Mud wrestling
Mud wrestling is defined as physical confrontation (fighting, wrestling
Wrestling is a form of grappling type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. A wrestling bout is a physical competition, between two competitors or sparring partners, who attempt to gain and maintain a superior position...

, etc.) that occurs in mud
Mud is a mixture of water and some combination of soil, silt, and clay. Ancient mud deposits harden over geological time to form sedimentary rock such as shale or mudstone . When geological deposits of mud are formed in estuaries the resultant layers are termed bay muds...

 or a mud pit. The popular modern interpretation specifies that participants wrestle while wearing minimal clothing and usually going barefoot
Barefoot is the state of not wearing any footwear. Being barefoot is regarded as a human's natural state, though for functional, fashion and social reasons footwear is worn, at least on some occasions...

, with the emphasis on presenting an entertaining spectacle as opposed to physically injuring or debilitating the opponent to the point where they are unable to continue the match. Venues for competition are usually social in nature with equal numbers of male and female spectators.


The place and time of origin of mud wrestling is unknown. An early instance can be seen in the 1966 "shockumentary" film Mondo Freudo, though its origins may be much earlier.

Houston wrestling promoter Paul Boesch
Paul Boesch
Paul Max Boesch was a professional wrestling promoter most famous for his work as an announcer and promoter for Houston Wrestling. He also spent several stints working with the Universal Wrestling Federation, World Class Championship Wrestling, and the World Wrestling Federation.-Biography:Paul...

 is credited with the invention of mud wrestling, as he came up with the concept for the match when booking a feud between Gus Sonnenberg
Gus Sonnenberg
Gustave Adolph Sonnenberg was an American football player and professional wrestler. As a wrestler, he was National Wrestling Association world heavyweight champion...

 and Harnam Singh in Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Seattle is the county seat of King County, Washington. With 608,660 residents as of the 2010 Census, Seattle is the largest city in the Northwestern United States. The Seattle metropolitan area of about 3.4 million inhabitants is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the country...

,which he promoted as an"Indian Dirt Match." Its popularity in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 increased in the 80s, and later spread worldwide. Although originally performed in bars
Bar (establishment)
A bar is a business establishment that serves alcoholic drinks — beer, wine, liquor, and cocktails — for consumption on the premises.Bars provide stools or chairs that are placed at tables or counters for their patrons. Some bars have entertainment on a stage, such as a live band, comedians, go-go...

 and nightclub
A nightclub is an entertainment venue which usually operates late into the night...

s, organizations have staged mud wrestling events for fun and charity.

The first professional mud wrestling organization was formed in Akron, Ohio
Akron, Ohio
Akron , is the fifth largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Summit County. It is located in the Great Lakes region approximately south of Lake Erie along the Little Cuyahoga River. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 199,110. The Akron Metropolitan...

 in the 1930's. The first women's match occurred there on 7 January 1938.


One common variation involves wrestling in gelatin
Gelatin is a translucent, colorless, brittle , flavorless solid substance, derived from the collagen inside animals' skin and bones. It is commonly used as a gelling agent in food, pharmaceuticals, photography, and cosmetic manufacturing. Substances containing gelatin or functioning in a similar...

 rather than mud. This practice is known as Jell-O wrestling in the United States and as jelly
Gelatin dessert
Gelatin desserts are desserts made with sweetened and flavored gelatin. They can be made by combining plain gelatin with other ingredients or by using a premixed blend of gelatin with additives...

 wrestling in the United Kingdom. Other foods, such as pudding
Pudding most often refers to a dessert, but it can also be a savory dish.In the United States, pudding characteristically denotes a sweet milk-based dessert similar in consistency to egg-based custards, though it may also refer to other types such as bread and rice pudding.In the United Kingdom and...

, creamed corn
Creamed corn
Creamed corn is a soup or sauce made by melting butter and adding flour, milk, canned corn, and optionally some spices. It is a common part of Midwestern American cuisine, typically sold canned by firms such as Del Monte Foods...

 and mashed potato
Mashed potato
Mashed potato is made by mashing freshly boiled potatoes with a ricer, fork, potato masher, food mill, or whipping them with a hand beater. Dehydrated and frozen mashed potatoes are available in many places...

es, have also been used for similar events.

Another variation of mud wrestling is Oil Wrestling
Yagli güres
Oil wrestling , also called grease wrestling, is the Turkish national sport. It is so called because the wrestlers douse themselves with olive oil. It is related to the Uzbeki kurash, Tuvan khuresh and Tatar köräş...

 in Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...


