Cowboy Johnny Mantell


Johnny Mantell 

Wild West 

Wrestling Productions

Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum Announcement 


WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS (November 19, 2015) - The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame (PWHF) announced today plans to relocate the organization's headquarters, hall of fame and museum to Wichita Falls.  President of the PWHF, Johnny Mantell made the announcement during a ceremony at the new headquarters, which will be located in the Annex of the First Wichita Building, known locally as Big Blue.

Mantell said, "The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame honors the men and women in this business around the World! Professional wrestling has strong roots in Wichita Falls and we are proud to bring the Hall of Fame and Museum to Big Blue in downtown Wichita Falls."

Henry Florsheim, president and CEO of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce said, "Wrestling is a huge part of our culture; in fact, the largest crowds our coliseum ever draws are for professional wrestling.  This is a huge feather in the cap for Downtown Wichita Falls and the city as a whole, and may well turn in to one of our largest tourism draws."

Additionally, the PWHF plans to host the 15th annual induction weekend in May 2016 in Wichita Falls. The inductees are as follows:

Pioneer - Earl McCready & Joe Pazandak
Ladies - Leilani Kai
Colleague - Gene Okerlund
International - Peter Maivia
Tag Team - The Blackjacks (Lanza & Mulligan)
Television - Hans Schmidt  & Greg Valentine
Modern - Stone Cold Steve Austin & Sgt. Slaughter

Past inductees include such legends as Bruiser Brody, Danny Hodge, Stan Hansen, Wendi Richter, Ric Flair, Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan.  In the past, the event has included a wrestling show, street fair, collectors & memorabilia convention, meet & greet with Hall of Famers and a ticketed induction banquet. For more information on the ceremony, contact Wichita Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-800-799-6732 or visit

The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum is a 501C-3, nonprofit, chartered in December 1999. Presently the PWHF is housed in Amsterdam, NY. PWHF is the only brick and mortar Hall of Fame for Professional Wrestling in the world, displaying memorabilia dating as far back as the Civil War.

First statement from "New" President of the PWHF - Johnny Mantell

To all who has supported, helped with, attended, viewed or wanted to visit the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum, as of today, November 20th, 2015, the mission of the PWHF has not changed or wavered and will continue to collect and archive the history of Professional Wrestling and follow as it always has to Honor and Recognize the men and women in this business who have put their bodies on the line for the sport and entertainment of millions around the World.

For those of you happy with the announcement of the move of the PWHF to the Big Blue in Wichita Falls, TX, - thank you and we ask you to watch for updates along the way about the progress of the move and opening. It will be an exciting time. Make sure you plan on attending the 15th Annual Inductions May 20th & 21st, 2016 in Wichita Falls, Texas.

To those of you who seem upset about the news…. We at the PWHF hoe that you will give this location a chance to show you the great opportunities that will help propel the Hall into the future!

To all fans, wrestlers and inquisitive people who want to see all this about, follow the change and progress of moving the PWHF from NY to TX via the website and through my site , while we work to make the “changing of territories” of the PWHF a smooth one.

I want to thank Tony Vellano and all the Board of Directors from the Northeast for all of their hard work the past 16 years, getting the PWHF where it is today couldn’t have been done without any of you. Even larger thanks for allowing myself and the new TX Board of Directors the opportunity to take the PWHF to the next level making it the Main Event in Wichita Falls.

Thank you to the City of Wichita Falls, the Chamber, Downtown Proud, Wichita Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau and the entire community of Wichita Falls who have opened their arms to the PWHF and given us the support and partnership we’ve been hoping for.

We can’t wait to get the real work started now getting the doors open! The complete New Board of Directors for the PWHF will be announced soon which is already started plans for the Grand Opening and the even larger event of the 15th Induction Weekend.

Congratulations to the 15th Hall of Fame class to be inducted at the Banquet, May 21, 2016. There are lots of activities being planned for that weekend so watch the sites for all the updates. We look forward to seeing everyone in Wichita Falls May 20th & 21st, 2016.


