Or is it just a matter of the meaning of the word athletic shifting? I don't think there's any doubt that the gymnastic stunts done in today's wrestling are more impressive than those that were done in the past (now, I'm not of the opinion that automatically makes for better wrestling since I care more about the impact, but there's a story for another thread). Watching videos of the insane work-outs in the New Japan dojos as well as the stories of them is something that really made me think about this. It's true that wrestles may take more bumps today, but they also don't regularly do stuff like wrestle hour long matches, or if they do not nearly as often as it was the case before.
Interestingly you'll see most people considering the best wrestling as what happened in 80s and 90s, which was when the two really met in the middle and you had the gymnastics and the creativity of modern wrestling as well as the old school work-outs, mentality, territories, washing your senior's balls, doing a 1000 squats every day and so on.