In professional wrestling, a pinfall occurs when one wrestler keeps his opponent's shoulders on the canvas for a count of three. Most often, the pinning wrestler will "hook" his opponent's legs so that the wrestler getting pinned won't be able to kick out of the pin.

A pinfall is one of two ways to "cleanly" win a match--the other is by making your opponent submit, or tap out.

A wrestler simply lying down on the mat is not in a pinning predicament--the other wrestler must be actively trying to pin him by somehow pressing against the opponent's upper body--this can be as little contact as a foot on the opponent's chest (like Chris Jericho's "arrogant pin"), but there must be some. (If both wrestlers are lying motionless on the mat, however, the referee will begin a ten count--if neither wrestler can get to his feet before the count of ten, the match is stopped and ruled a draw.)

When the referee sees a pinning predicament, he will drop to the mat and slap the mat approximately once per second, stopping either after he slaps the mat three times (meaning a pinfall has occurred and the match is over) or when the wrestler being pinned lifts one or both shoulders to break up the pin.

You will very rarely see a wrestler kick out of a pin before the count of two (it's usually a mistake if it happens), and the large majority of kick-outs occur right before the count of three would have occurred. This is to increase the perception that the match is about to end, hopefully exciting the crowd and making for a more interesting match. The match at Wrestlemania III between Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat for the WWF Intercontinental Championship is one of the best examples of both men using near-falls liberally to work the crowd up into a frenzy.

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