The term “scripted” isn’t entirely correct, “predetermined” is the right concept here. Promos, however, the act of a performer speaking, in WWE, is highly “Scripted,” but there’s no teleprompter or cue card person, so the talking points are memorized before going down the ramp. So there’s a little improvisation there, so long as the main talking points are covered and on-brand, that’s all that matters.
For the matches themselves, there’s a pre-meeting that happens before showtime, and that’s where performers are told what the goals of each match are. Who’s dropping of gaining a belt, to whom, and how. Who’s winning and losing, to whom, and how. Depending on the match, there may be notes on required “spots” (moments/actions) that need to be accomplished before the matches “finish” happens.
Just before heading down the ramp, the performers are typically told then how much time they have to work with; sometimes it’s 30 minutes, sometimes it’s 20-second squash depending on the hows and the who’s going over or under time constraints.
A big part of the Referee’s entire job is to make sure the performers are relayed information about what the producers are looking for. Such as to make the match shorter or longer, if there’s a particular reaction, etc.
Other than that, its up to the performers to communicate with each other in real-time and react to the crowd. This part is all improvisation.
However, it is up to the performers involved. The Rock notoriously liked choreographing entire matches down to the finest minutia, that’s just how he worked best.
Do the superstars practice the moves before the match?
Wrestling School is where the lions share of learning how to perform and take the common bumps are practiced. But indeed, moves change all the time, new ones are introduced, and dangerous ones are dropped all the time.
Typically, there’s some time for an opportunity just before a show for performers to show up and practice bumps, and obviously for dealing with each other’s signatures and finishers if not already familiar (Like taking a Styles Clash isn’t your typical powerbomb, so practice is needed)
How real are the injuries?
There are two types: Botch and Kayfabe. Paige’s spinal injury at the of feet Sasha Banks, for example, is 100% real and affected her career for the absolute worse.
Steve Austin taking a near paralyzing snapped neck injury at the hands of a botched piledriver from Owen Hart, is 100% real. These moves not only hurt but change lives when taken or performed incorrectly.
Sometimes, a performer needs to take a vacation, whether voluntarily or because creative has to write you off for whatever reason. So they’ll fabricate an injury into the story, and you’re free to put up your feet for a bit and enjoy some R&R.
What happens if a wrestler goes out of the script in WWE?
The other wrestlers will improvise; they’re skilled at that. If you try to change the outcome, your opponent will start hitting you for real and try to force it (and the ref will count a quick pin). If all else fails, the ref will DQ you for no apparent reason, or call a submission you didn’t tap out to, or perhaps there would be an unplanned run-in from the back. And then your unprofessional ass would be hustled off-camera, and no organization with an ounce of sense would ever let you wrestle again.
CM Punk’s “pipebomb” is a bad example; that was scripted. Look instead at Sting vs. Jeff Hardy at Victory Road 2011 on TNA, when Hardy showed up so visibly intoxicated that he was unfit to wrestle.