My first year of wrestling was in high school my junior year. I wrestled at Forbush High School in the 106/113 pound weight class throughout this winter sport. Before, I must admit that I did at many different times think that the sport of wrestling was the most dumb and homosexual sport ever. One of my friends came up to me a few months after and asked me what I thought about wrestling. I told him like I said to everyone else, “It’s the most homosexual sport ever created. ” He said, “When you’re out there wrestling, you don’t think about it.
I challenge you to come out this year and wrestle and tell me if you think about anything being homosexual out there. ” I accepted his challenge. My first day of wrestling practice was pretty great; I got to learn some new moves. Shortly after a month had went by, we had our first match. I was the first one up. We shook hands and the referee blew the whistle; it was on then. He took the first shot. I sprawled. I snapped around him to put a half on him to break him down. After I broke him down, I maneuvered a cross face cradle on him to put him into a pinning position.
I held it as tightly as I could, and shortly after, the referee’s hands slapped the mat to signal that the match was over. We went back and shook hands again and right then I realized that I had won my match when the referee raised my hand. It was the most incredible feeling in my life to win my first match in 38 seconds. I told myself that I was sticking with it; I wasn’t going to give up on this sport. Did I think about how homosexual it was? No, I went out there and did the best I could. My friend was right, you don’t think about those kinds of things when you’re wrestling.
Most people tell me each and every day that wrestling isn’t a hard sport or that it’s a homosexual sport. Famous wrestlers are known to this very day for the history they’ve created and made throughout wrestling in their high school or college days. Wrestling isn’t a homosexual sport, and it is by far the toughest sport to play. You are constantly fighting the other person to win just like they are too. For anyone to step on that mat with another wrestler and to come out of that match and say it wasn’t the hardest sport, they’re crazy.
Many legends are the ones that got the sport started. Wrestling is a very important sport. People do not realize the importance of the whole history behind wrestling. Wrestling is a legendary sport. This was invented by the ancient Greeks from a very long time ago. Evidence shows that the origins of wrestling were traced back from 15,000 years ago on cave drawings in the country in France (Olukoya). Wrestling occupied a place in legend and literature as a brutal sport. This was one of the most popular sports in the Olympics (Olukoya).
The ancient Romans borrowed the idea of this particular sport from the ancient Greeks. They made some major adjustments to this sport making wrestling less brutal than it originally was before (Olukoya). During the Middle Ages, wrestling was still a very well known and popular sport to many royal families in France, Japan, and England. Later on, settlers traveled from England to America introducing the sport to early Americans. This sport became popular very fast to most Native Americans (Olukoya). Shortly after began a new era for wrestling.
In 1887, professional wrestling was born when Evan “The Strangler” Lewis wrestled and defeated John Action in Chicago’s very own American Catch-as-Catch Can Championship with an impressive win bringing home the title (Hornbaker). In the 1890s, the first greatest professional wrestler emerged. A man who goes by the name Frank Gotch was a very remarkable success through his own professional wrestling career after winning many championships throughout the United States (“Frank Gotch”). Frank Gotch competed against World Heavyweight Champion Hackenschmidt. Hackenschmidt was a strong favorite to defeat Frank Gotch.
Frank wrestled a rough match, hooking Hackenschmidt under his arms and head snapping him, keeping him at arm’s length and pushing him around the ring. Hackenschmidt began to get tired after over two hours of just pushing and pulling each other. Frank Gotch then took him down and began to work for his feared toehold. After a long hard match, Hackenschmidt told the referee, Edward Smith, that he was finished. He was the first fall to Frank Gotch, and then refused to come to grips for the second fall. Frank Gotch had made incredible history becoming the new World Heavyweight Champion (“Frank Gotch”).
Shortly after began the “First Golden Age” Of Professional Wrestling a man who’s known for the First Golden Age was Don Owens. Don Owens Portland Wrestling Television show began in 1948 and throughout Portland, Oregon as an independent t. v. station until December of 1991 (“Portland Wrestling”). This program was originally founded by Herb Owens (Don’s father) in 1925. Soon after, Don Owns, his son, took over the company in 1942. Don Owens was one of the original founders and is one of the longest members in the NWA known as the National Wrestling Alliance (“Portland Wrestling”).
