When Randy "Macho Man" Savage crushed Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat's larynx with a timekeeper's bell during a 1987 bout for pro wrestling's Intercontinental Championship belt, it certainly looked real. The "blood" that Hulk Hogan spilled across the ring in a legendary 2005 Summer Slam beat down on Shawn Michaels also looked pretty darn legitimate. Yet even diehard wrestling fans know deep down inside that the thunderous leg drops, debilitating sleeper holds and soap opera style shenanigans that go on inside the square circle are staged.
The suspicion can be confirmed, thanks to a Louisiana law. The "sport" of pro wrestling was illegal within state lines under a law banning boxing and wrestling events that are "sham or fake contests or exhibitions." Enacted in 1974, the law was amended to exempt pro wrestling from the prohibition in 2007 [source: La Legal].