Pro wrestling history

Pro wrestling history DEFAULT

 

 

  • 10/12 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE RED DEVIL UNMASKED, WWF STAR AND EXECUTIVE FIRED AFTER HOTEL LOBBY BRAWL, BRET HART WINS FIRST WWF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, BOUND FOR GLORY IN TOKYO AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/12/2021 8:00 AM
  • 10/11 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FLAIR VS. RACE IN A CAGE, LAWLER & DUNDEE WIN AWA WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES, DRAGON WINS THE J CROWN, MICKEY ROURKE SIGNS ON FOR 'THE WRESTLER' & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/11/2021 8:00 AM
  • 10/9 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: KURT ANGLE MAKES TNA DEBUT, EDDIE GUERRERO IS BORN AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/9/2021 8:00 AM
  • 10/8 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: PUNK VS. VINCE HEADLINES RAW, FATAL FOUR WAY AT NO MERCY 2006, LAWLER WINS 21 MAN USWA TITLE TOURNAMENT, WWE BEATS NICOLE BASS IN COURT AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/8/2021 8:00 AM
  • 10/7 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: PATERA ENTERS PRO WRESTLING, WAHOO MCDANIEL CAPTURES UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP, THE PUNJABI PRISON AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/7/2021 8:00 AM
  • 10/6 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BRUNO SAMMARTINO IS BORN, HOUSE OF HARDCORE DEBUTS, ADAMS & HERNANDEZ GET THEIR HEADS SHAVED, DICK THE BRUISER VS. SHEIK HEADLINES OLYMPIA STADIUM AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/6/2021 8:00 AM
  • 10/5 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BRIAN PILLMAN AND ANTONIO PENA PASS AWAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/5/2021 8:00 AM
  • 10/4 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HELL IN A CELL GRADUATES TO IT'S OWN PPV
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/4/2021 8:00 AM
  • 10/2 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: AEW DYNAMITE DEBUTS ON TNT, DREAMER DEBUTS IN ECW, BOOKER T WINS THIRD WCW WORLD TITLE, SABU WINS FIRST-EVER ECW TITLE, SMACKDOWN CELEBRATES 10 YEARS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/2/2021 8:00 AM
  • 10/1 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: KENTA KOBASHI VS. SAMOA JOE IN ROH, TAZ & SABU DEBUT IN ECW (AGAINST EACH OTHER), IMPACT DEBUTS ON SPIKETV, WWE 24/7 LAUNCHES, DESTRUCTION CREW WIN AWA WORLD TAG TEAM BELTS, LYNN CAPTURES ECW TITLE AT ANARCHY RULZ 2000 PPV AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/1/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/30 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: PEDRO VS. BRUNO IN SHEA STADIUM, FOLEY FACES JBL...IN A POLITICAL DEBATE, LAWLER CHALLENGES FLAIR FOR NWA WORLD TITLE IN MEMPHIS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/30/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/29 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: DUSTY RESCUES FLAIR (ONLY TO REGRET IT), COUSIN LUKE PASSES AWAY, RACE VS. KEIRN FOR NWA WORLD TITLE, ROAD WARRIORS' HISTORIC AWA WORLD TAG TITLE REIGN COMES TO AN END & MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/29/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/28 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HOGAN VS. SAVAGE FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, FIRST NWA UNITED STATES TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS CROWNED, AWA SUPERCLASH 1985 AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/28/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/27 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWWF CHAMPIONSHIP BELT IS STOLEN, WARRIOR RESPONDS TO WWE DOCUMENTARY DVD, WWF BREAKDOWN 98 PPV, RAVEN VS. SANDMAN IN A CAGE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/27/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/26 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: DUSTY VS. SUPERSTAR IN THE GARDEN, FIRST EVER WRESTLING BOUT IN AUSTRALIA, THE INFAMOUS KENNEL FROM HELL, RVD VS. HARDCORE HOLLY ON ECW & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/26/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/25 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BLUE DEMON'S GREATEST VICTORY, RICHARDS VS. DANIELSON IN ROH, BRET HART WRESTLES FOR FINAL TIME IN MSG AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/25/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/24 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ANGLE SHOCKS THE WORLD WITH TNA DEBUT, WWE UNFORGIVEN 2000, VALENTINE WINS WWF IC TITLE, BACKLUND VS. THE SHEIK, HERB ABRAMS' UWF DEBUTS AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/24/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/23 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: STEVE AUSTIN DEBUTS IN ECW, THE MEGA-POWERS ARE BORN, ANDRE BOXES GORILLA, JYD CHALLENGES FOR AWA WORLD TITLE & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/23/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/22 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: NWA CHAMP VS. WWF CHAMP IN MSG, BOBBY HEENAN'S WWF DEBUT, HBK VS. FOLEY, AUSTIN'S FIRST STUNNER ON VINCE, CACTUS JACK INVADES WWF FOR FIRST TIME, GOLDBERG MAKES WCW DEBUT & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/22/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/21 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ANGELO SAVOLDI & TED PETTY PASS AWAY, WATTS VS. LADD IN ATLANTA, MURACO VS. BACKLUND TEXAS DEATH IN MSG, LESNAR VS. CENA III, DORY FUNK JR. TAKES NWA WORLD TITLE TO PUERTO RICO AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/21/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/20 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FLAIR WINS FIRST MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP, FREDDIE BLASSIE'S FINAL MATCH, WWF ONE NIGHT ONLY, LAWLER VS. VENTURA, ECW AS GOOD AS IT GETS, ROH'S FINAL MURPHY REC EVENT AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/20/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/19 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE EXTREME HORSEMEN VS. FUNK'S ARMY HEADLINES MLW WARGAMES, TAZ DROPS WORLD TITLE AT ECW'S ANARCHY RULZ PPV IN CHICAGO & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/19/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/18 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CACTUS JACK EXITS WCW, HEYMAN'S REIGN AS ECW BOOKER BEGINS AT ULTRACLASH '93, MURDOCH CHALLENGES RACE FOR NWA WORLD TITLE, PRO WRESTLING USA IN MEMPHIS, THE PUBLIC ENEMY DEBUT & MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/18/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/17 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RIC FLAIR WINS THE FIRST OF MANY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, CORNETTE IS BORN AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/17/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/16 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FIRST EVER NWA MISSOURI CHAMPION CROWNED, PIPER DESTROYS THE FLOWER SHOP, ECW GANGSTA'S PARADISE, RING OF HONOR DEBUTS IN NYC AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/16/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/15 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: DANIEL BRYAN WINS SECOND WWE CHAMPIONSHIP, BRODY & HANSEN VS. COLON & ABDULLAH HEADLINES WWC ANNIVERSARIO & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/15/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/14 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: DDP SURVIVES WAR GAMES AT WCW FALL BRAWL '98, PESEK AWARDED THE NWA WORLD TITLE THANKS TO $1000 CHECK, QUEBECERS WIN WWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/14/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/13 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FLAIR MAKES EMOTIONAL RETURN TO MONDAY NITRO, WWE AND TORONTO PAY TRIBUTE TO EDGE, NWO VS. THE FOUR HORSEMEN IN WAR GAMES, PITBULL 2 CHALLENGES FOR ECW WORLD TITLE & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/13/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/12 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ECW IS BROADCAST FROM MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, STING WINS NUMBER SIX, ORTON VS. HHH HEADLINES WWE UNFORGIVEN AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/12/2021 8:00 AM
  • THIS DAY IN WRESTLING HISTORY: PAUL HEYMAN IS BORN, THE MOST CELEBRATED MATCH IN TNA HISTORY, TAKEOVER: FATAL FOUR WAY AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/11/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/10 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE FOUR HORSEMEN ENDS
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/10/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/9 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FLAIR MAKES WWF TV DEBUT, FRANK TALENT PASSES AWAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/9/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/8 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BRIAN 'MARK CURTIS' HILDEBRAND PASSES AWAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/8/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/7 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BRET HART WINS HIS FIRST KING OF THE RING TOURNAMENT, GEORGE SOUTH IS BORN, VERNE GAGNE VS. FRITZ VON ERICH, WWF WRESTLING CHALLENGE DEBUTS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/7/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/6 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: LITTLE TOKYO PASSES AWAY, DRAGON GATE USA DEBUTS IN CHICAGO, BRUNO VS. BUGSY MCGRAW & LOU ALBANO AND KORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/6/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/5 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE BLACK SCORPION BEGINS TO TORMENT STING, BIG SHOW VS. DX HEADLINES ECW ON SCIFI, TNA DEBUTS AT MANHATTAN CENTER & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/5/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/4 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE MONDAY NIGHT WARS COMMENCE WITH THE DEBUT OF WCW MONDAY NITRO
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/4/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/3 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE PAUL HEYMAN-CM PUNK ALLIANCE IS BORN, FIRST-EVER PWG BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES, VALIANT WINS CADILLAC TOURNAMENT IN MEMPHIS, VON ERICHS VS. FREEBIRDS HEADLINE WCCW LABOR DAY STAR WARS II & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/3/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/2 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE STAGE IS SET FOR LESNAR TO CONQUER UFC
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/2/2021 8:00 AM
  • 9/1 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ABDULLAH VS. BRODY HEADLINES WORLD CLASS STAR WARS, JERRY LAWLER HIT BY CAR ON LIVE TELEVISION, PUNK WINS ECW TITLE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/1/2021 4:00 AM
  • 8/31 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BRET VS. BULLDOG FOR INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE HEADLINES WWF SUMMERSLAM
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/31/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/30 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE SUSPENDS TEN PERFORMERS IN ONE DAY, ROMAN VS. FIEND VS. BRAUN HEADLINES WWE PAYBACK, THE VACHONS WIN AWA WORLD TAG TITLES & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/30/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/29 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE MEGA-POWERS VS. THE MEGABUCKS HEADLINES THE FIRST-EVER WWF SUMMERSLAM PPV, STAN HANSEN IS BORN, BRUNO SAMMARTINO'S FINAL WWF MATCH AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/29/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/27 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: 27 YEARS AGO, ECW GOES EXTREME, SUMMERSLAM 1990 AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/27/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/26 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: SAVAGE AND ELIZABETH WED AT SUMMERSLAM, BLACKJACKS WIN THE WWWF TAG STRAPS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/26/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/25 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BROCK VS. ROCK AT SUMMERSLAM, ROAD WARRIORS WIN THEIR FIRST WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP, ECW DEBUTS IN THE HAMMERSTEIN BALLROOM & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/25/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/24 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: VINNY MAC IS BORN, FLAIR VS. HOGAN HEADLINES WCW CLASH AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/24/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/23 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TRIPLE H WINS FIRST WWF CHAMPIONSHIP, PUNK VS. JBL IN A CAGE HEADLINES MSG, BRUNO'S SHORTEST TITLE DEFENSE EVER AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/23/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/22 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: GOVERNOR JESSE VENTURA DECLARES HE IS PROUD TO BE A WRESTLER UPON WWF RETURN, FOLEY WINS THIRD WWF CHAMPIONSHIP AT SUMMERSLAM
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/22/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/21 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: DUSTY RHODES WINS FIRST NWA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/21/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/20 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BYERS VS. BURKE FOR NWA WOMEN'S WORLD TITLE, FIRST EVER ULTIMATE X MATCH, JERICHO SAYS WRESTLING IS IN TALENT 'CRISIS MODE'
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/20/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/19 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: JIM KETTNER RETIRES FROM PROMOTING THE ECWA
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/19/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/18 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: DANIEL BRYAN WINS WWE TITLE, BOBO BRAZIL'S IGNORED NWA TITLE WIN AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/18/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/17 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: PRODUCTION ISSUES MAR ECW'S SECOND PPV, HARDCORE HEAVEN '97
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/17/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/16 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FORMER ROH CHAMPION JOHN 'XAVIER' BEDOYA PASSES AWAY, VERNE GAGNE CAPTURES FIRST AWA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/16/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/15 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: DANIEL BRYAN RETURNS FROM WWE EXILE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/15/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/14 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ECW TAPES FIRST EPISODES FOR TNN...AND NEVER USES THEM
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/14/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/13 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HBK VS. VADER AT SUMMERSLAM, BOBO BRAZIL WINS NWA TITLE (SORT OF) AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/13/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/11 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HULK HOGAN IS BORN
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/11/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/10 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE WELLNESS POLICY SAVES MVP FROM POTENTIALLY LIFE-THREATENING CONDITION, THE MAN WHO WOULD BE HOGAN MAKES IN-RING DEBUT, WWE RELEASES FUTURE NXT CHAMPION, HOGAN VS. GIANT AT WCW HOG WILD AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/10/2021 7:00 AM
  • 8/9 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CENA VS. ORTON FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, BRUNO VS. ZBYSZKO IN SHEA STADIUM, FLAIR WINS FOURTH NWA WORLD TITLE, ECW BORN TO BE WIRED AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/9/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/8 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: VERNE GAGNE WINS AWA TITLE NUMBER TWO & NUMBER FIVE, JAY LENO WRESTLES, WWE SIGNS ROLLINS, TNA PRESENTS ECW THEMED HARDCORE JUSTICE PPV AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/8/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/6 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TAJIRI WINS WWE LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE, WCW CLASH OF CHAMPIONS 31 AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/6/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/5 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: SNUKA CHALLENGES DUSTY FOR NWA WORLD TITLE, THE J CROWN IS CREATED, PRO WRESTLING NOAH DEBUTS, ECW'S FIRST WRESTLEPALOOZA AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/5/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/4 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: LUGER BEATS HOGAN FOR WCW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, VON ERICH VS. JOHNNY VALENTINE & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/4/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/3 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: GILBERT VS. CACTUS THREE TIMES IN ONE NIGHT, POLYNESIAN HOT SUMMER NIGHT, DR. DEATH MAKES HIS ECW DEBUT & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/3/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/2 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ECW HEATWAVE '98, BRUNO BEATS ROGERS (BUT GIVES BACK THE TITLE) AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/2/2021 8:00 AM
  • 8/1 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HARLEY RACE PASSES AWAY, FINAL UWF SUPERDOME EVENT, LANCE RUSSELL CELEBRATES 60 YEARS AS AN ANNOUNCER AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/1/2021 8:00 AM
  • THE GREAT 'ROWDY' RODDY PIPER PASSES AWAY: 7/31 THIS DAY IN HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/31/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/30 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ELIZABETH MAKES WWF DEBUT, 'CURTIS COMES HOME' EVENT HONORS MARK CURTIS IN PITTSBURGH AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/30/2021 8:00 AM
  • ULTIMATE X HEADLINES NWA: TNA PPV, GUERRERO VS. MALENKO OUTDOORS IN A TORNADO WATCH, STEINERS DEBUT IN ECW, RICHTER WINS WWC WOMEN'S TITLE & MORE: 7/28 THIS DAY IN HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/28/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/27 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE FIRST ROH CHAMPION IS CROWNED IN 60 MINUTE CLASSIC, TRIPLE H IS BORN AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/27/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/26 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE VERY FIRST PWG EVENT, WCW RUNS FREE EVENT IN NYC, CZW TOURNAMENT OF DEATH 2 , AUSTIN & UNDERTAKER WIN WWF TAG CHAMPIONSHIPS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/26/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/25 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HELL FREEZES OVER AS JIM CORNETTE DEBUTS IN THE WWF
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/25/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/24 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: EDGE WINS FIRST WWE TITLE, PAIGE CAPTURES NXT WOMEN'S TITLE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/24/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/23 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RAW HITS 1000 EPISODES, THE BRAWL TO END IT ALL AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/23/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/22 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: VINCE MCMAHON BEATS THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT IN COURT, SHAWN MICHAELS IS BORN, WWF VS. ECW & WCW AT INVASION PPV AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/22/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/21 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE ROCK WINS HIS SEVENTH WWF CHAMPIONSHIP, ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER NAMED FIRST WWC UNIVERSAL CHAMPION AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/21/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/20 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: JACK BRISCO WINS NWA WORLD TITLE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/20/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/19 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: KEVIN STEEN EXITS RING OF HONOR, ECW HEATWAVE 97, HARDY VS. HAWX FEUD CONCLUDES AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/19/2021 8:00 AM
  • VERNE GAGNE WINS FINAL AWA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, SABIN WINS TNA TITLE, FLAIR WINS FINAL NWA TITLE AT WCW BEACH BLAST AND MORE: 7/18 THIS DAY IN HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/18/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/17 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CM PUNK WINS WWE CHAMPIONSHIP AT MONEY IN THE BANK IN CHICAGO
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/17/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/16 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BRUISER BRODY PASSES AWAY, ECW VS. XPW IN PARKING LOT BRAWL AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/16/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/15 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RAY STEVENS DEFEATS BRUNO SAMMARTINO FOR WWWF TITLE?, ERIC BISCHOFF JOINS WWE, ROH VS. CZW IN THE CAGE OF DEATH AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/15/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/14 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HARLEY RACE BECOMES KING OF THE RING, HEYMAN TURNS ON PUNK, LUGER WINS WCW WORLD TITLE, STYLES IS BORN AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/14/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/13 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ECW'S HEATWAVE 96, DENNIS RODMAN TEAMS WITH HULK HOGAN, WALTMAN IS BORN AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/13/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/12 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BRUNO'S LAST MATCH IN MSG, BROCK IS BORN, VADER WINS FIRST WCW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, HOGAN & RODMAN VS. DDP & KARL MALONE, LESNAR BECOMES UNDISPUTED UFC CHAMPION & MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/12/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/11 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE PERFORMANCE CENTER OPENS ITS DOORS, DR. DEATH BECOMES THE FINAL UWF CHAMPION, JR'S BBQ DEBUTS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/11/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/10 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: LUGER VS. FLAIR HEADLINES FIRST-EVER GREAT AMERICAN BASH PPV, AUSTIN 'XAVIER WOODS' CREED WINS SUPER 8 & MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/10/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/9 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HULK HOGAN'S FINAL APPEARANCE IN WCW, CRUSHER WINS AWA WORLD TITLE, ROCK N' ROLL EXPRESS WIN FIRST WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/9/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/8 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: AUSTIN ARIES WINS TNA TITLE, DON MURACO BECOMES THE KING OF THE RING, LUCHA LIBRE USA TV ANNOUNCED & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/8/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/7 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: STING WINS NWA WORLD TITLE FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE NWO IS FORMED AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/7/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/6 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWF'S CANADIAN STAMPEDE PPV, GOLDBERG WINS WCW WORLD TITLE, FLAIR CHALLENGES RACE FOR NWA TITLE TWICE IN SAME DAY AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/6/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/5 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: DOC & GORDY WIN WCW WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES, THE MCMAHON TRIAL BEGINS, WCW'S LAST NITRO IN THE GEORGIA DOME AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/5/2021 7:00 AM
  • 7/4 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE NWA UNVEILS WARGAMES: THE MATCH BEYOND, LUGER SLAMS YOKOZUNA, ADONIS PASSES AWAY, NWA CHAMP VS. WWF CHAMP AT THE OMNI & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/4/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/3 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ARREST LEADS TO WWE TITLE CHANGE, HEYMAN MAKES UFC DEBUT, PIPER TEAMS WITH WAHOO, HULK VS. PUTSKI, BACKLUND TURNS EVIL AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/3/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/2 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BRET HART IS BORN
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/2/2021 8:00 AM
  • 7/1 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RIC FLAIR SIGNS WITH WWF FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE GANGSTAS VS. THE PUBLIC ENEMY AT HARDCORE HEAVEN, JERICHO JUMPS TO WWF AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/1/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/30 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE FUNKER IS BORN
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/30/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/29 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: STAN HANSEN WALKS OUT OF THE AWA..AND TAKES THEIR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BELT WITH HIM
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/29/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/28 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: MATT BORNE PASSES AWAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/28/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/27 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: PUNK SHOOTS ON RAW, ONITA'S LONE ECW APPEARANCE, LEGENDS OF THE ARENA, CENA & BATISTA DEBUT FOR WWE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/27/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/26 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FIRST X-DIVISION CHAMPION CROWNED, FCW HOLDS DEBUT EVENT, DAVEY RICHARDS CAPTURES ROH TITLE, BUDDY ROGERS PASSES AWAY AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/26/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/25 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE BENOIT TRAGEDY IS DISCOVERED
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/25/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/24 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RING OF HONOR'S SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP ERA BEGINS
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/24/2021 8:00 AM
  • AUSTIN 3:16 IS BORN, KANE IS UNMASKED & MORE: 6/23 THIS DAY IN HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/23/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/22 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE & DONALD TRUMP REFUND LIVE GATE FOR AN ENTIRE RAW TAPING, WWE CHANGES CREATIVE HEAD TWICE IN 24 HOURS, ROH'S ROAD TO THE TITLE COMMENCES, MUTA VS. BIGELOW IN ATLANTIC CITY & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/22/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/21 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TOUGH ENOUGH DEBUTS ON MTV, DUSTY WINS SECOND NWA WORLD TITLE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/21/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/20 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE FIRST & LAST WWE FATAL FOUR WAY PPV, SAMOA JOE BIDS FAREWELL TO ROH, KOKO B. WARE IS BORN AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/20/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/19 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: REY MYSTERIO DAY IN SAN DIEGO, TNA DEBUTS, KEN SHAMROCK WINS NWA TITLE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/19/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/18 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CYNDI LAUPER RETURNS TO WWE, TRENT ACID PASSES AWAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/18/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/17 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TERRY FUNK'S WWF DEBUT, KILLER BEES ARE BORN, RACE VS. KERRY VON ERICH AT WORLD CLASS 'STAR WARS' AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/17/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/16 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: DONALD TRUMP 'BUYS' MONDAY NIGHT RAW, HORSEMEN VS. BLONDS AT WCW CLASH OF THE CHAMPIONS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/16/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/15 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HAPPY BIRTHDAY BAYLEY, THE FORGOTTEN HELL IN A CELL MATCH, DDP VS. SAVAGE HEADLINES WCW GREAT AMERICAN BASH, DICK MURDOCH PASSES AWAY AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/15/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/14 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: GREAT AMERICAN BASH '98, WCW UNLEASHES THE DING DONGS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/14/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/13 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: MISAWA PASSES AWAY, NWA RECOGNIZES FIRST CHAMPION, ECW ON SCIFI DEBUTS, KELLY KELLY MAKES WWE DEBUT, LONGSTANDING NYC TRADITION ENDS, HHH & HBK GO 47 MINUTES INSIDE THE CELL & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/13/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/12 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ECW RESURRECTED WITH EMOTIONAL ONE NIGHT STAND PPV, FLAIR VS. EATON HEADLINES CLASH OF CHAMPIONS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/12/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/10 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TNA CELEBRATES 10 YEARS, HARDCORE HOMECOMING, AUSTIN WALKS OUT OF WWE, RACE WINS NUMBER SEVEN & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/10/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/9 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE FIRST WWE HALL OF FAME CLASS IS ANNOUNCED, ED 'STRANGLER' LEWIS WINS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/9/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/8 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CLASH OF CHAMPIONS 2 - MIAMI MAYHEM, WWE APOLOGIZES FOR EMBARRASSING JBL INCIDENT AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/8/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/7 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: MICK FOLEY, THE ORIGINAL SHEIK AND HOWARD FINKEL ARE BORN
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/7/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/6 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: KEVIN NASH DEBUTS AS DIESEL IN WWF, THE PATERA-SAITO INCIDENT IN WISCONSIN, JOEY STYLES SIGNS WITH WWE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/6/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/5 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ANDRE VS. MULLIGAN IN MSG, BISCHOFF PINS FUNK, TENYRU WINS ALL JAPAN TRIPLE CROWN AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/5/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/4 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RAMPAGE JACKSON JOINS TNA, MIKEY WHIPWRECK IS BORN, THE FIRST EVER BATTLE ROYAL IN MADISON SQUARE GARDEN AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/4/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/3 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: IMPACT WRESTLING DEBUTS ON FOX SPORTS, AUSTIN WINS WCW TV TITLE & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/3/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/2 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ROLLINS BETRAYS THE SHIELD, THE LONGEST WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP REIGN BEGINS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/2/2021 8:00 AM
  • 6/1 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: UNDERTAKER VS. EDGE TLC MATCH, WORLD WRESTLING PEACE FESTIVAL IN LOS ANGELES AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/1/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/31 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: AUSTIN VS. DUDE LOVE CLASSIC AT WWF OVER THE EDGE 1998, WWE ELIMINATION CHAMBER BECOMES FIRST 'PPV' EXCLUSIVELY ON WWE NETWORK & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/31/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/30 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FIRST UWF CHAMPION IS CROWNED
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/30/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/29 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CM PUNK FORESHADOWS HIS WWE EXIT, CHARLOTTE VS. NATALYA CLASSIC IN NXT
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/29/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/28 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: IN YOUR HOUSE- BEWARE OF DOG, TAKE TWO
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/28/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/27 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BRET HART APPRECIATION DAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/27/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/26 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WEATHER KO'S WWF PPV BROADCAST, UPN AIRS EDDIE GUERRERO DOCUMENTARY AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/26/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/25 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: AEW DEBUTS, WWE SUSPENDS CHRIS JERICHO FOLLOWING BRAZILIAN FLAG INCIDENT, JEFF HARDY'S VERY FIRST WWF APPEARANCE...AS A TEENAGER, BRIAN LEE DEBUTS AS TED DIBIASE'S UNDERTAKER AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/25/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/23 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: OWEN HART PASSES AWAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/23/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/22 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE FIRST SMW CHAMPION IS CROWNED, ROH GENERATION NEXT, TLC 3, LIGER VS. HOMICIDE, WCW SLAMBOREE '94, OWEN HART'S FINAL MATCH, CENA MAKES JBL QUIT, FOLEY & FUNK REUNITE IN TNA AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/22/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/21 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP PURCHASES RING OF HONOR
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/21/2021 8:00 AM
  • 'MACHO MAN' RANDY SAVAGE PASSES AWAY: 5/20 THIS DAY IN HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/20/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/19 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE PASSING OF SHAD GASPARD, THE KLIQ CURTAIN CALL, ROBOCOP IN WCW, GAGNE RETIRES AS AWA WORLD CHAMPION, ROADHOUSE AND SEE NO EVIL HIT THEATERS, WWE HOLDS FIRST PPV, DDP WINS BATTLEBOWL, RAW ROSTER PAYS TRIBUTE TO RIC FLAIR, KILLINGS WINS NWA TITLE AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/19/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/18 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: DAVEY BOY SMITH PASSES AWAY, ELIMINATORS VS. GANGSTAS FOR THE FIRST TIME, WCW SLAMBOREE '97 AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/18/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/17 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE LEGEND OF BRUNO SAMMARTINO IS BORN
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/17/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/16 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ANDY KAUFMAN PASSES AWAY, MIDNIGHT EXPRESS WIN & MAKE FIRST DEFENSE OF NWA U.S. TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP ON SAME DAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/16/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/15 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TERRY FUNK VS. RODDY PIPER FOR THE FIRST TIME
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/15/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/14 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE GETS THE F OUT, ECW WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/14/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/13 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: NEW JAPAN IN NEW JERSEY, WWE BEATS DISNEY, CLOSED FIST LEADS TO A DQ IN ECW (YES, ECW), NWA PULLS THEIR NAME FROM TNA,THE BOSTON GARDEN'S LAST HURRAH AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/13/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/12 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWF KUWAITI CUP, ROH TAPES FIRST-EVER PPV EVENT, SSW MARK CURTIS MEMORIAL AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/12/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/11 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: KENTA KOBASHI RETIRES, STEVE AUSTIN'S FINAL WCW APPEARANCE, NEW YORK RESCINDS BAN ON TAG TEAM WRESTLING, SATURDAY NIGHT'S MAIN EVENT PREMIERES, SABU RESPECTS RVD, STEPHANIE AND ACE GET PROMOTED & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/11/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/10 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: GREAT MUTA & THE ROCK GO FACE TO FACE, ROH DEBUTS IN HAMMERSTEIN BALLROOM, BUDDY ROGERS BEATS LOU THESZ FOR WORLD TITLE, MITB INSIDE TITAN TOWER AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/10/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/9 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: DDP VS. NASH AT WCW SLAMBOREE '99, ONLY WWF ROYAL RUMBLE HELD IN JAPAN, SMW VOLUNTEER SLAM II AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/9/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/8 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE LAUNCH OF TNA WRESTLING IS OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED, BUCK ZUMHOFE SENTENCED AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/8/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/7 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FLAIR VS. STEAMBOAT FEUD CLIMAXES AT WRESTLEWAR '89 PPV, OWEN HART IS BORN, THE FINAL WCW SLAMBOREE PPV & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/7/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/6 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE FIRST DAVID VON ERICH MEMORIAL PARADE OF CHAMPIONS, KERRY VON ERICH CAPTURES ONLY NWA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/6/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/4 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FUNK VS. MR. WRESTLING 2 IN THE OMNI, PATTERSON VS. SLAUGHTER ALLEY FIGHT IN MSG, RICK RUDE'S LAST MATCH AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/4/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/3 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE TNA VS. WWE MONDAY NIGHT WAR COMES TO A MERCIFUL END
