Believe it or not, professional wrestling has many enforceable rules – some of which are stranger than others.
They range from the five-count to break a submission when a wrestler is on the ropes, to the fact that in certain parts of the United States – Carmel-by-the-Sea in California to be exact – high heels are not allowed to be worn by anyone on the ring apron.
But there is one rule that has consistently baffledwrestling fans for years.
The tag rope has been a mainstay in professional wrestling rings since the early days of the sport, going back around 100 years.
But many new fans to the industry have probably never noticed it – which could be down to its lack of implementation in recent years.
However, there are several rules surrounding the tiny piece of white rope attached to the corner turnbuckle.
According to WWE, the exact length of the rope must be 18 inches – or around 1.5 feet.
A wrestler must be holding this piece of rope in order to be tagged in, and for the tag to be counted as legal, during a tag team match.
The purpose of the rope is to prevent “blatant double-teaming and interference from the illegal partner, as well as to prevent the illegal partner from walking halfway down the ring apron to make the tag”, WWE states.
Whether that rule is actually put into practice, however, is a different story as illegal pin break-ups and interference happen on a regular basis during matches.
There is one very random stipulation attached to the rope, should the match in question be taking place in Dallas, Texas – ironically, right near the site of Wrestlemania 38 in April, which takes place in neighbouring Arlington at the AT&T Stadium.
A WWE spokesman said: “As far as most local sport commissions are concerned, the specific length of the rope is of stunningly little consequence.
“Most governing bodies view it more as a goodwill gesture by WWE’s officiating community that suggests the tag rules will indeed be strictly enforced.
“In Dallas, however, details such as rope length matter.
“Prior to each WWE TV show, pay-per-view and Live Event, an independent inspector – assigned by local officials – is sent to the arena to measure the length of tag ropes in diagonally opposite corners.
“The standard length, according to Dallas, is 18 inches.
“The inspectors are also required to receive recertification biannually.”
The problem, specifically in WWE's case, is when they organise a tag team match where there are more than two wrestlers per team.
The rules state, according to Reddit, that the more wrestlers there are, the more ropes there should be.
However, when matches involving six, eight or even 10 people happen on a regular basis, the sheer amount of rope needed, and the lunacy behind how that would even work, could explain why the most basic form of the rope rule is hardly ever used.
When All Elite Wrestling first came to prominence a few years ago, the company faced a barrage of flack for failing to implement the rule at all – as well as many other basic tag team rules – but that now appears to have stopped, with the tag team rope coming into force on many occasions.
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