World Champions Podcast

Join narrator J Onwuka on a trip through the fantastic history of professional wrestling, from its earliest days with barnstormers and Frank Gotch, up past Lou Thesz, and right through Ric Flair and Bruno Sammartino.

http://worldchampionspodcast.com

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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...


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      59m
       2016-04-27

      #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...


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      55m
       2016-04-12

      #13 Fair Play


      On this episode of World Champions Podcast I'll take a look into the life of the one and only Mildred 'Cyclone' Burke, a woman who not only defined what a woman wrestling champion should be but upped the ante for every male champion out there. She wasn't the first, though: women like the strongwoman Minerva, Cora Livingston, and Barbara Ware preceded her in breaking social taboos and grappling. Burke was the first one to make a real living at it and become a true star, and in her wake...


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      1h4m
       2016-03-30

      #12 Mundo del Deporte


      On this week's World Champions Podcast head around the world and see how this amazing art had developed into the 1950s. As has been brought out in earlier episodes, the primary development of professional wrestling has occurred in the United States. That doesn't mean it all happened there. From our neighbors Canada to our linguistically more distant cousins in Mexico, all of North America has a history with professional wrestling. Through the magic of steam engines, radio waves, and ...


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      1h6m
       2016-03-22

      #11 The Mat Game


      A golden age of wrestling on TV is the subject of this week's World Champions Podcast: when a coast-to-coast program made new stars and local stations made promoters a small mint. Not everyone was on board with the new medium, though, and even those who embraced it found themselves neck-deep in hot water. Under Fred Kohler, Chicago would rise to become the premier wrestling city in America, and nobody was quite comfortable with that development.

      If you have a dollar or two to...


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      55m
       2016-03-14

      #10 The Last Gunslinger


      On this episode of the World Champions Podcast take a look at the incredible career and achievements of the man who would forever epitomize the role of world heavyweight champion, Lou Thesz. So great that he never needed a tagline, never needed a costume, needed nothing but his own skills. By being who he was and where he was Thesz changed what pro wrestling was and allowed it to evolve from a sport into a smartly-worked and engaging art.

      If you have a dollar or two to spare (or a...


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      53m
       2016-03-01

      #9 Alliance


      In this episode, perhaps the most influential organization in pro wrestling history--the National Wrestling Alliance--finally comes together. This doesn't happen in a vacuum. St Louis kingpin Tom Packs and his control of pro wrestling did a lot to spur this on, alienating fellow promoters to the point where banding together seemed their best recourse. Small-time Iowa promoter Pinkie George would be the soul of this young organization, but its brain was a young newspaperman who took on the...


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      56m
       2016-02-22

      #8 King of St Louis


      On this episode of the World Champions Podcast, find out just how deeply affected professional wrestling was by World War II. Not only reeling from the after-effects of Shikat's double-cross and Jack Pfefer's blabbing, wrestling had a much depleted base of stars to work with. Though old stars like John Pesek and Ed "Strangler" Lewis made mild returns, the stage was set for a crop of new ring heroes like "The Blonde Bear" Everett Marshall and perhaps the top wrestler during the war, "Wild"...


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      40m
       2016-02-15

      #7 Riot Squad


      On episode #7 of the World Champions Podcast come take a look at the variety of talents that began to emerge in the 1930s. As pro wrestling struggled to find its audience it came up with a lot of outlandish concepts, from brawling all around the ring with the Dirty Duseks or Ted "King Kong" Cox to the staid, courtly style of Lord Patrick Lansdowne Finnegan. All the while, top stars like Jim Londos continued their run in the main events, battling over an increasingly frayed world...


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      44m
       2016-02-10

      #6 Golden Years


      Join the World Champions Podcast as wrestling starts to kick into a higher gear. New concepts or 'gimmicks' entered the sport: flashy new moves, crazy match situations, outlandish characters. Yet all of this came about because of the sport's promotional decline. Backroom battles over control of the title and, worse, the legitimacy of wrestling itself threatened to totally destroy pro wrestling in this era. How'd it get so bad? Listen in to find out!

      Also remember to join the World...


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      1h6m
       2016-02-05