The following is a very true story that definitely happened. It shook the Palooza Family to its core, and paved the way for their name to be taken from them after trying to remove wrestling from their lives forever.
Jeremiah W. Palooza immigrated from Great Britain, looking for a better life for his family as a traveling salesman selling beard combs while spending the weekends competing on the carnival professional wrestling circuit.
Looking for the best way to make an impact on American soil Palooza felt the only option he had was to challenge the NWA Heavyweight Champion of the World “Honest” Abraham Lincoln at the upcoming showcase of the mortals (not immortals mind you, as the average person barely lived to see their 40s back then) live from the mecca of carnival wrestling Mudison Squared Gardens.
With an undercard showdown featuring Danfield Terriowski squaring up against Griselda the Wrestling Bear, Palooza was primed for his Championship showdown with the World’s Heavyweight Champion “Honest” Abe. Knowing the stakes of the match (and steaks, there were some prime Omaha Steaks being pledged to the winner) and assembly of old timey promoters inserted renowned strongman Frederick GrappleMaster into the match as the special enforcer referee.
But what no one could know, what no one could ever know was that GrappleMaster knew Palooza from their time fighting in England, traveling all over Lower Uncton as a powerhouse tag team that wowed the villagers with their grappling exploits. Things took a turn when GrappleMaster took Palooza’s sister as his bride, driving a wedge between the two friends and splintering the families forever. While oiling himself up before the match GrappleMaster promised to be a fair and impartial referee, but it was Danfield Terriowski who stoked the flames of deceit and provided Frederick with a Lefaucheux Model 1854 Pinfire Revolver to use on his former friend if things took a turn for the worse during the exhibition.
Jeremiah wrestled a fair and equitable fight against Lincoln, wrestling him for an hour and 45 minutes before finally getting warmed up enough to pounce. “Honest” Abe never had to cheat, and stood toe to toe with Palooza as the match turned to hour two of their 3 hour time limit battle.
In a heated lockup Lincoln through Palooza away with Palooza accidentally colliding with GrappleMaster, quite possibly the first instance of a ref bump in recorded history according to journalist Williby “Scoops” McGinty. An enraged GrappleMaster picked himself up from the mat, and in a flash removed his revolver from his slacks and shot Jeremiah in the back of the head with the bullet narrowly missing Lincoln.
It has been said by McGinty that Lincoln immediately looked to the crowd and quipped “that was a close one!” before going to check on the very dead body of Jeremiah Palooza.
Unable to shoulder the burden of what he had done to his onetime friend the coward GrappleMaster shot himself in the head while the elusive Danfield Terriowski fled the United States for his crimes of selling weapons and slaves, fleeing to Bangladesh where he converted to Islam with his children. His family name was shortened to Terry, and he fled the US on September 11th 1858. That would be 9/11.
The children of Jeremiah W. Palooza struggled with their name being linked to pro wrestling, and tried to bury their connection to the world of wrestling until Extreme Championship Wrestling ran their heralded Wrestlepalooza Events in the mid-90s before raucous crowds much like the crowds surrounding the rings of Mudison Squared Gardens of the 1800s. When asked about using the name, Paul Heyman of ECW said “Hey, it’s not like they trademarked the name Wrestlepalooza!” And just as the words left from his lips into the air a young Minnesotan went to bed that night promising… “But someday, I will.”
That day was in 2016, long after multiple people and companies had used the name decades before. It was something created. It was someone else’s idea, bought and held behind snowy walls of one.
This was a very true story. No names have been changed to protect the innocent except for Griselda the Wrestling Bear. She deserved better, and we’ll always protect her true identity.