eli5 wrestling champions


Ok I’m not from usa, so I dont really underestand wrestling. As far as I know its a scripted sketch with real phisical skill necessary to perform the act. But I keep reading about old champions or the first xxx race champion etc. What do you mean champion? If those are actors, so to speak, there are no champion, there is a script to follow. Its like saying Arnold swarzneger was the first terminator to defeat the advanced model in terminator2, what
? Please eli5.

In: 31

“Professional” wrestling is *sports entertainment*. Just like the show *Whose Line Is It Anyway?*, sports entertainment is just what you imply: everything’s made up and the points don’t matter.

“Championship titles” are simply plot devices that hook the audience and sustain interest.

Professional wrestling is not a sport. It’s a drama where the winners and losers are decided ahead of time, based on what makes for the best story. There’s a person in charge of the production who decides who wins and who loses, and who should be a champion.

Think of it like watching a TV drama about a sports competition. The show has people win and lose, but while that’s part of the show’s writing, it’s still interesting to watch. You cheer for your favorite character and hope to see them do well.

And yes, being a champion does just mean that the people in charge of the wrestling promotion believe that person should win, but it also means that they think that person is a star who is popular and will get people excited to watch the show. It’s not the same thing as a legitimate athletic championship, but it’s like saying “This person was the first Captain in Star Trek” or “This person was the first black superhero.”

“Professional” wrestling is mostly scripted, it’s an acrobatic show with a lot of mostly fake “attitude” to give people something fun to watch. It’s like a semi scripted, semi-improvised performance art where the wrestlers and owners of the company come up with storylines to entertain the fans. A lot of them are former collegiate athletes who actually know how to wrestle at an olympic level. But that doesn’t get them any money, the entertainment business of jumping off of ropes every other night does.

Okay so I’m guessing this might be a follow on to the First Native American wrestling champion post on the front page.

To help get this, there are two types of wrestling that are prominent.
There’s the sport wrestling, [like the kind in the Olympics, schools, colleges and clubs](https://images.nbcolympics.com/sites/default/files/2021-03/wrestling-101-equipment.jpg?impolicy=rect_small_384_216). This is a martial art. These are not scripted. It’s an athletic competition.

Then there’s the [Professional Wrestling/ Sport Entertainment which](https://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/3c6f8ca71259ce9673c6821b3cda4a42aa656298/c=0-224-5177-3149/local/-/media/2017/05/02/USATODAY/USATODAY/636293254938396794-DARK-02282017rf-0072.jpg?width=660&height=373&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp) is the scripted (though still athletically impressive) staged matches.

While it’s still wrestling in a way, it’s akin to watching a movie about racing, opposed to just watching a race.

Modern professional wrestling evolved from basically a carnival exhibition. Talented amateur wrestlers would be hired to challenge guests to a match, and there would typically be a prize on the line. The promoter had to trust that they wrestler he hired would be able to beat any challenger, so no prizes would be won. It was entertaining for the onlookers, so promoters eventually saw the benefit of putting on matches in which both competitors were paid, so as to control the result.


From there, they knew people would pay admission fees to see the guy who won the tournament at their local fair take on the champion from another town. If both guys were hired, the matches they could put on could be choreographed to be as entertaining as possible; performing moves that shouldn’t be able to happen. The Championship belts were “won” (awarded to) the guys who reliably would draw the most money from ticket sales, or to someone evil and dastardly who could be chased down and eventually conquered by the valiant hero. The belt, more than anything else, signified to the audience who the “best” performers were and which story to pay close attention to.