2 Fargo North graduates evolve internet wrestling podcast into live wrestling show
FARGO — Preston Mihlbauer and Schad Hagen do most everything together, including playing the occasional round of pool.
When they aren't chalking up their cue sticks, they're watching wrestling, such as World Wrestling Entertainment and All Elite Wrestling.
On top of that, the two have a wrestling podcast called "Puffamania," which is named after Mihlbauer's nickname, "The Puffster."
"We didn't know what to do when we first started this (podcast); we were doing this with a phone," Mihlbauer said.
"Gamer headsets and all," Hagen, who goes by "Ace," added with a laugh.
The podcast has slowly gained traction, with over 350 followers on Facebook.
Hagen said the next goal beyond evolving the podcast was to bring actual wrestling action to the Fargo area.
"This was supposed to be like a five-year plan," he said. "We didn't know this was going to happen right away."
In just a year of doing the podcast, the pair accomplished their goal, as they get set to host "Puffamania Presents: Immortal," a full-length, live and online wrestling show.
"Plain and simple, I thought it was crazy," Mihlbauer said when describing how he reacted to the idea. "That's like saying, 'Hey, we could go to the moon in five years.'"
The event is set to have wrestlers from North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, among other states, and also some big names, like former WWE wrestler Marty Jannetty.
But for Mihlbauer, the show means much bigger and more personal than what goes on inside the ring.
"It's a dedication to my dad," he said.
His dad got sarcoidosis of the liver when Preston was 2, and he had to be checked into the Roger Maris Cancer Center.
Because of the doctors who helped save his dad's life, Mihlbauer decided to give back to the cancer center with this show.
"I wanted to give a nod to the guy who gave me the love of wrestling, that put me in the position that I'm in today," he said, talking about his dad.
Mihlbauer and Hagen hope to take that shared love of wrestling, and turn it into an effort to save others during uncertain times.
"It's a thank you, it's fighting cancer, it's bringing wrestling back to North Dakota, it's everything," Mihlbauer said. "It's a feel-good moment."
Immortal starts at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in West Fargo.
The show can only hold up to 150 fans because of COVID-19 guidelines, but it will also be streamed live on the Puffamania Facebook page.