A "foreign object" is a wrestling term for an object introduced into the match. Foreign objects are often used to give the bearer an unfair advantage. According to the supposed rules of professional wrestling, if a foreign object is used inside the ring on another wrestler in the presence of a referee, the user would be immediately disqualified. Forcing the opponent into parts of a ring, however, such as the turnbuckles, or the surrounding areas, such as the announce tables, is not illegal. Thus, while picking up the steel steps leading to the ring and using it on an opponent is illegal, ramming an opponent against the steps while the steps are on the floor is not.
A common part of wrestling matches involving foreign objects (where they are illegal) would involve the referee attempting to restrain a wrestler from using a foreign object, only for the foreign object to either hit the referee (typically allowing heel wrestlers to use foreign objects at will), or for another wrestler to use a different foreign object. Faces have also been known to distract referees long enough for a heel to use a foreign object. Notorious heel wrestlers who use foreign objects are often searched by the referee before matches, but, due to their nature, manage to bring one in anyway. Sometimes, the referee performing the search will intentionally not search a particular area of the body, giving away the location of a possible foreign object to the viewers.
Foreign objects have also been used in storylines to demonstrate the ruthlessness of a heel wrestler (or a babyface turning heel), by using an object repeatedly even after the match has ended. Wrestlers have also brought foreign objects to the ring to intimidate wrestlers despite the fact that the wrestler, by nature, would rarely use a foreign object (such as Krimson Mask's battle axe).
The repeated use of a specific foreign object by a wrestler may become part of the wrestler's gimmick - examples include X and his use of a black chair with the spray-painted initials "CYW" (Consider Yourself Warned). Styxx would use a blowtorch that he named Polly. Jaro would use a banhammer.
Common foreign objectsEdit
Some foreign objects are often used due to their proximity to the ring. These include folding steel chairs that ringside crew may appear in, as well as timekeeping bells, or in championship matches, the championship belt itself. It is also common to use announcing tables and television equipment as foreign objects. There have also been cases in which electric cords used by ringside camera crews are used by wrestlers to choke each other. Some have also considered running other wrestlers into walls, floors (other than the ring canvas), crowd barriers, exposed turnbuckles, or the steps leading to a ring as usage of foreign objects some wrestlers use the ramp to slam, powerbomb and suplex their opponents as well as DDTs.
Foreign objects, such as trash cans, kendo sticks/Singapore canes, light tubes, ladders, and tables are sometimes also found under the ring. In some promotions, a match may change location and end up among the wrestling audience or backstage, where objects found there can also be considered as foreign objects. Another comical weapon that has been used was a gameboard of Monopoly used by Hatchet Ryda when he defended the LPW Hardcore Championship against Blackwell and Andy Savana.
Foreign Object matchesEdit
Because of the common occurrence of foreign objects in matches, various match types have been developed so as to explicitly allow certain types of foreign objects - that is, their usage would not force an automatic disqualification.
The simplest such match is simply the No Disqualifications match, where, as wrestlers cannot be disqualified for any reason, any and all foreign objects are allowed. The "no disqualifications" stipulation is often used as part of other match types, including hardcore matches and street fights.
It can be argued that, in matches where wrestlers fight in (and often around) enclosures, such as the steel cage, Hell in a Cell, Elimination Chamber, or Lion's Den matches, that the enclosure itself can be treated as a legal foreign object.
Another common match involving legal foreign objects is the Object on a Pole match, where a foreign object is suspended on a pole on one of the ring's turnbuckles, with the person who gets the object from the pole becomes the only one allowed to legally use it. A variation on this is either where a championship belt is on the pole (in which the winner is the one who gets the belt), or Flag matches, where two flags are located on opposite turnbuckles, and the first to retrieve their opponent's flag being the winner. A Ladder match is a similar match, except that the object in question is suspended above the ring, and ladders (which are considered legal foreign objects in the match) are needed to reach the object.
Recent trends in wrestling have also led to matches that are centered around one or several foreign objects: a table match is a type of elimination match in which the first person to send their opponent through (ie. break) a table is the winner, while in ambulance matches, casket matches, and other similar matches, wrestlers attempt to confine opponents in the container bearing the name of the match. Perhaps the ultimate form of foreign object-centered matches is the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match.
Another commonly used match centered around foreign objects is one where opponents are somehow restrained together using a foreign object - such as a Texas Bullrope match being an example. There, the object that binds the two wrestlers together can be used as a legal foreign object.