Wikipedia:WikiProject Professional wrestling/Style guide

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PW Style Guide
Below is a style guide to creating professional wrestling articles established by consensus among participants of WikiProject Professional wrestling. Please discuss this guide on the WikiProject talk page if you have any ideas about how to fine tune these guidelines.

General

Professional wrestling articles should be written so that everyone can understand its content, not just professional wrestling fans. They should not be written in-universe, which is outlined in the Manual of Style on written fiction. All articles should be written in past tense, excluding future events. The following guidelines should be followed in order for an article to be classified as a B-Class article, in order to be nominated and passed as a Good Article nomination, and/or as a Featured article candidate.

Capitalization

Per MOS:TM, WP:CAPS, and MOS:CAPS

  • In referencing both the show and brand, WWE's Monday night program is to be written Raw, with only an initial capital letter.
  • CamelCases are optional on Wikipedia, but in the interest of uniformity, WWE's Tuesday night program is SmackDown Live, with a capital S and capital D. Post-January 2008 SmackDown references should be written without an exclamation point.
  • Likewise, TNA's Thursday night program is written Impact Wrestling or Impact for short, with only an initial capital letter.

Headings

Per WP:HEAD

  • Limit heading titles to five words or less (not counting dates).
  • Try and limit headings by promotion, although some alternatives are acceptable. If the text for one promotion is getting long, it can be broken up with further subheadings. Use common sense.
  • Do not refer to the subject of the article within the article's headers.
  • Headers should never be wiki-linked.
  • Capitalize the first letter of the first word and any proper nouns in headings, but leave the rest in lower case.

Italicization

Per MOS:TITLE, WP:ITALICS, and MOS:MUSIC

  • Italics are only to be used when referencing a show such as in these scenarios:
  • Do not use italics when referencing a brand, such as in these scenarios:
  • Taglines are to be written with italics and in quotation marks.
  • Album titles are to be written with italics and song titles with quotation marks.
  • Pay-per-view events are to be written with no italics.

Terminology

Per WP:JARGON and WP:WORDS

  • When referring to a wrestler's alignment as a face or heel, the first usage should be wiki-linked and explained in parenthesis, e.g. Heel (bad guy). Alternatively, terms such as "fan favorite", "hero" or "villain" can be used, per this discussion.
  • Avoid parroting branding and marketing terminology used by promotions. Instead of using the terms "WWE Superstar", "WWE Diva", "TNA Knockout" or "sports entertainer", simply use "wrestler", specifying gender if need be. Similarly, avoid using "sports entertainment" as a substitute for professional wrestling. Additionally, avoid referring to WWE fans as "the WWE Universe" and the promotion as "The WWE".
  • The phrase "the late" should be removed before the names of now deceased wrestlers.
  • Change "attacker" to "wrestler" and "victim" to "opponent" in move articles.

Organization

Below are examples of how individual articles can be organized. These are merely suggestions; you do not have to conform to this format.

For biographies:

  • Early life
  • Professional wrestling career
  • Wrestling persona
  • In other media
  • Personal life
  • In wrestling
  • Championships and accomplishments
  • References
  • External links

For championship articles:

  • History
  • Reigns
  • Combined reigns
  • See also
  • References
  • External links

For event articles:

  • Production
    • Background
    • Storylines
  • Event
    • Preliminary matches
    • Main event matches
  • Aftermath
    • Reception
  • Results
  • See also
  • References
  • External links

Biographies

Lead

Include {{Infobox professional wrestler}} and fill it our accordingly. In the case of multiple ring names, billed from locations, etc., the use of {{Plainlist}} is recommended. The actively used ring name(s) and billed location (if more than one) should be in bold.

The lead should typically open with the wrestler's real name that is supported by a reliable source, and if they are known by a ring name, it should be noted in one of the proceeding sentences. In the case of a reliable source not being present for their real name, the lead should open with the wrestler's common name instead.

Summarize the most significant events in the wrestler's career for which they are known, including their stints in promotions, and any championships, accomplishments, and awards that they have won. Tallies of the overall championships or world championships won should be avoided, per this discussion.