Johnny Mantell

Ringside: Memories of World Class Championship Wrestling - an exhibit of photographs taken by famed photographer Cirrus Bonneau many at the Will Rogers on Monday nights during the early 1980s. 

Thanks to my brother Ken Mantell and Fritz Von Erich I was chosen to be just a small part of those years when Professional Wrestling in Dallas was equal to being a Rock Star! From when I started in '82 to when Southwest Sports / WCCW ceased to exist as "WE" knew it! I know many say that WCCW continued well into the 1990's but those of us that lived it know when the check you were paid weekly with (Yes, Boys & Girls Wrestling WAS our paycheck) stopped saying Southwest Sports the Era as we knew would soon be over. Now many tried to continue and even repeat the hay day through out the years but it would never be the same. 

Mr Cirrus Bonneau wasn't a wrestling fan but a fan of people, the way they responded, their facial expressions and interactions with the wrestlers and other fans. What an amazing look at the crowds, wrestlers and overall interaction from Will Rogers and the small buidling that we had to wrestle in when the Rodeo was in town! There are 34 photographs chosen by Dr. Oliver Bateman and the UTA Central Library to be displayed for the exhibit but there is 1000s more negatives that haven't even been seen yet from 1979 - 1984.  Thank you to Mr Bonneau, Dr Bateman and UTA for keeping our history alive. 

(All images in exhibit via Cirrus Bonneau / UTA Library Archives)

Thank you to NPR - All Things Considered for coming out to UTA to talk to Dr Bateman and I about the World Class Championship Wrestling exhibit. It was pleasure. 

And thank you for the great coverage. 

Below is a link to the 1st segment that they played. I understand it played a few times and I've heard they are coming back for the Panel Discussion on November 5th at UTA. 

I can't wait!!

( Image via Cirrus Bonneau/KERA News/ UTA Library Archives)




Welcome to our website all about 

"The Pride of Montague County, TX" 

Cowboy Johnny Mantell, the moniker was 

given by Bill Mercer in 1984 while 

working with Southwest Sports, World 

Class Championship Wrestling, the 

History of Professional Wrestling and 

more about books written for and about 

friends from the Business! John's history 

in this Sport (he was an amateur 

Champion starting at the age of 10, 

debuting in his 1st professional match in 

1976 under his real name); how he got 

into the business; more about books 

written for and about friends from the 

Business! John's history in this Sport (he was an amateur Champion starting 

at the age of 10, debuting in his 1st professional match in 1976 under his real 

name); how he got into the business; more about Wild West Wrestling 

Productions - a wrestling organization where they work

 to assist organizations with fundraising matches, event planning & more; all 

about Mantell's Corral - John's radio podcast where he talked Life, Wrestling

 "How it is, How it was, & How it ought to be!" for over 3 years on 

BlogTalkRadio, the show is currently being worked into a weekly Radio 

broadcast; and the facility that is going from the Thoroughbred Training 

facility (which burned to the ground in April 2009) started by his father, Paul 

Lusk Sr., into a Training Facility with lodging, weights, 1/2 mile obstacle track

 & more where men & women interested in learning more about this great 

sport from someone that has lived through it and trained with some of the 

best can come, stay and learn; plus he LOVES to tell stories occasionally! 

We're glad you stopped by..... come back soon!


Photo Gallery from the 2015 PWHF Induction Banquet

  • Group photo after the PWHF Banquet
    Group photo after the PWHF Banquet
  • Michael P.S. Hayes accepting the Induction of the Fabulous Freebirds
    Michael P.S. Hayes accepting the Induction of the Fabulous Freebirds
  • Joe Hennig accepting the Induction of his father Mr Perfect Curt Hennig
    Joe Hennig accepting the Induction of his father Mr Perfect Curt Hennig
  • Giving the nomination speech for the Fabulous Freebirds
    Giving the nomination speech for the Fabulous Freebirds
  • All of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductees that attended the 2015 banquet.
    All of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductees that attended the 2015 banquet.
Group photo after the PWHF Banquet
Group photo after the PWHF Banquet

Congratulations to the PWHF Class of 2015!!

