New Netflix show shines light on Kentucky professional wrestling company

By Quin Welch, Building Kentucky

Kentucky is well known across the world for things like bourbon, horses and basketball. But the Commonwealth has recently received worldwide attention for a new Netflix docuseries called “Wrestlers,” an inside look at Louisville’s Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). 

Founded in 1993, OVW is a professional wrestling company that has produced some of the world’s most famous wrestlers. Stars such as John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Dave Bautista, and Randy Orton all cut their teeth as young, aspiring wrestlers. Al Snow, a former wrestler with WWE, serves as the company’s CEO and is in charge of the wrestling.

The show chronicles the struggles of the company to stay afloat in a constantly changing media landscape. Local businessmen Matt Jones, founder of Kentucky Sports Radio, and Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg invested in the company and took full control of the business in 2021. Jones and Greenberg often butt heads with Snow and many of the company’s wrestlers throughout the show on how the business should be run.

“Wrestlers” has garnered immense praise from critics across the globe, with positive reviews coming from outlets such as the New York Times, Variety Magazine, and Time Magazine. Greg Whitely, who directed the show, has two other smash hits on Netflix — “Last Chance U,” a show about junior college athletes striving to receive athletic scholarships from Division One universities, and “Cheer,” a series documenting the lives of junior college cheerleaders.

The show appears to have already had a positive impact on the company’s finances, with OVW’s most recent Louisville show at Historic Davis Arena selling out. To learn more about OVW and how to buy tickets, head over to their website. 

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