Baseball? Football? Basketball? Not one of these can stake the claim of America’s greatest sport. That is a title held solely by wrestling. Not that greco-roman malarkey at the Olympics (the mediterraneans can keep that). No, I am talking about the most electrifying spectacle in sports today: professional wrestling.
“I am a real American,” these five words changed the sports world forever, unleashing Hulkamania on the planet. From the moment Hulk Hogan ripped that first t-shirt from his back, like the colonies ripping free from the shackles of British rule, professional wrestling became America’s pastime. In honor of those immortal words, here are three reasons why.
Reason #3: No Offseason
Every major sport today that declares itself America’s Pastime, whether it’s football or baseball, all have one thing professional wrestling does not, an offseason. Although the length may vary, every other sport has downtime throughout the year where fans are left with only hopes and dreams.
Not professional wrestling though, the athletes work year round, day in and day out to provide the fans with the finest entertainment on the planet. Hard working Americans don’t have an offseason either, they work year round (Europeans take summers off).
Reason #2: Wrestlemania
The greatest show on the planet. It is sometimes referred to as wrestling’s Superbowl. While the two events do share many similarities―millions of viewers around the world, performances by music superstars, multimillion dollar endorsements, and advertising, but there is one very large difference.
How often do you watch “the big game” and feel dissapointed. Weeks of buildup to the pinnacle of athletic ability on the gridiron only to watch a one-sided drubbing. Wrestlemania, on the other hand, always delivers the goods. Due to the fact that wrestling is “real,” they dedicate months crafting various storylines that meet like an unstoppable force colliding with an immovable object, resulting in an unmatched extravaganza.
Reason #1: Honest Abe
And the number one reason professional wrestling is the new American pastime: Abraham Lincoln. Yes, that Abraham Lincoln. The place: New Salem, Illinois. The year: 1831. A young Abraham Lincoln was working as a clerk in a local general store and the owner, Denton Offut, was making the claim that his 6 foot 4 inch employee could best any and all challengers. Jack Armstrong, the leader of a local gang, accepted.
The hype machine was off and running as word of mouth spread to the surrounding counties. Jack Armstrong vs Honest Abe (even his name was built for professional wrestling). The match ended in a draw, but many accounts declared Honest Abe the winner. That’s right, the man who helped preserve the Union and keep America intact was the victor of one of the first professional wrestling matches. If that’s not enough of a reason to convince you of professional wrestling’s title as America’s new favorite pastime, you can get out.
Happy Birthday America!