The Wild, Wide World of International Wrestling
Crazy, colorful, popular, and wildly exciting scenes of wrestling in Europe
Pro wrestling has a rich and colorful history. From traveling carnival shows to small arena exhibition matches to the formation of national associations, professional wrestling has become one of the most popular spectacles shown on TV. Wrestling events are broadcasted not just in North America, but also in Europe and Asia. In fact, international wrestling is gaining more and more popularity in countries such as Japan, England, India, and China.
As American pro wrestling gains more viewers, wrestling organizations from around Europe and Asia are also starting to come out of the shadows. From the International Arm Wrestling Federation to the Asian Wrestling Federation, here are some of the most popular international wrestling organizations.
International Pro Wrestling: United Kingdom (IPW:UK)
Established in September 2004, the IPW:UK is aired on Sky Digital and shown in over 20 countries. The organization’s shows are known for fast-paced and hard-hitting action. With talents such as WWE Superstars Samoa Joe, Daniel Bryan, Rhino, and many more, the IPW:UK is one of the frontrunners in the European wrestling scene.
International Arm Wrestling Federation/World Armwrestling Federation
The first World Armwrestling Championship was held in Canada in 1979. In its inauguration championship event, only four countries were represented. Today, the WAF has over 70 countries as members. Fans regularly flock armwrestling events to witness warriors strongarm their way to the championship. Many of WAF’s events are also televised, especially in Europe. Notable champions are John Brzenk, Alexey Voevoda, Magnus Samuelsson, and many more.
Singapore Pro Wrestling
From performing piledrivers in front of small, but very vocal fans to touring Southeast Asian countries, Singapore Pro Wrestling stars such as “The Eurasian Dragon” have seen how pro wrestling in Asia is slowly gaining popularity. A young organization founded in 2014, SPW is one of the leading groups that is slowly gaining ground in the combat sports market in Southeast Asia.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling
One of the oldest professional wrestling organization in the Asia, if not the world, NJPW was founded at the same time that Vince McMahon, Jr. joined his father building the Capitol Wrestling Corporation. The pro wrestling promotion which is based in Japan has been cross-promoting talents from the US. Stars such as Brock Lesnar, Big Van Vader, and Bullet Club’s A.J. Styles refined their crafts and personas in NJPW before becoming superstars for WWE/WCW. These days, Japanese pro wrestling champions are making waves in WWE. The 2016 NXT champs are products of NJPW, Shinsuke Nakamura and Asuka.
The pro wrestling scene is becoming more global. Are you excited to know which foreign pro wrestlers will make breakthroughs in the WWE in the coming years? Comment below, and let’s discuss how the international wrestling scene is becoming more interesting these days. Don’t forget to connect with me through Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads to ask questions about pro wrestling. You can also check my book, a tribute to my wrestling hero, Fritz Von Erich: Master of the Iron Claw.
IPWUK. “About.” IPWUK. Accessed on October 4, 2017. https://www.ipwuk.com/about.
Obaranje-ruke.hr. “Armwrestling – history.” Obaranje-ruke.hr. Accessed on October 4,2017. http://obaranje-ruke.hr/armwrestling-history.
Lim, Jonathan. “Singapore Pro Wrestling, a hidden gem for lovers of WWE.” Mothership. Accessed on October 4, 2017. https://mothership.sg/2015/02/singapore-pro-wrestling-a-hidden-gem-for-lovers-of-wwe.
Business Times Singapore. June 14,2016. “Ready to rumble: Asian pro wrestlers dream of stardom.” Business Times Singapore. Accessed on October 5, 2017. http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/life-culture/ready-to-rumble-asian-pro-wrestlers-dream-of-stardom.
Herzog, Kenny. June 29, 2017. “Everything You Need to Know About New Japan Pro Wrestling.” Rolling Stone. Accessed on October 5, 2017. http://www.rollingstone.com/sports/new-japan-pro-wrestling-everything-you-need-to-know-w490422.