In January 2019, All Elite Wrestling began operations; AEW began airing Dynamite on Wednesday evenings opposite WWE NXT in October 2019, resulting in the start of the "Wednesday Night Wars".  They also popularized tag team wrestling, introducing new tactics such as distracting the referee, to make the matches more exciting. In the early 20th century, professional wrestling was mostly a regional phenomenon in Mexico until Salvador Lutteroth founded the Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre ("Mexican Wrestling Enterprise") in 1933, giving the sport a national foothold for the first time. Under the British Wrestling Association banner, Oakley's promotion took off with the likes of Tommy Mann, Black Butcher Johnson, Jack Pye, Norman the Butcher, College Boy, and Jack Sherry on the roster while Oakley himself would win a series of matches to be crowned the first British Heavyweight Champion. Vincent J. McMahon also withdrew the Capitol Wrestling Corporation from the NWA in 1963, as the NWA Champion Lou Thesz was not a strong draw in the area, and in 1979 shortened Worldwide Wrestling Federation to World Wrestling Federation (WWF).  Promoters used localized television as a weapon for eliminating the competition by purchasing airtime from rival territories, effectively putting them out of business.. , In 2017, the National Wrestling Alliance was acquired by Billy Corgan, lead singer of the Smashing Pumpkins, including its name, rights, trademarks and championship belts. Please bookmark this site and check back often. This view did not endure into the 1930s, as professional wrestling became identified with modern theatrics, or "admitted fakeness" ("kayfabe"), moving away from being a showcase for true competition. This left two champions, Ed Lewis and Joe Stecher, who were regarded as the dominant wrestlers of the period. The actual wrestlers, called "shooters" because of their ability to "shoot", or fight real matches competitively, were more successful and less common.  It was at these shows, often done for high-stakes gambling purposes, that the nature of the sport changed through the competing interests of three groups of people: the impresarios, the carnies, and the barnstormers. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. As such, "King's Road" placed a heavy emphasis on working of holds, brawling, and the storytelling elements of professional wrestling. The first International Federation for the development of wrestling and weight lifting was created in Duisburg in 1905 by the Deutsche Athleten-Verband (DAV). It's a story of sportsmanship, ego, celebrity, greed, and rivalry. Pro Wrestling News. Daily Pro Wrestling History (01/21): WWF Royal Rumble 2001 By Brian Hoops | @brianhoops | Jan 21, 2021 1:25 pm.  Rather than paying traveling wrestlers to perform on certain dates and combining wrestlers in match-ups when they were available, they decided to keep wrestlers for months and years at a time, allowing long-term angles and feuds to develop. The great demand for wrestling, however, meant there were not enough skilled amateurs to go around, and many promoters switched to more violent styles, with weapons and chairshots part of the proceedings. During the period when MSG was the WWWF's primary arena, Sammartino headlined more Garden cards than any other wrestler (211), including 187 sellouts..  Many new wrestlers began fresh without notions of athletic sportsmanship that was popular in competitive arenas, however; they began with dreams of becoming televised superstars. Through the collective success of these characters, the company had finally refocused itself in the 18-25 demographic. Introduction - Symbols NAME FORMAT CHANGE IN PROCESS : Names of the wrestlers from countries where the family names come before the given names will be listed as such (Japan, Korea, etc. See pro wrestling events, births and deaths from Wednesday, 20th of January, 2021 (01/20/2021)at the Internet Wrestling Database The year in pro wrestling history 1971 is covered on the Long Form History of Wrestling Podcast - Click Here.. 1971. Directed by Christopher Annino, Angel Orsini. They helped WCW gain the upper hand when they became the most powerful group in professional wrestling. Luchadors whose masks are removed or damaged in the ring would often allow themselves to be pinned in the scripted context of the match's storyline, to preserve their identity. Click Pro Wrestling Links for a selective list of pro wrestling history sites. The wrestling industry and the nature of the business were widely criticized for this and WWE was affected on the business-side, with the company's stock losing approximately $15 million in market value in the first week. BWF disappeared, together with the young Shirley Crabtree in the early 1960s. ESPN also began airing professional wrestling for the first time, first airing Pro Wrestling USA shows—which were created as an alliance between the NWA and AWA in 1984, in an effort to counter the national success the WWF was gaining—and later AWA shows, after Pro Wrestling USA fell apart by 1986. We've recently updated a whole bunch of USA … The basic premise is that two people don't like each other or they both want the same thing (usually a championship belt). As with other legitimate sports leagues like MLB, the NBA, NHL and the NFL…pro wrestling didn’t take off during the holidays. Cochran took Hackenschmidt under his wing and booked him into a match in which Hackenschmidt defeated another top British wrestler, Tom Cannon, for the European Greco-Roman title.  