Don Owens was well known for his business by paying his wrestlers fairly well and taking care of them. This resulted in many wrestlers interested in wrestling for Owens promotions from all over the world. Many big names broke out in Don’s business who wrestled night after night in the Portland Wrestling business. Wrestlers who are very well known to this very day like Rowdy Rowdy Piper, Mad Dog Vachon, Rocky Johnson (Dwayne Johnson’s father), Bob Remus aka SGT Slaughter, and many more had lived on to become one of the greatest professional wrestlers in the NWA (“Portland Wrestling”).
A new era of wrestling was born called the WWWF (World Wide Wrestling Federation). The WWWF was founded by Vince McMahon Sr. and Toots Mondt in the year of 1963 when Capital Wrestling broke away from the NWA. The WWWF performed in the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Boston, Washington D. C. , Baltimore, and other smaller towns as well (Strongbow). A man named Buddy Rogers was selected to be the very first WWWF champion in 1963. He was veteran wrestler at the time and was defeated by Bruno Sammartino after only holding the title for only a few months.
Sammartino held the title until 1971 until he was defeated by Ivan Koloff, who later on defeated Koloff in 1973 (Strongbow). The company was renamed from WWWF to WWF (World Wrestling Federation) in 1979 (“Online World Of Wrestling”). Vince McMahon Sr. sold the company to his son Vince McMahon Jr. in 1983 (Cohen). Vince set out to conquer the wrestling world with his new company. One of Vince’s first moves was signing legend Hulk Hogan who is still considered one of the greatest WWF wrestlers to this very day. He signed Hulk Hogan as an ambassador for his wrestling brand. Vince had found out it was costing him a lot of money to be on TV. nd needed to do something big for his company. In 1985 the WWF made their first impact by Vince getting Mr. T the main event match for the first Wrestlemania event; the WWF was unstoppable. This led Vince’s company to a licensing agreement and a show on NBC Saturday nights. In 1987 a new era of wrestling was highlighted by the third event of Wrestlemania which set the indoor attendance record with an attendance of over 90,000 people. Most importantly, this was the first successful event for the pay per view industry (Cohen). Vince meanwhile seemed to have had some competition with Jim Crockett who had a show on TBS.
On thanksgiving night, Jim Crockett’s first event was called “The Starrcade 87”. Vince however, countered back with his own programming event called “Survivor Series” also taking chances on his next event “Wrestlemania 4” not being broadcasted. Many new main events came into play after the rivalry between Vince and Jim. These events are “Clash of the Champions”,”Monday Night Raw”, and “WCW (World Championship Wrestling)”. However, with this huge competition caused Jim Crockett to spend too much money and go out of business. A man named Ted Turner bought Jim’s company.
In the early 90’s, both of Vince and Ted’s companies were hit with both sex scandals and steroids that almost sent Vince to jail for a long time. Both of these men suffered greatly with the quality of their products. This nearly ended televised wrestling for good. (Cohen). After several bad executive running’s of WCW, a man named Eric Bischoff took over Turner’s business and used his money to attract many wrestlers from WWF and most importantly, he was able to sign the legendary retired Hulk Hogan. He shortly started a program called “Monday Nitro” which competed with Vince’s show “Monday Night Raw” on Turner’s station TNT.
With this the WWF suffered severe results (Cohen). The WWF started to get even worse by losing their biggest stars, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. The two joined WCW in 1996 and formed a new world order with Hulk Hogan. Vince Introduced a new concept of wrestling called “Degeneration-X” that acted in a crude manner but most importantly, it gave the chance for the former WCW star Steve Austin to shine (Cohen). Wrestlers were starting to leave the WCW to go to the WWF. The WCW had to spend a lot of money to prevent this from happening (Cohen).
After the WWF got a new show on UPN called “Smackdown”. Vince Russo of WWF left to go to WCW to become its new booker of WCW. The magic Russo had had failed to follow him to the WCW and ended up costing the company one hundred million dollars in 2000. This caused Russo to lose control of WCW and was bought by Vince McMahon the owner of WWF (Cohen). With this, Vince ended up splitting the company into two brands, Raw and Smackdown. In 2002 the company lost the right to the WWF name and was renamed to what wrestling is known for to this very day, the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).
The major company that went out of business was ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling). This was not part of the WWE at the time (Cohen). In 2005 Vince saved the ECW by purchasing the assets of the company and making it a huge part of the WWE industry. Due to the demand of the ECW, wrestling was able to bring back the name as a third party brand of wrestling for the company in 2006 (Cohen). This was the huge success for the whole wrestling company by keeping wrestling from going out of business and still remains one of the most popular televised shows in the world.