The New WAWLI Papers (Wrestling As We Liked It) No. 547
FEATURE WON BY DUSETTE
(Portland Oregonian, September 12, 1949)
Stocky Kneilsen, rugged matman from Tennessee, chose to argue from the wrong side of the ropes Monday night at the Labor Temple and consequently was counted out, with the third and deciding fall of the wrestling feature going to George Dusette.
The match was all even, with Kneilsen winning the first fall and losing the second on disqualification, when the rhubarb began. Dusette, peeved when Kneilsen continually crawled outside the ropes to avoid him, went along the trip to the apron and punished the Tennessee grappler. Kneilson protested it took referee Harry Elliott too long in pulling Dusette off his back, and demanded the fall on disqualification. But the protest was made from outside the ropes, and Elliott merely counted Kneilsen out.
In the red-hot semi-windup, Leo Karilenko and Frank Stojack battled to a rugged draw. Karilenko took the first fall with a hammerlock, then Stojack, feinting a try for his specialty, the airplane spin, grabbed Karilenko by the ankles and gave him the giant swing before pinning him. They went the rest of the way to no fall.
Al Szasz and Carl Meyers went to a no-fall draw in the special event, and Dale Kiser won the opener from Bill McEuin on disqualification.
TEX HAGER TO HOLD FIRST MAT SHOW
(Portland Oregonian, September 21, 1949)
Tex Hager, wrestler turned promoter, will make his Portland bow as an impresario by presenting a three-bout mat card at the Eagles Hall, S.E. 6th Avenue and Alder Street, Thursday night.
In the top bout, Buck Weaver, billed as the coast lightheavyweight champ, will tackle Jack Kiser of Portland in a non-title melee.
Tarzan Zimba, of Canada, will meet rough karl Grey of Milwaukee in the semi-windup, and Rough House Billy McEuin will match grips with Bill Hunter, of Vancouver, B.C., in the opening attraction. Babe Small will referee all the bouts.
Hager, recently granted a license by the Portland boxing commission, plans to stage a card at the hall each Thursday night.
WEAVER WINNER ON MAT CARD
(Portland Oregonian, September 22, 1949)
Buck Weaver launched Tex Hager's weekly mat show at Eagles Hall Thursday night by defeating Jack Kiser, two out of three falls, in a slam-bang main event.
Weaver took the first flop with headlocks in 16 minutes and Kiser evened the score 12 minutes later with a skin-cat. Weaver ended the brawl nine minutes afterward, applying his lethal jumping full nelson.
In the special event, Karl Grey, Milwaukee, and Tarzan Zimba, of Canada, wrestled a fast no-fall, 30-minute draw, and Bill Hunter of Vancouver, B.C., was ruled winner of the opening tussle when Billy McEuin was disqualified for rough tactics.
WRESTLING CARD A MELTING POT
(Spokesman-Review, Sunday, Sept. 25, 1949)
Spokane's professional wrestling impresario, Hat Freeman, has dipped into a stable of top-flight mat performers to come up with an octet of the fans' favorites for his inaugural fall card Thursday evening at the Temple arena. The card will have an international touch.
From Mexico, ex-cavalry officer Juan Hernandez has been signed up to meet in the half-hour preliminary event Italian Tony Verdi.
A Greek, Ted Tourtas, will tangle in the semifinal with Larry Tillman, one of the three native-born Americans on the card.
Freeman has reserved as the show's hole card in the Australian tag-team that will headline the event.
A tag match, designed by its originators, the Australian Wrestling Association, as the most legal form of murder under professional wrestling rules, works this way:
Of each two-man team one member is meeting his opponent in the ring while his partner is required to stay outside the ropes, on the canvas, and further to hold onto a towel tied to a ringpost. The losing wrestler in the ring attempts to grapple his opponent to a place where the loser can tag his partner and swap places with him in the ring. It doesn't always work out that way when the going gets hot.
Thursday's match will team Jerry Meeker and the Cardiff Giant against Leo Wallick and Stu Hart.
BEAR TO SHOW ON MAT CARD
(Portland Oregonian, Sept. 25, 1949)
A big black bear, branded by those who have seen him in action as a natural wrestler, will take the spotlight on Don Owen's weekly mat card at the Labor Temple Monday night.
The burly bruin, which has appeared in many leading cities of the country, will appear in a 15-minute exhibition against Stocky Kneilson, bearded hillbilly, as a special attraction of the grappling show.
According to Owen, the goateed Kneilsen was the only wrestler in these parts willing to take on the shaggy brute, all the other maulers ducking for cover when the match was proposed.
In the main event, Al Szasz, riding a current victory wave, will tackle Buck Weaver, current claimant of the coast lightheavyweight title.
Bob Cummings will oppose Les Welch, youngest brother of a grappling family from Tennessee, in the semi-final, and Dan Dugan, a crowd-pleasing Irish cop from Santa Monica, Calif., will battle roughneck Billy McEuin in the opener.
Owen has announced that the bear and Kneilsen act will be presented before Weaver and Szasz lock arms.
TEMPLE MAIN ENDS IN DRAW
(Portland Oregonian, September 27, 1949)
Buck Weaver and Al Szasz wrestled to a one-fall-each draw Monday night in a rugged Labor Temple main event.
Weaver trapped the Hungarian matman in the first fall, by turning an apparently friendly handshake into a flying mare and neck breaker. The angry Szasz returned to the ring and battered Weaver with elbow slams, finally using a drop kick, whip wrist lock and Japanese arm bar to gain the equalizer just 45 seconds before the time limit.
The crowd, largest of the summer season, waited out the intermission to see them go the remaining distance to a draw.
In the special event, Stocky Kneilsen bowed to Ginger, the big black bear, in just four minutes. The bear wasn't much of a scientific grappler, but he fairly smothered Kneilsen in record time to earn his orange soda pop reward.
Dan Dugan defeated Billy McEuin, one fall, in the semi-windup, and Bob Cummings pinned Les Welch in the opener.
Portland, Ore. -- September 29, 1949
Karl Grey beat Tarzan Zimba, George Strickland drew George Dusette, Dale Kiser beat Pete Bartu dq (referee Babe Small)
GIANT-MEEKER TEAM WINNER
(Spokesman-Review, Sept. 30, 1949)
The Cardiff Giant and Jerry Meeker teamed up to teach Stu Hart and Juan Hernandez some of the finer points of rough, rugged wrestling in a team match which featured the opening of the Masonic Temple wrestling season.
The Giant and Meeker used body slams and finished their foes with body presses in the first and third falls. Hart and Hernandez grabbed the middle fall, however, with a flying cross hold after 15:43.
In the semi-windup, Ted Tourtas was forced to come back after losing the first fall to Larry Tillman and win the next two. After dropping the first in 43:54, he won the second after 3:45 with a rolling cradle and the third with a series of body slams and a body press from his still dazed opponent after 3:27.
Tony Verdi won the opener after 8:43 over Clarence Higdon with a Boston crab hold.
Portland, Ore. -- October 3, 1949
Leo Kirilenko beat Al Szasz, Buck Weaver beat Gust Johnson, George Dusette beat Carl Meyers, Dale Kiser beat Billy McEuin
Seattle, Wash. -- October 3, 1949
George Strickland beat Stocky Kneilsen, Ginger the Bear beat Tony Ross, Dan Dugan beat Jack Fisher, Pete Bartu beat Les Welch
Portland, Ore. -- October 6, 1949
Karl Grey beat George Strickland, Bob Cummings beat Stocky Kneilsen, Pete Bartu beat Les Welch, Ginger the Bear beat Babe Small
Portland, Ore. -- October 10, 1949
Al Szasz-Pierre LaBelle beat Pete Bartu-Leo Kirilenko, Buck Weaver beat Maurice LaChappelle, George Dusette drew Gust Johnson
Seattle, Wash. -- October 10, 1949
Tony Ross beat George STrickland, Mighty Atlas (Morris Shapiro) beat Jim Diamond, Dan Dugan beat Stocky Kneilsen, Billy Pappas beat Bobby Burns
Portland, Ore. -- October 13, 1949
Bob Cummings-Babe Small beat Tarzan Zimba-Kral Grey, Frank Stojack drew Jack Kiser, Babe Small beat Tarzan Zimba
Portland, Ore. -- October 17, 1949
Jack O'Reilly beat Gust Johnson, Al Szasz beat Leo Kirilenko, Bob Cummings drew George Dusette, Jack Kiser beat Pete Bartu
Seattle, Wash. -- October 17, 1949
Gorgeous George beat Tony Ross, George Strickland-Jim Diamond beat Mighty Atlas-Stocky Kneilsen dq, Carl Meyers beat Dan Dugan (A - 2,000; capacity crowd in Eagles Auditorium)
Portland, Ore. -- October 20, 1949
Karl Grey beat Pierre LaBelle, Frank Stojack beat Silent Rattan, Dale Kiser beat Harry Elliott
Portland, Ore. -- October 24, 1949
Jack O'Reilly beat Al Szasz, Jack Kiser drew Yaqui Kid, Jack Lipscomb beat Dale Kiser, Maurice LaChappelle beat Masked Saint
VENTURA JUMPS BACK INTO THE RING
(St. Paul Pioneer-Press, July 13, 1999)
By Patrick Sweeney
Gov. Jesse Ventura, who first achieved fame as a pro-wrestling bad guy known as "The Body,'' will return to the ring next month in a pay-for-view extravaganza sponsored by the World Wrestling Federation at Target Center.
Ventura and his spokesmen refused to say Monday whether he'll participate as a wrestler, referee, ringside announcer or perhaps as a color commentator for the television broadcast of the event.
"Be there on Wednesday for the press conference and find out,'' Ventura told reporters in Hibbing when they questioned him about the wrestling match during his tour of storm-damaged northern Minnesota. "Charities are going to do well,'' he added.
The World Wrestling Federation, which once employed Ventura as a wrestler and later an announcer, said Monday that Ventura would play an unspecified role in the SummerSlam wrestling show to be broadcast from Target Center on Aug. 22. Details of Ventura's involvement will be made public Wednesday.
Ventura's state staff referred questions about the wrestling show to David Bradley Olson, the governor's private attorney and vice president of the nonprofit corporation that markets Ventura's name and image.
"All I can tell you right now is it's going to be a lot of fun,'' Olson said.
Ventura, who will be 48 years old on Thursday, retired from pro wrestling in 1984 after an 11-year career.
Dave Meltzer, who publishes "Wrestling Observer,'' a San Jose, Calif., newsletter devoted to the booming professional wrestling industry, speculated that Ventura's return to the ring will likely be as a referee for the premier match in the wrestling show. And Meltzer predicted that Ventura is likely to earn more than $1 million for the one night of work.
"It's huge money,'' Meltzer said. "A celebrity of his stature, on a pay-for-view event, the going rate is seven figures.''
Tickets for SummerSlam are sold out, but it's available for $29.95 as a pay-for-view show.
Last summer, the celebrities taking part in similar wrestling shows included late-night TV host Jay Leno and National Basketball Association stars Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone. Meltzer predicted Ventura would be a bigger draw.
"Leno got a million, and Rodman got $2.5 million,'' Meltzer said. "I think more people by far will buy the show than bought the one that Rodman did.''
Meltzer said Ventura might wrestle, probably in a tag team, but more likely would referee a match featuring "Stone Cold'' Steve Austin, the WWF's top star. And if Ventura wrestles, he probably will take Austin's side at some point, Meltzer predicted.
Meltzer said the WWF, locked in a television ratings battle with the rival World Championship Wrestling organization and reeling from a string of bad publicity -- the death in May of wrestler Owen Hart in a ring accident; a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Rena Mero, a former female wrestler; and the recent death in Dallas of a 3-year-old boy accidentally killed by his 7-year-old brother with a wrestling move he reportedly had learned from television -- has much to gain from recruiting the popular Ventura for the show.
"For the WWF, it's a tremendous coup,'' Meltzer said. "There's no downside. They get tons and tons of publicity, and none of it's bad.''
Bruce Mitchell, a Greensboro, N.C., second-grade teacher who writes a wrestling column for the "Pro Wrestling Torch,'' a Twin Cities-based newsletter, said he questions whether Ventura should lend the prestige of his office as governor to professional wrestling at a time when the sport, which is heavily marketed to children, is becoming increasingly raunchy.
"They market violence, they use a lot of swearing and they have a lot of sexual content in their shows,'' Mitchell said of the WWF. "And Jesse, by participating in it, is endorsing it.''
For Ventura, taking part in the WWF event means rejoining Vince McMahon, the WWF chairman whom he successfully sued in 1994 in U.S. District Court in St. Paul. Ventura won nearly $1 million in a lawsuit charging that he improperly was denied residuals from videotapes McMahon sold from Ventura's old wrestling matches
VENTURA DEFENDS PARTICIPATION
(Associated Press, July 13, 1999)
By Rochelle Olson
ST. PAUL, Minn.--Gov. Jesse Ventura defended his return to professional wrestling Tuesday, insisting he's entitled to a life outside politics. Ventura bristled when asked whether his renewed ties to the World Wrestling Federation threatened the dignity of the governor's office.
"If I were a nightclub singer in Caesars Palace, would you ask the same question?" he asked.
That wasn't the only time he compared himself to a Las Vegas lounge act. Within the hour, he was on Minnesota Public Radio, using an identical argument against his critics.
The governor, who wrestled professionally as Jesse "The Body" Ventura until retiring in 1986, scheduled a news conference Wednesday with the World Wrestling Federation. He plans to participate Aug. 22 in the WWF's $29.95 pay-per-view "SummerSlam" event.
Ventura's role has been billed as a return to the ring. Whether he will wrestle or referee is a secret for now. The sold-out event is scheduled for the Target Center in Minneapolis.
Ventura wouldn't divulge his role in the event or answer questions about how much he would be paid or where the money will go, though he said Monday some will go to charity. He did respond to criticism.
"There's no rule that says a governor can't have fun," Ventura said. "There's no rule that says a governor on his own time can't be a human."
His appearance on the WWF event is simply a return to his profession before he was governor, he said.
"The perception is that people need to be professional politicians and that therefore being a politician is your entire life. Well, it's not Jesse Ventura's entire life and I think I was elected upon the fact that I came from being a private citizen," he said.
On Monday, state GOP Chairman Ron Eibensteiner called Ventura's actions "an absolute outrage."
"It's so obvious, so transparent, that he is using the office of governor to promote his own personal enrichment," Eibensteiner said. Ventura shot back Tuesday on MPR, noting that GOP St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman just struck a deal as a paid Saturday afternoon radio host. The governor receives no money for his weekly radio show.
"Where's the outcry? See, for Republicans, he's an entrepreneur," Ventura said.
Ventura believes his appearance on the WWF show would be a boost for the state. "More people will see Minnesota again and it will put us in the spotlight again," he said.
It won't take away from his gubernatorial duties
because he generally doesn't work on Sundays, the day of the event, and the job
requires no travel because the event is at the Target Center.
The New WAWLI Papers (Wrestling As We Liked It) No. 548
(ED. NOTE -- Mike Smith, Ojai, Calif., contributor, sent along the following goodies from the wonderful old Knockout magazines, these items from some January and February, 1940, issues. Note that Dick (Whoa, Nellie!) Lane, the famous Hollywood wrestling telecaster, began his association with the mat game as manager for Dangerous Danny McShain.)
LINEUPS FROM KNOCKOUT MAGAZINES
(January 6, 1940)
Los Angeles -- Olympic Auditorium
Young Stecher vs. Joe Woods . . . A win a piece -- we like Woods to win the rubber and retire Stecher from the tournament, which is now in its 13th week
Ricardo Lugo vs. Oki Shikina . . . Oki much too fast and clever and will make a sucker out of Lugo
Hank Oswald vs. Sammy Stein . . . Both flying tacklers -- we like Stein to take Hank apart
Nanjo Singh vs. Vic Christy . . . Singh ruined Vic last week in a "dirty" brawl -- we like the Hindu to repeat tonight amid many a boo
Sandor Szabo vs. Moose Munn . . . Szabo to win in his usual style
Pat Fraley vs. Kayo Koverly . . . This will be a wow -- Pat can be tough, too, and will give Kayo a hot evening. We sorta like Pat to down Koverly with a flying toehold
Nick Lutze vs. Dean Detton . . . Rematch of a great struggle -- Lutze figures to turn the tables on Detton tonight
Jules Strongbow vs. Tiny Roebuck . . . This is for the Indian title and they will rassle Indian style, whatever that is. Jules figures to win
MAIN EVENT: Vincent Lopez vs. Pantaleon Manlapig . . . Perhaps the most colorful bout of the new year -- it's Mexican Lopez versus Filipino Manlapig. We like the Filipino, who has held some good ones to a draw, to hand the Mexican a pinning tonight
(January 27, 1940)
Cardiff Giant vs. Dan Savage . . . Leo to win after many laughs
Kola Kwariani vs. Karl Davis . . . Davis will ride Kola for the fall
Jules Strongbow vs. Pete Mehringer . . . Pete too smart for the Indian
Oki Shikina vs. Rudy LaDitzi . . . A draw and the show-stealer
Ed Payson vs. Vic Christy . . . Christy's leg holds to win
Tiny Roebuck vs. Vic Hill . . . Tiny too beeg and strong for Vic
Baron Ginsberg vs. Sammy Stein . . . Stein in a hurry
MAIN EVENT: Nick Lutze vs. Dean Detton . . . Detton too much for Lutze to handle.
