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Jim Cornette on the Origin of Wrestling Terminology | DARK SIDE OF THE RING


Cornette: Well, I’ll show you a
couple things I’m real proud of. Those are some of the outfits that I wore on Pay-Per-View
or at various points. These are complete runs
of Wrestling, an official wrestling magazine. Marcus Griffin was
a sports writer in the New York area,
and he was able to get in and uncovered how the three
members of the Gold Dust Trio — Toots Mondt as a matchmaker, Strangler Lewis
as a champion wrestler, and Billy Sandow
as the promoter — managed to change and control
the business by instituting finishes, working series of matches
with guys called programs, doing angles to build to more
interest in a return match. They orchestrated that, and all of the wrestling
terminology came from — In those days,
you sent communication mostly by telegram. So, the local telegraph office,
the New York office, would send out
to Baltimore, Maryland, the finishes for the shows. All the guys had nicknames. So-and-so under,
so-and-so whatever — these, you know, shady terms, which became
wrestling terminology because that way, they were
fooling the telegraph operators who were basically
broadcasting gibberish that they couldn’t understand. But the first word —
or the first paragraph — “You call it wrestling,
they term it working. It may be happening right
in your hometown tonight. As Shakespeare once said, ‘A rose by any other name,’
et cetera. Wrestling is the roughest,
most dramatic, and oftentimes
the most hilarious sport before the American public
today.” But then he goes on to mention how it is a multi-million-dollar
industry at that point in time, and who controlled it,
and how and why. And everything that
has happened in wrestling for the last 80 years is kind of a rehash of something
that happened in the first 30 that’s documented in this book. So if you read this book,
you not only understand how wrestling got to be formed
the way it is, the way it was, but why and who did it.

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