Like in the USA? I know I’ve seen something similar on Spanish TV called Lucha Libre but what about world wide?
Japan most certainly does. A lot of American guys go over there to work.
Japan also has pro wrestling (in addition to sumo wrestling and other competitive martial arts such as K1).
Professional wrestling is very popular in much of the world. It is major sport/entertainment in Japan, all of North and South America, Australia, England, and South Africa. It has some representation in many other countries, and a long tradition in India, but I don’t know how extensive it is there. WWE is catering to India and Arabic countries because of growing popularity there. It has representation in Israel and Russia. I couldn’t name a country where it has no presence.
lucha libre is huge in Mexico.
The UK had domestic professional wrestling promotions televised on terrestrial TV channels until the late eighties, when TV started airing the major US promotions instead.
Most of the well-known British wrestlers of the eighties and nineties (Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith/the British Bulldogs, Chris Adams, William/Steve Regal) got their starts in UK promotions.
Billy Robinson and Alfred Hayes were legends of the 60s and 70s with successful careers here in the US also. Several others were also successful. These were some of the best ‘technical’ wrestlers to appear in the US in that era.
Bret Hart and Chris Jericho have lots of good stories about promotions based outside of the USA in their books. I’d say Mexico and Japan probably run neck and neck with the WWE. Canada used to be huge. If Puerto Rico is still like it was when Bret wrestled there, I’d avoid it.
I considered mentioning Canadian promotions, but since we’re a significant part of the market - and talent pool - for the WWE, I kind of suspected we didn’t count for the OP’s purposes.
There are still a lot of Canadian promotions (I think every province has at least 1, and there’s a whole lot of them in Ontario), although they’re rather overshadowed by the WWE, and I don’t think any of them do televised shows.
TNA wrestling is taping a show in India now with some indian wrestlers and Matt Morgan, Abyss, Scott Steiner, Chavo Guerrero etc.
Canadian wrestlers have provided the talent for US and worldwide promotions for a long time. Many US wrestlers across from the northern US had Canadian relatives wrestling, or learned their art there.
I don’t know about the other countries you mentioned, but I’ve never heard of a professional wrestling match taking place in Israel. Wrestling as a sport is virtually unknown here - Israelis prefer judo.
Ok, first, do you understand the difference between wrestling and professional wrestling?
There are Israeli professional wrestlers. I don’t know how many wrestling shows there are in Israel, but as I said, it has representation there.
Bruiser Brody was murdered there.
I know of a few. Oddly, WCCW --Fritz Von Erich’s long defunct promotion based in Dallas–allegedly ran a show or two in Israel in the early 80s. More recently, a guy named Gerry Roif (or something like that) ran some small time, indy-level shows in Israel in the last decade or so. Gerry’s a…unique personality…and a major Hulk Hogan mark. Think he billed himself as Gerry “Hulk” Roif at one point.
You know, you’re right - the WCCW was inexplicably huge here in the early-to-mid 80’s, and I seem to remember them coming here for an exhibition. And yeah, a Google search revealed a tiny but persistant professional wrestling scene headed by this Roif character. So **TriPolar **- I stand corrected.
I would have gone with “Headbang in Pyongyang!”
You know, down there, it’s a real sport.