10 Wrestling Matches That Shaped Vince McMahon’s Vision Of Sports Entertainment

"Well sir, we promised you a great main event."

WWE.com

The problem with apportioning credit within the wrestling world is that it is an industry predicated on secrecy, ego and oneupmanship.

It has been written, somewhere in the reaches of cyberspace, that the first ever steel cage match took place in the 1930s. There are few official records, but instead a vague and often contradictory shared history, as fuelled by competition and as obfuscated as the business it documents. To underscore that point, nobody knows for sure which was the first worked pro wrestling match - though Lancashire is credited as the birthplace of the ancestral catch as catch can style, which was later adapted to predetermine match outcomes in the name of money.

It's a near impossible task, determining which was the very first match to deviate from the marathon, submission-exclusive slog mode, the very first to feature within it the Irish whip. Who was the very first combatant to fling themselves from the rope? Who was the very first to kick-out of a finishing move? We know who was the first to kick out after taking fourteen - John Cena - but who was the first not to kick out at two, but to kick out of one, altogether?

This is not a definitive list - there are long-dead innovators whose work has been obscured by a conflicting set of records - but what follows is an attempt to determine the origin points of Vince McMahon's sports entertainment (even if indirectly) as we know it today...

Contributor
Contributor

Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!