Museum

Bob Siddens, Keith Young, Dave Natvig Lounge

Visitors can break up their tour with a pit stop at the lounge named for three of the most successful coaches in Iowa history.

Corporate Sponsors Walls

The Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum is fortunate to have five major corporate sponsors. MATMAN, Asics, USA Wrestling, the AAU and BRUTE all have display walls in honor of their support of the museum.

Matman Gift Ship

Our extensive gift shop is sponsored by Warren and Jayne DePrenger, owners of MATMAN wrestling company. The gift shop has a wide array of wrestling items for every fan, including books, videos, posters, trading cards, Dan Gable Museum apparel, and specialty items like cribbage boards and paperweights. Every visit to the museum should include a stop at the MATMAN Gift Shop.

Wrestling in the Movies

Did you know that Kirk Douglas, one of the biggest movies stars of all time, was a wrestler in college and that Tom Cruise, the No. 1 star of the last decade, wrestled in high school? You will see movie posters from such films as “Vision Quest” and “Takedown,” as well as other interesting movie items.

Wrestling in Pop Culture

Over the last century, wrestling has been highlighted in American popular culture. Visitors will see displays of wrestling cards, some dating back to the late 1890s; comic book heroes like Tarzan, Superman and Alley Oop wrestling; various types of card and board games, and action heroes with the stars of the WWF.

Honored Stars

Besides Dan Gable, several of the greatest wrestlers of all time are given special treatment in the museum. You will see separate displays for such stars as Dave Schultz, Dan Hodge, Alexander Karelin, John Smith, Cael Sanderson and Frank Gotch.

William Muldoon and the Civil War

Wrestling was one of the two most popular activities in the Union camps between battles in the Civil War, as General Grant thought the sport made his soldiers tough both mentally and physically. William Muldoon of New York City became the Union camp champion and then returned to New York City to become a policeman. But he continued wrestling on the side and soon quit his job with the police department to tour as a wrestler – becoming the nation’s first professional athlete of note!

Wrestling in Early America

The wall entitled “Wrestling in Early America” gives museum visitors an overview of what wrestling was like in the days of the Native Americans, and when Colonists favored a style that came from Europe known as collar and elbow. Included are newspaper clippings and artwork that depict wrestling in its formative stages in the United States. One newspaper article from 1888 even shows “Wrestling on Horseback” – which featured one man on a horse trying to wrestle another off his horse.

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