San Francisco -- Civic Auditorium
Jack Wagner vs. Pat Rooney . . . Wagner, rassling referee, will twist Pat into pretzel
Kay Bell vs. Jim Powell . . . Bell, pro footballer, a husky and the winner
Cliff Theide vs. Hardy Kruskamp . . . Hardy's dropkicks should down Cliff
Danny Dusek vs. Ed Payson . . . Payson's tackles will win a brawl from Danny
MAIN EVENT: Kayo Koverly vs. Bill Hansen . . . Koverly and his punches a bit too hot for clever Billy to handle
Los Angeles -- Olympic Auditorium
Lee Wycoff vs. Little Wolf . . . These boys are entering the fourth round; all matches to be 45 minutes to fall or decision. We like Lee after a fine exhibition
Fred Von Schacht vs. Dean Detton . . . Fred a new one; Detton will curl him up in a soft spot with toeholds
Oki Shikina vs. Rube Wright . . . Oki too good for rough and ready Rube and will win via his Surf Board Grip
Joe Woods vs. Jules Strongbow . . . Woods a pretty fair lad; will hang a left hook on Jules to win the fall
Joe Pazandak vs. Dr. Len Hall . . . Hall too good and will have an easy time in making Joe yell for help
Dan Boone Savage vs. Nanjo Singh . . . Leo a colorful gink and will steamroll all over the Hindu to cop the match
Ed Payson vs. Egg Haggerty . . . The Egg just a bit too powerful for tackling Ed and gets the call
MAIN EVENT: Karl Davis vs. Vincent Lopez . . . This will be a riot of action -- we favor Lopez to wind up getting the decision and match after 45 minutes of rough and wild struggling
(February 10, 1940)
Los Angeles -- Olympic Auditorium
Pantaleon Manlapig vs. George Zaharias . . . Tabbed a grudge struggle, Zaharias too much for the Flipino
Egg Haggerty-Rudy LaDitzi vs. Ed Payson-Nick Lutze . . . Heroes Lutze and Payson will tame villains Egg and LaDitzi
Leo Savage vs. Sandor Szabo . . . Szabo the winner
Count Von Schacht vs. Dean Detton . . . A tournament match, Dean to win with toeholds
Dr. Len Hall vs. Rube Wright . . . Rube won last week, Hall will level tonight and is winner
Max Krauser vs. Pat Fraley . . . Max a European champ, he'll dust off Pat with some wicked grips
Little Wolf vs. Lee Wycoff . . . Lee to win a sensational struggle from the Indian
MAIN EVENT: Vincent Lopez vs. Karl Davis . . . Lopez's elbow wallops will put Davis out of the tournament
Bob Mabrey vs. Jim Powell . . . Powell the choice
Art Larson vs. Ted Sarris . . . Sarris to steal the show
Leo Narberes vs. Pat Rooney . . . A wild draw
Elbows Gracia vs. Jack Kugot . . . Kugot will bounce the Filipino
MAIN EVENT: Doc. Meyers vs. Bill Hansen . . . Hansen all the way
Santa Monica -- Ocean Park Arena
Pat Fraley vs. Joe Woods . . . A fine all-around card. Woods has the edge
Mike Works-Painter Hogan vs. Bob Coleman-Young Stecher . . . A wowser -- we like Coleman and Stecher
Bud O'Brien vs. Vic Hill . . . Buddy's back -- a sensational winner
Jules Strongbow vs. Sandor Szabo . . . Szabo will flop the Indian
MAIN EVENT: Vincent Lopez vs. George Zaharias . . . For 1940 club championship -- we like Zaharias after a wild classic
Manuel Rodriguez vs. Joe Woods . . . Both know what it's all about -- a pleasing draw
Jack Reeder vs. Pete Peterson . . . Two toughies -- we like Pete to roll Jack
Vic Christy vs. Hank Metheny . . . Vic to pin baldheaded Hank with a hook scissors
MAIN EVENT: George Zaharias vs. Vincent Lopez . . . Rough and wild -- Lopez the winner
Ernie Peterson vs. Al Ferona . . . Ernie a bit too rough
Otis Clingman vs. Yukon Jake . . . Jake will stamp on Otis' features
Bob Gregory vs. Karl Grey . . . A classic -- favor British Bob
MAIN EVENT: Sugai Matsuda vs. Jesse James . . . Greek vs. Japanese -- tab Jesse, he's too powerful
Bob Coleman vs. Billy Varga . . . Varga the pick
Harry Jacobs vs. Sammy Stein . . . Stein all the way
Little Wolf vs. Pat Fraley . . . Wolf will death grip
Karl Davis vs. Nick Lutze . . . A draw and the best match of the night
Rudy LaDitzi vs. Ed Payson . . . Payson should outtackle Rudy
MAIN EVENT: Sandor Szabo vs. Rube Wright . . . Szabo will roll Rube over for the fall
EASTSIDE ARENA (Ninth and Lorena Streets, Los Angeles) THE BEST IN BIG-TIME WRESTLING EVERY THURSDAY EVENING (Ladies Free, With or Without Escorts, Every Week) JOHN J. DOYLE, Matchmaker
McSHAIN CLASHES WITH BOB GREGORY
(The Knockout, January 27, 1940)
By Dean Snyder
Being a world's champion is not always what it is cracked up to be.
For instance, when Dangerous Danny McShain stuck out his chest -- and he really can do that -- after defeating Jesse James, glamour Greek, he bumped into Bob Gregory.
McShain won the undisputed recognition by the National Wrestling Association which controls 36 states and the sanction of California, Illinois and New York that he was the world's light-heavyweight wrestling champion.
But up pops Gregory and made a speech. It was "How about me?"
Gregory is not only the lightheavy and junior heavy champion of England, but Europe as well.
"You are only the champion of America," said Gregory. "I'm the champion of Europe, where all the good wrestlers really are."
McShain is a strutter. He is also a big bluffer. But he is also a great wrestler. And he is Irish.
A genuine Irishman wouldn't bend a knee to an Englishman under any circumstances.
McShain's "high command" may be short-lived.
About nine out of every ten mat followers think that Gregory can make a pretzel out of McShain or most anyone else in the grinding game of bones and muscles.
Gregory has a way about him.
His sportsmanship is only equalled by his ability.
Last week when he injured Silent Rattan with a hip lock instead of giving him another push in the face, the Briton helped the guards to take his victim to the dressing room.
The audience appreciates good fellowship along with hard competition and rivalry.
One night Gregory was pitched out of the ring. He injured his ankle and the back of his neck struck a chair. He was packed away on a stretcher while his conqueror patted himself on the back but didn't make a move to aid the man he had injured with a maneuver that is really a foul and not wrestling.
McShain, in spite of his victory over James that gave him the championship, is in an embarrassing position.
A few weeks ago Gregory beat him in a one-fall bout.
A championship when some other fellow holds a decision over you is hollow.
Styles have much to do with the dealing of the cards in wrestling, as well as any other sport.
James beat Gregory for the California title because he is an expert on defense. He claims he can block any hold. But he specializes in leg leverages. And Gregory specializes in leg leverages.
McShain, on the other hand, is at his best against arm leverages. Leg grips puzzle him.
Critics, who saw Gregory beat McShain in the one-fall contest, predict that the Englishman will win in straight falls if McShain is curbed from slugging.
Gregory isn't rugged. He is all science.
It is said McShain plans to retire and go into pictures with his manager, Richard Lane, if he loses to Gregory.
McShain owns his own home in Beverly Hills and has a sizeable trust fund established. He is an exceptionally good actor.
Outside of the ring he is handsomer than most of the movie actors. But when he climbs into the ring he becomes a roaring harlequin.
Promoter Hugh Nichols bridged the split between the California commission recognized champion and the N.W.A. sanctioned titleholder by staging the James-McShain bout.
But the winner of the international bout will be the real world's head man of the 175-pound division.
Hollywood fans will welcome the return of Don Sugai Matsura, who wrestles under the name of Matty Matsura, to the Legion again.
Matsura wrestled at the film capital arena two years ago.
He proved to be a sensation. Efforts to rebook him failed since he left the next day for Japan where he had bouts scheduled.
Ever since then Hollywood has wondered what became of the brilliant Japanese ace.
Matsura makes his first start in the mixed team match Monday. He will work with Red Lyons against two other Japanese stars, Taro Ito and Sugy Hayamaki.
Hundreds of Japanese fans will be on hand to see Matsura in action.
Regardless of how the team match ends Matsura will be a strong challenger for the Gregory-McShain survivor.
In mixed team grappling the Japanese have the advantage in jacket falls while Americans have the edge at catch-as-catch-can falls.
To make a mixed match fair, a coin is dropped before the bout starts. This will decide whether the four men will start with or without jackets. If each team gets a fall the one with the shortest time has the choice of style for the deciding fall.
Ito and Hayamaka defeated Lyons and Duke Pettigrove two weeks ago.
With the crafty Matsura working beside Lyons the result may be different.
Last week's show featuring the McShain-James bout attracted the largest crowd the club has ever had in the new $250,000 stadium for wrestling.
McSHAIN SAID WEIGHING FILM OFFER
(The Knockout, February 10, 1940)
By Dean Snyder
What would you do if you were Danny McShain?
He holds the world's undisputed light-heavyweight championship.
But the flickers are calling him.
Dangerous Danny has the requisites because he is handsome and alert.
The wrestling game has been good to McShain. He owns a home in Beverly Hills. He has a sizeable trust fund.
But a few years ago he met Richard Lane, movie star.
Lane liked the way McShain went about his work. He watched him as a fan.
One night he met Danny and had a talk with him. Then McShain was a flashy wrestler, but didn't seem to be headed any place.
Lane advised him to develop one hold and use it as a weapon.
At that time McShain was experimenting with a deadly maneuver that he called a pile driver.
It is the simple thing of picking a man up upside down and driving his head into the mat.
The next time he met Lane he said, "How would you like to be my manager?"
Lane accepted the job. The combination made Mcshain a world's champion.
It is said that McShain has such a good offer that he cannot very well refuse it. But he is signed for one more bout at Hollywood. He wants to retire -- if he makes the final decision -- as undefeated.
Two fellows -- Bob Gregory of England and Jesse James, glamour Greek -- are meeting Monday night at the Hollywood Legion stadium.
Most fans think either would beat McShain if McShain was made to live up to the rules.
James is known as the man with a block for every hold.
Gregory isn't such a great blocker, but he has a powerful defensive with his many leg holds.
James is the youngster. He is only 24 years old.
A year ago James was recognized as the wonder boy in New York state. He won the New York title.
He realized a big ambition when he got a match with Jimmy Londos one night.
The bout went two hours to a draw. Londos, a veteran of the war and a world's champion, became very much interested in his Greek countryman.
Since then Londos has taught James many things about wrestling. If James continues to improve and if he grows heavier he may some day be the successor of the maestro, Londos. James has already had the honor of being California champion. What he lacks in experience he makes up for in speed and the ability to think his way out of difficulty.
His system is much like that of the popular Lord Lansdowne. Lansdowne always said: "Don't resist a hold but go with it."
Few men could ever tie the Lord up into a knot he couldn't untie. The same is true of James.
Gregory uses a different system. The Briton has emphasized leg leverages, although he is master of everything in the book.
Gregory can do more things with his legs than half the other grapplers can do with their arms.
It is Gregory's ambition to hold the world's light-heavyweight title. If he succeeds in this he will then challenge LeRoy McGuirk for the junior heavyweight belt.
Gregory's one weakness is that he cannot stand up against slugging.
He claims that McShain could not beat him at real standup wrestling. When they met, McShain's only edge was that he could outslug the Englishman. McShain is an exponent of the elbow smash, which was introduced and developed by Vincent Lopez.
Gregory is too much of a gentleman to slug back with a rough opponent.
If he can't win by strict leverage methods he refuses to employ rough tactics that border on the foul side of the ledger.
If Gregory meets McShain again many will string with the Briton.
The new rule book, drawn by Commissioner Everett Sanders, is out and is in effect. Of all the "don'ts" in the book, Gregory isn't guilty of any of the infractions named.
James likewise is a cleancut worker.
As Commissioner Sanders explains, the new code is not for the boys of the James and Gregory type, but for the men who resort to rough tactics to cover up the weaknesses in their wrestling technique.
Matchmaker Hugh Nichols of Hollywood is now in the east scouting for new talent for California.
Two men he has already booked for Hollywood are McGuirk and Lansdowne. Neither of these are strangers. Lansdowne hasn't worked here since he was a welterweight.
Most of the high-caliber men in the 175-pound and the 190-pound classes are in the west.
But Nichols is seeking the best that other sections have to offer.
One man who may be giving all the light-heavies
trouble soon is Matty Matsura, the Japanese boy. He is not only a black-belted
man, but he is an excellent catch-as-catch-can man.
The New WAWLI Papers (Wrestling As We Liked It) No. 549
(ED. NOTE -- Our profuse thanks go out to the latest contributor to the WAWLI Papers archive, Mr. David Crane of Northern California. He dug up the following two stories plus the scan of Sacramento results from 1936, the period in which a 20-year-old Lou Thesz was beginning his march to the top of the game.)
RIOT AT JAMAICA WRESTLING BOUT
(Associated Press, June 5, 1936)
NEW YORK -- It started as a small time wrestling match, but wound up a full fledged riot.
Several thousand mat fans were seated in Jamaica Arena watching George Lenihan and Tony Colesano go through their grunt and groan routine. Suddenly Lenihan was seen rubbing unknown substances in Colessanoís eye.
Then the fun began.
Fifty of Colesanoís countrymen leaped into the ring and proceeded to assault Lenihan. In a moment the place was a bedlam with Lenihanís adherents engaged in pitched battles with the Colesano faction.
Emergency squads rushed to the arena but it was not until they had drawn guns and took possession of the ring that order was restored.
So far as could be learned no one was seriously
NWA'S LEADING TITLE CONTENDERS
(Associated Press, September 22, 1936)
HOUSTON -- The National Wrestling Association championship committee yesterday named Leo (Daniel Boone) Savage, Dave Levin, and Everett Marshall as outstanding contenders for the worldís heavyweight title and suggested a tournament to clear up the situation in that division.
The Committee, meeting as a part of the National Boxing and Wrestling Association Convention, named seventeen others it considers are prominent enough to engage in such a tourney, and suggested appearance bonds on $1,000 be posted.
Besides the three heavyweight grapplers named, the following make up the first twenty: Orville Brown, Henry DeGlane, Ernie Dusek, Ed Don George, Ed (Strangler) Lewis, Jim Londos, Vincent Lopez, Earl McCready, Jim McMillin, John Pesek, Yvon Roberti, Steve Savage, Dick Shikat, Gus Sonnenberg, Ray Steele, Hans Steinke, and George Zaharias.
Colonel Harry Landry of Mississippi was re-elected president of the association.
SACRAMENTO RESULTS FROM 1936
(bouts were all held in the Memorial Auditorium and were promoted under the auspices of the Disabled American Veterans)
Sacramento -- June 1, 1936
Howard Cantonwine beat Willie Davis, Hardy Kruskamp beat Joe Malcewicz, Rusty Westcoatt beat Bud Hellwig, Charley Santen beat Jake Patterson, Hans Steinke beat Nelson Davis
Sacramento -- June 8, 1936
Willie Davis vs. Howard Cantonwine, Charley Santen vs. Dr. Fred Meyers, Mike Mazurki vs. Brother Jonathan, Jake Patterson vs. Bill Sledge, Hans Steinke vs. Jan Pencheff
Sacramento -- June 15, 1936
Charley Santen beat Willie Davis, Rusty Westcoatt beat Harry Jacobs, Hardy Kruskamp beat Jake Patterson, Fred Meyers beat Tommy Nilan, Mike Mazurki beat George Wilson
Sacramento -- June 22, 1936
Hardy Kruskamp beat Jake Patterson, Hugo De Collelmo beat Bronco Valdez, Mike Mazurki drew Fred Meyers, Willie Davis beat Mike Strelich, Bill Sledge drew Benny Ginsberg
Sacramento -- July 6, 1936
George Zaharias beat Rusty Westcoatt, Hardy Kruskamp beat Brother Jonathan, Bill Sledge drew Jake Patterson, Fred Meyers beat Bronco Valdez, Frank Malcewicz beat Mike Strelich
Sacramento -- July 13, 1936
Dave Levin beat Fred Meyers, Hardy Kruskamp beat Benny Ginsberg, Jack Kennedy beat Jack Washburn, Ray Steele beat Jake Patterson, Lou Plummer beat Bob Jessen
Sacramento -- July 20, 1936
Ray Steele beat Mike Mazurki, Hardy kruskamp beat Jake Patterson, Frank Malcewicz beat Leo Narberes, Casey Kazanjian beat Brother Jonathan, Hugo De Collelmo beat Harry Jacobs
Sacramento -- July 27, 1936
Ray Steele beat Hugo De Collelmo, Hardy Kruskamp beat Tony Catalino, Frank Malcewicz beat Ed Helwig, Lou Thesz beat Benny Ginsberg, Bill Sledge beat Bronco Valdez
Sacramento -- August 3, 1936
Vincent Lopez beat Hardy Kruskamp, Ray Steele beat Benny Ginsberg, Bill Sledge beat Frank Malcewicz, Lou Thesz drew Hank Metheny, Jake Patterson drew Joe Malcewicz
Sacramento -- August 10, 1936
Frank Malcewicz beat Hardy Kruskamp, Ray Steele beat Brother Jonathan, Hugo De Collelmo drew Fred Meyers, Lou Thesz drew Mike Mazurki, Bill Sledge beat Jack Washburn
Sacramento -- August 17, 1936
Dean Detton beat Fred Meyers, Hans Steinke beat Jake Patterson, Hardy Kruskamp beat Frank Malcewicz, Jack Washburn beat Jack Wagner, Lou Thesz beat Benny Ginsberg
Sacramento -- August 24, 1936
Ted Cox beat Hugo De Collelmo, Hans Steinke beat Mike Mazurki, Lou Thesz beat Bill Beth, Frank Malcewicz beat Tony Catalino, Jake Patterson drew Pat Meehan
Sacramento -- August 31, 1936
Vincent Lopez beat Frank Malcewicz, Fred Meyers
beat Mike Mazurki, Hans Steinke beat Harry Jacobs, Gus Sonnenberg beat Ted Cox,
Pat Meehan beat Jake Patterson
Sacramento -- September 14, 1936
Dave Levin beat Ted Cox, Gus Sonnenberg beat Bill Sledge, Ray Steele drew Hank Metheny, Frank Malcewicz beat Ted Sarris, Lou Thesz drew Hugo De Collelmo
Sacramento -- September 21, 1936
Vincent Lopez beat Frank Malcewicz, Hans Steinke beat Mike Bouskos-Paul Nelson (handicap), Hal Rumberg beat Jake Patterson, Nick Lutze drew Hank Metheny, Bill Sledge drew Tony Catalino
Sacramento -- September 28, 1936
Hans Steinke beat Joe Malcewicz, Gus Sonnenberg beat Jake Patterson, Ted Cox beat Mike Bouskos, Nick Lutze beat Hank Metheny, Pat Meehan beat Tony Catalino
Sacramento -- October 5, 1936
Dave Levin beat Ted Cox, Frank Malcewicz drew Nick Lutze, Hal Rumberg beat Jake Patterson, Pat Meehan drew Herb Freeman, Lou Thesz beat Mike Bouskos
Sacramento -- October 12, 1936
Nick Lutze beat Frank Malcewicz, Gus Sonnenberg beat Herb Freeman, Pat Meehan beat Tony Catalino, Ted Cox drew Lou Thesz, Vic Christy beat Jake Patterson
Sacramento -- October 19, 1936
Dean Detton beat Vic Christy, Gus Sonnenberg drew Nick Lutze, Hal Rumberg beat Joe Malcewicz, Rudy Strongberg beat Herb Freeman, Frank Malcewicz beat Bill Marsh
(perhaps Tiger Joe Marsh)
Sacramento -- October 26, 1936
Gus Sonnenberg beat Nick Lutze, Vic Christy beat Herb Freeman, Hal Rumberg beat Jake Patterson, Jack McArthur beat Leo Narbares, Jake Patterson drew Rudy Strongberg
Sacramento -- November 2, 1936
Vic Christy beat Hal Rumberg, John Spellman beat Lou Thesz, Ted Cox beat Nick Lutze, Pat Meehan drew Rudy Strongberg, Billy Hansen beat Tony Catalino
Sacramento -- November 9, 1936
Billy Hansen beat Ted Cox, Al Pereira beat Joe Malcewicz, Pat Meehan beat John Spellman, Casey Kazanjian drew Rudy Strongberg, Jack McArthur beat Vic Christy
Sacramento -- November 16, 1936
(results incomplete) Bill Longson beat Lou Thesz
Sacramento -- November 23, 1936
Billy Hansen beat Jack McArthur, Sandor Szabo beat Hank Metheny, Pat Meehan drew Bill Longson, Sammy Stein beat Tiger Joe Marsh, Vic Christy drew Ted Cox
Sacramento -- December 7, 1936
Chief Little Wolf beat Nick Lutze, Gino Vagnone beat Frank Malcewicz, Hal Rumberg beat Bob Jessen, Tommy Marvin beat Lou Thesz, Bill Longson beat Hank Metheny
Sacramento -- December 14, 1936
Gino Vagnone beat Frank Malcewicz, Tommy Marvin beat Tony Catalino, Nick Lutze beat Jack McArthur, Bill Longson beat Herb Freeman, John Spellman drew Rudy Strongberg
Sacramento -- December 21, 1936
Man Mountain Dean drew Nick Lutze, Rudy Strongberg beat Ted Cox, Frank Malcewicz drew Ernie Peterson, Jake Patterson drew Hal Rumberg, Sailor Davis drew Merwin Cox
Sacramento -- December 28, 1936
Gino Vagnone beat Chief Little Wolf dq, Kimon Kudo beat Bronco Valdez, Nick Lutze drew Bill Longson, Ted Cox drew Pat Meehan
JESSE THE REF: A MILLION BUCKS?
