Charlie Santen Became Wally Dusek
1936 my dad had just returned from Europe. He had no manager
and was booking his own dates. Then he got a call from Rudy
brother, Ernie Dusek
was pretty severely injured in a car accident.
Among his many injuries was a broken leg. He’d be
out of action for several months, perhaps as much as a year.
arrangements, my dad, Rudy and Ernie Dusek met in a gym.
Before accepting my dad “into the family,” they had to see
for themselves that he could uphold the “family name.”
90 minutes, my dad and Ernie Dusek wrestled a "contest"
Thesz so elegantly put it, with Rudy
Dusek looking on. According to my dad, he held his own against
Ernie. He managed to gain the advantage on a few occasions.
unsatisfied with Ernie’s progress, Rudy got into the ring
to wrestle. Rudy was known to be the best wrestler of the
four Dusek brothers. For
45 minutes they shot on the mat.
Neither man gained the advantage.
dad’s trainer, John
Pesek, had taught him to use a unique “cross-handed”
stance which appeared to leave the leg open to a dive. This
was just a ploy however, as he was quite adept at turning
that leg dive into a disadvantage to an unsuspecting opponent.
was Rudy who finally figured out dad’s unique style. The
match ended in a draw. My dad was welcomed into the “family
as “cousin” Wally
the ring, my dad never again wrestled under his real name.
As Wally Dusek, my dad wrestled until 1960. Then he became
a road agent for Jim
He continued to uphold the tradition of the Duseks.
For 62 years, he was active in the business until he retired
in 1987 at the age of 78.
Dusek is a second-generation wrestler from one of the
most famous wrestling families ever. He had a solid career
as a wrestler and later managed several wrestlers to major
titles. He also spent time as a broadcaster, promoter and
matchmaker. His first memories of the wrestling business
are selling programs for his father when he was 4 years
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