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/3/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/2 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RAY 'BIG BOSSMAN' TRAYLOR IS BORN, CURT HENNIG CAPTURES AWA WORLD TITLE, RING OF HONOR ANNOUNCES TAPED PPVS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/2/2021 8:00 AM
  • 5/1 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TOMMY RICH'S NWA WORLD TITLE RUN ENDS ON DAY FOUR, TULLY WINS NWA TV TITLE, ALL JAPAN IN THE TOKYO DOME AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/1/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/30 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: VINCE MCMAHON VS. GOD, SUPERSTAR GRAHAM CAPTURES WWWF TITLE & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/30/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/29 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CENA VS. BROCK AT EXTREME RULES, FIRST EVER WWE SMACKDOWN BROADCAST, PAUL ROMA IS BORN, WCW & NEW JAPAN STARS BATTLE IN NORTH KOREA & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/29/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/28 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CHRIS CANDIDO PASSES AWAY, DIESEL VS. MICHAELS HEADLINES WWF IN YOUR HOUSE, VERNE GAGNE PASSES AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/28/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/27 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ROH PAYS TRIBUTE TO GUERRERO, ROCK VS. GOLDBERG AT BACKLASH, WRESTLING CARES DEBUTS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/27/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/26 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: SID WALKS OUT ON WWF, STAGE IS SET FOR NXT IN ORLANDO, FLAIR VS. LUGER IN THE MEADOWLANDS, THE LARIAT IS MADE AFTER BRUNO INJURY AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/26/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/25 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: AUSTIN VS. ROCK HEADLINES BACKLASH PPV, FIRST ECW CHAMPION CROWNED, ARQUETTE WINS WCW TITLE, THE DX EXPRESS IS DESTROYED AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/25/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/24 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: NEW JAPAN DEBUTS IN THE TOKYO DOME, FIRST TNA LOCKDOWN PPV, LIGER & VADER DEBUT, THE FINAL FLAIR VS. STEAMBOAT MATCH AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/24/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/23 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CENA IS BORN, WWE BRINGS BACK ECW FULL-TIME, CENA VS. HBK GOES 60 MINUTES ON RAW AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/23/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/22 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: DREAMER WINS ECW TITLE AT FINAL CYBERSLAM...FOR FOUR MINUTES
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/22/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/21 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HULK HOGAN WINS FINAL WWE TITLE, WWL DEBUTS IN PUERTO RICO, RON WRIGHT PASSES AWAY AND LOTS MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/21/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/20 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RICK RUDE PASSES AWAY, AWA WRESTLEROCK, BARBED WIRE CITY PREMIERES AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/20/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/19 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE FIRST JIM CROCKETT SR. MEMORIAL CUP, OX BAKER IS BORN AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/19/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/18 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE WWE PERFORMANCE CENTER IS ANNOUNCED, BRUNO SAMMARTINO PASSES AWAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/18/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/17 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RICKY STEAMBOAT VS. RIC FLAIR HEADLINES ON PPV FOR THE FINAL TIME
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/17/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/16 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: SUPER J CUP 1994, SANTINO DEBUTS, FINAL WCW SPRING STAMPEDE AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/16/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/14 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR ON RAW, ED 'STRANGLER' LEWIS CAPTURES WORLD TITLE NUMBER FOUR AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/14/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/12 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: GAGNE WINS U.S. TITLE, SAMOANS WIN WWF TAG BELTS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/12/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/11 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: EDGE RETIRES, HARLEY RACE IS BORN
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/11/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/10 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE WCW-ECW-MIKE AWESOME CONTROVERSY
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/10/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/9 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: LINDA TELLS VINCE SHE WANTS A DIVORCE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/9/2021 8:01 AM
  • 4/8 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WARRIOR PASSES AWAY, GUERRERO WINS ECW WORLD TV TITLE, HBK VS. LAWLER ON RAW AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/8/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/7 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WRESTLEMANIA 2 AND 29
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/7/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/6 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: DANIEL BRYAN CONQUERS WRESTLEMANIA 30, THE STREAK ENDS, BRUNO AND FOLEY ENTER WWE HALL OF FAME AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/6/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/5 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RIC FLAIR MAKES HIS WRESTLEMANIA DEBUT, ULTIMATE WARRIOR HEADLINES WWE HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2014
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/5/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/4 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE FIRST EVER OUTDOOR WRESTLEMANIA, ECW PARENT COMPANY FILES BANKRUPTCY
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/4/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/3 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CHRISTOPHER DANIELS WINS SECOND ECWA SUPER 8, GOTCH BEATS HACKENSCHMIDT, AJ LEE RETIRES & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/3/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/2 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FLAIR VS. STEAMBOAT CLASSIC FROM THE SUPERDOME, HOGAN VS. SAVAGE AT MANIA 5, LESNAR RETURNS TO WWE TO F5 CENA AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/2/2021 8:00 AM
  • 4/1 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WARRIOR CAPTURES WWF TITLE, WRESTLEMANIA 17 ROCKS HOUSTON, BRET HART ENTERS WWE HALL OF FAME, ROCK VS. CENA I AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/1/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/30 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RIC FLAIR LOSES RETIREMENT MATCH AT WRESTLEMANIA 24, WWF COMPLETES WCW PURCHASE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/30/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/29 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WRESTLEMANIA III MAKES HISTORY: HOGAN VS. ANDRE, STEAMBOAT VS. SAVAGE, PIPER VS. ADONIS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/29/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/27 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RANDY SAVAGE WINS FIRST WWF TITLE, STING VS. FLAIR AT CLASH OF CHAMPIONS I, FLAIR BECOMES FIRST TWO TIME WWE HALL OF FAMER, NXT INVADES SAN JOSE AND LOTS MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/27/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/26 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE MONDAY NIGHT WARS COME TO AN END WITH THE FINAL WCW MONDAY NITRO & THE DEATH OF WCW
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/26/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/25 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: AWA CHAMPION VS. WWWF CHAMPION FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/25/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/24 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HOGAN VS. SLAUGHTER HEADLINES WRESTLEMANIA 7, THE UNDERTAKER IS BORN, JERRY LYNN RETIRES, OWENS VS. ZAYN HEADLINES MONTREAL AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/24/2021 8:00 AM
  • WAR IS OVER: WWF BUYS WCW, PRO WRESTLING IS NEVER THE SAME AGAIN - 3/23 THIS DAY IN HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/23/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/22 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: SPORTS ILLUSTRATED TARGETS WWE PERFORMERS & STEROID USE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/22/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/21 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: STARRCADE COMES TO THE TOKYO DOME, FUJINAMI WINS NWA TITLE, HIJO DEL PERRO AGUAYO PASSES AWAY & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/21/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/20 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RANDY SAVAGE'S FINAL WRESTLEMANIA APPEARANCE, BRET HART'S SECOND WWF TITLE WIN, MICHAELS VS. RAZOR LADDER MATCH CLASSIC AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/20/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/19 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ROODE AND YOUNG EXIT TNA, EDWARDS WINS ROH TITLE, FINAL WCW UNCENSORED PPV AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/19/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/18 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING'S FINAL PPV BROADCAST, MATT HARDY & BRODIE LEE DEBUT FOR AEW AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/18/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/17 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: 'BEYOND THE MAT' IS RELEASED, HULK HOGAN VS. THE ROCK ELECTRIFIES TORONTO AT WRESTLEMANIA X8 AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/17/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/16 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: STING'S FIRST EVER WWE INTERVIEW, CM PUNK MAKES FIRST POST-WWE APPEARANCE PUBLICLY
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/16/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/15 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: PEDRO VS. BLACKJACK IN THE GARDEN, DANNY HODGE'S CAREER ENDS IN CAR ACCIDENT AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/15/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/14 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FLAIR VS. HOGAN AT WCW UNCENSORED, BACKLUND VS. VENTURA IN THE GARDEN
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/14/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/13 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE REVIVES THE HALL OF FAME, ANDREW MARTIN PASSES AWAY, A YOUNG BUCK IS BORN, HARDY ISSUES MAR VICTORY ROAD, MISAWA VS. CHOSHU & MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/13/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/12 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ECW FILMS FIRST EVER TV TAPING, LESNAR VS. OWENS, STEAMBOAT AND YOUNGBLOOD END SLAUGHTER AND KERNODLE'S REIGN OF TERROR AND MUCH, MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/12/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/11 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: DINO BRAVO MURDERED
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/11/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/10 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CONNOR MICHALEK BECOMES FIRST WARRIOR AWARD WINNER, ERNIE 'THE CAT' LADD PASSES AWAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/10/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/9 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE END OF ECW IS APPARENT, FREEBIRDS LOSE WCW WORLD TAG BELTS DAYS BEFORE THEY WIN THEM, FOLEY AND REY HAVE THEIR FINAL ECW MATCHES, JBL MAKES WWE HISTORY AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/9/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/8 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE ONLY OFFICIAL JERICHO VS. CACTUS MATCH EVER, CENA VS. VINCE, IMPACT GOES HEAD TO HEAD WITH RAW, THE WILD SAMOANS WIN THEIR FINAL WWWF TAG TITLE AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/8/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/7 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BRUNO VS. BABA GOES 90 MINUTES IN TOKYO, VALIANT TRIUMPHANT IN THE CADILLAC TOURNAMENT, LAZER TRON SCORES SOME GOLD, REY MYSTERIO AT HOH AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/7/2021 6:00 AM
  • 3/6 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CABANA WINS NWA TITLE, BAD NEWS ALLEN & HERCULES HERNANDEZ PASS AWAY, PUBLIC ENEMY WINS ECW GOLD FOR FIRST TIME AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/6/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/5 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WILLIAM 'PAUL BEARER' MOODY PASSES AWAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/5/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/4 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RING OF HONOR CELEBRATES A DECADE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/4/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/3 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ED 'STRANGLER' LEWIS WINS NUMBER FOUR, BILLIONARE VINCE HITS FORBES LIST AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/3/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/2 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HOLLYWOOD BLONDES WIN FIRST AND ONLY WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/2/2021 8:00 AM
  • 3/1 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FLAIR MAKES MSG DEBUT, BIGELOW & TAZ CRASH THROUGH THE RING AT ECW LIVING DANGEROUSLY AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/1/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/28 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TAJIRI WINS CZW TITLE, BRYAN DANIELSON'S FINAL ROH TV APPEARANCE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/28/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/27 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE NXT ARRIVAL BECOMES FIRST EVER LIVE WWE NETWORK SPECIAL, HULK HOGAN APPRECIATION NIGHT AT MSG, GORILLA VS. BRUNO IN THE GARDEN, STEVE BRADLEY WINS SUPER 8 AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/27/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/26 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TRIPLE H FACES THE MEDIA, AWA WORLD TITLE DEFENDED IN MSG, BRISCOES VS. HAAS AND BENJAMIN HEADLINE ROH 9th ANNIVERSARY, DANIELS WIN SUPER 8, TANAKA AND DREAMER WIN ECW TAG BELTS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/26/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/25 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WOOO! RIC FLAIR IS BORN
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/25/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/24 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE WWE NETWORK LAUNCHES, HULK HOGAN RETURNS TO WWE & MONDAY NIGHT RAW AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/24/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/23 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RING OF HONOR IS BORN...AND SO IS WWE NXT, DANIEL BRYAN'S WWE TV DEBUT AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/23/2021 7:57 AM
  • 2/22 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RANDY THE RAM DOES THE JOB AT THE ACADEMY AWARDS
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/22/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/21 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WCW PRESENTS AWESOME SUPERBRAWL 3 PPV, UNDERTAKER WRESTLES IN ELIMINATION CHAMBER AFTER SUFFERING BURNS IN ENTRANCE MISHAP AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/21/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/20 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RICKY STEAMBOAT WINS ONLY NWA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, BOB BACKLUND WINS FIRST WWWF CHAMPIONSHIP, GOLDBERG ISSUES GRANDSTAND CHALLENGE TO FACE STEVE AUSTIN & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/20/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/19 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: DAVE BAUTISTA'S BREAKTHROUGH FILM RELEASED, BILL LONGSON WINS NWA TITLE, SWAGGER ARRESTED & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/19/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/18 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE ROCK INTRODUCES NEW WWE CHAMPIONSHIP BELT, THE WAR TO SETTLE THE SCORE ON MTV, FLAIR ANNOUNCED FOR WWE HALL OF FAME AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/18/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/17 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ROCK VS. PUNK II, PILLMAN'S PENIS TOO EXTREME FOR EVEN ECW, SAMOA JOE LEAVES TNA AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/17/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/16 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE'S ECW SHUTS DOWN, SAMMARTINO COMES OUT OF RETIREMENT, BRET HART WINS WWF TITLE NUMBER FOUR AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/16/2021 8:00 AM
  • EDDIE GUERRERO CAPTURES HIS FIRST & ONLY WWE CHAMPIONSHIP: 2/15 THIS DAY IN HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/15/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/14 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE ROCK RETURNS TO WWE, AUSTIN VS. MCMAHON IN A CAGE, ABYSS VS. MICK FOLEY, BIG SHOW MAKES HIS WWF DEBUT & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/14/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/13 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: SHAWN MICHAELS LOSES HIS SMILE (AND THE WWF TITLE), WWE SIGNS WITH MATTEL AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/13/2021 8:03 AM
  • 2/12 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: JIMMY HART MAKES WWF DEBUT, PILLMAN & ZENK WIN U.S. TAG TITLES, SORENSEN INJURED ON TNA PPV AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/12/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/11 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: PILLMAN RESPECTS THE BOOKERMAN, OWENS CAPTURES WWE NXT TITLE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/11/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/10 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: DAVID VON ERICH AND MR. PERFECT CURT HENNIG PASS AWAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/10/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/9 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: JERRY LYNN VS. LANCE STORM FOR THE LAST TIME & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/9/2021 5:30 AM
  • 2/8 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TED DIBIASE JOINS THE WWE HALL OF FAME, RANDY SAVAGE WINS WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/8/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/7 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: LARRY ZBYSZKO WINS AWA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, HANS SCHMIDT IS BORN, BRUNO VS. PATERA IN MSG, AMAZING TEN MAN TAG HEADLINES RAW AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/7/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/6 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TED DIBIASE APPEARS AS WWF CHAMPION, STING IS KICKED OUT OF THE HORSEMEN AND TEARS HIS ACL ON THE SAME NIGHT & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/6/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/5 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: EL SANTO PASSES AWAY, WRESTLING RETURNS TO PRIMETIME NATIONAL TV FOR FIRST TIME IN DECADES, ANDRE THE GIANT WINS AND LOSES WWF TITLE IN MATTER OF MINUTES, THE NIGHT THE LINE WAS CROSSED PUTS ECW ON THE MAP & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/5/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/4 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: AXL ROTTEN & WHIPPER BILLY WATSON PASS AWAY, WWE TAPES RAW IN JAPAN, ECW DOUBLE TABLES, WOW'S LONE PPV BROADCAST AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/4/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/3 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE MEGA-POWERS EXPLODE LIVE ON NBC
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/3/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/2 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: VINCE MCMAHON ANNOUNCES THE DEMISE OF WWE ECW, FIRST EVER NATIONAL PRO WRESTLING DAY EVENT, MIDNIGHT EXPRESS WIN FIRST NWA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/2/2021 8:00 AM
  • 2/1 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ECW OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES FIRST PPV, THESZ ENDS KOWALSKI'S WORLD TITLE CLAIM, BEEFCAKE RETURNS TO RING, THE DUDLEY BOYZ UNITE, CHIKARA SAVED FROM DESTRUCTION & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/1/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/31 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE RADICALZ DEBUT IN WWF, SAVAGE VS. ROBERTS HEADLINES MSG, DARK PATRIOT WINS GWF TITLE, THE FINAL HOSTILE CITY SHOWDOWN AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/31/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/30 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: VINCE TEARS QUADS ENTERING THE RING, HACKENSCHMIDT TRIUMPHANT AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/30/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/29 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BENOIT DOCTOR PLEADS GUILTY, PIPER AND FUNK BRAWL IN PWG, JAKE ROBERTS' RETIREMENT MATCH, DREAMER VS. STEEN AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/29/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/28 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: VINCE MCMAHON ANNOUNCES HE IS BRINGING THE NWO TO KILL THE WWF, TAJIRI & WHIPWRECK REUNITE, PAUL BEARER DEBUTS & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/28/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/27 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CM PUNK WALKS OUT OF WWE, PWINSIDER IS BORN, ANDRE THE GIANT PASSES AWAY & MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/27/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/26 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CM PUNK WRESTLES FOR THE LAST TIME, ANDRE THE GIANT TURNS ON HULK HOGAN, RAW LIVE IN A BLIZZARD FROM WWE HQ, ROH ON HDNET IS BORN AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/26/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/25 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: GEORGIANN MAKROPOULOS, PRO WRESTLING'S BEST FRIEND, PASSES AWAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/25/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/24 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS HOLDS FIRST PPV IN NY...AND IT DOESN'T GO SO WELL, FINAL WWE EVENT AT IZOD CENTER, THE SEEDS FOR WWE'S CREATION ARE SOWN AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/24/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/23 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HULKAMANIA TAKES CONTROL OF THE WWF CHAMPIONSHIP, CACTUS JACK AND HHH RUMBLE IN THE GARDEN, TAZ MAKES WWF DEBUT, ROCKSTAR SPUD WINS TNA BOOT CAMP AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/23/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/22 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CHAVO'S BIGGEST WWE WIN, BACKLUND VS. STUDD IN NYC, HBK WINS FIRST RUMBLE, RUMBLE'S ONLY TIE, BLACKWELL PASSES AWAY AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/22/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/21 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE MAKES THE LEAP TO HIGH DEFINITION, HOGAN WINS THE RUMBLE, EDDIE GRAHAM AND GEORGE SCOTT PASS AWAY, VALENTINE VS. SANTANA HEADLINES MSG AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/21/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/20 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BOBO BRAZIL PASSES AWAY, FLAIR VS. MCMAHON STREET FIGHT, CM PUNK'S LAST MATCH ON RAW, INDEPENDENT WRESTLER CALLS POLICE ON OPPONENT AFTER MATCH, EICK DEPARTS ROH AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/20/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/19 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: STING MAKES RAW DEBUT, RIC FLAIR PROVES HE'S THE 60 MINUTE MAN AT THE 1992 ROYAL RUMBLE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/19/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/18 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST WRESTLEMANIA SPONSOR, IVAN KOLOFF SHOCKS THE WORLD WITH VICTORY OVER BRUNO SAMMARTINO, FLAIR & PERFECT BRAWL ON SECOND EPISODE OF MONDAY NIGHT RAW, HBK VS. UNDERTAKER CASKET MATCH AT ROYAL RUMBLE & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/18/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/17 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE FIRST TNA PPV OF THE HOGAN-BISCHOFF ERA, JACK BRISCO LOSES & WINS A TITLE IN THE SAME MATCH, BRUNO VS. PATERA HEADLINES MSG, THE MOUNTIE WINS INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/17/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/16 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: STING'S FINAL TNA MATCH, JARRETT VS. DIESEL HEADLINES MSG, WCW SOULED OUT, FUNK BEATS KINISKI FOR NORTH AMERICAN TITLE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/16/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/15 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: JIMMY SNUKA AND MAE YOUNG PASS AWAY, TNA VS. WWE LAWSUIT ENDS, THE FIRST ROYAL RUMBLE PPV IS HELD
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/15/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/14 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: SID BREAKS LEG ON WCW PPV, RAW CELEBRATES 20 YEARS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/14/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/13 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE FINAL EVENT FOR THE ORIGINAL ECW, BACKLUND VS. KOLOFF HEADLINES THE SPECTRUM, TATANKA'S FIRST MATCH, COUSIN JUNIOR PASSES AWAY & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/13/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/12 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RANDY SAVAGE ANNOUNCED FOR WWE HALL OF FAME, THE FINAL MEETING OF JERRY LYNN AND ROB VAN DAM INSIDE THE RING
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/12/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/11 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE FIRST EPISODE OF MONDAY NIGHT RAW
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/11/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/9 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FLAIR AND BRET GO 60 MINUTES IN BOSTON, BIG E WINS NXT TITLE, PAT O'CONNOR WINS NWA WORLD TITLE, AWESOME VS. SPIKE HEADLINES ECW GUILTY AS CHARGED & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/9/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/8 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: EDGE BECOMES FIRST MAN TO CASH IN MONEY IN THE BANK, WINS HIS FIRST WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/8/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/7 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HOGAN VS. FUNK ON SATURDAY NIGHT'S MAIN EVENT, THE ORIGINAL ECW BROADCASTS FINAL PPV, TAZ SIGNS WITH CBS RADIO & MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/7/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/6 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CACTUS JACK TURNS BABYFACE IN WCW, MISS TEXAS IS BORN AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/6/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/5 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: AJ STYLES DEPARTS NEW JAPAN, RVD MAKES ECW DEBUT, TNA DEBUTS ON POP, THE PUBLIC ENEMY HAVE ONE LAST HOUSE PARTY AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/5/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/4 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BRET HART RETURNS TO WWE, A LOT OF TOKYO DOME EVENTS AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/4/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/3 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HOGAN VS. ORNDORFF STEEL CAGE MATCH HEADLINES SATURDAY NIGHT'S MAIN EVENT, TRIPLE H WINS THIRD WWF CHAMPIONSHIP & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/3/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/2 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE WAXMAN CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION INTO PRO WRESTLING REVEALS ITS RESULTS
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/2/2021 8:00 AM
  • 1/1 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: AEW LAUNCHES, BRISCOS VS. FUNKS IN ATLANTA, SAM MUCHNICK RETIREMENT SHOW, TULLY CONQUERS SCW SOUTHWEST CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT, FIRST WSX FOOTAGE DEBUTS ON MTV AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/1/2021 8:00 AM
  • 12/31 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TRIPLE H VS. RIC FLAIR HEADLINES RAW, LESNAR RETIRES FROM MMA FOR THE FIRST TIME, NEW JAPAN RUNS RUSSIA AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/31/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/30 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: 'DR. DEATH' STEVE WILLIAMS PASSES AWAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/30/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/29 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: MICK FOLEY WINS HIS FIRST WWF CHAMPIONSHIP
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/29/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/28 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE GREAT MUTA WINS BATTLEBOWL, HAWX VS. HARDY IN A CAGE HEADLINES FINAL EXTREME RISING EVENT AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/28/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/27 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: SCOTT EPSTEIN PASSES AWAY, BILL GOLDBERG'S STREAK ENDS IN WCW, VADER SPARKS RIOT IN JAPAN, FLAIR VS. VADER HEADLINES STARRCADE 1993, DANIELSON VS. MORISHIMA HEADLINES ROH FINAL BATTLE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/27/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/26 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: IRON SHEIK CAPTURES WWF TITLE, HOGAN VS. KAMALA HEADLINES MSG, LEBELLS SHUT DOWN NWA HOLLYWOOD WRESTLING AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/26/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/25 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE PRESENTS CHRISTMAS IN IRAQ - THE FIRST EVER TRIBUTE TO THE TROOPS AIRS
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/25/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/24 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: XFL HALL OF FAME, ALBERTO DEL RIO RUNS OVER SANTA CLAUS, JERRY LYNN PROFILED BY VILLAGE VOICE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/24/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/23 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HOMICIDE WINS ROH CHAMPIONSHIP, ECW RUNS ECW ARENA FOR FINAL TIME, MUTA IS BORN AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/23/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/22 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ZBSYZKO BEATS STRANGLER LEWIS, RIKIDOZAN VICTORIOUS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/22/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/21 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: LOU ALBANO CHALLENGES FOR THE WWWF TITLE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/21/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/20 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BRET HART VACATES AND REGAINS THE WCW WORLD TITLE IN ONE NIGHT
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/20/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/18 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: AWESOME THREE WAY HEADLINES TLC PPV, LAWLER 'STABBING' ENDS NWA CHAMPIONSHIP BOUT AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/18/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/17 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HULK HOGAN MAKES HIS MADISON SQUARE GARDEN DEBUT, THE FINAL WCW STARRCADE, BRET VS. BULLDOG HEADLINES WWF IN YOUR HOUSE PPV AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/17/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/16 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE WRESTLER DEBUTS IN HOLLYWOOD, FRANK GOTCH PASSES AWAY, ZIGGLER VS. CENA AT TLC, VINCE SINGS 'STAND BACK' AT THE SLAMMYS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/16/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/15 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE FATHER OF JAPANESE PRO WRESTLING DIES FOLLOWING STABBING, WRESTLING WORLD HONORS STU HART AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/15/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/14 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HARDY WINS WWE TITLE, ORNDORFF AND HOGAN TIE INSIDE IN A CAGE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/14/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/13 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: AWA SUPERCLASH 3 UNIFIES AWA AND WORLD CLASS CHAMPIONSHIPS (FOR A LITTLE WHILE, ANYWAY)
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/13/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/12 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TRIPLE H AND STEPHANIE UNITE FOR THE FIRST TIME, RAW HOSTS THE SLAMMY AWARDS, WWE STARTS DEVELOPMENT ON TOTAL DIVAS & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/12/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/11 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ALL JAPAN PRO WRESTLING IS BORN, SAMI ZAYN WINS WWE NXT TITLE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/11/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/10 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RIC FLAIR MAKES HIS PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING DEBUT
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/10/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/9 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE CROWNS THEIR FIRST UNDISPUTED CHAMPION
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/9/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/7 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: MIDNIGHT EXPRESS VS. FLAIR & WINDHAM, SANDMAN AND RAVEN BATTLE IN BARBED WIRE, MARK CUBAN HOSTS RAW AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/7/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/6 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CM PUNK SIGNS WITH UFC, DENNIS RODMAN WINS CELEBRITY CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING, URBAN WRESTLING HOLDS FINAL PPV TAPING AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/6/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/5 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TNA ANNOUNCES THEY WILL IGNITE A NEW MONDAY NIGHT WAR, AJ STYLES DEPARTS TNA
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/5/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/4 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HART MANSION DESIGNATED A LANDMARK, UMAGA PASSES AWAY, CHIKARA JOSHIMANIA IN NYC & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/4/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/3 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE INFAMOUS ECW DECEMBER TO DISMEMBER, WWF'S THIS TUESDAY IN TEXAS PPV & MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/3/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/2 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: VINCE MCMAHON APOLOGIZES TO CM PUNK, CHIKARA JOSHIMANIA, MVP EXITS WWE, NWA TITLE DEFENDED IN JAPAN FOR FIRST TIME IN A DOZEN YEARS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/2/2020 8:00 AM
  • 12/1 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: STAN STASIAK WINS WWWF TITLE, TNA INVADES WWE HOUSE SHOW AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/1/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/30 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ECW'S NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER HITS PPV
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/30/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/29 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HEYMAN SIGNS BOOK DEAL, SHEAMUS CROWNED KING OF THE RING, TITO WINS AWF TITLE, RARE HEEL VS. HEEL MATCH ON SATURDAY NIGHT'S MAIN EVENT AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/29/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/28 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE UNDERTAKER WINS FIRST WWF CHAMPIONSHIP
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/28/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/27 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: NIGHT OF THE SKYWALKERS, LOU THESZ WINS FIRST WORLD TITLE
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/27/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/26 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE SURVIVOR SERIES IS BORN, CM PUNK VERBALLY EVISCERATES WWE ON COLT CABANA PODCAST & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/26/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/25 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BRET HART VS. SHAWN MICHAELS ON PPV FOR THE FIRST TIME
