz says you a rat.

A rat? Nah. Don Tony. I ain't no rat.

Sorry. He said it. You know what that means.

No. Don Tony. No!

I loved you, man. You were like a brother to me. I take no pleasure in this. Put on this lipstick and wig. Meet me upstairs. It'll be easier if you don't fight.



Wrestling Definition: The act of cutting yourself with a blade.  Also, the name for the blade a wrestler uses to cut himself.

Reason Why You Shouldn't Use It:  For starters, people will assume that you mean a band booking or are simply mispronouncing "jig".

There are very few uses for this term in real life except the aforementioned emo girl. There are also rowdy college kids with BMWs and too much alcohol in the mini-fridge.

Ridiculous Real World Example:



Hi Mom. How are you and dad doing?

Oh hello, Robby. Mama misses you. Your father's sciatica is acting up, but we're ok. How are you? How is life at college?

Well, last night I got pretty drunk and my head took a gig.

Oh my Gawd! Harold!  Your son has a gigged head! What are you telling me?! Robby! Your head has been gigged?!

No, mom. Nothing big. Just a gig. I used a blade.

Blade?! WHAT!? Harold!   HAROLD! Your son is getting gigged by someone named Blade! Pick up the extension!



Wrestling Definition: A wrestler who primarily loses matches in order to make other wrestlers look stronger.

Reason Why You Shouldn't Use It:  It sounds like a positive thing, right? I mean - stop. Forget that you know what it means. "Jobber" - someone who does a job. That sounds good to me. It's a testament to hard work and dedication. Your grandfather would be proud to be called a jobber.

In wrestling, though, "scrubs" do "jobs". That sucks. It's enough to make you want to walk up to your boss on Monday and go, "I don't need this stupid job!  I ain't no jobber! You're the jobber! I don't do no jobs!"

In mainstream, the term jobber was also used by intermediary companies called "stockjobbers" for the London Stock Exchange.  Stock trades had to pass through the jobber's books before getting to the brokers.  The irony is that in wrestling, if a jobber had the book...he wouldn't be a jobber. 

Ridiculous Real World Example:

Brian, we've reviewed your work and we here at the executive level feel that, given our company's current structure, you're a jobber.

Great! A jobber! It's because I'm a good a worker, right?

What? Ha ha. No. We don't like your work. That's why you're a jobber.

But...but, I'm a jobber. You just said it. I do my job.

No, no, no. You do THE job.

Yes. I do the job.

So I'm sure you can understand why we're not putting you over.

What? Why would someone who does the job not get put over?

Questions like that make me question why you work here, Brian.

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