Gotch, regarded as "peerless" at his peak, was the first to actually claim the world's undisputed heavyweight championship by beating all contenders in North America and Europe. It aired on the TBS network. The WWF's owner Vincent K. McMahon revolutionized the sport by coining the term "sports entertainment" to describe his on-screen product, downplaying the (still claimed) athletic competition in favor of entertaining viewers as well as enhancing its appeal to children. Top 5 Famous Masks in Pro Wrestling History – Kendo Nagasaki Kendo Nagasaki was a bad guy who graced British rings starting back in the 1970s. User account menu • Your Pro Wrestling History Highlights for 1/1-1/7. His legacy was the enormous change in wrestling personas he inspired. Wrestling History Timeline created by fox2_eagle3.  Other legendary luchadores who helped popularize the lucha libre include; Gory Guerrero, who is credited with developing moves and holds which are now commonplace in professional wrestling; Blue Demon, a contemporary of Santo and possibly his greatest rival; and Mil Máscaras ("Man of a Thousand Masks") who is credited with introducing the high flying moves of lucha libre to audiences around the world. In 1901, to “spice things up,” promoters in San Francisco created tag team wrestling.  WCW continued to lose more money and finally folded on March 23, 2001, with McMahon buying out the promotion, after more than 15 years of business. This includes WWE, WCW, ECW, NXT and whatnot. Interest to wrestling in Russia back in the 1980s, when the Soviet Union began to arrive with performances by international stars. HISTORY OF PRO WRESTLING X PART 1. The best way to approach pro wrestling is to look at it like a soap opera where people settle their differences by beating each other up. Before buying nearly the entire professional wrestling industry, Vince McMahon tried to erase the history of sports entertainment, or so it seemed to the weekly viewer of his numerous shows. In these battles, called luchas de apuestas ("matches with wagers"), the wrestlers "wager" either their mask or their hair. The ancestor of modern professional wrestling was the so-called "French wrestling" which was widespread in Europe, including in Russia, the Motherland of a famous wrestler named Ivan Poddubny. Crabtree produced the next boom in British wrestling by creating the legend of "Big Daddy", the alter ego of Shirley, who had been unemployed for the best part of 15 years. This new style soon spread to the rest of Europe, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Italy, Denmark and Russia under the names of Greco-Roman wrestling, Classic wrestling or French wrestling. The exposure of wrestling on television proved the ultimate boost to the live event business as wrestling became part of mainstream culture. The image of WCW changed when Eric Bischoff was appointed Executive Vice President of WCW in late 1993.  By 1981, GCW became the most watched show on cable television. In addition, a wrestler can opt to roll out of the ring in lieu of tagging a partner or simply be knocked out of the ring, at which point one of his partners may enter. A look at the history of pro wrestling results on Christmas. 1902 Worcester, Massachusetts: - Dan McLeod won the American heavyweight championship from Tom Jenkins (The American title six years later became the World Heavyweight title when Frank Gotch beat George Hackenschmidt)  The Trio was dealt a severe blow by Stanislaus Zbyszko, when he beat the rookie Wayne Munn for their world heavyweight championship, against the original booking.  In addition, Zbyszko quickly dropped the title to Joe Stecher, a rival of Ed Lewis, making the situation worse for the Trio. The slogan/philosophy of British wrestling is simply "We wrestle! The first International Wrestlers’ Union(Internationaler Ring Verband) wa… Preserving Professional Wrestling History Official Site for Author Tim Hornbaker: Mission Statement: The preservation of pro wrestling history in an accurate and fair manner. Nonetheless, there were stars such as Clarence Weber, Jack Carkeek, Clarence Whistler, and Georg Hackenschmidt. Women wrestlers and mud-filled rings also became common place. Despite Hogan being the AWA's top draw, Gagne would not let him be champion, believing technical wrestlers, like him and Nick Bockwinkel, should be the focus of a wrestling company. In 1988, the struggling World Class Wrestling Association (formerly known as World Class Championship Wrestling until it withdrew from the NWA in 1986) and Continental Wrestling Federation (known as Continental Championship Wrestling until it was bought out in 1988) would also take part in this alliance, which agreed to unify the WCWA and AWA Heavyweight Titles at Superclash III. WCW also came up with more legitimate, edgy storylines and characters over the WWF's cartoon style. Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, and Angelico in a Ladder Match for the Lucha Underground Trios Championship, Marty The Moth vs. Its popularity declined during World War II, but it was revived in the late 1940s to 1950s, the First Golden Age of professional wrestling in the United States, during which Gorgeous George gained mainstream popularity. By Sai Mohan | January 22, 2021. The barnstormers competed as traveling wrestlers did and often cooperated with the carnies to stage the matches, providing enormous profits for both sides in betting. Sometimes, a wrestler slated for retirement would be unmasked in his final bout or at the beginning of a final tour, signifying loss of identity as that character. In 1948, wrestling reached new heights after a loose confederation was formed between independent wrestling companies. Professional wrestling, in the sense of traveling performers paid for mass entertainment in staged matches, began in the post-Civil War period in the late 1860s and 1870s.  The episode of The Main Event I is still today the highest rated professional wrestling television show to date, with a 15.2 rating and 33 million viewers.. Click Pro Wrestling Bibliography to see an extensive list of titles on the history of professional wrestling in book list format (available in MLA and APA formats by request). Professional Wrestling History in Pictures.  During this time, wrestlers were often athletes with amateur wrestling experience who competed at traveling carnivals with carnies working as their promoters and bookers.  Promotional spots, which are now used as pre-match rants by wrestlers to warm up the crowds, were often used for simple greetings and welcomes to the local crowds, missing in-ring personality boosts and character skits during this period. On this day (Nov. 9, 1955) 65 years ago ITV broadcast professional wrestling for the first time from the West Ham Baths featuring Mike Marino vs Francis St Clair Gregory and Cliff Beaumont vs Bert Royal.  Already popular among wrestling fans, he became renowned after comedian Bob Hope noticed his performance in the Hollywood Legion Stadium in 1945 and 1946, and began to use him for jokes on his radio station. At the top were the elites, or the hookers, named for their ability to use arcane wrestling hooks to inflict damage and serious injury on the competition without much effort. Since founding the AWA, Gagne had built the company off of technical wrestling. , Following the retirement of Frank Gotch, professional wrestling—except in the Midwest where legitimate wrestlers such as Michigan's "Poison Ivy" took on all comers at State Fairs—was losing popularity fast. Meanwhile, the NWA's renowned and highly successful territory system was slowly dying, with Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP) becoming the center of the entire NWA. Hooks are illegal in conventional amateur wrestling, but have high rates of success against even the most athletic and experienced of competitors, essentially removing rules from professional wrestling. Putting one's mask on the line against a hated opponent is a tradition in lucha libre as a means to settle a heated feud between two or more wrestlers. But very few wrestlers can be known as the strongest in WCW or WWE history! While the WWF had their major stars at almost all of their shows, the NWA could only manage to have a few of its stars at one show at a time, so as to promote the product in every territory. Small local promotions, as well as internationally publicized organizations and tours such as World Wrestling All-Stars and Hulkamania: Let The Battle Begin have tried to take advantage of the popularity of professional wrestling in more recent times, but there has been nothing of note since the demise of World Championship Wrestling in 1978. In 1901, to “spice things up,” promoters in San Francisco created tag team wrestling. Televised wrestling allowed wrestlers to become household names and allowing personality to get a wrestler over just as much as size. See pro wrestling events, births and deaths from Sunday, 20th of December, 2020 (12/20/2020)at the Internet Wrestling Database The nature of professional wrestling was changed dramatically to better fit television, enhancing character traits and storylines. History. In 2000, following the Pro Wrestling Noah split, NTV decided to follow the new venture rather than staying with All Japan. As promotions were attempting to become nationally renowned, acquiring rival championships marked victory.  