Wrestling

Emily Hilliard/ WV Folklife Program

This story is part of an episode of Inside Appalachia about Professional Wrestling in Appalachia. Click here to listen to the full episode. 

In the All Star Wrestling ring in Madison, West Virginia, Rocky Rage used to be one of the most beloved local characters in the arena. But then he made the switch from hero to bad guy.


Emily Hilliard/ WV Folklife Program

This story is part of an episode of Inside Appalachia about Professional Wrestling in Appalachia. Click here to listen to the full episode. 

In Madison, West Virginia, All Star Wrestling draws hundreds of people to most matches. The crowd is no different than any West Virginia high school sporting event: Plenty of kids, small children to teenagers—and parents, grandparents, and others who you can tell by the skeptical  look on their faces, are not that into it. They brought their kid who loves wrestling and that’s the only reason why they are sitting in an audience surrounded by screaming fans with music blaring.


Shayla Klein

This week on Inside Appalachia, we explore the world of independent pro-wrestling.

While pro-wrestling is popular across the country and all around the world, the sport has a rich and storied history here in Appalachia. In this episode we’ll take a glimpse at the action, intensity, and drama (real-life and otherwise) that happens between the ropes.


When Daniel Harnsberger leaves his home on the East Coast and drives into Appalachia, he usually packs a T-shirt covered in Hillary Clinton faces and spandex wrestling briefs that say "Progressive Liberal."