Horseback wrestling, catch-as-catch-can, glima; long before the advent of today's WWE, forms of wrestling were practised by virtually every cultural group. C. Nathan Hatton's "Thrashing Seasons" tells the story of wrestling in Manitoba from its earliest documented origins in the eighteenth century, to the Great Depression.Wrestling was never merely a sport: residents of Manitoba found meaning beyond the simple act of two people struggling for physical advantage on a mat, in a ring, or on a grassy field. Frequently controversial and often divisive, wrestling was nevertheless a popular and resilient cultural practice that proved adaptable to the rapidly changing social conditions in westernCanada during its early boom period. In addition to chronicling the colourful exploits of the many athletes who shaped wrestling's early years, Hatton explores wrestling as a social phenomenon intimately bound up with debates around respectability, ethnicity, race, class, and idealized conceptions of masculinity. In doing so, "Thrashing Seasons" illuminates wrestling as a complex and socially significantcultural activity, one that has been virtually unexamined by Canadian historians looking at the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
University of Manitoba Press
Sporting Culture in Manitoba and the Genesis of Prairie Wrestling