This website is devoted to the history of professional wrestling in the Steel Belt region of upstate New York, western Pennsylvania, and northeastern Ohio. This area, especially the cities of Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland, has a rich wrestling tradition that we will explore through clippings, photographs, articles, and interviews with participants in the wrestling business. Some of this information is scattered throughout the Internet, or stuffed in the back corners of dusty attics. By bringing it together in a single place, we hope that we can create a website that’s both entertaining and informative.
What’s the Steel Belt?
The Steel Belt refers to that part of the country that has been historically significant for its production of steel. Names like Bethlehem Steel, U.S. Steel, and Ohio Steel are well-known to any student of American business. Many steel manufacturers have disappeared, of course, but the concept of a “Steel Belt” is still a good one to group the cities and towns in this part of the country. And, for wrestling fans, “Steele” (as in one of the premier grapplers in the area) and “belt” are double entendres.
Respect for the profession
As the site expands, we intend to keep one consideration foremost in our minds, and that’s respect for the wrestlers that you’ll find discussed in these pages. Like many businesses, professional wrestling has its good points and its dark side. While we intend to be as accurate as possible, this site is not a place to point fingers, settle scores, or engage in name-calling. We’re certain that this approach is the best possible way to accomplish our goal of uncovering the history of pro wrestling in the Steel Belt.
What we’ll cover
Initially, much of our focus will be on the 1970s. There’s a simple reason for that — it’s when the proprietors of the site most closely followed the sport. By no means, though, are we confining ourselves to that time frame. We are actively seeking out information from immediate pre- and post-World War II period, and we’ll have a healthy dollop of information about the independent promotions that dotted the region from the 1980s to today. In that way, we anticipate the site will be both timeless and timely.
For their contributions, Don Luce, one of the sport’s great historians, who has provided so many Buffalo results; Andrew Calvert, for many clippings, Dr. Bob Bryla, for many posters. Pete Lederberg has provided some photos from the Don Freeman collection.
If you have something you’d like to contribute to this site, please feel free to contact:
Steven Johnson, Editor
Gregory Mosorjak, Editor
If you have any problems with the website, please contact:
Louis Johnson, Webmaster