Top WWF Professional Wrestlers from the 70s

By | May 1, 2018

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The Sheik had it easy. Caught here in a tight hold, the Syrian wrestler appears to be anything but comfortable. But The Shiek rallied and foiled Bruno Sammartino at Madison Square Garden. (Getty Images)

Until the 1920’s, professional wrestling in the United States was viewed as a serious and legitimate sport showcasing true athletic competition. Moving forward into the 1930’s, however, professional wrestling became identified with modern day theatrics and "admitted fakeness.” The sport of wrestling had started becoming so scripted that critics began viewing it as somewhat of a joke; particularly in comparison to boxing, mixed martial arts, amateur wrestling, and the real sport itself, wrestling. 

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Andre the Giant

“Impresarios” catapulted wrestlers to EPIC fame!

“Impresarios were the managers who chose how a wrestler could gain fame and interest among the fans, creating personas and improvising matches to make them more interesting. Carnies, who traveled and wrestled at these events, used tricks to protect their money and reputations during competitions, devising little-known and often dangerous wrestling moves, called "hooks." Hooks are illegal in conventional amateur wrestling but have high rates of success against even the most athletic and experienced of competitors, essentially removing rules from professional wrestling. In addition, some spectators capable of beating the carnies roamed the country to compete in open challenges, setting side bets to make money. The barnstormers competed as traveling wrestlers did and often cooperated with the carnies to stage the matches, providing enormous profits for both sides in betting. Through the interest in money-making among the three groups, wrestling became a business-oriented entertainment venue, distinguishing itself further and further from its authentic amateur wrestling background.”