Minnesota's Golden Age of Wrestling: From Verne Gagne to the Road Warriors
Why was Minnesota, a land known for its stoic farmers, reasonable politics, and comfortable casseroles, a hotbed of the wacky and wild world of professional wrestling? And how did that old-school wrestling become the Saturday night program of choice for thousands of midwestern families in the last half of the twentieth century? Professional wrestling historian and insider George Schire is here not only to set the record straight but to entice you into a world gone by, a world that comes alive through his colorful and perceptive reporting.
As a kid, Schire found a way to escape the troubles of his life by becoming a wrestling fan, glued to the TV set and then later traveling to see every live “card” in the Twin Cities and many more throughout the region. Over the years he has been involved in all aspects of the sport, and he now offers detailed, behind-the-scenes accounts of important matches from 1954 to 1990 and stories of wrestler personalities, both in and out of the ring. He shares his own extensive collection of wrestling memorabilia— photographs, program covers, newspaper clippings, and other ephemera—to honor the hardworking characters who forged serial storylines onstage week after week and who thrilled fans by carrying out their plots in the ring, with blood, sweat, tears, and high-flying body slams for all.
An avid historian, George Schire has been a writer and columnist for national wrestling publications and a ring announcer. He currently cohosts a popular Internet wrestling show, “Old School/New School.” He lives in Oakdale, Minnesota.
“I thought I knew the sport of professional wrestling. Then I met George Schire! No one is more knowledgeable about the events and personalities that made professional wrestling what it is today.”
—Greg Gagne, former professional wrestler and titleholder
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