It was a privilege for me to be the chair of the selection committee for the PWHF this year, my last year! What a pleasure it was attending again and seeing old friends from the business and fans we've met over the past few years. The true honor was being asked to induct The Fabulous Freebirds, Michael P.S. Hayes, Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy, into the 2015 Class of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. Michael came into accept the induction, his plaque and his ring as well as Connie Gordy (Terry's widow) and Buddy Roberts Jr. (Brandon, Buddy's son) & his widow Janice. 

My Memorabilia Box....

From my summer in the business where I was teamed with my brother (yes, Ken is my blood brother) Ken Mantell. 

I haven't seen this photos in years when I was asked to autograph these two 8x10s at this years PWHF Induction weekend. 

These were taken for Mid-South working for Bill Watts in '78-'79. I worked for Bill in and out my first few years several times, as I was still attempting to attend Whittier College.

Special thanks to Scott S. for sending us these so I can add them to the memorabilia box. 

So visit HERE for My Memorabilia Box, we hope you enjoy the trip back in Wrestling time...

Photo courtesy of Scott Swinsburg

2015 Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Inductees Announced....

The 2015 Induction Class of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in Amsterdam, NY has been announced.  I am excited and saddened as this is my second and final year has head of the Selection Committee that sets the ballot each year. Stan Hansen, Ray Apollo and I along with Mr. Tony Vellano, President of the Hall of Fame congratulate all of the Inductees and their families. 

Here is the full induction list:

  • Pioneer Era (1800-1946) - Joe Malcewicz and Great Gama (Ghulam Muhammad)
  • Television Era (1943-1984) - Pedro Morales and Whipper Billy Watson
  • Modern Era (1985 - present) - Curt Hennig and Rick Martel
  • Ladies - Vivian Vachon
  • Tag Team - The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes, Buddy Roberts and Terry Gordy)
  • Colleague - Jim Crockett Sr.
  • International - Tomomi "Jumbo" Tsuruta

  • The Voters Committee consists of previous Hall of Famers and other distinguished wrestlers, historians and members of the Professional Wrestling community. A list of this years voters can be found on the PWHF website. 
    Two great "articles" by Greg Oliver and Steven Johnson, both voters this year, can be found by following these links....

    Special thanks to Jermaine Ferrell at KFDX Ch. 3 in Wichita Falls, TX for selecting me for the Sports Spotlight segment.

    CLICK HERE for the the complete segment. 


    I was Honored to be asked to be involved in this Documentary....

    Back On Badstreet is all about the creation of the first theme song that has become the norm in the Professional Wrestling world. Told through the eyes of the people who witnessed it and with never-before-seen footage, Back On Badstreet is a documentary celebrating the 30th anniversary of the song, "Badstreet USA," and the people that made it happen.

    BACK ON BADSTREET is written and directed by Keith Alcorn (JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS) and Steve Barnes (A FAIR TO REMEMBER). The two have known each other for more than 30 years and figured it was about time to do something together, before one of them died. BACK ON BADSTREET celebrates the 30th anniversary of the song “Badstreet USA” and subsequent music video that ushered in a new musical genre known as “Rock N’ Wrestling.”  says '"There’s an impressive amount of research featured in Badstreet, including some very rare archive footage and insightful interviews with the likes of Global Wrestling Federation owner Grey Pierson, WCCW promoter and referee David Manning, and iconic wrestlers Iceman King Parsons and Cowboy Johnny Mantell. The elusive Hayes, a camera hog and spotlight stealer in his youth, is conspicuously absent, which works in the movie’s favor in an odd way, allowing for a more objective and interestingly impressionistic take on the man."
    Plus, Another REVIEW of the Film by

    The film was premiered at the Dallas Film Festival on Friday, Oct. 10th. 

