What’s a good way to
work off some energy? Oh, yeah, wrestling! Yee-haw! Is it, it’s awkward, isn’t it?
(crew laughing) – Uh, yeah, yeah.
– I probably shouldn’t wear this for the
whole interview, right? – No, no. – Okay.
– Chet, no. – Sorry, sorry, bad
call on my part. (rhythmic rock music)
Okay, sorry about that. I better just visit the
museum like a normal tourist. This is the Professional
Wrestling Hall of Fame. This is director Johnny
Mantell to show us the ropes. – Well, welcome to the
only brick-and-mortar hall of fame and
museum in the world just for professional wrestling. It’s right here in
Wichita Falls, Texas. We’re in about
7,000 square feet, and as you can see,
from floor to ceiling, wall to wall,
memorabilia, history, even as far back as
before the Civil War. I bet you didn’t know
Abraham Lincoln was a professional wrestler. – No (laughs loudly)! – There you go. – No, I didn’t. – There you go. – Was his name Mr. Emancipation? Whether you’re a
super fan or not, this museum is gonna
teach you a lot of things you didn’t know about
professional wrestling. Its mission is to
preserve the history and honor the athletes
of this sport. The good, the bad, and
the exceptionally tan. Everybody is gonna
know somebody inducted into the Hall of Fame. Hulk Hogan, Stone
Cold Steve Austin, Nature Boy, Ric Flair, woo! Also, some of our Texas legends, like the Von Erich’s
and Skandor Akbar. So, I understand you did
some professional wrestling, as well.
– I did, I couldn’t, I couldn’t sing and
dance, so I had to do a little professional
wrestling in my day, and my stuff’s right
here in this corner. – Wow, awesome! He was, and is,
Cowboy Johnny Mantell, snakeskin spandex and all. Johnny went toe-to-toe
with dozens of wrestlers in this Hall of Fame. – For me, it’s such
an opportunity, because I wrestled Lou Thesz, and I wrestled Andre the Giant, and I wrestled with Steamboat, and it’s me giving
back to this business, making sure that all
these Hall of Famers have a place to have
their stuff hung, and their families have
some place to come see them, and still relive those
moments with them. – Oh, that’s awesome. These guys were wrestling
five, six nights a week? – Yeah, six, seven
nights a week. – Wow!
– Sometimes you wrestle twice on Saturday and twice on Sunday. – God, they had to be machines. – You didn’t wrestle,
you didn’t get paid. – Definitely a hard way
to chase your dreams. The museum also covers
unknown or unrespected areas of professional wrestling that
make the sport what it is. Little people leagues,
all female leagues, international leagues,
even some of the moments when wrestling advanced
social progress. – Sputnik Monroe, they give
him credit for integrating the city of Memphis. When he started wrestling there, they segregated the fans, the balcony and
the bottom floor, and he refused to wrestle until they let everybody
come in and sit where they wanted to sit.
– Ah! Yeah, wrestling has been
a big part of U.S. history for a very long time. This wring is from Madison
Square Garden in the 1890s! I mean, the authentic pieces
of history here are priceless. I’ve put on Roy
Orbison’s glasses, now I’m holding
Jim Duggan’s board. Oh!
– Hey, hey, easy, easy. This is expensive. – Greg The Hammer
Valentine’s robe. Those red spots are blood. – Really? Sure, at times,
wrestling may take knocks as being a bit, we’ll
call it choreographed. But the blood and
athleticism are real. This sport demands it. See him, was he
looking at me funny? – He might mouth at you.
– Did he? – He might mouth at you.
– He gave you a funny look. Oh, that didn’t take long. – Oh, it’s a lot
heavier than I thought. The jigging elbow, ah! I’m done, man. – Now, you’re done. – You don’t talk
back to the Tripper. Ah, it makes me wanna
get in the ring! I think I could do it!
– Feel pumped, ready to do it? – Yeah, I think I could! – Well, you know
they’ve started this 205 and under weight class, sort of a junior
heavy weight class. – Junior heavy weight?
– Maybe you could fit into something like that. – I’m not junior heavy weight, no, no, I got what
it takes for the– – Well, here let’s just
see if you’re really– – Huh, whoa! – Hey, brother, are you okay? You all right? – What just happened to me? – Well, you just
took a body slam, and you landed on the floor. Here let me help you up. – Where am I? – Nobody else is gonna
help you up, but I will. – Yeah, I might need a
little more training. – Yeah, just a touch more, man, but you’re good, you’re good. – Okay, so maybe I’m not
ready for the ring just yet. to see the full episode or to get info about
how to visit this spot trip on over to
-thedaytripper.com or here’s some other videos
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