Pro Wrestling America
StyleProfessional wrestling
HeadquartersMinneapolis, Minnesota (1985-1993; 1996-present)
Founder(s)Eddie Sharkey
Owner(s)Eddie Sharkey (1985-1993; 1996-present)
Terry Fox (1996-present)
SisterWrestle America 2000

Pro Wrestling America is a regional independent wrestling promotion based in Minneapolis, Minnesota during the 1980s and early 1990s. Founded and promoted by retired wrestler Eddie Sharkey, a longtime veteran of the American Wrestling Association and owner of the Pro Wrestling America Training Center, Pro Wrestling America featured many established wrestlers while in between the then "Big Three" (American Wrestling Association, National Wrestling Alliance and the World Wrestling Federation) as well as providing many lightheavyweight and cruiserweight wrestlers with their first national exposure, most notably, Sabu, Jerry Lynn[1][2] and The Lightning Kid.[3]

Although the promotion stopped running regular events in 1993, it has held sporadic events in the Minneapolis-area with Sharkey's wrestling school since 1996. Among the former students who have appeared for several of these events include Lacey[4] and Austin Aries,[5] both being top stars in Ring of Honor.


In 1982, after leaving the AWA as a result of a pay dispute with promoter Greg Gagne, Sharkey was approached by fifteen other wrestlers similarly upset with Gagne over withholding payment and convinced Sharkey to start his own promotion. Sharkey duly set up his own promotion Pro Wrestling USA, starring his own trainees such as the two future members of the Road Warriors tag team (at this stage known as Crusher Von Haig and The Road Warrior respectively) as well as Rick Rood,[6] and Barry Darsow (then still wrestling under his legal name).[7] Sharkey was soon able to sign other wrestlers including Paul Ellering, Tom Zenk, Nikita Koloff, The Destruction Crew (Mike Enos & Wayne Bloom) and the Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) as well as Mad Dog Vachon, Bruiser Brody, Larry Cameron often making appearances. Ray Whebbe, Jr.[8] and Dale Gagner, the current owner of AWA Superstars, was also involved with the promotion.[9] Although a chief rival of the American Wrestling Alliance during the late 1980s, Sharkey and Gagne eventually agreed to a talent exchange deal between the two promotions. A number of PWA veterans were brought into the AWA during its last years including Derrick Dukes and Ricky Rice.[10]

In 1986, Eddie Sharkey and promoter Tony Condello worked out an agreement for PWA wrestlers to appear in televised wrestling events in central Canada. Chris Markoff, Buck Zumhofe, Ricky Rice & Derrick Dukes and The Terminators (Riggs & Wolff) were among those who appeared in the territory.[11] Pro Wrestling America, among other regional promotions such as Georgia All-Star Wrestling and the United States Wrestling Association, also had a working relationship with the Global Wrestling Federation during its last years and allowed its own wrestlers compete in GWF tournaments and other events. Jerry Lynn and The Lightning Kid, two of the promotion's top light heavyweight wrestlers, faced each other in a match to crown the first GWF Light Heavyweight Championship.[12] A number of PWA wrestlers often appeared on The Prima-Donns, a long-running Public-access television cable TV show in the Minneapolis-area, including Eddie Sharkey, Baron von Raschke, Nick Bockwinkel and Jerry Lynn.[13]

Pro Wrestling America was so successful during its early years, despite no access to television or advertising according to Eddie Sharkey, that the promotion was the first and, as of 1991, the only independent promotion never to lose money.[14] The promotion would eventually cease running shows after 1993, however Sharkey once again began promoting in the area with Terry Fox after a three-year absence, under either Wrestle America 2000 or Pro Wrestling America, with students from their wrestling camp.[6] The promotion has since occasionally toured Japan and the Middle East.[15]


Main article: List of Pro Wrestling America alumni


Championship Current champion(s) Previous champion(s) Date won Location
PWA Heavyweight Championship Wellington Wilkens, Jr. August 25, 1996 Sendai, Japan[16][17][18]
PWA Iron Horse Television Championship The Lightning Kid Derrick Dukes April 20, 1991 Mora, MN[16][19][20]
PWA Light Heavyweight Championship Jerry Lynn The Lightning Kid December 27, 1991 Dallas, TX[16][19][21]
PWA Tag Team Championship Thunderblood
(Charlie Norris & Derrick Dukes)
Storm Troopers January 1996 [16][22][23]


  1. ^ Laible, Don (February 1999). "Against All Odds, He's Winning on His Own Terms". New Wave Wrestling Magazine. Archived from the original on 2000-12-17.
  2. ^ Molinaro, John; Richard Kamchen (2005-06-03). "Jerry Lynn". SLAM! Wrestling Bios and Stories. SLAM! Sports.
  3. ^ Milner, John M. (2005-05-15). "Sean Waltman". SLAM! Wrestling Bios and Stories. SLAM! Sports.
  4. ^ Xamin, Mark (2008-04-10). "Lacey". SLAM! Wrestling Bios and Stories. SLAM! Sports.
  5. ^ Aries, Austin (2004). "Biography". Archived from the original on 2008-04-07.
  6. ^ a b Mosedale, Mike (2000-11-15). "Sharkey Mania!". The New WAWLI (Wrestling As We Liked It) Papers No. 115-2001.
  7. ^ Campbell, Matthew (2001). "Biography". Archived from the original on 2010-04-28.
  8. ^ Marvez, Alex (2001). "Encyclopedia of Pro Wrestling Authors Interviewed". The New WAWLI (Wrestling As We Liked It) Papers No. 102-2001.
  9. ^ "The Second Interview with Adrian Lynch - 12/27/99". 1999-12-27.
  10. ^ Harrison, Ricky (2008-05-22). "411's AWA on ESPN Classic Report 05.22.08".
  11. ^ May, Vern (2003). "SLAM! Wrestling Canadian Hall of Fame: Tony Condello". SLAM! Sports.
  12. ^ Speed, Steve (2000). "Global Wrestling Federation - An Introduction". The WAWLI (Wrestling As We Liked It) Papers No. 762.
  13. ^ McNamara, Andy (2005-09-28). "SLAM! Wrestling: The Prima-Donns body slam cable access television". SLAM! Sports.
  14. ^ Benaka, Lee (1991). "The Lee Benaka Interviews: Eddie Sharkey". Archived from the original on 2002-04-24.
  15. ^ Zellar, Brad (1997-07-09). "Ring Around the Wrestlers". Minneapolis City Pages. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06.
  16. ^ a b c d Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  17. ^ "P.W.A. Heavyweight Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Archived from the original on 2003-04-30.
  18. ^ Palma, Richard (2001). "P.W.A. Heavyweight Title History". Solie's Title Histories.
  19. ^ a b "P.W.A. Light Heavyweight Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Archived from the original on 2003-08-02.
  20. ^ Palma, Richard; Brian Westcott (2001). "P.W.A. Light-Heavyweight Title History". Solie's Title Histories.
  21. ^ Palma, Richard (2001). "P.W.A. Light-Heavyweight Title History". Solie's Title Histories.
  22. ^ "P.W.A. Tag Team Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Archived from the original on 2003-07-07.
  23. ^ Palma, Richard (2001). "P.W.A. Tag Team Title History". Solie's Title Histories.