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Australia Flag

Australia is a country in the southern hemisphere and is seen as a continent although some see it as the largest island in the world. It has a population of over 22 million people, with over half concentrated in five of the country's state capital cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide). Professional wrestling in Australia makes up only a small part of Australian culture. While the North American or Japanese product have large, globally renowned organisations such as World Wrestling Entertainment and New Japan Pro Wrestling with several hundred smaller promotions, Australia only has approximately 40 small active independent circuit promotions which exist in all but one of the states and territories (the Northern Territory). Tours from WWE are regularly sold out in capital cities such as Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.

History

Until the 1960s, wrestling in Australia was all over the place. It consisted of mostly single matches on shows that also contained boxing contests. It didn't stop the likes of stars such as Clarence Weber, Jack Carkeek, Clarence Whistler and Georg Hackenschmidt touring the country before World War 2, and Lou Thesz, Dr. Jerry Graham and Gorgeous George during the 1950s.

In 1962 in Melbourne, a promotion called International Wrestling came to the attention of the mainstream media when Australian rules football player Murray Weideman announced that he would be wrestling in the promotion. Crowd numbers jumped, thanks to the support of the fans of the football club Weideman played for - Collingwood. Weideman worked for two months between August and October 1962 usually as a tag team partner to Salvatore Savoldi - a largely unknown face in wrestling - against Butcher Vachon and either George Bollas or another unknown in Pierre La Chappelle. These matches were held at Festival Hall, and were refereed by infamous heel Dirty Dick Raines.

In 1964, Australia established its only major promotion in World Championship Wrestling. WCW had a television deal with the Nine Network, the first in Australia to do so and attracted crowds between 2,000 and 9,000 people on a weekly basis. International stars such as Killer Kowalski, Ray Stevens, Dominic DeNucci, Mario Milano, Spiros Arion, Karl Gotch, Bruno Sammartino, Gorilla Monsoon and local stars Ron Miller and Larry O'Dea were all involved with the promotion which grew steadily through its life. However, with the introduction of World Series Cricket, WCW was left with no television deal and was forced to close down in 1978. This sent the Australian market into a large decline. With no access to any product anywhere in the world, the Australian market was almost dead until World Wrestling Entertainment became a prominent figure in professional wrestling in the mid-1980s.

Australian professional wrestling now plays only a minor role in mainstream Australian culture, with most Australian professional wrestling fans being fans of the WWE not even knowing a local independent scene even exists, or treat it with contempt - in all States and territories of Australia (except the Northern Territory). As a whole, Australian Professional wrestling and the promotions, wrestlers, and events are considered on par with most other promotions around the world - it is only the distinct lack of promotion and lack of leadership that leaves a big gap open, and lets many talented and experienced wrestlers fly under the radar and go virtually unnoticed of both local, interstate and overseas wrestling fans.

There have been two attempts to restore the role that WCW once played, in 2002 by Andy Raymond with the Australian Wrestling Supershow and in 2004 by James Brock with NWA Australia. Both failed.

Cities

Capital Cities

  • Melbourne, Victoria (VIC)
  • Adelaide, South Australia (SA)
  • Sydney, New South Wales (NSW)
  • Brisbane, Queensland (QLD)
  • Perth, Western Australia (WA)
  • Darwin, Northern Territory (NT) (To date there is no known Australian Professional Wrestling Promotions in the Northern Territory)
  • Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
  • Hobart, Tasmania (TAS)

Promotions: Active

Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales

Queensland

South Australia

Tasmania

Victoria

Western Australia

Promotions: Inactive/Defunct

Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales

Queensland

  • Apex Professional Wrestling (APW)
  • eXtreme Sports Entertainment (XSE)
  • High Impact Wrestling (HIW)
  • Pro Wrestling Alliance (Queensland) (PWA)
  • Queensland Pro Wrestling (QPW)

South Australia

  • eXtreme Adelaide Wrestling (XAW)
  • Independent Championship Wrestling (ICW)
  • Joint Promotions (JP)
  • Maximum Power Wrestling (MPW)
  • Pro Wrestling Ignition (PWI)
  • Pro Wrestling South Australia (PWSA)
  • United Wrestling Alliance (UWA)

Victoria

  • All Star Wrestling (ASW)
  • Alpha Pro Wrestling
  • Australasian Real Pro Wrestling (ARPW)
  • Cross Body Promotions
  • Extreme Wrestling Alliance (EWA)
  • High Speed Wrestling (HSW)
  • International Championship Wrestling (ICW)
  • International Wrestling Entertainment (IWE)
  • Maximum-Energy Pro Wrestling (MPW)
  • Pro Wrestling Alliance (Victoria) (PWA)
  • SLAM Factory
  • Supremacy Wrestling
  • Tornado Championship Wrestling (TCW)
  • Total Wrestling Entertainment (TWE)
  • Victorian Championship Wrestling (VCW)

Wrestlers

Arenas: Current

Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales

Queensland

South Australia

Tasmania

Victoria

Western Australia

Arenas: Former

New South Wales

South Australia

Tasmania

Victoria

Western Australia

See also

External links

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