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Wrestling was invented by ancient civilizations over 15,000 years ago.

It is one of the oldest and most universal forms of combat sport.

Throughout history, wrestling has evolved and played a significant role in various cultures.

If you’re interested in a deep dive into the rich history of the sport, don’t miss our comprehensive Wrestling History article!

Wrestling Invention Timeline

  • 15,000 years ago: Early depiction of wrestling in prehistoric cave drawings and art.
  • 8th century BCE: Wrestling introduced in the Ancient Olympic Games in Greece.
  • 1440s: Greco-Roman wrestling develops in Europe; Sumo wrestling gains popularity in Japan.
  • 17th century: Distinct regional wrestling styles emerge throughout Europe and the Americas.
  • 19th century: Wrestling’s spread worldwide, championships held; professional wrestling begins taking shape.
  • 1904: Freestyle wrestling debuts at the modern Olympic Games in St. Louis.
  • 1920s: Professional wrestling booms with theatrical narratives and rivalries.
  • 1950s-1960s: Television boosts professional wrestling’s popularity, regional promotions rise.
  • 1970s: Expansion of international wrestling; NWA and AWA become prominent organizations.
  • 1980s-1990s: Golden era of wrestling with WWF, WrestleMania; rise of ECW, WCW.
  • 2000s-present: Global expansion of WWE, digital innovations, emergence of new promotions.

Facts known about Wrestling Invention

  1. Ancient Origins: Wrestling dates back to prehistoric times and ancient civilizations, making it one of the oldest sports and combat forms.
  2. Olympic Heritage: Wrestling has a strong presence in both the ancient and modern Olympic Games, showcasing its significance throughout history.
  3. Cultural Diversity: Various cultures, including the Greeks, Japanese, Native Americans, and Europeans, have their distinct wrestling styles and techniques.
  4. Professional Evolution: Over time, wrestling evolved from pure combat to a blend of athleticism and entertainment resulting in the modern professional wrestling.
  5. Global Expansion: The wrestling world expanded globally with iconic promotions like WWE and the rise of new organizations such as NJPW and AEW.


Who invented Wrestling?

Wrestling does not have a specific inventor as it’s a sport that dates back to prehistoric times. It’s thought to be one of the oldest sports known to humans.

When was Wrestling invented?

The exact timeline is unknown due to Wrestling’s prehistoric roots, but it appears in ancient cave drawings from as far back as 3000 BC.

Where did Wrestling originate?

Wrestling originated in various cultures worldwide, from ancient Sumerian times (~3000 BC), in ancient Egypt to the Classical Olympian games in Greece.

Discover the gear and equipment that has evolved alongside the sport in our comprehensive wrestling equipment list.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning β€˜real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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