WCW continued to lose more money and finally ended on March 23, 2001 with McMahon buying it out. NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling renamed itself "Extreme Championship Wrestling" (ECW) and left the NWA. As popularity grew during the mid-1950s, many more wrestlers joined the ranks of the business, and the number of professional wrestlers grew to over 2,000, far more than ever before. Some of wrestling’s most successful times were during the holiday seasons whether that was Thanksgiving, Christmas or some other special day. 4 likes. , Following the retirement of Gotch, professional wrestling (except in the Midwest) was losing popularity fast. The WWF's owner Vince McMahon revolutionized the sport by coining the term "sports entertainment" to describe his on-screen product, admitting to its fakery as well as enhancing its appeal to children. As a result of the introduction of lucha libre into Japan, major Mexican stars also compete in Japan. Many promoters, however, viewed it as a crooked tyrant, holding back innovative changes in the sport. The show was a huge success with Hogan, who won in the main event, going on to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Sonnenberg was not a shooter, and he didn’t try to make his matches look realistic. Following the advent of television, professional wrestling matches began to be aired nationally during the 1950s, reaching a larger fanbase than ever before. By: Karl Stern . Most notable was the muscular Hulk Hogan, who marked the 1980s with his "all-American" persona. Of these three members, one member is designated the captain. At first, this proved a profitable venture, with title matches leading to raise ticket prices.  From 1948 to 1955, each of the three major television networks broadcast wrestling shows; the largest supporter being the DuMont Television Network. Played by a number of different people, he was big on British ITV wrestling and was a star on their Saturday afternoon World of Sport TV show. Meanwhile, McMahon took advantage of this phenomenon by purchasing promotions all over the continent, in order to produce a widely popular nationwide television program and make the WWF the only viewing choice. During the early 1990s, the growing WWF was being hindered by competing brands and nagging legal troubles. Television also helped many wrestlers break into mainstream media, becoming influential celebrities and icons of popular culture. However, with wrestling's decline in the 1970s, the WWF, without its top draw, Bruno Sammartino as champion, suffered a blow, and had to rejoin the NWA in 1971. Rikidōzan's matches in the 1950s, televised by Nippon TV, often attracted huge crowds to Tokyo giant screens.  During their careers, masked luchadores would often be seen in public wearing their masks and keeping up the kayfabe of lucha libre while other masked wrestlers would interact with the public and press normally. With Olga Kurkulina, Jeanne Basone, John Cena Sr., Jim Duggan. No one would discuss promos before shooting them, and promoters usually would not spend time helping wrestlers in front of the camera. There was a marked decline in public interest in the 1970s and early 1980s, but with the advent of cable television in the mid 1980s, there followed a Second Golden Age as the United States experienced a professional wrestling boom, with protagonists such as Hulk Hogan, André the Giant, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Ric Flair and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. A Brief History of UK Wrestling: The New Breed Photo: Pro Wrestling: EVE.  Ratings also suffered for a short period, with Raw dropping 10% in total viewers. Wrestling as a modern sport developed in the 19th century out of traditions of folk wrestling, emerging in the form of two styles of regulated competitive sport, "freestyle" and "Greco-Roman" wrestling (based on British and continental tradition, respectively), summarized under the term "amateur wrestling" by the beginning of the modern Olympics in 1896. Many promoters, however, viewed it as a crooked tyrant, holding back innovative changes in the sport. The lowest were the journeymen, young performers with promise and some skill, but who relied mainly on showmanship to gain fans. NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling renamed itself Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and left the NWA. Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Their promotion was the first to use time-limit matches, "flashy" new holds, and signature maneuvers. Crockett was unable to beat McMahon, who took big bites out of Jim Crockett Promotions by successfully airing the 1987 Survivor Series and 1988 Royal Rumble on the same nights as Starrcade 1987 and the 1988 Bunkhouse Stampede PPV cards. ECW adapted a hardcore style of wrestling, and it exposed the audience to levels of violence rarely seen in wrestling. After the WWF gained huge dominance with WrestleMania, Crockett responded to the success of the WWF and successfully acquired timeslots on TBS, and would continue to buy out NWA promotions between 1985 and 1987 as well.  