(St. Paul Pioneer-Press, July 15, 1999)
By Patrick Sweeney
Gov. Jesse Ventura will return to the wrestling ring as a referee next month for a payday that will allow him to donate $100,000 to charity and perhaps pocket $1 million more in fees and royalties.
Ventura joined officials of the World Wrestling Federation on Wednesday at Target Center to announce that Ventura will be the guest referee Aug. 22 in the SummerSlam, a pay-per-view event that will decide who is the WWF's latest champion.
Ventura has suggested recently that he could be the guy to clean up professional wrestling. For years, wrestling has marketed its scripted image of almost-anything-goes violence; recently it has added raw language and sexual innuendo to the mix.
At Wednesday's news conference, Ventura hinted at the role he'll play in one night of wrestling theater.
"Rest assured, the wrestlers are going to find it very interesting dealing with me,'' Ventura said. "I will enforce the rules of professional wrestling, or the lack thereof.''
After the news conference Tuesday, Ventura urged people to take pro wrestling "with a grain of salt and a gleam in your eye.''
But Ron Eibensteiner, chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota, said Ventura's participation in the wrestling show will diminish the prestige of the governor's office.
Ventura expressed surprise at the criticism. Few people, he said, would complain if he were a retired National Basketball Association player taking part in an exhibition game for pay and pleasure.
Ventura, who was known as "The Body'' during an 11-year pro wrestling career, sometimes has complained that the media are too interested in his background as a wrestler and not sufficiently interested enough in his government experience as a one-term mayor of Brooklyn Park. But he was all wrestling Wednesday.
The 48-year-old governor wore a green business suit but allowed Chyna, a lavishly chesty female wrestler in a leather tank top, to deck him out in sequined glasses and feather boas.
He also joined the mock-drama of arched eyebrows, glares and veiled threats by which the wrestlers at the event showed their distaste for each other.
"As long as you're in this state, you hold no power,'' he growled at Vince McMahon, the WWF owner and Ventura's former boss, whom Ventura once successfully sued for $1 million worth of video royalties. "It's very simple: The Body rules. It's my rules or the highway.''
Ventura seemed to enjoy the hoopla of the hour-long news conference, which took place in front of about 1,000 cheering wrestling fans, many of them children. Taking their cue from the wrestlers, members of the crowd occasionally chanted sexually suggestive comments and denounced McMahon in scatological terms.
Ventura said he will receive a direct fee from the WWF of $100,000. He will donate half to a new foundation that his wife, Terry, has established to benefit disabled youngsters, Ventura said. The other half will go to benefit Minneapolis Roosevelt High School, his alma mater.
But Ventura said he also will receive payments for the use of his trademarked name -- the Aug. 22 show is being billed as an "out of Body experience'' -- and future royalties from a video of the event.
He refused to say how much the licensing fee and royalties will total, or how they will be spent. David Bradley Olson, Ventura's personal attorney, said the money will go to Ventura.
Two analysts who follow professional wrestling said they assumed Ventura will receive at least $1 million.
"If he's getting less than $1 million, he needs to fire his agent,'' wrestling analyst Bob Ryder said of Ventura. Ryder, who lives in Baton Rouge, La., operates an Internet audio wrestling show affiliated with the WWF's industry rival, World Championship Wrestling.
Wade Keller of Bloomington, who publishes "Pro Wrestling Torch,'' a wrestling newsletter, estimated that the governor's involvement in the $29.95 pay-for-view wrestling show should be worth at least $2 million in sales to the WWF. "Jesse is too smart of a negotiator to let Vince McMahon make more money off him than he gets in return,'' Keller said.
Ventura said he was taking vacation time to attend Wednesday's announcement, but he was accompanied by his two regular security guards, a State Patrol captain and an assistant media spokesman from the governor's office. All four were there at state expense.
Ventura bristled when questioned by a Pioneer Press reporter about the propriety of taxpayers paying for his security at the news conference. He noted that Attorney General Mike Hatch ruled that it was permissible for the state to pay for three staff members to accompany the governor on a book-promotion tour.
Ventura also accused the Pioneer Press of downplaying St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman's plan to augment his $83,600 annual salary by moonlighting as a talk-radio host. Coleman has refused to say how much he will be paid.
Eibensteiner, the Republican Party chairman, called Ventura's participation in the wrestling show outrageous. "Jesse's actions contribute to the cynical opinion that people have of politicians today: that politicians are only looking out for themselves, lining their own pockets and not doing the public's business.''
Eibensteiner called on Ventura to disclose full details of the fees he will receive. Later, in response to questions, Eibensteiner made a milder plea for Coleman, a Republican, to reveal how much he will be paid for a weekly radio program.
"That's less bothersome than this blatant example of using the governor's office to really line his pockets in big way,'' Eibensteiner said.
BODY'S BACK . . . WHERE HE BELONGS
(St. Paul Pioneer-Press, July 15, 1999)
By Bob Sansavere
As he approached the stage, Jesse Ventura walked slowly and appeared to be biting his lip. He seemed nervous, even sheepish.
Could it be common sense finally had whacked him upside the head, and he was realizing he was about to embarrass himself as well as his state?
No such luck.
When our governor got onstage, a chant exploded from a crowd of about 2,000 rowdy wrestling fans.
"JESSE! JESSE! JESSE!''
All signs of nervousness and apprehension disappeared. Jesse Ventura was back in his element.
He became a rude, swaggering tough guy, which, come to think of it, is not much different from how he governs.
"In light of where wrestling is today, it is time to bring back some law and order,'' Ventura barked.
Then he turned to Vince McMahon, the lord and master of the World Wrestling Federation and a man Ventura once sued.
"I'm more powerful than you,'' Ventura said, giving McMahon the wrestler's glare. "I am more powerful than the WWF.''
McMahon bulged his eyes and contorted his face. Either he was trying to act shocked or he was in dire need of a gallon jug of Metamucil.
Ventura was at Target Center on Wednesday with McMahon and several wrestlers from the WWF stable to announce that our governor would referee the main event of SummerSlam, a pay-per-view extravaganza that will take place Aug. 22 at Target Center.
"It's my rules or the highway,'' Ventura bellowed at McMahon. "You better not come anywhere near the ring. I have security, and my security means business.''
It was either the weirdest news conference ever by a governor, or it was a sign of the Apocalypse.
Perhaps it was both.
Ventura is certainly the only governor ever to hold a news conference where you could buy nachos at a concession stand, see a boy of about 12 give a TV camera the double bird and watch a well-endowed woman unbutton her bustier as she walked offstage.
Other, uh, highlights of the news conference included a wrestler who scolded critics of our governor by saying, "If you ain't down with Jesse 'The Body' Ventura (taking part in SummerSlam), I got just two words . . .''
Let's just say they weren't "Happy Hanukkah.''
In the course of the news conference, Ventura was presented with several articles similar to what he used to wear when he was a pro wrestler. A WWF sidekick who calls herself Chyna wrapped a yellow feather boa around Ventura's neck. Then she wrapped a black boa around his neck. Then she gave him glitzy sunglasses.
Ventura removed the sunglasses after a minute or two, but left the feather boas around his neck a while longer.
How could anyone suggest he's making a mockery of the office of governor?
He's just having fun. Anyway, that's what he calls it.
Later on, "Stone Cold'' Steve Austin, the reigning WWF champ, came onstage carrying a championship belt he gave to Ventura.
"I'm presenting a WWF belt to Jesse because this crooked- --- promoter never gave him the shot he deserved,'' Austin said, giving McMahon the wrestler's glare. Every wrestler must have a clause in his contract that he has to glare at McMahon.
Anyhow, our governor held up the belt, and you almost could see mist building in his eyes. What a Kodak moment.
When he sat down, Ventura tapped his index finger on the belt and said to McMahon, ``You never gave me a shot at this.''
This was not for the benefit of the microphones or TV cameras. It was just Ventura talking to McMahon. He seemed serious, not that any of us ever truly know when Ventura is serious.
He had a chance to be serious the other day when he went to tour the destruction of millions of trees in the Boundary Waters. It could have been an important, worthwhile trip. But instead of keeping the focus on the devastation, our governor shifted it to himself and made his first announcement about taking part in SummerSlam.
This probably wouldn't be as offensive to some people, this involvement with SummerSlam, if it was a once-in-a-while thing, a novelty. Unfortunately, with all the time he has devoted to his book signings and his appearances on late-night TV and his radio show and his action figures and his whining about how the media treats him, the novelty is when Ventura behaves like a governor.
He says all the extra-curricular things he does helps keep Minnesota in the spotlight.
There's only one thing to say to that:
Hey, Jesse, get off our side.
VENTURA BODY SLAMS HIS CRITICS
(New York Post, Thursday, July 15, 1999)
By Gersh Kuntzman
Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura says he didn't have to wrestle with his conscience before deciding to go back into the ring - and slammed his critics as a bunch of spoilsports.
"There's no rule that says a governor can't have fun," the former pro wrestler said, defending his planned appearance as a referee in the World Wrestling Federation SummerSlam event on Aug. 22 in Minneapolis.
He told a press conference that his $100,000 appearance fee will go to two charities, but critics estimate he would make more than $1 million from royalties and other payments.
"He's not earning a million dollars because he's a former wrestler, but because he's a former wrestler who's now a governor," said Democratic state senator John Marty.
"The people of Minnesota, by electing Jesse Ventura, have added to his market value, so the people have a right to ask whether he's in this for the money or for the people."
Minnesota state GOP Chairman Ron Eibensteiner called the actions of the third-party governor "an absolute outrage ... It's so obvious, so transparent, that he is using the office of governor to promote his own personal enrichment."
Ventura fired back that the Sunday-night, pay-per-view event - at $29.95 a pop - will take no time away from his public duties.
And he rejected criticism that he had violated his campaign pledge to maintain the dignity of the governor's office.
"If I were a nightclub singer in Caesars Palace, would you ask the same question?" he asked.
Ventura's return to the squared circle marks the end of his long-running feud with the WWF and its chairman, Vince McMahon.
The governor - who battled under the nickname "The Body" in his 10-year wrestling career, but now prefers to be called "The Mind" - barely alluded to the feud, which began when Ventura successfully sued McMahon for $800,000 in back royalties a decade ago.
"I never thought I would ever see the day that my name would be next to the World Wrestling Federation again," said Ventura.
Returning to the vernacular of wrestling hype, he added: "It is time to bring back some law and order [to wrestling]. And that will be my job at SummerSlam ... because I rule here. I'm bigger than you, McMahon ... As long as you're in this state, you hold no power here. It's very simple. It's The Body rules. It's my rules, or the highway."
Ventura started the press conference in a business suit, but ended bedecked in feather boas and sequin-covered sunglasses - his trademark wrestling costume.
Wrestling insiders were surprised at the sudden end to the feud.
"In 28 years in this business, I've learned
to never say never," said Bill Apter, editor-in-chief of World of Wrestling
magazine. "Obviously, money has stopped this feud."
The New WAWLI Papers (Wrestling As We Liked It) No. 550
LONDOS IS THE CLEVEREST -- PAUL JONES
(Ring Magazine, January, 1934)
By Harry Hooper
Andrew Lutze -- ever heard of him? No, he's not a brother of Nick, the famed matman who recently thrilled 12,000 wrestling fans with his superb exhibition against Don George in Madison Square Garden. He's not even related to Nick, the bronze-skinned, handsomely built wrestler who hails from California. I'll give you another guess. Wrong again! Well, here goes . . .
Andrew Lutze is none other than Paul Jones, Houston, Texas, mat star who operates throughout the country under the Jim Londos banner. How come that Paul and Andrew are one and the same person? It's a long tale, mates, but if you bear with me, I'll record it here for your benefit.
About forty years ago there emigrated from Germany to this country a young man, who, deciding that the new world offered greater prospects than the old, made the trip across in steerage, went to Texas, and there settled down with his wife to ply his trade, that of carpenter. he realized his shortcomings and when he became the father of a sturdy boy, he decided that the lad, Jacob, Jr., should fare better than did his dad, as far as education was concerned.
But when a second son, named Andrew, was brought into the world, dad Lutze found the going too tough, and, after Jacob, Jr., had passed his freshman year in college, Andrew was forced to quit grammar school to enable his brother to complete his course. Andrew became a carpenter's apprentice and worked with dad and today he thanks his lucky stars for having been tossed into that situation, for while brother Jacob received his diploma and is a mail clerk in Houston, Andrew, listed in the sports world as Paul Jones, has amassed a fortune of more than $100,000 as a grappler.
"Yes, Junior got the brains," Jones laughed when telling his story, "but I strengthened my back and leg and arm muscles and now I've got the sugar.
"I never dreamt that some day my name would be spread over the sports pages as a headliner in wrestling. When Junior had gone part way through college, I had an idea that I also would like to go back to school, and I was fully prepared to quit work and matriculate at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis to study for the Lutheran ministry. But one day I was in Lincoln, Nebr., and I attended a wrestling match at which a young fellow called Peter Sauer was performing, and I took a fancy to the sport. Pete was billed against Clarence Eklund, then world's light-heavyweight champion, and won the title and with it a purse of $250. When I heard that Sauer, who now wrestles under the name of Ray Steele, had received that sum for the fun of beating his man, I wondered how long that had been going on and immediately I changed my mind and decided I, too, would try to earn such easy money.
I say fun, because I always loved to wrestle. I had a powerful back and strong arms and legs and from my youth I was always proficient in the grappling art. Then and there, I decided that wrestling would be my future vocation. I was then working in the stock room of the Burlington Railroad and later as the chief storekeeper of the road. During my spare time, I visited the gym and worked hard to develop my body.
"I forgot all about the ambition to become a preacher and set out to win my spurs as a mat star. I trained at the Y.M.C.A., entered the A.A.U. state and national championship meets, and carried off many prizes for the 'Y,' including the light-heavyweight championship of Lincoln. For three successive years, I carried off the state title in both the heavyweight sections. That made me feel that I was all set for the pro ranks, and, with the third victory, I decided to give up my amateur status and try the money ranks.
"I broke into the pro game in a match with a barber named Ralph Ferris, a war veteran who had been cleaning up in our section. It was on a Christmas Eve that I faced him, and it was the first Christmas Eve I had ever been away from home, and, naturally, I went into the ring a scared man. The promoter, seeing my condition, said in a loud voice, so that all the boys could hear him: 'Now, Ralph, don't hurt this boy. Take it easy with him.' That made me so mad I went into the ring with fire in my eyes. It took me less than twenty-five minutes to toss that bird, both times with a scissors hold, my favorite to this day.
"During the winter of 1921 I met Eklund, personally, for the first time and he advised me to come out to his ranch at Buffalo, Wyo., and let him train me. It was a grand idea -- for Eklund! He got a free cowhand, and in turn taught me a few leverages, but after ten months I quit and returned home and resumed wrestling. I beat twenty or thirty men in unimportant matches and finally was offered a match with Charles Rentrop, heavyweight champion of the South, in Houston, Texas. St. Louis fans know him as a referee.
"The match was made over long-distance telephone, and marked the first time I ever talked over long distance. The promoter said he did not like the name of Andrew Lutze. 'You're coming down South and should have a good American name,' he said. The only American names I could think of on the instant were George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and John Paul Jones, so I said, 'Call me Paul Jones,' and I've been Paul Jones ever since.
"I beat Rentrop and was paid $300. I bought a city lot in Houston with $275 of my first $300, and I've been buying real estate there ever since. Recently I engaged in the floral business in Houston, where I make my home, but that venture cost me about $20,000.
"I remained in the South for the next two years, wrestling in Houston, Dallas and other Texas cities, and never lost a match until I met Ed Lewis in a championship battle in 1924. After he beat me I went to the Pacific Coast and among my victims out there were George Kotsonaros, Nick Lutze, and John Pesek.
"I am one of the few men who have defeated Pesek, others being Lewis, Londos, and Stecher.
"When I was in Los Angeles, a St. Louis promoter, Tom Packs, saw me wrestle and invited me to come to the Mound City. In my first match there, back in 1927, I beat Ray Steele in thirty-two minutes with a hook scissors. Then I defeated Allen Eustace, Dick Daviscourt, and Rudy Dusek in St. Louis and was matched with Stecher in a championship bout.
"It was a thrilling match and the crowd was wild. Stecher won the first fall and I won the second. During the third fall I had him in a scissors and he was groaning in agony -- a beaten man. Then, with the championship in my grasp Stecher worked his way to the ropes and dragged me from the ring. He fell on top of me, and I hit the concrete so hard I was badly injured. He defeated me with ease in the next few minutes and retained his title.
"Since that time I have traveled from coast to coast dozens of times, meeting the best men in the business. I have wrestled Londos six times and the nearest I ever came to beating him was in Los Angeles when we wrestled two hours and fifteen minutes to a draw. The newspaper writers gave me the decision.
