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  #1  
Old 03-04-2008, 01:02 AM
alice_in_wonderland alice_in_wonderland is offline
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Was professional wrestling EVER legit?

Obviously by the 70s many matches were fixed (I watched a biography of Andre the Giant). Was professional wrestling ever a real "sport"?

Or have the outcomes of matches always been fixed?

I appologize if this is in the wrong forum - I couldn't decide between this, Cafe Society or the new Game Room, but it does seem like there MIGHT be a factual answer.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2008, 08:16 AM
tonedef tonedef is offline
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What? How can you say its fake and fixed? Of course its not, why else would so many man pay money to see big sweaty men group each other?!?
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:55 AM
Freddy the Pig Freddy the Pig is online now
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Professional wrestling has been "staged" at least as far back as the 1940's, when Gorgeous George rivaled Milton Berle as one of the stars of early television.
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:58 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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In the 1920s, wrestling was definitely legit. Once it got on TV, though, it had switched over to purely entertainment.
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:12 AM
Otto Otto is offline
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My brother gave me a book for Christmas (the one time I leave it in the car instead of having it at hand, go figure) that details match fixing going back into the teens and 20s. Bosses of territories, and later syndicates, would award championships to whomever they felt like and arrange matches promoting their "champions" and engaging jobbers to keep them in the spotlight. Sometimes the jobbers, or champions from rival territories, would refuse to go along with the fight as arranged and oh my would hell break loose then.
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:21 PM
Otto Otto is offline
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The book is called "National Wrestling Alliance: The Untold Story of the Monopoly that Strangled Pro Wrestling" by Tim Hornbaker. It mostly focuses on the syndicate that formed in the 1940s but also explores the backgrounds of the promoters who came together to form that syndicate.

ETA: And even though at least some of those matches were fixed, the descriptions of some of them are just nuts. Two out of three fall matches, with the first fall coming over an hour in, the second fall another hour or two after the first and the final fall never happening because the cops came in to bust up the joint. True these guys weren't doing the kind of high-flying high-energy stuff that a lot of people do today but still, four-hour grappling matches, compared to the seven or so minute matches wrestlers do today? Crazy.

Last edited by Otto; 03-04-2008 at 12:24 PM..
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  #7  
Old 03-04-2008, 12:34 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is online now
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I think the “worked” aspect of the business goes back even farther than the 1920s. I’ve seen some citations (that I can’t put my hand on now) that there are post-Civil War references to its worked nature.

Having said that, the “champions” from the 20th century (at least up to the mid-80s or so), were by necessity indeed serious customers that you wouldn’t want to go off-script on in a match. They would make it verrry painful learning experience.

Last edited by Earl Snake-Hips Tucker; 03-04-2008 at 12:36 PM..
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  #8  
Old 03-04-2008, 12:42 PM
Telemark Telemark is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
I think the “worked” aspect of the business goes back even farther than the 1920s. I’ve seen some citations (that I can’t put my hand on now) that there are post-Civil War references to its worked nature.
This is my understanding as well. By the late 1800's it was clear that there was more money to made by making some entertaining matches as opposed to low excitement matches that consisted of hour-long rest holds.
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  #9  
Old 03-04-2008, 12:47 PM
D_Odds D_Odds is offline
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I've been a fan for nearly 3 decades, so I've seen how the style has morphed over that time. It is much more of a sprint than a marathon today. You can tell by the crowd reaction that fans lose interest when confronted with longer matches (over 20 minutes) which need to have 'rest spots'. Only the best can retain the audience on these longer matches today.

One of the bad things about matches like Otto posts is that only a few people get a payday that night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonedef
What? How can you say its fake and fixed? Of course its not, why else would so many man pay money to see big sweaty men group each other?!?
Some of us enjoy the athleticism and in-ring storytelling (although now I fast forward through most of the between match chatter). I still enjoyed Die Hard and all it's sequels even though I knew Bruce was going to live and that all the stunts were pre-arranged. Big difference in wrestling is that when someone jumps off a ladder, or flings himself over the top rope, it is live, and that one move which would have left me lying on the ground in pain for a week is just one of many that the performer will pull that night.
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  #10  
Old 03-04-2008, 01:06 PM
tremorviolet tremorviolet is offline
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I have no opinon on the wrestling but I just wanted to say "yay, you're back!". At least for this one post. I missed you in the last shoe thread.

Last edited by tremorviolet; 03-04-2008 at 01:07 PM..
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  #11  
Old 03-04-2008, 01:17 PM
alice_in_wonderland alice_in_wonderland is offline
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Interesting. I wonder when it became obvious that wrestling was fake. I remember in the 80's watching Stampede Wrestling and seeing Ravishing Rick Rude win every match and snog with some acid-washed, mulleted fox from the audience - obviously fake.

But I'm not sure I think my grandpa would have put up with such obvious fakeness.

Perhaps it was just a gradual progression to the absurdity that wrestling is today.
(No snark here - Mr. Wonderland is a fan.)
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  #12  
Old 03-04-2008, 01:18 PM
alice_in_wonderland alice_in_wonderland is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tremorviolet
I have no opinon on the wrestling but I just wanted to say "yay, you're back!". At least for this one post. I missed you in the last shoe thread.
I AM back! And talking about wrestling of all things.
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