The Evolution Of Professional Wrestling Essay, Research Paper
Wrestling is defined as a sport in which the opponents wrestle, or struggle hand to hand. This has been done for thousands of years. Wrestling is probably one of the oldest sports in the world. Along with the discovery of mummies, gold, and priceless artifacts that had not been seen by human eyes in thousands of years. There are pictures of wrestlers within the walls in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs. The ancient Greeks are said to have loved the sport. Wrestling was one of the first sports in the Olympics. Along with the Greeks, the Romans also loved the sport; they would have bouts (matches) that would be held at an arena where thousands would watch. The winner would claim victory and be carried out as the victorious one that he was and the loser would suffer the faith of paying with his life. Many might not know this, but in the Virginia colony, George Washington was a wrestling champion. Abraham Lincoln was also considered to be a great, skillful wrestler. There is a story that says that at the time when Abraham Lincoln received news of his nomination to presidency in 1860 he was wrestling. Carnivals and county fairs of the post Civil War era are the roots of what we know now as professional wrestling. Wrestlers with bizarre costumes, names, and false biographies would wrestle. They would have exhibition matches and would take any challenge from any townsmen who wanted to prove how big and bad he could be. Carneys detested to lose, so if the local man seemed as if he was going to beat the champion, he was tricked and lead towards a curtain backdrop at one side of the ring where another carney would be hiding with a really big baseball bat. As you can see many of these so called champions rarely lost a match. By the end of the nineteenth century professional wrestling was already well organized. Wrestling extended out from carnivals to big city arenas and stadiums. In the beginning a wrestling match consisted of three falls. The winner had to pin his opponent twice in order to be considered the winner. The bad thin though was that the matches had no time limits. Matches lasted from three minutes to some seven hours. In the 1920 s, time limits were imposed on wrestling matches and some people were much happier. The first recognized American Champion was Ed Gotch. He was a great wrestler but he hated to lose. He would do anything to win. Once before a match he sent one of his friends to his opponents training camp. His friend managed to injure of Ed s opponent but he made it seem like it was an accident. His opponent was persuaded to keep the injury a secret and wrestle. He said OK but only if Ed would let him win one of the three falls. Ed agreed but he didn t keep his word, he beat Hackenshmid in the two first falls. The real wrestler was Robert Friedrich. He took the alias of Ed strangler Lewis. Lewis signature hold was the headlock it was so deadly that no one in their right mind would train with him. It was so deadly that he ended up practicing on a dummy. During his career the strangler won over 6,000 matches and only lost 33. Many of those loses were premeditated by his trainers because he would always beat his opponents so easily.
Wrestling began to change and develop with the help of one man, George Wagner. He started the spark in what we call now the spectacle of the sport (entrance). He was an OK wrestler but he was a great showman. He started out as George Wagner (wrestler extraordinaire) and evolved into Gorgeous George. His change was slow. It all began with him wearing an embroidered robe. He went on to dye his hair blonde and delicately waved it. The fans booed and jeered him but they all wanted to see him. I guess you could call him one of the first good/bad guys. His ring entrance elaborately developed into a spectacle. Before he came into the ring a valet with a silver platter would spray George s corner with perfume. Then George would walk in a pompous and arrogant manner down the aisle and along the way and insult a couple of the fans. He would then walk around the ring so that everybody in the arena could admire him. Once in the ring George wouldn t let the referee examine him for grease or anything that was illegal because he proclaimed that the referee was filthy and below him. Now a day the first thing that comes to mind when wrestling is mention is that it is fake and that it is not a real sport. Vince McMahon, the owner of the World Wrestling Federation described wrestling as sports entertainment instead of a pure sport. In my eyes just because it is called sports entertainment doesn t mean that it is fake. Many that believed that wrestling was no challenge have tried to make it in the big leagues but they can t even make it out of the gym. Some of the people that have not made it say that it is harder than it seems. It takes skills, determination and strength to become a wrestler. Wrestlers do not like to be confronted with the words wrestling is fake. Once when John Stossel a reporter for 20/20 accused Dr. Death (David Schultz) of being a fake, David did not take Stossels words in appreciation he clapped stossel over the ears so hard that Stossel believed that his hearing had been permanently damaged. In another case, comedian Richard Belzer challenged the Hulkster, Hulk Hogan, Hollywood Hulk Hogan, or Terri Bolla (whichever name you want to call him) to place him in a headlock. Terri took the challenge and placed a headlock on the comedian. The headlock was accomplished with so much force that the circulation of the blood to the brain was cut off. When Terri released Richard he fell unconscious to the floor. Now I tell you how can you say that wrestling is not a sport and that wrestlers are not real athletes. In order to become a wrestler a person must have the skills, the determination and the strength needed to accomplished the breaking through into the business. I ask you, what makes a wrestler different from a football player, a basketball player, or a baseball player. If they are considered athletes then why are wrestlers not, the same qualities are required for all wrestling is not fake but it is not real. Some of the events and situations that occur within the arenas dealing with the wrestlers may not be real along with their personas or if you may, characters, but the act of wrestling itself is in no doubt real for those who are believers and fake for those certain unbelievers. Wrestling matches may be premeditated and the events that occur during may already be planned but the moves, the athleticism in general is real. If it was not real there would be no injuries but unfortunately there are. Careers have ended as well as lives in the squared circle. Not so long ago the life of a great wrestler known as Owen Hart was lost. He was preparing for a stunt from which he would be lowered down into the ring but something awful occurred. There was something wrong with the equipment and he fell from the top of the ceiling in the arena to his death. Not so long ago after that terrible accident another occurred and the man who some of us know as Droz (Darren Drozdov) was dropped on his head and was paralyzed from his waist down. He has lost the ability to walk, there are possibilities of him being able to walk again but they are slim. Tell me now, how something like this can be called fake. It may be premeditated but it is not fake. Wrestling from the past in no way can compare to the wrestling of today. Today s entrances make the one s of Gorgeous George seem like child s play. They are so extravagant that they have their own theme music and explosion which pumps up a crowd in a way that cannot even be expressed in words. Each person has a persona and a historical background which may be false or may be authentic but it is used to stereotype them. Back in the day wrestling matches could take hours but now a wrestling match may last anywhere from three to ten minutes. Before weapons were sneaked into the ring used and discounted. Now a day anything can and will and probably be used as a weapon such as chairs, bells, bats, and even the ring announcer s tables are sometimes used against opponents. Matches as well as the wrestlers have revolutionized and evolved into greater things. There are many types of matches which include inferno, first blood, buried alive, cage matches, and many others. Wrestling has changed in many ways since it was done at carnivals and under the great big tents, but you will never hear any complaints from me.