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’ve also contributed to an independent website for the UIC Flames men’s basketball team 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 nine 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 Labrador puppy, Obi-Wan.

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