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Professional wrestling is a sport involving athletes doing choreographed moves which are scripted. "kayfabe" an old carnival term, has been created to protect this.

Historically, European and North American professional wrestling have involved matches where the outcome was predetermined, by the referee telling the contestants who wins. The term professional wrestling or pro-wrestling has evolved to refer almost exclusively to predetermined matches, also referred to as "works". Modern professional wrestling usually features striking and other techniques, which are modeled after diverse sets of global wrestling and boxing styles.

Modern professional wrestling is commonly associated within a company (often referred to as a fed), where the participants create an entertaining show simulating a dueling match. The level of realism can vary from sports entertainment (the American World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) promotion) to stiff style (the Japanese strong style as exemplified by Antonio Inoki) to spotfests. In Mexico the dominant style is the stylized, theatrical Lucha libre.

The question of whether professional wrestling is a sport comparable to its freestyle, Greco-Roman, and collegiate counterparts can seem irrelevant, maybe even impossible, to compare as the key difference between both concepts is that professional wrestling's main focus is maintaining its audience and profiting as a business rather than as a form of athletic competition.

As opposed to a common sporting event, a professional wrestler's athletic prowess and skills are done more to prevent injury than to inflict it. In many cases, the victim of an attack in a professional wrestling environment is required to do more athletically than the one performing an attack on him. If the wrestler absorbing the attack is less skilled or less athletic, he/she may injure his/her partner or even him/herself.

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