"I have never been seriously injured, although I've had my knees pulled out of joint, have suffered black eyes a dozen times, and have had a total of eighteen stitches taken in my lips. The longest I ever was incapacitated was four or five days when I suffered an infection resulting from friction on the mat that caused a burn. Blackened eyes mean nothing in these days of rough-and-tumble wrestling."
Jim Londos, according to Jones, is by far the cleverest wrestler in the business today. Jones declares that there isn't a man in wrestling who possesses the bag of tricks of the Greek idol, although Everett Marshall, he thinks, is close behind in that respect.
To Strangler Lewis he attributes the greatest strength. "Lewis," says Jones, "is so powerful that when he gets a firm head-lock on you, your head swims and the pain is terrific."
For the roughest man in the ring, he selects Rudy Dusek and George Zaharias, with the latter placed in a class by himself. According to Jones, it is far safer to wrestle a "bad" man than it is to face a man of science, and he would rather tackle Dusek or Zaharias every night in a week than to wrestle Londos twice a month.
"If I had my way, I would eliminate all this rough stuff. It is not part of wrestling and, other than a showmanship ruse, it means nothing. Unfortunately, the crowd has become accustomed to seeing the roughnecks choke an opponent, batter him with butting, kick him in the stomach with the knees, use the illegal strangle hold, slap, and punch, and use the flying tackle to pin their man."
NEWS OF THE MAT
(Ring Magazine, January, 1934)
By Tex Austin
In the last issue of The RING, we gave our readers the first annual ranking of wrestlers, something never before attempted by any publication, and judging by the number of letters we received from all over the world, particularly from members of boxing commissions, The RING is to be complimented on its fine selections. For example, our readers will recall that we chose Jim Browning first, Jim Londos second, and Don George third, in our list, and although we did not consider the status of these three wrestlers as far as championship recognition was concerned in the various states, were were elated to find that our rating met with world-wide approval.
A letter from Canada shows that Jim Browning has been honored in that territory by being given first ranking, and messages from various states in our country show that twenty-two states have acclaimed Browning the kingpin.
Jim Londos received the nomination in only nine states, and Don George in six. Thus, The RING's rating for 1933 stands out.
Browning came through a stiff month's campaign with colors flying. The Missouri gentleman-farmer makes the rounds of the U.S. and Canada without a loss to mar his record since ascending the throne through his win over Strangler Lewis. Regardless of whatever else may be said about Browning, no one will deny that he is a skilled and clever grappler and fearless. He'll meet any one. He may not possess as much color as some of the others, but what he lacks along those lines, he more than makes up for in ability and willingness.
Londos, recipient of second honors in our ranking, has started off on another country-wide tour of victories after defeating Kola Kwariani before his countrymen in Greece. He and Browning will meet soon as the Londos and Curley groups have combined.
Don George, who captured third honors, invaded New York and showed plenty of class and skill in time-limit affairs. George is a fast, clever, and clean matman, and will probably meet Browning in a finish match before the summer's over.
Here is the way the various commissions answered when asked whom they recognized as world champion in their locality:
Browning is recognized as champion in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbua, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and all of Canada, including the provinces of Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.
The National Wrestling Association claims support in Mississippi, but there is no mat competition in that state. Mississippi falls into line because Harry J. Landry, president of the N.W.A., resides at Friar's Point, Miss. Other N.W.A. states which recognize Londos are Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Pennsylvania.
George is the champion in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
The following states regulate the sport through athletic commissions: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington, plus Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia in Canada.
No recognition is given in thirteen states as follows: Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Chief Chewacki pulled a funny one in his bout with Pat O'Shocker recently and wound up with a suspension in Indiana.
Chewacki had won the first fall and O'Shocker the second. When they came out for the third fall, the Chief clamped on a leg scissors. Pat writhed as if touched with a hot iron, broke the hold, and jumped out of the ring and tried to let the referee in on the secret. The latter quit counting and yanked Chewacki's trunks down, only to find that the Indian had placed tacks through cardboard and sandpaper under his trunks. It took a police escort to safely convey Chewacki to his dressing room, the fans yelping for the redskin's scalp.
That never-ending controversy of boxer vs. wrestler remains as complicated as ever. In the latest edition, the wrestler came out on top. Dorv Roche, barrel-chested Pennsylvania miner took on Jack League, the man who had Primo Carnera on the floor seven times, and pinned him in the second round of their mixed bout.
Thanksgiving Day saw the advent of professional football in Canada when Toronto faced the Chiefs. Playing for the Toronto team were the well-known Joe Savoldi, Lionel Conacher and Mayes McLain. Thirteen thousand fans saw these grappling grid stars tote the pigskin.
McLain was one of the greatest football stars ever turned out in the Mid-West, when fighting for dear old Iowa. Conacher is the greatest all-around athlete ever turned out in Canada, while Savoldi and Notre Dame are synonymous.
Jack Kennedy, young Chicago light-heavyweight, scored two wins over Gus Kallio, recognized middleweight champ, in Benton Harbor bouts, the first when Kallio was disqualified for slugging.
All the dentists in Benton Harbor attended the return match.
One of the easiest holds to apply, but one of the hardest to break, is the short-arm scissors. Few holds are as punishing as this one. Not only is the victim of the hold in a position where it is next to impossible to counter with another grip, but he also has the strength in his arm considerably lowered by having the flow of blood cut off, leaving his hand and wrist white and very weak when he finally does escape that tortuous viselike grip.
Many wrestlers are afflicted with the dreaded scourge of the mat -- that horrible eye disease known as trachoma. It's a pity to see these athletes with fine bodies groping their way around the mat because they have been unfortunate enough to catch this foreign affliction. Isn't there some way in which these cases can be cured, or at least be kept from spreading to other grapplers?
How about a little cooperation from the various state athletic commissions?
Although the attendances are decreasing in Boston, the Don George-Leo Numa bout attracted 10,000 fans. This was a return match and ended with Numa in a hospital. The Seattle blond had taken the first fall and was launching a series of flying tackles when he missed his adversary and crashed into one of the steel turnbuckles in one of the ring corners and was rendered hors de combat. At the hospital it was said that he was suffering from a slight brain concussion. Numa was able to leave the institution three days later.
Paul Bowser lost one of his right-hand men when Frank Smith, manager of Jim Browning, the heavyweight champion, dropped dead in the Queensberry Sporting Club of Toronto after handling Browning in a match with Joe Savoldi. Heart disease was the cause.
Smith, a native of Joplin, Mo., was decorated for bravery in the World War after being wounded in action.
Prior to coming to Boston enter the employ of Bowser, Smith for twenty-one years was a member of the sports staff of the Chicago Tribune. His many friends and acquaintances will miss him no end.
Rudy Dusek lost and then won from Joe Malcewicz in Toronto matches. Dusek is a throwback to the days of Fred Beell, Dan McLeod, George Bothner, and Charley Olson. He grapples along the lines of Beell more than any matman now appearing before the public. In fact, he greatly resembles the late Wisconsin marvel, and old-timers who recall Beell's matches with Tom Jenkins, McLeod, and Frank Gotch admit that Rudy has much of the giant killer in his make-up.
Leon Balkin, who made a big name for himself as a matchmaker for Tom Packs in St. Louis, is now acting as matchmaker for the numerous clubs around the country booked by Jack Curley. Balkin, a Philadelphia product, had to go to St. Louis to make good, building up the receipts in that city from a mere $1,600 to the huge sum of $310,000 for twenty-nine matches.
We have received innumerable letters from Australia and New Zealand, praising George Walker, claimant of the British Empire championship, and asking for an article on him.
Walker is an ex-Canadian who has been beaten only six times in five seasons Down Under. John Pesek, Stanley Pinto, Kara Pasha, Tom Alley, Joe Varga, and Al Karasick were his conquerers. Pesek was the only one to take two falls from Walker. Karasick won on points, and the others on disqualifications. Walker's favorite winning hold is the back-flip. He has garnered close to $50,000 for his efforts this season.
Stanley Sokolis, who recently made his debut in big-time grappling circles, plays "pro" football with the Philadelphia Eagles. Stan was captain and star tackle of the University of Pennsylvania football team in 1932 and weighs 210 pounds. For the past seven summers he has been a life guard at Wildwood, N.J., and has 252 rescues to his credit.
DO YOU KNOW THAT . . .
George Hagen, the ex-Marine, is playing in Maurice Chevalier's next picture? . . . George Sauer, Ray Steele's brother, and his wife, Bernice, were married in the ring at Oklahoma City? . . . Marshall Blackstock is the sponsor of an autograph society? . . . Marsh once tossed a whole football team out of a restaurant because they flirted with pretty li'l Mrs. Blackstock? . . . Ernie Dusek demands a long list of references before he gives his autographs to femmes? . . . Ray Steele has been married for the past fifteen years to a Houston girl? . . . The Steeles have a cute little Spanish place in Glendale, Calif.? . . . Ray loves to play tricks on his wrestler pals, his favorite being to smear limburger cheese on their belongings? . . . They got even by taking all of his clothes out of the locker one night while he wrestled, making it necessary for Ray to go to the hotel in an old dilapidated raincoat? . . . George Cochran, a twenty-six-year-old comer from Washington, D.C., has been barred from "pro" football because he is too rough? . . . Jim Coffield used to play football, basketball, and baseball? . . .
Glenn Munn, brother of the late Wayne (Big) Munn,
former world's heavyweight mat king, once worked as a tire salesman? . . . Dutch
Hefner was a bookie at the race tracks? . . . Marsh Blackstock pulled a good one
when he untied Dorv Roche's shoe laces, and then tied them together, causing
Dorv to spill on his face when he attempted to lunge at Marsh? . . . Sammy Stein
played in the flicker, "The Lost Patrol"? . . . Bald-headed Pete Schuh
carries a birth certificate around with him to prove that he is only
twenty-seven? . . . Gino Garibaldi gets a great kick out of filling his mouth
with BB's and shooting them at people, then looking innocently away? . . . Lou
Plummer at one time was cross-eyed, but saved his money and had an operation
performed which proved most successful? . . . Bernice and Bette thank Joe
Savoldi for the nice autographs? . . . Strangler Lewis has only one eye, having
lost the other in an accident outside the ring? . . . Lewis also was a victim of
trachoma at one time but an operation saved the sight of his lone orb? . . . Jim
Londos drinks temperately of wines and plays the mandolin? . . . His pet
ambition is to be a concert vocalist, of all things? . . .
The New WAWLI Papers (Wrestling As We Liked It) No. 551
1950 NEW YORK-AREA SCRAPBOOK
(ED. NOTE -- The following material comes from a scrapbook in the vaunted collection of Mr. Fred Hornby, Port Washington, N.Y., wrestling historian and archivist par excellence.)
EASTERN PARKWAY ARENA -- Don Evans vs. Sammy Berg, Rocco Colombo vs. George Becker, Antone Leone vs. Al Alexander, Ray Schwartz (Bobby Becker) vs. Fritz Wallick, Gene Dubuque (Magnificent Maurice) vs. John Heideman
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Hans Hermann beat Laverne Baxter, George Becker-Rene Florent (Mr. Paris) drew Dutch Schweigert (Great Scott)-Tony Martinelli
JAMAICA ARENA -- Jim Mitchell vs. Ivan Kameroff, Miguel Torres vs. Chick Garibaldi, Hans Hermann vs. Harry Finkelstein (Harry Lewis), Dutch Schweigert vs. Ace Freeman, Pat O'Hara vs. Jesse James
BROADWAY ARENA -- George Becker beat Lord Carlton
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Tony Martinelli vs. Hans Kampfer, Ace Freeman vs. Miguel Torres, Lou Bertucci vs. Dick Trout, Pedro Ortega vs. Jack Curry, Bob Kerr vs. Harry Finkelstein
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Ali Baba vs. Al Alexander, Sammy Berg vs. Tarzan Hewitt, Gene Dubuque vs. Joe Ludlum, Fritz Wallick vs. George Babich, Alvino Lucenti vs. John Heideman
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Antonino Rocca beat Sandor Kovacs, Ali Baba beat Joe Kameroff, Jim Mitchell drew Chick Garibaldi, Polo Cordova beat Kola Kwariani, Dutch Schweigert drew Pedro Ortega
HEMPSTEAD GARDEN -- Antonino Rocca vs. Jim Mitchell, Hans Hermann vs. Kola Kwariani, Polo Cordova vs. Henry Piers, Jack Steele vs. John Melas, Bill Kerr vs. Deacon Kimball
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Antonino Rocca vs. George Macricostas, George Becker vs. Jack Kelly, Polo Cordova vs. Chick Garibaldi, Kola Kwariani vs. Dick Trout, Hans Hermann vs. Barney Bernard (Darna Ostapovich)
JAMAICA ARENA -- Jim Mitchell vs. Hans Kampfer, Ali Baba vs. Steve Gob, Miguel Torres vs. Dick Trout, Tiny Mills vs. Bill Klein, Ace Freeman vs. Harry Finkelstein
BROADWAY ARENA -- George Becker vs. Tarzan Hewitt, The Wolfman (Soldat Gorky) vs. Lord Carlton
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Lord Carlton beat Tarzan Hewitt, Murray Rothenberg drew Mike Clancy
RENAISSANCE CASINO -- Gene Stanlee beat Joe Kameroff, Jim Mitchell beat Henry Piers
EASTERN PARKWAY ARENA -- Lord Carlton vs. Babe Sharkey, George Becker vs. Mike Clancy, The Wolfman vs. Ray Schwartz, Rube Wright vs. Jack Steele, Lou Bertucci vs. Gene Dubuque
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Ali Baba beat Rocco Colombo, Polo Cordova beat Francois Miquet, Jim Mitchell beat Tony Cosenza, Dutch Schweigert beat Kola Kwariani
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Great Togo vs. Dutch Schweigert, Jim Mitchell vs. Natie Brown, Hans Hermann vs. Jack Kelly, Polo Cordova vs. Tony Morelli, Dick Trout vs. Tony Cosenza
JAMAICA ARENA -- Antonino Rocca vs. Jim Mitchell, Marvin Mercer vs. Tony Cosenza, Dutch Schweigert vs. Tiny Mills, Miguel Torres vs. Pat O'Hara, Deacon Kimball vs. Kola Kwariani
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Gene Stanlee vs. Ace Freeman, Tony Morelli vs. Pat O'Hara, Polo Cordova vs. Harry Finkelstein, George Bruckman vs. Frank Schofro, Jack Curry vs. Steve Gob
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Antonino Rocca vs. Rube Wright, George Becker vs. Kola Kwariani, Gene Dubuque vs. John Heideman, George Babich vs. Joe Ludlum, Mike Clancy vs. Mickey Cortolano
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Gene Stanlee vs. Jim Mitchell (Black Panther), Lord Carlton vs. Mike Clancy, Ali Baba vs. Jack Kelly, Miguel Torres vs. Dutch Schweigert, Kenny Ackles vs. Jesse James
EASTERN PARKWAY ARENA -- Great Togo vs. Natie Brown, Hank Daly vs. Rube Wright, Dick Trout vs. Tony Cosenza, Ray Schwartz vs. Joe Kameroff, Pat O'Hara vs. Al Alexander
HEMPSTEAD GARDEN -- Gorgeous George vs. Dutch Schweigert, Chick Garibaldi vs. Kenny Ackles, Howard Cantonwine vs. Polo Cordova, Jack Kelly vs. Deacon Kimball, Ace Freeman vs. George Bruckman
JAMAICA ARENA -- Gorgeous George vs. Kenny Ackles, Francois Miquet vs. Jack Kelly, Howard Cantonwine vs. Dutch Schweigert, Ace Freeman vs. Miguel Torres, Ivan Kameroff vs. Steve Gob
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Great Togo vs. Polo Cordova, Sandor Kovacs vs. Dick Trout, Francois Miquet vs. Tony Morelli, Ivan Kameroff vs. Jack Curry, Ace Freeman vs. Jesse James
RENAISSANCE CASINO -- Gorgeous George vs. Pedro Ortega, Jim Mitchell vs. Howard Cantonwine, Joe Kameroff vs. Tony Cosenza, Don Blackman vs. Harry Finkelstein, Steve Gob vs. Jim Austeri
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- George Becker vs. The Wolfman, Tarzan Hewitt vs. Al Alexander, Babe Sharkey vs. Pat O'Hara, Fritz Wallick vs. Mickey Cortolano, George Bruckman vs. Fritz Ziegfried
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Antonino Rocca vs. Ali Baba, Lord Carlton vs. Babe Sharkey, Sandor Kovacs vs. Pat O'Hara, Kenny Ackles vs. Kola Kwariani, Tony Morelli vs. Polo Cordova
EASTERN PARKWAY ARENA -- Gorgeous George vs. George Becker, The Wolfman vs. Ray Schwartz, Howard Cantonwine vs. Rube Wright, Al Alexander vs. Abe Coleman, George Babich vs. Rocco Colombo
HEMPSTEAD GARDEN -- Great Togo beat Jim Mitchell
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Gene Stanlee beat Hans Hermann, Tor Johnson (Super Swedish Angel) beat Tony Morelli
JAMAICA ARENA -- Great Togo vs. Tony Cosenza, Golden Superman (Walter Podolak) vs. Miguel Torres, Sandor Kovacs vs. Jack Kelly, Kenny Ackles vs. Tiny Mills, Jesse James vs. Joe Corbett
BROADWAY ARENA -- Ali Baba beat The Wolfman
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Gene Stanlee vs. Sandor Kovacs, Polo Cordova vs. Tony Morelli, Ivan Kameroff vs. Frank Schafro, Walter Kameroff vs. Steve Gob, Chick Garibaldi vs. Harry Finkelstein
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- George Becker vs. Tarzan Hewitt, Frank Milano vs. Rube Wright, George Babich vs. Natie Brown, Joe Ludlum vs. Johnny Pags, Rocco Colombo vs. Red Kirkpatrick
COLUMBIA PARK (North Bergen, N.J.) -- Dutch Rhode (Buddy Rogers) beat Super Swedish Angel
EASTERN PARKWAY ARENA -- Lord Carlton vs. Ray Schwartz
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Buddy Rogers beat Tony Morelli, Super Swedish Angel beat Jack Curry, Sandor Kovacs drew Kenny Ackles, Marvin Mercer beat Dutch Schweigert, Steve Gob beat Jesse James
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Antonino Rocca beat Super Swedish Angel, Dutch Rhode beat Tony Martinelli
JAMAICA ARENA -- Antonino Rocca beat Tony Cosenza, Golden Superman drew Jim Mitchell, Steve Gob beat Joe Corbett, Marvin Mercer drew Kenny Ackles, Sandor Kovacs beat Kola Kwariani
BROADWAY ARENA -- Lord Carlton vs. Tarzan Hewitt (Frank Hewitt), Ray Schwartz vs. Babe Sharkey, George Becker vs. Francois Miquet, Al Alexander vs. Natie Brown, Rocco Colombo vs. Mayes McLain
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Mike Mazurki beat Tony Martinelli, Super Swedish Angel beat Pat O'Hara
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Lord Carlton beat Rube Wright
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Gene Stanlee beat Ali Baba, Golden Superman vs. Steve Gob, Mike Mazurki vs. Ivan Kameroff, Lord Carlton vs. Dutch Schweigert, Sandor Kovacs vs. Jack Kelly
EASTERN PARKWAY ARENA -- Antonino Rocca beat Abe Coleman
HEMPSTEAD GARDEN -- Babe Sharkey vs. George Becker, Sandor Kovacs vs. John Melas, Steve Gob vs. Abe Coleman, Chick Garibaldi vs. Dave Weinstein, Mike Lordi vs. Al Alexander
WHITE PLAINS -- Antonino Rocca beat Golden Superman, Mike Clancy beat Henry Piers, Jim Austeri beat Mano Melas, Ivan Kameroff beat Jack Curry, Kola Kwariani drew Pat O'Hara
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Buddy Rogers beat Golden Superman, Mike Mazurki beat Hans Kampfer, Tony Martinelli vs. Jack Kelly, Tony Morelli vs. Francois Miquet, Tony Cosenza beat Jack Curry
JAMAICA ARENA -- Mike Mazurki vs. Joe Corbett, Golden Superman vs. Tony Morelli, Sandor Kovacs vs. Jack Curry, Hans Hermann vs. Joe Kameroff, Francois Miquet vs. George Bruckman
BROADWAY ARENA -- Ali Baba beat George Becker, Lord Carlton beat Natie Brown
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Ali Baba vs. Polo Cordova, Sandor Kovacs vs. Joe Corbett, Hans Kampfer vs. Jack Steele, Mahmud Yousof II vs. Henry Piers, Mike Lordi vs. Mano Melas
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Antonino Rocca vs. Tarzan Hewitt, Gene Dubuque vs. Natie Brown, Babe Sharkey vs. Kola Kwariani, Wally Dusek vs. Mickey Cortolano, Abe Coleman vs. Al Alexander
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Antonino Rocca beat Mike Mazurki, Buddy Rogers beat Polo Cordova, Golden Superman beat Miguel Torres, Sandor Kovacs vs. Ivan Kameroff, Kola Kwariani beat Mahmud Yousof II cnc
WRESTLER THROWN FOR LOSS
Mahmud Yusof, 28, suffered a fracture of the left collarbone last night in a wrestling match with an opponent known as Kola Kwariani at St. Nicholas Arena. He was taken to Roosevelt Hospital.
