Professional wrestling (often shortened pro wrestling, or simply wrestling) is a mode of spectacle, combining athletics and theatrical performance. It takes the form of events, held by touring companies, which mimic a title match combat sport. The unique form of sport portrayed is fundamentally based on classical and "catch" wrestling, with modern additions of striking attacks, strength-based holds and throws, and acrobatic maneuvers; much of these derive from the influence of various international martial arts. An additional aspect of combat with improvised weaponry is sometimes included to varying degrees.
The matches have predetermined outcomes in order to heighten entertainment value, and all combative maneuvers are worked in order to lessen the chance of actual injury. These facts were once kept highly secretive but are now a widely accepted open secret. By and large, the true nature of the performance is not discussed by the performing company in order to sustain and promote the willing suspension of disbelief for the audience by maintaining an aura of verisimilitude.
Originating as a sideshow exhibition in North American traveling carnivals and vaudeville halls, professional wrestling grew into a standalone genre of entertainment with many diverse variations in cultures around the globe, and is now considered a multi-million dollar entertainment industry. In North America, it has experienced several different periods of prominent cultural popularity during its century and a half of existence. The advent of television gave professional wrestling a new outlet, and wrestling (along with boxing) was instrumental in making pay-per-view a viable method of content delivery.
Famous quotes containing the words professional and/or wrestling:
“As a scientist Im afraid Im a professional skeptic who doubts everything, even the certainties.”
—Karl Brown (18971990)
“There are people who think that wrestling is an ignoble sport. Wrestling is not sport, it is a spectacle, and it is no more ignoble to attend a wrestled performance of suffering than a performance of the sorrows of Arnolphe or Andromaque.”
—Roland Barthes (19151980)