Another variation is Mashed Potato Wrestling, which is popular in Barnesville, Minnesota
Barnesville, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,173 people, 865 households, and 569 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,032.8 people per square mile . There were 923 housing units at an average density of 438.7 per square mile...

 and Clark, South Dakota
Clark, South Dakota
Clark is a city in Clark County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 1,139 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Clark County.-Geography:Clark is located at ....

 in the U.S.A.

Another variation involves having the participants in formal dress.

Pop culture

Mud Wrestling was popularized in France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 by the TV game show
Game show
A game show is a type of radio or television program in which members of the public, television personalities or celebrities, sometimes as part of a team, play a game which involves answering questions or solving puzzles usually for money and/or prizes...

 Fort Boyard
Fort Boyard (TV series)
For the fortress see Fort Boyard Fort Boyard is a French game show created by Jacques Antoine that was first broadcast in 1990 and is popular to this day...


In the 90s the Spanish
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 TV game show El gran juego de la oca
El gran juego de la oca
El gran juego de la oca was a TV game show produced in Madrid, Spain from 1993 through 1995 and again in 1998 as El nuevo juego de la oca. It was a weekly show airing in a block of several hours on the Spanish channel Antena 3, and later Telecinco...

featured wrestling in a mud pit as one of the challenges.

The American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 movie ...All the Marbles deals with the subject of women in professional wrestling
Professional wrestling
Professional wrestling is a mode of spectacle, combining athletics and theatrical performance.Roland Barthes, "The World of Wrestling", Mythologies, 1957 It takes the form of events, held by touring companies, which mimic a title match combat sport...

. One sequence features a mud wrestling match.

In the PlayStation 2
PlayStation 2
The PlayStation 2 is a sixth-generation video game console manufactured by Sony as part of the PlayStation series. Its development was announced in March 1999 and it was first released on March 4, 2000, in Japan...

 video game Rumble Roses
Rumble Roses
is a professional wrestling video game that was developed by Yuke's Future Media Creators and Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo, and published by Konami in 2004 for the PlayStation 2. The game uses the same engine as Yuke's 2003 release WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain...

, a fighting game
Fighting game
Fighting game is a video game genre where the player controls an on-screen character and engages in close combat with an opponent. These characters tend to be of equal power and fight matches consisting of several rounds, which take place in an arena. Players must master techniques such as...

 with an all-female cast, there is a stage where the characters can have a mud wrestling match.

The file Stripes
Stripes (film)
Stripes is a 1981 American comedy film directed by Ivan Reitman, starring Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Warren Oates, P. J. Soles, and John Candy. It also featured several actors in their first significant film roles, including John Larroquette, Sean Young, John Diehl, and Judge Reinhold. It was one...

 (1981) featured John Candy
John Candy
John Franklin Candy was a Canadian actor and comedian. He rose to fame as a member of the Toronto branch of The Second City and its related Second City Television series, and through his appearances in comedy films such as Stripes, Splash, Cool Runnings, The Great Outdoors, Spaceballs, and Uncle...

 facing off against six kickboxing wrestlers in a boxing ring filled with mud.

A 2003 Miller Lite commercial ended with two women (Tanya Ballinger
Tanya Ballinger
Tanya Ballinger is a model and actress based in the Los Angeles area and best known for her series of Miller Lite Catfight commercials with fellow model Kitana Baker in 2002. She reprised her appearance in a sequel/homage to the Catfight ads in 2007 produced by

 and Kitana Baker
Kitana Baker
Kitana Baker is an American model and actressBorn in Anaheim, California, and of Chinese, Hawaiian, German, and Irish ancestry, Baker has appeared in numerous films, videos and television shows, and has worked for both E! and Playboy...

) wrestling in a mud pit. An uncensored version had the two girls falling in love and making out.

Mud wrestling was one of the contests in the second series of Last Man Standing
Last Man Standing (UK TV series)
Last Man Standing and latterly Last Woman Standing is a BBC reality TV show that was first aired on 26 June 2007...


Professional hockey player PK Subban has stated that he is a huge fan of mud wrestling competitions, and he once co-hosted a mud wrestling event with Win Butler
Win Butler
Win Butler is the lead vocalist and songwriter of the Montreal-based indie rock band Arcade Fire. His wife Régine Chassagne and his brother William Butler are both members of the band.-Life and career:...

, lead singer of Canadian band Arcade Fire.

Lance foods and Tom's snacks featured a mudwrestler, Velvetsky, on a cover of one of the potato chip bags.
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