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September 8, 2003 Observer Newsletter: Pancrase 10th Anniversary show, more

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On September 21, 1993, pro wrestling changed. Perhaps forever.

Up to that point in time, pro wrestling had been 99.9% worked matches (All Japan Women in the 80s and 90s used to run one shoot match per card at Korakuen Hall and even had a shoot championship) since as far back as anyone can remember, and probably, even farther back than that. In the minds of nearly everyone in the industry, shoots and pro wrestling were diametrically opposed. For as long as anyone could remember, there were all the reasons why you couldn’t do them. They were boring and nobody would pay for a ticket. It was always noted that amateur wrestling, with rare exceptions, is not a spectator sport. People would get hurt too often and you couldn’t work the traditional 20-30 shows per month. And worst, if you don’t fix outcomes, you can’t protect and build stars. One major promoter told me a few years into this, when UFC had its initial U.

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