How to Write a Wrestling Scene


Part One

  1. Who’s wrestling, what for, where at, and who’s watching?

»A. Why have these people took the time to compete and why them and no one else?

I. Establish the character’s role in this match: are they the bad guy? Bad mouth the crowd, or the opponent, or refuse to slap hands. Are they the good guy? Give the crowd the thumbs up, shake the ref’s hand.

II. Why have the decided to wrestle? For money, to make a point? For fun or practice? Were two brothers forced to wrestle for the entertainment of the king?  


»B. Describe the surrounding and who’s there, if at all to witness the match.

I. Is there a ring or floor? Is the area open to fight or closed off? Family watching? Paid audience? Royalty? No one? Do they crowd the wrestlers like a street fight? Or run from them because they are deadly? Think of Superman fighting a villain.  Would you want to get close? Chances are, not really. Take that quick selfie and then bounce.  

II. How about authorities? Are they standing by? Any medical support on the look out for these wrestlers? Can they intervene? Do they want to intervene or prevent the wrestling?  


Part Two

    1. The rules of the game. What type of wrestling? Essentially, wrestling is just two or bodies (human or creature) fighting and slamming each other to the ground. The fight can includes kicks, punches…slams. Professional wrestling is different because the person get paid.  It’s not fake but it is scripted.

»A. What type of wrestling are they doing? Sumo, mixed, freestyle? What are the rules?

I. In traditional wrestling, you can win via pin, by having more points at the end of the 3rd period,  or by outscoring your opponent by 15 points at any given time.

Five ways to score points in a wrestling match:
1) Takedown – (2 points)  for taking opponent down to the mat and controlling him/her.
2) Escape – (1 point) for getting away or getting to a neutral position when your opponent has you down on the mat.

3) Reversal – (2 points) when opponent has you down on the mat and you come from underneath and gain control of the opponent.

4) Near Pin(Back Points) – (2 or 3 points)  when you almost but not quite get your opponent pinned. If a near fall lasts for two seconds, you get 2 points. If a near fall lasts for 5 seconds, you get 3 points. Example…

  • both shoulders are held for two seconds within four inches of the mat, or…
  • one shoulder touches the mat and the other shoulder is at a 45 degree angle coming down to the mat, or…
  • the wrestler is held in a high bridge or back on both elbows.

5) Penalty Points – (1 or 2 points) opponent is awarded points if you commit infractions such as illegal holds.

II.  For sumo wrestling, a person loses a match when any part of his body other than the bottoms of his feet touches the dohyo or when he is pushed or thrown outside of the ring. In the middle of the ring are two white lines. When a judge gives the signal to fight, both wrestlers crouch behind those lines and face each other. When both wrestlers place both hands clenched in fists on or behind the lines, the match begins. 


»B. Any penalties or redos? Is someone not playing by the rules?

I. I speak a little more about penalties in part three. However, if there is any problems with wrestling you can add the character freaking out, going insane and actually trying to kill their opponent. Or multiple penalties made on purpose if the individual wants to lose. Maybe constantly injuring the competition, breaking a limb or spraining a ligament. Spitting in their face, acting like a young child not allowed to have candy, farting in one’s face, bumping heads, etc. Or, they could just lie there as the opponent attacks them.  


Part Three

    1. Techniques and/or complications.

»A. Describe the techniques and cool moves.

I. Some techniques in wrestling:

  1. Attacks
    Dropkick, Leg drop
  2. Throws
    Backbreaker, Brainbuster, Piledriver, Powerbomb, Powerslam, Stunner Suplex
  3. Holds
    Nelson hold, Pin, Sharpshooter


II. Sumo Moves:

  • abise-taoshi using the body to force opponent down inside the ring.
  • ami-uchi forcing opponent down to the ring by grabbing his arms, spreading the body out, and then pulling him down.
  • ashi-tori lifting the opponent’s leg up forcing him to topple to the ring floor off balance.
  • chon-gake tipping the opponent’s opposite side leg by the ankle (e.g. right leg tips right ankle) making it aloft, then pushing opponent down.
  • fusensho winning by default because your opponent didn’t show up.
  • hansoku winning by default because your opponent performed an illegal maneuver.
  • harima-nage rear-belt throw.
  • hataki-komi pulling opponent down to the ring by the head, neck, or shoulders


»B. What physical complications arose while wrestling?

I. Someone could not show up to the match due to injuries. Someone could die, break a limb, fracture a bone, suffocate, heart attack, panic attack, asthma attack, dehydrations, and/or loss of concentration.  

II. Can they get help immediate and how does the match end? Will there be a rematch? Do people cheer, boo, get silent. Does the medical professionals help the wrestlers on the mat or can they take them off? How much time goes by before people begin to worry about the fate of the wrestler?  



Part Four

    1. How is audience, judge and referee involved?

»A. Do they help the match go on or make it worse?

I. Judges (if any) or referee have the authority to prolong a match, stop it or cut it short. How they do that sometimes relies also on what the audience wants. Can they have the wrestlers take a break, change the opponent completely, restate the rules of the match, tell the audience what is going on during a medical emergency?  

II. How does the audience look? What are they wearing? Who are they cheering for? What look is on their faces? Do they start walking out of the arena, bored? Do they throw things at the wrestlers, stomp their feet, clap, sing a chant?

How does this behavior affect the wrestlers and does it make them more confident to push through even though they are visibly weakening?  


Part Five

    1. Who wins, who loses?

»A. How does this all end?

I. The good guy or bad guy wins? How and what is their reward? What is the score, if any, and what will happen to the loser?  




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