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Styles and characteristics in different countries::Professional wrestling

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Styles and characteristics in different countries

A match of All Japan Pro Wrestling in Taiwan, 2009

The U.S., Japan and Mexico are three countries where there is a huge market and high popularity for professional wrestling. But the styles of professional wrestling are different, given their independent development for a long period.

Professional wrestling in the U.S. tends to have a heavy focus on story building and the establishment of characters (and their personalities). There is a story for each match, and even a longer story for successive matches. The stories usually contain characters like faces and heels, and less often antiheroes and tweeners. It is a "triumph" if the face wins, while it is a "tragedy" if the heel wins. The characters usually have strong and sharp personalities, with examples like Doink the Clown, whose personality is melodramatic, slapstick and fantastical. The opposition between faces and heels is very intense in the story, and the heels may even attack the faces during TV interviews. The relationship between different characters can also be very complex.

Mexican wrestler La Sombra taking down opponent with a wrestling move

Although professional wrestling in Mexico (Lucha libre) also has stories and characters, they are less emphasized. Wrestlers in Mexico are traditionally more agile and perform more aerial maneuvers than professional wrestlers in the U.S. who, more often, rely on power moves and strikes to subdue their opponents.<ref name="SS1" /> The difference in styles is due to the independent evolution of the sport in Mexico beginning in the 1930s and the fact that wrestlers in the cruiserweight division (peso semicompleto) are often the most popular wrestlers in Mexican lucha libre. Wrestlers often execute high flying moves characteristic of lucha libre by utilizing the wrestling ring's ropes to catapult themselves towards their opponents, using intricate combinations in rapid-fire succession, and applying complex submission holds.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Lucha libre is also known for its tag team wrestling matches, in which the teams are often made up of three members, instead of two as is common in the U.S.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

The style of Japanese professional wrestling (Puroresu) is again different. With its origins in traditional American style of wrestling and still being under the same genre, it has become an entity in itself.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Despite the similarity to its American counterpart in that the outcome of the matches remains predetermined, the phenomena are different in the form of the psychology and presentation of the sport; it is treated as a full contact combat sport as it mixes hard hitting martial arts strikes with shoot style submission holds,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> while in the U.S. it is rather more regarded as an entertainment show. Wrestlers incorporate kicks and strikes from martial arts disciplines, and a strong emphasis is placed on submission wrestling, and unlike the use of involved storylines in the U.S., they are not as intricate in Japan, more emphasis is placed on the concept of Fighting Spirit, meaning the Wrestlers display of physical and mental stamina are valued a lot more than theatrics. Many of Japan's wrestlers including top stars such as Shinya Hashimoto, Riki Choshu and Keiji Mutoh came from a legitimate martial arts background and many Japanese Pro Wrestlers in the 1990s began to pursue careers in Mixed Martial Arts Organizations such as Pancrase and Shooto which at the time retained the original look of Puroresu but were actual competitions.


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Styles and characteristics in different countries
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