Professional wrestling career

Summarize the career of the wrestler, but make sure you leave it to major events and key points. Try not to include week-by-week synopsis of what that wrestler did on whatever show they appeared on.

In wrestling

An overview of notable character information is compiled in a bulleted list format. This section should be limited to finishing moves, signature moves, managers (and/or wrestlers managed), nicknames, entrance themes, and wrestlers trained. Any taunts, gestures, or other descriptions are better suited for the article prose.

Example of In wrestling list
  • All items should be sorted alphabetically. An exception is with entrance themes, which can be sorted chronologically if date ranges are sourced.
  • For signature and finishing moves, there must be one reliable source explicitly mentioning that it is a signature move of the wrestler. One reliable source merely mentioning that the wrestler performed the move is not enough.
  • A specially named move should be italicized, with the regular name following in parentheses and wiki-linked.
  • {{Cite episode}} should not be used for citing moves as commentators often call moves wrong or do not give full technical names, leading to speculation.
  • Track names in entrance themes should not be wiki-linked to articles about the compilation albums on which they are sold, unless the article contains further information on the track itself (not just name, number, and wrestler who used it).

Championships and accomplishments

The championships won by a wrestler and their accomplishments are compiled in a bulleted list format. Additionally, awards from notable publications (such as the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and Pro Wrestling Illustrated) are included. In the case of a non-wrestling personality, this section can be renamed Awards and accomplishments.

Example of Championships and accomplishments list
  • Promotions and publications are to be listed alphabetically and their name in bold.
  • Items should be tiered in this order: championships, accomplishments, awards. Each tier should typically be ordered alphabetically.
  • Parenthesis should follow most items. For championships, note the individual number of reigns with a link to its respective title history article. For accomplishments and awards, note the year it occurred with a link to its respective event article.
  • Other notes (such as oldest, youngest, first, last, only, etc.) are only covered in the relevant prose section and are not listed in this section.
  • With regards to the PWI 500 and PWI Female 50 rankings, only the wrestler's highest position is noted.

Championship articles

Lead

Include {{Infobox pro wrestling championship}} and fill it out accordingly. The lead should cover the promotion where the championship was present, when it was established, the number of reigns and individual champions, etc. If the championship is active, note the current champion.

History

A summary of notable events during the championship's history should be written. This includes how the championship was introduced and when, the inaugural title holder, and so on.

Reigns

A table format is used to display the title's reign history in chronological order. It spans each overall reign number, the champion, their individual reign number, the number of days held, the date, location and event of which it was won, the number of successful defenses, and additional notes. When a championship reaches ten or more reigns, the list of reign history can be split off into its own article (e.g. WWE ChampionshipList of WWE Champions).

Example of champions table
No. Champion Reign Date Days
held
Location Event Successful defenses Notes Ref.
1 Shiro Koshinaka 1 February 6, 1986 102 Tokyo, Japan Live event 1 Koshinaka defeated The Cobra in a tournament final to become the first champion. [1]
2 Nobuhiko Takada 1 May 19, 1986 123 Tokyo, Japan Live event 6 Defeated Shiro Koshinaka and The Corba in a three-way match. [2]
3 Shiro Koshinaka 2 September 19, 1986 335 Fukuoka, Japan NJPW World 2 NJPW recognizes Koshinaka's reign as lasting 325 days, beginning on September 29, 1986, when the episode aired on tape delay. [3]
Vacated August 20, 1987 Tokyo, Japan House show Vacated due to injury. [4]
  • Successful defenses is only included if the promotion keeps track of them.
  • For tag teams with a name, the team name should come first and the members listed in parenthesis on the next line with {{small}}. In the case of an individual having a different reign number than the team, it should be noted in parenthesis following their name.
  • Rows indicating that the title was vacated or retired, or if the reign is no longer recognized by the promotion, should be colored grey: style="background-color:#e3e3e3"
  • The notes section should only include the following:
    • If the new champion defeated someone other than the previous champion.
    • If the new champion received the title through means other than a match.
    • Match types that were not standard singles matches.
    • Why the title was vacated.
    • The date when the match was aired.
    • If the promotion officially recognizes the reign number or length of reign differently than what actually occurred.