EASTERN PARKWAY ARENA -- Ali Baba beat Wally Dusek
HEMPSTEAD GARDEN -- Gene Stanlee vs. Sandor Kovacs, Mike Mazurki vs. Chick Garibaldi, Tony Martinelli vs. Francois Miquet, Marvin Mercer vs. Ivan Vakturoff, Tony Cosenza vs. Tiny Mills
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Buddy Rogers vs. Gene Stanlee, Mike Mazurki vs. Miguel Torres, Super Swedish Angel vs. Polo Cordova, Tony Cosenza vs. Tony Martinelli, Marvin Mercer vs. Harry Finkelstein
JAMAICA ARENA -- Antonino Rocca vs. Dutch Schweigert, Sandor Kovacs vs. Tony Morelli, Super Swedish Angel vs. Kola Kwariani, Mahmud Yousof II vs. Tiny Mills, Tony Cosenza vs. Jack Kelly
BROADWAY ARENA -- Mike Mazurki beat Babe Sharkey, Lord Carlton beat Rube Wright, Wally Dusek beat Al Alexander, Red Kirkpatrick beat Angelo Savoldi, Gene Dubuque beat The Wolfman
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Golden Superman vs. Sandor Kovacs, Ace Freeman vs. Tony Morelli, Pat O'Hara vs. Mahmud Yousof II, Tiny Mills vs. Hardy Kruskamp, Mike Paidousis vs. Jack Curry
RENAISSANCE CASINO -- Tony Galento vs. Miguel Torres, Jim Austeri vs. Dutch Schweigert, Frank Veney vs. Francois Miquet, Jesse James vs. Polo Cordova, George Bruckman vs. Johnny Kane
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Ali Baba vs. The Wolfman, Rube Wright vs. Jack Steele, Angelo Savoldi vs. Alvino Lucenti, Natie Brown vs. Mickey Cortolano, Frank Milano vs. Fritz Wallick
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Buddy Rogers beat Sandor Kovacs, Golden Superman vs. Joe Corbett, Ivan Kameroff vs. Francois Miquet, Miguel Torres vs. Tiny Mills, Chick Garibaldi vs. Kenny Ackles
EASTERN PARKWAY ARENA -- Mike Mazurki beat The Wolfman, Wally Dusek vs. Ray Schwartz, Abe Coleman vs. Angelo Savoldi, Red Kirkpatrick vs. Ovila Asselin, George Babich vs. Eddie King
HEMPSTEAD GARDEN -- Antonino Rocca vs. Kenny Ackles, Tony Martinelli vs. Joe Corbett, Chick Garibaldi vs. Kola Kwariani, Mike Lordi vs. Jack Curry, George Bruckman vs. Mike Paidousis
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Buddy Rogers beat Billy Darnell, Mike Mazurki beat Hans Hermann
JAMAICA ARENA -- Buddy Rogers beat Kenny Ackles, Mike Mazurki beat Ivan Kameroff, Golden Superman vs. Marvin Mercer, Sandor Kovacs vs. Francois Miquet, Tony Morelli vs. Steve Gob
BROADWAY ARENA -- Emil Dusek beat Tarzan Hewitt, Ali Baba beat Angelo Savoldi, The Wolfman vs. Ovila Asselin, Abe Coleman vs. Wally Dusek, Gene Dubuque vs. Rube Wright
TEANECK ARMORY -- Gene Stanlee beat Lord Carlton, George Becker-Bobby Becker vs. George Lenihan-Rocco Colombo
ROCCA, STANLEE STRUGGLE TO DRAW
(New York Daily News, Mar. 7, 1950)
By Hy Turkin
Antonino Rocca, who shelved his university degree to enter professional wrestling, made more money in three-quarters of an hour at the Garden last night than many college professors do in a year. For kicking and embracing and twisting and tumbling to a draw with Gene Stanlee, Rocca collected exactly $6,161.26.
Fluent in six languages, the native Italian muscleman started yelling, "We wuz robbed!" in all of them when the officials voted the main event a standoff. Rocca didn't draw much sympathy from the near-capacity house of 16,979, however, because his foe is a popular fellow who goes under the pseudonym of Mr. America . . . and how un-American can one dare to be?
Statuesque Stanlee, who had bowed to Rocca in two earlier "exhibitions," literally was saved by the bell. In the last minute leading up to the 11 p.m. curfew, Rocca had sent Gene reeling with a series of six flying kicks (barefoot) to the head and chest. Then Rocca picked up his 225-pound foe -- now lying limp across Tony's shoulder -- and proudly paraded around the ring with his trophy. But the bell clanged just before Rocca could dump his man into the resin.
On our scorecard, Rocca had the edge and should have been given the verdict. He had his man down 44 times and was knocked to the canvas only 37 times. But the judges saw it differently, and thereby interrupted a winning streak that had gone past the 250 mark. The last time Rocca had failed to win was Nov. 12, 1949, when he also drew with former world heavyweight boxing champ Primo Carnera.
In a house scaled up to $5, the rabid fans poured $51,962.81 into the till ($41,075.05 net) for the untelevised. They saw . . . in addition to the Rocca-Stanlee workout of 46 minutes, 21 seconds . . . a colorful prelim card in which Marvin Mercer threw Francois Miquet (11:29), Frederic Von Schacht slammed Kola Kwariani (7:38), George Becker decisioned Mike Mazurki (20 minutes), Johnny Barend downed Rocco Colombo (9:18), Lord Carlton stomped on Wally Dusek (17:01) and Chief Don Eagle felled Tony Martinelli (14:11). P.S.: No one was hoited.
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Chick Garibaldi beat Johnny Barend, Ali Baba beat Tony Martinelli, Mike Lordi vs. Frank James, Mike Paidousis beat Joe Kameroff, Mano Melas vs. Ivan Vakturoff
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Gene Stanlee beat Super Swedish Angel, Tony Cosenza vs. Billy Darnell
JAMAICA ARENA -- Antonino Rocca beat Marvin Mercer, Johhhy Barend beat Miguel Torres, Sandor Kovacs vs. Kola Kwariani, Tony Martinelli vs. Dutch Schweigert, Kenny Ackles vs. Jim Austeri
BROADWAY ARENA -- George Becker beat Emil Dusek, Gene Dubuque beat Rocco Colombo, Ovila Asselin beat Natie Brown, Wally Dusek beat George Babich, Ray Schwartz beat Angelo Savoldi
(to be continued in New WAWLI No. 552)
The New WAWLI Papers (Wrestling As We Liked It) No. 552
(1950 NEW YORK-AREA SCAN, CONTINUED)
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Tony Cosenza vs. Tony Morelli, Super Swedish Angel vs. John Melas, Johnny Barend beat Jack Steele, Mano Melas vs. Walter Kameroff
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Lord Carlton vs. Gene Dubuque, Abe Coleman vs. John Heideman, Hans Kampfer vs. Murray Rothenberg, Mickey Cortolano vs. Red Kirkpatrick, Johnny Pags vs. Fritz Ziegfried
RENAISSANCE CASINO -- Golden Superman vs. Tarzan Hewitt, Chick Garibaldi vs. Steve Gob, Frank James vs. Jack Curry, Mike Lordi vs. Harry Finkelstein, Don Blackman vs. Mike Lordi
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Mike Mazurki vs. Tony Martinelli, Johnny Barend vs. Hardy Kruskamp, Tarzan Hewitt vs. Wally Dusek, Frank James vs. George Becker, Sandor Kovacs vs. Miguel Torres
EASTERN PARKWAY ARENA -- Lord Carlton vs. Rocco Colombo, Emil Dusek vs. Al Alexander, Abe Coleman vs. Mike Clancy, Ovila Asselin vs. George Harben, Red Kirkpatrick vs. Angelo Savoldi
HEMPSTEAD GARDEN -- Johnny Barend vs. Tony Martinelli, Lord Carlton vs. Hans Hermann, Walter Kameroff vs. Sandor Kovacs, Ivan Vakturoff vs. Mike Paidousis, Mike Lordi vs. Mano Melas
WHITE PLAINS -- Gene Stanlee vs. George Becker, Mike Clancy vs. Wally Dusek, Babe Sharkey vs. Joe Corbett, Francois Miquet vs. Jesse James, Ray Schwartz vs. George Bruckman
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Billy Darnell vs. Tony Morelli, Golden Superman vs. Tony Martinelli, Super Swedish Angel vs. Hans Hermann, Sammy Berg vs. Joe Corbett, Johnny Barend vs. Hardy Kruskamp
JAMAICA ARENA -- Sandor Kovacs beat Golden Superman, Sammy Kohen drew Polo Cordova, Ace Freeman drew Jesse James, Kenny Ackles beat Tony Morelli, Johnny Barend beat Tiny Mills
BROADWAY ARENA -- Mike Mazurki beat Emil Dusek, Sammy Berg beat The Wolfman, Ovila Asselin drew Rocco Colombo
TEANECK ARMORY -- Mildred Burke beat Therese Theis, Lord Carlton-George Becker vs. Tarzan Hewitt-George Lenihan
RENAISSANCE CASINO -- Golden Superman beat Super Swedish Angel
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Wally Dusek beat Angelo Savoldi, Abe Coleman beat Red Kirkpatrick, Hans Kampfer beat Natie Brown
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Emil Dusek vs. Sammy Berg, Sandor Kovacs vs. Babe Sharkey, Sammy Kohen vs. Joe Corbett, Miguel Torres vs. Tony Martinelli, Mike Paidousis vs. Ivan Vakturoff
EASTERN PARKWAY ARENA -- Wally Dusek beat Natie Brown, Tarzan Hewitt vs. Mickey Cortolano, Hans Kampfer vs. George Harben, Angelo Savoldi vs. Mike Clancy, Abe Coleman vs. Tony Milano
HEMPSTEAD GARDEN -- Tony Martinelli beat Super Swedish Angel
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Billy Darnell beat Tony Martinelli, Hans Hermann beat Babe Sharkey, Golden Superman beat Tony Morelli, Wally Dusek vs. Sammy Berg, Joe Corbett vs. Tony Cosenza
JAMAICA ARENA -- Sandor Kovacs beat Dutch Schweigert, Tony Martinelli beat Tony Morelli, Super Swedish Angel beat Joe Corbett, Pat O'Hara vs. Sammy Kohen, Tony Cosenza vs. Ace Freeman
BROADWAY ARENA -- Antonino Rocca beat Emil Dusek
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Kenny Ackles beat Miguel Torres, Chick Garibaldi vs. John Melas, Fritz Ziegfried vs. John Heideman, Sammy Kohen vs. Henry Piers
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Tarzan Hewitt vs. Wally Dusek, Babe Sharkey vs. Hans Kampfer, Sammy Berg vs. George Harben, Eddie King vs. Murray Rothenberg, Mickey Cortolano vs. Alvino Lucenti
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Antonino Rocca beat Golden Superman, Buddy Rogers beat Super Swedish Angel, Sandor Kovacs vs. Dutch Schweigert, Tony Martinelli vs. Kola Kwariani, Marvin Mercer vs. Steve Gob
EASTERN PARKWAY ARENA -- Goerge Becker beat Babe Sharkey, Ray Schwartz beat The Wolfman, Sammy Berg vs. Rocco Colombo, Ovila Asselin vs. Angelo Savoldi, Red Kirkpatrick vs. Al Alexander
HEMPSTEAD GARDEN -- Antonino Rocca beat Tony Martinelli, Golden Superman vs. Chick Garibaldi, Super Swedish Angel vs. Tiny Mills, Hans Hermann vs. Miguel Torres, Kola Kwariani vs. Mike Paidousis
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Antonino Rocca vs. Ali Baba, Hans Hermann vs. Tony Cosenza, Marvin Mercer vs. Tony Morelli, Golden Superman vs. Billy Darnell, Kola Kwariani vs. Jesse James
JAMAICA ARENA -- Primo Carnera vs. Sandor Kovacs, Dutch Rhode vs. Francois Miquet, Chick Garibaldi vs. Ivan Vakturoff, Ali Baba vs. Steve Gob, Ace Freeman vs. Harry Finkelstein
TEANECK ARMORY -- Buddy Rogers beat George Lenihan, Emil Dusek-Wally Dusek, Abe Coleman-Sammy Berg, Gene Dubuque-Ovila Asselin, Rocco Colombo-Angelo Savoldi (tag team tourney entrants)
BROADWAY ARENA -- Lord Carlton vs. George Becker, George Babich vs. Frank Hewitt, Ray Schwartz vs. Babe Sharkey, Al Alexander vs. Mike Clancy, The Wolfman vs. Ed Lusenoff
RENAISSANCE CASINO -- Gene Stanlee vs. Super Swedish Angel, Ivan Kameroff vs. Tiny Mills, Jesse James vs. Les Ruffin, Wally Dern vs. Mano Melas, Harry Finkelstein vs. Mike Kilroy
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Lord Carlton beat Hans Kampfer, Sammy Berg beat George Babich
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Antonino Rocca vs. Juan Hernandez, Gene Stanlee vs. Tony Martinelli, Ali Baba vs. Tony Morelli, Dutch Schweigert vs. Kenny Ackles, Sandor Kovacs vs. Kola Kwariani
EASTERN PARKWAY ARENA -- Emil Dusek vs. Ovila Asselin, Wally Dusek vs. Mike Clancy, Super Swedish Angel vs. Tiny Mills, Gene Dubuque vs. Tony Milano, George Babich vs. George Harben
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Billy Darnell vs. Super Swedish Angel, Marvin Mercer vs. Tony Martinelli, Juan Hernandez vs. Tiny Mills, Mike Paidousis vs. Jesse James
HEMPSTEAD GARDEN -- Antonino Rocca vs. Sandor Kovacs, Ali Baba vs. Kola Kwariani, Hans Hermann vs. Joe Montana, Jack Steele vs. John Melas, Les Ruffin vs. Jack Curry
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Antonino Rocca vs. Emil Dusek, Tony Martinelli vs. Tony Morelli, Ali Baba vs. Jim Austeri, Hans Hermann vs. Kola Kwariani, Billy Darnell vs. Dutch Schweigert
JAMAICA ARENA -- Antonino Rocca vs. Marvin Mercer, Dutch Rhode vs. Ivan Kameroff, Ali Baba vs. Tony Morelli, Billy Darnell vs. Sandor Kovacs, Super Swedish Angel vs. Kola Kwariani
BROADWAY ARENA -- Lord Carlton beat Wally Dusek, Emil Dusek beat Natie Brown, George Becker beat George Harben, Sammy Berg veat Ray Schwartz, Tarzan Hewitt drew Ovila Asselin
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Tarzan Hewitt beat Red Kirkpatrick
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Mike Mazurki vs. Sandor Kovacs, Lord Carlton vs. Sammy Berg, Ali Baba vs. Tiny Mills, Mahmud Yousof II vs. George Harben, Tony Cosenza vs. Ace Freeman
EASTERN PARKWAY ARENA -- Wally Dusek vs. Gene Dubuque, Dutch Schweigert vs. Al Alexander, Ovila Asselin vs. Eddie King, Natie Brown vs. Hans Kampfer, Red Kirkpatrick vs. Abe Coleman
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Billy Darnell beat Golden Superman, Marvin Mercer vs. Tony Cosenza, Al Calza vs. Walter Kameroff, Mike Kilroy vs. Len Montana
HEMPSTEAD GARDEN -- Mike Mazurki vs. Dutch Schweigert, Ali Baba vs. Sandor Kovacs, Mike Dillon vs. Jack Steele, Mahmud Yousof II vs. Tiny Mills, Wally Dern vs. Mike Paidousis
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Buddy Rogers beat Hans Hermann, Billy Darnell beat Juan Hernandez
JAMAICA ARENA -- Gene Stanlee beat Sandor Kovacs, Ali Baba vs. Dutch Schweigert, Billy Darnell vs. Tiny Mills, Kenny Ackles vs. Juan Hernandez, Natie Brown vs. Harry Finkelstein
BROADWAY ARENA -- Antonino Rocca beat Ovila Asselin
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Tarzan Hewitt vs. Sammy Berg, Hans Kampfer vs. George Harben, Gene Dubuque vs. Abe Coleman, Richard Dusek vs. Fritz Wallick, Red Kirkpatrick vs. Jack Steele
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Gene Stanlee beat Mike Mazurki, Emil Dusek vs. Tony Martinelli, Ali Baba vs. Les Ruffin, Jack Dillon vs. Dutch Schweigert, Natie Brown vs. Mike Kilroy
EASTERN PARKWAY ARENA -- Antonino Rocca vs. Golden Superman, Billy Darnell beat Kola Kwariani, Wally Dusek vs. Sammy Berg, Tony Milano vs. Abe Coleman, John Heideman vs. Richard Dusek
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Billy Darnell beat Juan Hernandez, Marvin Mercer beat Wally Dern, Dutch Schweigert beat Jack Dillon, Tiny Mills vs. Al Calza
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Dutch Rhode vs. Mike Mazurki, Hans Hermann vs. Dutch Schweigert, Golden Superman vs. Wally Dusek, Marvin Mercer vs. Miguel Torres, Tiny Mills vs. Juan Hernandez
JAMAICA ARENA -- Antonino Rocca vs. Mike Mazurki, Kenny Ackles vs. Marvin Mercer, Ali Baba vs. Ace Freeman, Jim Austeri vs. Juan Hernandez, Miguel Torres vs. Kola Kwariani
TEANECK ARMORY -- Antonino Rocca vs. Wally Dusek, Sky Low Low vs. Tiny Roe, Emil Dusek vs. Angelo Savoldi, Tarzan Hewitt vs. Dutch Schweigert, Ovila Asselin vs. Kola Kwariani
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Tarzan Hewitt vs. Red Kirkpatrick, Wally Dusek vs. Jack Steele, Abe Coleman vs. Murray Rothenberg, Richard Dusek vs. Alvino Lucenti, Wally Dern vs. Mickey Cortolano
EASTERN PARKWAY ARENA -- Ovila Asselin beat Tony Martinelli
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Antonino Rocca beat Jack Dillon, Dutch Rhode vs. Natie Brown, Billy Darnell beat Kola Kwariani, Kenny Ackles vs. Miguel Torres, Wally Dern vs. Mike Paidousis
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Mike Mazurki vs. Jack Dillon, Ace Freeman vs. Billy Darnell, Harry Finkelstein vs. Al Calza, Les Ruffin vs. Mike Paidousis
HEMPSTEAD GARDEN -- Antonino Rocca vs. Ali Baba, Golden Superman vs. Tony Martinelli, Jack Steele vs. Kola Kwariani, Tony Cosenza vs. Natie Brown, Mike Dillon vs. Lou Bertucci
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Dutch Rhode vs. Mike Mazurki, Juan Hernandez vs. Dutch Schweigert, Ali Baba vs. Tony Martinelli, Billy Darnell vs. Jack Dillon, Kenny Ackles vs. Les Ruffin
JAMAICA ARENA -- Dutch Rhode beat Kenny Ackles, Billy Darnell vs. Juan Hernandez, Jim Austeri vs. Jack Steele, Mike Paidousis vs. Lou Bertucci, Natie Brown vs. Wally Dern
BROADWAY ARENA -- Ernie Dusek vs. Ovila Asselin, Lord Carlton vs. Angelo Savoldi, Sammy Berg vs. Tarzan Hewitt, Arthur Kapitanopolis vs. Jack Curry, Gene Dubuque vs. Rocco Colombo
(to be continued in New WAWLI No. 553)
BRUISER BRODY, REMEMBERED
(Dallas Morning News, July 15, 1999)
By Cody Monk
Even in death, Frank Goodish didn't follow the beaten path.
