June 17, 1987
HARTINGTON — To say that Paul Neu hopes to “make it big” in his profession someday might be an understatement. The 6-2, 380 pound Hartington native has been in pro wrestling for six months and has compiled a 35-0 record.
Neu, a 1984 graduate of Cedar Catholic and son of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Neu, currently calls the Minneapolis area in Minnesota his headquarters, but he travels extensively. Among his wins since turning professional were two matches which many area residents saw on ESPN television network. He goes by the name “The Avalanche.”
The 20-year-old, who was in Hartington recently for a short visit, says he views wrestling as a career. He said he has trained hard—dropping from 410 pounds to 380—and has learned a great deal about the sport in a relatively short period of time.
Neu, who attended Kearney State College and played on the football team there for a year following high school, said he got into professional wrestling somewhat by chance. He was working as a doorman at a bar in Madison, Wisc., and met Minnesota State Treasurer Bob Mattson, who was attending a convention.
“He knew some individuals who had been in wrestling and he told me if I was ever interested in trying it to get in touch with him,” Neu said. “I stayed in touch and about five months later I called and told him I wanted to give it a try.”
Neu said Mattson made arrangements for him to try out for a wrestling camp run by Brad Rhangans.
“They set up a night for me to wrestle, and he liked the way I moved,” Neu said. “He said I had good speed and good strength and I might be able to make it through the camp.”
In order to attend the camp in the Minneapolis area, Neu said he made sacrifices for the 2½ month period.
“I was living on $25 a day,” he said. “I worked as a doorman. I was just getting by.”
Since starting on the pro wrestling circuit, Neu said he is making “pretty good” money with the prospect of earning a lot more if his career takes off.