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As a contest of strength, wrestling first emerged in societies to emphasize physical strength and appearance. First in Egypt, as far back as 2000 BC, wrestling acted as a non-lethal contest for ancient Egyptians and Nubians to settle their differences. It then traveled to the Indians, Chinese, and Greeks, who added their own contributions until wrestling was an official Olympic sport with set movements and rules. Through the Middle Ages, France and England used wrestling at pageants and other entertainment events. Modern wrestling as it is known today was formed in the late 1960s with the creation of the USWF or United States Wrestling Federation, a group comprised of wrestlers who were looking to make changes in the sport. After the USWF was created, the different styles of weight listing were solidified in their categories, and tournaments became much more organized.
Wrestling today exists at the high schools, colleges, Olympics, and professional levels. This inlcudes major events like the NCAA Wrestling Championship. The most recognized forms of wrestling are Greco-Roman, Catch Wrestling, Submission Wrestling, and Professional Wrestling. One of the most fascinating forms of wrestling to westerners is sumo wrestling. Sumo wrestlers, who are known to be the biggest in the world, practice a sport rooted in the beginnings of the Shinto religion. Today, Professional Wrestling is undoubtedly the most popular, drawing the most animated crowds across the world with televised WWF and WWE bouts. Both the World Wrestling Federation and World Wrestling Entertainment have made major strides to merge wrestling with more theatrical entertainment. This newly developing area of the sport has incorporated such colorful characters such as “Hulk” Hogan and Mr. McMahon to wow audiences that number in the hundreds of thousands.