Breaking the Rules

by Ron Farrar (Ace Sports Promotions)

Why do we have rules at all? Wrestling is probably the world's oldest sport and has many variants around the world. Many forms do not allow violence of any sort to be a part of the sport and have devised rules to ensure this end. Modern amateur wrestling does not allow any locks against the joints. Sumo consists of force to push the opponent outside a circle. With the advent of modern professional wrestling these rules have become less and less a part of the sport. The modern form of pro-wrestling as seen in Great Britain, Germany and other European countries take their rules from a committee chaired by Lord Mountevans in the late 1940s to ensure the sport became a recognisable form of sporting activity with universal rules as opposed to the all-in sham that certain sectors of pre-war wrestling had become.

This article is only here concerned with five of these rules and the illustrations show the breaches of them far better than any volume of words ever can.

Attacks to the eye.

Any form of gouging or raking of the eyes is illegal. This photograph shows a moment after Julie King has raked Sue Brittain across the eyes and temporarily blinded her. Has the move been seen by the referee a public warning would have ensued.

The use of the closed fist.

This is banned though the use of the palm of the hand, or the side of the hand may be used in either a chopping or striking motion. The photograph shows Jane St John about to deliver a closed fist punch on her downed opponent, Kelly MacKay.

Attacks to the Breasts.

This rule is, of course, applicable only to female pro-wrestling and is a most often broken rule amongst the girls. One of the more painful attacks is the flat hand slap here shown employed on Jane St John by Akala Jan, though you will also note that the referee is moving in to stop this activity. This rule has been discarded along with most others in the very few all-in bouts that have been held in public, but these were on rare occasions only.

Hair pulling.

The most common and widely known of all pro-wrestling rules and the most broken. The odd tug on the blind side, the pull to off balance the opponent. The photograph shows Sue Brittain lifting her opponent, Akala Jan, by the hair.

The illegal use of the opponent's clothing.

Except in Judo the use of the opponents clothing to gain advantage is strictly out. Common uses are to grab the opponent's trunks to increase leverage to hold him/her down in a folding press. This photograph shows Akala Jan in the process of removing the downed Sue Brittain's bra to cause her embarrassment, and discomfort during the rest of the bout. A favourite tactic of Akala Jan, Lady Dawn, and Vicky Montrose.

The aim of any sport is to win, but to win within the rules thus establishing one's ability and dominance as a sports person who is able to excel at the game in the game and by the game.

As previously stated attacks to the eyes can be a very serious affair and blatant attacks can bring the offender a disqualification. The illustration shown was taken during a heated bout between Miss Sue Brittain and Akala Jan, in London. As you see Miss India is totally disregarding any idea of any rules or safety as she openly attacks the eyes of a prone Miss Brittain.

Our second infringement is by Miss Britain herself and she is depicted here during a mixed tag match in Dundee. All forms of choke are illegal in professional wrestling but here Miss Brittain is openly forcing Miss Jane Campbell onto the ropes with a choke to the throat. Whilst young Jane seems only to be able to scream and take the situation her male partner appears to be going to the rescue.

The third photograph shows a very unusual move which caused controversy as to whether it was illegal. In the end it was decided that it was not illegal but was banned as being unnecessarily painful and possibly dangerous. The photograph here was taken during a bout in Kirkcaldy, Fife, between Miss Jane Campbell and Miss Akala Jan. Having forced Jane onto the ropes, Akala took her by the muscle of the chest which holds the breast to the rib cage and squeezed the muscle hard causing Jane to scream an instant submission and resulting in her inability to take any further part in the contest. As there was no actual ruling stating such a move to be illegal the referee had to give the bout to Akala on a TKO but at a later meeting of a sub-committee of the B.W.A. though it was decided that such a move was legal and with the nerve and submission hold variety it was decided to ask Miss Jan to not use the hold any more as it had great potential danger and caused a greater pain than was necessary for the winning of bouts.