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Oak Hill Wrestling

The weekly wrestling show, Saturday Night Wrestling, was a live television program aired on WOAY-TV of Oak Hill. The show, popular through a wide region and remembered today as part of West Virginia’s broadcasting folklore, lasted more than 20 years. It featured professional wrestlers and local talent in matches performed first in the station’s studio and later in an arena adjacent to the television station. Hundreds of fans would fill the auditorium every Saturday night, and it was not unknown for spectators to jump into the ring. Wrestling bears were sometimes part of the program.

For 22 years, Oak Hill resident and WOAY announcer Shirley Love hosted the wrestling program. The show was first aired in 1954 and lasted until 1977. Wrestling fans traveled from Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio to join West Virginians as spectators. Love, later a state senator, recalled that live interviews with the fans, broadcast between wrestling bouts, were among the show’s most popular features.