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/25/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/24 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: STARRCADE IS BORN
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/24/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/23 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: STING MAKES WWE DEBUT, BOB BACKLUND WINS HIS SECOND WWF TITLE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/23/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/22 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE UNDERTAKER MAKES HIS WWF DEBUT, BISON SMITH PASSES AWAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/22/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/21 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE INSTITUTES THE WELLNESS POLICY
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/21/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/20 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CM PUNK WINS FINAL WWE CHAMPIONSHIP, ROCK RETURNS TO THE RING AT SURVIVOR SERIES 2012
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/20/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/19 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: SAMOA JOE VS. KURT ANGLE FOR FIRST TIME EVER, TNA LEAVES SPIKETV & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/19/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/18 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE SHIELD DEBUTS, ECW NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER 1995 FEATURES RETURN OF SABU & EPIC TAZ HEEL TURN
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/18/2020 8:00 AM
  • ROCKY MAIVIA MAKES WWF PPV DEBUT: 11/17 THIS DAY IN HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/17/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/16 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: SABU AND TAZ GO FACE TO FACE AT NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER, THESZ WINS LEGENDS BATTLE ROYAL, TEAM LESNAR VS. TEAM ANGLE AT SURVIVOR SERIES & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/16/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/15 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE & CARY SILKIN ARE BORN, FLAIR VS. FUNK I QUIT CLASSIC
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/15/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/14 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE PAYS TRIBUTE TO EDDIE GUERRERO
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/14/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/13 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE GREAT EDDIE GUERRERO PASSES AWAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/13/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/12 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TNA SAYS GOODBYE TO THE ASYLUM, SHAMROCK GOES TO FINALS OF FIRST UFC, LEX LUGER DEBUTS FOR TNA, BENOIT INVESTIGATION ENDS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/12/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/11 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BOOKER T MAKES TNA DEBUT, DGUSA REVOLT 2011, AWA VS. WWE IN COURT AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/11/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/10 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FLAIR VS. VADER HEADLINES WCW CLASH OF CHAMPIONS, NASH SIGNS TNA DEAL THAT SEES HIM NEVER APPEAR AGAIN FOR COMPANY AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/10/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/9 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BRET HART VS. SHAWN MICHAELS IN MONTREAL
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/9/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/8 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: EDDIE GUERRERO WRESTLES HIS FINAL MATCH, BOCKWINKLE WINS AWA WORLD TITLE, CNN DEATH GRIP SPECIAL, CHYNA LEGALLY CHANGES NAME AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/8/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/7 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE FIRST EVER PRO WRESTLING PAY-PER-VIEW BROADCAST, WWF'S WRESTLING CLASSIC
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/7/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/6 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: AAA WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE ON PPV, LINDA MCMAHON MAKES HISTORY, URBAN WRESTLING CROWNS FIRST CHAMPION & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/6/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/5 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: VINCE MCMAHON DECLARES WWE IS NOT A 'FAMILY BUSINESS', THE FINAL ECW NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/5/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/4 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RODDY PIPER & 'THEY LIVE' CONQUER THE BOX OFFICE, CACTUS VS. SABU FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE, AUSTIN VS. ROCK HEADLINES UK REBELLION PPV & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/4/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/3 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: JESSE VENTURA 'SHOCKS THE WORLD'
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/3/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/2 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE WWF HARDCORE CHAMPIONSHIP IS CREATED
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/2/2020 8:00 AM
  • 11/1 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BOBBY 'THE BRAIN' HEENAN IS BORN, JANICE CARTER DENIES TNA SALE STORIES, BRET HART SIGNS WITH WCW AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 11/1/2020 8:00 AM
  • 10/31 THIS DAY IN HALLOWEEN HISTORY: TULLY & ARN TEAM FOR THE LAST TIME, THE MUPPETS INVADE MONDAY NIGHT RAW, GIANT BABA WINS NWA TITLE, CM PUNK GOES GHOST HUNTING & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/31/2020 8:00 AM
  • 10/30 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ORIGINAL MIDNIGHT EXPRESS CAPTURE AWA TAG TITLES, WWE'S FAN APPRECIATION EVENT IN CT, CWHOLLYWOOD IS BORN, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN COMPETES IN MEMPHIS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/30/2020 8:00 AM
  • 10/29 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: LUCHA UNDERGROUND DEBUTS, THE GIANT FALLS OFF A BUILDING & WINS THE WCW WORLD TITLE IN THE SAME PPV AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/29/2020 8:00 AM
  • 10/28 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FIRST-EVER HALLOWEEN HAVOC PPV, PUNK VS. RYBACK IN HELL IN A CELL, LES THATCHER IS BORN, ECW FIRE INCIDENT AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/28/2020 8:00 AM
  • 10/27 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HULK HOGAN SIGNS WITH TNA, HBK WINS FIRST SINGLES WWF TITLE , RODDY PIPER DEBUTS FOR WCW AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/27/2020 8:00 AM
  • 10/26 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: GUERRERO VS. MYSTERIO WCW HALLOWEEN HAVOC CLASSIC, DUSTY WINS FINAL FLORIDA TITLE, PUNK IS BORN, DREAMER VS. BRIAN LEE IN THE FIRST & ONLY ECW HIGH INCIDENT MATCH AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/26/2020 8:00 AM
  • 10/25 THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY: HULK HOGAN VS. ULTIMATE WARRIOR II - ONE OF THE WORST PPV MAIN EVENTS EVER
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/25/2020 8:00 AM
  • 10/24 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: LAWLER AND DUNDEE TEAM FOR THE FIRST TIME, FOLEY AND VADER SPIN THE WHEEL AND MAKE THE DEAL AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/24/2020 8:00 AM
  • 10/18 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: STAND UP FOR WWE IS LAUNCHED, ABDULLAH VS. ROBINSON, FBI CAPTURE ECW TAG STRAPS, STYLES VS. STING HEADLINES BOUND FOR GLORY AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/18/2020 8:00 AM
  • 10/10 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FUNK TEAMS WITH SAVAGE, WORLD CLASS VS. MEMPHIS HEADLINES MID-SOUTH COLISEUM, THE INFAMOUS HEROES OF WRESTLING PPV, WWE STAR ARRESTED FOR STEALING CAR AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/10/2020 8:00 AM
  • 8/12 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE NETWORK GOES GLOBAL, THE ORIGINAL SUPERBOWL OF WRESTLING, CHONO WINS NWA TITLE, PACMAN JONES DEBUTS FOR TNA, MICK FOLEY & TERRY FUNK VS. RODDY PIPER & BOB ORTON AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/12/2020 8:00 AM
  • 5/24 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWF PAYS TRIBUTE TO OWEN HART ON RAW, FLAIR DEFEATS VON ERICH FOR NWA WORLD TITLE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/24/2020 8:00 AM
  • 4/15 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: JAMES STORM VS. BOBBY ROODE HEADLINES TNA LOCKDOWN
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/15/2020 8:00 AM
  • 4/13 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ECW DEBUTS ON PPV WITH 'BARELY LEGAL'
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/13/2020 8:00 AM
  • 3/31 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WRESTLEMANIA IS BORN, EDGE ENTERS THE WWE HALL OF FAME & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/31/2020 8:00 AM
  • THIS DAY IN LEAP YEAR HISTORY: JESSE VENTURA MAKES WCW DEBUT, HOGAN & PIPER VS. SID & FLAIR IN MSG, LIGER VS. PILLMAN PPV CLASSIC, WWE BEGINS COVERING COMPETITORS ON THEIR WEBSITE, NXT SEASON 5 ENDS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/29/2020 8:00 AM
  • MAURO RANALLO ON WHY HE THANKS COREY GRAVES, QUITTING SOCIAL MEDIA & MORE
  • By Steven Fernandes on 1/31/2020 9:31 AM
  • SHAQ PUSHES FINALLY FACING BIG SHOW AT WRESTLEMANIA 35
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/1/2018 8:21 PM
  • HIGHSPOTS.COM ANNOUNCES DETAILS OF 4th OF JULY SALE
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/29/2018 8:27 PM
  • 1/17 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE FIRST TNA PPV OF THE HOGAN-BISCHOFF ERA, JACK BRISCO WINS AND LOSES A TITLE IN THE SAME MATCH, OWEN HART WINS ROYAL RUMBLE IN MSG AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/17/2018 8:00 AM
  • 10/8 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CM PUNK VS. VINCE MCMAHON HEADLINES RAW
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/8/2016 8:00 AM
  • ERIC BISCHOFF VS. SHANE MCMAHON HEADLINES RAW: 8/4 THIS DAY IN HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/4/2016 8:00 AM
  • 6/6 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: KEVIN NASH MAKES WWF DEBUT
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/6/2016 8:00 AM
  • 1/13 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE FINAL ORIGINAL ECW EVENT IS HELD
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/13/2016 8:00 AM
  • 10/23 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE MAIN EVENT MAFIA DEBUTS, DEL RIO VS. CENA TOPS VENGEANCE, THE FIRST-EVER BOUND FOR GLORY, HULK FORCES FLAIR TO RETIRE AT HALLOWEEN HAVOC AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 10/22/2015 8:00 AM
  • 9/14 THIS DAY IN HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/14/2015 8:00 AM
  • 9/12 THIS DAY IN HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/12/2015 8:00 AM
  • THIS DAY IN WRESTLING HISTORY: PAUL HEYMAN IS BORN, THE MOST CELEBRATED MATCH IN TNA HISTORY AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 9/11/2015 8:00 AM
  • 8/8 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TNA PRESENTS ECW THEMED HARDCORE JUSTICE PPV AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/8/2015 8:00 AM
  • 8/7 THIS DAY IN HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 8/7/2015 8:00 AM
  • THE LUCHA REPORT
  • By Kris Zellner on 8/7/2015 7:00 AM
  • 7/31 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RODDY PIPER MAKES WWF TV DEBUT AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/31/2015 8:00 AM
  • SUMMERSLAM 1994 AND MORE: WWE NETWORK SCHEDULE FOR NEXT 24 HOURS
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/26/2015 7:30 AM
  • RAW PRE-SHOW, SWERVED EPISODE 3, BATTLEGROUND 2014, WCW BEACH BLAST AND MORE: WWE NETWORK SCHEDULE OVER NEXT 24 HOURS
  • By Mike Johnson on 7/13/2015 6:00 AM
  • 6/14 THIS DAY IN HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/14/2015 8:00 AM
  • 10 YEARS LATER: MIKE JOHNSON'S ECW ONE NIGHT STAND THOUGHTS
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/12/2015 8:15 AM
  • 6/1 THIS DAY IN HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 6/1/2015 8:00 AM
  • 5/31 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: AUSTIN VS. DUDE LOVE CLASSIC AT WWF OVER THE EDGE 1998
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/31/2015 7:00 AM
  • 5/23 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: OWEN HART PASSES AWAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/23/2015 8:00 AM
  • 'MACHO MAN' RANDY SAVAGE PASSES AWAY: 5/20 THIS DAY IN HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/20/2015 8:00 AM
  • 5/2 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RAY 'BIG BOSSMAN' TRAYLOR IS BORN, CURT HENNIG CAPTURES AWA WORLD TITLE, RING OF HONOR ANNOUNCES TAPED PPVS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/2/2015 8:00 AM
  • 5/1 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TOMMY RICH'S NWA WORLD TITLE RUN ENDS ON DAY SIX, TULLY WINS NWA TV TITLE, ALL JAPAN IN THE TOKYO DOME AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 5/1/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/30 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: VINCE VS. GOD, SUPERSTAR GRAHAM CAPTURES WWWF TITLE,
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/30/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/29 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CENA VS. BROCK AT EXTREME RULES, FIRST SMACKDOWN AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/29/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/28 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: DIESEL VS. MICHAELS HEADLINES WWF IN YOUR HOUSE, EXTREME REUNION IN PHILLY
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/28/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/25 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: AUSTIN VS. ROCK HEADLINES BACKLASH PPV, FIRST ECW CHAMPION CROWNED, THE DX EXPRESS IS DESTROYED AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/25/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/24 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: NEW JAPAN DEBUTS IN THE TOKYO DOME, FIRST TNA LOCKDOWN PPV, LIGER & VADER DEBUT, THE FINAL FLAIR VS. STEAMBOAT MATCH AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/24/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/23 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CENA IS BORN, WWE BRINGS BACK ECW FULLTIME, CENA VS. HBK GOES 60 MINUTES ON RAW AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/23/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/22 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: DREAMER WINS ECW TITLE AT FINAL CYBERSLAM...FOR FOUR MINUTES
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/22/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/21 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HULK HOGAN WINS FINAL WWE TITLE, WWL DEBUTS IN PUERTO RICO AND LOTS MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/21/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/20 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RICK RUDE PASSES AWAY, AWA WRESTLEROCK, BARBED WIRE CITY PREMIERES AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/20/2015 8:00 AM
  • HULK HOGAN'S ROCK N' WRESTLING DEBUTS, EXCLUSIVE POST-RAW CONTENT AND MORE: WWE NETWORK SCHEDULE FOR NEXT 24 HOURS
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/20/2015 7:30 AM
  • 4/19 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE FIRST JIM CROCKETT SR. MEMORIAL CUP IS HELD
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/19/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/18 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE WWE PERFORMANCE CENTER IS ANNOUNCED
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/18/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/17 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FLAIR VS. STEAMBOAT FOR THE LAST TIME ON PPV
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/17/2015 8:00 AM
  • TRUE GIANTS, BOBBY HEENAN, WWE SUPERSTARS AND MORE: WWE NETWORK SCHEDULE FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/17/2015 7:30 AM
  • 4/16 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: SUPER J CUP 1994, SANTINO DEBUTS, FINAL WCW SPRING STAMPEDE AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/16/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/15 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: STORM VS. ROODE HEADLINES TNA LOCKDOWN
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/15/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/14 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR ON RAW, ED 'STRANGLER' LEWIS CAPTURES WORLD TITLE NUMBER FOUR AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/14/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/12 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: GAGNE WINS U.S. TITLE, SAMOANS WIN WWF TAG BELTS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/12/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/11 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ADAM 'EDGE' COPELAND RETIRES
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/11/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/9 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: LINDA TELLS VINCE SHE WANTS A DIVORCE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/9/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/8 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WARRIOR PASSES AWAY, GUERRERO WINS ECW WORLD TV TITLE, HBK VS. LAWLER ON RAW AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/8/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/7 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WRESTLEMANIA 2 AND 29
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/7/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/6 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: DANIEL BRYAN CONQUERS WRESTLEMANIA 30, THE STREAK ENDS, BRUNO AND FOLEY ENTER WWE HALL OF FAME AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/6/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/5 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RIC FLAIR MAKES HIS WRESTLEMANIA DEBUT, ULTIMATE WARRIOR INDUCTED INTO WWE HALL OF FAME
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/5/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/4 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE FIRST EVER OUTDOOR WRESTLEMANIA
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/4/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/3 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CHRISTOPHER DANIELS WINS SECOND ECWA SUPER 8, GOTCH BEATS HACKENSCHMIDT
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/3/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/2 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FLAIR VS. STEAMBOAT CLASSIC FROM THE SUPERDOME, HOGAN VS. SAVAGE AT MANIA 5, LESNAR RETURNS TO WWE TO F5 CENA AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/2/2015 8:00 AM
  • 4/1 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WARRIOR CAPTURES WWF TITLE, WRESTLEMANIA 17 ROCKS HOUSTON, BRET HART ENTERS WWE HALL OF FAME, ROCK VS. CENA I AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 4/1/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/31 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WRESTLEMANIA IS BORN, EDGE ENTERS THE WWE HALL OF FAME & MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/31/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/30 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RIC FLAIR LOSES RETIREMENT MATCH AT WRESTLEMANIA 24, WWF COMPLETES WCW PURCHASE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/30/2015 8:08 AM
  • 3/29 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WRESTLEMANIA III MAKES HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/29/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/28 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: "SHAWN, WE'LL MISS YOU. GOODBYE." HBK WRESTLES HIS FINAL MATCH
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/28/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/27 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RANDY SAVAGE WINS FIRST WWF TITLE, FLAIR BECOMES FIRST TWO TIME WWE HALL OF FAMER AND LOTS MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/27/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/26 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE MONDAY NIGHT WARS COME TO AN END WITH THE FINAL WCW MONDAY NITRO & THE DEATH OF WCW
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/26/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/25 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: AWA CHAMPION VS. WWWF CHAMPION FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/25/2015 8:00 AM
  • WAR IS OVER: WWF BUYS WCW, WRESTLING IS NEVER THE SAME AGAIN - 3/23 THIS DAY IN HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/23/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/22 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: SPORTS ILLUSTRATED TARGETS WWE PERFORMERS & STEROID USE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/22/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/21 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: STARRCADE COMES TO THE TOKYO DOME, FUJINAMI WINS NWA TITLE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/21/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/20 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RANDY SAVAGE'S FINAL WRESTLEMANIA APPEARANCE, BRET HART'S SECOND WWF TITLE WIN, MICHAELS VS. RAZOR LADDER MATCH CLASSIC AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/20/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/19 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: EDWARDS WINS ROH TITLE, FINAL WCW UNCENSORED PPV AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/19/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/18 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING'S FINAL PPV
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/18/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/17 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: 'BEYOND THE MAT' IS RELEASED, HULK HOGAN VS. THE ROCK ELECTRIFIES TORONTO AT WRESTLEMANIA X8 AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/17/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/16 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CM PUNK MAKES FIRST POST-WWE APPEARANCE PUBLICLY
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/16/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/15 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: PEDRO VS. BLACKJACK IN THE GARDEN, DANNY HODGE'S CAREER ENDS IN CAR ACCIDENT AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/15/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/14 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FLAIR VS. HOGAN AT WCW UNCENSORED, BACKLUND VS. VENTURA IN THE GARDEN
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/14/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/13 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE REVIVES THE HALL OF FAME
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/13/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/12 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FOLEY LOSES HIS EAR IN GERMANY, ECW FILMS FIRST EVER TV TAPING, STEAMBOAT AND YOUNGBLOOD END SLAUGHTER AND KERNODLE'S REIGN OF TERROR AND MUCH, MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/12/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/11 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: DINO BRAVO MURDERED
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/11/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/10 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ERNIE 'THE CAT' LADD PASSES AWAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/10/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/9 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE END OF ECW IS APPARENT, FREEBIRDS LOSE WCW WORLD TAG BELTS DAYS BEFORE THEY WIN THEM, FOLEY AND REY HAVE THEIR FINAL ECW MATCHES, JBL MAKES WWE HISTORY AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/9/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/8 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE ONLY OFFICIAL JERICHO VS. CACTUS MATCH EVER, IMPACT GOES HEAD TO HEAD WITH RAW, THE WILD SAMOANS WIN THEIR FINAL WWWF TAG TITLE AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/8/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/7 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BRUNO VS. BABA GOES 90 MINUTES IN TOKYO, VALIANT TRIUMPHANT IN THE CADILLAC TOURNAMENT, LAZER TRON SCORES SOME GOLD AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/7/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/6 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CABANA WINS NWA TITLE, BAD NEWS ALLEN & HERCULES HERNANDEZ PASS AWAY, PUBLIC ENEMY WINS ECW GOLD FOR FIRST TIME AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/6/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/5 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BILL 'PAUL BEARER' MOODY PASSES AWAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/5/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/4 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ROH CELEBRATES A DECADE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/4/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/2 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HOLLYWOOD BLONDES WIN FIRST AND ONLY WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/2/2015 8:00 AM
  • 3/1 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FLAIR MAKES MSG DEBUT, ECW LIVING DANGEROUSLY AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 3/1/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/28 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TAJIRI WINS CZW TITLE, BRYAN DANIELSON'S FINAL ROH TV APPEARANCE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/28/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/27 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE NXT ARRIVAL, GORILLA VS. BRUNO THE GARDEN, STEVE BRADLEY WINS SUPER 8 AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/27/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/26 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TRIPLE H FACES THE MEDIA, AWA WORLD TITLE DEFENDED IN MSG, BRISCOES VS. HAAS AND BENJAMIN HEADLINE ROH 9th ANNIVERSARY, DANIELS WIN SUPER 8, TANAKA AND DREAMER WIN ECW TAG BELTS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/26/2015 8:00 AM
  • WOOO! RIC FLAIR IS BORN: 2/25 THIS DAY IN HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/25/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/24 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE WWE NETWORK LAUNCHES, HULK HOGAN RETURNS TO WWE & MONDAY NIGHT RAW AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/24/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/23 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RING OF HONOR IS BORN...AND SO IS WWE NXT
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/23/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/22 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RANDY THE RAM DOES THE JOB AT THE ACADEMY AWARDS
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/22/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/21 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FIRE MISHAP SINGES UNDERTAKER, WCW PRESENTS AWESOME SUPERBRAWL 3 PPV AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/21/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/20 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BOB BACKLUND WINS FIRST WWF CHAMPIONSHIP
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/20/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/18 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE ROCK INTRODUCES NEW WWE CHAMPIONSHIP BELT, THE WAR TO SETTLE THE SCORE ON MTV, FLAIR ANNOUNCED FOR WWE HALL OF FAME AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/18/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/17 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BRIAN PILLMAN'S PENIS IS TOO EXTREME FOR EVEN ECW, PUNK VS. ROCK 2 AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/17/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/16 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE'S ECW SHUTS DOWN, SAMMARTINO COMES OUT OF RETIREMENT AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/16/2015 8:00 AM
  • EDDIE GUERRERO CAPTURES HIS FIRST & ONLY WWE CHAMPIONSHIP: 2/15 THIS DAY IN HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/15/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/14 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE ROCK RETURNS TO WWE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/14/2015 8:00 AM
  • TNA IMPACT WRESTLING PREVIEW (NON SPOILER)
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/13/2015 8:30 AM
  • TNA IMPACT WRESTLING SPOILERS FOR TONIGHT
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/13/2015 8:15 AM
  • 2/13 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: SHAWN MICHAELS LOSES HIS SMILE (AND THE WWF TITLE), WWE SIGNS WITH MATTEL AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/13/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/12 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: JIMMY HART MAKES WWF DEBUT, PILLMAN & ZENK WIN U.S. TAG TITLES, SORENSEN INJURED ON TNA PPV AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/12/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/11 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: PILLMAN RESPECTS THE BOOKERMAN
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/11/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/8 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TED DIBIASE JOINS THE WWE HALL OF FAME, RANDY SAVAGE WINS WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/8/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/7 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: LARRY ZBYSZKO WINS AWA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/7/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/6 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: TED DIBIASE APPEARS AS WWF CHAMPION, STING IS KICKED OUT OF THE HORSEMEN AND TEARS HIS ACL ON THE SAME NIGHT AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/6/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/5 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: EL SANTO PASSES AWAY, WRESTLING RETURNS TO PRIMETIME NATIONAL TV FOR FIRST TIME IN DECADES, ANDRE THE GIANT WINS AND LOSES WWF TITLE IN MATTER OF MINUTES, THE NIGHT THE LINE WAS CROSSED PUTS ECW ON THE MAP AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/5/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/4 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ECW DOUBLE TABLES, WOW'S LONE PPV BROADCAST AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/4/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/3 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE MEGA-POWERS EXPLODE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/3/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/2 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: VINCE MCMAHON ANNOUNCES THE DEMISE OF WWE'S VERSION OF ECW, FIRST EVER NATIONAL PRO WRESTLING DAY EVENT, MIDNIGHT EXPRESS WIN FIRST NWA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/2/2015 8:00 AM
  • 2/1 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: ECW OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES FIRST PPV, THESZ ENDS KOWALSKI'S WORLD TITLE CLAIM, BEEFCAKE RETURNS TO RING, THE DUDLEY BOYZ UNITE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 2/1/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/30 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BIGGEST ROYAL RUMBLE EVER, VINCE TEARS QUADS ENTERING THE RING, HACKENSCHMIDT TRIUMPHANT AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/30/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/29 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BENOIT DOCTOR PLEADS GUILTY, PIPER AND FUNK BRAWL IN PWG, JAKE ROBERTS' RETIREMENT MATCH, DREAMER VS. STEEN AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/29/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/28 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: VINCE MCMAHON ANNOUNCES HE IS BRINGING THE NWO TO KILL THE WWF, TAJIRI & WHIPWRECK REUNITE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/28/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/27 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CM PUNK WALKS OUT OF WWE, PWINSIDER IS BORN, ANDRE THE GIANT PASSES AWAY & MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/27/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/26 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CM PUNK WRESTLES FOR THE LAST TIME, ANDRE THE GIANT TURNS ON HULK HOGAN, ROH ON HDNET IS BORN AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/26/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/25 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: GEORGIANN MAKROPOULOS, PRO WRESTLING'S BEST FRIEND, PASSES AWAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/25/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/24 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS HOLDS FIRST PPV IN NY...AND IT DOESN'T GO WELL
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/24/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/23 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: HULKAMANIA TAKES CONTROL OF THE WWF CHAMPIONSHIP, CACTUS JACK AND HHH RUMBLE IN THE GARDEN, TAZ MAKES WWF DEBUT, ROCKSTAR SPUD WINS TNA BOOT CAMP AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/23/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/22 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CHAVO'S BIGGEST WWE WIN, BACKLUND VS. STUDD IN NYC, HBK WINS FIRST RUMBLE, RUMBLE'S ONLY TIE, BLACKWELL PASSES AWAY AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/22/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/21 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE MAKES THE LEAP TO HIGH DEFINITION
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/21/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/20 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BOBO BRAZIL PASSES AWAY, FLAIR VS. MCMAHON STREET FIGHT, CM PUNK'S LAST MATCH ON RAW AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/20/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/19 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RIC FLAIR PROVES HE'S THE 60 MINUTE MAN AT THE 1992 ROYAL RUMBLE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/19/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/18 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST WRESTLEMANIA SPONSOR
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/18/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/16 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: STING'S FINAL TNA MATCH, JARRETT VS. DIESEL HEADLINES MSG, WCW SOULED OUT, FUNK BEATS KINISKI FOR NORTH AMERICAN TITLE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/16/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/15 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: MAE YOUNG PASSES AWAY, TNA VS. WWE LAWSUIT ENDS, THE FIRST ROYAL RUMBLE PPV IS HELD
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/15/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/14 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: SID BREAKS LEG ON WCW PPV, RAW CELEBRATES 20 YEARS AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/14/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/12 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: THE FINAL MEETING OF JERRY LYNN AND ROB VAN DAM INSIDE THE RING
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/12/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/11 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: MONDAY NIGHT RAW IS BORN
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/11/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/10 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWF SIGNS MIKE TYSON DEAL, TAZ WINS ECW WORLD TITLE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/10/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/9 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: FLAIR AND BRET GO 60 MINUTES IN BOSTON, LANGSTON WINS NXT TITLE AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/9/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/8 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: EDGE BECOMES FIRST MAN TO CASH IN MONEY IN THE BANK, WINS HIS FIRST WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/8/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/7 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING BROADCASTS FINAL PPV EVENT
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/7/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/6 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CACTUS JACK TURNS BABYFACE IN WCW
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/6/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/5 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RVD DEBUTS IN ECW, TNA HEADS TO PORTUGAL AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/5/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/4 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BRET HART RETURNS TO WWE, A LOT OF TOKYO DOME EVENTS AND MUCH MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/4/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/3 THIS DAY IN HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/3/2015 8:00 AM
  • 1/1 THIS DAY IN HISTORY
  • By Mike Johnson on 1/1/2015 8:00 AM
  • 12/31 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: LESNAR RETIRES FROM MMA, NEW JAPAN RUNS RUSSIA AND MORE
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/31/2014 8:00 AM
  • 12/30 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: 'DR. DEATH' STEVE WILLIAMS PASSES AWAY
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/30/2014 8:00 AM
  • 12/29 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: MICK FOLEY WINS HIS FIRST WWF CHAMPIONSHIP
  • By Mike Johnson on 12/29/2014 8:00 AM
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Sours: https://www.pwinsider.com/history.php