    "Although I have not seen the finished product yet, it sure brings back a lot of great memories of that time in my life. I was honored to be included in the film, but the three of the Freebirds I have known the longest in the business of just about anyone from that time, except maybe Ice. In that I always thought of them (Michael, Buddy & Terry) as not only peers and colleagues but dear friends."  says Johnny Mantell about being asked to be part of the Back on Badstreet Documentary.

    Photos from Back on Bad Street Documentary shoot here at the Farm....

    The CORRAL Training Camps & Seminars being Announced, starting 2015

    MANTELL's CORRAL ~ Training Camps, Seminars and Course training....

    Above a look up the lane of the 1/2 mile training track, which is currently being updated with challenge course obstacles such as this huge tractor tire obstacle, seen on the left the kids are running too!! 

    Mantells Corral is located in the heart of Montague County, TX (just 7 miles from the county seat & courthouse in Montague), just a few miles off Hwy 287 between Dallas/Ft. Worth & Wichita Falls (an hour & half from D/FW Intl Airport), 45 minutes from I-35 in Gainesville, & just 3 hours from Oklahoma City.

    At the Corral, we have 112 acres of rolling pastures, trees, fresh air available to all who wish to train in such an environment. There will also be RV space available for overnight, weekend or longer stays at the Corral. 

    Our training seminars and camps will be around a 18' x 18' wrestling ring made to our custom specifications but won't just include ring work. 

    The Corral can provide:

    50+ years of Wrestling Experience from a male & female who have 4 decades in the business (Cowboy Johnny Mantell - wrestling since 1977; Tygress Lourdes - wrestling since 1991 - not many organizations provide male and female instruction in ring and out);

    112 acres, fresh country air; 

    1/2 mile turf course with obstacle / challenge course layout;

    Customized, individualized program to assist you in reaching your Athletic and Wrestling Goals!;

    Assistance with Nutrition & Workout program to fit your needs to reach those goals;

    Complete free weight gym on-site, machines;

    Occasional guests (friends) from the business who will stop by for special seminars or in ring technique work;

    Wrestling video library;

    RV lodging sites available (RVs or sites available for stays; overnight, weekend or longer);

    Farm fresh eggs, organic vegetables and fresh meat available for reduced rates to use for Nutrition program;

    and much more!

    This is not your Every day, Run of the Mill Wrestling School. As a matter of fact, we are not a school as most are now days. We do have a set rate, but not for so many months for a set amount of money. When you come to Mantell's Corral, we will bring you in,  give you a complete evaluation physical, mental and in ring, then talk about what Goals you want to set and why you are looking for a training facility; after that the fun begins! A complete training regimen and nutrition program to help you reach your goals will be set in place. Remember you will get out of it what time and effort you put in... this is a marathon not a sprint. 

    BUT we have to warn you, wrestling is NOT for everyone, male or female. It can be taught to most people but you do have to have some coordination and athletic skill to be a wrestler. There are other jobs with in the wrestling business for those not cut out to be a wrestler. It is best for all involved to know the ins and outs of the Whole business from wrestling to in ring promotion to event promotion to radio & TV skills and so much more. You will be shown aspects of all involved in the business of Professional Wrestling, self promotion and over all ring psychology. At the Corral you will be told the truth and not dangled along until your time is paid and then told your no good! We want everyone to learn the skills needed to make this business the best it can be!! 

    VISIT our Mantell's Corral Camps page (currently under construction) for more photos and information on The Corral or fill out the Contact Form below to be contacted by a Corral representative. 

    The CORRAL Training Facility is also AVAILABLE for other combat sport training. Our custom built ring can be easily transitioned into a boxing ring for training camps. A great place to train where your out in open country, fresh air and guys have to drive at least an hour to "get into trouble!" Give us a call. Video and photos of the facility will be available soon. 

    Thank you for contacting us. We will get back to you as soon as possible
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    2015 - Available for Booking Wrestling Matches across Texas & U.S.

