Thanks to the wonderful Hansard website, it has emerged that government involvement in professional wrestling was first discussed in 1965.

    The transcript is below, but just imagine how different the industry would have been today if this had happened.

    Asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will “take steps to set up a control body for professional wrestling similar to that in existence for boxing, in order to ensure that higher standards are maintained than at present”.

    “No, Sir.”

    “Can the hon. Gentleman tell the House how long the great British public are to submit to these rehearsed charades which go on in the name of contests and on which, incidentally, no bookmaker will take a bet? Can he offer the House any advice as to how the standard of these alleged contests can be brought up to the level of other types of wrestling?”

    “I am happy to say that I do not think that this falls within my responsibility, but it might encourage the hon. Member if I tell him that these professional wrestlers—of whom, I understand, there are about 400—have now formed a private wrestlers’ union and, very appropriately, have affiliated themselves to the Variety Artistes’ Federation.”