What is a Mark in Wrestling? A Clear Definition

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What Is a Mark In Wrestling
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A mark in wrestling is a term used to describe a fan who is knowledgeable about the sport and is aware of the scripted nature of professional wrestling. These fans are also known as smart fans, smarks, or wrestling enthusiasts. They are often seen as the most passionate and dedicated fans of the sport.

Marks are known for their ability to recognize and appreciate the athleticism and storytelling involved in professional wrestling. They are also known for their ability to predict the outcomes of matches based on their knowledge of the storylines and the wrestlers involved. Marks often engage in discussions and debates about wrestling on online forums and social media platforms.

While marks are often seen as knowledgeable and passionate fans, they can also be seen as overly critical and negative towards the product. Some marks may become disillusioned with the scripted nature of wrestling and may criticize the storylines and booking decisions made by wrestling companies. Despite this, marks remain an important part of the wrestling community and continue to play a significant role in the growth and development of the sport.

Understanding Wrestling Terminology

Definition of a Mark

In wrestling, there are many terms and phrases used that may not be familiar to those who are not fans of the sport. One such term is “mark.”

A mark is a term used to describe a fan who is completely invested in the world of professional wrestling. They are often seen as easy targets for wrestlers looking to manipulate the crowd or sell merchandise.

Marks are known for their enthusiasm and willingness to suspend disbelief in order to fully immerse themselves in the storytelling aspect of wrestling. They are often the most vocal members of the audience, cheering and booing their favorite and least favorite wrestlers respectively.

Despite being seen as easy targets, marks are an important part of the wrestling industry. They provide the energy and excitement that makes wrestling events so entertaining. Without them, the sport would not be as successful as it is today.

Overall, understanding the terminology used in wrestling is important for both fans and those new to the sport. By knowing the meaning behind terms like “mark,” fans can fully appreciate the unique culture and history of professional wrestling.

Historical Context of the Term ‘Mark’

In professional wrestling, a “mark” refers to a fan who believes that the events in the ring are real and not staged. The term has a long history in the industry, dating back to the early days of wrestling in the late 19th century.

At that time, wrestling was a legitimate sport, and matches were often contested without predetermined outcomes. However, as the sport became more popular, promoters began to stage matches and choreograph storylines to make them more entertaining for fans.

As a result, some fans began to realize that the matches were not entirely legitimate and that some outcomes were predetermined. These fans were often referred to as “smart marks,” as they were aware of the staged nature of the matches but still enjoyed them.

Over time, the term “mark” came to refer to any fan who was not aware of the staged nature of the matches. This was often used derogatorily, as wrestlers and promoters would sometimes refer to fans as “marks” in order to belittle them.

Today, the term “mark” is still used in the wrestling industry, but it has taken on a different connotation. While some fans may still believe that wrestling is entirely real, most fans are aware that the matches are staged and enjoy them for their entertainment value. As a result, the term “mark” is now often used to refer to fans who are particularly enthusiastic or passionate about wrestling.

Usage of ‘Mark’ in Professional Wrestling

Professional wrestling is a unique form of entertainment that involves a lot of behind-the-scenes work to create the illusion of a real competition. One of the terms commonly used in the industry is “mark,” which refers to a fan who is believed to be easily fooled by the scripted events that take place in the ring. This section will explore how the term “mark” is used in professional wrestling.

Interaction Between Wrestlers and Marks

Wrestlers often interact with marks during live events, either to enhance the drama of the match or to sell merchandise. For example, a wrestler might taunt a mark in the audience to get a reaction or insult them to generate heat. Marks may also be chosen to participate in segments known as “fan interactions,” where they get to meet their favorite wrestlers and take photos with them.

However, it’s important to note that not all fans who attend wrestling events are marks. Some fans are very knowledgeable about the industry and can recognize the scripted nature of the matches. These fans are often referred to as “smart marks” and are highly valued by wrestling promotions for their dedication and passion.

Mark in Wrestling Promotions

The term “mark” is also used within wrestling promotions to refer to fans who are seen as easy targets for marketing and promotion. For example, a promotion might target marks with a certain demographic profile, such as young children or teenage boys, when designing merchandise or advertising campaigns.

Promotions also use the term “mark” to describe fans who are loyal to a particular wrestler or storyline. These fans are seen as valuable because they are more likely to attend events, buy merchandise, and spread the word about the promotion to others.

In conclusion, the term “mark” is a common one in the world of professional wrestling. It is used to describe fans who are believed to be easily fooled by the scripted events that take place in the ring. While the term has some negative connotations, it is also used to describe fans who are passionate about the industry and can be valuable assets to wrestling promotions.

Controversies and Criticisms of the Term ‘Mark’

While the term ‘mark’ is widely used in the wrestling industry, it has been the subject of controversies and criticisms over the years. Some of the main criticisms of the term are:

Negative connotations

The term ‘mark’ is often used to describe fans who are perceived as gullible or easily fooled by the scripted nature of wrestling. This has led to negative connotations associated with the term, with some fans feeling insulted or offended by being referred to as ‘marks’. Some critics argue that the use of the term perpetuates the idea that wrestling fans are less intelligent or discerning than fans of other sports or entertainment.


The use of the term ‘mark’ has also been criticized for stereotyping wrestling fans. Critics argue that the term reinforces the idea that all wrestling fans are the same, when in reality there is a wide range of fans who enjoy wrestling for different reasons and in different ways. This can lead to a lack of understanding and empathy towards fans who do not fit the stereotype of a ‘mark’.


Some fans use the term ‘mark’ as a way to gatekeep the wrestling community, excluding those who they deem to be less knowledgeable or passionate about the industry. This can create a toxic environment where fans are judged and criticized based on their level of fandom, rather than their enjoyment of the product.

Overall, while the term ‘mark’ remains a common part of wrestling vernacular, it is not without its controversies and criticisms. Wrestlers and fans alike should be mindful of the negative connotations and stereotypes associated with the term, and strive to create a welcoming and inclusive community for all.


In conclusion, a mark in wrestling refers to the act of making an intentional cut or wound on one’s own body in order to enhance the realism of a match. This practice is highly discouraged and has been banned by several wrestling organizations due to the risks involved.

While marks may add to the drama and excitement of a match, they can also lead to serious health problems such as infections, scarring, and even blood-borne diseases. Wrestlers who engage in this practice are also at risk of being disqualified or suspended from their respective organizations.

It is important for wrestlers to prioritize their health and safety above all else. Instead of resorting to dangerous tactics like marks, they should focus on improving their skills and techniques to deliver a thrilling and authentic performance for their fans.

In summary, marks may have been a common practice in wrestling in the past, but they have no place in the modern era of sports entertainment. Wrestlers should strive to provide an entertaining and engaging performance without putting their health and well-being at risk.

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