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In the English speaking professional wrestling culture, a "dirt sheet" is a wrestling magazine, wrestling newsletter or website that covers professional wrestling from a real-life perspective as opposed to treating the storylines as real. Another term sometimes used for these publications is "rag sheet."
Many wrestlers in the past resented so-called "dirt sheets" since they felt that they ruined the business by breaking kayfabe, i.e. exposing professional wrestling as staged. However, second-generation wrestler Bret Hart recalls that many wrestlers themselves were avid readers of the magazines in his youth because they too wanted to keep up with the backstage news; other people such as wrestling journalists have backed up that this was the case in the past. Wrestler Steve Austin often saw wrestling newsletters passed around the locker rooms when he started out in the industry. In the 21st century some people in the industry, such as Vince Russo, Bruce Prichard and Eric Bischoff, still think that such publications hurt the wrestling business and also ruin the fans' immersion and enjoyment. Some wrestlers have themselves written for news websites, e.g. Matt Hardy for 411Mania. Chris Jericho created his own called Web Is Jericho.
List of publications or websites often considered dirt sheets
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter (WON), often considered the first "dirt sheet", created and run by Dave Meltzer
- Pro Wrestling Torch (PWTorch), created and run by Wade Keller
- Pro Wrestling Insider (PWInsider), created and run by Dave Scherer
- Wrestling News World (WNW)
- Bob Hansen; Like a Champ; 2007 - Page ?
- Jonathan Alan Gray, Cornel Sandvoss, C. Lee Harrington; Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World; 2007 - Page 70
- James Guttman; World Wrestling Insanity Presents: Shoot First... Ask Questions Later; 2008 - Page ?
- Joey (8 January 2014). "Dirt Sheet History: Wrestlemania XX".
- "WWE release surprising update on Kevin Owens' 'quitting' angle from RAW". GiveMeSport. 1 September 2018.
- Adam Kleinberg, Adam Nudelman; Mysteries of Wrestling: Solved; 2005 - Page 135
- Austin, Paul. "Dirt Sheets: Love Them or Loathe Them?". Bleacher Report.
- Hart, Bret (2007). Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling. Ebury Press. p. ?. ISBN 9780091932862.
- Jeff Archer, Rick Boucke, Linda Frantzen Carlson; Theater in a Squared Circle: The Mystique of Professional Wrestling; 1998 - Page 121
- Stone Cold Steve Austin, Dennis Bryant (2003). The Stone Cold Truth. Pocket Books. p. ?. ISBN 0-7434-7720-0.
- Kyle Bowman; Saving Pro Wrestling: Booking & Writing Storylines; 2013 - Page ?
- "411MANIA". Vince Russo Says Marks & ‘Dirt Sheet’ Writers Are Gay.
- "Does Social Media Ruin The Moment In WWE?". Cultured Vultures. 27 March 2018.
- Milliron, Jake. "Dirt Sheets: Their Effect on Pro Wrestling & Pro Wrestling Fans". Bleacher Report.
- "WWE News: Sasha Banks comments on dirt sheet reports of backstage heat and turning heel". www.sportskeeda.com. 2 July 2018.
- "Vince McMahon Explained, Quite Frankly, Why He Doesn't Like Dirt Sheets". 9 March 2016.
- Mrosko, Geno (4 October 2013). "Bischoff claims TNA contract won't expire in 2014". Cageside Seats.
- DeMarco, Greg (14 December 2016). "Wednesday Cook Wednesday: Hardy Hate…DELETED".
- Rueter, Sean (February 16, 2019). "Fox News out dirties the dirt sheets with some fake Usos news". Cageside Seats.
- Jericho, Chris (12 August 2019). "Stoked to announce the launch of #WebIsJericho...an entertainment news site with hourly updated info on wrestling, movies, music & paranormal and original essays and commentary from our amazing writing staff!".
- Brian Solomon; Pro Wrestling FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the World's Most Entertaining Spectacle; 2015 Page ?
- "Jerry Lawler Calls Out Dave Meltzer; Details Early Struggles With Bret Hart". WrestleZone. 18 May 2018.
- Patrick Jones, Joel Shoemaker; Do it Right!: Best Practices for Serving Young Adults in School and Public Libraries; Neal-Schuman Publishers: 2001 - Page 147
- "Popular Dirt Sheet Throws Major Shade at Brian Christopher's Death". 1 August 2018.
- "Konnan Fires Back At Dirt Sheet Writer Over Racist Remarks". 29 November 2018.
- Gavin Sheehan (February 3, 2019). "AJ Styles Calls Out Dirt Sheet on Fake Contract News". Bleeding Cool.