Publisher: Crowbar Press
6x9 Perfect Bound
Photos: 495 b&w
Cover: Full color
Item #: cbp42-al1
"Great Wrestling Venues—Alabama 1931-1935" is available exclusively from Crowbar Press.
All books will be shipped via Media Mail (U.S.), Priority Mail, or International Priority Mail (Canada/overseas).
by Jason Presley
Decades before the Fullers and Southeastern Championship Wrestling ... before the Fields brothers and Gulf Coast Wrestling, before Nick Gulas & Roy Welch, and a lifetime before the likes of WrestleBirmingham & New South, the modern age of professional wrestling took hold in 1930s Alabama. While most of the United States was in the throes of the Great Depression, the wrestling business was experiencing the biggest expansion in its history as shows were being promoted in both small towns and big cities for crowds eager to put the hardship of the daily grind behind them.
Under the guidance of two men — Chris Jordan, an aging ring general looking to settle down and establish a legacy, and Sam Siegel, a young up-and-comer who wanted to make a name for himself in the promoting world — the wrestling scene in Alabama quickly grew into one of the busiest in the country. During a time when weight classes were strictly maintained and the smaller athletes (those under 190 pounds) could still draw a house as a major attraction, Jordan built a light-heavyweight empire in the Yellowhammer State. Meanwhile, Siegel tied the major Alabama cities into the national heavyweight circuit and brought in all the top names — Jim Londos, Ed (Strangler) Lewis, the Dusek brothers, Paul Jones, & Milo Steinborn. Together, Jordan & Siegel created local stars — Joe Dillman, Freddie Knichel & Joe Gunther — who headlined the territory for decades.
Jordan & Siegel transformed Alabama from a state with scattered, infrequent shows, to a full-blown territory of its own. In less than three years, they were running regular weekly shows in more than a dozen towns. Fans packed the arenas to see speedy, clean wrestling middleweights and dirty, rule-breaking heavyweights. Terrible Turks and Cherokee Chiefs. Wrestling blacksmiths and collegiate gridiron stars. Those enterprising promoters laid the foundation for the next several decades of exciting action in Alabama's squared-circle.
This comprehensive work covers the matches in the ring and the events that took place behind the scenes in Alabama from 1931 through 1935. Travel down Alabama highways and enjoy the memories of more than 2,000 wrestling shows, 4,000 matches, and more than 550 illustrations and images — program covers, newspaper headlines and articles, advertisements, and memorabilia — all of which accompany the stories and information to enhance the sensation of traveling back in time. This is yet another incredible work from Crowbar Press that you will refer to time and time again.