The modern history of Wrestling starts with a rise of interest in the 19th century, which led to the creation of the modern sports of Greco-Roman Wrestling on the European continent and of freestyle Wrestling and collegiate Westling in Great Britain and the United States, respectively.
These sports had enormous popularity at the turning of the 20th century, and still do to this day. In the 1920s, show Wrestling was a form of sport entertainment, which is now known as Professional Wrestling(WWE), separated from genuine competitive sport Wrestling, now referred to as amateur Wrestling.
However, when we take a closer look, it becomes clear that Wrestling has a much longer storied history if you walk back in time.
so lets take a closer look –
There is evidence to suggest though that Wrestling was done in Ancient Sumeria around 3-5000 BC, as well as in Ancient Egypt, and from around 700 BC Wrestling was the main discipline of the pentathlon in the Ancient Greek Olympic games.
Wrestling was a favourite hobby for aristocrats in Ancient Rome, however in around the year 393, Emperor Theodosius outlawed all pagan games and outlawed the Olympic games. Ever since then Wrestling was kept as a pastime in social elite circles, and then in the year 1512 German painter Albrecht Durer became the first person to write a colour book on Wrestling.
Wrestling did not surface again to the masses for the most part, until around 1896 when the Olympic games was reestablished. Professional Wrestling (entertainment wrestling mixed with real wrestling) was popular in France in around the 1830s, there were many excellent techniques though, and it was this French Wrestling form which became known as Grecko-Roman Wrestling that spread throughout Europe.
By the year 1900 Professional Wrestling was one of the most followed sports in Europe, however, interest began to deteriorate around this time rapidly because evidence of pre-arranged matches, forgery, and false nationalities of competitors emerged.
Then in 1904 Freestyle Wrestling was introduced into to the St Louis Games, then from 1912 after the Stockholm games, the newly formed International federation saw every country develop their Wrestling programs. Female freestyle Wrestling at the Olympics was first introduced very recently in 2004, as an establishment of Equality within the sport.
Development of WWE
Then in the 1952 CWC Wrestling was founded by Jess Mcmahon and Toots Mondt, which later went on to become the largest entertainment Wrestling organisation in the world called the WWE.
Now WWE is not to be confused with genuine Freestyle/Grecko Roman/Amateur Wrestling that you see at the Olympics for instance, WWE is a completely scripted Wrestling business with a focus on entertainment rather then solid Wrestling technique – I must confess that as a young 7 year old boy till about 11 years old I was keenly interested in WWE like many of us have in our childhood, but for me my sporting interest switched focus to MMA when I became aware of it at around 11 year old.
However despite being mostly fake Wrestling, Wrestlers do routinely get seriously injured in the WWE, and many Wrestlers have died due to their exploits in the ring, or of a combination of that with performance enhancing drugs and physical and/or mental heath issues in retirement most notably –
Andre the Giant, The Junkyard Dog, Rick Rude, Yokozuna, The British Bulldog, Mr Perfect, Roadwarrior Hawk, Raymond Fernandez, Andrew Test Martin, Big Bossman, Umaga, Bam Bam Bigelow, Giant Gonzalez, Ludvig Borga, Randy Savage and others. Some wrestlers have also died in a blaze of conspiracies connected to the WWE most notably – Owen Hart, Miss Elizabeth, Bastion Booger, Bruiser Brody, Chris Benoit, Von Erich Family, Lance Cade, Dino Bravo, Sean O’Haire, Chyna, Eddie Guerroro, Sherri Martel and Chyna.
While there are countless top tier legitimate Olympic level Wrestlers that have or are competing in MMA and the UFC, fantastic fighters such as: Daniel Cormier, Randy Couture, Georges St-Pierre, Rashad Evans, Matt Hughes, Dan Henderson, Jon Jones, Quinton Jackson and others.
There are very few Wrestlers from the WWE though that transition into the sport of MMA, because going from a scripted combat situation to a real combat situation is a huge difference. But here are some WWE wrestlers that have made the transition to MMA, most notably: Brock Lesnar, Dan Severn, Ken Shamrock, Bobby Lashley, Sean O’Haire, Alberto Del Rio, Dave Batista, Nathan Jones and CM Punk. Aside from Dave Batista, Nathan Jones and CM Punk the other WWE wrestlers that have transitioned to MMA have done so successfully, Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock for instance are hall of famers in the UFC, that are considered massive pioneers within MMA in general.
Some Wrestling techniques i am familiar with, which all require “shooting” into are – Bodylock takedown, Front headlockdouble leg takedown, single leg takedown, Knee tap takedown, High crotch takedown, Supplex takedown.
Wrestling is one of the best fundamental bases to have within MMA, so heres a link to an excellent video on basic Wrestling technique if you are interested in learning the martial art of Wrestling –
If you are interested in learning how to start MMA from home, or just to squeeze more training into your schedule, then read my review HERE.
If you want to look at various techniques right now then go HERE.