Professional wrestling

Type of athletic theatrical exhibition

Not to be confused with Amateur wrestling.

A professional wrestling training session

Professional wrestling is a form of performance art involving scriptedwrestling matches whose progress and outcome are planned in advance, typically between performers with established character roles. Professional wrestling is not to be confused with the contact sports of amateur wrestling.[1] The wrestling matches are based on classical and "catch" wrestling, with modern additions of striking attacks, acrobatics, feats of strength, fast-moving athleticism and occasionally, improvised weaponry.[2] Professional wrestling also liberally incorporates melodrama. Much like some of the real prizefighters they imitate, the characters in professional wrestling have large egos, flamboyant personalities (often attached to a gimmick), and turbulent interpersonal relationships. These personas are scripted much like the matches. Performances mainly take place in a ring similar to the kind used in boxing.[3] In televised wrestling shows, many additional "backstage" scenes are also recorded to supplement the drama in the ring.[4]

Professional wrestling in the United States and the United Kingdom began in the 19th century and early 20th century as a genuine competitive sport based on Greco-Roman wrestling and later the more popular catch wrestling. Beginning in the early 1920s, wrestlers began choreographing some of their matches to make the matches less physically taxing, shorter in duration, and more entertaining. This allowed the wrestlers to perform more frequently and attract larger audiences. Authentic matches were still held into the 1930s but far less frequently. This business model was very successful and was imitated in other countries, with particular success in Mexico and Japan. Historically, professional wrestlers tended to have a strong background in amateur wrestling or catch wrestling, but this gradually faded over the years and promoters began attracting athletes from other sports. Modern day pro wrestlers do not necessarily need an amateur background to succeed in the sport.[5] However, many pro wrestlers still consider a solid amateur background to be beneficial before embarking on a professional career.[6]

History[edit]

Main article: History of professional wrestling

An example of a professional wrestling training session in which trainees are being taught how to run and bounce against the ring ropes

Originating as a popular form of entertainment in 19th-century Europe[7] and later as a sideshow exhibition in North Americantraveling carnivals and vaudevillehalls, professional wrestling grew[when?] into a standalone genre of entertainment with many diverse variations in cultures around the globe, and as of 2020[update] has become a billion-dollar entertainment industry. Since the 1980s, local forms have greatly[quantify] declined in Europe; wrestling from North America has experienced several different periods of prominent cultural popularity during its century-and-a-half of existence and has been exported back to Europe to fill the cultural gap left by the aforementioned decline of local versions.[citation needed] The advent of television gave professional wrestling a new outlet, and wrestling (along with boxing) became instrumental in making pay-per-view a viable method of content delivery. In light of the growth of online video-on-demand, native professional wrestling promotions in markets all over the world have been able to circumvent traditional content-delivery and reach customers directly via social media and word-of-mouth marketing.

Scope and influence[edit]

Show wrestling has become especially prominent in Central/North America, Japan and Europe (especially the United Kingdom).[8] In Brazil, there was a very popular wrestling television program from the 1960s to the early 1980s called Telecatch.[9][10] High-profile figures in the sport have become celebrities or cultural icons in their native or adopted home countries.

Although professional wrestling started out as small acts in sideshows, traveling circuses and carnivals, today it is a billion-dollar industry. Revenue is drawn from ticket sales, network television broadcasts, pay-per-view broadcasts, branded merchandise and home video.[11] Pro wrestling was instrumental in making pay-per-view a viable method of content delivery. Annual shows such as WrestleMania, Bound for Glory, Wrestle Kingdom and formerly Starrcade are among the highest-selling pay-per-view programming each year. In modern day, internet programming has been utilized by a number of companies to air web shows, internet pay per views (IPPVs) or on-demand content, helping to generate internet-related revenue earnings from the evolving World Wide Web.

Home video sales dominate the Billboard charts Recreational Sports DVD sales, with wrestling holding anywhere from 3 to 9 of the top 10 spots every week.[12]

Due to its persistent cultural presence and to its novelty within the performing arts, wrestling constitutes a recurring topic in both academia and the media. Several documentaries have been produced looking at professional wrestling, most notably, Beyond the Mat directed by Barry W. Blaustein, and Wrestling with Shadows featuring wrestler Bret Hart and directed by Paul Jay. There have also been many fictional depictions of wrestling; the 2008 film The Wrestler received several Oscar nominations and began a career revival for star Mickey Rourke.

Currently, the largest professional wrestling company worldwide is the United States-based WWE, which bought out many smaller regional companies in the late 20th century, as well as its primary US competitors World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) in early 2001. Other prominent professional wrestling companies worldwide include the US-based All Elite Wrestling (AEW), Impact Wrestling (formerly known as Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA)), and Ring of Honor (ROH); Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL), and Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (AAA) in Mexico; and the Japanese New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), and Pro Wrestling Noah leagues.

Genre conventions[edit]

Main articles: Kayfabe and Shoot (professional wrestling)

When talking about professional wrestling, there are two levels: the "in-show" happenings that are presented through the shows, and happenings which are outside the scope of performance (in other words, are real life) but have implications on the performance, such as performer contracts, legitimate injuries, etc. Because actual events are often co-opted by writers for incorporation into storylines for the performers, the lines are often blurred and become confused.

Special care must be taken when talking about people who perform under their own name (such as Kurt Angle and his fictional persona). The actions of the character should be considered fictional events, wholly separate from the life of the performer. This is similar to other entertainers who perform with a persona that shares their own name.

Some wrestlers would incorporate elements of their real-life personalities into their characters, even if they and their in-ring persona have different names.

Kayfabe[edit]

Historians are unsure at what point wrestling changed from competitive catch wrestling into worked entertainment. However, documented accounts do exist: WWE Superstar Bret "Hitman" Hart recalls "a long and fascinating talk" he had in the summer of 1981 with the great Lou Thesz who told him that:

"the business was a total shoot until about 1925. At a time when Jack Dempsey was knocking everyone out in a couple of rounds and Babe Ruth was smashing the home run record in baseball, the average World Title (wrestling) match often lasted five or six hours and ended in a stalemate. Ed 'Strangler' Lewis, Thesz's mentor, was impossible to beat, so he eventually worked a title loss just to pump some new blood into the business and make a nice payoff—and that was when it had all changed."[13]

Those who participated felt that maintenance of a constant and complete illusion for all who were not involved was necessary to keep audience interest. For decades, wrestlers lived their public lives as though they were their characters.

The practice of keeping the illusion, and the various methods used to do so, came to be known as "kayfabe" within wrestling circles, or "working the marks". An entire lexicon of slang jargon and euphemism developed to allow performers to communicate without outsiders' knowledge of what was being said.

Occasionally a performer will deviate from the intended sequence of events. This is known as a shoot. Sometimes shoot-like elements are included in wrestling stories to blur the line between performance and reality. These are known as "worked shoots". However, the vast majority of events in professional wrestling are preplanned and improvised within accepted boundaries.

Gradually, the predetermined nature of professional wrestling became an open secret, as prominent figures in the wrestling business (including World Wrestling Entertainment owner Vince McMahon) began to publicly admit that wrestling was entertainment, not competition. This public reveal has garnered mixed reactions from the wrestling community, as some feel that exposure ruins the experience to the spectators as does exposure in illusionism. Despite the public admission of the theatrical nature of professional wrestling, many U.S. states still regulate professional wrestling as they do other professional competitive sports.[14] For example, New York State still regulates "professional wrestling" through the New York State Athletic Commission (SAC).[15] However, some states are considering removing, or have removed, professional wrestling from the purview of the state's athletic commissioners.[14]

Aspects of performing art[edit]

I watch championship wrestling from Florida with wrestling commentator Gordon Solie. Is this all "fake"? If so, they deserve an Oscar.

— S. R. Welborn of High Point, North Carolina, question posed to sports Q&A column written by Murray Olderman, 1975[16]

Professional wrestling shows can be considered a form of theater in the round, with the ring, ringside area, and entryway comprising a stage. However, there is a much more limited concept of a fourth wall than in most theatric performances, similar to pantomime involving audience participation. The audience is recognized and acknowledged by the performers as spectators to the sporting event being portrayed, and are encouraged to interact as such. This leads to a high level of audience participation; in fact, their reactions can dictate how the performance unfolds.[3] Often, individual matches will be part of a longer story line conflict between "babyfaces" (often shortened to just "faces") and "heels". "Faces" (the "good guys") are those whose actions are intended to encourage the audience to cheer, while "heels" (the "bad guys") act to draw the spectators' ire.[17]

Most forms of stage combat attempt to minimize all risk of pain and injury to the actors, and fans of theater typically accept that stage combat cannot look very real. But fans of professional wrestling demand a better illusion, and consequently the performers perform physical feats that often lead to real pain and injury. Many professional wrestlers over long careers develop lasting injuries and disabilities not too dissimilar from what is seen in real contact sport, and they tend to have shorter lifespans.

Rules[edit]

There is no governing authority for professional wrestling rules, although there is a general standard which has developed. Each promotion has its own variation, but all are similar enough to avoid confusion most of the time. Any rule described here is simply a standard, and may or may not correspond exactly with any given promotion's ruleset.

Due to the staged nature of wrestling, these are not actual "rules"[18] in the sense that they would be considered in similar articles about actual sports like freestyle wrestling. Instead, the "rules" in this article are implemented and supposedly enforced for the sake of suspension of disbelief (known as kayfabe in the jargon of the business).

General structure[edit]

Matches are held between two or more sides ("corners"). Each corner may consist of one wrestler, or a team of two or more. Most team matches are governed by tag team rules (see below). Other matches are free-for-alls, with multiple combatants but no teams. In all variants, there can be only one winning team or wrestler.

Matches are held within a wrestling ring, an elevated square canvas mat with posts on each corner. A cloth apron hangs over the edges of the ring. Three horizontal ropes or cables surround the ring, suspended with turnbuckles which are connected to the posts. For safety, the ropes are padded at the turnbuckles and cushioned mats surround the floor outside the ring. Guardrails or a similar barrier enclose this area from the audience. Wrestlers are generally expected to stay within the confines of the ring, though matches sometimes end up outside the ring, and even in the audience, to add excitement.

The standard method of scoring is the "fall", which is accomplished by:

  • Pinning the opponent's shoulders to the mat, typically for three seconds (though other times have been used)
  • Forcing the opponent to submit
  • Disqualification of the opponent
  • The opponent remaining outside the ring for too long (countout)
  • Knocking out or otherwise incapacitating the opponent

These are each explained in greater detail below. Typically, pinfalls and submissions must occur within the ring area, however, there are times where it may be stipulated otherwise.

Most wrestling matches last for a set number of falls, with the first side to achieve the majority number of pinfalls, submissions, or countouts being the winner. Historically, matches were wrestled to 3 falls ("best 2 out of 3") or 5 falls ("best 3 out of 5"). The standard for modern matches is one fall. However, even though it is now standard, many announcers will explicitly say so, e.g. "The following contest is set for one fall with a 20-minute time limit." These matches are given a time limit; if not enough falls are scored by the end of the time limit, the match is declared a draw. Modern matches are generally given a 10- to 30-minute time limit for standard matches; title matches can go for up to one hour. British wrestling matches held under Admiral-Lord Mountevans rules are 2 out of 3 falls.

An alternative is a match set for a prescribed length of time, with a running tally of falls. The entrant with the most falls at the end of the time limit is declared the winner. This is usually for 20, 30 or 60 minutes, and is commonly called an Iron Man match. This type of match can be modified so that fewer types of falls are allowed.

In matches with multiple competitors, an elimination system may be used. Any wrestler who has a fall scored against them is forced out of the match, and the match continues until only one remains. However, it is much more common when more than two wrestlers are involved to simply go one fall, with the one scoring the fall, regardless of who they scored it against, being the winner. In championship matches, this means that, unlike one-on-one matches (where the champion can simply disqualify himself or get himself counted out to retain the title via the Champion's Advantage), the champion does not have to be pinned or involved in the decision to lose the championship. However, heel champions often find advantages, not in Champion's Advantage, but in the use of weapons and outside interference, as these poly-sided matches tend to involve no holds barred rules.

Many modern specialty matches have been devised, with unique winning conditions. The most common of these is the ladder match. In the basic ladder match, the wrestlers or teams of wrestlers must climb a ladder to obtain a prize that is hoisted above the ring. The key to winning this match is that the wrestler or team of wrestlers must try to incapacitate each other long enough for one wrestler to climb the ladder and secure that prize for their team. As a result, the ladder can be used as a weapon. The prizes include but are not limited to any given championship belt (the traditional prize), a document granting the winner the right to a future title shot, or any document that matters to the wrestlers involved in the match (such as one granting the winner a cash prize). Another common specialty match is known as the battle royal. In a battle royal, all the wrestlers enter the ring to the point that there are 20–30 wrestlers in the ring at one time. When the match begins, the simple objective is to throw the opponent over the top rope and out of the ring with both feet on the floor to eliminate that opponent. The last wrestler standing is declared the winner. A variant on this type of match is the WWE's Royal Rumble where two wrestlers enter the ring to start the match and other wrestlers follow in 90 second intervals (previously 2 minutes) until 30–40 wrestlers have entered the ring. All other rules stay the same. For more match types, see Professional wrestling match types.

Every match must be assigned a rule keeper known as a referee, who is the final arbitrator. In multi-man lucha libre matches, two referees are used, one inside the ring and one outside.

Due to the legitimate role that referees play in wrestling of serving as liaison between the bookers backstage and the wrestlers in the ring (the role of being a final arbitrator is merely kayfabe), the referee is present, even in matches that do not at first glance appear to require a referee (such as a ladder match, as it is no holds barred, and the criteria for victory could theoretically be assessed from afar). Although their actions are also frequently scripted for dramatic effect, referees are subject to certain general rules and requirements to maintain the theatrical appearance of unbiased authority. The most basic rule is that an action must be seen by a referee to be declared for a fall or disqualification. This allows for heel characters to gain a scripted advantage by distracting or disabling the referee to perform some ostensibly illegal maneuver on their opponent. Most referees are unnamed and essentially anonymous, though some wrestling promotions, most notably in the present All Elite Wrestling, have made officials known by their names (and there are some cases where fans have called their name during matches).

Special guest referees may be used from time to time; by virtue of their celebrity status, they are often scripted to dispense with the appearance of neutrality and use their influence to unfairly influence the outcome of the match for added dramatic impact. Face special referees will often fight back against hostile heel wrestlers, particularly if the special referee is either a wrestler himself or a famous martial artist (such as Tito Ortiz at the main event at TNA Hard Justice 2005).

For heel special referees, common ways of assisting the heel wrestler to obtain victory include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Counting fast whenever the face wrestler is being pinned, while counting slow, faking a wrist or eye injury, or even refusing to count at all, when the heel wrestler is being pinned.
  • Allowing heel wrestlers to use blatantly illegal tactics that most normal referees would instantly disqualify for, while not extending these relaxed rules to face wrestlers.
  • Disqualifying the face wrestler for unfair reasons, such as an accidental attack on the referee or a maneuver that appears to be an illegal attack.
  • Feigning unconsciousness far longer than they would normally otherwise be out, or using convenient distractions to look away from the wrestlers for a prolonged period of time. This allows for greater opportunities for run-ins or use of illegal weapons and tactics, or can be used as an excuse to avoid counting a pinfall or calling a submission in the face's favor. The referee often instantly up the moment the heel wrestler seems to have an advantage, usually the moment the heel goes for the pinfall or applies a submission finisher.
  • Actually assisting in attacking the face wrestler.

Tag rules[edit]

Main article: Tag team

In some team matches, only one entrant from each team may be designated as the "legal" or "active" wrestler at any given moment. Two wrestlers must make physical contact (typically palm-to-palm) to transfer this legal status. This is known as a "tag", with the participants "tagging out" and "tagging in". Typically the wrestler who is tagging out has a 5-second count to leave the ring, whereas the one tagging in can enter the ring at any time, resulting in heels legally double-teaming a face.

The non-legal wrestlers must remain outside the ring or other legal area at all times (and avoid purposeful contact with the opposing wrestlers) or face reprimand from the referee. In most promotions, the wrestler to be tagged in must be touching the turnbuckle on his corner, or a cloth strap attached to the turnbuckle.

Some multi-wrestler matches allow for a set number of legal wrestlers; this rule is commonplace in four-way tag team matches, where only two wrestlers are legal in the match, meaning two teams will have both members on the outside at any given time. In these matches, tags can be made between any two teams regardless if they are on the same team or not. As a result of this stipulation, tags between different teams are not usually mutual effort; a non-legal wrestler will usually tag themselves in against the legal wrestler's will. A legal wrestler will only voluntarily tag themselves out to another team if their own partner is incapacitated, or are being held in a submission hold and are closer to another tag team than their own.

Sometimes, poly-sided matches that pit every man for himself will incorporate tagging rules. Outside of kayfabe, this is done to give wrestlers a break from the action (as these matches tend to go on for long periods of time), and to make the action in the ring easier to choreograph. One of the most mainstream examples of this is the Four-Corner match, the most common type of match in the WWE before it was replaced with its equivalent Fatal Four-Way; four wrestlers, each for himself, fight in a match, but only two wrestlers can be in the match at any given time. The other two are positioned in the corner, and tags can be made between any two wrestlers.

In a Texas Tornado Tag Team match, all the competitors are legal in the match, and tagging in and out is not necessary. All matches fought under hardcore rules (such as no disqualification, no holds barred, ladder match, etc.) are all contested under de facto Texas Tornado rules, since the lack of ability of a referee to issue a disqualification renders any tagging requirements moot.

Regardless of rules of tagging, a wrestler cannot pin his or her own tag team partner, even if it is technically possible from the rules of the match (e.g. Texas Tornado rules, or a three-way tag team match). This is called the "Outlaw Rule" because the first team to attempt to use that (in an attempt to unfairly retain their tag team titles) was the New Age Outlaws.

Decisions[edit]

Pinfall[edit]

Main article: Pin (professional wrestling)

To score by pinfall, a wrestler must pin both his opponent's shoulders against the mat while the referee slaps the mat three times (referred to as a "three count"). This is the most common form of defeat. The pinned wrestler must also be on his back and, if s/he is lying on his stomach, it usually does not count. A count may be started at any time that a wrestler's shoulders are down (both shoulders touching the mat), back-first and any part of the opponent's body is lying over the wrestler. This often results in pins that can easily be kicked out of, if the defensive wrestler is even slightly conscious. For example, an attacking wrestler who is half-conscious may simply drape an arm over an opponent, or a cocky wrestler may place his foot gently on the opponent's body, prompting a three-count from the referee.

Illegal pinning methods include using the ropes for leverage and hooking the opponent's clothing, which are therefore popular cheating methods for heels, unless certain stipulations make such an advantage legal. Such pins as these are rarely seen by the referee and are subsequently often used by heels and on occasion by cheating faces to win matches. Even if it is noticed, it is rare for such an attempt to result in a disqualification (see below) and instead it simply results in nullification of the pin attempt, so the heel wrestler rarely has anything to lose for trying it anyway.

Occasionally, there are instances where a pinfall is made where both wrestlers' shoulders were on the mat for the three-count. This situation will most likely lead to a draw, and in some cases a continuation of the match or a future match to determine the winner.

Submission[edit]

To score by submission, the wrestler must make his opponent give up, usually, but not necessarily, by putting him in a submission hold (e.g. figure four leg-lock, arm-lock, sleeper-hold).

A wrestler may voluntarily submit by verbally informing the referee (usually used in moves such as the Mexican Surfboard, where all four limbs are incapacitated, making tapping impossible). Also, since Ken Shamrock popularized it in 1997, a wrestler can indicate a voluntary submission by "tapping out",[19] that is, tapping a free hand against the mat or against an opponent. Occasionally, a wrestler will reach for a rope (see rope breaks below), only to put his hand back on the mat so he can crawl towards the rope some more; this is not a submission, and the referee decides what his intent is. Submission was initially a large factor in professional wrestling, but following the decline of the submission-oriented catch-as-catch-can style from mainstream professional wrestling, the submission largely faded. Despite this, some wrestlers, such as Chris Jericho, Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Kurt Angle, Ken Shamrock, Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit, and Tazz, became famous for winning matches via submission. A wrestler with a signature submission technique is portrayed as better at applying the hold, making it more painful or more difficult to get out of than others who use it, or can be falsely credited as inventing the hold (such as when Tazz popularized the kata ha jime judo choke in pro wrestling as the "Tazzmission").

