Professional wrestling, often shortened to pro wrestling or simply wrestling, is a form of performance art and entertainment that combines athletics with theatrical performance. It takes the form of events, held by touring companies, that mimic a title-match combat sport. The unique form of sport portrayed is fundamentally based on and evolved from classical and “catch” wrestling, with modern additions of striking attacks, strength-based holds and throws and acrobatic maneuvers. Much of these derive from the influence of various international martial arts. An additional aspect of combat with improvised weaponry is sometimes included.
The matches have predetermined outcomes to heighten entertainment value and all combative maneuvers are executed with the full cooperation of those involved and carefully performed in specific manners intended to lessen the chance of actual injury. These facts were once kept highly secret but are now publicly acknowledged by both performers and promotions. To promote and sustain the willing suspension of disbelief by maintaining an aura of verisimilitude, the performing company avoids discussing the true nature of the performance in official media. Fan communications by individual wrestlers and promotions through outside media (i.e., interviews) often directly acknowledge the dramatic and fixed nature of the spectacle.
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