Eventually, the miners started wrestling for money.
The submission moves meant that catch-as-catch-can was an exciting exhibition with men brutalising each other in a most spectacular fight.
It started off as side bets for pints then money entered the picture.
And the miners, whose salary was a pittance for their hard labour, would turn to wrestling for extra income.
As with all things, the wrestlers realised that if they put a bit of show into the fights they could attract bigger audiences and more money.
So they started bending the rules a little bit: falling a bit harder, jumping a bit higher. And the submission holds, which captivated the imagination of the audiences, were brutal, or at least were made to look so.
Real CATCH wrestlers were true craftsmen but those looking for easy money soon found out that it would be impossible to put on a fight in Wigan because there was a wrestler in nearly every family.
Wiganers knew what was bent or not so wrestlers putting on too much of a show would be chased out of town.
Notes: image provided courtesy of Jimmy Niblett