How WWE Has Taken its Cue from Ancient History and the Gladiators of Rome

We simply cannot get enough of the thrills offered by pro wrestling, but of course, it is far from the only sport which sees brave and charismatic competitors go toe-to-toe in the ring with everything at stake.

These days, the likes of MMA and boxing provide similar excitement, with all of these sports arguably following on from historical trends in which people have battled in arenas for entertainment. In fact, such ideas perhaps stretch all of the way back to the gladiators of Ancient Rome.

Historical heroes

Gladiators were incredible warriors who competed in front of huge crowds in enormous arenas. As History.com explains, while many early competitors were slaves, the idea of being adored by thousands was enough for some free men to take up arms and do battle for glory and prize money. The site explains how gladiators went on to become huge stars, with some even going on to endorse products or have portraits displayed in public places.

There remains a huge fascination with gladiators many years on from their battles and they are now a key part of our popular culture. Epic battles have graced the big screen in the likes of Spartacus and modern classics like Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, while HBO's mammoth hit Game of Thrones probably used the idea as the inspiration for the fighting pits found in Meereen.

Gladiators have also gone on to be successful in gaming thanks to console titles like Shadow of Rome, while they have also served as the inspiration for experiences in the online gambling world, too. As this page on Quatro Casino outlines, this casino brand offers a host of different gaming options and its slot games include the likes of Gladiator and Gladiators Gold.

A modern equivalent?

But how does all of that ultimately compare to modern pro wrestling? Well, wrestling certainly offers up the same level of theatre and drama as you would see in those gladiator events centuries ago, with a host of fans attending shows to get a glimpse of their favorite stars in action. For many, it is also more than just a sport, with it offering entertainment in the form of both the exhilarating action and its compelling storylines.

In the wider context of pop culture, wrestling has also proven to be a small screen hit thanks to major TV events like Wrestlemania and it has even had the occasional moment of success on the big screen, too. A recent example of the latter would be Fighting With My Family, the Stephen Merchant film about the career of WWE star Paige.

Stars from the scene have also become icons in their own right, with Dwayne Johnson being one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood these days and Dave Bautista becoming a core part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in his role as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy.

A long tradition

All in all, it is fair to say there are a lot of similarities which can be drawn between the gladiators of Ancient Rome and the very modern drama of WWE and wrestling. Drawing the comparison is very interesting and perhaps highlights how the wrestling scene we know and love is part of a long tradition of entertainment stretching back through the centuries.

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