The episode of The Main Event I is the highest rated professional wrestling television show to date, with a 15.2 rating and 33 million viewers. They responded by calling the Munn-Zbyszko match illegitimate, and reinstated Munn as champion, but quickly had him drop it to Lewis. Ric Flair made his mark on the WWF by winning the Rumble and the WWF World title when he eliminated Sid Justice (Vicious). The most successful among these were Impact Wrestling (initially known as NWA: Total Nonstop Action) and Ring of Honor, both started up in 2002. In spite of all this, the NWA as a unit was still on top, and gained huge dominance through Georgia Championship Wrestling (GCW), becoming the first nationally broadcast wrestling program on cable television in 1979. AJW's first major star was Mach Fumiake in 1974, followed in 1975 by Jackie Sato and Maki Ueda, known as The Beauty Pair. There are also two-man tag matches (parejas) as well as "four on four" matches (atomicos). , Gorgeous George became one of the biggest stars during this period, gaining media attention for his outrageous character, which was described as flamboyant and charismatic. The 1980s represented professional wrestling's greatest period of televised entertainment, reaching widespread popularity among American youth, as well as producing some of its most spectacular characters. One of the first big Native American stars of the new era of pro wrestling was Navajo wrestler Ventura Tenario, better known as Chief Little Wolf.Little Wolf made his debut in 1932, inspired by a Sioux Indian grappler named Ben Bolt.Chief Little Wolf became the first North American to challenge for the first major World title in the United States, that of the National Wrestling … "; many old style British wrestlers rarely have signature or finishing moves but instead employ a large array of technical holds and pins to win matches. The NWA responded by creating Clash of the Champions I on TBS to compete against WrestleMania IV. While singles matches were the norm for years prior to the advent of tag teams, it is believed tag team wrestling got its start in San Francisco, California. While starting fairly even, the war escalated in 1996 with the formation of the heel stable, the New World Order. Most notable was the muscular Hulk Hogan, who marked the 1980s with his "all-American" persona. In 1980, the son of Vincent J. McMahon, Vincent K. McMahon, founded Titan Sports, Inc. and in 1982 purchased Capitol Wrestling Corporation from his father. Pro-wrestling championship histories, articles, and related links of the United States Introduction - Symbols NAME FORMAT CHANGE IN PROCESS : Names of the wrestlers from countries where the family names come before the given names will be listed as such (Japan, Korea, etc. Twitter. This was a time of enormous growth for professional wrestling, as rising demand and national expansion made it a much more popular and lucrative form of entertainment than in decades previous. Boston is also the … Professional wrestling, in the sense of traveling performers paid for mass entertainment in staged matches, began in the post-Civil War period in the late 1860s and 1870s. Wrestlers during the time recount it as largely faked by the 1880s. As we all … This incident, along with the death of Eddie Guerrero in 2005, made drug use and young deaths in the business a subject of intense controversy. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Australia established its only major promotion in WCW Australia. We Ranked Five 205 Live Stars Who Would Fit On The WWE Main Roster. ... We Ranked Every WrestleMania Opening Match In History (1985 – 2019) WWE 2 years ago. , A tradition of combining wrestling and showmanship originates in 1830s France, when showmen presented wrestlers under names such as “Edward, the steel eater”, “Gustave d’Avignon, the bone wrecker”, or “Bonnet, the ox of the low Alps” and challenged members of the public to knock them down for 500 francs. The given reason is that Sid Vicious's foot was under the rope when he submitted. , During the late 19th century-early 20th century, wrestling was dominated by Martin "Farmer" Burns and his pupil, Frank Gotch. After unsuccessfully lobbying for a title match with the NWA Champion, however, Gagne broke away from the NWA in 1960, renaming his promotion the American Wrestling Association, and making it the dominant organization of the 1960s. This arrangement continued after the JWA split into today's major promotions, New Japan and All Japan, led by Inoki and Baba respectively. Ring of Honor tried to emulate the Japanese strong style, while Impact presented themselves as an edgier, contemporary alternative to WWE. Basing a whole cartel around one performer, however, though good for television, did nothing for live events and promotion once again began losing interest.  