The matches have predetermined outcomesto heighten entertainment valueand all combative maneuvers are executed with the full cooperation of those involved and carefully performed in specific manners intended to lessen the chance of actual injury.These facts were once kept highly secret, but are now a widely accepted open secret. By and large, the true nature of the performance is not discussed by the performing company in official media - in order to sustain and promote the willing suspension of disbelief for the audience by maintaining an aura of verisimilitude. Fan communications by individual wrestlers and promotions through outside media (i.e. interviews) will often directly acknowledge the dramatic and "fixed" nature of the spectacle.
Originating as a popular form of entertainment in 19th-century Europe and later as a sideshow exhibition in North Americantraveling carnivals and vaudevillehalls, professional wrestling grew into a standalone genre of entertainment with many diverse variations in cultures around the globe, and is now a billion dollar entertainment industry. Since the 1980s, local forms have greatly declined in Europe, wrestling from North America has experienced several different periods of prominent cultural popularity during its century and a half of existence and has been exported back to Europe to fill the cultural gap left by the aforementioned decline of local versions. The advent of television gave professional wrestling a new outlet, and wrestling (along with boxing) was instrumental in making pay-per-view a viable method of content delivery.