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Exposed! Pro Wrestling's Greatest Secrets is a 1998 documentary about professional wrestling. It was first aired on NBC television on November 1, 1998, and released on VHS on September 22, 1999. The narrator to the documentary was Nick Bakay. It generated overwhelmingly negative reviews.
The stars of Exposed! Pro Wrestling's Greatest Secrets are eight real-life professional wrestlers who wear masks and work under pseudonyms to conceal their true identities. The reason given is that, by breaking "kayfabe" ("the secrets of the business"), their careers and well-being are at risk.
The documentary was roundly criticized for being sensationalist, misleading, and outdated in the presentation of the "secret tricks". Critics in and out of the wrestling business contend that many of the "secrets" exposed were already widely known by fans to begin with.
Exposed! Pro Wrestling's Greatest Secrets was filmed in a mostly empty Los Angeles arena, although an audience was present for some scenes.
This program has achieved a certain level of notoriety among professional wrestling fans as an object of ridicule, and served to introduce the term "stunt granny" to the professional wrestling lexicon.
Other aspects exposed
- The role of stomping in matches.
- The difference between babyfaces (good guys) and heels (bad guys.)
- How tables and folding steel chairs are used.
- How specially-prepared foreign objects (a trophy in this case) are used.
- "Juicing" (causing oneself to bleed intentionally; also called "blading".)
- How "heat" is created.
- How "the sell" is vital to a successful match
- "Salt" in the eye (actually baby powder or weightlifters' chalk.)
- In-ring communication between the wrestlers, the referee, and the announcer.
- That some wrestling rings use a spring to add bounce.
- That loose sheets of plywood are placed under the ring canvas to enhance the noise.
- That microphones are sometimes placed under the ring to augment the sound.
- The roles of the referee, the booker, the promoter, the shill and the plant.
- Injuries and the risks wrestlers assume.
While most of the professional wrestling world refrained from acknowledging the program, the night following its airing, Ernest "The Cat" Miller entered the ring during WCW Monday Nitro and sarcastically shouted in a melodramatic tone to the audience, "Now you know all our secrets!"
Likewise, Mick Foley on WWF Monday Night RAW announced, to tag-partner Al Snow, "We didn't do so well, last week- but last night, the Secrets of Professional Wrestling were revealed to me!" Foley also poked fun at the program several times in his autobiography, Have a Nice Day!