When I was considering writing a book about wrestling in Louisville in late 2012, there was one story tipped the scale for me as far as my interest. It’s the story of how on January 24, 1913, a wrestler known as “Bob Fredericks” arrived in Louisville two weeks after he was supposed to debut. When Fredericks (real name Robert Friedrich) no-showed on January 10 after being advertised, promoter William Barton used another man named Bob Managoff as Fredericks on the show, so the real Fredericks was unable to use his own name. No one knows for sure whether it was Barton, Fredericks, Managoff, or referee Heywood Allen who suggested it, but since Fredericks hailed from Wisconsin, it was decided they would give him a name paying tribute to the state’s wrestling hero, Evan “The Strangler” Lewis by calling him Ed “Strangler” Lewis.
A few weeks ago, I applied to register Eat Sleep Wrestle as an LLC in the state of Indiana. Call it fate, call it coincidence, call it a God thing – the official birthdate of Eat Sleep Wrestle LLC is January 24, 2018, 105 years to the day after Strangler Lewis got his name in Louisville.
Thank you to all the fans, fellow historians, wrestlers, promoters, referees, and other lovers of professional wrestling who have supported me in this endeavor. This is going to be a great year, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this crazy business takes me.