by month: April 2016

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#15 Red Letters

Check out the latest World Champions Podcast
and hear about the nitty-gritty backroom fracas that wracked the National Wrestling Alliance throughout the 50s. Even though they had a very successful run in the ring with Lou Thesz as their champion, behind the scenes the NWA was set upon almost immediately by lawsuits, disgruntled opponents, and the United States government. Promotional ‘wars’ erupted in the Pacific Northwest, in Texas, and in southern California, all of them challenging the Alliance’s dominance. The NWA did survive these trials but not without a lot of heartache and a lot of loss. The question really is: how much did the NWA manage to save despite this all-around attack?

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#14 Two Panthers

On this episode of the World Champions Podcast hear about the other side of the social divide and explore professional wrestling’s history with racism. Europeans and their descendants almost exclusively made the early history of wrestling but, to a large degree, it was because they forced non-white people out of consideration. Early black grapplers like Viro Small showed that black people had the ability, but racial prejudices held them back. Hispanics, Asians, and American Indians also struggled under the racial ideas that prevailed in pre-war America. Not only did two such stars earn the nickname “Black Panther” — Jim Mitchell, a black man, and Enrique Torres, Hispanic — but one would become renowned for his exceptional skill and toughness, the sleeper legend Luther Lindsay.

The artwork on the episode image is from a Parkhurst wrestling card (#83) depicting Luther Lindsay.

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