In professional wrestling, kayfabe is the portrayal of staged events within the industry as "real" or "true," specifically the portrayal of competition, rivalries, and relationships between participants as being genuine and not of a staged or pre-determined nature. Kayfabe has also evolved to become a code word of sorts for maintaining this "reality" within the direct or indirect presence of the general public. Though the staged nature of professional wrestling had been a frequent topic of conversation among the media and public since at least the latter years of the early 20th century, the professional wrestling industry did not formally acknowledge this until changes in the business during the 1980s professional wrestling boom prompted attitudes within the business to change. In 1989, World Wrestling Federation owner Vince McMahon testified before the New Jersey state senate that wrestling was staged. Long sanctioned by New Jersey and other states as an athletic exhibition for regulation and taxation purposes, McMahon sought to eliminate oversight, and hence taxation, on the WWF's house shows and pay-per-view events held within the state.
Kayfabe is often seen as the suspension of disbelief that is used to create the non-wrestling aspects of promotions, such as feuds, angles, and gimmicks, in a manner similar to other forms of fictional entertainment. In relative terms, a wrestler breaking kayfabe during a show would be likened to breaking character by an actor on-camera. Also, since wrestling is performed in front of a live audience, whose interaction with the show is crucial to its success, kayfabe can be compared to the fourth wall in acting, since there is hardly any conventional fourth wall to begin with.
In years past, one tool that promoters and wrestlers had in preserving kayfabe was in their ability to attract a loyal paying audience in spite of limited or nearly nonexistent exposure. Professional wrestling had long been shunned by mainstream media due to lingering doubts over its legitimacy, and its presentation on television was largely limited to self-produced programming, not unlike infomercials of the present day. Scrutiny was largely limited to certain U.S. states with activist athletic commissioners, whose influence finally waned by the late 20th century, with mixed martial arts events taking the attention boxing and wrestling once held throughout the United States. It was commonplace for wrestlers to adhere to kayfabe in public, even when outside the ring and off-camera, in order to preserve the illusion that the competition in pro wrestling was not staged. This was due in no small part to feuds between wrestlers sometimes lasting for years, and which could be utterly destroyed in seconds if they were shown associating as friends in public, and thus potentially affect ticket revenue.
With the advent of the Internet wrestling community, as well as the sports entertainment movement, the pro wrestling industry has become less concerned with protecting so-called backstage secrets and typically maintains kayfabe only during performances. However, kayfabe is occasionally broken, including during performances, in order to achieve a number of goals, among them advancing the storylines, explaining prolonged absences (often due to legitimate injury), paying tribute to other wrestlers and sometimes for comedic effect or that of driving insider humor.
==Faces and heels==
The characters assumed by wrestlers can be distinguished into two alignments: faces and heels.
Faces, short for babyfaces, are hero-type characters whose personalities are crafted to elicit the support of the audience through traits such as humility, a hard working nature, determination and reciprocal love of the crowd. Faces usually win their matches on the basis of their technical skills and are sometimes portrayed as underdogs to enhance the story.
Heels are villainous or antagonistic characters, whose personalities are crafted to elicit a negative response from the audience. They often embrace traditionally negative traits such as narcissism, egomania, unprompted rage, sadism and general bitterness. Though not as prevalent today, xenophobic ethnic and racial stereotypes, in particular those inspired by the Axis powers of World War II, were commonly utilized in North American wrestling as heel-defining traits. Heels typically inspire boos from the audience and often employ underhanded tactics, such as cheating and exploiting technicalities, in their fighting strategies, or use overly aggressive styles to cause excess pain or injury to their opponents.
A wrestler may suddenly change from face to heel (or vice versa) in an event known as a turn, or gradually transition from one to the other over the course of a long storyline.
Matches are usually organized between a heel and a face, but the distinction between the two types may be blurred as a given character's storyline reaches a peak or becomes more complicated. Indeed, in recent years, several wrestlers became characters that were neither faces nor heels, but somewhere in between—or alternating between both—earning them the term "'tweener."
Perhaps the best-known "'tweener" was the WWE's "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. His personality was heel-ish, but became a WWE fan favorite for his kayfabe feud with his boss, WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon's in-ring alter-ego, the evil billionaire owner, "Mr. McMahon."
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』