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Wrestling is a discipline that requires great physical performance, where two or more people participate in hand-to-hand combat governed by rules. In ancient Greece wrestling was practiced as a sport, but at that time it was in the purest competitive Olympic style. Actual pro-wrestling, in addition to strength, uses combat techniques, submission holds, and acrobatics.
In this article, we will talk about professional wrestling, also called pressing catch, and not as the homonymous sport and similar to Greco-Roman wrestling.
Origins of pro-wrestling
The origin of professional wrestling dates back to the carnivals and music halls of the 19th century, where demonstrations of fitness and strength took place. Modern professional wrestling usually features grappling and aerial acrobatics, as well as various martial arts styles.
But in the 1990s, WWF’s chief executive officer Vince Mcmahon gave a new direction to wrestling by offering entertainment, stories, and characters that would go down in history. The World Wrestling Federation became the World Wrestling Entertainment when it described its events as just “sports entertainment”.
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Over time, wrestlers have become superstars, some even more famous than movie stars. In television programs, the wrestlers tell their story and then jump into the ring to finish their rivalry, fighting for their honor and for a title or championship belt. Every so often there are special events bringing together the most important wrestlers with their stories, creating greater expectation.
Worldwide, there have been many wrestling groups or federations, the most famous being in the United States. But there is also the legendary masked wrestling in Mexico or the most extreme in Japan.
Sport or entertainment?
According to the definition of sport, it is any “physical activity, exercised as a game or competition, the practice of which involves training and submission to rules”. But it is also defined as “recreation, pastime, pleasure, amusement or physical exercise, usually outdoors”. So the same definition refers to both competition and entertainment.
A wrestler is, in a way, an athlete, a person with a certain physical condition. In wrestling, the wrestler does not necessarily need to have a sculpted body. But he does need good cardio to endure the pace of a long match and not get tired too soon. In this context, wrestling is a sport.
But the purpose of the professional wrestler, on a personal level, is not to defeat the strongest wrestler or to be the best. It is simply being the best protagonist in a fight, and win the public’s reaction, for better or worse. His goal is to be the star who entertains the best and raises the most passions, regardless of whether he wins the title or not. So we are not talking about sporting competitiveness, it is a mere spectacle to make the spectator enjoy. Then, in this context, we can say wrestling it´s entertainment.
What do you think? Do you consider Pro-wrestling / Pressing Catch as a sport or entertainment?
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