They’re big and strong, straining under their rippling muscles. But for all that power, wrestlers need love, too! This October 5, celebrate National Kiss a Wrestler Day and show your respect for one of the world’s oldest and toughest athletic endeavors. Mythology suggests the gods themselves created wrestling. It demands all the elements an athlete strives for — speed, strength, endurance, improvisation, and the mental fortitude to push through adversity.
Although Kiss a Wrestler Day seems to be an internet-inspired holiday, it may be connected to the rock band, Kiss, and its promotional effort to link up with the World Championship of Wrestling (WCW) back in 2000. The idea was to have a wrestler known as The Demon, appear in makeup as one of the Kiss characters. Suffice it to say, the deal fell through. But this day remains as a way to honor wrestlers, past and present.
National Kiss a Wrestler Day timeline
Freestyle wrestling joins the Olympics
Freestyle wrestling begins its modern Olympic journey in St. Louis.
Greco-Roman wrestling debuts in the modern Olympics
Greco-Roman wrestling is introduced as an Olympic discipline.
The U.S. hosts the first tournament
The first organized national wrestling tournament takes place in New York City.
- 13,000 B.C.
Wrestling is born
There are cave drawings in France depicting Babylonian and Egyptian wrestling bouts where wrestlers are using most of the holds known to the modern-day sport.
National Kiss a Wrestler Day Activities
Go to an event
Wrestling events are held throughout the year. Attending in person helps you appreciate the athleticism and skill involved in one of the world’s oldest sports.
Adjust your diet
Wrestling has very strict weight classes and demands a rigorous diet in order for a wrestler to compete in the appropriate division. Take on the challenge and try a “wrestler’s diet” for a little while. Enjoy lean meats and vegetables, avoid foods with high sodium and saturated fats and watch as your energy and strength soar!
Learn about other cultures
Whether in the form of Sombo (Russia), Judo (Japan), or Freestyle (USA and Great Britain), the different styles of wrestling embrace cultural aspects of their places of origin. Learn about the various backgrounds of each — and gain a new level of respect for the sport and the countries where each style was founded.
5 No-holds-barred Wrestling Facts
Wrestling is in the world’s oldest book
In the book of Genesis, the prophet, Jacob, wrestles with an angel in the Bible.
Wrestling is more popular than you think
High school wrestling ranks sixth in participation for all boys' sports.
Wrestling generates income for colleges
Of all NCAA Championships, collegiate wrestling ranks in the top five for revenue.
Wrestling is diverse
Wrestling competitions are held all around the world, with almost 200 nations actively hosting events.
Wrestling is not just for men
Since 1994, the number of women who wrestle in high school has grown from 800 to over 16,500. Women’s wrestling has been a recognized Olympic sport since 2004.
Why We Love National Kiss a Wrestler Day
Wrestling is a sport of the gods
Zeus became ruler of the Earth after a wrestling match with his father, Cronus. In addition, both Hercules and Theseus were famous for wrestling mythical creatures.
Wrestling is theatrical
Sometimes referred to as "American Style," professional wrestling organizations like the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) and Impact Wrestling run events throughout the world. Fights are choreographed, highly theatrical and mixed with dramatic stories. "Feuds" between fighters further promote matches.
Wrestling builds athletic “X-factors”
Wrestling encompasses a number of unquantifiable skills including self-reliance, self-confidence and self-discipline — not to mention sportsmanship and the respect for one’s opponent.