Combined reigns

When there are multiple reigns by at least a single wrestler, an additional table section should be included that combines the number of reigns, days held, and successful defenses of each individual champion.

Example of combined reigns table
Indicates the current champion
Rank Champion No. of
reigns
Combined
defenses
Combined
days held
Combined days held
recognized by WWE
1 Nakamura, ShinsukeShinsuke Nakamura 2 32 741+ 741+
2 Prince Devitt/Finn Bálor 1 17 292 293
3 Bo Dallas 1 15 280 261
3 Adrian Neville 1 15 280 280
5 Big E Langston 1 7 168 154
6 Kevin Owens 1 8 143 143
  • The table is sorted by the most combined days as champion.
  • If two or more wrestlers are tied in days, priority is given in this order: most reigns, most successful defenses, alphabetical.
  • If a wrestler held the title under multiple ring names, all of the names used while holding the title should be listed in order of which they were used.
  • Combined defenses is only included if the promotion keeps track of them.
  • Combined days held recognized by the promotion is only included if they officially recognize a reign as having lasted a different length than what actually occurred.
  • For tag team championships, there should be two separate tables, one for each team and one for each individual wrestler.

Event articles

Lead

The lead of the article should contain brief details of the event. The lead overall should be three paragraphs; for instance, the first paragraph should contain the promotion that produced the event, the date of the event, and the location and venue of the event. It should also contain information of who starred in the event. The second paragraph should explain how many matches were scheduled on the event's card. It should also contain an overview of the event, elaborating the main event(s) and most hyped matches on the undercard. Do not list the process of scoring in this paragraph, only state the outcome of the match and in the type of match it was contested in. Generally, the lead can be written in an in-universe perspective since many of the statements in the lead are explain in an out of universe perspective in the main body prose. The final paragraph should contain a brief overview of the reception of the event; the reception given by generally reliable critics and a reception of the DVD, VHS, and/or Blu-ray Disc. The {{Infobox Wrestling event}} template should go at the top of the article and each field should be filled out accordingly. For the poster caption, only individually list wrestler names if there are six or below wrestlers; for seven and above, use "various wrestlers".

Production

The production section comprises two sub-sections, background and storylines. If one of the sub-sections is not present, then the name of the present sub-section will take precedence as the section name over production.

The background section should contain ...

The storylines section should contain details on at least three rivalries leading into a pay-per-view. When expanding this section, avoid using wrestling jargon. Generally, the first paragraph contains a brief overview of the way professional wrestling functions. This paragraph should explain that professional wrestling involves scripted plots and storylines. In addition, it should be stated that rivalries cast the wrestlers as a face or a heel. Optionally, it can be stated that the scripted events took place on certain television programs of the promotion. If the pay-per-view article is about a promotion that features a brand extension, the prose should state that is a storyline division of the company in which employees are assigned to a specific program, called a brand.

When beginning a sentence to describe a rivalry, the word feud should be avoided, unless an explanation of the term is given, which is staged (or scripted) rivalry. Alternately, words such as narrative and plot can be used to provide variance in the writing. The background should only summarize important events that enhanced the rivalry, such as important segments or matches that took place on television shows or pay-per-view events. Since professional wresting is a work of recorded media, Wikipedia's plot guideline should be adhered to, which states that Wikipedia treats fiction in an encyclopedic manner, discussing the reception, impact, and significance of notable works. A concise plot summary is appropriate as part of the larger coverage of a fictional work. As a result, do not write in-depth when describing a rivalry. Do not write weekly results of the rivalry, only elaborate the most important events that took place during the production time of the pay-per-view, which is generally the time between the previous pay-per-view and the weeks leading to the event which is being expanded. If the rivalry extends from a long period of time, briefly summarize how it began. Important events during a week or a show, such as in-ring segments or matches, should be briefly summarized.

In this section, the wrestler's ring name and birth name in a Wrestler A stage name([[Wrestler A birth/legal name]]) format should be used. The wrestler's birth name should only be mentioned and linked the first time it appears. Unless the wrestler is commonly known by his ring name, which means that they gained prominence under that name, it is unnecessary to list their birth/legal name. If elaborations of matches, gimmicks, or wrestling concepts are explained in this section, they should not be linked or explained at any later point in the article, as that is repetitive and does not adhere to the overlinking guideline of Wikipedia. To avoid wrestling jargon, professional wrestling moves should be explained in a brief and neutral point of view. Writing the name of the wrestling move and then the explanation of how the move is performed should be avoided because it produces grammatical errors in the prose. For example, if the term "chokeslam" is being used, it should not be written in the following format...

The Undertaker then performed a chokeslam, a move where The Undertaker grabs the opponent by the throat, lifts them up, and then slams them down to the mat, on Kane.

Note the length of the sentence and grammatical errors produced by the use of excessive commas. The same term can be explained and pipelinked in the following format...

The Undertaker performed a chokeslam on Henry, lifting him by the throat and slamming him down.

If the name of a move is a nickname for the actual term, such as the "Batista Bomb" for the sitout powerbomb, the nickname should be in quotation marks. For moves that are more technical than others, like the sitout powerbomb, a brief overview of the move should be explained to avoid a sentence of great length and grammatical errors. For example...

Batista then executed a "Batista Bomb", in which he lifted and sat Cena on his shoulders, and slammed him down to the mat.

In general, moves should not be described in the background section because this information would only be present if the editor is inserting week-by-week, play-by-play information into a prose on a rivalry. The exception is if the move was performed outside an official match. Submission holds, and how they are performed, do not have to be described such as throws and attacks because holds require steps that are explained in great length, as a result, it is best to simply wikilink them. Both submissions and pinfalls should be described as scoring conditions in a match, depending whether the match is a variant. Pinning variations, such as the roll-up, should be briefly outlined as to how they are performed. This section should contain details as to the match that wrestlers will compete in. The name of match type in which the wrestlers will fight in, a brief explanation as to details surrounding the match type and its objective, should be given. For example, if the term "ladder match" is used. The match type and its explanation should be written in a format that first introduces the transition to the match, the match type, and a brief explanation of the match type.

The following match was a ladder match, where the objective was to climb a ladder and retrieve an object suspended in the air by a cable.

If the match is in an enclosure based match, such as an Elimination Chamber, it should be written in the same format as above but giving a brief explanation of how the ring has been altered for the match.

The main event was an Elimination Chamber match, featuring wrestlers fighting in a ring surrounded by a steel structure of chain and girders, called the "Chamber". In this match, two wrestlers began the match while four others were locked in pods made of acrylic glass; they were released at time intervals until all six competitors were inside the Chamber. Eliminations occurred through pinfalls and submissions.

If the match is a singles match, the jargon based name can be used as long as its later explain that it is a "standard wrestling match," which implies that it is a bout contested under regular wrestling standards. If the match is a tag team match, no explanation is necessary as it is a common term that does not require an explanation.

Event

The event section should contain details of the pay-per-view itself. This section should contain an elaboration of every match that occurred during the event, including dark matches, or matches that were taped such as for WWE Heat, before the pay-per-view (if any). When writing this section, transitions should be used from paragraph to paragraph. For example, the first paragraph can begin with..

The first match was Samoa Joe versus John Cena in a Hell in a Cell match.

While the next match could begin with

The next (or The following) match was etc..

If the gimmick of the match is elaborated in the background section, there is no need to repeat the elaboration again here. In addition, if the name of the wrestler was written in the format mentioned above in the background section in that section, there is no need to link or write it in that format here, unless that name has not appeared anywhere else above in the article. Only the most important moments during a match that affected the outcome of it should be covered; play-by-play detailing should be avoided, which includes detailing back and forth wrestling. The guideline on describing moves, as outlined in the background section, should be applied here as well. If during a match, a controversial event takes place, such as an interference or a wrestler knocking down a referee, it needs to be noted that as a part of the storyline (or it was scripted) that the said wrestler or referee interfered or was knocked down, respectively.

