Pro Wrestling is scripted entertainment but pretends to be real. But sometimes, the lines between reality and programming are blurred.
When it comes to entertainment, the 'fourth wall' is the dividing line between the world presented on screen or stage, and the real world the audience inhabits.
The term originates in theater, where the imaginary 'wall' between the stage and the audience is considered impenetrable. Indeed, breaking the fourth wall is considered to be one of the biggest taboos in entertainment, and is rarely done outside of comedic presentations.
In the world of sports entertainment, the concept of kayfabe is meant to protect the fourth wall. Basically, kayfabe means that the wrestlers strive to pretend what they are doing is 'real' and not scripted entertainment. Times have changed, and breaking kayfabe no longer carries the same penalties it used to, but in the past wrestlers have gone to extremes to protect the fourth wall. For example, when wrestler Tonga Fifita -- better known as Meng or Haku -- was accosted by some drunken louts who called him a 'fake' wrestler, he bit one of their noses off!
Still, even today, pro wrestlers rarely break the fourth wall while performing in the ring or on televised events. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Here are seven times pro wrestling has broken the fourth wall.
#1 Kofi hates Country Music
These days, the New Day are huge babyface stars and one of the biggest merchandise sellers for WWE. However, when they first made their debut, they were very much a heel faction.
One of the ways heels will drum up heat from the audience is by insulting the town they are performing in. For example, Jeff Jarrett once wore a Tennessee Titans jersey in a town that had just lost a championship game to that team. The New Day was performing in Nashville, Tennessee, the country music capital of the world when they decided to take a stab at cheap heat.
The New Day went on a long diatribe about how much they hated country music. It was pretty standard fare, but then Kofi Kingston took things a step further and broke the fourth wall. When he asserted that he hated country music, he was certain to add, "This is me saying this, not my character."
By acknowledging that he was playing a character, Kofi broke the fourth wall, and probably got some heat backstage for doing so.
But Kofi has always been a likable individual both in person and gimmick wise. Fans backed Kofi, who went on to win the coveted WWE Championship for the first time at WrestleMania 35.