Since all contact between the wrestlers must cease if any part of the body is touching, or underneath, the ropes, many wrestlers will attempt to break submission holds by deliberately grabbing the bottom ropes. This is called a "rope break", and it is one of the most common ways to break a submission hold. Most holds leave an arm or leg free, so that the person can tap out if he wants. Instead, he uses these free limbs to either grab one of the ring ropes (the bottom one is the most common, as it is nearest the wrestlers, though other ropes sometimes are used for standing holds such as Chris Masters' Master Lock) or drape his foot across, or underneath one. Once this has been accomplished, and the accomplishment is witnessed by the referee, the referee will demand that the offending wrestler break the hold, and start counting to five if the wrestler does not. If the referee reaches the count of five, and the wrestler still does not break the hold, he is disqualified.

If a manager decides that his client wrestler should tap out, but cannot convince the wrestler himself to do so, he may "throw in the towel" (by literally taking a gym towel and hurling it into the ring where the referee can see it). This is the same as a submission, as in kayfabe the manager is considered the wrestlers agent and therefore authorized to make formal decisions (such as forfeiting a match) on the client's behalf.

Knockout[edit]

Passing out in a submission hold constitutes a loss by technical knockout. To determine if a wrestler has passed out in WWE, the referee usually picks up and drops his hand. If it drops to the mat or floor one or three consecutive times without the wrestler having the strength to hold it up, the wrestler is considered to have passed out. At one point this was largely ignored. However, the rule is now much more commonly observed for safety reasons. If the wrestler has passed out, the opponent then has won by technical knockout or technical submission.

A wrestler can also win by technical knockout even if he does not resort to submission holds, but still pummels his opponent to the point that he is completely out cold. To check for a technical knockout in this manner a referee would wave his hand in front of the wrestlers' face and, if the wrestler does not react in any way, the referee would award the victory to the other wrestler.

Countout[edit]

A countout (alternatively "count-out" or "count out") happens when a wrestler is out of the ring long enough for the referee to count to ten (twenty in some promotions) and thus disqualified. The count is broken and restarted when a wrestler in the ring exits the ring. Playing into this, some wrestlers would "milk" the count by sliding in the ring and immediately sliding back out. As he was technically inside the ring for a split second before exiting again, it is sufficient to restart the count. This is often referred to by commentators as "breaking the count". Heels often use this tactic in order to buy themselves more time to catch their breath, or to attempt to frustrate their babyface opponents.

If all the active wrestlers in a match are down inside the ring at the same time, the referee would begin a count (usually ten seconds, twenty in Japan). If nobody rises to their feet by the end of the count, the match is ruled a draw. Any participant who stands up in time would end the count for everyone else, while in a Last Man Standing match this form of a countout is the only way that the match can end, so the referee would count when one or more wrestlers are down and one wrestler standing up before the 10-count does not stop the count for another wrestler who is still down.

In some promotions (and most major modern ones), Championships cannot change hands via a countout, unless the on-screen authority declares it for at least one match, although in others, championships may change hands via countout. Heels are known to take advantage of this and will intentionally get counted out when facing difficult opponents, especially when defending championships.

Disqualification[edit]

Disqualification (sometimes abbreviated as "DQ") occurs when a wrestler violates the match's rules, thus losing automatically. Although a countout can technically be considered a disqualification (as it is, for all intents and purposes, an automatic loss suffered as a result of violating a match rule), the two concepts are often distinct in wrestling. A no disqualification match can still end by countout (although this is rare). Typically, a match must be declared a "no holds barred" match, a "street fight" or some other term, in order for both disqualifications and countouts to be waived.

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 the wrestler does not cease the offending behavior in time. Note that the ban on closed fists does not apply if the attacker is in midair when the punch connects, like with Jerry Lawler's diving fist drop or Roman Reigns' Superman Punch.
  • Deliberate injury of an opponent, such as attacking an opponent's eye, such as raking it, poking it, gouging it, punching it or other severe attacks to the eye. This was imposed when Sexy Star was disqualified for a legitimate injury on Rosemary at AAA Triplemanía XXV by popping her arm out of the socket. This type of disqualification can also be grounds for stripping a wrestler of a championship, as AAA overturned the result of that AAA Women's Championship match, stripping her of the title.
  • Any outside interference involving a person not involved in the match striking or holding a wrestler. Sometimes (depending on the promotion and uniqueness of the situation), if a heel attempts to interfere but is ejected from the ring by a wrestler or referee before this occurs, there may not be a disqualification (All Elite Wrestling is known to use ejections, as AEW referees Earl Hebner and Aubrey Edwards have ejected numerous wrestlers during events, all for outside interference). 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, Shawn Michaels, who was under the kayfabe employment of John "Bradshaw" Layfield, interfered in a match and super kicked JBL in front of the referee to get his employer the win via "outside interference".
  • Striking an opponent with a foreign object (an object not permitted by the rules of the match; see hardcore wrestling) (sometimes the win decision can be reversed if the referee spots the weapon before pin attempt or after the match because they tried to strike when referee is either distracted or knocked out).[20]
  • Using any kind of "banned" move (see below for details).
  • A direct low blow to the groin (unless the rules of the match specifically allow this).
  • Intentionally laying hands on the referee.
  • Pulling an opponent's mask off during a match (this is illegal in Mexico, and sometimes in Japan).
  • Throwing an opponent over the top rope during a match (this move is still illegal in the National Wrestling Alliance; however, in cases like the Royal Rumble match, this will be allowed in order to eliminate a wrestler from the match).
  • In a mixed tag team match, a male wrestler hitting a female wrestler (intergender), or a normal sized wrestler attacking an opposing midget wrestler (tag team matches involving teams with one normal-sized and one midget wrestler).

In practice, not all rule violations will result in a disqualification as the referee may use his own judgement and is not obligated to stop the match. Usually, the only offenses that the referee will see and immediately disqualify the match on (as opposed to having multiple offenses) are low blows, weapon usage, interference, or assaulting the referee. In WWE, a referee must see the violation with his own eyes to rule that the match end in a disqualification (simply watching the video tape is not usually enough) and the referee's ruling is almost always final, although dusty finishes (named after, and made famous by, Dusty Rhodes) will often result in the referee's decision being overturned. It is not uncommon for the referees themselves to get knocked out during a match, which is commonly referred to by the term "ref bump". While the referee remains "unconscious", wrestlers are free to violate rules until he is revived or replaced. In some cases, a referee might disqualify a person under the presumption that it was that wrestler who knocked him out; most referee knockouts are arranged to allow a wrestler, usually a heel, to gain an advantage. For example, a wrestler may get whipped into a referee at a slower speed, knocking the ref down for short amount of time; during that interim period, one wrestler may pin his opponent for a three-count and would have won the match but for the referee being down (sometimes, another referee will sprint to the ring from backstage to attempt to make the count, but by then, the other wrestler has had enough time to kick out on his own accord). In most promotions, a championship title cannot normally change hands via disqualification; this rule is explicitly enforced in a title match under special circumstances.

If all participants in a match continue to breach the referee's instructions, the match may end in a double disqualification, where both wrestlers or teams (in a tag team match) have been disqualified. The match is essentially nullified, and called a draw or in some cases a restart or the same match being held at a pay-per-view or next night's show. Sometimes, however, if this happens in a match to determine the challenger for a heel champion's title, the champion is forced to face both opponents simultaneously for the title. Usually, the double disqualification is caused by the heel wrestler's associates in a match between two face wrestlers to determine his opponent.

Forfeit[edit]

Although extremely rare, a match can end in a forfeit if the opponent either does not show up for the match, or shows up but refuses to compete. Although a championship usually cannot change hands except by pinfall or submission, a forfeit victory is enough to crown a new champion. The most famous example of this happened on the December 8, 1997 episode of Raw is War, when Stone Cold Steve Austin handed the WWE Intercontinental Championship to The Rock after refusing to defend the title.

Forfeit victories are extremely rare in wrestling. When a pay-per-view match is booked and one wrestler is unable to make it for one reason or another, it is usually customary to insert a last minute replacement rather than award a wrestler a victory by forfeit. Forfeit victories are almost always reserved for when the story the promotion is telling specifically requires such an ending. In addition to the aforementioned moment between Steve Austin and The Rock, other instance of this happening was in March 2009, when Triple H decided not to show up for a handicap match against Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase Jr., instead opting to attack Randy Orton in his own home.

Despite being, statistically, an extremely rare occurrence, Charles Wright is one wrestler who is famous for turning forfeit victories into his own gimmick. During the late 1990s, Wright called himself "The Godfather" and portrayed the gimmick of a pimp. He would often bring multiple women, who he referred to as "hos," to the ring with him, and would offer the sexual services of these women to his opponents in exchange for them forfeiting their matches against him.

Draw[edit]

A professional wrestling match can end in a draw. A draw occurs if both opponents are simultaneously disqualified (as via countout or if the referee loses complete control of the match and both opponents attack each other with no regard to being in a match, like Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker at 2002 Unforgiven), neither opponent is able to answer a ten-count, or both opponents simultaneously win the match. The latter can occur if, for example, one opponent's shoulders touch the mat while maintaining a submission hold against another opponent. If the opponent in the hold begins to tap out at the same time a referee counts to three for pinning the opponent delivering the hold, both opponents have legally achieved scoring conditions simultaneously. Traditionally, a championship may not change hands in the event of a draw (though it may become vacant), though some promotions such as Total Nonstop Action Wrestling have endorsed rules where the champion may lose a title by disqualification. A variant of the draw is the time-limit draw, where the match does not have a winner by a specified time period (a one-hour draw, which was once common, is known in wrestling circles as a "Broadway").

Also if two wrestlers have been given a disqualification by either the referee or the chairman, this is a no contest and if there is a title on the line the champion keeps the championship.

No contest[edit]

A wrestling match may be declared a no contest if the winning conditions are unable to occur. This can be due to excessive interference, loss of referee's control over the match, one or more participants sustaining debilitating injury not caused by the opponent, or the inability of a scheduled match to even begin. A no contest is a state separate and distinct from a draw — a draw indicates winning conditions were met. Although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably in practice, this usage is technically incorrect. The most recent occurrence of a no-contest was at SummerSlam (2021), where the WWE Championship match between Bobby Lashley and Goldberg was stopped due to Goldberg suffering a knee injury, therefore Lashley retained the WWE Title due to referee stoppage (no contest).

Dramatic elements[edit]

While each wrestling match is ostensibly a competition of athletics and strategy, the goal from a business standpoint is to excite and entertain the audience. Although the competition is staged, dramatic emphasis draws out the most intense reaction. Heightened interest results in higher attendance, increased ticket sales, higher ratings on television broadcasts (greater ad revenue), higher pay-per-view buyrates, and sales of branded merchandise and recorded video footage. All of these contribute to the profit of the promotion company.

Character/gimmick[edit]

Main article: Gimmick (professional wrestling)

In Latin America and English-speaking countries, most wrestlers (and other on-stage performers) portray character roles, sometimes with personalities wildly different from their own. These personalities are a gimmick intended to heighten interest in a wrestler without regard to athletic ability. Some can be unrealistic and cartoon-like (such as Doink the Clown), while others carry more verisimilitude (such as Chris Jericho, The Rock, John Cena, Steve Austin, and CM Punk). In lucha libre, many characters wear masks, adopting a secret identity akin to a superhero or a supervillain, a near-sacred tradition.[21]

An individual wrestler may use his real name, or a minor variation of it, for much of his career, such as Bret Hart, John Cena and Randy Orton. Others can keep one ring name for their entire career (Shawn Michaels, CM Punk and Ricky Steamboat), or may change from time to time to better suit the demands of the audience or company. Sometimes a character is owned and trademarked by the company, forcing the wrestler to find a new one when he leaves (although a simple typeset change, such as changing Rhyno to Rhino, can get around this), and sometimes a character is owned by the wrestler. Sometimes, a wrestler may change his legal name to obtain ownership of his ring name (Andrew Martin and Warrior). Many wrestlers (such as The Rock and The Undertaker) are strongly identified with their character, even responding to the name in public or between friends. It's actually considered proper decorum for fellow wrestlers to refer to each other by their stage names/characters rather than their birth/legal names, unless otherwise introduced.[22] A character can become so popular that it appears in other media (Hulk Hogan and El Santo) or even gives the performer enough visibility to enter politics (Antonio Inoki and Jesse Ventura).

Gorgeous George's flamboyant gimmick made him one of the most famous wrestlers of his era

Typically, matches are staged between a protagonist (historically an audience favorite, known as a babyface, or "the good guy") and an antagonist (historically a villain with arrogance, a tendency to break rules, or other unlikable qualities, called a heel, or "the bad guy"). In recent years, however, antiheroes have also become prominent in professional wrestling. There is also a less common role of a "tweener", who is neither fully face nor fully heel yet able to play either role effectively (case in point, Samoa Joe during his first run in TNA Wrestling from June 2005 to November 2006).

At times, a character may "turn", altering their face/heel alignment. This may be an abrupt, surprising event, or it may slowly build over time. It is almost always accomplished with a markable change in behavior. Some turns become defining points in a career, as when Hulk Hogan turned heel after being a top face for over a decade. Others may have no noticeable effect on the character's status. If a character repeatedly switches between face and heel, this lessens the effect of such turns, and may result in apathy from the audience. Big Show is a good example of having more heel and face turns than anyone in WWE history.

As with personae in general, a character's face or heel alignment may change with time, or remain constant over its lifetime (the most famous example of the latter is Ricky Steamboat, a WWE Hall of Famer who remained a babyface throughout his entire career). Sometimes a character's heel turn will become so popular that eventually the audience response will alter the character's heel-face cycle to the point where the heel persona will, in practice, become a face persona, and what was previously the face persona, will turn into the heel persona, such as when Dwayne Johnson first began using "The Rock" persona as a heel character, as opposed to his original "Rocky Maivia" babyface persona. Another legendary example is Stone Cold Steve Austin, who was originally booked as a heel, with such mannerisms as drinking on the job, using profanity, breaking company property, and even breaking into people's private homes. However, much to WWF's surprise, the fans got such a charge out of Austin's antics that he effectively became one of the greatest antiheroes in the history of the business. He, along with the stable of D-Generation X,Bret Hart and His Hart Foundation are generally credited with ushering,with some others crediting Bret Hart for Instigating the Attitude Era of WWF programming.

Story[edit]

While real exhibition matches are now not uncommon, most matches tell a story analogous to an episode of a serial drama: The face will from time to time win (triumph) or from time to time lose (tragedy), and longer story arcs can result from a couple of matches. Since most promotions have a championship title, opposition for the championship is a frequent impetus for stories. Also, whatever from a character's own hair to his job with the advertising can be wagered in a match.

Some matches are designed to further the story of only one participant. It could be intended to portray an unstoppable force, a lucky underdog, a sore loser, or any other characterization. Sometimes non-wrestling vignettes are shown to enhance a character's image without the need for matches.

Other stories result from a natural rivalry. Outside of performance, these are referred to as feuds. A feud can exist between any number of participants and can last from a few days to decades. The feud between Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat lasted from the late 1970s into the early 1990s and allegedly spanned over two thousand matches (although most of those matches were mere dark matches). The career-spanning history between characters Mike Awesome and Masato Tanaka is another example of a long-running feud, as is the case of Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon, one of the most lucrative feuds in the World Wrestling Federation during 1998 and 1999.

In theory, the longer a feud is built up, the more audience interest (aka heat) lasts. The main event of a wrestling show is generally the most heated. Commonly, a heel will hold the upper hand over a face until a final showdown, heightening dramatic tension as the face's fans desire to see him win.

Throughout the history of professional wrestling, many other elements of media have been utilized in professional wrestling storytelling: pre- and post-match interviews, "backstage" skits, positions of authority and worked behind-the-scenes feuds, division rankings (typically the #1-contendership spot), contracts, lotteries, news stories on websites, and in recent years social media.

Also, anything that can be used as an element of drama can exist in professional wrestling stories: romantic relationships (including love triangles and marriage), racism, classism, nepotism, favoritism, corporate corruption, family bonds, personal histories, grudges, theft, cheating, assault, betrayal, bribery, seduction, stalking, confidence tricks, extortion, blackmail, substance abuse, self-doubt, self-sacrifice; even kidnapping, sexual fetishism, necrophilia, misogyny, rape and death have been portrayed in wrestling. Some promotions have included supernatural elements such as magic, curses, the undead and Satanic imagery (most notably the Undertaker and his Ministry of Darkness, a stable that regularly performed evil rituals and human sacrifice in Satanic-like worship of a hidden power figure). Celebrities would also be involved in storylines.

Commentators have become important in communicating the relevance of the characters' actions to the story at hand, filling in past details and pointing out subtle actions that may otherwise go unnoticed.

Promos[edit]

Main article: Glossary of professional wrestling terms § Promo

A main part of the story-telling part of wrestling is a promo, short for promotional interview. Promos are performed, or "cut", in wrestling jargon, for a variety of reasons, including to heighten interest in a wrestler, or to hype an upcoming match.

Since the crowd is often too loud or the venue too large for promos to be heard naturally, wrestlers will use amplification when speaking in the ring. Unlike most Hollywood acting, large and highly visible handheld microphones are typically used and wrestlers often speak directly to the audience.

Championships[edit]

Main article: Professional wrestling championship

Professional wrestling mimics the structure of title matchcombat sports. Participants compete for a championship and must defend it after winning it. These titles are represented physically by a title belt that can be worn by the champion. In the case of team wrestling, there is a title belt for each member of the team.

Almost all professional wrestling promotions have one major title, and some have more. Championships are designated by divisions of weight, height, gender, wrestling style and other qualifications.

Typically, each promotion only recognizes the "legitimacy" of their own titles, although cross-promotion does happen. When one promotion absorbs or purchases another, the titles from the defunct promotion may continue to be defended in the new promotion or be decommissioned.

Behind the scenes, the bookers in a company will place the title on the most accomplished performer, or those the bookers believe will generate fan interest in terms of event attendance and television viewership. Historically, a world champion was typically a legit shooter/hooker who had the skills to prevent double crosses by would-be shooters who would deviate from the planned finish for personal glory. Lower ranked titles may also be used on the performers who show potential, thus allowing them greater exposure to the audience. However other circumstances may also determine the use of a championship. A combination of a championship's lineage, the caliber of performers as champion, and the frequency and manner of title changes, dictates the audience's perception of the title's quality, significance and reputation.

A wrestler's championship accomplishments can be central to their career, becoming a measure of their performance ability and drawing power. In general, a wrestler with multiple title reigns or an extended title reign is indicative of a wrestler's ability to maintain audience interest or a wrestler's ability to perform in the ring. As such, the most accomplished or decorated wrestlers tend to be revered as legends due to the amount of title reigns they hold. American wrestler Ric Flair has had multiple world heavyweight championship reigns spanning over three decades. Japanese wrestler Último Dragón once held and defended a record 10 titles simultaneously.

Non-standard matches[edit]

Main article: Professional wrestling match types

Often a match will take place under additional rules, usually serving as a special attraction or a climactic point in a feud or storyline. Sometimes this will be the culmination of an entire feud, ending it for the immediate future (known as a blowoff match).

Perhaps the most well-known non-standard match is the cage match, in which the ring is surrounded by a fence or similar metal structure, with the express intention of preventing escape or outside interference—and with the added bonus of the cage being a potentially brutal weapon or platform for launching attacks. The WWE has another provision where a standard cage match can end with one wrestler or wrestling team escaping the cage through the door or over the top.

Another example is the WWE's Royal Rumble match, which involves thirty participants in a random and unknown order. The Rumble match is itself a spectacle in that it is a once-yearly event with multiple participants, including individuals who might not interact otherwise. It also serves as a catalyst for the company's ongoing feuds, as well as a springboard for new storylines.

Ring entrance[edit]

Melina Perezperforms an splitin order to enter into the ring. This is one of the signature things this wrestler does while doing her entrance

While the wrestling matches themselves are the primary focus of professional wrestling, a key dramatic element of the business can be entrances of the wrestlers to the arena and ring. It is typical for a wrestler to get their biggest crowd reaction (or "pop") for their ring entrance, rather than for anything they do in the wrestling match itself, especially if former main event stars are returning to a promotion after a long absence.

All notable wrestlers now enter the ring accompanied by music, and regularly add other elements to their entrance. The music played during the ring entrance will usually mirror the wrestler's personality. Many wrestlers, particularly in America, have music and lyrics specially written for their ring entrance. While invented long before, the practice of including music with the entrance gained rapid popularity during the 1980s, largely as a result of the huge success of Hulk Hogan and the WWF, and their Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection. When a match is won, the victor's theme music is usually also played in celebration.

Because wrestling is predetermined, a wrestler's entrance music will play as they enter the arena, even if they are, in kayfabe, not supposed to be there. For example, in 2012 through 2014, The Shield was a trio of wrestlers who were (in kayfabe) not at the time under contract with WWE (hence their gimmick of entering the ring through the crowd), but they still had entrance music which was played whenever they entered the arena, despite the fact that they were kayfabe invaders.

With the introduction of the Titantron entrance screen in 1997, WWF/WWE wrestlers also had entrance videos made that would play along with their entrance music.

Other dramatic elements of a ring entrance can include:

  • Pyrotechnics such as a ring of fire for The Brood when they ascend to the stage, multi-colour fireworks (most notably for Edge), fire for Kane and Seth Rollins, a stage of smoke for Finn Bálor and (for a short period of time) falling fireworks for Christian Cage.
  • Additional visual graphics or staging props to complement the entrance video/routine or further emphasize the character. For instance, Kane's entrance graphics employ heavy use of fire-themed visuals, The Undertaker's entrance features dark lighting, fire, fog and dry ice, and lightning-themed effects, John Morrison's entrance would feature use of multicolored psychedelic style patterns, The Miz has in the past incorporated inflatable lettering spelling out the word "AWESOME" into his entrance, and Montel Vontavious Porter frequently used an inflatable entrance tunnel during his WWE tenure. Goldust has been known to use on-screen visual effects in his entrance to simulate the presentation of a feature film (i.e. widescreen, production company credits), as to emphasize his Hollywood-themed film aficionado character. Brodus Clay entered with disco ball lighting effects to emphasize his "Funkasaurus" character.
  • A distinct sound or opening note in the music (used to elicit a Pavlovian response from the crowd). For example, the glass shattering in Steve Austin's entrance theme, The Undertaker's signature bell toll, and the sound of bells and a cow's moo in JBL's theme.
  • Darkening of the arena, often accompanied by mood lighting or strobe lighting, such as in The Undertaker's, Triple H's, or Sting's entrances. Certain colors of lighting have been associated with specific wrestlers; for instance, blue lighting for The Undertaker and Alexa Bliss, green lighting for Triple H, D-Generation X, and Shane McMahon, a mixture of red and yellow lighting for Brock Lesnar, a lot of red for Seth Rollins (mainly for his "Embrace The Vision" character, a.k.a when using his theme named "Visionary"), a mixture of red and orange lighting for Kane, multicolored lighting for John Morrison, gold lighting for Goldust, pink lighting for Val Venis and Trish Stratus, and so forth.
  • Costumes that evoke "otherworldly" or "fictional" themes. With examples such as Big Van Vader's bio-mechanical themed headdress which spewed steam, Pyro's fire shooting outfit, Shockmaster's bejeweled stormtrooper helmet, Ricky Steamboat's dragon costume and Mankind's leather mask, to name a few.
  • Entering in a manner in keeping with their character traits, such as a fast, highly energetic entrance, or a slow, stoic entrance. For example, The Ultimate Warrior would run at high speed down the entrance ramp and into the ring while Randy Orton would slowly and darkly walk to the ring. The Undertaker has adopted one of the most notable entrances, taking around 4 to 5 minutes, darkening the whole arena, and performing a slow, intimidating walk. Goldberg walked slowly to the ring while being escorted by security guards from the locker room. Like sound effects, some entrance mannerisms often become signature to individual wrestlers. For example, Steve Austin's entrance often involves him standing on the second turnbuckle, raising his hands in the air for few seconds, and then doing the same thing for the other three turnbuckles, a mannerism which has become just as much a signature part of Austin's entrance as the glass-shattering sound effect.
  • Driving a vehicle into the arena. For example, Eddie Guerrero would arrive into the arena in a lowrider, The Undertaker (in his "American Bad Ass" biker gimmick), Chuck Palumbo, Tara, and the Disciples of Apocalypse on motorcycles, The Mexicools on riding lawn mowers, JBL in his limousine, Alberto Del Rio arriving into the arena in various luxury cars, Steve Austin driving an all-terrain vehicle, and Camacho and Hunico entering on a lowrider bicycle.
  • Acting out a trademark behavior, such as posing to display their muscularity, mounting the ring ropes, or sitting in the corner.
  • Talking to the crowd using a distinctive patter. For instance, chanting or rapping along with the music (i.e. Road Dogg, R-Truth). Another example is Vickie Guerrero entering to no music, but announcing her arrival with the words "Excuse me!"
  • Many heels with narcissistic gimmicks (Lex Luger, Shawn Michaels, Cody Rhodes, Paul Orndorff, etc.) would admire themselves with a mirror on their way to the ring.
  • Coming through the audience, such as The Sandman's beer drinking and can smashing entrance, or Diamond Dallas Page's exit through the crowd, or Jon Moxley entering through the crowd.
  • Accompaniment by a ringside crew or personal security, an example of which would be Goldberg.
  • Entering the arena by a lift in the stage, such as Kurt Angle, The Brood and Rey Mysterio
  • If a wrestler is a current champion, he will attempt to visually draw attention to his championship belt by either holding it high over his head or (if the belt is worn around the waist) moving his hands across it or pointing to it.
  • Recently, Bobby Lashley has incorporated graphics and a dramatic opening into his entrance. The opening in question starts with lightning graphics hitting the stage, then going into a montage (for a short period of time, Lashley used parts of his entrance theme in the montage). Afterwards, graphics of him appear with the collective phrase "All Mighty" above his head, before switching to his entrance music.

