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The Language of WWE – Banned Terms Sent Out to International TV Workers

– WWE has an information sheet titled “The Language of WWE” that they send out to people that do international voice-overs for their TV shows in other countries. The sheet includes a list of “Incorrect Terminology” and a list of “Correct Terminology.”

“The Language of WWE” reads like this:

“World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is a publicly traded entertainment company (NYSE: WWE) that creates and delivers a weekly action soap opera to its passionate fans.

WWE has been a recognized leader in entertainment for more than 25 years and has developed into one of the most popular and sophisticated forms of global entertainment today.

As a global entertainment brand, the language that we use when communicating on WWE is critical.

Please ensure that you are familiar and employing the below, effective immediately. “

Here’s a look at some of the terms:

* “Wrestling” or “catch” is banned. Some European countries still use the term “catch” to describe pro wrestling and “catchers” to describe wrestlers. “The Language of WWE” states that the following phrases are incorrect: “Wrestling is broadcast in 145 countries,” or “Catch is broadcast in 145 countries.” The correct terminology is: “WWE is broadcast in 145 countries.”

* “Sports” is incorrect. “Entertainment or Action Soap Opera” is allowed. For example, “WWE is exciting entertainment” or “WWE is an exciting action soap opera” is allowed. In the last example, “action soap opera” is printed in bold, presumably to make sure there’s no confusion.

* “Catchers” or “wrestlers” are not allowed. Incorrect examples are “Catchers are unique characters” or “Wrestlers are unique characters.” The term “WWE Superstars” is allowed.

* “Athletes” or “Sportsmen” are not allowed either. WWE gives the following example to use: “WWE Superstars are entertainers with tremendous athletic prowess.”

* The term “fight” is not allowed. Matches must be referred to as “match” or “bout.”

* “Fighting” is also not allowed but the term “action” is.

“The Language of WWE” printout concludes with the following “Key Soundbytes”:

* WWE is pure entertainment

* WWE is an action soap opera

* WWE Superstars are entertainers with tremendous athletic prowess

Source:’s Figure 4 Weekly

  • B

    Wait,does that mean The Big Show is now “The World’s Largest Entertainer?”

  • Psychomiklos

    Action soap opera… sounds like something that goes on in prison showers :S

  • RPM

    i find it funny that they call it action soap opera and you can’t say fighting but then criticize john morrison saying he looks less like he’s fighting and more like he is entertaining, shouldn’t that be what they want?

    Somebody seems confused in the WWE.

  • Howe

    Wow. I shouldn’t have read this because now I don’t even want to endorse or watch the product anymore. Sports entertainment was bad enough, but now action soap opera? What the hell? That’s pretty bad.

  • William

    It is still wrestling to me and I will say whatever I feel like.

  • Jay EZ

    I can’t wait for Friday Night Action Soap Opera. I’m laughing my ass off. Wonder how long it will take the WWE to say action soap opera in the USA on tv.

  • Chris

    Oh boy, I can’t wait to tell my friends I’m home watching an “Action Soap Opera”

  • RKOmonster

    @ Justin

    hahaha!! that was a good one.

    We can only settle this in an act.

  • M.C.

    Action soap opera? What will they do next? Call matches “entertainment exhibitions”?

  • Jimbo

    OK, I think this is the final indication that Vince has gone senile and demented. Hopefully HHH and Stephanie will fix things when they take over.


    THIS IS F’N STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • The Great One

    Just want to point out a little something. Do you guys remember not even a month ago when rock called cena out, and cena said, rock i adressed you like a mna, but if you want to FIGHT lets FIGHT. Hmmm seems cena can do what ever the fuck he wants.

    AS for the rest, its a joke, Vince prefers that wwe is called a soap oepra rather than wrestling ? What a fucking joke vince has become, dont mean to sound nasty hear, but the sooner vince either leaves wwe or dies the better wwe will be, hopefully triple h brings the word wrestling back

  • Justin

    By the way:

    My name is Finlay, and I love to act.

  • Justin

    Haha the conservative McMahon establishment has turned WWE into a fucking Communist form of entertainment. I LOVE IT.

  • Kyle

    VINCE DROP DEAD itll be the best thing for the company

  • the only one that pisses me off is that they won’t call “superstars” athletes way to show respect to those men and women risking their bodies every night to make you a few bucks!

  • RKOmonster

    sooo…. what happens if they use the banned terms? are they gonna be fined? stupid.

  • what

    wwe is a novela

  • Rick S.

    The reason we care what its called is simple. It’s a matter of how WWE chooses to perceive and represent itself and the effect it has on the product. If they dont call themselves a wrestling company, if what they show isnt called wrestling, then slowly but surely wrestling will continue to be phased out of the product. I mean come on. We already have 2 hour or longer shows where less than 30 minutes of in ring action takes place. That means of the 1 hour 42 minutes of actual programming (commercials takes up rough 18-20 minutes)we get an hour and 15 minutes average of random nonsense. Why not put a few additional matches on instead? Because WWE says they aren’t wrestling anymore, they’re Action Soap Opera. So they focus less on the matches. I want to watch wrestling. Not Action Soap Opera. I wish WWE would realize that if they want to have non wrestling products, like cartoons, movies, and the like, they should keep this stuff off RAW and Smackdown and create additional programming for it. Keep your non wrestling crap of my wrestling show.


    I told y’all that WWE ain’t nothing but a DAMN SOAP OPERA!!!!

  • CC

    Its common sense on WWE’s part as it means they cannot be held to the same rules as most sporting commissions require.
    Dont forget, they initially changed their description to Sports entertainment some years ago so they could not be held accountable if their stars were using steroids.
    Its not that they necessarily turn a blind eye to it, its just that they cant be fined or prosecuted for breaking governing body rules etc.

    By not using those terms it will open them up to other avenues, and as mentioned above, would probably help them with such things as insurance etc.

    At the end of the day, it doesnt matter what WWE calls things or tells media outlets to call things, they have no jurisdiction over fans around the world who will call things whatever they want.

    I think fans get too worked up about shit like this. Who cares what anything is called, its what they do physically is all that should matter.

  • Chris E.

    Must be some danger of legitimate sport bodies demanding WWE pay something, or pay a premium for insurance, or something WWE deems as negative to make them push the entertainment terms.

  • rick

    Action Soap Opera? Might as well call it Gay Sex.

  • Mike Oxafloppin

    I’ve always thought that the term fighting shouldn’t be used in wrestling just simply because it’s not a fight. The fact that I’m both a fan of wrestling and mixed martial arts may have something to do with it, but I’ve never really believed any wrestler who would say, “Tonight I’ve come for a fight” because just knowing how scripted it is it’s hard to believe that fists are going to fly and the two are going to straight beat the shit out of each other well in this day in age anyway, and by that I mean before kayfabe was broken and the business was so guarded that no one except for the wrestlers knew that it was scripted. However there was one match since that time where the line was blurred and I have to give the wrestlers (I don’t call them Superstars either) credit. It was Edge vs. Matt Hardy at SummerSlam with the whole real life story of Lita, that didn’t come off as a wrestling match but more of something you’d see in PRIDE, with the whole fighting in the ring and soccer kicks on the ground.

  • markg

    so there will never be another streetfight its just a street match

  • mabry

    this is dumb…. i so much miss the 90´s…..

  • dlb

    i’m guessign in some countries action soap opera translates into something tht doesn’t sound so stupid… but knowing vince probably not

  • I bet this won’t last when WWE loses more ratings. That idea will flop, and eventually WWE will have to go back to wrestling.

  • !?

    No offense to WWE, but some of that terminology just sounds f**king stupid.