Rasslin' refers to a southern style of professional wrestling which emphasizes Kayfabe, stiffness, less cartoonish characters, and work-rate of the wrestlers. There are fewer squash matches and generally longer feuds. It was synonymous with the NWA-affiliated promotions and wrestlers like Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Sting, Jerry Lawler, and the Von Erich Family. Rasslin' included TV tapings at smaller venues, as compared to the larger and more well-known arenas utilized by northern U.S. promotions such as the AWA and WWF.
The term is derived from a phonetic spelling of how the word "wrestling" sounds when spoken with a heavy Southern accent. It is also commonly used in a derogatory manner by non-Southern wrestling fans to describe that style of wrestling. When Ted Turner purchased Jim Crockett Promotions in 1988, he allegedly called Vince McMahon to tell him that he was now in the "rasslin'" business. McMahon allegedly differentiated his company's style by responding, "That's great, Ted. I'm in the entertainment business."