WWF and WWE wrestling have their roots in the Lehigh Valley

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Nearly 40 years ago, the crazy world of professional wrestling intersected with the prim and proper world of public television at PBS39’s old studio atop South Mountain.

Executive producer and host Shelley Brown made just one demand, which in retrospect was very wise on her part.

  • The original World Wide Wrestling Federation taped its matches at the Allentown Fairgrounds
  • In 1984, a PBS39 show featured WWE leader Vince McMahon and several wrestling managers and personalities
  • The Lehigh Valley’s passion for wrestling aligned with the fledgling organization’s trajectory

“Right before we went on (the air), I said to the wrestlers, ‘I only have one rule, and that is you can’t touch me,” said Brown, who feared she might be body-slammed or locked up in a full nelson.

“I didn’t know what might happen, but I had a dress on, I was wired to hear the director. I told them you can do anything, say anything to me, but don’t…

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