A professional wrestling promotion is a company or business that regularly performs shows involving professional wrestling. "Promotion" also describes a role which entails management, advertising and logistics of running a wrestling event (see promoter). Within the convention of the show, the company is a sports governing body which sanctions wrestling matches and gives authority to the championships and is responsible for maintaining the divisions and their rankings. In truth, the company serves as a touring theatre troupe, as well as event promotion body for its own events.
The most prominent promotions in the United States are World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), All Elite Wrestling (AEW), Impact Wrestling, Ring of Honor (ROH), Major League Wrestling (MLW), and the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). The largest Mexican lucha libre promotions are Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) and Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (AAA). Finally, the top puroresu promotions in Japan are New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), CyberFight, Dragon Gate, and World Wonder Ring Stardom (Stardom).
Additionally, there are smaller Independent promotions or territories around the world. Whereas major promotions have a roster of talent under contracts to them, these smaller promotions may use a combination of contracted workers and free agents.
Most promotions are self-contained, organized around one or more championships and do not acknowledge or recognize the legitimacy of other promotions' titles unless they share a working agreement. Governing bodies, such as the CyberFight, United Wrestling Network, WWNLive, Allied Independent Wrestling Federations, Pro Wrestling International and, previously, the National Wrestling Alliance, act as an umbrella organization which governs titles that are shared among multiple promotions. During the 1950s, the National Wrestling Alliance oversaw many wrestling territories such as Mid-Atlantic Wrestling and NWA San Francisco, in a business model known as the "territory system".