Pro Wrestling Episode
A Pro Wrestling Episode is just that: an episode that takes place at a Professional Wrestling match or event. It is expected for this type of episode to appear on live action pro wrestling shows or fictional works whose premise revolves around pro wrestling. This becomes more distinct on a work that does not interact with (or even mention) wrestling before the episode.
If the latter does occur, expect a series regular, Fake Guest Star or character who is a wrestling fan to get involved a match somehow. There is also a good chance that someone will hint, if not say outright, that wrestling is fake, unless it's real. Usually averted with Indian leg wrestling, Greco-Roman, Sumo, Yağlı Güreş (Turkish oil wrestling) and Olympic/collegiate wrestling, because of those examples actually are real.
Pretty much a stock Live Action TV Tropes.
Compare with Boxing Episode.
Anime & Manga
- Spider-Man's origin story involving him in the ring with Crusher Hogan.
- Thing from the Fantastic Four had issues dealing with his entry in a super-powered wrestling federation in both the FF series and his own self-titled series. This federation is called "Unlimited Wrestling Federation" and he is an undefeated champion.
- Issue #18 of The Powerpuff Girls (DC Comics, Oct. 2001) dealt with a monster caterpillar with a wrestling get-up. Blossom and Buttercup have to wrap it up in adhesive tape (Bubbles was too busy protecting a butterfly from getting its wings wet), which in turn transforms the caterpillar into a monster wrestling butterfly. Blossom and Buttercup get their clock cleaned by the winged beast—Bubbles runs away from home after the scorn heaped upon her for not participating earlier.
- An issue of Archie's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures series featured the turtles traveling to another dimension where Ace Duck wrestles Leatherhead in a huge arena. They are quickly selected to participate.
Live Action TV
- In Mama's Family episode "Mama Mania", Naomi fills in for the Tag Team partner of a former classmate of hers named Dee Dee, Naomi agrees when Dee Dee says she'd do all the wrestling. When Thelma accidentally knocks out Dee Dee, Thelma fights in her place. Thelma and Naomi win becoming Tag Team champions. The fact that the opponents were Dumb Muscle helped.
- Similar to the Mama's Family episode, Family Matters episode "Psycho Twins", Urkel and Carl take over for his former classmate and his tag team partner after they drink a potent soporific called "Snooze Juice" that Urkel carelessly left. Carl and Urkel (under the name the Psycho Twins hence the title) were facing real pro-wrestlers, the Bushwackers, who offered to go easy on them. When Urkel revealed to them that Carl was a cop, the Bushwackers (who hate cops) attacked them legitimately and started a fan-riot. Afterwards Carl and Urkel were heavily bandaged up.
- Boy Meets World has "The thrilla in Philla" where class bully Frankie's father is pro-wrestler Vader. The episode starts as a collegiate wrestling rivalry between Corey and class-bully Joey. Until Vader shows up and he Joey and Frankie team up against Corey. Eric, Mr. Feeney and Mr. Turner come to his aid and get Vader to back off. Vader than say the next time he'll take on Feeney in a Texas Death Match.
- The show Learning the Ropes is about Robert Randall, a teacher, vice principal and father of two who moonlights as a pro wrestler named the "Masked Maniac". Several NWA wrestlers, including Ric Flair often guest star.
- The show Nikki stared Nikki Cox (of Unhappily Ever After fame) as Las Vegas showgirl living in Las Vegas with her husband, a professional wrestler. Suffice to say several episode were Pro Wrestling Episodes.
- Xena: Warrior Princess has at least two: one visited event and one Xena stages herself.
- Charmed had an episode involving not a show but a professional wrestling training program. The witches were challenged to take on Booker T and Scott Steiner in order to get...something.
- Nightman once went to a WCW event because one of his friends was an avid fan of new wrestler, the "Golden Boy".
- Angel has the Vampire Detective visit a lucha libre event with a retired wrestler who is so disgusted with the shows he never sits through the whole thing. The show in fact regularly holds tributes to the guy as Angel witnesses but he never stays long enough to see them honor him. The rest of the plot is more of an homage to El Santo and his film career (spent fighting gangsters, robots, vampires and other monsters).
- The main cast goes to see a Professional Wrestling event on That '70s Show which features modern wrestlers like The Rock playing older ones like Rocky Johnson. "Wrestling is Fake" is mentioned (though it wasn't common knowledge in the time period, Red is said to have wrestled himself in the past).
- Quantum Leap had a wrestling episode but as every episode has a different premise, it was probably inevitable.
- Zeke & Luther get themselves involved in a professional wrestling show.
- Married... with Children had two. Both featured a Bundy from the main cast getting manhandled by wrestlers at the show. One did it for money and the other got himself booked by accident. One of the wrestlers was said to be Peg's cousin and was played by King Kong Bundy.
