Ring Psychology is always a good thing to understand if you like wrestling, and more so if you work in the industry. It’s a nebulous thing in some ways, but even the most elementary of strategies, as long as it works well with the fans, will carry you over and make your matches all the more interesting.
Let’s use Hulk Hogan for example. I personally don’t like his style too much, but, BUT, Hogan had excellent ring psychology. What he lacked in interesting moves (his repertoire of moves is very basic), he made up with showmanship and making his moves look iconic. His moves mostly consisted of body slams, big boots, elbow drops, lariats, what have you, but he put up a show with each and every one of them. Whenever he used a move, you could see the guy put his whole soul and energy behind them, even behind a simple knee drop or body press, and that enthusiasm is essential, the fans see it, the fans love it. And what I mean by showmanship is that whenever Hulk was on the receiving end of a beat down, the guy looked absolutely miserable. You believed the guy was getting the stuffing beat out of him! He WAS getting pummeled, he was suffering, he sold the acting so well! That’s basic ring psych, but very effective, and just that made him a big sensation: His matches were FUN.
The energy and life you put behind each move is so important. It’s why Ric Flair, an old dude that can barely move, could get in the ring and deliver fun matches even so far into his life. He’s not the muscular Buddy Rogers he was in his youth anymore, but he still puts a shitload of enthusiasm into his Figure Four Leg Lock, into his dumb little “WHOOOO”s, his dance and his chops, and looks like a dominant tyrant when he’s winning, and looks like a poor damn ragged sock puppet when he’s getting destroyed. It all counts.
In contrast, half of Mick Foley’s career was getting fucking pulverized in the ring. His ring psych was different: He was a relatable homely dude, the underdog, the guy you wanted to see triumph, he went out there in a white shirt, black tie, pants, and his Mankind mask, and he was doing jumps and chops and flying moves and high risk moves and he just went on and on, he got pummeled (for realsies many times) and he got up and still continued. Whether he lost or won didn’t matter, Mankind ALWAYS delivered amazing matches, and that MADE YOU WANT TO SEE HIM WIN.
I could talk about many more old school legends like Undertaker or Kane or Shawn Michaels (my personal favorite wrestler), but like, newer talent also has that. Not an WWE example, but Pentagon Jr. sells you a DESPICABLE villain who uses smart, brutal moves on the ring, and Sexy Star both does incredibly beautiful moves and sells it really good when she’s getting destroyed. Kevin Owens’ character is all about looking for profit, but he’s a ring technician who, if you notice, mostly targets the same area over and over, which is VERY IMPORTANT because obviously if he keeps attacking the same area, he’ll do a lot of damage (such as in the Owens vs Ryback match for the Intercontinental Title, where Owens kept attacking Ryback’s right arm and damaged it so much that he couldn’t do his finisher on Owens when the chance presented itself!), so it’s all these little things, these IMPORTANT things, that add up and make the difference between a fan saying “this is just two dudes playfighting” and “these two athletes are giving me an incredible show”.