Another method of entry involves descending from the ceiling with a Zip-line or rappel line and stunt harness. This has been done by Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XII, by Sting many times in WCW and TNA, gained major controversy over its role in the death of wrestler Owen Hart at Over the Edge.

Special ring entrances are also developed for big occasions, most notably the WrestleMania event. For example, WrestleMania III and VI both saw all wrestlers enter the arena on motorized miniature wrestling rings. Live bands are sometimes hired to perform live entrance music at special events. John Cena and Triple H are particularly notable in recent years for their highly theatrical entrances at WrestleMania.

Other types of wrestling[edit]

Women's wrestling[edit]

Main article: Women's professional wrestling

See also: Women in WWE and Impact Knockouts

The women's division of professional wrestling has maintained a recognized world champion since 1937, when Mildred Burke won the original World Women's title. She then formed the World Women's Wrestling Association in the early 1950s and recognized herself as the first champion, although the championship would be vacated upon her retirement in 1956. The NWA however, ceased to acknowledge Burke as their Women's World champion in 1954, and instead acknowledged June Byers as champion after a controversial finish to a high-profile match between Burke and Byers that year. Upon Byers' retirement in 1964, The Fabulous Moolah, who won a junior heavyweight version of the NWA World Women's Championship (the predecessor to the WWE Women's Championship) in a tournament back in 1958, was recognized by most NWA promoters as champion by default.

Intergender wrestling[edit]

For most of its history, men and women would rarely compete against each other in professional wrestling, as it was deemed to be unfair and unchivalrous. Andy Kaufman used this to gain notoriety when he created an Intergender Championship and declared it open to any female challenger. This led to a long (worked) feud with Jerry Lawler.

In the 1980s, mixed tag team matches began to take place, with a male and female on each team and a rule stating that each wrestler could only attack the opponent of the same gender. If a tag was made, the other team had to automatically switch their legal wrestler as well. Despite these restrictions, many mixed tag matches do feature some physical interaction between participants of different genders. For example, a heel may take a cheap shot at the female wrestler of the opposing team to draw a negative crowd reaction. In lucha libre, cheap-shots and male-female attacks are not uncommon.[21]

Intergender singles bouts were first fought on a national level in the 1990s. This began with Luna Vachon, who faced men in ECW and WWF. Later, Chyna became the first female to hold a belt that was not exclusive to women when she won the WWF Intercontinental Championship. While it is a rare feat in WWE, in TNA, ODB participates in singles intergender matches. Also, ODB's kayfabe husband and tag team partner Eric Young held the Knockouts tag team titles for a record 478 days before it was stripped by Brooke Hogan because Young was a male.

Midget wrestling[edit]

Further information: Midget wrestling

Midget wrestling can be traced to professional wrestling's carnival and vaudeville origins. In recent years, the popularity and prevalence of midgets in wrestling has greatly decreased due to wrestling companies depriving midget divisions of storyline or feud. However, WWE has made a few attempts to enter this market with their "minis" in the 1990s and the "junior's league" as recent as 2006. It is still a popular form of entertainment in Mexican wrestling, mostly as a "sideshow".

Some wrestlers may have their own specific "mini me", like Mascarita Sagrada, Alebrije has Quije, etc. There are also cases in which midgets can become valets for a wrestler, and even get physically involved in matches, like Alushe, who often accompanies Tinieblas, or KeMonito, who is portrayed as Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre's mascot and is also a valet for Mistico. Dave Finlay was often aided in his matches by a midget known mainly as Hornswoggle while in WWE, who hid under the ring and gave a shillelagh to Finlay to use on his opponent. Finlay also occasionally threw him at his opponent(s). Hornswoggle has also been given a run with the WWE Cruiserweight Championship and feuded with D-X in 2009.

Styles and characteristics in other countries[edit]

The U.S., Japan and Mexico are three countries where there is a huge market and high popularity for professional wrestling. But the styles of professional wrestling are different, given their independent development for a long period.

Professional wrestling in the U.S. tends to have a heavy focus on story building and the establishment of characters (and their personalities). There is a story for each match, and even a longer story for successive matches. The stories usually contain characters like faces and heels, and less often antiheroes and tweeners. It is a "triumph" if the face wins, while it is a "tragedy" if the heel wins. The characters usually have strong and sharp personalities. The opposition between faces and heels is very intense in the story, and the heels may even attack the faces during TV interviews. The relationship between different characters can also be very complex.

Mexican wrestlers: Gran Guerrero, Último Guerreroand Euforiaperforming a triple team move on their opponents. This is a characteristic in Lucha Libre, wrestlers can enter into the ring without being disqualified on time if is a tag team match, something that in American wrestling is illegal and a cause of losing by disqualification

Although professional wrestling in Mexico (Lucha libre) also has stories and characters, they are less emphasized. Mexican professional wrestling tradition repeats very usually brutal tactics, specially more aerial holds than professional wrestlers in the U.S. who, more often, rely on power moves and strikes to subdue their opponents.[21] The difference in styles is due to the independent evolution of the sport in Mexico beginning in the 1930s and the fact that wrestlers in the cruiserweight division (Spanish: peso semicompleto) are often the most popular wrestlers in Mexican lucha libre. Wrestlers often execute high flying moves characteristic of lucha libre by utilizing the wrestling ring's ropes to catapult themselves towards their opponents, using intricate combinations in rapid-fire succession, and applying complex submission holds.[23] Lucha libre is also known for its tag team wrestling matches, in which the teams are often made up of three members, instead of two as is common in the U.S.[24]

The style of Japanese professional wrestling (puroresu) is again different. With its origins in traditional American style of wrestling and still being under the same genre, it has become an entity in itself.[25] Despite the similarity to its American counterpart in that the outcome of the matches remains predetermined, the phenomena are different in the form of the psychology and presentation of the sport. In most of the largest promotions, such as New Japan Pro-Wrestling, All Japan Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Noah, it is treated as a full contactcombat sport as it mixes hard hitting martial arts strikes with shoot stylesubmission holds,[26] while in the U.S. it is rather more regarded as an entertainment show. Wrestlers incorporate kicks and strikes from martial arts disciplines, and a strong emphasis is placed on submission wrestling, and unlike the use of involved storylines in the U.S., they are not as intricate in Japan, more emphasis is placed on the concept of "fighting spirit", meaning the wrestlers display of physical and mental stamina are valued a lot more than theatrics. Many of Japan's wrestlers including top stars such as Shinya Hashimoto, Riki Chōshū and Keiji Mutoh came from a legitimate martial arts background and many Japanese wrestlers in the 1990s began to pursue careers in mixed martial arts organizations such as Pancrase and Shooto which at the time retained the original look of puroresu but were actual competitions. Other companies, such as Michinoku Pro Wrestling and Dragon Gate, wrestle in a style similar to Mexican companies like AAA and CMLL. This is known as "Lucharesu".

Culture[edit]

Professional wrestling has developed its own cultures, both internal and external.[citation needed]

Those involved in producing professional wrestling have developed a kind of global fraternity, with familial bonds, shared language and passed-down traditions. New performers are expected to "pay their dues" for a few years by working in lower-profile promotions and working as ring crew before working their way upward.[27][28] The permanent rosters of most promotions develop a backstage pecking order, with veterans mediating conflicts and mentoring younger wrestlers.[29] For many decades (and still to a lesser extent today) performers were expected to keep the illusions of wrestling's legitimacy alive even while not performing, essentially acting in character any time they were in public.[30] Some veterans speak of a "sickness" among wrestling performers, an inexplicable pull to remain active in the wrestling world despite the devastating effects the job can have on one's life and health.[31]

Fans of professional wrestling have their own subculture, comparable to those of science fiction, video games, or comic books. Those who are interested in the backstage occurrences, future storylines and reasonings behind company decisions read newsletters written by journalists with inside ties to the wrestling industry.[30][32] These "rags" or "dirt sheets" have expanded into the Internet, where their information can be dispensed on an up-to-the-minute basis. Some have expanded into radio shows.[33]

Some fans enjoy a pastime of collecting tapes of wrestling shows from specific companies, of certain wrestlers, or of specific genres. The internet has given fans exposure to worldwide variations of wrestling they would be unable to see otherwise.[34] Since the 1990s, many companies have been founded which deal primarily in wrestling footage. When the WWE purchased both WCW and ECW in 2001, they also obtained the entire past video libraries of both productions and have released many past matches online and on home video.[citation needed]

Like some other sports, fantasy leagues have developed around professional wrestling. Some take this concept further by creating E-feds (electronic federations), where a user can create their own fictional wrestling character, and role-playing storylines with other users, leading to scheduled "shows" where match results are determined by the organizers, usually based on a combination of the characters' statistics and the players' roleplaying aptitude, sometimes with audience voting.[citation needed]

Professional wrestling in mainstream culture[edit]

From the first established world championship, the top professional wrestlers have garnered fame within mainstream society. Each successive generation has produced a number of wrestlers who extend their careers into the realms of music, acting, writing, business, politics or public speaking, and are known to those who are unfamiliar with wrestling in general. Conversely, celebrities from other sports or general pop culture also become involved with wrestling for brief periods of time. A prime example of this is The Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection of the 1980s, which combined wrestling with MTV.

Professional wrestling is often portrayed within other works using parody, and its general elements have become familiar tropes and memes in American culture.

Some terminology originating in professional wrestling has found its way into the common vernacular. Phrases such as "body slam", "sleeper hold" and "tag team" are used by those who do not follow professional wrestling. The term "smackdown", popularized by The Rock and SmackDown! in the 1990s, has been included in Merriam-Webster dictionaries since 2007.

Many television shows and films have been produced which portray in-character professional wrestlers as protagonists, such as Ready to Rumble, ¡Mucha Lucha!, Nacho Libre, and the Santo film series. At least two stage plays set in the world of pro wrestling have been produced: The Baron is a comedy that retells the life of an actual performer known as Baron von Raschke. From Parts Unknown... is an award-nominated Canadian drama about the rise and fall of a fictional wrestler. The 2009 South Park episode "W.T.F." played on the soap operatic elements of professional wrestling. One of the lead characters on the Disney Channel series Kim Possible was a huge fan of pro wrestling and actually featured it on an episode (with two former WWE wrestlers voicing the two fictitious wrestlers featured in the episode). The 2008 film The Wrestler, about a washed-up professional wrestler, garnered several Oscar nominations. The 2017 TV series GLOW, based on the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling promotion, gained critical acclaim, including a nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards.

The 1950 film noirNight and the City, directed by Jules Dassin and starring Richard Widmark and Gene Tierney, told the story of a promoter in London trying to make it big, and featured a match involving real professional wrestler Stanislaus Zbyszko.

Wrestling has also gained a major following on YouTube with WWE being the being the most subscribed wrestling channel and sixth most subscribed channel in the world. AEW also hosts its Dark and Elevation shows on YouTube.

Study and analysis of professional wrestling[edit]

With its growing popularity, professional wrestling has attracted attention as a subject of serious academic study and journalistic criticism. Many courses, theses, essays and dissertations have analyzed wrestling's conventions, content, and its role in modern society. It is often included as part of studies on theatre, sociology, performance, and media.[35][36] The Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a course of study on the cultural significance of professional wrestling,[37] and anthropologist Heather Levi has written an ethnography about the culture of lucha libre in Mexico.[38]

This was not always the case. In the early 20th century, once it became apparent that the "sport" was worked, pro wrestling was looked down on as a cheap entertainment for the uneducated working class,[30] an attitude that still exists to varying degrees today.[32] The French theorist Roland Barthes was among the first to propose that wrestling was worthy of deeper analysis, in his essay "The World of Wrestling" from his book Mythologies, first published in 1957.[3][30] Barthes argued that it should be looked at not as a scamming of the ignorant, but as spectacle; a mode of theatric performance for a willing, if bloodthirsty, audience. Wrestling is described as performed art which demands an immediate reading of the juxtaposed meanings. The logical conclusion is given least importance over the theatrical performers of the wrestlers and the referee. According to Barthes, the function of a wrestler is not to win: it is to go exactly through the motions which are expected of him and to give the audience a theatrical spectacle. This work is considered a foundation of all later study.[39]

While pro wrestling is often described simplistically as a "soap opera for males", it has also been cited as filling the role of past forms of literature and theatre; a synthesis of classicalheroics,[40]commedia dell'arte,[41]revenge tragedies,[42]morality plays,[42] and burlesque.[43] The characters and storylines portrayed by a successful promotion are seen to reflect the current mood, attitudes, and concerns of that promotion's society[32][34] and can in turn influence those same things.[44] Wrestling's high levels of violence and masculinity make it a vicarious outlet for aggression during peacetime.[45]

Documentaryfilmmakers have studied the lives of wrestlers and the effects the profession has on them and their families. The 1999 theatrical documentary Beyond the Mat focused on Terry Funk, a wrestler nearing retirement; Mick Foley, a wrestler within his prime; Jake Roberts, a former star fallen from grace; and a school of wrestling students trying to break into the business. The 2005 release Lipstick and Dynamite, Piss and Vinegar: The First Ladies of Wrestling chronicled the development of women's wrestling throughout the 20th century. Pro wrestling has been featured several times on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. MTV's documentary series True Life featured two episodes titled "I'm a Professional Wrestler" and "I Want to Be a Professional Wrestler." Other documentaries have been produced by The Learning Channel (The Secret World of Professional Wrestling) and A&E (Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows). Bloodstained Memoirs explored the careers of several pro wrestlers, including Chris Jericho, Rob Van Dam and Roddy Piper.[citation needed]

Injury and fatality[edit]

See also: List of premature professional wrestling deaths

Although professional wrestling is choreographed, there is a high chance of injury, and even death.[46] Strikes are often stiff, especially in Japan and in independent wrestling promotions such as Combat Zone Wrestling and Ring of Honor. The ring is often made out of 2-by-8-inch (5 by 20 cm) timber planks. There have been many brutal accidents, hits and injuries.[47] Many of the injuries that occur in pro wrestling are shoulders, knee, back, neck, and rib injuries. Professional wrestler Davey Richards said in 2015, "We train to take damage, we know we are going to take damage and we accept that."[48]

As of September 2021, 31 years after the 1990 WrestleMania VI, 16 of the 38 competitors had died, including André the Giant and main event winner The Ultimate Warrior, with only two of the deceased having reached the age of 64 (Dusty Rhodes at 69 and "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka and 73).[49]

See also[edit]

Terminology[edit]

Lists of wrestlers[edit]

Types of professional wrestling[edit]

Radio programs[edit]

In fiction[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^"PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING". Lexico Dictionaries. Retrieved 2021-06-18.
  2. ^Grabianowski, Ed (January 13, 2006). "How Pro Wrestling Works". Entertainment.howstuffworks.com. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  3. ^ abcBarthes, Roland (1957). "The World Of Wrestling". Mythologies. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
  4. ^Weller, Chris (September 13, 2015). "Everything you think you know about professional wrestling is wrong". Business Insider.
  5. ^Kenyon, Lou Thesz with Kit Bauman ; edited by J. Michael (2011). Hooker (3rd ed.). Gallatin, Tenn.: Crowbar Press. ISBN .
  6. ^Dilbert, Ryan. "Brock Lesnar and the Best Former Amateur Wrestlers in WWE History". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_wrestling
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The History of Pro Wrestling In The U.S (Part 1)

If you live in the U.S, you may have heard the saying “this is as American as...” It is a common saying that has been around long before you, or me, and it will most likely be around long after we are gone.

I have heard the term as American as baseball, apple pie, and even football. The two words I have never seen thrown in there was pro wrestling, which in a way is surprising if you think about it.

Pro wrestling as we know it has been around for over 100 years and was made popular in the U.S. If you want to be precise on the matter, it started in late 1800’s shortly after the Civil War.

During the hard times following the war, wrestling was a form of entertainment that could be found at the carnivals and other traveling acts. Most were college wrestlers who were looking to make some quick money.

Over time, pro wrestling would start to grow into a very popular social event. By the turn of the century, pro wrestling was just as popular as boxing and baseball.

Frank Gotch and Martin Burns were the main draws, and business was good. Things would start to go sour shortly after though. Soon, the word would be spread that wresting was in the fix.

While it was never confirmed, it was widely believed the word was spread by the boxing commission at the time. Wresting at the time was starting to become more popular and would draw more than boxing.

Whether it was due to sour apples or the fans wising up, wrestling would indeed find itself in trouble. The fans were turning fast on the once-popular attraction, and things would only get worse with the retirement of Gotch.

With no public name to represent wrestling and the swift decline in attendance, things were looking bad for our great pastime. Like a tree that wilts away and dies though, its seeds are often spread and new trees are born.

The new seeds that would become the savior for pro wrestling would be Ed Lewis, Billy Sandow, and Toots Mondt. These three would go on to be called the Goldust Trio. They would shape the way the world would look at wrestling forever.

They would be the first ever to implement time limits and DQ’s. Knowing that wrestling was a work, they would also start using cheating tactics, even while the ref had his back turned.

These are just a few of the changes that would help modify wrestling, though. The trio would also introduce the world of wrestling to signature holds, and tag team wrestling.

Their most innovative and biggest accomplishment, though, was the start of promotions.

Unlike in the past where shows consisted of hired talent from all over, these three decided to hire and keep a stable of wrestlers for long periods of time.

This bold move would pay off in multiple ways. By keeping the same stable of wrestlers this would help keep the fans familiar with the product. It would also help them build up a new fan base wherever they went by advertising the same wrestlers.

Probably the biggest key to keeping the same wrestlers though was the ability to run angles and storylines. Without their wrestlers going to other places and wrestle, they were able to continue feuds for long periods of time.

This formula would keep them at the top of the wrestling world for nearly a decade. Like most success stories, though; they are often copied. This fate would be no different for the three.

Soon local promotions were popping up all over the country. The newfound competition was soon taking its toll on the Goldust Trio. They were competing with local promotions all over the country now.

In the late '20s, their dominance would finally come to an end. Their biggest downfall wouldn’t be from its competition, though. What would end their reign, as the kings of wrestling would come at the hands of Stanislaus Zybyzko.

What was supposed to be a normal dropping of the title went terribly wrong. Zybysko was supposed to drop the belt to a new talent, Wayne Munn. Zybysco would go against the bookers and defeat Munn in order to retain.

To make matters worse Zybysko, out of spite would go on a short time later and drop the title to Lewis' competition, Joe Stecher. Stecher would only make things more difficult by constantly ducking Lewis.

This whole fiasco would cause so much damage that by the time they did get the belt back, it was deemed worthless. It would ultimately cause the demise of the three’s dominance over the wrestling business.

In the 30’s and 40’s the whole landscape in pro wrestling was drastically different. Gone were the days of wrestling at the carnies and farms. We were now embarking on a new business like wrestling world.

While wrestling continued to grow in popularity, promoters were making more money. It was during this era we would see the term “Raiding Talent.” Promoters were seeing dollar signs as the business was growing.

In order for them to stay atop of their competition, they would often sabotage and raid other nearby promoters of their talent. As you could imagine, this led to a lot of bitter fights between companies.

To also make things more difficult, many titles were losing credibility. The reason being is many wrestlers would go to the other promotions as champion. Even the greediest of promoters realized that this was a major problem.

It was because of the concerns for the business pro wrestling, would embark on its most important decision. In 1948 all the local promoters would sign a loose treaty, and the NWA was formed.

It is also worth noting that wrestling purists believe the NWA actually started in the late 20’s. While there is some merit to this because the NWA was formed in the late 20’s. It is also false; the reason being is the NWA tried in 1929 to unify the local promoters.

The first time this was attempted though it would turn out to be a failure. They didn’t have nearly enough backing in order to do this. So that is why the NWA wasn’t officially recognized until 1948.

When the NWA formed on paper, it looked like a foolproof plan. Like many great ideas, sometimes what looks good on paper always isn’t so. The first order of business was to pick a wrestler to represent the organization and unify the titles.

That honor would be bestowed to none other than the godfather of wrestling, Lou Thesz. This wasn’t the original plan, though. At first it was supposed to be Orville Brown who was going to represent the NWA.

As fate would have it he would suffer a career-ending injury after an automobile accident, it was then decided that Thesz was the best man to represent the NWA. This is where the NWA would run into its first bit of trouble.

Not everyone agreed that Thesz should have been the champion. So at first many of the promoters fought hard against him, and refused to unify their titles with Thesz. It would take some time, but eventually Thesz would unify all the titles.

Things at first would seem to run smoothly for the NWA and wrestling. It was reaching levels of popularity never seen before and the money was rolling in. Being in the NWA would have many perks.

For starters if any promotion tried to muscle its way in, it was stopped quickly. If a promotion decided not to oblige the NWA, they were met with violence and sometimes death. Being in the NWA also meant the end of talent raiding.

It makes sense if you think about it. Why would you raid your brother’s talent, when in all likelihood, they would wrestle there anyway? The NWA would share the champions all over and it seemed like they had found a formula that had worked.

Pro wrestling and the NWA were soon on a collision course for destiny. Pro wrestling would be seen on TV sets all over the country. With the coming of the TV era upon them, the NWA would find themselves walking into a goldmine.

With the help of television bookers no longer needed to rely strictly on radio and newspaper to advertise their shows. Now with the help of TV, they could run the stories and angles better.

In the early 50s, the NWA was making money hand over fist. With the help of TV, they were able to promote the local stars and build the arrival of the champ. It seemed like an almost flawless system.

We would see new stars in the making: guys like: Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers, "Gorgeous" George Wagner, and Baron Michele Leone. It was reported that the match between Thesz and Leone drew in a record draw when it pulled in over 100,000 dollars.

As time passed, though, the promoters would start to hunger for more of the pie and more power. By the mid 50’s, though, things broke down between promoters. Many of them wanted to have Thesz replaced.

It was also reported that many of the NWA chapters were working with the outside promotions. Meetings between the chapters were growing uglier. The first break in the alliance would happen in 1957.

It would stem over an angle where Thesz would lose the title to Edouard Carpentier. In the angle, Carpentier was supposed to be represented as the champion along with Thesz. It was supposed to lead into a high stakes match between the two.

The problem with all of this was that Carpentier wasn’t being recognized as a real champ. This would ultimately cause the split and the AWA would officially break away from the NWA.

This would lead us to a new chapter in wrestling history.

To be continued…….

Sours: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/433611-the-history-of-pro-wrestling-in-the-us-part-1

A brief History of Wrestling

Origins

The first real traces of the development of wrestling date back to the times of the Sumerians, 5000 years ago. The Epic of Gilgamesh written in cuneiform, the sculptures and the low reliefs, are numerous sources that reveal the first refereed competitions, accompanied by music. There are also many historical and archaeological traces of wrestling in Ancient Egypt. Among them, it is worth mentioning in particular the drawings discovered in the tombs of Beni-Hassan representing 400 couples of wrestlers. These drawings, as well as many other vestiges, witness the existence of corporations of wrestlers in Ancient Egypt, wrestling rules and refereeing codes.

For the Greeks, wrestling was a science and a divine art, and it represented the most important training for young men. Athletes wrestled naked, with their bodies coated with olive oil and covered with a layer of very thin sand to protect the skin from sunlight or from cold during winter. After wrestling, they scraped this layer off with an instrument called strigil and washed themselves with water. Fights were similar to those of freestyle wrestling, as shown by drawings and inscriptions from that time. The competitor who first threw his opponent or first brought him down - either on his back, hips, chest, knees or elbows - was proclaimed the winner.

During the Ancient Olympic Games, from 708 B.C., wrestling was the decisive discipline of the Pentathlon. In fact, it was the last discipline to be held – after the discus, the javelin, the long jump and the foot race – and it designated the winner of the Pentathlon, the only crowned athlete of the Games. The most famous of all wrestlers was Milon of Croton (student of the philosopher Pythagoras), six times Olympic champion (from 540 to 516 B.C.), ten times winner of the Isthmic Games, nine times winner of the Nemean Games, and five time winner of the Pythic Games. Legend has it that when he tried to splinter a tree with his own hands, his fingers got stuck in the split tree-trunk and he was devoured by a lion.

Rupture and restoration

Wrestling in Roman Times was developed on the basis of the legacy of the Etruscans and the restoration of the Greek games. Wrestling was the favourite sport of young aristocrats, soldiers and shepherds. According to Classius Dion, the palestra was at the origin of the military success of the Romans. In 393, Emperor Theodosius I prohibited all pagan games and outlawed the Olympic Games. Olympic Values sank into the dark Middle Ages, but they were always latent, without ceasing to exist. During Middle Ages and Renaissance, wrestling was practiced by the social elite, in castles and palaces. Numerous painters and writers celebrated wrestling and encouraged its practice : Caravaggio, Poussin, Rembrandt, Courbet, Rabelais, Rousseau, Montaigne, Locke, etc. It is also interesting to mention that the first book to be printed came out in 1500, and that already in 1512 came out the wrestling manual in color by German artist Albrecht Dürer.

The attempts made to restore the Olympic Games were numerous, but it was not until 1896 that they were re-established by Baron Pierre de Coubertin. After the creation of the International Olympic Committee in 1894, the development of new international sport federations and Olympic committees were accelerated. The first Olympic Congress took place in 1894 at « la Sorbonne » and decided of the ten sports that would be part of the Olympic program : athletics, wrestling, rowing, cycling, fencing, gymnastics, weightlifting, swimming, shooting and tennis (see the congress minutes). During the wrestling tournament in Athens, there were no weight categories and all five competitors wrestled under rules similar to those of the professional Greco-Roman wrestling. The matches lasted until one of the competitors won. It was allowed to interrupt and resume the matches on the following day. The first Olympic champion – the German athlete Schumann – who was not a trained wrestler, was also the winner of horse jumping and parallel bars. Schumann succeeded to beat the English weightlifting champion Launceston Elliot, who was heavier than him, by executing a quick and accurate body lock.

In Paris, in 1900, and for this unique occasion in the history of the modern Olympic Games, the Games did not include wrestling in their program, even if at the same time, professional wrestling was at its best shape at the Folies Bergères and the Casino de Paris.

