Selected Publications


Cover of Thrashing Seasons

Thrashing Seasons: Manitoba Culture and the Genesis of Prairie Wrestling, 1700-1931. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2016.

  • Winner of the 2017 Association for Manitoba Archives’ Day Award

Horseback wrestling, catch-as-catch-can, glima; long before the advent of today’s WWE, forms of wrestling were practised by virtually every cultural group. C. Nathan Hatton’s Thrashing Seasons tells the story of wrestling in Manitoba from its earliest documented origins in the eighteenth century, to the Great Depression.

Cover of Rugged Game

Rugged Game: Community, Culture, and Wrestling at the Lakehead to 1933. Thunder Bay: Lakehead University Centre for Northern Studies, 2012. 

Long before John Cena, Hulk Hogan or even "Whipper" Billy Watson, residents at the Lakehead went wild for wrestling. Nearly a century ago, when cable television, pay-per-view and even regular radio broadcasts were still the stuff of science fiction, professional wrestling was already an enormously popular sport in the Thunder Bay area.

Book Chapters and Journal Articles (peer-reviewed):

"’Though he was evidently suffering great pain, he bore it well:’ Public Discourse on Benefits, Risk, and Injury in North American Wrestling, 1880 to 1914.” The Palgrave Handbook of Sport, Politics and Harm, edited by Stephen Wagg and Allyson Pollock. London: Palgrave Macmillan, in press 2021.

“Wrestling, Immigration and Working Class Culture: The Finns of the Thunder Bay District before 1939.” In Hard Work Conquers All: Building the Finnish Community in Canada, edited by Michel S. Beaulieu et. al., 102-120. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2018.

"Sisu through Sport: The Finnish-Canadian Sporting Legacy." In Canada-Finland, Celebrating 2017: "A brave. hospitable, and altogether admirable people," edited by Markku Henriksson, Michel S. Beaulieu, Carmen Pekkarinen, and Mari-Anna Suurmunne, 160-164. Helsinki: Suomi-Kanada-seura/Finnish-Canadian Society and Embassy of Canada to Finland, 2017.

"Thrashing Seasons: The Origins of Prairie Wrestling." Manitoba History 81 (Summer 2016): 2-6.

"A Little Diversion to Dispel the Gloom: Sport at the Lakehead during the Great War, 1914-1918." Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society Papers & Records 42 (2014): 45-66.  

"Headlocks on the Homefront: Wrestling in Manitoba during the First World War." Prairie Forum 37 (Fall 2012): 173-209.

"Winnipeg's 'Quiet' Man: The Early Public Life of Film Star Victor McLaglen." Manitoba History 67 (Spring 2012): 22-28.

"Ancient Art, New Home: Glima in Manitoba, 1876-1935." Icelandic Connection 64, no. 2 (2011): 65-73.

"Battles on the Bay: Wrestling in Fort William and Port Arthur Before the Great Depression." Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society Papers and Records 35 (2007): 50-66.

Other Publications:

Hatton, C. Nathan. "Antonino Rocca's Self Defense and Physical Fitness: A Retrospective Historical and Technical Review." SLAM! Sports Wrestling, 3 March 2018.

Hatton, C. Nathan. "Sports." The Lakehead Finns, The Working Class 1867-1962: Hard Work Conquers All. Last modified 2 January 2017. Accessed 2 January 2017.

Hatton, C. Nathan. “Jack Taylor: Canada’s First Great Heavyweight.” SLAM! Sports Wrestling, 19 May 2016.

Hatton, C. Nathan. “The Knowledge I Gained from ‘Pops’ Billy Wicks.” SLAM! Sports Wrestling, 8 May 2016.

Hatton, C. Nathan. “Finnish-Canadian Wrestlers,” in Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation, ed. Thomas A. Green and Joseph R. Svinth (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2010).  

Book Reviews:

Antonino Rocca, Self Defense and Physical Fitness. New York: PocketBooks, 1965, a historical and technical review for SLAM! Sports Wrestling, url:, 19 February 2018.

Rock Rims, When It Was Big Time: A One Hundred Year History of Northern California Professional Wrestling. Chino Hills, CA: Flying Body Press, 2016, for SLAM! Sports Wrestling, url:, 28 May 2017.

Mark Fleming and Scott Teal, It’s Wrestling, not Rasslin’!. Gallantin, TN: Crowbar Press, 2016, for SLAM! Sports Wrestling, url:, 18 July 2016.

“New Billy Riley book informs on both the man and Wigan's Snake Pit.” Slam! Sports (12 January 2015). URL: