Gentleman Ed Francis' 50th State Big Time Wrestling, a wild and wacky extravaganza, took Hawaii by storm and dominated local sports entertainment throughout the 1960s and '70s. Young Edmund Francis learned the ropes of wrestling in Depression-era Chicago, touring with the local weightlifting club in gyms and German taverns. In Hawaii, Gentleman Ed found a new calling, as a promoter offering a unique brand of sport and showmanship tailored exclusively to Island fans. Now, Francis reveals the behind-the-scenes stories of building his Aloha State wrestling empire in his book, Gentleman Ed Francis Presents 50th State Big Time Wrestling!
The hardcover edition of Gentleman Ed Francis Presents 50th State Big Time Wrestling! is a fan must-have documenting Francis' humble beginnings, the negotiations to bring wresting to Hawaii's television screens and the ups-and-downs of managing an enterprise built on big men boasting larger-than-life personalities. With his wrestler-announcer-referee-promoter partner Lord Tally Ho Blears at his side, Francis built a huge fan following for his wrestlers—Hard-Boiled Haggerty, Tosh Togo, Handsome Johnny Barend, Andre the Giant, Freddie Blassie, Nick Bockwinkel, Neff Maiava, The Missing Link, Mad Dog Mayne and scores of others—all captured here in over 100 images chronicling two decades of Island wrestling mania.