WNPR

wrestling

nplove / Flickr

From the first Olympic games in 776 B.C. to the 2018 World Cup currently underway, referees have always played an integral part in competitive sports. But as technology advances and the means to make more accurate on-field calls improves, these men and women find themselves under increasing pressure to keep up.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

Hundreds of people packed the gym at Waterbury’s Crosby High School on a recent Friday night. But they didn’t come to see a basketball game. Some came to see a 13-foot Burmese python, a prop for a guy named Jake “the Snake.”

Simon Q flickr.com/photos/simononly/8441642491 / Creative Commons

Jamie Szantyr was a kid from Waterbury. She ran track, played softball, and cheered in high school. She did college for a while, but it got in the way of something she loved even more: wrestling.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

At first, the Team 3D Academy in Danbury, Connecticut, looks like a regular gym with kettlebells, free weights, and benches. But tucked all the way in the back, there’s a 16x16 wrestling ring.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Chion Wolf

Connecticut’s own Linda McMahon goes to Washington next year, hoping to be confirmed as head of the Small Business Administration. She was tapped recently by President-elect Donald Trump, a longtime friend who she supported during the campaign.

But what will the former wrestling magnate bring to her new role as cheerleader for small businesses? 

WWE Lures Former Fans Back To Pro Wrestling

Aug 24, 2015

This story is part of Only A Game’sTime Show” which examines how the passage of time influences sports.

David Shoemaker has been writing about professional wrestling since 2010, at which point his stories weren’t reaching a broad audience.