Welcome everyone to the inaugural UCW Zero blog! We will be using this blog to keep fans up to date on feuds, matches and special events. We will also be using this blog to create a line of communication between us and the fans, so feel free to comment on all of the posts. Now that we have the introduction out of the way I want to share a special message in this first blog post.
In the beginning of professional wrestling it was a competitive sport like baseball, football or boxing. The focus was on scientific matches where competitors would attempt to best each other in a fair fight. Soon promoters realized that fans didn't want to pay to see a scientific match, which would last from 1-2 hours, and its popularity declined for the first time.
The next stage of professional wrestling came with the travelling carnivals. You know what I think when hear the word carnival? Clowns, elephants on unicycles and large tents. I was surprised to learn that most carnivals also had a professional wrestler, a skilled grappler who would perform an exhibition match and then issue open challenges to the audience. 9 times out of 10 the wrestler would win, and the carnival promoters would make extra money by betting on these matches. Of course there would be that odd ball in the crowd who could beat the wrestler, so to avoid this potential threat promoters would plant a person in the ring who would challenge the wrestler and purposefully lose, thus keeping up the image of the wrestler's skill and keep money in the promoter's pockets. Soon promoters figured out that people would pay just to see the wrestlers. Capitalizing on this opportunity these promoters organized several promotions or territories which would travel from town to town in a specific area and apply all of the tools and tricks used in the carnivals to make money.
During this time there were 3 classes of wrestlers. At the bottom of the totem pole were journeyman wrestlers. They got paid the least, were featured at the beginning of a show and were usually used as cannon fodder for the more experienced wrestlers. The next level up are the shooters. Shooters could handle their own in a technical match and in a real fight. The top level of wrestlers are called hookers. These were the most dangerous men in the wrestling business, capable of breaking bones and ending careers. Hookers don't exist in the wrestling business anymore, though some will argue that their tradition is alive in MMA.
Wrestling developed from the carnival world into the business world, a world of big lights, sports articles and big money. However a set back occurred when one promoter who had just been muscled out of the business, overcome with resentment, revealed all of professional wrestling's secrets to the newspapers and brought the sport into its next big decline. This happened right before the Great Depression and would last until the late 40's.
I'll stop it right there. Hope you enjoyed it! Please comment below to fill in the gaps and stay tuned for the next post on Friday the 5th!