clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WWE addresses the silly pro wrestling tradition of shaking everyone's hand every time, all the time

There's a tradition in pro wrestling, or at least in WWE, that everyone must shake everyone else's hand every time, all the time. It's beyond silly and now is actually attempting to explain it to those who aren't aware of it or think it's silly.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

There is a tradition in pro wrestling, or at least in WWE, whereby wrestlers walking into a locker room and greeting each other will go through a painstaking process of making sure to shake everyone's hand.

Every time, all the time.

That's a literal statement. Shawn Michaels once talked about the practice of it in an interview with Peter Rosenberg, inferring it's a huge pain in the ass to have to shake everyone's hand, even if you just saw them a day ago, or even hours before. "I've literally shaken the same guy's hand like four times in a day," he said. But, that's just the way it goes.

Well, recently wrote an article delving into the subject. Here's an excerpt:

"Guests at a WWE event might notice that everybody shakes hands gratuitously," Cody Rhodes told

"It seems a little strange when people from outside [the industry] see it," WWE commentator JBL said.

The handshake's place in wrestling isn't something that just became commonplace in WWE. JBL explained how the grip began as a secret shake during the sport's early carnival days, done to weed out anyone who didn't belong.

"It looked like you were gripping them real hard, but it was very loose, which showed that you were one of the boys," the former WWE Champion said.

It's certainly understandable to utilize it as a ritual to weed out those who aren't in on the con, or kayfabe, or whatever you want to call it. But with the industry having evolved to the point it has now, you would think things would change with the times.

Or, at the very least, folks would recognize it for what it is, much like Brock Lesnar. A bit from his book on it (via

"Once I got to the arena, I had to shake everyone's hand. That's the unwritten law... I hadn't seen the boys since we all stood around the baggage claim at the airport a few hours before, hoping our bags would come around quickly so we could beat everyone else to the rental car line. But we would always shake hands, and everyone would smile like they were glad to see each other. It was all so insincere and phony, it made me sick."

There's much more to the article, and you can click here to check out the rest. It's worth it for the silliness of it all.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats