A wrestling ring is the ring stage that professional wrestlers wrestle in.
Wrestling rings are generally composed of an elevated steel beam and wood plank stage covered by foam padding and a canvas mat, with the sides then covered with a "skirt" to prevent spectators from seeing underneath. Around the "ring" are three "ring ropes" which are held up and tensioned by turnbuckles.
Wrestling rings vary in size, with most measuring between 16 and 20 feet on each side, measured from turnbuckle to turnbuckle. WWE and All Elite Wrestling use 20-foot rings while the past promotions of World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling used and the current promotions of Impact Wrestling and Ring of Honor use 18-foot rings. Because of this, the 18-foot ring is commonly held as the "standard" for wrestling rings in the United States and Canada. Rings typically include an "apron" area of the ring platform, extending one to two feet beyond the ropes; the ring floor is generally three to three-and-a-half feet above the ground. The ropes may be natural fiber ropes wrapped in tape, such as in the WWE, or steel cables covered with rubber hose, as are the rings used by AEW, Impact, ROH, WCW, and ECW.
Many rings utilize a suspension system to reduce the impact of a wrestler landing on it; the stiffness of varies, with "softer" rings providing a gentler impact, at the expense of the wrestlers bouncing visibly on impact; a "stiffer" ring provides a more "realistic" visual experience, but at a higher risk of injury due to the harsher impact. According to Mick Foley, rings built for the WWF before approximately 1998 were particularly "stiff", and one of them contributed to his injuries suffered during his famous Hell in the Cell match against The Undertaker. Historically, this suspension was accomplished by having one or more coil springs under the middle of the ring platform, but a newer style of ring construction utilizes a "flexi-beam" system instead of a spring, where the steel beams used to construct the ring stage flex, acting as flat springs themselves, absorbing much of the impact.
The "traditional" ring, such as that used by WWE, is four-sided, but other configurations exist, such as the six sided ring of Asistencia Asesoría y Administración and formerly Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.
The configuration and construction of the "traditional" ring is very similar to (and likely derived from) that of a boxing ring, though the wrestling version has fewer ring ropes (as the standard boxing ring evolved into a four-rope structure), and the ring ropes are not tethered together at their midpoint. Most (if not all) wrestling rings also incorporate more in the way of padding and shock absorbing construction than boxing rings, although this varies according to the preferences of the promoter.
The term squared circle is often used by wrestling promotions and professional wrestling comentators to refer to the ring. It is a term that originated in traditional Greco-Roman wrestling, since the action takes place on a square mat with a circle painted on it.
- List of Professional wrestling slang