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Wally Dusek's Start in Wrestling

By Frank Dusek

It's always interesting to hear how different people got started in professional wrestling. Freddie Blassie (B-61) came from a boxing background. Bobo Brazil once barnstormed with the House of David baseball team before getting hooked on the sport after seeing his first match.

My dad's story is no less interesting. In the summer of 1925, my Dad, Wally Dusek, turned 16 years old. For work, he sanded wooden floors for my grandfather.

On one occasion, two workmen left a 700 pound steam radiator on the spot where my dad still needed to sand. When Dad asked them to move the radiator, they laughed at him, told him to "move it himself," and left for lunch.

Running the sanding machine for several years, my dad was quite strong for his age. Using two pieces of wood to protect the floor from marks, he "walked" this giant iron radiator across the freshly sanded floor and out the back door.

Once on the porch, he dumped the thing off the side, burying it in the mud where it lay when the workmen returned to work.

Kirksville, MO was a small town back then. Word of what had happened traveled fast.

In those days, the preliminary matches were almost always "shoots" between local wrestlers. The only match on the card that was "worked" was the main event. When the local wrestling promoter, Gus Karas came to town; it wasn't long before someone told him about the local strong boy. It didn't take long for Karas to book the local boy on his next card.

One taste was all it took for my dad to realize that he discovered his life's profession. After a few more local matches, he hopped a freight train and traveled south to St. Louis. From there, he hooked up with the last circus to travel the US by train (over 70 railroad cars) and spent the next three years flying aerobatics during the day and wrestling all comers on the midway.

While wrestling all comers on the midway, Wally Dusek met the legendary hooker, John Pesek. At the end of the season my dad left the circus and spent three years on Pesek's farm in Nebraska learning from the master.

Frank 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 old.

 

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1998-2000 Wrestling Classics: Frank Dusek, Mark Nulty
1998-2000 Design: Jan Herod
Created: October 1998
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