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5 most confusing rules in WWE

Daniel Crump
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Let's get to the bottom of this.
Let's get to the bottom of this.

Professional Wrestling has a complex relationship with reality. While we all know that the world of kayfabe is an illusion and nothing we see should be taken completely seriously, there is still an onus on the members of the roster and the commentators to keep the facade at least a little in tact.

This means that a struggle has formed over the years between following the rules of the 'sport' of professional wrestling and telling a good entertaining story. If the company decided to constantly keep on top of its regulations, they would keep writing themselves into corners and spend most of their time working out how to get out of them.

That doesn't stop the more eagle eyed fan from pointing out when companies like the WWE break their own rules, even if we know it's not going to make any difference. Here are 5 of the most difficult to follow rules in WWE:

#1 The closed fist

Breaking the rules?
Breaking the rules?

One of the most under-enforced rules in professional wrestling, particularly when it comes to the WWE, is the ban on a closed fist. Basically, this is designed to outlaw the use of closed fists when superstars strike their opponent. You might have heard commentators mention it over the years, particularly in the 80s with guys like Jesse Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon point out that the referee is letting it go despite being required to call the perpetrator out.

The origins of the rule date back to the days when kayfabe was more strictly adhered to. Before Vince McMahon officially declared that wrestling was scripted, superstars were obliged to keep the facade going. If fans saw that a wrestler's face was unscathed after numerous blows from closed fists it would have ruined the illusion completely. Interestingly, this is what led to other ways of hitting people in a wrestling ring such as chops, slaps and knee strikes.

Over the years, and with the relaxation of kayfabe, referees no longer appear to enforce the rule and commentators rarely mention it. In fact, many of WWE's biggest superstars explicitly use the closed fist to execute their signature moves. Guys like Roman Reigns and Big Show, for example, would not have been allowed to use the Superman Punch or WMD back in the 30s.

John Cena is also somebody who would lose a major part of his arsenal if the rule was fully enforced. His 'Five Knuckle Shuffle' is technically done with a closed fist brought out against an opponent's forehead. Whatever the reason for the change in attitude concerning it, the closed fist rule is something we will continue to see violated and nobody will bat an eyelid.

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Daniel Crump
Life long WWE fan and recent convert to NJPW. I mainly write feature pieces, giving my opinions on WWE's past, present and future. Follow me on Twitter for more!
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