The arse-kicking history of Irish Superstars

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March 17, 2013

The Irish impact on sports-entertainment began long before Sheamus arrived in WWE.

At the height of the American Civil War in the 1860s, Irish immigrants introduced the “collar and elbow” style of grappling to fellow soldiers, giving rise to a competitive sport that would soon evolve into professional wrestling.

Watch Irish Superstars in action | Photos of WWE's Irish competitors

As Irish immigrants populated major U.S. cities in the 1920s and ’30s, keen sports-entertainment promoters positioned Irish-bred grapplers as their top stars. In the 1970s, Mr. McMahon, a proud Irish-American, followed suit when he touted Superstars of Irish descent like “Irish” Pat Barrett and Davey O’Hannon. But it wasn’t until 2010 that an Irish-born Superstar finally became WWE Champion when Sheamus won the title.

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, WWEClassics.com raised a pint to those Superstars who proudly represented the people of Ireland in the squared circle. May the road rise up to meet them. ()

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