There’s talk of wrestling pitching to become an Olympic event, sparked by some high profile comments. So is there any merit?
Six-time WWE world champion Chris Jericho has expressed interest in pitching pro wrestling to the International Olympic Committee.
The discipline of course prioritises entertainment over competitiveness; seemingly a long shot for Olympic consideration. Outcomes are predetermined, so how would it even work?
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“I literally want to go in front of the IOC, the International Olympic Committee, and pitch pro wrestling as an Olympic sport,” Jericho said on his podcast ‘Talk Is Jericho’.
“Now, you might go, ‘how can you do that, it’s all (scripted)’.
“Now, hold on, stop right there; gymnastics, pairs gymnastics, figure skating, pairs figure skating, what is that? It’s two people working together to put on the best performance possible.”
“It’s a choreographed performance that is judged… whoever puts on the best performance,” he added in an interview by the Miami Herald also.
“There is no way we could not do the same with pro wrestling.”
As ridiculous as it may sound, it wouldn’t look overly out of place alongside some of the new additions to the Olympic Games including rock climbing, softball and – the strangest of all – break dancing. Pro wrestling certainly boasts a giant viewership, not just in America but also Asia.
There’s an argument its Olympic potential is greater than some of the other additions with more niche followings.
Earlier this year back in Australia, Olympic medallist James Magnussen questioned how these new events fell under the Olympic motto of ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius (faster, higher, stronger)’ and suggested a culling of sports for the Games.
“These new sports, like break dancing for example… how does that fit ‘faster, stronger, higher?'” he said on the All Talk with Hello Sport podcast in August.
“I’d be happy if they (IOC) culled it to maybe five sports. I’d have running, swimming, track cycling, gymnastics and like a weight-lifting or fighting, like let’s start culling.”
It can’t hurt for the IOC to at least sit down with Jericho. But there’s absolutely no question it would split opinion.