    Looking to use Professional Wrestling at an Event, Fair, Festival or as a stand alone Fundraiser? Why not work with a World traveled Veteran of Professional Wrestling, a retired female wrestler with Event/Planning & Coordination back ground to help build an Amazing Event for your Town and / or Organization for a Fundraiser or just to "give back" and Thank your community? "K" & I have a proven history of putting together wrestling shows for many Cities, Main St. organizations, Boys & Girls Clubs, Athletic Booster Clubs, Police Departments and Events/Festivals; we can also assist in the full coordination of Events/Festivals. A Blue Print to Success like no other Promotional company provides as we work hand in hand with your team and volunteers to make your's the best event possible. 

    There is a Wide range of talent, both men and women, in Texas and across the United States and Canada that are available to work. To be honest, there are also a Long list of organizations and promotions that will tell you they can provide the same kind of show and results that we hope to provide. But unlike many of those, We have a list of references available with stories of how we provide a one of a kind, professional wrestling show where people still believe like the eras "long ago". There are even Legends and Veterans alike that although may not be able to crawl through the ropes any longer, much like myself, that are available for your events to add that Special touch that some think is needed! 

    So want to see what we offer and what a "World Class" Wild West Wrestling promoted show can do? CONTACT US throw our website or just give Johnny Mantell a call!! We would be happy to send out more information or provide a presentation. 

    Johnny & "K"**

    **Also AVAILABLE for Seminars, Classes and Motivational Conferences across the United States. Between us we have over 50 years of in Ring, in front of and behind camera experience, match making, promoting & coordination which span 4 decades of Professional Wrestling. In that time, we have seen Wrestling go from the Territory days and all that went with that! to today's weekend independent wrestling or "the Big Show". But like many things in History we hope the days of being able to Wrestle and support your family will come back around.... 

    World Wrestling Association 
    1996-2002 based in Cleburne, TX
    Mixed DVD Compilation

    Mantells Corral AVAILABLE through Archives on Website & BTR

    Mantell's Corral with host Cowboy Johnny Mantell

    A Blog Talk Radio, online talk show, where you can listen stories from the Road of Life, Professional Wrestling and occasionally Horse Racing. You can still listen to John with Special Guests like Terry Simms, Paul Orndorf, Terry Funk, Kevin Von Erich, Eric Embry and so many more.

    Our live shows will be scheduled through out the month so watch for Mantells Corral FB page and here for the upcoming shows information. 

    A video from GWF days, a "fan" put together to Music Video..... 

    UPDATE: YouTube has removed the music from the video. We are not friends with or aware of the publisher of the video, the link was sent to the Cowboy Johnny Mantell Facebook page in 2011. 

    Welcome to Wild West Wrestling Productions....

    Wild West Wrestling Productions is wrestling promotion organization that is interested in bringing quality, family friendly, live professional wrestling to your town or community. We would bring a family show to your town, festival, fair or organization fundraiser to assist your group with community awareness or fundraising opportunities!

    The Wild West Wrestling organization has over 30 years experience in the professional wrestling arena. We are true professionals, with references, unlike many other organizations, promoters, that may "promise you the world" but are unable to deliver what they promised. We will provide your organization with a custom wrestling package based on your selection of terms, matches and athletes fit best to meet your fundraising needs. Prices range based on athletes and options selected. All athletes are based on availability.

    Personalize the show for your entite community and cause; involve a local personality such as a high school coach, principal, councilman, Main Street officer, or DARE Officer to wrestle in a exhibition match! This provides additional promotional opportunities and interest for the event.

    If you are interested in this unique fundraising opportunity for your organization, we will be happy to send more information if needed or attend a meeting to answer all of your organizations in person.

    When you book with us you are provided with hands-on assistance with all of your event needs. You won't be left to do this alone!

    We look forward to assisting your community and organization with this great opportunity!

    Sincerely, Johnny Mantell & "K" Downs

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