- King Kong Bundy made an appearance as himself. Al said the nickname was borrowed from Peg's mother.
- On the Honey I Shrunk the Kids TV show, Bret and Owen Hart come to the Szalinski's hometown and get hurt accidentally by Diane and Chief McKenna. They ask Wayne and the chief to wrestle in their place because wrestling promoters "aren't very understanding" on why a match can't take place. Not only did they beat their opponents (due to Wayne's strength-enhancing suit and an abrupt redition of "Pop Goes the Weasel") but it turns out the opponents were escaped convicts.
- On The Jeff Foxworthy Show, the episode "Wrestling Opera" had Jeff take his son to a night of pro wrestling to avoid a class trip to the opera. Randy Savage and Eric Bischoff guest star.
- In the short-lived UPN show The Mullets, the Mullet brothers get tickets to "Wrestlemania" (but as shown, it's clearly just a WWE House Show, not actually Wrestlemania. They give the tickets to their mom, the former Mrs. Mullet, who is thrilled. Her new husband, not so much. The Dudley Boys appeared as themselves.
- Are You Being Served? has a Boxing Episode that turns into a Wrestling Episode. Captain Peacock is challanged to a boxing match, but has to back out, so Mr. Humphries takes his place in a wrestling match instead. The episode guest-stars a famous British wrestler - whose name escapes me.
- The Adventures of Superman: Superman foils the schemes of the Villain of the Week, who is out to cripple all the wrestlers in town whose contracts he doesn't own.
- Bonanza: Hoss accidentally hurts the wrestler in a travelling carnival and takes over the gig while the wrestler recuperates.
- Little House On the Prairie: In the 1979 episode "The King is Dead", the sport's early carny origins are exposed, although in the climactic scene the champion wrestler in this episode — an aging athlete suffering from heart failure — defeats a loudmouthed challenger using his own, legit athletic skills (putting the arrogant challenger in a legit bearhug and refusing to let go until the mouthy youngster passes out); he dies shortly after winning the match. The champion wrestler's manager, played by Ray Walston (of My Favorite Martian (TV) fame) is named Jimmy Hart ... the real name of a young musician who would become one of the best-known WWF personalities in the 1980s and 1990s.
- The Dick Van Dyke Show: at the end of an episode which is about the new song/dance craze The Twizzle (a combination of the Twist and the Sizzle), Sally comes in with a new version: the Twazzle, a combination of the Twizzle and wrestling. Done by Classy Freddie Blassie.
- The A-Team: The 1985 episode "Body Slam" starred Hulk Hogan in a plot that made heavy use of Hogan's wrestling career (including footage from a 1984 match vs. Greg "the Hammer" Valentine, presented as legit), and featured several WWF faces as un-billed extras in a scene where they fight off that episode's villains. In the segment featuring the Hogan-Valentine match, the ending is altered to show the bad guys entering the arena to confront and assassinate Hogan (don't worry, they're stopped in time).
- The Three Stooges In the short Grips, Grunts and Groans, Curly is forced to impersonate a champion wrestler named Bustoff after accidentally incapacitating him.
- Bull from Night Court ends up getting a job as a wrestler for a very short time. Notable scenes include 'You came this close to hitting me!' with a wrestler holding his hands half a metre apart, and later a wrestler going through an actual script wondering why Bull's match isn't going the way it should.
- "That Wrestling Show" of the first season of That '70s Show. Featuring guest appearances by the Hardy Bros. (Matt's the guy with the shaggy hair and you can see Jeff in the background with blond hair backstage) and The Rock playing as his father, Rocky Johnson.
- The Animaniacs episode "Fake" has Dr. Scratchansniff takes the Warners to a wrestling event. The sibs are embarrassed to be there, partially because the match is fake. Scratchansniff, frustrated with trying to reasoning with them, yells that wrestling isn't fake. All anyone else heard was "Fake!" and one of the wrestlers dragged him into the ring where they beat him to a pulp. Only then does Yakko admit that wrestling may not be fake.
- Kim Possible does this in "Pain King vs. Cleopatra".
- Futurama had a robot battle episode that was a spoof on professional wrestling, with all the standard cliches including the Foreign Wrestling Heel robot opponent. Fry believes wrestling from his time was real and boxing is fake.
- The episode "The Blind Bandit" from Avatar: The Last Airbender has the Gaang check out an underground earthbending tournament in hopes of finding Aang someone to teach him the art. The tournament, "Earth Rumble VI", is a blatant extended Shout-Out to pro wrestling; with a championship belt, an Foreign Wrestling Heel, and an earthbender named The Boulder who speaks in the third person and is even voiced by a semi-retired pro wrestler. Half the plot has to do with the organizer and other "wrestlers" believing that the reigning champ (Toph) worked with Aang and threw a match so they could claim the prize money.
