Hometown Alaska: 907 Pro Wrestling Academy

907 Pro Wrestling Academy founder, coach, and owner, JT West, stands in the ring at his old training facility near Spenard. The academy has since relocated to a larger space off of Arctic Boulevard. (O’Hara Shipe)

There’s only one place you will find JT West on Monday nights—in the ring. Or, more specifically, in a warehouse, turned pro wrestling gym that represents two decades worth of dreams. Once a pro himself, the Arkansas-born West fell in love with the flamboyant sport as a child. But he wasn’t alone. Pro wrestling, the perfect anecdote to the blue-collar lifestyle of its fan base, exploded in popularity in the 70s. 50 years later, the 907 Pro Wrestling Academy emerged in Alaska and amid bruises and broken bones, the school is changing lives for the better.

HOST: O’Hara Shipe

JT West, 907 Pro Wrestling Academy
Jared Cox, pro wrestler

907 Pro Wrestling Academy:

Jerry Bishop lies on a bed of tacks following an uncharacteristically violent match against rival AJ Radical. The two were chained together at the wrist before the match started. (O’Hara Shipe)

Ammon Swenson is Alaska Public Media’s Audio Media Content Producer. He was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. He graduated from UAA in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and integrated media. He’s previously worked for KRUA radio, the Anchorage Press, and The Northern Light.

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