Matches during the event should only be covered; relatively, backstage segments should not be covered unless they are considered notable. Certain examples of where backstage segments may be notable would be for instance at December to Dismember, where Sabu was found injured backstage. This section should also be split into two subsections, one labeled preliminary matches and the other labeled main event matches. In the main level two header labeled event, the pre-show (dark matches, pre-taped match, etc.) should be covered. In the first level three header, the preliminary matches should be covered, which are the matches that received low promotion by the company.. In the final level three header, the highly promoted matches should be covered; for instance, the most hyped preliminary matches should be in this section, as should the matches from the main event (which are generally the final two matches). The highly promoted preliminary matches are to be included in this section because the term main event refers to bouts that were mainly advertised by a company, and these matches were the only ones under the main events to receive high advertising.

When elaborating the ending of a match, a description of the process of how it ended and the scoring condition as to how a wrestler won the match, should be given, while adhering to the move description guideline outlined in the background section. For example..

After hitting him with a sledgehammer, Triple H covered Shawn Michaels for the pinfall.

or

Cena then performed the Attitude Adjustment on Michaels, in which he lifted and threw Michaels off his shoulders down to the mat. This followed with Cena gaining a pinfall.

If the move was already described earlier in the article, there is no need in elaborating how it is performed again.

Aftermath

The aftermath section should contain details of the "aftermath" of the rivalries outlined in the article. In this section, a brief overview of what occurred after the event should be elaborated. When elaborating the aftermath of a feud, only the important events that affected the feud afterwards should be explained in this section. The difference of writing this section and background is that this section should go in even less detail on the aftermath. Generally, the aftermath should be one paragraph, which states straightforward on what occurred after the event. If staged rivalries completely stopped, or whether they continued for several months afterwards, it needs to be elaborated in this section in the briefest way possible.

Aside from the aftermath of rivalries, a subsection should be included labeled reception. In this section, a reception to the event should be included. This subsection should be at least one paragraph long. This section should include the attendance for the event, the ticket sales from the attendance, and the buyrate of the pay-per-view, if that information is available from reliable sources. Aside from economy, reception by a critic should also be included; an example of a critic is Canadian Online Explorer and their professional wrestling section SLAM! Sports – wrestling. In general, critics don't have to be from reliable sources, but they should be from sources that have a reputation for their reviews. Another example would be 411Mania.com or WrestleZone.com (these are only reliable for criticism). After elaborating this information, a reception to the DVD, VHS, and/or Blu-ray Disc of the event should also be included. If the media is ranked by a major sales chart, for example on Billboard, that information should be included. Other DVD information that may be included is reviews from major critics like Rotten Tomatoes.

Results

The results section should only list the results of each match, the order in which they occurred, the stipulation of the match, and the amount of time that each match took. Other details of the match should be established in the event section. The results of the event should be displayed with {{Pro Wrestling results table}}.