Professional Wrestling

Professional wrestling began in France around 1830. Wrestlers who had no access to the wrestling elite, formed troupes that travelled around France showing their talent. Wrestlers thus frequented wild animals’ exhibitors, tightrope walkers and bearded women. 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 the public to knock them down for 500 francs. In 1848, French showman Jean Exbroyat created the first modern wrestlers’ circus troupe and established as a rule not to execute holds below the waist. He named this new style « flat hand wrestling ». Upon Mr. Exbroyat’s death in 1872, Mr. Rossignol-Rollin attorney from Lyon assumed the direction of this troupe and was soon noticed for his ability to advertise, to « arrange » matches and to reward wrestlers in the name of the audience.

The French influence extended to the Austrian Hungarian Empire, to Italy, to Denmark and to Russia and the new style circulated under the name of Greco-Roman wrestling, classic wrestling or French wrestling. Professional wrestling matches were thus organized everywhere in Europe with variable programs and competition rules according to the taste of wrestlers, of managers and of the audience. In 1898, the Frenchman Paul Pons, also named “the Colossus”, was the first Professional World Champion just before the Polish Ladislaus Pytlasinski. Some other great champions succeeded him, like the Turkish Kara Ahmed (the eastern Monster), the Bulgarian Nikola Petrov (the lion of the Balkans) or the Russian Ivan Poddoubni (the Champion of Champions).

At the end of the 19th century, professional wrestling was the most in vogue sport in Europe, but it started to degrade from 1900 because of the pre-arranged matches, the announcement of forgery, false victories and false nationalities of the competitors. The rediscovery of Olympic amateurism encouraged the creation of numerous clubs and schools that finished professional wrestling off. However, from a historical point of view, professional wrestling has its indisputable merits. Competitions contributed to making wrestling more popular, the physical aspect of wrestlers served as a model to young men and the training system allowed amateur wrestling clubs to rapidly become more structured.

Modern Olympic Wrestling 

In 1904, freestyle wrestling was first introduced during the St. Louis Games and was only disputed by American wrestlers. It was only during the fourth Olympic Games held in London in 1908 that competitions were organized for both styles. At the Stockholm Olympic Games in 1912, freestyle wrestling was again absent from the program and glima competitions (Icelandic wrestling) were organized. Wrestling matches took place on three mats in the open air. They lasted one hour, but finalists wrestled without limit of time. The match which confronted the Finnish wrestler Alfred Johan Asikainen and the Russian Martin Klein lasted 11 hours and 40 minutes and appears on the Guinness Book of Records. Both wrestlers, having the same score, were separated by two periods of three minutes of ground wrestling. The Russian finally defeated the Finnish who weighed 8 kilos (17.64 lbs) more than he did. Exhausted by this match, Martin Klein could not beat the Swedish Johansson who won the gold medal for the 75 kilos (165.35 lbs).

From this date, and encouraged by the newly created International Federation, wrestling developed in every country. Northern Europe countries maintained during many years the monopoly of Greco-Roman wrestling, whereas freestyle wrestling was largely dominated by the English and the Americans. In Amsterdam, in 1928, the Egyptian wrestler Ibrahim Mustafa was the first African wrestler to win an Olympic title. The Japanese Shohachi Ishii won the first Asian title at the Olympic Games in Helsinki, in 1952. Numerous legends shaped the history of wrestling around the world and it would be impossible to name them all. However, four wrestlers have deeply changed the history of Modern Olympic Games by winning three Olympic titles : the Swedish Carl Westergren (Greco-roman wrestling in 1920, 1924 and 1932), the Swedish Ivar Johansson (Greco-roman and freestyle wrestling in 1932, and freestyle wrestling in 1936), the Russian Alexandre Medved (freestyle wrestling in 1964, 1968 and in 1972) and the Russian Alexandre Karelin (in 1988, 1992 and 1996). After obtaining his third title, Alexandre Karelin decided to conquer his fourth title at the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000, but to the general surprise, he was beaten by the American wrestler Rulon Gardner. In 2002, during the World Championship held in Moscow, FILA awarded the title of Best Wrestler of the Century to both Russians : Alexandre Medved (for freestyle wrestling) and Alexandre Karelin (for Greco-roman wrestling), offering them the FILA Gold necklace, award generally reserved for heads of state.

A hundred years after the introduction of freestyle wrestling in the Olympic program, worldwide wrestling entered a new era with the acknowledgement of female wrestling as an Olympic discipline on the occasion of the Athens Games in 2004. This decision is part of the policy of the IOC that aims at establishing equality in sport, and legitimized the efforts made by FILA to sustain the development of female wrestling since the end of the 80s.

History of UWW

History of United World 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). A committee was then created, made up by the following members: Mr. Monticelli (ITA), the brothers van Elst (NED), Mr. Koettgen (GER) and Mr. Stolz (GER). The goal of the Federation was to set in order the organisation of the World Championships.

The first International Wrestlers’ Union (Internationaler Ring Verband) was created on the eve of the Olympic Games in Stockholm in 1912. The organising committee of the Olympic Games entrusted the Swedish Athletics Federation with the organisation of a congress to draw up the statutes and the rules of an international governing body. Two Hungarians were temporarily elected : Dr. Péter Tatits as President and Mr. Mor Csanádi as Secretary General. It was decided that the first congress of the International Wrestlers’ Union would take place in Berlin in 1913. The designation of "First Congress” was a mere formality, since the constituent congress of the Wrestler’s Union had already taken place in Stockholm.

The congress in Berlin took place from June 5th to June 9th, 1913 and the delegates from the following countries participated : Germany, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Hungary, Austria, Bohemia and Great Britain. The International Wrestlers’ Union became the International Union of Heavy Athletics (Internationaler Amateur Verband für Schwerathletik) and was responsible for the development of wrestling (Greco-roman style), boxing, weightlifting, rope wrestling and weight throw. German was adopted as the official language. The length of wrestling matches was set to twenty minutes, with a one-minute break. A board was established, whose members were appointed as follows : President, Dr. Péter Tatits (HUN); Vice-presidents, Mr. R. Preuss (GER) and Mr. Mor Csanádi (HUN); Secretaries, Mr. James Borg (SWE) and Mr. F. Koller (AUT) and Members, Mr. J. Lindstedt (FIN), Mr. A.R. Nielsen (DEN), Mr. P. Longhurst (GBR), Mr. R. Schwindler (Bohemia) and Mr. L. Zsaplinsky (RUS).

Creation of IAWF 

During the Antwerp Olympic Games in 1920, the IOC recommended the creation of independent Federations for each sport. The International Amateur Wrestling Federation (IAWF) was thus created during the IOC Olympic Congress in Lausanne in 1921. The statutes of nineteen National Federations and those of IAWF were approved on that occasion. Mr. Einar Raberg, Swedish official and former wrestler, was elected President. English was adopted as the official language. The new Federation assumed the responsibility of promoting the two wrestling styles and made some corrections to the existing rules. Greco-Roman World championships were organised in Helsinki (1921) and in Stockholm (1922). The creation of IAWF legitimized wrestling towards the IOC, the National Olympic Committees, the National Wrestling Federations, the governmental and non-governmental organisations and the public opinion around the world.

In 1924, Einar Raberg resigned and was replaced by the Hungarian Alfred Brüll, who stayed until 1929, date in which the Finnish Viktor Smeds was elected. In 1946, Viktor Smeds convened a congress in Stockholm and some new members were elected : Mr. Roger Coulon (FRA) as Secretary General, treasurer and technical director, Mr. Vehbi Emre (TUR), Mr. Per Tamm (SWE) and Mr. Streit Jr. (USA) as Vice-presidents, Mr. Ratib (EGY), Mr. Himberg (FIN), Mr. Perrel (NED), Mr. Cortenbosch (BEL), Mr. Mackenzie (GBR) and Mr. Salvatorelli (ITA) as Bureau Members. From this date, the IAWF began to work very actively. New rules were adopted and Roger Coulon organised the first referees’ course in Paris in 1957.

Structuring of FILA 

In 1952, Roger Coulon was elected FILA President and renamed the Federation: International Federation of Amateur Wrestling during the congress in Tokyo in 1954. During the Olympic Games in Melbourne in 1956, new FILA board members were elected : Mr. Vehbi Emre (TUR), Mr. Arvo Himberg (FIN), Mr. M. Mackenzie (GBR), Mr. Ichiro Hatta (JPN), Mr. A. Katouline (URS), Mr. Albert de Ferrari (USA), Mr. Mihaly Matura (HUN), Mr. Anselmo Baficio (ITA), Mr. M. Ratib (EGY), Mr. Per Strömbäck (SWE), Mr. Jules Perrel (NED), Mr. M. Pascal (FRA), Mr. Milan Ercegan (YUG) and Mr. M. Hergl (GER). In 1965, Mr. Coulon moved the FILA headquarters to Lausanne and made FILA the first International Federation to settle in the Olympic capital. In 1967, Roger Coulon created the GAISF (General Association of International Sports Federations) to allow International Federations to better communicate and control the evolution of the international sports movement.

During the sixties, FILA showed creativity in several fields and especially in its organisation. A certain improvement was noticed in the exchange of information with the National Federations : the FILA Bulletin started coming out, the wrestlers’ licences were introduced and a good qualification system for the referees was set up. Under the direction of Mr. Milan Ercegan, Secretary General of FILA, educational videos for referees were first produced.

After President Coulon’s death in 1971, Secretary General Mr. Milan Ercegan was appointed temporary President and was elected FILA President through a voice vote during the congress in Munich in 1972. He published the first book for coaches (Theory and Practice of Wrestling) in 1973 and organised the following year the first coaches’ course in Dubrovnik. He also created the Advanced School for Coaches in 1974. During his 30 years of presidency, numerous works were published, notably the three major books from Bulgarian Professor Raïko Petrov : Olympic Wrestling throughout the Millennia (1993), 100 Years of Olympic Wrestling (1997) and The Roots of Wrestling (2000). In 1994, FILA was renamed International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles after it broadened to other wrestling styles. Thanks to its programmes, Milan Ercegan opened some new perspectives to the promotion of wrestling. He started the ‘FILA Golden Plan’ whose goal was to provide technical assistance for developing countries. At the end of his term in 2002, about a hundred wrestling mats and a considerable number of books, magazines, videos and other pedagogic tools were distributed for free to National Federations. During this period, FILA introduced new competitions to its calendar (junior World Championships and cadet Continental Championships) and Mr. Ercegan revolutionized the world of wrestling by admitting female wrestling as a full-fledged discipline within FILA and the National Federations.

New World of Wrestling 

In 2002, FILA entered a new era with the election of its new President, Mr. Raphaël Martinetti (SUI), Bureau Member since 1980 and Vice-president responsible for the Refereeing Department since 1986. Since his election, President Martinetti has worked under the slogan “Welcome to the New World of Wrestling” and has set up a strategy of modernisation to promote wrestling around the globe. To this day, the activities that have been undertaken or are being undertaken are :

  • The creation of a website and email addresses for all National Federations affiliated, so that all FILA members can communicate effectively.
  • The introduction of female wrestling to the Olympic programme and the consolidation of Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling by seriously amending their rules.
  • The setup of a professional structure for the organisation of the World and European Championships.
  • The signature of numerous TV contracts to effectively broadcast wrestling around the world and the broadcasting of the main Championships via the FILA web TV.
  • The setup of FILA continental training centres in Thiès (SEN) for the African continent, in Sofia (BUL) for the European continent, and in Doha (QAT) for the Asian continent. The centre for the American continent is under construction and, in the meantime, Cuba operates as the training centre for this continent. FILA also financed the centre for traditional wrestling in Niamey (NIG).
  • The setup of the Master degree programme to allow a gradual and progressive learning of wrestling outside the constraint of competition.
  • The moving of the FILA headquarters to optimally fulfil its role towards its National Federations.
  • The creation of World Committees to manage non-Olympic styles affiliated to FILA such as Grappling, Pankration, and Belt Wrestling.
Sours: https://uww.org/organisation/history-wrestling-uww

Wrestling history pro

Pro Wrestling- History, Events and Stars

Prowrestling is a sport where two or more wrestlers duke it out for victory. A match is won when a wrestler pins his opponent’s shoulders to the mat for 3 seconds or if one wrestler submits by nodding his head after losing consciousness, either voluntarily or because of pain.

History

Prowrestling started around 3000 B.C and was a way to show dominance in tribes and villages. Two or more tribe members would wrestle each other to see which one had the greater strength, endurance and flexibility 

In ancient Greece, a form of wrestling called pankration was extremely popular in the Olympic Games that were hosted there. Pankration used no holds barred fighting techniques such as striking, strangling, kicking or gouging. People of that time love brutality of this sport and for the same reason wrestling as well as almost all martial arts were banned during the Middle Ages, wrestling along with other martial arts would start to take form in the late 1500’s and 1600’s, largely from influences of English practitioners who would study and then attempt to recreate techniques that were used by Japanese Samurai when they came back home.

Pro Wrestling as a sport came back in the early 19th century where matches were staged in fairgrounds and circuses across Europe. It was during this period that catch-as-catch can, a form of no holds barred fighting without time limits or points was becoming more popular as well as freestyle wrestling which allowed any type of techniques to be used.

In the early 1800s, an American named George Downing coined the word “prowrestling.” This got a meaning to the native English speakers that meant a show or performance of feats of strength such as circus acts. It wasn’t until later on in the 19th century when “catch-as-catch can” and “freestyle wrestling” were phased out and was replaced by “no holds barred fighting.” 

Modern pro wrestling characterizes two different types of competition: freestyle and Greco-Roman. Both are based on the same technique, which is wrestling with control and without striking (in most cases). The only difference is that in freestyle, competitors can use holds above their waist while in Greco-Roman they cannot.

Events

The first official World’s Pro Wrestling Championship was held in New York City in 1904. Since then, the sport has grown into an international phenomenon that is enjoyed by millions of fans around the world.

The Prowrestling Federation was created in 1948, which later became National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). The name was actual until 1985 when NWA became the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). In 1997, the WWF was renamed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

There are some huge events in pro wrestling and they are The annual Royal Rumble held each January in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the annual Survivor Series which was first held in 1987 and features the same size elimination tag team match as the Royal Rumble. Also, there were four other vying to be crowned champion over a five months period. WrestleMania is an annual event that combines prowrestling with music and shows and is held each April. The most famous and largest of them all was held in 2009 at University of Phoenix Stadium, seating 70,000 people. Also, pro wrestling is popular in sports betting among fans. They place their bets in an online casino, betting shops and bookmaking offices creating quite a revenue for these establishments, especially during huge pro wrestling events.

Stars

Like in every sport, prowrestling has its stars and fans’ idols. Let us talk about two of them that are the most recognizable, even for people not interested in wrestling.

John Cena

This one is already a legend. John Cena is a professional wrestler, rapper and actor. He was born on 23 April 1977. John Cena began his career in 2002 with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), where he held the WWE Championship for a record of six months. He also made two appearances at WrestleMania XXVIII and 29 respectively. He is well known for every wrestling fan, but his name might be familiar to people totally unrelated with prowrestling due to the popular melody from his intro on stage. John Cena won 23 championship belts in his career and he is also a record breaker with the title of longest combined WWE Championship reign at over 434 days. He has appeared on more than 15 video games and has made several appearances at different TV programs.

Undertaker

Undertaker or in fact Mark William Calaway, is a legendary figure in the prowrestling world. He made his debut at WWE Survivor Series on November 9, 1990 and since then he has appeared in over 200 different events. Undertaker was named as one of the most prominent figures of the WrestleMania by winning 21 championships during his career. He characterizes his stage costumes and behavior because he comes into the ring with a full length leather duster which made him look very demonic.

He is known for his various finishing moves like Hell’s Gate, Last Ride and Chokeslam etc. Other than this he is the only man who defeated Hulk Hogan twice at the Royal Rumble event. 

Sours: https://prowrestlingnewshub.com/extra/pro-wrestling-history-events-and-stars/
Every TNT Champion (2020-2021)

Ultimate History of Pro Wrestling - A Time Line of Every Major Event in Pro Wrestling History - INDEX

This Ultimate History of Pro Wrestling - A Time Line of Every Major Event in Pro Wrestling History, is the culmination of research by many of the greatest historians in pro wrestling.  I make mention of several of these by name because, without their research and work, much of the history of wrestling would not be known. 

They are:  Steve Yohe, Mark Hewitt, J. Michael Kenyon, Norman Kietzer, James Melby, Royal Duncan, Gary Will, Jason Campbell, John Arezzi, Bill Apter, George Napolitano, Libnan Ayoub, Gherardo Bonini, Mike Chapman, Hisaharu Tanabe, Don Luce, Dave Meltzer, Bryan Alvarez, Bruce Mitchell, Seth Hanson, Joseph Svinth, Tom Burke, Dan Cerquitella, Vance Nevada, Robert Rothhaas, Greg Oliver, Evan Ginzburg, Tim Hornbaker, Matt Farmer, David Williamson, Beau James, Chris Charlton, Mike Sempervive, John Perlin, Mark James, Graham Cawthon, Richard Land, Joseph Shedlock, Eddie Gilbert, William Schutte, Kris Zellner, David Bix, Scott Bowden, Jim Cornette, Brian Last, Juan Nunez, DA White, Ron Fuller (Welch), Scott Teal, Paul Sosnowski, Keith Shewchuck, Terry Justice, Ken Zimmerman, Jr., Dick Bourne, Dave Millican, Jimmy Wheeler, Fumi Saito, Jim Valley, Evan Ginzburg, Randy Hales, Dale Pierce, Norman Dooley, Tom Burke, Norm Kietzer, John Clark, Don Laible, Georgiann Makropoulos, Mike Rodgers, Rich Tate, Burt Ray, James Zordani, Warren Styles, Dan Madigan, George Lentz, Aaron Gartlan, Rock Rims, Jim Burgett, Andrew Calvert, Al Getz, James Guttman, Ethan Tyler, and many others.

This is a work in progress.  New information is continuously being added to the timeline.

Sours: https://www.whenitwascool.com/ultimate-history-of-pro-wrestling-index

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History of professional wrestling

History of professional wrestling

The history of professional wrestling, as a performing art, started in the early 20th century, with predecessors in funfair and varietystrongman and wrestling performances (which often involved match fixing) in the 19th century.

Professional wrestling is a popular form of entertainment in Australia, North America, Latin America, Europe and Japan. 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. The separation of "worked", i.e. purely performative, choreographed wrestling ("admitted fakery" or "kayfabe") from competitive sport begins in the 1920s.

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. 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.

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. The nature of professional wrestling was changed dramatically to better fit television, enhancing character traits and storylines. Television has also helped many wrestlers break into mainstream media, becoming influential celebrities and icons of popular culture. Wrestling's popularity boomed when independent enthusiasts unified and their media outlets grew in number, and became an international phenomenon in the 1980s with the expansion of the World Wrestling Federation (now known as World Wrestling Entertainment, shortened to simply WWE). Throughout the 1990s, professional wrestling achieved highs in both viewership and financial success during a time of fierce competition among competing promotions, such as World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling.

Since the mid 2000s, there has been another decline in popularity of professional wrestling; Pro Wrestling Noah's Power Hour and New Japan Pro-Wrestling's World Pro Wrestling have been largely relegated to the midnight hours by their broadcasters and WWE's television programs have seen relatively lower ratings, despite reporting record-high yearly earnings in 2018 and a modest spike in interest and viewership in 2019 and 2020.[1] This was paralleled with a renewed interest in competitive combat sports with the rise of mixed martial arts. Despite this, WWE has managed to establish itself as the leader of sports-oriented content on digital viewership platforms, most notably YouTube, where it commands the highest number of channel subscribers and video views for a Sports channel.[2][3]

Origin[edit]

Further information: History of wrestling and All-in professional wrestling

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.[4]

In 1848, French showman, Jean Exbroyat formed the first modern wrestlers’ circus troupe and established a rule not to execute holds below the waist — a style he named "flat hand wrestling". 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. By the end of the 19th century, this modern "Greco-Roman" wrestling style went on to become the most fashionable sport in Europe, and in 1898 the Frenchman Paul Pons, “the Colossus” became the first Professional World Champion.[4]

The modern style of professional wrestling, popularized by the United States and United Kingdom during the late 19th century, is called the catch-as-catch can style. Originally thought of as unorthodox and more lax in style, catch wrestling differs from Greco-Roman in its allowed grapples; Greco-Roman strictly prohibits grabbing below the waist, while catch wrestling allows holds above and below the waist, including leg grips. Both catch wrestling and Greco-Roman were popular, and fully competitive, amateur and professional sports. But, from the late 19th century onwards, a sub-section of catch wrestling changed slowly into the choreographed sport entertainment now known as "professional wrestling", recognized as much for its theatrical antics and entertainment as wrestling ability.[5]

At the turn of the 20th century, wrestling was introduced to the public as part of a variety act to spice up the limited action involved in the bodybuilder strongman attractions. One of its earliest stars was a Cornish-American ex-miner named Jack Carkeek, who would challenge audience members to last 10 minutes with him. The development of wrestling within the UK brought legitimate Greco-Roman grappler Georg Hackenschmidt to the country, where he would quickly associate himself with promoter and entrepreneur Charles B. Cochran. 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. This gave Hackenschmidt a credible claim to the world title, cemented in 1905 with a win over American Heavyweight ChampionTom Jenkins in the United States. Hackenschmidt took a series of bookings in Manchester for a then impressive £150 a week. Noting Hackenschmidt's legitimately dominant style of wrestling threatened to kill crowd interest, Cochran persuaded Hackenschmidt to learn showmanship from Cannon and wrestle many of his matches for entertainment rather than sport; this displayed the future elements of sports entertainment. 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. The resulting loss of big name stars sent the business into decline before the outbreak of World War I in 1914 halted it completely.

The World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship was the first recognized professional wrestling world heavyweight championship created in 1905 to identify the best catch as catch can wrestler in the world. It was also the first wrestling championship known to have a physical representation of the belt. Russian born George Hackenschmidt won the inaugural championship defeating American born Tom Jenkins in New York City.[6]

Wrestling's popularity experienced a dramatic tailspin in 1915 to 1920, becoming distanced from the American public because of widespread doubt of its legitimacy and status as a competitive sport. Wrestlers during the time recount it as largely faked by the 1880s. It also waned due to Frank Gotch's retirement in 1913, and no new wrestling superstar emerging to captivate the public's eye.[7] 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. The three were referred to as the "Gold Dust Trio" due to their financial success. Their promotion was the first to use time-limit matches, "flashy" new holds, and signature maneuvers.[8] They also popularized tag team wrestling, introducing new tactics such as distracting the referee, to make the matches more exciting.[8] 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.

In the late 1920s, the success of the more worked aspects of professional wrestling in America, like gimmickry and submission holds, were introduced to British wrestling. Amateur wrestler, Sir Atholl Oakley got together with fellow grappler Henry Irslinger to launch one of the first promotions to employ the new style of wrestling which was coined "All-in" wrestling. The great demand for wrestling 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. Women wrestlers and mud-filled rings also became common place. In the late 1930s, the London County Council banned professional wrestling, leaving the business in rough shape just before World War II.

Australia[edit]

Main article: Professional wrestling in Australia

Professional wrestling in Australia first gained distinction in the early 20th century, however there were very few shows promoted. Nonetheless, there were stars such as Clarence Weber, Jack Carkeek, Clarence Whistler, and Georg Hackenschmidt. As time went on, the sport's popularity began to grow, particularly in the 1930s as people sought to find relief from the Great Depression. Throughout the 1940s professional wrestling suffered due to World War II but in the 1950s reached new highs as many stars from overseas were imported and created larger crowds and, in turn, a larger market. Established names such as Lou Thesz, Dr. Jerry Graham and Gorgeous George toured the country during the decade.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Australia established its only major promotion in WCW Australia. WCW had a television deal with the Nine Network, the first in Australia to do so and attracted crowds between 2,000 and 9,000 people on a weekly basis. International stars such as Alex Iakovidis, Killer Kowalski, Ray Stevens, Dominic DeNucci, Mario Milano, Spiros Arion, Karl Gotch, Bruno Sammartino, Gorilla Monsoon and local stars Ron Miller and Larry O'Dea were all involved with the promotion which grew steadily through the 1960s and was a well-known product in the 1970s. However, with the introduction of World Series Cricket, WCW was left with no television deal and was forced to close down in 1978. This sent the Australian market into a large decline. With no access to any product anywhere in the world, the Australian market was almost dead until then World Wrestling Federation became a prominent figure in professional wrestling in the mid-1980s.

Australia has depended on the North American product since 1985. Hosting tours in 1985 and 1986 kept a solid viewing in the sport through programs such as Superstars of Wrestling and Saturday Night's Main Event. 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.

Japan[edit]

Main article: Puroresu

The dominant styles of Japanese professional wrestling were set in place by the two dominant promotions in Japan. New Japan Pro-Wrestling, headed by Antonio Inoki, used Inoki's "strong style" approach of wrestling as a simulated combat sport. Wrestlers incorporated kicks and strikes from martial arts disciplines, and a strong emphasis was placed on submission wrestling. All Japan Pro Wrestling, under the direction of Shohei Baba, used a style referred to as "King's Road". The "King's Road" style was in large part derived from American wrestling, particularly the style of top wrestlers in the National Wrestling Alliance, such as Dory Funk, Jr., Terry Funk, and Harley Race, all of whom wrestled for Baba in Japan. As such, "King's Road" placed a heavy emphasis on working of holds, brawling, and the storytelling elements of professional wrestling. Throughout the 1990s, three individual styles — shoot style, lucha libre, and Hardcore — were the main divisions of independent promotions, but as a result of the "borderless" trend of the first decade of the 21st century to have interpromotional matches, the line between rules among major-league promotions and independents has for the most part been blurred to standardization.

