Dan Gable Explains Why Amateur Wrestlers Have An Easier Time Transitioning To Pro Wrestling
Dan Gable recently spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard while promoting the new film The Last Champion, available now on digital platforms. Gable spoke about how he got involved with the National Wrestling Hall Of Fame as well as amateur wrestlers breaking into the pro wrestling business.
The Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa, celebrates the best in amateur wrestling but also hosts a professional wrestling wing, and Gable explained how he got involved in bringing the venture to his hometown.
“We actually had a wrestling museum in Newton, Iowa, and it was started by a guy named Mike Chapman. He’s another Waterloo guy, and I was involved in the one in Newton. He had this opportunity from Waterloo, his hometown and mine, and I was a big part of the museum, so with that in mind, the city offered to buy a building and we would move the museum to Waterloo, Iowa. In the move, it [was renamed] the Dan Gable Museum, we have a national museum, that’s called the National Wrestling Hall Of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where Oklahoma State University is. That’s mostly for our outstanding athletes in college and in high school, and we’re a branch of the National Wrestling Hall Of Fame.”
“It [has my name on it] but the one thing that we have that separates it besides an individual name on it is that we have a professional wing. That professional wing in an amateur museum has been a big hit because there’s been a lot of professionals that have come from the high school circuit or the college circuit, or have even been involved with World or Olympic competition. We’ve had a lot of those [inductees] and once we opened up the gates for that pro wing, it just helped expand our museum a lot.
Gable explained that Waterloo was a popular town for companies to visit in the early days of professional wrestling, adding that it’s worked out well and he enjoys the relationship.
Gable says he has followed pro wrestling due to being raised in Waterloo, a city with strong professional and amateur ties. He noted his relationship with 1972 Olympic bronze medalist Chris Taylor after college, then added that he’s followed Kurt Angle’s pro career. He said he follows the amateur wrestlers breaking into the pro circuit more than anything and said it’s something they look at more with the Hall Of Fame wing.
“I think an amateur wrestler would have an easier transition [to pro wrestling]. They’d do it well no matter what, and it is unique because it teaches a lot of balance and a lot of gymnastic types of exercises, to be coordinated and to do a really good job, making sure you hit the moves, that type of stuff. I would think that the more mat time you would have earlier, the easier it’s going to be. I think it would be an easier transition, but mostly it’s the pretty good sized guys. Mostly. They work pretty hard at it and they have good physiques, and now we have female wrestling now in amateur wrestling at the Olympic games, colleges, and that’s really a big hit right now. I think the pros took it on earlier than we did and we probably should have paid more attention earlier on and realized women and girls can wrestle, and should.”
Check out our full interview with Dan Gable at the top of this post; The Last Champion is now available for rental or purchase on digital platforms including Amazon.