National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Inductee: John Pesek

One of the greatest shooters and hookers of all time, John Pesek was born and raised on a farm near Ravenna, Nebraska. He wanted to become a boxer but when his mother objected he turned to wrestling and became one of the most respected and feared wrestlers of all time.

Known as a “trustbuster,” John disliked taking orders from promoters and believed in wrestling for real, at all times. He disdained pre-arranged outcomes and battled his way up through the ranks. Called “The Nebraska Tigerman” for his aggressive style, he won numerous titles and was declared heavyweight champion of the world by several different groups in the 1930s. He toured Australia and most of the States, drawing large crowds all over.

Robin Reed, legendary Olympic champion of 1924 and professional world welterweight champion, said John Pesek and Farmer Burns (Class of 2001) were the greatest “masters” of wrestling he ever met.

John Pesek was almost as well known for his dogs and outdoors lifestyle as for his wrestling prowess. He raised Greyhounds and his dogs won numerous national titles. He is a member of the Greyhound National Hall of Fame.

When John Pesek passed away in 1978, at the age of 84 he was already considered a legend in the sport he loved so much.