Wrestle MNania

Before Jesse Ventura donned a feather boa, and definitely before steroids (see exhibits A, B, and C above), Minnesota was a center of professional wrasslin’. The American Wrestling Association was based here, recruiting husky Midwesterners to jump in the ring with villains like Baron von Raschke. It was all over by the 1980s, but Minnesota’s Golden Age of Wrestling (Minnesota Historical Society Press, $27.95), a breezy new tome out this month, offers blow-by-blow accounts of big matches and 80 bemusing photos to conjure this relatively innocent era, when entertainment was local and anyone with decent pecs and a flair for the dramatic could become Saturday night’s hero.