Modern professional wrestling was spawned by a unique mixture of wrestling styles.  Most
notably, it developed from the Lancashire catch-as-catch-can wrestling methods that were
brought to the United States from England during the latter stages of the 19th Century.  In
other parts of Europe and Russia, Greco-Roman wrestling was the style of choice for
athletes.  Later, the "All-In" style of wrestling in England was more in tune with the dramatic
changes in pro wrestling occurring in the United States, and it meant that all holds were
permitted.  It also allowed for a very loose regulation of any rules in the wrestling ring.  The
sport was in the midst of changing over from what was acknowledged as being closer to a
legitimate form of athletics to "pro rasslin," a wild form of entertainment.

Many wrestling legends earned their stripes in both Europe and North America, including
George Hackenschmidt, Stanislaus Zbyszko, "Whipper" Billy Watson, Frank Sexton, and Karl

Thanks to Ronald Grosspietsch for his contributions to the European wrestling research on
this site.

Read more about the history of pro wrestling in the following areas:

Great Britain




European Professional Wrestling
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