What era of Louisville wrestling do you remember best? Are you one who remembers the good ol’ days with Jerry Lawler, Bill Dundee, Handsome Jimmy Valiant, and the rest of the Memphis crew? Were you one of the few but proud who supported the Poffos back in the early 80s? Or are you one of those already missing the good ol’ days of OVW with Cena, Lesnar, Orton, and Batista?
Louisville’s wrestling goes much deeper and further back than OVW and Memphis. Louisville is the place where:
A female circus wrestler issued an open challenge and took on a local man to prove wrestling was not fake – in 1880!
A Zulu prince wrestled a bull on New Year’s Day in 1909.
Ed “Strangler” Lewis was given his famous moniker when he showed up two weeks late for a booking in 1913.
Orville Brown lost his world title to a surprise masked man in 1941, the only major title change to ever take place in Louisville.
A man wrestled an alligator and got married in the same ring, all in one night back in 1947.
Teenage Bobby Heenan made his in-ring debut and was burned by a fan’s cigar, all for a $5 pay off.
Jeff Jarrett and Dutch Mantell battled in a ring set up inside Whitney Hall at Kentucky Center for the Arts in front of a classical music crowd.
And lest we forget, just a few miles north of Louisville, CM Punk battled for 93 minutes against Chris Hero. This after having a 41 minute tables and ladders match that brought the house down.
Bluegrass Brawlers: The Story of Professional Wrestling in Louisville, tells these stories and so many more. It’s a must for fans of wrestling history and proud Louisville natives who enjoy hearing some great tales of their city’s history.