David Nelson has a love for all three.
In February of 2010, driving as an owner-operator for Werner Enterprises, David saved a seven-year-old girl’s life by stopping to assist at an accident scene. His previous training and experience as an EMT enabled him to perform CPR on the girl until emergency crews arrived. The heroic act itself, along with letters of commendation sent by the girl’s mother, inspired the first annual Hero of the Highway Award, issued to Nelson by the Trucking Industry Defense Association in 2010.
That’s not the only title of recognition he’s held. Nelson spent nine years wrestling as “Dave ‘Thunder’ Nelson, The American Outlaw,” on the WCW and NWA circuits. During his professional wrestling career, he held a 3WA World Championship, a 3WA World Tag Team Title and the National World Alliance Championship. He also operated a wrestling school, where he trained new wrestlers for independent venues.
His years in the ring never took him far from trucking, and advice from friend, mentor, and fellow trucker/wrestler “Cowboy Bob Orton” encouraged David to invest in the trucking industry. Nelson Trucking was a twelve-truck outfit, leased on with Werner, that he owned and operated during and after his wrestling career.
In 2011, Nelson decided to focus specifically on entertainment, wrestling and music promotions, although he keeps his CDL current. Says Nelson, “I worked too hard for it to let it go.”
Most recently, Nelson has announced a three day music and entertainment event, “West Virginia Weekend in the Country Entertainment Festival,” to be held in the hills of Romney, W.Va., July 21-23, in 2017. A jam-packed lineup of wrestling matches and musical guests includes one of trucking’s favorite Country singers, Tony Justice, as well as meet-and-greets with superstar wrestlers of yesteryear. The first annual festival promises to be a family-oriented event, with plenty to do for everyone.