Craig Greenberg Discusses His Recent Investment In OVW

Jon caught up with Craig Greenberg on the purchase of Ohio Valley Wrestling

Thank you once again for joining me here at Sports Obsessive. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Craig Greenberg, the former CEO of 21c Hotels. Mr. Greenberg, along with Kentucky Sports Radio founder and host Matt Jones and other investors, recently purchased a majority interest in Ohio Valley Wrestling.

Ohio Valley Wrestling

Better known as OVW, the company is a Louisville, KY based wrestling promotion that has been around for decades, previously acting as a training ground for World Wrestling Entertainment. Over the years, OVW has honed the skills of professional wrestling superstars such John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Cody Rhodes and Dave Bautista, along with a slew of others that have gone on to make a huge impact on the industry. 

We talked about OVW’s history and what plans they have in store for the promotion’s future; how important it was to retain Al Snow; airing this weekend’s Nightmare Rumble pay-per-view for free and a variety of other topics related to the sale and future of Ohio Valley Wrestling. 

Without further ado, let’s dive into the interview.

Jon: Thanks for giving me some of your time. I won’t keep you too long. First, congratulations on your purchase of Ohio Valley Wrestling. Is this something that’s been in the works for a while and how did it all come together?

Craig: Well, Matt and I have been friends for a while and we have two other investors, Dr. Jeffrey Tuvlin and Andrew “Hubby” Jefferson. We’re all friendly and we reached out. We know some of the existing Ohio Valley Wrestling owners that have been for a long time and so we reached to them to see if, together, we could become a part of it and bring some more resources and experiences to the table, and really build the foundation for Al Snow to continue building on what he and the team have already done at OVW, to take it to greater heights. So, we’re really excited about what’s going on. We’re really excited about working with Al and supporting him and OVW and the Al Snow Wrestling Academy. 

J: So you were already familiar with OVW’s product? 

C: Oh yeah! Sure. Certainly. I grew up a wrestling fan in Louisville and I knew of OVW’s reputation and the school’s strengths and how many great wrestlers they have trained that went on to bigger platforms. So, I was well aware of their history.

J: How important is it to keep Al Snow around and in charge of day-to-day operations?

C: Critical. We have the utmost respect for Al. Not only as an amazing wrestler. He’s an amazing teacher, an amazing mentor to the wrestlers of today. He knows the business in and out. He’s got great relationships, great experience. So, working with Al was critical. That was never even an option, to do it without Al. He’s great and we’re so excited to help bring him even more resources to continue to lead the organization in a new direction. Not a new direction, just to continue building upon what he and others have already done. 

J: What can we expect from OVW moving forward, building on what they’ve already built and have going on? I know that Matt said that he wants to take it more around the state, when it’s safe to do so. Can you go into that a little more?

C: Al’s been working on a lot of things for the post-COVID world and we’ve got a lot of ideas, too, that we’re thinking about. But right now, we’re focused on putting on what we can at this time and really getting the foundation set for post-COVID. From a wrestling standpoint, we really want to do what we can to help support the current roster and attract some new talent to continue to be a part of the OVW family. We also really want to focus on building and growing the school. The Al Snow Wrestling Academy is the only state-accredited wrestling trade school in the world. We think we have a unique opportunity to attract a lot more students here and so we really want to help the current teachers and help Al have the resources they need to grow and build the school.

J: Do you look to reach out to other organizations to advance to those working relationships?

C: Al and OVW already have strong relationships with some other wrestling organizations, both larger organizations and smaller ones. We have some relationships with others, as well. So yeah, we’ll be talking to a lot of other folks in the wrestling industry in the months ahead. 

J: This weekend, Nightmare Rumble is going to be released now for free for online viewing. Was that important to you all to do that for the fans to kind of say, “Here we are. We care about you”? What is that message that you want to get out there?

C: It’s exactly that. We just wanted to, as a welcoming part of our involvement in the OVW family, we wanted to do that for all of the existing fans and also hopefully attract some new fans, too. We know that it’s challenging times for folks, right now. There’s a lot of serious, challenging things that  are going on for people and their families right now. So we thought we could bring some fun to their homes on a Saturday night. We thought it was important to just do it for free to hopefully get more people watching to really get a chance to see the wrestlers and the great sports entertainment that’s going on at Ohio Valley Wrestling. So we’re really excited to do that through our website and live stream of Saturday’s event. 

J: If you had one last message to the fans and the community, what would that be?

C: We’re really excited that Ohio Valley Wrestling is based in Louisville and is a Louisville and Kentucky organization. We think that’s one of things that makes it really unique. We’re going to not forget that. We’re going to stay focused on growing here, in Louisville and throughout Kentucky, and we’re going to continue to bring that to the rest of the country and world to show what we have to offer here, in our city and in our state. They’re already doing that now. We’re going to hopefully help grow and improve that even more broadly. We’re just really excited about working with Al and the future of Ohio Valley Wrestling. 

J: As a Kentucky resident and as a wrestling fan, I could not be more excited about this. I’ve talked to Al, he’s a genuine person and a great person. You guys seem great. I’m super excited about it and I appreciate you taking the time to speak to me today.

C: Great. If you’re there Saturday night, I’ll see you there Saturday.

J: I will definitely be there. I’ll see you Saturday. 

C: Take care and have a great day. Thank you.

I would like to thank Craig Greenberg once again for taking the time to speak with me about the purchase of Ohio Valley Wrestling. I definitely share in his excitement and enthusiasm for the future of the promotion and look forward to hopefully catching up with him again this Saturday at OVW’s Nightmare Rumble. If you don’t live in the area, or are unable to make it out to the show, you are still in luck. As we discussed, you can now stream for the event for free at as part of a welcoming from the new ownership team. OVW National Heavyweight Champion, Mr. Pec-tacular Jessie Godderz, will be defending his title against the winner of the ‘Nightmare Rumble’ match in the main event of the evening. The show starts at 7:30PM EST.

Written by Jon Shartzer

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