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Wrestling Almanac: Wrestling 101 Exposed!

This program originally aired on NBC as a special to answer some questions about pro wrestling like taking chair shots, taking a bump, and performing aerial maneuvers. I thought it was a good show considering some of their information was probably over-exaggerated.

1. How do wrestlers throw fireballs?

A: A substance called nitrocellulose is formed into a blazing paper known as flash paper. It burns extremely quickly. When lit up (usually by a lighter concealed by the referee until the right moment), it produces a dramatic flash for a few seconds. The wrestler throws the fireball after lighting it, and if timed right, will seemingly explode in the other wrestler's face. There is very little damage to the other wrestler, and no one has actually been burned from the trick. Although, if performed incorrectly, this stunt can result in serious injury.

2. How do wrestlers color their tongues?

A: Food coloring, suckers, candy, Kool Aid...

3. How do wrestlers blow mist?

A: Although this is common in Japan, few wrestlers in North America perform it. However, those who do blow mist in the U.S. are usually associated with it (for instance, what stands out most in your mind about the old WWF wrestler in the mid-90's, Quang?). The "evil green mist" is performed when wrestlers mix water with food coloring. They then put the mixture in a small baggie or balloon, and have the referee conceal it in his pocket until the planned time. Sometimes, though, the wrestler will already have it in his mouth, but that's usually just during a short match. Of course, there is a choking hazard here, so it would be wise not to try this one at home.

4. How do wrestlers hit each other with chairs without getting hurt?

A: All of the fold-up chairs the wrestlers use are designed to take most of the impact of a blow and most of the time, wrestlers don't hit their opponents very hard, which reduces the risk of injury. When these chair shots occur, if you look closely the chair is aimed to hit a large area of the body such as the back or shoulders. Too many chair shots to the head can turn you into a Mick Foley real fast, LOL. Be warned: Regular kitchen chairs won't take most of the impact (as if you didn't already know) and will end up actually injuring your opponent.

5: How do wrestlers bleed?

A: Despite what you might have heard, 95% percent of the time, a wrestler bleeds by "blading" himself, and not by using a blood capsule. Here's how it works: A wrestler rolls out of the ring and hides himself from the view of the audience. He then pulls out a small blade (usually concealed in a taped-up wrist or finger) and quickly cuts his forehead. Cutting anywhere else is very dangerous and is rarely ever attempted. However, cutting the forehead is somewhat dangerous, because you can hit a major artery if you cut too deep. New Jack learned this the hard way. The thirst for blood has let up lately, because of the fear of AIDS.

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