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Professional wrestling in Australia makes up a small part of Australian culture. Unlike the North American or Japanese products which have large, globally renowned organisations such as World Wrestling Entertainment, New Japan Pro Wrestling or Total Nonstop Action Wrestling with several hundred smaller promotions, Australia only has approximately 30 smaller independent circuit promotions which exist in all but one of the states and territories, that being the Northern Territory. Tours from the North American product are regularly sold out in capital cities such as Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.
Professional wrestling in Australia first gained distinction in the early 1900s, however there were very few shows promoted. Nonetheless, stars such as Clarence Weber, Jack Carkeek, Clarence Whistler and Georg Hackenschmidt toured the country. As time went on, the sport's popularity began to grow, particularly in the 1930s as people sought to find relief from The Great Depression.
Throughout the 1940s professional wrestling suffered due to World War II but in the 1950s it reached new highs as many stars from overseas were imported and created larger crowds and, in turn, a larger market. Established names such as Lou Thesz, Dr. Jerry Graham and Gorgeous George toured the country during the decade.
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