Bluegrass Brawlers


From Strangler Lewis to John Cena, 130 years of pro wrestling in the city of Louisville.

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Louisville loves sports. It’s the birthplace of the Muhammed Ali, the home of the Louisville Cardinals, and proud host of the Kentucky Derby. But Louisville has another obsession nearly as old as the Derby: professional wrestling.

As early as 1880 fans gathered at the downtown opera house to see men and women grapple on the mat. In the early 20th Century Louisville gave Ed “Strangler” Lewis the name that made him famous. Then in the 1940s Louisville fans had a front row seat to the golden age of Lou Thesz, Mildred Burke, and The Black Panther Jim Mitchell thanks to the Allen Athletic Club.

Jerry Jarrett and Jerry Lawler built Louisville into the number two town in the Memphis territory, giving Louisville fans a first look at stars like Hulk Hogan, Kane, Steve Austin, and The Rock. And when the territories died, the independents gave future stars like CM Punk. Brock Lesnar, and John Cena their first taste of the business.

Bluegrass Brawlers takes you from the early days at the opera house to the Louisville Gardens to the Davis Arena. It’s an action packed take that will delight fans of wrestling and the Derby City!

Number of pages: 320

Books are signed by author John Cosper.

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Additional information

Weight 22 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .7 in