Rikidōzanwas a huge star in Japan in the 1950s, and he is commonly credited with bringing professional wrestling to Japan

Puroresu done by female wrestlers is called joshi puroresu. Female wrestling in Japan is usually handled by promotions that specialize in joshi puroresu, rather than divisions of otherwise male-dominated promotions as is the case in the United States (the only exception was FMW, a men's promotion which had a small women's division, but even then depended on talent from women's federations to provide competition). However, joshi puroresu promotions usually have agreements with male puroresu promotions such that they recognize each other's' titles as legitimate, and may share cards. All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling was the dominant joshi organization from the 1970s to the 1990s. AJW's first major star was Mach Fumiake in 1974, followed in 1975 by Jackie Sato and Maki Ueda, known as The Beauty Pair. The early 1980s saw the fame of Jaguar Yokota and Devil Masami. 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. Their long running feud with Dump Matsumoto and her Gokuaku Domei (loose translation: "Atrocious Alliance") stable would become extremely popular in Japan during the 1980s, with their televised matches resulting in some of the highest rated in Japanese television as well as the promotion regularly selling out arenas.[9]

Since its beginning, Japanese professional wrestling depended on television to reach a wide audience. Rikidōzan's matches in the 1950s, televised by Nippon TV, often attracted huge crowds to Tokyo giant screens. Eventually TV Asahi also gained the right to broadcast JWA, but eventually the two major broadcasters agreed to split the talent, centering about Rikidōzan's top two students: NTV for Giant Baba and his group, and Asahi for Antonio Inoki and his group. This arrangement continued after the JWA split into today's major promotions, New Japan and All Japan, led by Inoki and Baba respectively. In 2000, following the Pro Wrestling Noah split, NTV decided to follow the new venture rather than staying with All Japan. Nowadays, however, mirroring the decline that professional wrestling in the U.S. had in the 1970s and early 1980s; NOAH's Power Hour and New Japan's World Pro Wrestling have been largely relegated to the midnight hours by their broadcasters. The advent of cable television and pay-per-view also enabled independents such as RINGS to rise. 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.

Since its establishment professional wrestling in Japan has depended on foreigners, particularly North Americans, to get its own stars over. As a result of the introduction of lucha libre into Japan, major Mexican stars also compete in Japan. The most popular Mexican wrestler to compete in Japan is Mil Máscaras, who is credited with introducing the high-flying moves of lucha libre to Japanese audiences.[10]

Russian Federation[edit]

Main article: Greco-Roman wrestling

The ancestor of modern professional wrestling was the so-called "French wrestling" which was widespread in Europe, including in Russia, motherland of a famous wrestler named Ivan Poddubny. After the revolution, the interest in "French wrestling" faded in Russia. Interest in wrestling in Russia returned in the 1980s, when the Soviet Union began to host performances by international stars. In the 1990s professional wrestling matches were sometimes shown on cable TV or sold on VHS. In the late 1990s-early 2000s wrestling has become more widespread on national television.

In 2002, wrestling federations first appeared in Russia. In November 2002, in Moscow, the Independent Federation of Wrestling held its first championship. Since 2003, the IWF hosts a monthly show, "Danger Zone," since 2005, a special annual show "Wrestleada" with the participation of foreign wrestlers, and the "President's Cup" with mass elimination matches. Since 2010, there has also been an annual show, "King of Hardcore". From September to December 2006 an abridged version of the show "Danger Zone" was broadcast on the television channel 7TV. From May 2007 until the end of 2007 the show "Russian Extreme" aired on TV. After that, it ran from May 2008 to mid-2010 on 7TV.

Mexico[edit]

Main article: Lucha libre

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. The promotion company flourished and quickly became the premier spot for wrestlers. As television surfaced as a viable entertainment medium during the 1950s, Lutteroth was then able to broadcast his wrestling across the nation, subsequently yielding a popularity explosion for the sport. Moreover, it was the emergence of television that allowed Lutteroth to promote lucha libre's first breakout superstar into a national pop-culture phenomenon.[11] In 1942, lucha libre would be forever changed when a silver-masked wrestler, known simply as El Santo ("The Saint"), first stepped into the ring. He made his debut in Mexico City by winning an eight-man battle royal. The public became enamored by the mystique and secrecy of Santo's personality and he quickly became the most popular luchador in Mexico. His wrestling career spanned nearly five decades, during which he became a folk hero and a symbol of justice for the common man through his appearances in comic books and movies, while the lucha libre received an unparalleled degree of mainstream attention.[12] 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. He achieved international fame as one of the first high-flyers, something he was not considered in Mexico where he fell under the mat-power category.[13][14][15]

Luchadores are traditionally more agile and perform more aerial maneuvers than professional wrestlers in the United States who, more often, rely on power moves and strikes to subdue their opponents. The difference in styles is due to the independent evolution of the sport in Mexico beginning in the 1930s and the fact that luchadores in the cruiserweight division (peso semicompleto) are often the most popular wrestlers in Mexican lucha libre.[16]Luchadores execute high flying moves characteristic of lucha libre by utilizing the wrestling ring's ropes to catapult themselves towards their opponents, using intricate combinations in rapid-fire succession, and applying complex submission holds. Lucha libre has several weight classes, many catered to smaller agile fighters, who often make their debuts in their mid-teens. This system enables dynamic high-flying luchadores such as Rey Mysterio, Jr., Juventud Guerrera, Super Crazy and Místico, to develop years of experience by their mid-twenties.[17]

A lucha libretag team match

Lucha libre is also known for its tag team wrestling matches. The teams are often made up of three members, instead of two as is common in the United States. These three man teams participate in what are called trios matches, for tag team championship belts. Of these three members, one member is designated the captain. A successful fall in a trios match can be achieved by either pinning the captain of the opposing team or by pinning both of the other members. A referee can also stop the match because of "excess punishment". He can then award the match to the aggressors. Falls often occur simultaneously, which adds to the extremely stylized nature of the action. 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. As a result, the tag team formula that United States tag matches tend to follow does not apply to lucha libre because the race to tag is not a priority. There are also two-man tag matches (parejas) as well as "four on four" matches (atomicos).[18]

Masks (mascaras) have been used dating back to the beginnings of lucha libre. Early masks were very simple with basic colors to distinguish the wrestler. In modern lucha libre, masks are colorfully designed to evoke the images of animals, gods, ancient heroes, and other archetypes, whose identity the luchador takes on during a performance. Virtually all wrestlers in Mexico would start their careers wearing masks, but over the span of their careers a large number of them would be unmasked. 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. Sometimes, losing the mask signifies the end of a gimmick with the wrestler moving on to a new gimmick and mask. The mask is considered "sacred" to a degree, so much so that fully removing an opponent's mask during a match is grounds for disqualification.[19] 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. However, they would still go to great lengths to conceal their true identities; in fact, the mask is synonymous with the luchador. 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. El Santo continued wearing his mask after retirement, revealed his face briefly only in old age, and was buried wearing his silver mask. With the importance placed on masks in lucha libre, losing the mask to an opponent is seen as the ultimate insult and can at times seriously hurt the career of the unmasking wrestler. 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. In these battles, called luchas de apuestas ("matches with wagers"), the wrestlers "wager" either their mask or their hair.[20] The first luchas de apuestas match was presented on July 14, 1940 at Arena México. The defending champion Murciélago was so much lighter than his challenger Octavio that he requested a further condition before he would sign the contract: Octavio would have to put his hair on the line. Octavio won the match and Murciélago unmasked, giving birth to a tradition in lucha libre.[21]

United Kingdom[edit]

Main article: Professional wrestling in the United Kingdom

At the turn of the 20th century, wrestling was introduced to the public as part of a variety act to spice up the limited action involved in the bodybuilder strongman attractions. One of its earliest stars was a Cornish-American ex-miner named Jack Carkeek, who would challenge audience members to last 10 minutes with him. The development of wrestling within the UK brought legitimate Greco-Roman grappler Georg Hackenschmidt to the country, where he would quickly associate himself with promoter and entrepreneur Charles B. Cochran. 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. This gave Hackenschmidt a credible claim to the world title, cemented in 1905 with a win over American Heavyweight ChampionTom Jenkins in the United States. Hackenschmidt took a series of bookings in Manchester for a then impressive £150 a week. Noting Hackenschmidt's legitimately dominant style of wrestling threatened to kill crowd interest, Cochran persuaded Hackenschmidt to learn showmanship from Cannon and wrestle many of his matches for entertainment rather than sport; this displayed the future elements of sports entertainment. 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. The resulting loss of big name stars sent the business into decline before the outbreak of World War I in 1914 halted it completely.

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. Amateur wrestler, Sir Atholl Oakley got together with fellow grappler Henry Irslinger to launch one of the first promotions to employ the new style of wrestling which was coined "All-in" wrestling. 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. The business was reaching one of its highest points at the time, with the best part of forty regular venues in London alone. 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. Women wrestlers and mud-filled rings also became common place. In the late 1930s, the London County Council banned professional wrestling, leaving the business in rough shape just before World War II.

It was the promoters themselves who revolutionized the business during this time by using America's National Wrestling Alliance territory system under the guise of an alliance of promoters attempting to regulate the sport and uphold the committee's ideas to, in fact, create a promotional cartel designed to carve up control of the business between a handful of promoters - which it did in 1952 under the name of Joint Promotions. By agreeing to rotate talent, and block out rival promoters, Joint Promotions was soon running 40 shows a week, while leaving wrestlers with little bargaining power. One of Joint Promotions' first moves was establishing (and controlling) the championships. At first, this proved a profitable venture, with title matches leading to raise ticket prices. However, perhaps inevitably, attempts to extend this success by bringing in additional titles led to overexposure. While the World and British titles had some credibility (particularly as they were often placed on the more legitimate wrestlers), the addition of European, Empire/Commonwealth, Scottish, Welsh, and area championships got out of hand, and at one point there were conceivably 70 different titleholders to keep track of within Joint Promotions alone.

But while titles had some success, it was television that took British wrestling to the next level. The first show aired on ABC and ATV (the weekend franchise holders on ITV) on 9 November 1955, featuring Francis St Clair Gregory (father of Tony St Clair) versus Mike Marino and Cliff Beaumont vs Bert Royal live from West Ham baths. The show was successful, and wrestling became a featured attraction every Saturday afternoon from Autumn to Spring each year. In 1964, it went full-time as part of the World of Sport show. Televised wrestling allowed wrestlers to become household names and allowing personality to get a wrestler over just as much as size. The exposure of wrestling on television proved the ultimate boost to the live event business as wrestling became part of mainstream culture. By the mid-1960s, Joint Promotions had doubled their live event schedule to somewhere in the region of 4,500 shows a year. Every town of note had a show at least once a month, and at some points more than 30 cities had a weekly date. The success of wrestling on television did however create a better opportunity for the independent groups. The British Wrestling Federation name was used for a rival championship, built around Heavyweight champion Bert Assirati who split away Joint Promotions while still champion and though Joint Promotions vacated the title, Assirati continued to claim it within BWF. BWF would later build itself around a new champion in Shirley Crabtree, a young body builder who won the title after it was vacated by Assirati who retired through injury in 1960. BWF disappeared, together with the young Shirley Crabtree in the early 1960s. The opposition to Joint came from the young Australian promoter, Paul Lincoln.

By 1975, the stranglehold of Joint promotions had almost crumbled, with many of its founding members retiring and the company being bought out several times, leading to the wrestling industry being run by a public company with little experience of the unique business. Finally, promotions were left in the hands of Max Crabtree, the brother of Shirley, who was headhunted by Joint as the most experienced booker still in the business. 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. Basing a whole cartel around one performer, however, though good for television, did nothing for live events and promotion once again began losing interest. On 28 September 1985, World of Sport was taken off the air. Wrestling instead got its own show, but the time slot changed from week to week, slowly driving away the regular audience. 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).

Until 2004, British wrestling took a back seat to professional wrestling in North America as no British television company would broadcast local events. During this time, smaller wrestling companies expanded with evermore growing fan bases. The British style of wrestling is more traditional and technically oriented as opposed to the power moves displayed by their North American counterparts, as well as the high flying lucha libre moves performed by their Mexican counterparts. The slogan/philosophy of British wrestling is simply "We wrestle!"; 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. In 2005, British television network ITV tried to make use of the revived popularity of professional wrestling by starting a Saturday night prime time show called Celebrity Wrestling, featuring celebrities in wrestling style bouts. However, this concept failed due to low ratings.

United States[edit]

Main article: Professional wrestling in the United States

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.[7] During this time, wrestlers were often athletes with amateur wrestling experience who competed at traveling carnivals with carnies working as their promoters and bookers. Grand circuses included wrestling exhibitions, quickly enhancing them through colorful costumes and fictional biographies for entertainment, disregarding their competitive nature.[7] Wrestling exhibits during the late 19th century were also shown across the United States in countless "athletic shows" (or "at shows"), where experienced wrestlers offered open challenges to the audience.[7] 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.[7]

During the late 19th century-early 20th century, wrestling was dominated by Martin "Farmer" Burns and his pupil, Frank Gotch. Burns was renowned as a competitive wrestler, who, despite never weighing more than 160 pounds during his wrestling career, fought over 6,000 wrestlers (at a time when most were competitive contests) and lost fewer than 10 of them.[22] He also gained a reputation for training some of the best wrestlers of the era, including Gotch, known as one of America's first sports superstars.[22] 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. He became the world's champion by beating European wrestling champion Georg Hackenschmidt, both in 1908 and 1911, seen by modern wrestling historians as two of the most significant matches in wrestling history.[22] Wrestling's popularity experienced a dramatic tailspin in 1915 to 1920, becoming distanced from the American public because of widespread doubt of its legitimacy and status as a competitive sport. Wrestlers during the time recount it as largely faked by the 1880s. It also waned due to Gotch's retirement in 1913, and no new wrestling superstar emerging to captivate the public's eye.[7]

Following the retirement of Gotch, professional wrestling (except in the Midwest) was losing popularity fast. Media attention focused on the illegitimacy of wrestling instead of its athleticism, and without a superstar like Gotch, no major personality reached a wide fanbase.[8] 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. The three were referred to as the "Gold Dust Trio" due to their financial success. Their promotion was the first to use time-limit matches, "flashy" new holds, and signature maneuvers.[8] They also popularized tag team wrestling, introducing new tactics such as distracting the referee, to make the matches more exciting.[8] 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. This was the key to their success; they were able to keep wrestlers from their competition, and were able to have regular wrestling cards.[8] Their business succeeded quickly, gaining popularity for its freshness and unique approach to wrestling; a traveling stable of wrestlers.[23] 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.[23] 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.[24] In addition, Zbyszko quickly dropped the title to Joe Stecher, a rival of Ed Lewis, making the situation worse for the Trio.[24] Stecher was afraid of losing his championship, refusing to wrestle many contenders as a result. The Trio responded by calling the Munn-Zbysko match illegitimate, and reinstated Munn as champion, but quickly had him drop it to Lewis. This left two champions, Ed Lewis and Joe Stecher, who were regarded as the dominant wrestlers of the period.[25] Stecher and Lewis did agree to a unification match years later, in 1928, when Stecher gave in and lost the title to Lewis.[25]

1887–1950s[edit]

In 1948, wrestling reached new heights after a loose confederation was formed between independent wrestling companies. This was known as the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). In the late 1940s to 1950s, the NWA chose Lou Thesz to unify the various world championships into a single "World Heavyweight" title. Thesz's task was not easy, as some promoters, reluctant to lose face, went so far as to shoot title matches to keep their own champions popular with the fans.

Following the advent of television, professional wrestling matches began to be aired nationally during the 1950s, reaching a larger fanbase than ever before. 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. This was called a "Golden Age" for the wrestling industry. It was also a time of great change in both the character and professionalism of wrestlers as a result of the appeal of television. Wrestling fit naturally with television because it was easy to understand, had drama, comedy and colorful characters, and was inexpensive for production.[26][27] From 1948 to 1955, each of the three major television networks broadcast wrestling shows; the largest supporter being the DuMont Television Network.[27] By the late 1950s, professional wrestling had lost its high ratings, and producers, realizing that they had overexposed it, soon dropped most wrestling shows from their lineups.[28] The remaining televised wrestling promoters had small, local syndicated shows, which network producers placed as late-night fillers rather than signature programming.[29] Promoters used localized television as a weapon for eliminating the competition by purchasing airtime from rival territories, effectively putting them out of business.[30]

The NWA was the most dominant wrestling body in the 1950s, and numerous wrestling promotions had been under its leadership. Many promoters, however, viewed it as a crooked tyrant, holding back innovative changes in the sport. It was during this time that several promoters found reason to leave the organization, managing to find niches in the United States. The most prominent of these were the American Wrestling Association (AWA), which became the most popular wrestling promotion during the 1960s, and the New York-based Capitol Wrestling Corporation (later named World Wide Wrestling Federation). 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. 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. Named the AWA World Heavyweight Champion soon after, Gagne was the top wrestler, and engaged in many feuds with heel wrestlers, most notably Nick Bockwinkel, and was the AWA's top draw until his retirement in 1981. 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).

1970s–1980s[edit]

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. The WWF, however, rebounded after André the Giant became the company's top superstar when he joined the company in 1973. He was soon the top superstar of all professional wrestling. André became so popular that all NWA territories and the AWA used him, as well. 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. It aired on the TBS network.[31] By 1981, GCW became the most watched show on cable television.[31]

The 1980s — a time known as the 1980s wrestling boom — 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. In comparison to the declining support of media outlets during the 1960s and 1970s, professional wrestling, notably the emerging World Wrestling Federation (WWF; abridged from WWWF in 1979), received great exposure through its reappearance on network television. 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. 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. Most notable was the muscular Hulk Hogan, who marked the 1980s with his "all-American" persona. His sheer size, colorful character, and extravagance made his main events into excellent ratings draws. By January 1984, Hogan's legions of fans and his dominant role in the industry was termed "Hulkamania." The "Rock 'n' Wrestling Connection" was a period of cooperation and cross-promotion between the WWF and elements of the music industry. The WWF attracting a degree of mainstream attention with Cyndi Lauper joining in 1984 and WWF personalities appeared in her music videos.[32]

Meanwhile, the NWA's renowned and highly successful territory system[33] was slowly dying, with Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP) became the center of the entire NWA. 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, to promote the product in every territory. After the WWF gained huge dominance with WrestleMania, Crockett responded to the success of the WWF and successfully acquired timeslots on TBS,[34] and would continue to buy out NWA promotions between 1985 and 1987 as well. The advent of nationwide television also weakened the system. Wrestlers could no longer travel to a new market and establish a new persona, since fans there already knew who they were. 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.

To counter the NWA's primary supercard, Starrcade, the WWF created its flagship show, WrestleMania. Large television networks also took wrestling into their weekly programming, including Saturday Night's Main Event, premiering on NBC in 1985, the first wrestling show to air primetime since 1955. 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. WrestleMania III, with a reported record attendance of 93,173 people, is widely considered to be the pinnacle of the period.[35] 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.[36]

After WrestleMania III, Crockett also acquired the Universal Wrestling Federation – which broke from the NWA in 1986 – and would also establish a second office in their old Dallas headquarters.[37] To fight the WWF's control of the industry, JCP took the NWA's pay-per-view names and used its best talent to draw ratings. Crockett was unable to beat McMahon, however, and McMahon 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.[38] This left him with no viable option other than selling out to media mogul Ted Turner, who renamed the promotion World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and continued to challenge McMahon's monopoly of the industry. Turner promised a more athletic approach to the product, making Ric Flair the promotion's marquee wrestler and giving young stars big storylines and championship opportunities.

1990s–present[edit]

During the early 1990s, the growing WWF was being hindered by competing brands and nagging legal troubles. The largest troubles came from WCW, which competed for fans and dominated the industry during the years of 1997 to 1998. The WWF was forced to change itself to overcome its competition, remodeling itself with added bloodshed, violence, and more profane, sexually lewd characters. This new "Attitude Era" quickly dominated the style and nature of wrestling to become far more teen-oriented than ever before, and made the WWF regain its status as wrestling's top company. The image of WCW changed when Eric Bischoff was appointed Executive Vice President of WCW in late 1993. He signed former WWF stars and departed from their focus on in-ring action in favor of the WWF's approach. The WWF began to suffer immediately and started building new stars. The Monday Night Wars began in 1995, when WCW started Monday Nitro, a show that ran directly against Monday Night Raw. While starting fairly even, the war escalated in 1996 with the formation of the heel stable, the New World Order. They helped WCW gain the upper hand when they became the most powerful group in professional wrestling. WCW also came up with more legitimate, edgy storylines and characters over the WWF's cartoon style. Away from the WWF and WCW, a new breed of professional wrestling was beginning. NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling renamed itself Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and left the NWA. ECW adapted a hardcore style of wrestling,[39] and it exposed the audience to levels of violence rarely seen in wrestling. The unorthodox style of moves, controversial storylines, and intense bloodthirst of ECW made it intensely popular among many wrestling fans in the 18- to 25-year-old demographic. Its intense fanbase, albeit a small constituency, reached near-cultism in the late 1990s and inspired the "hardcore style" in other wrestling promotions, namely WWF and WCW.

In 2001, the WWF (renamed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in 2002) became the dominant company in the global professional wrestling industry with the end of its two leading competitors, WCW and ECW. ECW was in dire financial straits earlier that year and Heyman filed for bankruptcy on April 4, 2001.[40] WCW continued to lose more money and finally ended on March 23, 2001 with McMahon buying it out.[41] The WWE also eventually bought out ECW, leaving the company with no real competition in the professional wrestling market.

With a demand remaining for Southern-style, lucha libre, strong style and hardcore wrestling that WWE was not fulfilling, new promotions attempted to offer an alternative to cater to this niche market. The most successful among these were Impact Wrestling (initially known as NWA: Total Nonstop Action) and Ring of Honor, both started up in 2002. Other independent promotions like Combat Zone Wrestling and CHIKARA also began to gain more exposure. 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".

See also[edit]

[edit]

  1. ^"WWE® Reports Record Results For Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018". corporate.wwe.com. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
  2. ^"WWE Surpasses 60 Million YouTube Subscribers". WWE. Retrieved 2020-09-06.
  3. ^"WWE's YouTube channel surpasses 40 billion views". FOX Sports. Retrieved 2020-09-06.
  4. ^ abAnon. "Roots and history of Olympic wrestling". International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles. FILA. Archived from the original on 11 October 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  5. ^Lindaman, Matthew (June 2000). "Wrestling's Hold on the Western World Before the Great War". Historian, The.
  6. ^https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1905/05/05/100485496.pdf
  7. ^ abcdefThesz, Lou. "Chapter 1". Hooker.
  8. ^ abcdefThesz, Lou. Hooker. p. 45.
  9. ^"All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling". Puroresu Dojo. August 2001.
  10. ^"The Wrestling Gospel According to Mike Mooneyham". Archived from the original on 2008-11-13.
  11. ^"The History of Lucha Libre". Archived from the original on 2012-09-13.
  12. ^"Professional Wrestling Online Museum - Ring Chronicle Hall of Fame Inductee - El Santo". Archived from the original on 2008-12-21. Retrieved 2009-03-28.
  13. ^"Lucha Legends: Gory Guerrero".
  14. ^"Blue Demon". www.internationalhero.co.uk.
  15. ^"Interview: Mil Mascaras and Satoru Sayama". Puroresu Dojo.
  16. ^":: Lucha Libre USA ::". Archived from the original on 2007-01-26. Retrieved 2009-03-28.
  17. ^"Lucha Libre 101".
  18. ^stason.org, Stas Bekman: stas (at). "8.6. Lucha Libre confuses me, what are the rules?". stason.org.
  19. ^"Who Was That Masked Man? - Tempo". Archived from the original on 2009-02-12.
  20. ^"Viva la lucha libre!".
  21. ^Lourdes Grobet; Alfonso Morales; Gustavo Fuentes; Jose Manuel Aurrecoechea (2005). Lucha Libre: Masked Superstars of Mexican Wrestling. Trilce. p. 115. ISBN .
  22. ^ abcThesz, Lou. "Chapter 3". Hooker.
  23. ^ abThesz, Lou. Hooker. p. 46.
  24. ^ abThesz, Lou. Hooker. p. 47.
  25. ^ abThesz, Lou. Hooker. p. 48.
  26. ^Thesz, Lou. Hooker. p. 101.
  27. ^ abAssael, Shaun. Sex, Lies, and Headlocks. p. 10.
  28. ^Assael, Shaun. Sex, Lies, and Headlocks. p. 11.
  29. ^Assael, Shaun. Sex, Lies, and Headlocks. p. 13.
  30. ^Thesz, Lou. Hooker. p. 103.
  31. ^ abMolinaro, John. "End of an era on TBS: Solie, Georgia and 'Black Saturday'". SLAM! Wrestling.
  32. ^Hamir, Jake (March 2006). "Understanding The Mystique Of Captain Lou Albano". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-04-05.
  33. ^"WrestlingTerritories.png". Freakin' Awesome Network Forums :: Freakin' Awesome Wrestling Forum :: (w)Rest of Wrestling. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  34. ^"End of an era on TBS: Crockett, Flair and 'The Clashes'". slam.canoe.ca.
  35. ^Powell, John. "Steamboat - Savage rule WrestleMania 3". SLAM! Wrestling. Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2007-10-14.
  36. ^"411's Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2006: Andre The Giant". 411mania. 2006-01-18. Retrieved 2007-10-27.
  37. ^"Jim Crockett Promotions (1985-1989)". www.kayfabememories.com.
  38. ^"The Royal Rumble".
  39. ^Foley, Mick (2000). Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. HarperCollins. p. 273. ISBN .
  40. ^Loverro, Thom (2006). The Rise & Fall of ECW: Extreme Championship Wrestling. Simon and Schuster. p. 233. ISBN .
  41. ^Beekman, Scott M. (2006). Ringside: A History of Professional Wrestling in America. Greenwood Press. p. 139. ISBN .

References[edit]

  • Thesz, Lou; Bauman, Kit (2001). Hooker: An Authentic Wrestler's Adventures Inside the Bizarre World of Professional Wrestling. Wrestling Channel Press. ISBN .
  • Guttman, James (2006). World Wrestling Insanity: The Decline and Fall of a Family Empire. ECW Press. ISBN .
  • Assael, Shaun; Mooneyham, Mike (2004). Sex, Lies, and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment. Three Rivers Press. ISBN .
  • Bischoff, Eric (2006). Controversy Creates Cash. World Wrestling Entertainment. ISBN .
  • Lewin, Ted (1993). I Was a Teenage Professional Wrestler. Orchard Books. ISBN .

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_professional_wrestling


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