When you watch big name wrestlers perform on TV, you might think these superb athletes were born to be wrestlers. This is because they have great skills and they display many breath-taking moves. The truth is that no one is born a wrestler. The people you see in the wrestling business had to learn their craft the hard way. Wrestling takes skill, talent, patience and plenty of training. This is why many people cannot succeed in the wrestling business. Before discussing some of the people who make wrestling so entertaining, it is perfectly in order to look at the origins of wrestling, the rules of wrestling and other important points.
The Origins of Wrestling
Wrestling is one of the oldest combat sports out there. There is evidence that this sport existed in ancient Egypt and ancient Babylon. In fact, surviving artworks from that era depict some wrestling moves present day wrestlers still use. In addition, wrestling is mentioned in the Iliad and that classic was written a very long time ago. Some experts trace the development of wrestling to Greece and they probably have a point. This is because the Greeks used wrestling to train their soldiers in hand-to-hand combat. When the Romans defeated the Greeks, sports administrators in the Roman Empire borrowed some elements of Greek wrestling but eliminated most of the brutality of the sport. Eventually, the Romans and the Greeks worked together to modify the sport and this is how the concept of Greco-Roman wrestling began.
Wrestling in Different Societies
One good thing about wrestling is that it exists in different forms in many societies across the globe. Many African tribes have their own versions of traditional wrestling. There are varieties of wrestling in Japan, France and many other countries. In many towns and cities of present day Latin America, male children were trained in wrestling because it gave them the ability to defend themselves.
Wrestling and the Olympic Games
The first modern Olympic Games took place in Athens, Greece in 1896. It is on record that wrestling was one of the sports featured during that epic-making event. Since that time, wrestling has become a permanent feature of the Olympic Games.
Wrestling in the Modern Era
Wrestling in the modern era is a lucrative sport. Reputable wrestling bodies organize, regulate and control the sport. Wrestlers are grouped in accordance with their weight and this is why you have wrestlers in the heavyweight, middleweight and cruiserweight categories. One of the most popular wrestling organizations today is (WWE) World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. Other wrestling bodies include Ring of Honor (ROH), Shimmer Women Athletes (SHIMMER), NWA and New Japan pro-Wrestling. These organizations host wrestling bouts, show fights on TV and generally serve as a platform for wrestlers to display their skills.
Wrestling Rules and Scoring
You cannot have a sport without rules of the game. In wrestling, the object of the sport is to pin your opponent. This means you have the opponent flat on his back with his shoulders touching the floor. The referee counts to three and you have won the match. If you do not win by pinning your opponent, you can win if you score more points or if the opponent gest disqualified. You can also win by submission. In this case, your opponent give up the fight by “tapping out” or the trainer of your opponent throws in the towel. Meanwhile there are penalties for infringements like unnecessary roughness, misconduct, stalling and incorrect starting. In wrestling, the referee’s decision is final and dissent can lead to sanctions even after the bout. Note that the rules above do not apply to “freestyle” wrestling and “Greco-Roman” wrestling. Again, Olympic Games and amateur wrestling bouts have their own peculiar rules.
Wrestling as Big Business
Wrestling is not just a sport. It is a big business and the wrestling industry generates billions of dollars in annual revenues. The wrestling organizations and promoters make money from tickets, TV, adverts and endorsements. They also make money from selling wrestling gear. For the wrestlers, things are different because they are paid in accordance with many factors. Generally, most professional wrestlers earn over $500,000 per year. However, this figure is conservative because many wrestlers earn over $1 million per year. Superstars like John Cena and Brock Lesnar earn around $10 million and $6.5 respectively.
Big Name Wrestlers and Colorful Characters
The wrestling business is full of drama, entertainment and hype. This is not surprising because there are many interesting characters in this business. Below are some of the most impressive characters (past and present) in the business.
This man is definitely one of the biggest names in the business. He has won the WWE Championship 10 times and he is immensely popular. He has charisma, stamina, style, physical strength and great wrestling skills.
Hogan was a giant of a man and a superstar wrestler to boot. He had an impressive 300-pound frame, long hair and huge arms. He was also a role model who told the kids to “eat their vitamins and say their prayers”.
This man has 13 World Titles and he is a Hall of Famer. He was definitely one of the biggest stars of his era and his name continues to ring a bell in the wrestling world. His idol is Ric Flair and he has done a lot to emulate that great man.
This great athlete has been a big name in the wrestling world since the early 1990s. He is big and strong and can beat anybody on his day. You may not like his “Dead Man” character but there is no disputing the fact that he is one of the best in the business.
This man is the current WWE Champion. He defeated the great Brock Lesnar to win the title and he is therefore worthy of respect for his ability and achievements. McIntyre is a Scot and he supports Rangers Football Club.
Other Great Names in the Wrestling World:
- The Ultimate Warrior
- Ted Di Biase (The Million Dollar Man)
- Andre The Giant
- Mark Henry
- Dusty Roads
- Chris Benoit
- Ricky steamboat
- Eddie Guerrero
- Jake The Snake Roberts
- Mr Perfect
- Bret “The Hitman” Hart
- Mick Foley
- Chris Jericho
- Ric Flair
This list is not exhaustive but the names above are some of the great men who brought so much joy to viewers across the globe. Wrestling would not be same without these colorful characters.