The show was promoted through storylines produced on webseries, such as The Young Bucks' Being The Elite, Ten Pounds of Gold, and Cody's Nightmare Family series ALL US - The All In Story. While singles matches were the norm for years prior to the advent of tag teams, it is believed tag team wrestling got its start in San Francisco, California. Lucha libre has several weight classes, many catered to smaller agile fighters, who often make their debuts in their mid-teens. The WWF was forced to change itself to overcome its competition, remodeling itself with added bloodshed, violence, and more profane, sexually lewd characters. While amateur wrestling continued as a legitimate sport, grappling as a promotional business did not catch on until the late 1920s when the success of the more worked aspects of professional wrestling in America, like gimmickry and submission holds, were introduced to British wrestling. In Mexico and Japan, the 1940s-1950s was also a Golden Age for professional wrestling, with Santo becoming a Mexican folk hero, and Rikidōzan achieving similar fame in Japan. The WWF broke its way into mainstream entertainment and regularly brought in celebrities for events.  The Trio gained great popularity nationwide during their best years, roughly 1920 to 1925, when they performed in the Eastern territory, acquiring fans from the highly exposed big cities. Far worse for Joint Promotions, however, was that with their contract up, they were forced to share the TV rights as part of a rotation system with All Star Promotions and America's World Wrestling Federation (WWF). WOWOW, a television network, had a working agreement with Akira Maeda that paid millions to RINGS when he was featured, but eventually was scrapped with Maeda's retirement and the subsequent RINGS collapse. As a top wrestler in the 1950s, Verne Gagne formed his own promotion in the NWA in 1957, which soon became the lead promotion with Gagne winning the World Heavyweight Championship of Omaha. 01-08-1971: In Houston, TX before a crowd of 12,000: NWA World heavyweight champion Dory Funk, Jr. defeated Wahoo McDaniel… Johnny Valentine defeated Mr. Wrestling (Tim Woods) to retain the Texas title… If you want to be precise on the matter, it …  In response, three professional wrestlers, Ed Lewis, Billy Sandow, and Toots Mondt, joined to form their own promotion in the 1920s, modifying their in-ring product to attract fans.  Rather than paying traveling wrestlers to perform on certain dates and combining wrestlers in match-ups when they were available, they decided to keep wrestlers for months and years at a time, allowing long-term angles and feuds to develop. The WWF expanded nationally through the acquisition of talent from competing promotions and, because it was the only company to air televised wrestling nationally, became synonymous with the industry, monopolizing the industry and the fanbase.  Promoters used localized television as a weapon for eliminating the competition by purchasing airtime from rival territories, effectively putting them out of business.. The Monday Night Wars began in 1995, when WCW started Monday Nitro, a show that ran directly against Monday Night Raw. Austin was the top superstar in the company, portraying a foul mouthed beer swilling anti-hero who regularly defied his boss; The Rock became a star for his cocky persona, his many catchphrases and attractive charisma; Mankind gained popularity for enduring extreme pain, performing dangerous stunts renowned among the industry today; the stable D-Generation X was famous for its adult themes and established star, The Undertaker, added to his fame because of his hardcore matches most notably with Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley, his gimmick which many consider to be the greatest in the history of professional wrestling and because of his overall dominance in the period in which he helped to put over new talent like Kane and win 3 world championships in this era. Daily pro wrestling history (10/30): a slew of tag team titles change hands On this day in pro wrestling history (Sept. 3): Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk Texas death match, Great Muta vs. Sting, Ted DiBiase and Stan Hansen wins AJPW tag titles Numerous big name stars, both beloved babyfaces and hated heels, came and went during the early inception of wrestling within the UK, with many, like Hackenschmidt, leaving for the US. That decade would later see the rise of Chigusa Nagayo and Lioness Asuka, known as The Crush Gals, who as a tag team achieved a level of unprecedented mainstream success in Japan, unheard of by any female wrestler in the history of professional wrestling all over the world. After the WWF gained huge dominance with Wrestlemania, Crockett responded to the success of the WWF and successfully acquired time slots on TBS, and would continue to buy out NWA promotions between 1985 and 1987 as well. 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