Portal:Professional wrestling

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Professional wrestling, or pro wrestling, is a non-competitive professional sport, which is also considered an athletic performing art, containing strong elements of catch wrestling, mock combat and theatre. It has origins in carnival sideshows in the late 19th century as part of displays of athletics and strength. Modern professional wrestling usually features striking and grappling techniques, which are modeled after diverse sets of wrestling and pugilistic styles from around the world.

Professional wrestling has become a pervasive form of entertainment especially in Japan and North American countries. High-profile figures in the sport often become cultural icons in their native or adopted home countries, such as Ric Flair, André the Giant, Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and The Rock in the United States; Rikidozan, Antonio Inoki, Giant Baba and The Crush Girls (Chigusa Nagayo and Lioness Asuka) in Japan; El Santo, Blue Demon and Mil Máscaras in Mexico; and Bret Hart in Canada. Leading universities have developed courses of study on the cultural significance of professional wrestling.

Professional wrestling is a billion-dollar industry, drawing revenue from ticket sales, television broadcasts, branded merchandise and home video. It was instrumental in making pay-per-view a viable method of content delivery. Annual shows such as WrestleMania are among the highest-selling pay-per-view programming. Currently, the dominant professional wrestling company worldwide is the United States-based WWE, which absorbed many smaller regional companies in the late twentieth century, as well as its primary competitor, World Championship Wrestling. Ring of Honor and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling are two other popular promotions in the United States. In Mexico, the top promotions are Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre and Asistencia Asesoría y Administración; in Japan, it is New Japan Pro Wrestling, All Japan Pro Wrestling, and Pro Wrestling Noah; and in South Africa, it is World Wrestling Professionals. (more...)

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Owen Hart, who fell to his death before his WWF Intercontinental Championship match against The Godfather at the event.

Over the Edge (1999) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), which took place on May 23, 1999, at the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, and is infamous for the death of Owen Hart. The show's seven matches showcased prominent WWF wrestlers, who acted out the franchise's stories in and out of the ring; however, the wrestling industry mostly remembered the show for the accidental death of wrestler Owen Hart.

In the main event, The Undertaker defeated Steve Austin in a singles match (with Shane McMahon as the guest referee) to win the WWF Championship. Of the six scheduled bouts on the undercard, two received more promotion than the others. The first was a singles match, in which The Rock defeated Triple H. The other was an eight-man elimination tag team match, which featured The Union's (Mankind, Ken Shamrock, Test, and The Big Show) victory over the Corporate Ministry (Viscera, The Big Boss Man, and The Acolytes Bradshaw and Faarooq).

Owen Hart was scheduled to face The Godfather for the WWF Intercontinental Championship during the event. Wrestling under his Blue Blazer gimmick, Hart was to make a superhero-like ring entrance, which would have seen him descend from the arena rafters into the ring. He was, however, released prematurely when the harness line malfunctioned, and fell more than 70 feet (21 m) into the ring and died. Criticism later arose over the WWF's decision to continue the show after Hart's accident. In court, the Hart family sued the organization, contending that poor planning of the dangerous stunt caused Owen's death. WWF settled the case out of court, paying US$18 million to the Hart family. (more...)

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Credit:Tony Knox
Jimmy Jacobs posing backstage at an All Star Wrestling show in Hanley, Staffordshire, England in October 2009.

Did you know...

  • ... that professional wrestler Antonio Pugliese was a fan of opera music and would sing opera before his matches?
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