It was 11 years ago this week that Goodish, better known as Bruiser Brody, was stabbed while in the shower at Bayoman Stadium in San Juan. He died a day later.
Jose Gonzales was charged with the murder but acquitted later when witnesses refused to testify.
The motive behind Brody's death remains a mystery. To those who knew him well, however, the way he died was not surprising.
"Brody was his own man," said Frank Dusek, a former promoter and wrestler with Brody in World Class Championship Wrestling, which operated out of the Dallas Sportatorium. "The best story I heard about him was what (Dallas resident) "Killer" Tim Brooks said about him. 'Brody was a cruel man and if you live by the sword, you die by the sword.'
"Brody did things his own way and if you didn't like it that was tough. Probably what happened was that he got tough with somebody and somebody overreacted. Should that have happened? No, but it wasn't that surprising that it did."
Brody becoming a wrestler was the surprise.
Brody went to West Texas State, the same school the Funk brothers, Ted DiBiase, Dusty Rhodes and Tully Blanchard attended. After college, Brody moved to Irving, where he was a columnist for the Irving Daily News.
In 1973, at age 27, he dropped his pen in favor of the ring. A year later he brought home his first title, winning the NWA United States tag team championship with Stan Hansen.
It was Hansen who persuaded Brody to go overseas and wrestle in Japan, where he was known as "King Kong."
Brody became one of the more popular wrestlers in Japan. Twice he won the All-Japan tag team title, in 1981 with Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and in '83 with Hansen.
Brody returned to the U.S. in early 1984 and along with Hansen won the first Pacific Wrestling Federation title. The lure of Japan, though, was too much as Brody left Hansen in August of 1985. The move, like his death, surprised few.
"That's just the way he was," Dusek
said. "You'd book him and if he got a better offer somewhere else he'd go
to the better offer with no regard to what he had committed to. We brought him
in one time for a Von Erich memorial card and he just humiliated this kid,
Solomon Gordy, we had booked him against. That's the stuff he did. That was just
Wrestling As We Liked It) Edited by J Michael Kenyon No. 553
(NEW YORK 1950 SCRAPBOOK CONTINUED)
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Gene Stanlee beat Tarzan Hewitt, Hans Hermann vs. Tony Milano, George Babich vs. Jack Curry, Richard Dusek vs. George Harben, Abe Coleman vs. Wally Dern
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Gene Stanlee beat Kenny Ackles, Ernie Dusek vs. Mike Mazurki, Tony Martinelli vs. Miguel Torres, George Tragos vs. Tiny Mills, Marvin Mercer vs. Lou Bertuccfi
EASTERN PARKWAY ARENA -- Lord Carlton beat Wally Dusek
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Wally Dusek vs. Miguel Torres, Tony Cosenza vs. Natie Brown, Walter Kameroff vs. Tiny Mills, Wally Dern vs. Harry Finkelstein
HEMPSTEAD GARDEN -- Tony Martinelli vs. Kenny Ackles, Ace Freeman vs. Red Ryan, Marvin Mercer vs. Les Ruffin, Jack Steele vs. Lou Bertucci, Mike Paidousis vs. Ivan Vakturoff
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Lord Carlton vs. Dutch Schweigert
JAMAICA ARENA -- Lord Carlton beat Tony Martinelli, Kenny Ackles vs. Red Ryan, Les Ruffin vs. Marvin Mercer, Mike Paidousis vs. Lou Bertucci, Tony Cosenza vs. Jim Austeri
BROADWAY ARENA -- Antonino Rocca beat Ernie Dusek
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Tarzan Hewitt vs. Abe Coleman, Fritz Wallick vs. Deacon Kimball, Mike Lordi vs. Fritz Ziegfried, Richard Dusek vs. John Heideman, Mickey Cortolano vs. Walter Bookbinder
EASTERN PARKWAY ARENA -- Gene Stanlee beat Sammy Berg
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Lord Carlton beat Golden Superman, Ernie Dusek beat Tony Martinelli, Ace Freeman vs. Marvin Mercer, Dutch Schweigert vs. Mike Dillon, Lou Bertucci vs. Ted Tourtas
HEMPSTEAD GARDEN -- Gene Stanlee beat Golden Superman, Tony Martinelli vs. Red Ryan, Jack Steele vs. Miguel Torres, Mike Paidousis vs. Jim Austeri, Harry Finkelstein vs. Ted Tourtas
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Chief War Cloud vs. Tony Martinelli, Reb Russell vs. Tony Cosenza, Dutch Schweigert vs. Mike Dillon, Red Ryan vs. Wally Dern, Frank Schafro vs. Les Ruffin
JAMAICA ARENA -- Antonino Rocca beat Red Ryan, Hans Hermann beat Mike Dillon, Jim Austeri beat Wally Dern, Ted Tourtas beat Kola Kwariani, Tiny Mills drew Mike Paidousis
BROADWAY ARENA -- Ernie Dusek beat Tarzan Hewitt, Sammy Berg beat Rocco Colombo
ROCCA PINS CARLTON AT MSG
(New York Times, Tues., May 16, 1950)
Antonino Rocca of Argentina sent his followers home happy by defeating "Lord" Leslie Carlton of Oxford, England, in 24 minutes, 23 seconds in one of the feature wrestling exhibitions that attracted 14,246 to Madison Square Garden last night. The program drew gate receipts of $42,311, well below the figures at the last two shows at the Eighth Avenue arena.
Rocca went to work on Carlton, who wore a monocle before the bout started and was accompanied by a uniformed attendant who also wore a monocle, with flying mares and this weakened the English grappler. The Argentina wrestler finally pinned his opponent with a crotch and chancery hold.
In another exhibition, billed as a co-feature, Primo Carnera, former world heavyweight boxing champion, and Gene (Mr. America) Stanlee of Chicago tugged to a draw.
A minute of silence was observed in memory of the promoter of the show, William F. Johnston, who died Sunday night.
In other bouts: Don Eagle beat Frankie Talaber (14:35), Ernie Dusek downed Sammy Berg (10:29), Jim Lewis drew with the Golden Superman, Yvon Robert pinned Angelo Savoldi (5:27) and Mike Mazurki whipped Kola Kwariani (4:22).
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Tarzan Hewitt beat Tiger Joe Marsh, Rocco Colombo vs. Jack Steele
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Chief War Cloud vs. Mike Mazurki, Golden Superman vs. Reb Russell, Miguel Torres vs. Hans Hermann, Ted Tourtas vs. Les Ruffin, Jack Steele vs. Jim Austeri
EASTERN PARKWAY ARENA -- Primo Carnera vs. Dutch Schweigert, Tarzan Hewitt vs. George Babich, Al Alexander vs. Rocco Colombo, Walter Bookbiner vs. Bull Curry, Mike Clancy vs. Tony Milano
HEMPSTEAD GARDEN -- Chief War Cloud vs. Red Ryan, Tony Martinelli vs. Miguel Torres, Reb Russell vs. Hans Hermann, Ted Tourtas vs. Wally Dern, Jack Steele vs. Les Ruffin
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Antonino Rocca vs. Reb Russell, Tony Martinelli vs. Tiger Joe Marsh, Golden Superman vs. Jack Dillon, Frank Schofro vs. Kola Kwariani, Ted Tourtas vs. Harry Finkelstein
JAMAICA ARENA -- Primo Carnera vs. Mike Dillon, Ivan Kameroff vs. Reb Russell, Tiny Mills vs. Ted Tourtas, Wally Dern vs. Ace Freeman, Hans Hermann vs. Les Ruffin
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Lord Carlton vs. Rocco Colombo, Al Alexander vs. Slim Zimbleman, Walter Bookbinder vs. Red Kirkpatrick, Arthur Kapotanopolis vs. Alvino Lucenti, Mike Clancy vs. George Harben
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Gene Stanlee vs. Mike Mazurki, Marvin Mercer vs. Tony Cosenza, Mike Dillon vs. Hardy Kruskamp, Harry Finkelstein vs. Ted Tourtas, Les Ruffin vs. Mike Paidousis
HEMPSTEAD ARENA -- Golden Superman vs. Mike Mazurki, Marvin Mercer vs. Ted Tourtas, Tony Cosenza vs. Miguel Torres, Frank Schofro vs. Joe Kameroff, Les Ruffin vs. Hardy Kruskamp
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Gene Stanlee vs. Golden Superman, Ivan Kameroff vs. Tony Martinelli, Mike Mazurki vs. Hardy Kruskamp, Tony Cosenza vs. Tiger Joe Marsh, Mike Dillon vs. Jesse James
JAMAICA ARENA -- Lord Carlton vs. Ivan Kameroff, Red Ryan vs. Mike Clancy, Ted Tourtas vs. Joe Kameroff, Jesse James vs. George Tragos, Mano Melas vs. Mike Paidousis
BROADWAY ARENA -- Lord Carlton drew Gene Stanlee (curfew), Rocco Colombo beat Al Alexander, Walter Bookbinder drew Mike Clancy, Tarzan Hewitt beat Arthur Kapitanopolis
SUNNSIDE GARDEN -- Tarzan Hewitt vs. Mike Mazurki, Lou Farino vs. Red Kirkpatrick, Walter Bookbinder vs. Joe Kameroff, Fritz Ziegfried vs. Arthur Kapitanopolis, Mickey Cortolano vs. John Heideman
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Primo Carnera vs. Miguel Torres, Tony Martinelli vs. Marvin Mercer, Tony Cosenza vs. Jack Dillon, Tiger Joe Marsh vs. Jim Austeri, Tiny Mills vs. Mike Paidousis
HEMPSTEAD GARDEN -- Golden Superman vs. Miguel Torres, Tony Martinelli vs. Jack Dillon, Tony Cosenza vs. Mike Dillon, Tiger Joe Marsh vs. Jim Austeri, Jesse James vs. Mike Paidousis
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Lord Carlton vs. Red Ryan, Tony Martinelli vs. Miguel Torres, Golden Superman vs. Tiny Mills, Mike Dillon vs. Steve Gob, Ted Tourtas vs. Joe Kameroff
JAMAICA ARENA -- Gene Stanlee vs. Ted Tourtas, Marvin Mercer vs. John Heideman, Mike Lordi vs. Harry Finkelstein, Walter Bookbinder vs. Tiny Mills, Tiger Joe Marsh vs. Les Ruffin
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Gene Stanlee vs. Jack Dillon, Red Ryan vs. Golden Superman, Miguel Torres vs. Hardy Kruskamp, Mike Dillon vs. Tony Cosenza, Tiger Joe Marsh vs. Joe Kameroff
HEMPSTEAD GARDEN -- Antonino Rocca vs. Mike Mazurki, Miguel Torres vs. Kola Kwariani, Hardy Kruskamp vs. Ivan Kameroff, Les Ruffin vs. Ace Freeman, Tony Cosenza vs. Jim Austeri
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Primo Carnera vs. Mike Dillon, Gene Stanlee vs. Frank Schofro, Lord Carlton vs. Miguel Torres, Mahmud Yousof II vs. Joe Kameroff, Mike Paidousis vs. Les Ruffin
JAMAICA ARENA -- Antonino Rocca beat Ted Tourtas, Mike Mazurki drew Tony Martinelli, Tiger Joe Marsh beat Mike Dillon, Joe Kameroff drew Steve Karas, Ivan Kameroff beat Kola Kwariani
COLUMBIA PARK -- Lord Carlton beat Tony Cosenza, Gene Stanlee beat Tony Martinelli
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Primo Carnera vs. Hans Hermann, Tony Martinelli vs. Mike Dillon, Walter Kameroff vs. Frank Schofro, Jesse James vs. Mike Paidousis, George Tragos vs. Fritz Wallick
JAMAICA ARENA -- Gene Stanlee beat Ivan Kameroff,
Hans Hermann beat Red Ryan, Steve Gob drew Hardy Kruskamp, Ace Freeman drew
Steve Karas, Mahmud Yousof II beat Bobby Reichert
COLUMBIA PARK -- Masked Marvel beat Ivan Kameroff, Marvin Mercer vs. Ace Freeman
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Lord Carlton beat Tarzan Hewitt, Slim Zimbleman vs. Fritz Ziegfried, Abe Coleman vs. Mike Clancy, Sammy Berg vs. Rocco Colombo, Arthur Kapitanopolis vs. Red Kirkpatrick
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Sammy Berg vs. Tony Martinelli, Ivan Kameroff vs. Mike Lordi, Abe Coleman vs. Tappi Kapitaleitz, Mahmud Yousof II vs. Les Ruffin, Deacon Kimball vs. John Heideman
CONEY ISLAND VELODROME -- Gene Stanlee beat Tony Cosenza, Hans Hermann vs. Ivan Kameroff, Ace Freeman vs. Deacon Kimball, Mike Paidousis vs. Jesse James, Steve Gob vs. Steve Karas
TWIN CITY BOWL (Elizabeth, N.J.) -- Lord Carlton vs. Rocco Colombo
JAMAICA ARENA -- Golden Superman beat Tony Martinelli, Hardy Kruskamp vs. Mahmud Yousof II, Steve Gob vs. Mike Paidousis, Frank Schofro vs. Red Ryan, Steve Karas vs. Harry Finkelstein
FORT HAMILTON -- Lord Carlton beat Slim Zimbleman, Tarzan Hewitt vs. Felix Kohnke, Al Alexander vs. Rocco Colombo, Mickey Cortolano vs. Red Kirkpatrick, Mike Clancy vs. Arthur Kapitanopolis
LONG BEACH STADIUM -- Gene Stanlee vs. Golden Superman, Jack Dillon vs. Frank Schofro, Tony Cosenza vs. Hardy Kruskamp, Ace Freeman vs. Steve Karas, Ivan Kameroff vs. Steve Gob
COLUMBIA PARK -- Gene Stanlee beat Ivan Kameroff
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Sammy Berg beat Ivan Kameroff, Jim Austeri vs. Tony Cosenza, Ben Marfuggi vs. Tiny Mills, Mahmud Yousof II vs. Harry Finkelstein, Mike Lordi vs. Walter Kameroff
CONEY ISLAND -- Tony Cosenza vs. Ivan Kameroff, Sammy Berg vs. Hardy Kruskamp, Ben Marfuggi vs. Fritz Wallick, Jack Curry vs. George Tragos, Walter Kameroff vs. Mike Lordi
TWIN CITY BOWL -- Tarzan Hewitt-George Lenihan vs. Al Alexander-Felix Kohnke
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Lord Carlton vs. Tony Martinelli, Jack Dillon vs. Ted Tourtas, Mahmud Yousof II vs. Les Ruffin, John Melas vs. Joe Kameroff, Jesse James vs. Lou Bertucci
JAMAICA ARENA -- Lord Carlton beat Golden Superman, Tiny Mills vs. Mahmud Yousof II, Mike Paidousis vs. Jim Austeri, Harry Finkelstein vs. Steve Karas, Jack Curry vs. Ben Marfuggi
VETERANS STADIUM (Bayonne, N.J.) -- Millie Stafford vs. Mars Bennett
CONEY ISLAND VELODROME -- Tony Martinelli beat Ivan Kameroff, Golden Superman vs. Red Ryan, Les Ruffin vs. Mahmud Yousof II, Ace Freeman vs. Tiger Joe Marsh, Ben Marfuggi vs. Harry Finkelstein
JAMAICA ARENA -- Roland Meeker beat Tony Martinelli, Hardy Kruskamp drew Ted Tourtas, Steve Karas beat Mike Lordi, Jim Austeri beat Bobby Reichert, Mike Paidousis drew J. Jones
LONG BEACH STADIUM -- Tony Martinelli vs. Jack Dillon, Tony Cosenza vs. Ted Tourtas
COLUMBIA PARK -- Roland Meeker vs. Kenny Ackles, Sky Low Low-Irish Jackie vs. Little Beaver-Mighty Fritz
ROCCA, EAGLE GO TO CURFEW DRAW
(New York Daily News, July 11, 1950)
By Til Ferenzi
Approximately two tons of wrestling's men of distinction, all equipped with a variety of biff bop, brought grab and grappling back to Yankee Stadium last night after an absence of 16 years. And like the unexplainable revival of the Charleston and Dixieland jazz, the crowd of 11,328 reveled in its return.
