One of the hottest documentaries to sweep the pop culture zeitgeist in 2020 has been the Netflix original series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, which follows the seedy underbelly of big cat collectors in the United States. What began as a look at a highly suspect industry amongst collectors of tigers, lions, and other large felines of the wild turned into a focus on one particular character – the enigmatic Joseph Allen Schreibvogel, better known as Joe Exotic. Without spoiling the series, it became a dark and twisted ride through the world of big cats in the US and ended in shocking fashion. But it appears big cats – particularly tigers – weren’t the only love of Joe Exotic. As well as being a country music performer, he also had strong ties to professional wrestling in the form of a former NWA promotion, Texoma Wrestling.
Texoma Pro Wrestling was founded in 2011, based out of Sherman, Texas on the Texas-Oklahoma border. Originally Texoma Pride Wrestling, in 2012 they joined the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and became NWA Texoma through 2016. Upon Billy Corgan‘s purchase of the NWA brand, all former affiliates were dissolved of their NWA affiliation, and it became Texoma Pro Wrestling. So how does the “Tiger King” Joe Exotic fit into this? For years, Joe Exotic ran his own YouTube channel which featured live shows daily from his GW Exotic Zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. And for several years, Joe Exotic was the commentator for NWA Texoma’s live events – with a majority of them airing live on his YouTube Channel. Not only did Exotic act as color commentary on shows from Texas and throughout Oklahoma, but he even held several shows at his zoo itself. Many indie stars went through NWA Texoma during Joe Exotic’s time working with the promotion, including the NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion at the time, Tim Storm. At the July 9, 2016 event at Exotic’s zoo, Tim Storm defended the NWA World’s title against Jaxon Stone, while Texoma Heavyweight Champion (and former WWE and Ring of Honor star) Charlie Haas also defended his title against Moonshine Mantell. Current WWE Superstar Erik (formerly Raymond Rowe) of the Viking Raiders also appeared on the card.
The broadcasts were bookended by Exotic himself, using his own country music videos to start each broadcast, air during intermission, and closing out the show. While he didn’t do commentary for the Zoo show, he does for most of the other shows in his catalog. It’s clear Exotic is a pro wrestling fan, as his knowledge of the sport is quite evident.
Joe Exotic has become an indelible part of the American pop culture fabric after his unreal life was exposed by Netflix, but not many people can claim they’ve called matches for the NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship and the NWA Women’s World Championship – Exotic also worked commentator for a December 2015 Fatal Four-Way featuring then-champion Santana Garrett against Amber Gallows, Bree Ann, and Nikki Night, that saw Amber Gallows win the title.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world. Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is playing on Netflix right now.