Wrestling is an ancient sport with many legitimate and honorable modern incarnations. But let's face it -- the variation that brings the crowds and the big bucks is professional wrestling. We'll start off with some legit wrestling questions and then move into the world of WrestleMania, Hulk Hogan, piledrivers and steel-cage brawls.
What are the two main forms of amateur wrestling?
Greco-Roman wrestling, in a nutshell, depends on upper-body strength and prohibits most below-the-belt contact. There's much more emphasis on legwork in freestyle wrestling.
When did women's freestyle wrestling become an Olympic event?
Yoshida Saori of Japan won the first women's wrestling gold medal at the Athens games in 2004. She again struck gold in Beijing in 2008.
What do sumo wrestlers use to purify the ring before a bout?
Before every match, each wrestler flings salt into the ring, sometimes as many as three times before the bout actually starts.
How does a sumo bout start?
The exact start varies between levels, but generally, the wrestlers crouch, punch the ground and then leap up.
How does one win a sumo wrestling match?
A sumo wrestler wins by forcing his opponent out of the ring -- or getting him to touch the ground with something besides his feet.
Which wrestler in the 1940s was the first to really promote himself as a character?
George Wagner kick-started his career (and inspired generations of future wrestlers) when he developed the outrageous Gorgeous George persona.
Which famous pro wrestler refused a spot in the Wrestling Hall of Fame because he didn't like the direction pro wrestling had taken?
Citing wrestling's vulgarity and potential harm to children, Bruno Sammartino -- one of the greatest wrestlers of all time -- refused induction into the hall of fame.
What does 'breaking kayfabe' mean?
Kayfabe is the business of portraying pro wrestling as 'real.' It's generally a no-no for participants to lift the veil and 'break kayfabe,' but it does happen from time to time.
What's a 'smark'?
Most pro wrestling fans nowadays could probably be labeled as smarks -- they know full well about kayfabe, but they're still loyal fans.
What's the difference between a 'face' and a 'heel'?
Pretty much every pro wrestler is branded as a hero (face) or a villain (heel), and matches are arranged accordingly.
Do wrestlers ever switch from heel to face?
Yes, a wrestler can go back and forth over time, as did The Big Show over the course of his career.
About how long is the standard pro-wrestling match?
There's no set rule, but referees generally try to move the match to a conclusion if no one's been pinned after 20 minutes.
Which of these is NOT an example of a pro-wrestling move?
There are multitudes of strangely named pro-wrestling moves, but as far as we know, the Arizona rattlesnake isn't one of them.
What's the annual WWE event in which a whole group of wrestlers is dropped into the ring?
In the Royal Rumble, 30 wrestlers are dropped into the ring in a prearranged order. There are no real rules, but the last man standing wins.
What's the worst thing that could happen to a pro wrestler?
A botch, as you might guess, is when a move goes wrong.
Which wrestler was once temporarily paralyzed after a botched piledriver?
At SummerSlam in 1997, Owen Hart botched a piledriver on Steve Austin and broke his neck, leaving him temporarily paralyzed.
In 2001, this performer severely broke his leg in a high-flying leap.
Sid Vicious basically broke his leg in half when he attempted a 'big boot' on Scott Steiner.
Many consider WrestleMania III the peak of '80s wrestling fever -- it was the highest-attended professional sports event in the world. Where was it?
On March 29, 1987, about 93,000 people packed the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit for WrestleMania III.
The main event in WrestleMania III was between these two bitter rivals.
The epic bout between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant (which Hulk won) went down in history as one of the greatest ever.
Are pro wrestling bouts always fixed?
Apologies to any true believers who might be out there, but yes -- the winners are always predetermined.
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