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The insider term for the act of breaking character in profesional wrestling. This is much less of a taboo than it used to be, but is still avoided at all costs on camera and during shows. In the old days, this was an extreme no-no. Wrestlers would flat out deny it if you asked them if wrestling was fake, and faces and heels would often not be permitted to eat at the same restaurant at the same time so they wouldn't see each other outside of shows. This is still a very big deal in Japan, where referees aren't permitted to associate with wrestlers at all outside of the shows themselves to avoid appearing partial or biased.

Prior to the new self-aware wrestling product that is currently in vogue (worked-shoot angles, insider references, playing to the internet smarks), the biggest break of kayfabe occurred in 1987 when WWF superstars 'Hacksaw' Jim Duggan and The Iron Sheik were arrested and charged with narcotics posession while sharing a car between venues.

The story made the national media, and unlike today, when the wrestling establishment would regard any drug-related negative publicity as the major crime being committed by its employees, Vince McMahon and the wrestling fraternity were much more horrified that two wrestlers who were ostensibly feuding (The Iron Sheik being an Iranian sympathiser and Duggan being a plank-wielding patriotic goof) were caught together outside the ring, thus exposing the business of wrestling as a made-for-TV sham. Both men were immediately suspended by the WWF.

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