Friday Night Heroes: Small-Town Wrestling in Tennessee

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Friday Night Heroes: Small-Town Wrestling in Tennessee

by Joseph Shay
Southern Cultures, Vol. 11, No. 3: Fall 2005

"The crowd was at a fever pitch, seemingly waiting for an excuse to tear something apart. Would it be me?"

In local auditoriums, national guard armories, gyms, and bars, people gather to watch epic battles between heroes and villains. These are regular working people, waitresses and factory workers, farmers and mechanics, retail clerks, young and old, all seeking a release from the mundane routines of life, present to witness a spectacle at times shocking and repulsive, at other moments truly comedic and falsely tragic in its performance.

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