- Bugs Bunny stumbled upon a professional wrestling event at least once, in "Bunny Hugged". He was the mascot of wrestler Ravishing Ronald, but when he gets pummeled, Bugs steps into the ring as the Masked Terror.
- And before that, Porky Pig became an unwitting grappler in 1936's Porky The Wrestler.
- "WTF", an episode of South Park, has the kids get really into wrestling after seeing Edge and John Cena. They don't really care about wrestling so much as for Chewing the Scenery and Bathos.
- This shows up twice in Scooby Doo; first in the A Pup Named Scooby-Doo episode "Wrestle Maniacs" and later in the What's New, Scooby-Doo? episode also called "Wrestle Maniacs".
- The Dial M for Monkey short "Rasslor" had a powerful alien challenging the heroes of Earth to wrestle him. If they all failed, the Earth would be destroyed. The tournament was depicted as a series of Professional Wrestling matches, and Rasslor was voiced by professional wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage.
- The Ren and Stimpy Show, episode "Mad Dog Hoek".
- The Fairly OddParents episode "Odd Jobs" has Timmy wishing his dad had a cooler job. One of which was as a Pro Wrestler named the "Pencil Pusher".
- The Rugrats episode "Wrestling Grandpa", being mostly from the babies' POV, has this trope in spades.
- In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fast Forward, Pro Wrestling has become a legit sport. However, being from the past, Raphael is unaware of this and treats it like it's all a show, at least until he gets his shell kicked by a disgruntled wrestler, Tripple Threat, who becomes a recurring villain.
- The Cars Toon Monster Truck Mater, where Mater actually tells Lightning McQueen that he was originally a monster truck named Tormentor who was able to take down other monster trucks like Ice Screamer, Captain Collision, Rastacarian, Doctor Feelbad, and Paddy O'Concrete all by himself, but during the final showdown against the champion, Doctor Frankenwagon and his Monster, he had to rely on his teammate Frightning McMean to defeat both Frankenwagon and the Monster.
- In the American Dragon: Jake Long episode "Ring Around the Dragon" jake has to rescue a giant boy who is caught up in the King Extreme Wrestling League ("K.E.W.L."), Jake himself become a wrestler in his dragon from known as Dragonfire.
- Ben 10 gives us "Ready to Rumble" where Ben enters a mutant wrestling competition as Four Arms to win the prize money to get Gwen a new laptop. Ben won but gave up the money to those who truly needed it. But that's okay, it turns out the laptop was never broken.
- Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling! (CBS, 1985). 'Nuff said.
- The final episode of Help! It's The Hair Bear Bunch!, "King Klong Vs. The Masked Marvel," had the bears entering Bananas the gorilla in a wrestling match offering a $500 prize to whoever defeats the Masked Marvel. Botch, the incompetent assistant to zookeeper Mr. Peevly, becomes the Masked Marvel when the real one comes down with measles. Bananas wins the fight but lose the money because there was no Animal Athlete Loophole in this match.
- The Powerpuff Girls had "Impeach Fuzz," in which the Mayor loses his job as Mayor of Townsville to Fuzzy Lumpkins. When Fuzzy puts on the Mayor's prized hat, the two fight it out in a wrestling ring.
- Darkwing Duck visits the arena for a charity wrestling event, reassured that wrestling is not 'real' by himself and Gosalyn (Launchpad still believed in Kayfabe at that point). He is, of course, mauled while Launchpad has to help save him.
- In the Regular Show episode "Really Real Wrestling," Mordecai and Rigby were trying to get tickets to see a live pro wrestling event; Pops got the tickets, but Benson told them to watch Pops after Rigby accidentally injured him. The two and Pops while injured sneaked out to go to the event, only for them to end up actually participating in the main event, where Pops ended up winning because Four-Armageddon slammed his hip back into place.
- Among the first episodes of Jackie Chan Adventures was when Jackie and Jade travel to Mexico where Jackie is placed into a wrestling match (technically lucha libre) against El Toro Fuerte, a wrestler who had won all of his matches, who soundly defeats him...this is Jackie Chan we are talking about. Throughout the episode, it is common knowledge with Jade and the Dark Hand enforcers that wrestling is fake, much to Paco (El Toro's biggest fan) disbelief. They turn out to be correct when it is discovered that El Toro used the Ox Talisman, which gives one super strength, to win his wrestling matches.
- Goof Troop: One of Goof's friends is a chef who has a double life as a wrestler. He grew tired of it but was contract-bound to stay in the wrestling business until someone defeats him and wouldn't throw a fight. Once Pete realized this undefeated wrestler was the chef, he was sure wrestling was fake and tried to fight him. By luck (depending on your P.O.V.), Pete won and now was bound to keep fighting until someone defeats him.