Wrestling - pure entertainment, a sport or a money making racket? Professional wrestlers offer their insights.

At a wrestling show in Kilkenny 'Roughhouse Jack Martin' takes on Seán O’Shea. Can this spectacle be called sport or is it actually some sort of choreographed torture?  Wrestler 'Wollongong Willie' explains it is indeed a sport, bound to a set of strict rules and regulations.  People come to a wrestling match for all different sorts of reasons.  The wrestlers want to make sure the spectators have been entertained,

 People come to wrestling for different reasons, and some people may be a bit sadistic and want to see somebody killed or maimed some people just come along to let their hair down, you see it’s very hard to generalise.

To the uninitiated, it all looks a bit staged. Is this really a contest? It would appear the viewers are left to make up their own minds on that one.  ‘Wollongong Willie’ describes the mental discipline which professional wrestlers must cultivate in order to win, 

If you do lose your temper in the ring, you’re at a great disadvantage. Once you lose your temper, you forget what you’re doing, you fall into some trap, or some scheme that the other man’s got for you. 

While some wrestlers can earn as much as £100 per contest, plus expenses, others will only receive as little as £20.  As reporter Frank Hall concludes, 

As in so many walks of life, it’s all depends on who you are, and what you are.

A ‘Newsbeat’ report broadcast on 14 March 1968.  The reporter is Frank Hall. 

'Newsbeat' was a half-hour feature programme presented by Frank Hall and ran for 7 years from September 1964 to June 1971. 'Newsbeat' went out from Monday to Friday on RTÉ television and reported on current affairs and issues of local interest from around Ireland. The final programme was broadcast on the 11 June 1971.