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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Kurt Angle defended the TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Samoa Joe at Lockdown

Lockdown (2008) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), which took place on April 13, 2008 at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts. It was the fourth annual event under the Lockdown chronology. Eight professional wrestling matches were featured on the event's card. In the tradition of Lockdown events, every match took place inside a steel structure with six sides, known as Six Sides of Steel.

The main event was a Six Sides of Steel cage match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, in which Samoa Joe defeated the reigning champion Kurt Angle, to win the championship. Following another tradition of Lockdown events, TNA held the annual Lethal Lockdown match, which was contested inside a steel structure with a flat roof; in this match, Team Cage defeated Team Tomko. Two featured bouts were scheduled on the undercard. In an intergender tag team match, Booker T and Sharmell defeated Robert Roode and Payton Banks. The other bout was an Xscape match for the TNA X Division Championship, in which six competitors fought to eliminate each other by pinfall or submission until there were two left; the remaining two then fought to escape the steel structure. Jay Lethal defeated five opponents in this match to retain the championship.

The event marked the fourth time the Lethal Lockdown format was used by TNA, and the first time a World Championship was contested in a Lockdown main event. When the event was released on DVD, it reached a peak position of number five on Billboard's DVD Sales Chart. The professional wrestling section of the Canadian Online Explorer website rated the entire event a 6.5 out of 10 stars, one star higher than the 2007 event. (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.

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