Although held down considerably by intermittent showers in the afternoon and a prediction of more of the same last night, the gross gate was a tidy $33,746, a portion of that sum benefitting the Free Milk Fund for Babies, Inc.
It was a typical example of mat action in the modern manner. The six-match series of exhibitions unfolded enough slam-bang to appease the most hep among ringside Reubans and Rachels. Especially the main session of body heaving which paired Antonino Rocca and Don Eagle.
In this interlude of tangled torsos, Rocca eschewed his patented Argentinian back breaker in favor of the best series of dropkicks since Charlie Brickley. But Eagle, a full blooded Mohawk Indian out of Quebec, absorbed them all and battled wrestling's No. 1 box office darling to a 55-minute draw.
It was a refreshingly mild affair compared to the uninhibited displays of mauling, heaving and butting displayed in the preliminaries. Both master craftsmen in the more subtle forms of the trade, they tickled the fancy of the more scientifically bent among the crowd.
Gene "Mr. America" Stanlee, who made his entrance in a sequined salmon shirtwaist much to the delight of the ladies, went 9:06 of a 30-minute time limit engagement with Sammy Berg, "Mr. Canada." The payoff for Stanlee came after a series of flying tackles had set the scene for a body slam.
Primo Carnera, former heavyweight boxing champion of the world, left the premises feeling much nicer than he did on the last occasion when he was chopped down by Joe Louis. A svelte 260 pounds, Carnera pinned Emil Dusek, 230 pounds, in 15:27 by way of a body press after a leg grapevine.
The remaining three matches, all replete with the showmanship wrestling thrives on, produced two decisions and a draw.
Tony Galento, also making his first appearance in the Stadium ring since he was rocked by Louis, followed the pattern of Carnera and went home a winner in this try. Matched against Kola Kwariani, a bald and portly veteran, Galento notched the Battle of the Bulging Midsections at 6:36 of a 20-minute bout with an airplane spin and body slam.
In the most rugged exhibition of the evening, justice prevailed when Ernie Dusek, of the Omaha Duseks, gave Frank "Tarzan" Hewitt, of Toronto, Canada, his comeuppance by pinning the culprit in 12:19 with a flying mare and body press. The match was scheduled for 20 minutes.
Johnny "Baby Face" Barend, the bobby soxers' delight in the Montreal area, battled to a 20-minute draw with Yvon Robert, a performer of the Gus Sonnenberg era, in the first exhibition on the program.
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Roland Meeker beat Jack Dillon, Monsieur Paris vs. Mahmud Yousof II, Marvin Mercer vs. Steve Karas, Jim Austeri vs. Joe Kameroff, Hardy Kruskamp vs. Les Ruffin
JAMAICA ARENA -- Tony Martinelli vs. Roland Meeker, Stu Hart vs. Monsieur Paris, Ivan Kameroff vs. Les Ruffin, Steve Gob vs. Jim Austeri, Steve Karas vs. Joe Kameroff
(to be continued in New WAWLI No. 554)
The New WAWLI Papers (Wrestling As We Liked It) No. 554
(NEW YORK 1950 SCRAPBOOK CONTINUED)
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Mahmud Yousof II vs. Tony Cosenza, Roland Meeker vs. Stu Hart, John Melas vs. Hardy Kruskamp, Monsieur Paris vs. Fritz Ziegfried, Walter Kameroff vs. John Heideman
VETERANS STADIUM (Bayonne, N.J.) -- Gene Stanlee vs. Steve Gob
CONEY ISLAND VELODROME -- Gene Stanlee vs. Golden Superman, Ivan Kameroff vs. Jack Dillon, Jack Curry vs. Mike Paidousis, Mahmud Yousof II vs. Lou Bertucci, Steve Gob vs. Hardy Kruskamp
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Roland Meeker vs. Golden Superman, Red Ryan vs. Tony Cosenza, Mahmud Yousof II vs. Hardy Kruskamp, Jim Austeri vs. Ivan Kameroff, Faro Rinaldo vs. Les Ruffin
JAMAICA ARENA -- Mahmud Yousof II beat Jack Dillon
FORT HAMILTON -- Lord Carlton vs. Tarzan Hewitt, Arnold Skaaland vs. Fritz Wallick, Walter Bookbinder vs. Red Kirkpatrick, Sammy Kohen vs. Felix Kohnke, Abe Coleman vs. Arthur Kapitanopolis
LONG BEACH STADIUM -- Golden Superman vs. Jack Dillon, Marvin Mercer vs. Ivan Kameroff, Tiny Mills vs. Roland Meeker, Joe Kameroff vs. Mike Paidousis, Steve Karas vs. Les Ruffin
COLUMBIA PARK -- Sky Low Low-Tom Thumb vs. Jimmy Little-Mighty Fritz, Tony Martinelli vs. Golden Superman
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Gene Stanlee vs. Ted Tourtas, Golden Superman vs. Jack Dillon, Jesse James vs. Tony Cosenza, Mike Paidousis vs. Steve Karas, Mahmud Yousof II vs. Joe Kameroff
CONEY ISLAND VELODROME -- Lord Carlton vs. Ivan Kameroff, Golden Superman vs. Red Ryan, Mahmud Yousof II vs. Tiny Mills, Tony Cosenza vs. Mike Paidousis, Steve Karas vs. Ace Freeman
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Golden Superman vs. Faro Rinaldo, Roland Meeker vs. Tony Martinelli, Mike Paidousis vs. Tiny Mills, Ted Tourtas vs. Red Ryan, Steve Gob vs. Les Ruffin
JAMAICA ARENA -- Roland Meeker vs. Ted Tourtas, Mahmud Yousof II vs. Red Ryan, Tiny Mills vs. Faro Rinaldo, Marvin Mercer vs. Ace Freeman, Steve Karas vs. Les Ruffin
COLUMBIA PARK -- Gene Stanlee beat Roland Meeker
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Gene Stanlee beat Mike Paidousis, Roland Meeker vs. Jack Dillon, Stu Hart vs. Tony Morelli, Mahmud Yousof II vs. Lou Bertucci, Red Ryan vs. Steve Gob
FORT HAMILTON -- Lord Carlton beat Angelo Savoldi, Arnold Skaaland beat Rocco Colombo, Walter Bookbinder beat Arthur Kapitanopolis, Fritz Wallick drew George Babich, Slim Zimbleman vs. Felix Kohnke
COLUMBIA PARK -- Gene Stanlee beat Ivan Kameroff
CONEY ISLAND VELODROME -- Mahmud Yousof II vs. Monsieur Paris, Tony Martinelli vs. Ivan Kameroff, Tony Cosenza vs. Jack Dillon, Ted Tourtas vs. Lou Bertucci, Steve Gob vs. Mike Paidousis
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Lord Carlton vs. Roland Meeker, Tony Martinelli vs. Stu Hart, Red Ryan vs. Lou Newman, Mike Paidousis vs. Les Ruffin, Monsieur Paris vs. George Macricostas
LAUREL GARDEN (Newark) -- Gene Stanlee beat Tony Cosenza
JAMAICA ARENA -- Roland Meeker beat Tony Martinelli
FORT HAMILTON -- Arnold Skaaland vs. Rocco Colombo, Golden Superman vs. Walter Bookbinder, Slim Zimbleman vs. George Babich, Angelo Savoldi vs. John Heideman, Abe Coleman vs. Tarzan Hewitt
LONG BEACH STADIUM -- Tony Martinelli vs. Red Ryan, Stu Hart vs. Tiny Mills, Marvin Mercer vs. Steve Gob, Mike Paidousis vs. Monsieur Paris, Jesse James vs. Lou Bertucci
COLUMBIA PARK -- Roland Meeker beat Golden Superman, Jack Dillon beat Faro Rinaldi
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Mahmud Yousof II beat Tony Cosenza, Roland Meeker vs. Stu Hart
CONEY ISLAND VELODROME -- Mahmud Yousof II vs. Red Ryan, Tony Martinelli vs. Hardy Kruskamp, Stu Hart v. Ted Tourtas, Jack Dillon vs. Steve Gob, Ace Freeman vs. Jesse James
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Roland Meeker beat Ted Tourtas, Steve Gob beat Steve Karas
JAMAICA ARENA -- Lord Carlton vs. Ivan Kameroff, Pat Healey vs. Roland Meeker, Jack Curry vs. Kenny Ackles, Monsieur Paris vs. Stu Hart, Bobby Reichert vs. John Melas
LONG BEACH STADIUM -- Golden Superman beat Kenny Ackles, George Macricostas vs. Steve Gob
COLUMBIA PARK -- Lord Carlton beat Roland Meeker
FORT HAMILTON -- Gene Stanlee beat Arnold Skaaland
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Mahmud Yousof II beat Roland Meeker, Tony Cosenza vs. Red Ryan, Francois Miquet vs. Steve Gob, Kenny Ackles vs. Tiny Mills, Jack Curry vs. Hardy Kruskamp
JAMAICA ARENA -- Don Eagle vs. Tony Martinelli
COLUMBIA PARK -- Lord Carlton beat Golden Superman
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Roland Meeker vs. George Macricostas, Golden Superman vs. Francois Miquet, Hardy Kruskamp vs. Mahmud Yousof II, Lou Bertucci vs. Mike Paidousis, Monsieur Paris vs. George Tragos
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Kenny Ackles beat Roland Meeker
TWIN CITY BOWL -- Lord Carlton beat Rocco Colombo, Abe Coleman beat John Heideman, George Lenihan beat Fritz Ziegfried, Angelo Savoldi drew Arnold Skaaland
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Antonino Rocca vs. George Macirostas, Roland Meeker vs. Kola Kwariani, John Melas vs. Walter Kameroff, Jack Curry vs. Mahmud Yousof II, Les Ruffin vs. Jack Steele
CONEY ISLAND VELODROME -- Primo Carnera vs. George Macricostas, Golden Superman vs. Ted Tourtas, Tony Martinelli beat Harry Finkelstein, Francois Miquet vs. Hardy Kruskamp, Jack Curry vs. Mike Paidousis
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Antonino Rocca beat Roland Meeker, Tony Martinelli beat Kola Kwariani, Bud Curtis beat Red Ryan
JAMAICA ARENA -- Primo Carnera vs. Jack Dillon, Bud Curtis vs. Rocco Colombo, Mike Alfano vs. Mahmud Yousof II, Marvin Mercer vs. Red Ryan, Walter Kameroff vs. Mike Lordi
LAUREL GARDEN -- Antonino Rocca beat Sammy Berg
FORT HAMILTON -- Arnold Skaaland vs. Lord Carlton, Johnny Pags vs. Tarzan Hewitt
BROADWAY ARENA -- Antonino Rocca beat Slim Zimbleman
COLUMBIA PARK -- Sammy Berg drew Mike Paidousis, Kenny Ackles beat Jack Steele, Les Ruffin beat Mike Dillon
TWIN CITY BOWL -- Herb Freeman-Tarzan Hewitt drew Arnold Skaaland-Dick Davich, Walter Bookbinder drew Mickey Cortolano, George Babich drew Fritz Wallick
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Sammy Berg beat Mike Paidousis, Mike Lordi beat Jack Curry
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Lord Carlton vs. Jack Dillon, Sammy Berg vs. Tony Martinelli, George Macricostas vs. Jack Steele, Bud Curtis vs. Steve Karas, Mahmud Yousof II vs. Francis Miquet
JAMAICA ARENA -- Lord Carlton beat Kenny Ackles
BROADWAY ARENA -- Lord Carlton vs. Angelo Savoldi, Arnold Skaaland vs. Joe Montana, Mahmud Yousof II vs. Harry Finkelstein, Richard Dusek vs. Zlim Zimbleman, John Heideman vs. Walter Bookbinder
FORT HAMILTON -- Primo Carnera vs. Tarzan Hewitt, George Harben vs. Herb Freeman, Rocco Colombo vs. George Babich, Sammy Kohen vs. Nick Lucenti, Fritz Wallick vs. Abe Coleman
COLUMBIA PARK -- Kimon Kudo beat Jack Dillon
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Kimon Kudo vs. Red Ryan, Golden Superman vs. Ted Tourtas, Jack Steele vs. Mahmud Yousof II, George Tragos vs. Jack Curry
CONEY ISLAND VELODROME -- Tony Martinelli vs. Danny McShain, Jack Dillon vs. Golden Superman, Kimon Kudo vs. Lou Bertucci, Red Ryan vs. Ted Tourtas, Francois Miquet vs. Steve Karas
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Kimon Kudo beat Les Ruffin
JAMAICA ARENA -- Primo Carnera vs. Mahmud Yousof II, Danny McShain vs. Ted Tourtas, Jack Dillon vs. Sammy Berg, Pat Muldoon vs. Bud Curtis, Bill Wilcox vs. Les Ruffin
BROADWAY ARENA -- George Macricostas beat Tarzan Hewitt
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Danny McShain drew Mahmud Yousof II, Sammy Berg drew Tony Martinelli, Ted Tourtas beat Len Montana
TWIN CITY BOWL -- Slim Zimbleman beat George Harben, Ovila Asselin beat Arnold Skaaland, Pierre LaBelle drew Abe Coleman
CONEY ISLAND VELODROME -- Kenny Ackles vs. Danny McShain, Bill Wilcox vs. Ted Tourtas, Billy Dixon vs. Mike Paidousis, Pat Muldoon vs. Mike Lordi, George Tragos vs. Walter Kameroff
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Lord Carlton vs. Bud Curtis, Danny McShain vs. Jack Steele, Tony Martinelli vs. Red Ryan, Kimon Kudo vs. Walter Kameroff, Pat Muldoon vs. Les Ruffin
BROADWAY ARENA -- Slim Zimbleman vs. Lord Carlton, Ovila Asselin vs. Herb Freeman
COLUMBIA PARK -- Roland Meeker beat Chris Zaharias dq
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Antonino Rocca vs. Golden Superman, Kimon Kudo vs. Mike Paidousis, Sammy Berg vs. Bud Curtis, Kola Kwariani vs. Mahmud Yousof II, Jack Dillon vs. Hardy Kruskamp
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Antonino Rocca vs. Mahmud Yousof II, Chris Zaharias vs. Ted Tourtas, Bud Curtis vs. Kola Kwariani, Kenny Ackles vs. Hardy Kruskamp, Les Ruffin vs. Francois Miquet
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Antonino Rocca vs. Babe Zaharias, Roland Meeker vs. Sammy Berg, Tony Martinelli vs. Mike Paidousis, Kimon Kudo vs. Steve Karas, Kola Kwariani vs. Pat Muldoon
JAMAICA ARENA -- Primo Carnera vs. Golden Superman, Tony Martinelli vs. Bud Curtis, Tiny Mills vs. George Tragos, Sammy Berg vs. Harry Finkelstein, Pat Muldoon vs. Hardy Kruskamp
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Sammy Berg vs. George Macricostas, Kimon Kudo vs. Les Ruffin, Hardy Kruskamp vs. Bill Wilcox, Kenny Ackles vs. Red Ryan, Jack Bloomfield vs. Lou Bertucci
COLUMBIA PARK -- Antonino Rocca beat Roland Meeker
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Lord Carlton vs. Sammy Berg, Chris Zaharias vs. Mahmud Yousof II, Red Ryan vs. Roland Meeker, Pat Muldoon vs. Ted Tourtas, Kimon Kudo vs. Steve Karas
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Chris Zaharias beat Roland Meeker
JAMAICA ARENA -- Antonino Rocca vs. Bud Curtis, Golden Superman vs. Bobby Ford, Kenny Ackles vs. Kola Kwariani, Ted Tourtas vs. Pat Muldoon, Les Ruffin vs. Hal Kanner
BROADWAY ARENA -- Antonino Rocca vs. Ovila Asselin, Arnold Skaaland vs. Herb Freeman, Mickey Cortolano vs. Jacques La Rance, Kola Kwariani vs. Slim Zimbleman, George Harben vs. Jules LaRance
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Sammy Berg vs. Roland Meeker, Hal Kanner vs. Les Ruffin
COLUMBIA PARK -- Chris Zaharias-Babe Zaharias beat Tony Martinelli-Kenny Ackles
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Don Eagle vs. Sammy Berg, Roland Meeker vs. Jim Lewis, Kimon Kudo vs. Tiny Mills, Ovila Asselin vs. Hardy Kruskamp, Arnold Skaaland vs. Les Ruffin
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Don Eagle beat Tarzan Hewitt, Ovila Asselin beat Jules LaRance, Slim Zimbleman drew George Babich
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Don Eagle beat Tony Martinelli
BROADWAY ARENA -- Marvin Mercer beat Ed White
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Don Eagle vs. Roland Meeker, Ruffy Silverstein vs. Tiny Mills, Chris Zaharias vs. Tony Martinelli, John Kostas vs. Francois Miquet, Tarzan Hewitt vs. Walter Bookbinder
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Lord Carlton vs. Jack LaRance, Green Hornet (Jim Henry) vs. George Harben, Abe Coleman vs. Walter Bookbinder, Richard Dusek vs. John Heideman, George Babich vs. Fritz Wallick
WHITE PLAINS -- Don Eagle vs. Jack Dillon, Mike Mazurki vs. Tony Martinelli, Arnold Skaaland vs. Jim Lewis, Ruffy Silverstein vs. Francois Miquet, John Kostas vs. Tiny Mills
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Don Eagle vs. Gene Stanlee, Mike Mazurki vs. Roland Meeker, Chris Zaharias vs. Francois Miquet, John Kostas vs. Harry Finkelstein, Chick Garibaldi vs. Ace Freeman
JAMAICA ARENA -- Gene Stanlee vs. Chris Zaharias, Babe Zaharias vs. Bud Curtis, Kenny Ackles vs. Tony Martinelli, Ace Freeman vs. Kimon Kudo, John Kostas vs. Tiny Mills
BROADWAY ARENA -- Lord Carlton beat Mike Mazurki
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Ruffy Silverstein vs. Golden Superman, Great Scott (Dutch Schweigert) vs. Lou Bertucci, Francois Miquet vs. Jack Dillon, John Kostas (Ionis Kostolias) vs. Red Kirkpatrick, Les Ruffin vs. Mike Lordi
COLUMBIA PARK -- Andre Drapp beat Tiny Mills
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Tarzan Hewitt vs. Jim henry, Andre Drapp vs. Jack Dillon, Ruffy Silverstein vs. Ted Tourtas, Lou Bertucci vs. John Kostas, Kimon Kudo vs. Golden Superman
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Tarzan Hewitt vs. Mike Mazurki, Jim henry vs. George Babich, Richard Dusek vs. Mickey Cortolano, Abe Coleman vs. Donn Lewin, Arnold Skaaland vs. Fritz Wallick
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Chris Zaharias vs. Tony Martinelli, Andre Drapp vs. Lou Bertucci, Ruffy Silverstein vs. Mahmud Yousof II, Babe Zaharias vs. Roland Meeker, John Kostas vs. Joe Kameroff
JAMAICA ARENA -- John Kostas vs. Bud Curtis, Laverne Baxter vs. Kenny Ackles, Andre Drapp vs. Harry Finkelstein, Great Scott vs. Lou Bertucci, Kimon Kudo vs. Francois Miquet
LAUREL GARDEN -- Ruffy Silverstein beat Hardy Kruskamp, Tony Martinelli beat Ted Tourtas
VETERANS STADIUM -- Jack Steele beat Pat Muldoon, George Tragos beat Len Montana, John Kostas beat Dave Weinstein
(to be continued in New WAWLI No. 555)
The New WAWLI Papers (Wrestling As We Liked It) No. 555
(NEW YORK 1950 SCRAPBOOK CONTINUED)
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Antonino Rocca vs. Kimon Kudo, Ruffy Silverstein vs. Bud Curtis, Great Scott vs. Kola Kwariani, John Kostas vs. Tiny Mills, Hal Kanner vs. Francois Miquet
COLUMBIA PARK -- Gene Stanlee beat Roland Meeker, Andre Drapp beat Les Ruffin, Lillie Bitters beat June Byers, Gino Martinelli-Golden Superman drew Laverne Baxter-Jack Dillon
TWIN CITY BOWL -- Geza Tako drew Fritz Ziegfried, George Lenihan-George Harben beat Richard Dusek-Arnold Skaaland
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Gene Stanlee vs. Lord Carlton, Antonino Rocca vs. Jim Henry, Ruffy Silverstein vs. Kola Kwariani
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Gene Stanlee vs. Arnold Skaaland, Tarzan Hewitt vs. George Harben, Jim Henry vs. Rocco Colombo, Jack LaRance vs. Richard Dusek
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Antonino Rocca vs. Sammy Berg, Ruffy Silverstein vs. Chick Garibaldi, Andre Drapp vs. Kola Kwariani, Kenny Ackles vs. Tony Martinelli, Jack Dillon vs. Roland Meeker
LAUREL GARDEN -- Gene Stanlee beat Golden Superman, Chick Garibaldi beat Les Ruffin, Lilly Bitters beat Beverly Lynn
JAMAICA ARENA -- John Kostas vs. Kenny Ackles, Laverne Baxter vs. Jack Dillon, Andre Drapp vs. Red Kirkpatrick, Lou Bertucci vs. Roland Meeker, Kimon Kudo vs. Joe Kameroff
BROADWAY ARENA -- Antonino Rocca vs. Mike Mazurki
VETERANS STADIUM -- Marvin Mercer beat Pat Muldoon, George Tragos beat Stu Smith
COLUMBIA PARK -- Antonino Rocca beat Kenny Ackles
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Antonino Rocca vs. Kenny Ackles, Ruffy Silverstein vs. Jack Dillon, Frank Bruce vs. Kola Kwariani, Harry Finkelstein vs. Great Scott, John Kostas vs. Hardy Kruskamp
TWIN CITY BOWL -- Lilly Bitters beat June Byers, George Lenihan drew Abe Coleman, Arnold Skaaland-Donn Lewin beat Jack LaRance-???
