Early wrestling championships
   HOME

TheInfoList




Early Wrestling Championships started in Ancient Greece. It then spread out to the Celtic culture, North America, and Europe.


Early history

The History of wrestling dates back to the
Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era wa ...
. There were two wrestling championships since the 776 BC Olympic games: a toppling event for the best two of three falls; and the pankration (Latin: pancratium), which combined wrestling and boxing and ended in the submission of one contestant. Upright wrestling was also a part of the pentathlon event in the Olympic Games, a bout being fought to a clear-cut fall of one of the wrestlers. The most famous ancient Greek wrestler was Milon of Croton, who won the wrestling championship of the Olympic Games six times. He won extreme fame in that time.


Wrestling champions in Celtic culture

Early accounts of grappling in single combat can be found in various manuscripts in Old Irish during the 15th century. In the meeting between Cu Chulain and his son Conla they first wrestled before resorting to deadly combat. The style of wrestling they used required the grapplers to grip each other's belts in the opening stance. Various forms of belt wrestling still exist today in
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
. Art MacConn, the father of
Cormac
Cormac
, was said to have wrestled a giant, as well as Diarmuid of Fenian fame. Diarmuid is also credited to have wrestled the champion Dubh-Chosach. These two combatant, though fully armed, chose to thrown down their weapons and meet empty handed. Ossian and a foreign champion also chose to discard their weapons in an individual combat and take to grappling.


North America

Wrestling has existed in the North America since the colonial period of the 15th century. During the 18th Century President George Washington was formerly a wrestler. At the age of 18 he won a ”collar and elbow” wrestling championship that was quite popular across
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...

Virginia
. He was famed for his brute strength and wrestling abilities. At the age of 47, ten years before he became the first President of the United States, George Washington defeat seven consecutive challengers from the Massachusetts Volunteers. Not recorded to have lost the title, Washington's championship regime is indicated to have lasted at least 29 years. It is not known whether a physical form of the title existed as with modern-day championship belt, but it has been historically noted as a championship, one of the earliest in North American history.
Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln (; February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of governme ...

Abraham Lincoln
was a champion of
Catch-as-catch-can wrestling Catch wrestling (originally Catch-as-catch-can) is a classical hybrid grappling style and combat sport. It was developed by John Graham Chambers, J. G. Chambers in Britain . It was popularised by wrestlers of travelling funfairs who developed the ...
during the 19th Century. Lincoln won an Illinois County wrestling championship in 1830.


World Greco-Roman Heavyweight Championship

The World/American Greco-Roman Heavyweight Championship and the World/European Greco-Roman Heavyweight Championship was a
Greco-Roman The term "Greco-Roman world" (also "Greco-Roman culture" or ; spelled Graeco-Roman in the Commonwealth), as understood by modern scholars and writers, refers to geographical regions and countries that culturally—and so historically—were ...
professional wrestling championship A championship or title in professional wrestling is a recognition promoted by Professional wrestling promotion, professional wrestling organizations. Championship reigns are determined by professional wrestling match types, professional wrestli ...
contested for throughout the continent of
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...
,
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
and
North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continen ...

North America
.The title existed from 1875 through approximately 1937.


Other championships in Europe

Professional wrestling matches were organized everywhere in Europe with variable programs and competition rules according to the taste of wrestlers, of managers and of the audience. In 1898, the Frenchman Paul Pons, “the Colossus”, also named “the Colossus”, was the first Professional World Champion just before the Polish Ladislaus Pytlasinski. Some other great champions succeeded him, like the Turkish Kara Ahmed (the eastern Monster), the Bulgarian Nikola Petrov (the lion of the Balkans) or the Russian Ivan Poddoubni (the Champion of Champions).


American Heavyweight Championship

Edwin Bibby Edwin Bibby (15 November 1848 – 5 May 1905) was an English wrestling champion during the 1870s and 1880s. He was a popular Catch wrestling, catch-as-catch-can style wrestler in his generation. He became the first American Heavyweight Champion ...

Edwin Bibby
won the first
American Heavyweight Championship The American Heavyweight Wrestling Championship was the first heavyweight professional wrestling championship A championship or title in professional wrestling is a recognition promoted by Professional wrestling promotion, professional wrestling ...
in New York defeating Duncan C. Ross on January 19, 1881. It was the first widely recognized Heavyweight Championship in North America.


World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship

The World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship was the first recognized professional wrestling world heavyweight championship in the United States created in 1905 to identify the best catch as catch can wrestler in the world. It was also the first wrestling championship known to have a physical representation of the belt. Russian born World Greco-Roman Heavyweight Champion
George Hackenschmidt Georg Karl Julius Hackenschmidt ( – 19 February 1968) was an early 20th-century Estonians, Estonian Strongman (strength athlete), strongman, Professional wrestling, professional wrestler, author, and Philosophy of sport, sports philosopher wh ...
defeated American born American Heavyweight Champion Tom Jenkins in
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
in a Champion vs Champion match to win the inaugural World Heavyweight Championship, the first widley recognized world tite. Its lineage was claimed both by the
WWF Championship The WWE Championship is a World championship (professional wrestling), world heavyweight championship created and promoted by the American professional wrestling promotion WWE, currently defended on their Raw (WWE brand), Raw WWE brand extensio ...
and the
WCW World Heavyweight Championship The WCW World Heavyweight Championship was a professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a form of entertainment and performing art, which combines athletics with performance. It comprises of exhibitions, called 'matches', held by tou ...
, with the two titles being unified by professional wrestler
Chris Jericho Christopher Keith Irvine (born November 9, 1970), better known by the ring name A ring name is a type of stage name A stage name is a pseudonym A pseudonym () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) or alias () is a fictitious na ...

Chris Jericho
at WWF Vengeance 2001 becoming the undisputed WWF World Heavyweight Champion which today is simply called the
WWE Championship The WWE Championship is a World championship (professional wrestling), world heavyweight championship created and promoted by the American professional wrestling promotion WWE, currently defended on their Raw (WWE brand), Raw WWE brand extensio ...
.


References

{{reflist History of professional wrestling Professional wrestling championships