Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Pro-wrestling as a sport died, it lives in Kayfabe

There's a confusion between pro-wrestling being a sport and sport's entertainment in this generation of fans that seems to changing the wrestling business at least in WWE for the worst. Learning the history of pro-wrestling and how it transitioned from a sport to sports entertainment will not only help fans understand where it came from but also potentially help companies understand how to succeed.

Pro-wrestling began in the post Civil War period in the late 1860's where wrestlers were trained in amateur wrestling to compete in carnivals. Gradually, pro-wrestling became entertainment orientated and drifted away from scientific based wrestling to keep the interest of fans. Because of the media's refusal to write on pro-wrestling's athleticism, three wrestlers - Ed Lewis, Billy Sandow, and Toots Mondt formed the Gold Dust Trio promotion to modify the product using flashy moves in an attempt along with tag team wrestling in an attempt to make pro-wrestling more interesting. They also introduced the concept of feuds and storylines by having pro-wrestlers in cards as opposed to having them travel around. 

After pro-wrestling became televised, Gorgeous George was the biggest star to use a charismatic and narcissistic character.
Since then, pro-wrestling has thrived on Kayfabe and entertainment. As a sport, it died off. 

What does this mean for pro-wrestling today? What does this teach us about pro-wrestling today? Everyone should know pro-wrestling is entertainment rather than a sport although there is athleticism involved. If pro-wrestling is to survive, it must adapt to each generation. It must continually reinvent itself and become far more entertaining than it was in earlier generations while refusing to abandon the foundations it was built on.


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