Cowboy Johnny Mantell                        

Cowboy Johnny Mantell "The Pride of Montague County" (given that monaker by long time Sportatorium annoucer Bill Mercer)

John started wrestling professonally in 1978 and continued till his last match in Waxahachie, Texas on August 6, 2005. He was seriously injured in a one vehicle roll over accident on November 10,2005 just outside of Decatur, TX on Hwy 287 that took him out of ever competeing in a wrestling ring again as well as all other physical activities that could further injure him.

John wrestled throughout the United States, Japan, and Europe. He started out as Johnny Boyd in Southern Louisiana, wrestled as The Hood in California and then took the Mantell name when he started wrestling with his brother, Ken Mantell. John not only traveled the roads with his brother for years but also famous names like Bruiser Brody, the Von Erichs, Rowdy Roddy Piper, the Funks', the Freebirds, Bob Orton and so many more! Many of those still alive still keep in contact with him today. He has stories that have never been told and some that probably should stay that way but he is working on putting some of those stories together soon. We will be posting a few here for his many fans. John continues to enjoy the sport unfortunely he is unable to still compete. He is asked all the time for his oponion and to help with young rookies and upstart companies. The amount of knowledge and history in his head is amazing, we just hope we can get it out and documented before he "looses" it.

Just always remember that John believes that he is still here with us, unlike many of his "brothers" that have passed on, because although he attended the same parties and events that everyone else (the other wrestlers he worked with) did but he went home after a few hours and most of the other guys stayed to close it down or many times until the next morning. He had a family (he was raising his daughter, Jade and helping his parents) and he always had horses and the ranch to come back to. He says that all the time especailly when we get a call that another one of his friends has past. That is happening more and more lately. The stories that will be told will be first hand accounts from the '80's & '90's, the heyday of wrestling in Texas, USA!  The wrestling that you see on TV today doesn't even come close to the events that took place during those years, and there was  a different relationship between the men and women that traveled the roads together then. John had the first matches of many of the WWE Stars on TV today - JBL, John Bradshaw Latham, etc. (Check out the Photo Gallery - Wrestling Album for a picture of one of their first matches in Dallas). We are working on getting the website more friendly and informative on John and Lusk Ranch.

Shoot John an email at if you have questions or a story!

We have created a Lens (a page, the new "blog") dedicated to Cowboy Johnny Mantell, stories from the life and times of th Pride of Montague County.

Visit the Lens at  Some names may have been changed to protect their identity, innocence! ;) All the stories are true from John's memory of those great times but also remember the time period! :)


Videos from 80's & 90's

This is a two part video of Cowboy Johnny Mantell vs. Gentleman Chris Adams at the Dallas Sportatorium in 1983 for World Class Championship Wrestling.

Cool Music Video found

We are still not sure who did this or why, but found this recently and find it pretty funny. Sorry Chaz! We love you but this is funny!  Title of the video is Chaz Destroyed.


The Great Flyin' Red Bastien

Red and I at the TX Shootout. The ShootOut is a "luncheon" that Red, with help from Larry Dwyer, started a few years ago in North Texas to allow all the boys to get together, eat, drink, and tell stories all the things we love to do.

JBL "John Hawk"

John, JBL and referee James Beard,somewhere in North Texas. 

And with a boot to the head...!

Just a couple of the many photos I have working with then Johnny Hawk, who is now know as WWE's own JBL. I was one of the first in the ring with this big, stiff, young man in Dallas back in the early 90's. It was great working with him. We are so proud that he has done so well!

Early days...

One of my earlier trips to Japan. This is me suplexing a young Japanese worker. I signed a contract with Japan when I was 18 to for New Japan Wrestling. I completed multiple tours in Japan throughout the years, signed contract in early 1978 and did my last tour in 1991.

Pile Driver...

Another picture from Japan. One too many pile drivers. Thank goodness I'm the one doing the driving this time. Notice the expression on the poor guys face!

Unfortunely, I was on the recieving end of pile drivers, suplexes, slams and many other painful moves one too many times!