Like every great story let’s take a journey to the beginning, professional wrestling began in 1830’s France as a tradition where showmen paraded wrestlers under some cringe-worthy names like “Claude the Steel ester” and would then issue challenges to the public for money.
In the late 1840s, a French showman known as Jean Exbroyat created the first professional wrestling form which he tagged “Flat hand wrestling” with the rule that no holds should be made below the waist, as this wrestling style began to gain fame across Europe and through several countries under the name “Greco-Roman” and then became one of the most attractive sports in that time.
1. THE ENGLISH ADAPTATION
After the “Flat Hand wrestling” had garnered so much attention, it was only going to take some time for a new brand to emerge and in the 19th century, a wrestling style known as “catch-as-catch-can “was created to be the successor the early style of wrestling the catch-as-catch-can style permitted holds below the waist and also allowed its use on the legs.
Towards the latter part of the 19th century, the catch style wrestlers began to evolve into choreographed fighting which led to professional wrestling
2. THE RUSSIAN RECONASSANCE
After the fame of the French “Flat hand wrestling” across Europe, it became modernized as the Greco-Roman wrestling, with the revolution over the “French wrestling” began to fade across Russia but it was to be for a little while as wrestling interest returned when the Soviet Union began to host performances from international stars in the 1980s.
With the increased number of these performances, the wrestling interest continued to grow and became so widespread that some key matches were either televised or sold on VHS
3. LUCHADORES FIRST STAND
Professional wrestling reached Mexico in the late 19th century, at this point it was merely a regional phenomenon until Salvador Lutteroth nationalized it in Mexico.
The entrance of television in the 1950s made broadcasting the works of Lucha Libre creator Salvador Lutteroth a possibility.
In 1942, El Santo made his debut in the ring and became the first breakout star of Lucha libre, Santo made his debut in Mexico City when he won an eight-man battle royal at the age of 21. The public became captivated by his mysterious nature and the secrecy of his personality, and he quickly became the most sought-after luchador in the country.
His career spanned over five decades, and he is often referred to as a folk hero in Mexico. He was one of the first high-flyers in the world. He was not considered in Mexico for his abilities.
4. THE JAPANESE EVOLUTION
Professional wrestling in Japan was evolved by two major styles the strong style implemented by Inoki Antonio and the King’s road style that was an adaptation of the American wrestling style that was the incorporation of brawling, holds and storytelling.
Two major promotions were at the forefront of the professional wrestling appeal in Japan and they were New Japan professional wrestling and All Japan professional wrestling.
Since its beginning, professional wrestling in Japan has depended on television to attract a wide audience. During the 1950s, some of Rikidzoan’s matches were shown on Nippon TV, while others were broadcast by TV Asahi.
The arrangement started after the Japan Wrestling Association dissolved, with the creation of All Japan and New Japan. In 2000, NTV followed the new venture, while still staying with All Japan.
5. AUSTRALIAN AUDITION
Like most of the world professional wrestling made it to Australia in the early 20th century, it gained significant interest in 1930 as it became a way for people to escape the reality of the great depression, its popularity dwindled again due to world war II and then subsequently sprung up again in 1950 and became an even bigger sport as it began to attract foreign wrestlers and pulled larger crowds creating a larger market in Australia.
It became a proper show when the first major professional wrestling promotion was created, the WCW Australia made a deal with Nine networks for TV time and these shows were with an audience of about 2000 to 9000.
6. AT HOME IN THE U.S
Professional wrestling in the United States started during the civil war where several stars traveled and were paid for staged matches, this trend began in the late 1860s and kept on till late in the 1870s.
The circus has been a major player in the professional wrestling line and that did not change on its journey through the united states, like it was first practiced in France different wrestlers who majorly possessed amateur wrestling skills would issue out challenges to the public for money.
In the late 19th century professional wrestling was controlled and dominated by Martin Burns and Frank Gotch.
Martin Burn was quite an imposing figure and with that, he participated in several matches throughout his wrestling career where he took on over 6000 wrestlers and was defeated only about 10 times, He has been credited with training quite an impressive crop of wrestlers.
The late 1940s brought about a new era in professional wrestling as two independent promotions came together to create the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), this proved to be a turning point in the history of wrestling in the united states.
The fanbase had grown by numbers and there became an enormous opportunity for wrestling to thrive, as the demand for it rose the sport became a more and more lucrative means of entertainment this time was tagged the Golden era.
In 1950 the NWA become the principal authority when it came to wrestling in the United States and new promotions were subjected to its rule.
With the autonomy of power, a lot of promotions began to see the NWA as a tyrant organization feeding of the hard work and negating growth and creativity on the side of these other promotions, the promotions would later break out from the NWA and crafted new niches for themselves.
Formerly known as the Capitol Wrestling Corporation, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) was quite the prominent promotion in its early days.
The promotion starred amazing wrestlers like Bruno Sammaritano but in the 1970s wrestling began to take the burner again and the promotion could no longer be independent, it rejoined the NWA.
With the acquisition of a 7-foot wrestler who became a company legend Andre the Giant spurred WWF back to the limelight, Andre the Giant became so popular that the NWA had to use him occasionally.
The 1980s would prove a fruitful time for the organization as they gained their most TV time across which caused a widespread acceptance among the youth of the United States.
The WWF was revolutionized by owner Vincent. K. McMahon coined the niche sports entertainment and focused more on the entertainment than the actual fighting with devastatingly lucrative ramifications.