Professional wrestling has ceased to be a sport, and is now classified with the circus and other like attractions. The outstanding contestants are more interested in barnstorming and acquiring the coin of the realm than bothering with real competition for the so-called honor of a championship.
John V. Clinnen, President, National Boxing Association
TORONTO DAILY STAR, January 9, 1931

Unfortunately, the crowds of today -- who are accustomed to seeing rough-and- tumble acrobatic feats wrongly called wrestling -- failed to appreciate the fine work of the grapplers and hissed and booed. Apparently they don't want wrestling.
THE RING, February 1933

The Ontario Athletic Commission now officially admits that it knows what everyone else who could find his way about without a dog and cane knew three years ago -- that these rousing affairs have always been just exhibitions of rough and tumble mat acrobatics, with enough wrestling thrown in to give them an excuse for billing these jousts as wrestling bouts. The public has long known that it is all just a good night's entertainment.
Lou Marsh, TORONTO DAILY STAR, February 3, 1933

Wrestling fans are becoming disgusted with the phoney endings to the matches they've witnessed in the past months. Such tactics are slowly destroying the sport and promoters should come to such realization. They fail to realize that the public has been wised up to those abuses and makes itself conspicuous by remaining at home. It's rather hard to believe that promoters could be so dumb.
Tex Austin, THE RING, July 1933

Regardless of any pre-arrangement, there can be no kick by the fans because they know what to expect and get what they come to see -- good entertainment. That's all wrestling is nowadays. Legitimate competition is gone. The days of real, honest-to- goodness wrestling matches are things of the past and we all might just as well get accustomed to the other type because it is the only kind we can see in these days of commercialized sport.
Edward Merrill, THE RING, October 1934

Wrestling may be largely acrobatics, but even those who pay to see it insist that the champion know a flying mare from a flying trapeze.
Galesburg Daily Register-Mail, December 3, 1935


Deceased Pro Wrestlers
Over 1,500 wrestlers, managers, referees, and announcers of the past are paid tribute on the Deceased Wrestlers List. Also includes full necrologies from recent years.

Toronto Wrestling History Toronto Wrestling History features a small but growing collection of stories and newspaper clips about Toronto wrestling through the 20th century.

Hall of Fame Be sure to visit the Canadian Pro Wrestling Page of Fame. It profiles Canada's top wrestlers of the past and present, including Whipper Watson, Yvon Robert, Gene Kiniski, Killer Kowalski, Bret Hart, and more.


Some other useful Web sites for pro wrestling history:

Wrestling today is an entertainment. The matmen perform like acrobats -- not to show their skill but to make the spectators laugh and shout as the grapplers kick, punch, pull, slap, bite, and go through all kinds of stunts -- anything but wrestle.

The promoter cannot and should not be blamed for that condition. He has his money invested and he gives the fans what they want to see. But just as long as wrestling in its present form arouses the fans' interest, pleases them, holds their attention, why worry whether wrestling is on the level or just a lot of hokum.
Nat Fleischer, THE RING, March 1938

The first of the wrestling freaks appeared in 1936 in the person of Ali Baba. Then came the blimps, the hillbillies, and the angels. The introduction of these freaks caused the end of wrestling as it used to be. It paid off to the promoters but it ruined the sport in the opinion of the sporting public.
Stanley Weston, THE RING, March 1947

A New Hampshire legislative committee Thursday classified professional wrestling as "vaudeville" rather than a sport. A bill abolishing state supervsision over wrestling received unanimous approval after Chairman Howard Northridge of the State Athletic Commission said: "All wrestling bouts are fixed and everyone knows it. For that reason we cannot throw out all bouts in which we know there is collusion because then there would be no wrestling bouts."
ASSOCIATED PRESS, April 11, 1947

Today, the headlock is a lost art. It provides little action and therefore doesn't fit into the present pattern of the sport. The people who attend matches nowadays roar their disapproval when the excitement slackens off for even a few moments.
Stanley Weston, THE RING, July 1951

Whereas this once was recognized as a sport it now is sheer entertainment for a certain clientele and it has been helped tremendously by televison although there is a thought held by some of the promoters that the TV shows have swung too far to the ridiculous.
Ernest Mehl, KANSAS CITY STAR, January 22, 1952