Black Panther Earns Praise from Tim Hornbaker

A few months ago I sent a draft of the Black Panther biography to sports and wrestling historian Tim Hornbaker. I was quite humbled and flattered when he sent his endorsement:

“Wrestling historian John Cosper has done it again. His newest book, The Original Black Panther: The Life and Legacy of Jim Mitchell is a fascinating journey into the history of one of wrestling’s forgotten superstars. This book is compelling, informative, and leave you wanting more. Major kudos to Mr. Cosper. Another great job!”

The book is selling well, and I’m trying to replenish my stock now. You can order yours on, or if you want a signed copy, you can get one direct from me for $15 plus postage. Email me at to order.

It Started Here

In November of 2012, I sat in the booth just beside the last stool in the photo above on a lunch break with my wife and kids. I told Jessica I was thinking of writing a book about the history of wrestling in Louisville.

She told me to go for it.

In less than two months, I am flying to Las Vegas for the Cauliflower Alley Club reunion to introduce Dr. D David Schultz as he receives the 2019 Male Wrestler Award.

I am incredibly grateful to everyone who has shared a story, purchased a book, opened a door, or helped me in any way during the last six plus years, but I am especially grateful for how my wife and family continue to support me.

I love you, Jessica. Thanks for putting up with all this wrestling crap.

Update: It IS Here!

The Black Panther Jim Mitchell’s is now available in paperback.

I just received the final draft of the foreword from WWE Hall of Fame Mark Henry earlier this week, and the book is now available for purchase.

If you are interested in a signed copy, they are $15 plus $3 for shipping in the US. (International orders, please inquire for shipping.)

As a special offer, now through March 8, you can add Bluegrass Brawlers or Louisville’s Greatest Show for only $7. That’s $25 for the Jim Mitchell book and the Louisville wrestling book of your choice, while supplies last.

Email me to order, or send PayPal to

This has been a long time coming. I am very proud of this book and happy to have joined forces with Mark in presenting it to the wrestling world. I can’t wait for all of you to read it.

Paradigm Pro Star Headed to Impact!

A little over a year ago, I got my first look at Ace Austin at Paradigm Pro Wrestling. Every time I’ve seen him in person, he’s only gotten better.

Ace is another wrestler based out of Dayton, Ohio, part of the core now at Impact that includes oVe and the Rascalz. He’s a dazzling superstar in the making and a great get for my weekly Friday night wrestling fix.

Huge congrats to Ace Austin, and to Impact. Cannot wait to see him on Twitch every week.

Photo credit to Mouse’s Wrestling Adventures.

Louisville’s Own Stu Gibson in Action

Several months ago I was able to sit down with Stu Gibson’s youngest sister Mary Lou Heinz to hear more about Stu, his family, and his life in and out of wrestling. One of the things Mary Lou gave me was a DVD of old family videos, and the first thing on that DVD was about 3 minutes of silent footage of Stu wrestling.

As best as I have determined, the footage was shot in 1974 or 1975 in Stu’s adopted hometown of San Antonio. There’s a singles match, followed by a battle royal. You will very quickly recognize a certain French giant in the mix during this second match.

To learn more about Stu Gibson, you can read the bio I wrote for the Pro Wrestling Historical Society. Or better yet, order a copy of my book Louisville’s Greatest Show. Stu is the airborne wrestler flying over Gorgeous George on the front cover.

My thanks to Mary Lou for allowing me to share this!

Doctor D: Movie Star?

Word has it there’s a Hulk Hogan biopic now in production, telling the story of his early career up to the birth of Hulkamania. You can’t tell that story – honestly-  without Doctor D David Schultz, so the question is, who should play the good doctor?

Better yet, who wants to see a movie about Doctor D himself?

Just in case anyone with the money to make a movie is reading, here’s a video Doc appeared in recently with Hurricane Helms. Maybe Doc could appear as himself in Hogan’s film or his own?

Sabu is Almost Here, and Vader is Coming!

Kenny Casanova keeps knocking them out. He’s about to release the much-anticipated autobiography of Sabu, and word is the Vader book will finally go to press this spring as well.

I have not read the Sabu book, but I did read an earlier draft of Vader’s. It’s one of the top five best wrestling biographies I’ve read. If you’re a fan of Kenny’s previous works with Kamala, Brutus Beefcake, and Dangerous Danny Davis, you will not be disappointed.

Kenny is a very gifted writer, and I can’t wait to see what he’s done with Sabu’s story. You can pre-order the book now on Kenny’s website and get a signed copy. Click here to order.

Support your favorite wrestlers, and support guys like Kenny who are helping to preserve the history of this crazy business.

Support My Friend Kenny Bolin

Many people think Kenny Bolin is nothing but a con. He is a bit of a con, and he is definitely all-carnie, but he’s also a one of a kind personality who has entertained many people over the last 30 years in professional wrestling. He’s also a human being facing some scary medical issues and a friend of mine, so here’s my plug.

If you’ve ever been entertained by Kenny Bolin, through wrestling, through his podcast, through his many guest appearances on other podcasts, or through his best-selling memoir, please consider giving a few bucks to help him with his upcoming medical procedures.

Though I won’t break kayfabe and tell you how I know this, believe me when I tell you there’s a good heart behind that Jack Benny/ carnival barker persona. Praying and wishing nothing but the best for the ol’ Starmaker.

Click here to visit Kenny’s fundraiser page.

Get to Know the World’s Strongest Man

I’m an intermittent WWE Network subscriber. I picked it up last month for the Rumble, and while it’s not set to auto-renew, I’ll pick it up again for ‘Mania. It was good timing this time around because not only did I get to enjoy a spectacular Halftime Heat during the Super Bowl, I got to see the debut of the new documentary about Mark Henry.

If you didn’t see it after the PPV last night, make time to watch it this week. It has all the great memories you want to relive (the faux retirement speech in the salmon colored jacket) as well as the ones that make you cringe (Mae Young). It also pulls back the curtain to reveal the genuine, humble person he is in real life. As strong as his body is, his heart is ten times stronger. The film details the many losses he’s suffered personally and professionally, and the hard lessons learned in and out of the ring. The film also highlights the loving father and husband who truly believes his kids are his greatest legacy.

If you’re not already a fan of Mark Henry, the World’s Strongest Man documentary will make you one. It’s a stellar reintroduction to the WWE Hall of Famer and soon to be Cauliflower Alley Club Award Winner. You can stream is now on the WWE Network.

What Wrestling Are You Watching?

Which promotions are you watching?

What networks do you subscribe to right now?

Right now, for me, it’s all about Impact and New Japan.

Impact has all my favorite people. Dave Crist, Jake Crist, Jordynne Grace, and the trio known as the Rascalz were faves of mine before they were on TV. I don’t have cable, but I’ve been watching them on Twitch every Friday night since they started streaming live. I hate to see their rating continue to slide because it’s a really, really great wrestling show.

And New Japan is… well, despite some high profile departures, it’s STILL New Japan. Ibushi is staying. Jay is the new IWGP Champ. And there are these two guys named Naito and Okada still there who are arguably among the best in the world.

Whatever you’re watching, I hope you’re watching to enjoy, not to complain. If you don’t like what’s on one show, turn it off. You have alternatives everywhere now.

I’ll be watching New Japan on the treadmill, and I’ll be on Twitch Friday evenings watching Impact. If you haven’t seen Impact in a while, I really hope you’ll give it a chance.