Example of results table
No. Results Stipulations Times
1D Heath Slater defeated Brad Maddox Singles match N/A
2P The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) (c) (with Xavier Woods) defeated Cesaro and Sheamus Tag team match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship 10:18
3 CM Punk defeated Carlito, Chris Jericho, John Morrison, Montel Vontavious Porter, Mr. Kennedy and Shelton Benjamin Money in the Bank ladder match 15:12
4 A.J. Styles vs. Daniel Bryan ended in a draw Last Man Standing match 22:56
5 Cesaro won by last eliminating Big Show[Elimination order 1] 31-man battle royal for the André the Giant Memorial Trophy 13:25
6 Eddie Guerrero defeated Kurt Angle (c) 2–1 Two-out-of-three falls match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship 28:46
7 Alexa Bliss defeated Bayley and Sasha Banks Triple threat match to determine the No. 1 contender to the WWE Raw Women's Championship 9:46
8 John Cena defeated Wade Barrett by submission Singles match; had Cena lost, he would have had to join The Nexus. 17:06
9 Stone Cold Steve Austin (c) defeated The Rock Hell in a Cell match for the WWE Championship with Mr. McMahon as the special guest referee 32:12
  • (c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match
  • D – indicates the match was a dark match
  • P – indicates the match took place on the pre-show
  • The no. column represents the order in which the matches took place. If the article is about a future event, the order should be based on the order in which they were announced.
  • The results column contains the match result and should be modeled after the following example: [Wrestler A] defeated [Wrestler B].
    • If the match ended in submission, disqualification, or countout, it should proceed the example above with by [decision].
    • If the match ended in no contest or draw, the result should read: [Wrestler A] vs. [Wrestler B] ended in a [decision].
    • In the case of a battle royal, the result should read: [Winner] won by last eliminating [Final eliminated participant]. The other participants may be noted below the table, if covered by a reliable source.
  • The stipulations column is any other information relating to the match itself, such as the type of match, any championships being contested for, or a storyline stipulation in the match. The first word in each row under this column should be capitalized.
    • If the match is contested in a standard one-on-one match, Singles match should be listed. Similarly, if the match is a standard two-on-two match, Tag team match should be used.
    • If the match is contested in a different match type, the stipulations column should list the match type, e.g. Steel cage match.
    • If a championship is contested for in a match, it should be listed as [Match type] for the [championship], e.g. Hell in a Cell match for the WWE Championship.
    • If there is a stipulation to a championship or non-championship match, it should also be listed, e.g. Singles match; had Cena lost he would have had to join The Nexus.
  • The times column should contain the length of each match as provided by a reliable source. If the time is not available, it should be listed as N/A.
  • It is okay to wikilink articles in this section because tables are the only exceptions to the overlinking guideline of Wikipedia.

Additional sections

See also

Include relevant articles in a bulleted list format where useful. For example, in the WWE United Kingdom Championship article, a link to the WWE European Championship would be beneficial to the reader.

References

Articles must meet the requirement for verifiability and include reliable sources with inline citations. Any contentious material or personal information regarding a living person must strictly abide by this guideline. Be mindful of overciting and balancing redundant citations in lead sections or infoboxes. For a list of both reliable sources and sources to be avoided in professional wrestling articles, see Wikipedia:WikiProject Professional wrestling/Sources.

External links

The final section, which is not mandatory, contains relevant external links in a bulleted list format.

For biographies:

External links in wrestling biographies should typically contain their official website ({{Official website}}), wrestling profiles, and IMDb profile ({{IMDb name}}).

  • Links to certain official profiles are supported through templates, such as {{WWE superstar}}, {{Roh roster}}, and {{NJPW profile}}.
  • Profiles from databases can be linked via {{Professional wrestling profiles}}. Sites currently supported are Cagematch.net, Wrestlingdata.com, and Internet Wrestling Database.
  • Online World of Wrestling profiles should not be included in this section, per this discussion.

For other articles:

  • Event articles should contain the official website of the event and the official website of the event's venue.
  • Championship articles should contain the promotion's official listing of the championship's history, in addition to a reliable secondary source of its history.
Example of external links

For biographies (e.g. John Cena):

  • John Cena on WWE.com
  • John Cena's profile at Cagematch.net, Wrestlingdata.com, Internet Wrestling Database
  • John Cena on IMDb

For championship articles (e.g. WWE Championship):

  • Official WWE Championship Title History
  • Wrestling-Titles.com: WWE Championship

For event articles (e.g. WrestleMania XX):

  • Official website of WrestleMania XX
  • Official website of Madison Square Garden

Below external links, include relevant navboxes from Category:Professional wrestling navigational boxes.

Categories

Categories should be present at the end of each article and sorted alphabetically.

Example of categorization

For biographies:

[[Category:1985 births]]
[[Category:American professional wrestlers]]
[[Category:Living people]]

For championship articles (e.g. WWE Championship):

[[Category:World heavyweight wrestling championships]]
[[Category:WWE championships]]

For event articles (e.g. WrestleMania XXX):

[[Category:2014 in Louisiana]]
[[Category:2014 in professional wrestling]]
[[Category:2014 WWE Network events]]
[[Category:Mercedes-Benz Superdome]]
[[Category:Professional wrestling in Louisiana]]
[[Category:Professional wrestling in New Orleans]]
[[Category:Sports competitions in New Orleans|Wrestling, Pro]]
[[Category:WrestleMania]]
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