Wrestling is one of the oldest and most celebrated sports in human history. The origins of wrestling date back at least 15,000 years, as informed by cave drawings. Many ancient cultures participated in some level of wrestling, including the Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. In fact, some of their art shows that many of the holds depicted are still used today. Wrestling was even included in the Ancient Olympic Games as early as 708 BC.
Today, there are many modern disciplines of wrestling, including Greco-Roman, freestyle and amateur pankration. Professional wrestling began in the United Kingdom and United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These wrestling matches were created as performance art, with wrestlers taking on characters and gimmicks.
The best known and widely celebrated professional wrestling organization in WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), formerly known as WWF (World Wrestling Federation). Initially, this company was founded in 1953 at the Capitol Wrestling Corporation and was run by Vincent J. McMahon. Capitol Wrestling Corporation became the World Wide Wrestling Federation in 1963, an era where it gained dominance of the wrestling market.
McMahon's son, Vincent K. McMahon bought the company in 1982, renamed it WWF and shortly after, the Golden Era of professional wrestling began. This gave rise to some of wrestling's biggest stars, including Hulk Hogan, Macho Man and André the Giant. During the 1990s, WWF continued to grow, debuting the cable hit "Monday Night Raw" in 1993. By 2002, WWF change it's name to WWE after losing a trademark lawsuit against the World Wildlife Fund. Today, WWE operates three main brands: Raw, NXT and SmackDown. Each of these brands has their own championships and rosters.
Countless acclaimed wrestlers have come out of WWE since it's debut. Many of these wrestlers have not only earned recognition for their work in wrestling, but have contributed to other entertainment fields. For example, The Rock, John Cena and Dave Bautista have all become celebrated actors following careers in WWE. In honor of the many celebrated wrestlers of past and present, take a peek at 70 epic tattoos of wrestling's finest in the gallery below. Then let us know your favorite professional wrestler in the comments section on social media.