Mike Pankow

Founder, Windy City Slam

I have been a professional journalist (writer and editor) for the last 21 years and I have been a professional wrestling fan since the mid-’80s.

Now is the time to combine both of my passions. I have decided to start this new website, Windy City Slam, to expand my horizons as a journalist and to produce something enjoyable, newsworthy and insightful.

Most of my professional journalism experience came at the Chicago Tribune, the city’s largest newspaper, where I have been a sports writer and copy editor for nearly 20 years.

I also run an independent website for the UIC Flames men’s basketball team, which I’ve done for the better of part of the last two decades. In addition, I have freelanced for publications of different sizes, including the Arizona Republic, UIC Magazine and Illinois Alumni in addition to taking photos for a few local publications.

I was born and bred in Chicago, living within the city limits for 35 years and in the Southwest suburbs for the last eight years. I know Chicago sports fans and Chicago wrestling fans are the most rabid fans anywhere.

Among my greatest experiences as a journalist were the times I crafted stories about professional wrestling, including a piece on Chris Nowinski when he worked for WWE in 2002. Chris was a local kid who graduated from Harvard, then decided to pursue a career in WWE as a contestant on “Tough Enough.” I also wrote pieces on Kurt Angle and William “Refrigerator” Perry prior to WrestleMania 22 in Chicago.

I live in the Southwest suburbs with my wonderful wife, Jen, and snowshoe cat, Mickey.

(Illustration by Jonathan Espinoza ... special thanks for the cool birthday artwork a few years ago!)