Do Wrestling Territories Still Exist?By Coder| August 30, 2023 Wrestling Do Wrestling Territories Still Exist? When you think of professional wrestling, you may imagine the glitz and glamour of larger-than-life superstars battling it out in sold-out arenas across the globe. However, this wasn’t always the case. In the early days of professional wrestling, territories played a significant role in shaping the industry. But do these territories still exist? The Rise and Fall of Wrestling Territories In the mid-20th century, wrestling territories were regional promotions that operated independently from each other. These territories had their own distinct rosters of wrestlers and held events within their specific geographic area. Promoters within each territory worked together to protect their respective markets and prevent wrestlers from jumping between promotions. During this era, promoters such as Vince McMahon Sr., Verne Gagne, and Fritz Von Erich ruled over their respective territories, building loyal fan bases and creating memorable rivalries. Wrestlers would often travel from one territory to another, honing their skills and gaining experience before moving on to bigger promotions. However, with the rise of national television deals and the advent of cable television in the 1980s, a seismic shift occurred in the business of professional wrestling. The Birth of Global Wrestling Vince McMahon Jr., son of Vince McMahon Sr., had a vision to take professional wrestling to a global audience. He purchased his father’s company, then known as World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), and rebranded it as World Wrestling Federation (WWF). McMahon’s ambitious plan was to expand his promotion nationally by breaking down territorial barriers. In 1984, McMahon launched WrestleMania I, a pay-per-view extravaganza that showcased not only wrestling but also celebrity involvement. This event catapulted WWF into mainstream popularity and laid the foundation for the global wrestling empire we know today as World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). As WWF/WWE expanded its reach, many territories began to struggle. Unable to compete with the national exposure and marketing power of McMahon’s promotion, numerous territories closed their doors or were absorbed into the WWF/WWE umbrella. The once-thriving world of wrestling territories seemed to be on the verge of extinction. The Resurgence of Independent Wrestling While the dominance of the WWE may have diminished the traditional territorial system, it did not completely eradicate it. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of independent wrestling promotions that operate on a smaller scale and focus on niche markets. These independent promotions offer an alternative to the mainstream product offered by WWE. They often embrace a more intimate and interactive fan experience, allowing enthusiasts to connect with their favorite wrestlers in a more personal way. The internet has played a crucial role in this resurgence. Social media platforms and streaming services have provided independent promotions with avenues to reach fans worldwide without relying solely on television deals or live events. The Role of Territories Today While traditional wrestling territories may no longer dominate the industry as they once did, their influence can still be felt in different ways. Firstly, many wrestlers who reach stardom in independent promotions eventually get signed by major companies like WWE. These wrestlers often bring their unique styles and fan bases from the independent scene, injecting new life into mainstream wrestling. Secondly, some major promotions still maintain working relationships with certain independent promotions. This cooperation allows talent exchanges and cross-promotional events, providing opportunities for both established and up-and-coming wrestlers to gain exposure. In Conclusion Although traditional wrestling territories are not as prominent as they once were, the spirit of territorial wrestling lives on. The global reach of WWE and the resurgence of independent promotions have reshaped the industry in ways that would have been unimaginable during the territorial era. So, while wrestling territories may not exist in their original form, their impact can still be seen in today’s ever-evolving world of professional wrestling.