Disqualification from a match is called for a number of reasons:
- Performing any illegal holds or maneuvers, such as refusing to break a hold when an opponent is in the ropes, hair-pulling, choking or biting an opponent, or repeatedly punching with a closed fist. These violations are usually subject to a referee-administered five count and will result in disqualification if not released before.
- Attacking an opponent's eye, such as raking it, poking it, gouging it, punching it or other severe attacks to the eye.
- Any outside interference involving a person not involved in the match striking or holding a wrestler. If a heel attempts to interfere but is ejected from the ring by a wrestler or referee before this occurs, there is usually no disqualification. In this disqualification method, the wrestler being attacked by the foreign member is awarded the win. Sometimes, however, this can work in heels' favor. In February 2009, Ryan Barnhart, who was under the kayfabe employment of John Goff, interfered in a match and super kicked John Goff in front of the referee in order to get his employer the win via "outside interference."
- Striking an opponent with a foreign object (unless the rules of the match specifically allow this; see hardcore wrestling).
- A direct low blow to the groin (unless the rules of the match specifically allow this).
- Intentionally laying hands on the referee or to an extreme case, often in special referee matches, touching the referee with any body parts.
- Pulling an opponent's wrestling trunks for a pinfall during a match (although this usually only results in nullification of the pinfall).
- Pulling an opponent's mask off during a match (this is illegal in Mexico, and sometimes in Japan).
- In a Royal Rumble, it is illegal to enter the ring before your due entrance.