Wrestling started becoming a real profession in the US around the 1960s, which is generally known as the "Traditional Era". Prior to this it had been little more than a sideshow attraction, but the 60s saw the emergence of several regional territories, with wrestlers travelling from promotion to promotion. It was hard for wrestlers to become real superstars, as they rarely stayed in one place long enough to really become dominant, but some carved out good reputations for themselves and earned great livings - amongst these were men like Dan Stone and George DeColt, who would later go on to be successful promoters. The major territories at this time included Championship Wrestling from Boston (run by Gene Plumelli), Dick the Devastator's All-American Florida Wrestling, the Tri-State area's American Pro Wrestling Federation, California Pro Wrestling (headed by Preston Holt), and the Texas Wrestling League.
The end of this situation began in around 1978, when a relatively new promotion called Supreme Wrestling Federation, under the leadership of a young promoter called Richard Eisen, began building up an impressive roster by offering long-term contracts to some of the most popular wrestlers, which was unheard of in those days. By 1980, SWF was able to put on wrestling's first pay-per-view event, which marked the beginning of the "Supreme Era". SWF became the national powerhouse, with clever marketing and showmanship making the smaller promotions look amateurish. By the mid 80s, almost all the regional promotions had been put out of business, and SWF was almost entirely dominant, with their headline wrestlers like Sam Strong and Rip Chord being national superstars.
It was over 15 years before another promotion managed to rise and take on the might SWF, and this happened in December 1996 when Hollyweird Grappling Company debuted, kicking off the "Modern Era". With a millionaire funding them, HGC brought in Strong and Chord (who had both left SWF many years ago) on big money contracts to provide star power, and populated the rest of their roster with former SWF stars (like the Vessey Brothers) and the cream of the independent leagues (such as Ricky Dale Johnson and Liberty). The tactic worked, as they were able to go head-to-head with SWF almost immediately, and were accepted as a viable competitor by the fans. The most recent twist happened in late 2004, when HGC were taken over by famous wrestler Tommy Cornell, and renamed Total Championship Wrestling.
- Championship Wrestling from Boston
- Queens of American Wrestling
- Rhode Island Pro Wrestling
- Supreme Wrestling Federation
- Babes of Sin City
- California Pro Wrestling Championship
- Coastal Zone Championship Wrestling
- L.A. Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling MAX
- Total Championship Wrestling
- X-Wrestling America
- American Pro Wrestling Federation
- Harlem Wrestling Alliance
- New York City Wrestling
- Philly Pro Power Wrestling
- Phoenix Wrestling Company
- Pittsburgh Steel Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling NEO