Bodybuilding has been a sport that is almost as old as time. Way back when, people in older times than the ones we live in now didn’t have great physiques so that they could post them up on Facebook or Twitter, our ancestors were in shape because they had to be. If you see old statues that have men and women appear on them that look like they have no body fat, it is because there were many athletic events. Let’s fast forward quite a bit, to the decade of the 1990s and the sport of professional wrestling, which was in a turbulent time. With allegations of steroid use and the legitimacy of the sport in question, the CEO of WWE (which was WWF at the time), Vince McMahon wanted to spice up the same old wrestling program that fans had seen each week, he wanted to build something new, which would be a bodybuilding organization. It makes sense, Vince had already started to take over the world of professional wrestling. Both being sports that are all about conditioning, the jump to the world of bodybuilding was going to be an interesting one but Vince had some great potential competitors, as he employed many different wrestlers, many of whom looked like they just stepped off of a Muscle and Fitness photoshoot. It should come as no surprise that Vince began heavily promoting this new federation of bodybuilders on his own television programming, Monday Night Raw.
At the time, Vince McMahon was appearing regularly on Monday Night Raw as an announcer, unbeknownst to many in the 90’s, McMahon was the person who owned the company but that wasn’t as well known as it is now, with the age of the internet. With the mind that has taken his business to the top of the food chain, it seemed to be for sure that we were going to start seeing professional wrestlers stand right alongside our favorite bodybuilders. Apparently, there was even talks about a pay per view event being put on for Ico Pro, I don’t know how many of us would pay to watch other people pose but that’s just me. Before he started regularly appearing as an in-ring competitor, later on in the decade, Vince McMahon was in incredible shape, another reason he had so much drive to see Ico Pro become a successful bodybuilding federation.
I can’t say for sure what happened, in the end, but Ico Pro would not become the juggernaut that everyone had such high hopes for. What is important to remember is that professional wrestling was in a very tough time, throughout the mid 90’s. For one, the sport had really started to tank in popularity and an attitude shift was starting to take place that would see the entire sport get flipped on it’s head, with storylines becoming more real and edgier. If professional wrestling had been under the levels of popularity that it would be in the upcoming years, perhaps Ico Pro would still be around today. Even though we never got to see Ico Pro take off, McMahon had outlasted his other big rival, WCW and actually bought his rival in 2001. Vince has seen his father’s wrestling company handed to him and he has done amazing things for the sport, ever since that fateful moment.