Safety is the biggest reason for having a sanctioning body over sports. Things get out of hand in the heat of competition.
The first wrestling match wasn’t sanctioned by USA Wrestling, NUWAY, or NCAA. No state or national group rolled out a mat, put a guy with a whistle in the middle, and had the opponents shake hands.
And it turned out poorly. Here’s what happened: Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve, grew up. One, Cain, became a farmer; Abel a rancher.
Abel found favor with his offerings to God. Cain did not. In a surprise ending, Cain won the first match. The farmer killed the rancher, which seems like it should be the other way around when you think of cowboys and sod-busters.
The underdog won, but at what cost? Banishment.
Is it a biblical stretch to call Cain and Abel wrestlers? If they were like any brothers I’ve heard of, they were wrestlers. For evidence, consider the Brands brothers, the Schultz brothers, the Carr brothers, the Smith brothers, the Hazewinkels, the Scherrs, the Petersons.
If Gable had a wrestling brother, no one ever saw him.
Cain and Abel needed a ref, even though it’s said God was watching over them. Since Adam and Eve were the only other human’s on earth at the time, God didn’t have his attention as spread out as today.
After older brother Cain killed younger brother Abel, the rules of engagement changed. Victory did not include death in recreational combat because death is not a part of recreational activity.