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Louisville mayor to feature in Netflix Ohio Valley Wrestling docuseries

Louisville, Ky., Mayor Craig Greenberg is co-owner of OVW, which has been a professional wrestling training ground in the city since the 1990s.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Even if you're not a fan of professional wrestling, you'll recognize at least one face in an upcoming Netflix docuseries showcasing Ohio Valley Wrestling.

Mayor Craig Greenberg is part of a group of investors who purchased a majority stake in the independent Louisville-based wrestling promotion in 2021. OVW was once affiliated with World Wrestling Entertainment and was home to future megastars like John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista and Brock Lesnar, but fell on hard times in recent years.

Netflix's "Wrestlers" will give viewers a behind-the-curtain look at the current crop of athletes trying to make it to the top. The show also profiles how Al Snow, a former Extreme Championship Wrestling and WWE wrestler, is trying to keep the promotion going.

"We wanted to work to put a docuseries together that would be on Netflix to show the world the interesting lives of wrestlers and what what we're all about here in Louisville," Greenberg said. "The amazing history of professional wrestling right here in Louisville continues to thrive today."

In 2021, Greenberg's group - which includes Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio - purchased a majority stake in the company. The series documents OVW through the summer of 2022 as the promotion toured the state and tried to turn around its finances.

Greenberg grew up a huge wrestling fan.

"I grew up a professional wrestling fan," he said. "On Tuesday nights, I used to go to Louisville Gardens with my dad and friends and other families. That passion for professional wrestling was something that motivated me to become one of the investors in Ohio Valley Wrestling several years ago before I became mayor."

The show will debut on Netflix Sept. 13. Greenberg said the show highlights the challenges of trying to build a small business into something bigger, and to give up-and-coming wrestlers an opportunity.

The official synopsis from Netflix states:

“Once a proud finishing school for aspiring pro wrestlers, the gym has since hit hard times. Acclaimed wrestler Al Snow clings to an old school wrestling philosophy with a heavy emphasis on storytelling, but in spite of the love of a few diehard fans, the gym struggles week-to-week to stay relevant enough to keep its doors open. Things have become so dire financially that Al has to sell a majority stake to a group of local businessmen including Matt Jones, the most popular radio personality in the state of Kentucky. Matt and the new ownership group have infused the struggling gym with much-needed cash but it still operates at a staggering loss. The new owners have given Al the summer to turn things around. Wrestlers chronicles the efforts Al and his band of aspiring wrestlers make as they struggle with their personal ambitions and each other while they attempt to come together to save this historic gym.”

OVW was founded in 1993 by "Nightmare" Danny Davis and mostly ran shows in the Kentucky and Indiana wrestling territories formerly run by the United States Wrestling Association. Weekly shows were booked at the original Davis Arena in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and larger shows ran at the Louisville Gardens.

Legendary wrestling manager and Louisville native Jim Cornette purchased a stake in OVW in 1999 and became the booker and show writer, and worked as a commentator. Cena, Orton, Lesnar and Batista were part of the first class of developmental talent Cornette and Davis schooled with the help of head trainer Rip Rogers.

The affiliation with WWE as a developmental territory lasted from 1999-2008. Cornette sold his stake back to Davis in 2007.

Snow purchased OVW from Davis in 2018.


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