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Abe Coleman vs. Fritz Ziegfriend, Tarzan Hewitt vs. George Babich, Donn Lewin vs. Fritz Ziegfried
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Andre Drapp vs. Kenny Ackles, Ruffy Silverstein vs. Francois Miquet, Chris Zaharias vs. Roland Meeker, Jack Dillon vs. Kimon Kudo, John Kostas vs. Tiny Mills
JAMAICA ARENA -- Great Scott vs. Laverne Baxter, Golden Superman vs. John Kostas, Andre Drapp vs. Tiny Mills, Ace Freeman vs. Lou Bertucci, Chick Garibaldi vs. Hardy Kruskamp
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Primo Carnera vs. Ruffy Silverstein, Great Scott vs. Laverne Baxter, Kimon Kudo vs. Joe Kameroff, Frank Bruce vs. Mike Lordi, Red Kirkpatrick vs. Herman Barrie
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Ruffy Silverstein vs. Golden Superman, Great Scott vs. Kenny Ackles, Chris Zaharias vs. Ace Freeman, Andre Drapp vs. Frank Bruce, Babe Zaharias vs. Tony Martinelli
TWIN CITY BOWL -- Lord Carlton beat George Lenihan, Tarzan Hewitt beat George Babich
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Antonino Rocca vs. Johnny Barend, Golden Superman vs. Tarzan Hewitt, Jack LaRance vs. Arnold Skaaland, Donn Lewin vs. Kola Kwariani, Ted Tourtas vs. Mickey Cortolano
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Andre Drapp vs. Chris Zaharias, Ruffy Silverstein vs. Lou Bertucci, Jack Dillon vs. Roland Meeker, Tony Martinelli vs. Hardy Kruskamp, Tony Cosenza vs. Tiny Mills
JAMAICA ARENA -- Gene Stanlee vs. Great Scott, Andre Drapp vs. Les Ruffin, John Kostas vs. Francois Miquet, Tony Martinelli vs. Laverne Baxter, Chris Zaharias vs. Ace Freeman
COLUMBIA PARK -- John Kostas-Tony Costenza beat Hardy Kruskamp-Jack LaRance
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Ruffy Silverstein vs. Babe Zaharias, Chris Zaharias vs. Great Scott, Golden Superman vs. Tiny Mills, Kimon Kudo vs. Lou Bertucci, Les Ruffin vs. Chick Garibaldi
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Lord Carlton vs. Johnny Barend, Ruffy Silverstein vs. Jim Henry, Andre Drapp vs. Tony Cosenza, John Kostas vs. Roland Meeker, Great Scott vs. Lou Bertucci
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Primo Carnera vs. Jim Henry, Rocco Colombo vs. Tarzan Hewitt, Johnny Barend vs. Jack LaRance, Big Sam vs. George Harben, Arnold Skaaland vs. John Heideman
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Andre Drapp beat Ace Freeman, Golden Superman vs. Babe Zaharias, Ruffy Silverstein vs. Jack Dillon, Gene Bowman vs. Les Ruffin, Joe Kameroff vs. Mike Lordi
JAMAICA ARENA -- Antonino Rocca beat George Macricostas
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Gene Stanlee vs. Chris Zaharias, Ruffy Silverstein vs. Gene Bowman, Kimon Kudo vs. Golden Superman, Great Scott vs. Hardy Kruskamp, Ace Freeman vs. Chick Garibaldi
COLUMBIA PARK -- Don Eagle beat Babe Zaharias, Lord Carlton drew Roland Meeker
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Antonino Rocca beat Gene Stanlee
TWIN CITY BOWL -- Arnold Skaaland-Donn Lewin beat Tarzan Hewitt-George Harben, Alvino Lucenti drew Lou Kulecki, Johnny Barend beat Abe Coleman
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Tony Galento vs. Tarzan Hewitt, Johnny Barend vs. Arnold Skaaland, Big Sam vs. Joe Kameroff, Jim Henry vs. George Babich, Abe Coleman vs. Alvino Lucenti
JERSEY CITY ARMORY -- Antonino Rocca vs. Ernie Dusek
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Roland Meeker beat Jim henry, Chick Garibaldi drew Hardy Kruskamp, Great Scott beat Tiny Mills
JAMAICA ARENA -- Primo Carnera drew John Kostas (dcor), Andre Drapp beat Lou Bertucci
LAUREL GARDEN -- Don Eagle drew Roland Meeker, Great Scott beat Tiny Mills, Chris Zaharias-Babe Zaharias beat Tony Cosenza-Gene Bowman, Tony Martinelli beat Jim Lewis
FORT JAY -- Mahmud Yousof II beat Tony Milano, Ed Gardenia beat Wally Dern, Faro Rinaldi drew Norm Stewart, Buck Kazon beat Buddy Gilbert
BROADWAY ARENA -- Ernie Dusek vs. Tarzan Hewitt, Chris Zaharias vs. Johnny Barend, Babe Zaharias vs. George Babich, Jack LaRance vs. Jim Henry, Donn Lewin vs. Rocco Colombo
TRENTON -- Lord Carlton drew Primo Carnera, Golden Terror beat Gene Bowman
VETERANS STADIUM -- Mahmud Yousof II beat Ed Gardenia, Red Kirkpatrick-Ed White beat Faro-Joe Rinaldi, Jack Steele-Hal Kanner beat Tony Milano-Gus Raap, Jack Steele-Hal Kanner beat Red Kirkpatrick-Ed White (won tag tourney)
BRONX WINTER GARDEN -- Gene Stanlee vs. Great Scott, Kenny Ackles vs. Chick Garibaldi, John Kostas vs. Tiny Mills, Harry Finkelstein vs. Hal Kanner, Hardy Kruskamp vs. Lou Bertucci
COLUMBIA PARK -- Don Eagle drew Roland Meeker
ST. NICK'S ARENA -- Ernie Dusek vs. Johnny Barend, Andre Drapp vs. Great Scott
TWIN CITY BOWL -- Jim Henry beat Ernie Swanson, Big Sam beat Fritz Wallick
SUNNYSIDE GARDEN -- Gene Stanlee vs. Lord Carlton, Rocco Colombo vs. Arnold Skaaland, Johnny Barend vs. George Harben, Donn Lewin vs. Jack LaRance, Big Sam vs. George Babich
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Chris Zaharias vs. Great Scott, Jim Henry vs. Kenny Ackles, Andre Drapp vs. Mike Lordi, John Kostas vs. Les Ruffin, Jack LaRance vs. Arnold Skaaland
JAMAICA ARENA -- Gene Stanlee vs. Laverne Baxter, Andre Drapp vs. Gene Bowman, Hardy Kruskamp vs. John Kostas, Mike Lordi vs. Les Ruffin, Tony Cosenza vs. Tiny Mills
GOVERNOR'S ISLAND -- Marvin Mercer vs. Ed Gardenia
LAUREL GARDEN -- Golden Terror beat Tony Martinelli, Great Scott drew Roland Meeker, Kenny Ackles-Ace Freeman beat Chick Garibaldi-Lou Bertucci
COLUMBIA PARK -- Gene Stanlee beat Roland Meeker, Andre Drapp beat Hardy Kruskamp, Kenny Ackles drew Golden Terror
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Don Eagle vs. Jim henry, Gene Stanlee vs. Andre Drapp, John Kostas vs. Tony Martinelli, Kenny Ackles vs. Jim Lewis, Francois Miquet vs. Harry Finkelstein
JAMAICA ARENA -- Don EAgle beat Kenny Ackles, Great Scott vs. Tony Martinelli, Lou Bertucci vs. Golden Superman, Abe Stein vs. Francois Miquet, Joe Kameroff vs. Jim Lewis
GOVERNOR'S ISLAND -- Buddy Rogers beat Billy Darnell
RIDGEWOOD GROVE -- Gene Stanlee vs. John Kostas, Lord Carlton vs. Rocco Colombo, Roland Meeker vs. Chick Garibaldi, Tony Martinelli vs. Kenny Ackles, Lou Bertucci vs. Hardy Kruskamp
JAMAICA ARENA -- Gene Stanlee vs. Stu Hart, Kenny Ackles vs. Andre Drapp, John Kostas vs. Chick Garibaldi, Tony Cosenza vs. Hardy Kruskamp, Les Ruffin vs. Gene Bowman
VETERANS STADIUM -- Buddy Rogers beat Hal Kanner, Billy Darnell beat Bob Riker, Ed White drew Hal Kanner, Bill Griffin drew Doc Doganiero
AFL STAR LADD MADE MARK AS PRO MATMAN
(Wrestling Then and Now, http://members.xoom.com/wtnow)
By Mike Mooneyham
Few men ever cast a more imposing figure on a football field or in a wrestling ring than Ernie Ladd.
At 6-9 and well over 300 pounds, Ladd was widely regarded as the biggest and toughest man in professional football during the Ď60s when he played in the fledgling American Football League and was one of its top stars. Dubbed "Big Cat" for his size and catlike agility, Ladd was recognized by the San Diego Chargers as their all-time greatest lineman. The perennial All-Pro defensive tackle also played for the Houston Oilers and the Kansas City Chiefs during his eight years on the pro gridiron.
Professional wrestling, however, was Laddís first love. Ladd, who had wrestled during the off-season for several years until making the full-time transition in 1970, parlayed his football success into a lucrative career in the squared circle that lasted until 1984.
"I was a pretty good football player, but I really loved wrestling. I truly enjoyed it," says Ladd. "If I had to do it all over again, Iíd choose wrestling over football."
Ladd enjoyed it even more when promoters told him how much money he could make in the profession. Despite being one of the few black athletes in a business in which racism still existed, Ladd was one of the highest-paid performers in pro wrestling during most of his career, never making less than a six-figure salary.
But Ladd admits he was an angry man. That anger was expressed on the field, in the ring, on interviews. He admits that when he changed professions, his primary mission of seek-and-destroy merely changed from a quarterback to his opponent. That same anger manifested itself 16 years ago at a restaurant in a small Georgia town. It was to forever change the direction of Ernie Laddís life.
"I met a young white boy in the restaurant and he told me he wanted to go into my room and read the Bible with me," Ladd recalls. "I was quite disturbed. The guy wanted me to get on my knees and pray with him. I told him he must have been strange. I just wanted to knock the guy out right there in the restaurant."
But something happened on his way to thrashing the young man.
"I thought I was going to beat the guy up, but the Holy Spirit beat me up. I went upstairs to read the Bible with him. I ended up giving my life to the Lord. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. The Holy Spirit came up on me and changed my life in its entirety. I could never repay that."
Ladd, 59, says he did most of his talking on the field or in the ring. But he admits something was missing in his life.
"In the early years, I wasnít a guy who did a lot of cursing and a lot of drinking. But I was probably rotten and no good for myself or anybody else. I was so independent. I thought I was a self-made man, which was nothing, until I was witnessed by a young white guy who changed my life completely. He said that was the Holy Spirit speaking to me through him, and it turned out to be true."
Ladd hasnít looked back in 16 years.
"Ernie Ladd was a guy who thought he could do everything. He had great size, great talent, but he just didnít have the Lord in his life. When the Lord came into my life, I became a new creature."
Ernie Ladd had enjoyed phenomenal success in a sports career that began on the playing fields of Orange, Texas, and took him to collegiate stardom at Grambling under the tutelage of legendary coach Eddie Robinson.
Ladd went on to play pro football for Sid Luckmanís San Diego Chargers and alongside such stars as Lance Alworrth, Keith Lincoln and Paul Lowe. After playing six seasons with the Chargers, he played out his option and signed with the Houston Oilers for a lucrative bonus.
"In 1961, I was one of the most publicized athletes in the US," says Ladd.
But the Big Cat wanted to wrestle.
"A couple of wrestlers told me I had a loud mouth on the football field. They invited me to come on out and try it in wrestling. I told them Iíd hurt somebody out there. But those same guys ended up pushing my head into the mat all the way around. I was big and strong and I played football, but I knew nothing about wrestling. Thatís what started me and gave me a competitive edge. Nobody was supposed to push me around like that."
The more Ladd wrestled in the off-season, the more he wanted to make it his full-time livelihood. Surgery on his left knee sidelined the giant tackle during the 1969 season when his team, the Chiefs, defeated the Minnesota Vikings, 23-7 in the Super Bowl. It was to be Laddís final season in football.
"I started to focus on wrestling," says Ladd. "I wanted to learn so bad. I wrestled for as little as $15 in the Ď60s trying to learn the trade. I later made hundreds of thousands of dollars as a wrestler. But I had to pay dues in order to learn."
Ladd, who was one of the few black wrestlers on top during the Ď60s and early Ď70s, said had it not been for his football career, he could never have afforded to go into wrestling.
"It was truly a racist environment when I first started. A lot of people didnít want black talent to come into the sport. I couldnít have wrestled if I hadnít played pro football. I couldnít have afforded to stay out there. Not because I was a big talent, because I had money, but I could pay my bills and stay on the road. I quit football because I was making more money as a wrestler. I made a lot of money as a wrestler. My first year as a wrestler I made more money that I had ever made as a football player. I made over a hundred thousand dollars every year."
Ladd met his wife, Roslyn, 59, years ago when both were attending Grambling. They have four children - ages 35, 27, 25, 24.
"Iíve been with the same girl since the first time I saw her in college," says Ladd. "My wife tried to get me saved for 15 years. She finally had to give up on me. She eventually gave it to the Lord, and thatís when I became saved. As long as she was trying to be a part of it and do it herself, it wasnít working out."
Ladd, who spent most of his mat career as a heel going up against the likes of such world champions as Lou Thesz, Bruno Sammartino, Verne Gagne and Dory Funk Jr., was noted for his menacing interviews and once wore a crown proclaiming himself as "the king of wrestling."
"I can relate to when youíre thinking youíre so macho and youíre the biggest thing around, and the Lord takes charge of your life," he says. "Iíve been saved about 16 years. I thank God. Thatís the best thing that ever happened to me in my life. The second best was meeting my wife."
Ladd, who lives in Franklin, La., has worked as a
consultant for minority contractors since his retirement from the ring.
The New WAWLI Papers (Wrestling As We Liked It) No. 556
STECHER MEETS FREBERG IN MAT CLASH
(Chicago Tribune, November 28, 1922)
Joe Stecher, former world's heavyweight wrestling champion who has started a campaign which he hopes will result in a return match with Ed "Strangler" Lewis, present champion, will meet John Freberg in the Aryan Grotto, 8th street and South Wabash avenue tonight.
Since his return from overseas Stecher has been spending most of his time on his farm in Nebraska. He claims all the rheumatism has left him and that he will soon regain the form which made him the world's champion. He arrived in Chicago last week.
Freberg is known as the trial horse of the mat game. The local grappler is generally matched with championship contenders, and if they defeat him they generally are given matches with the topnotchers. Freberg has been training for a month, and, according to the promoters of tonight's show, is in superb condition.
In the semi-windup, Lou Talaber, strong contender for the middleweight championship held by Johnny Meyers, will take holds with Paul Prehn, mat instructor at the University of Illinois, for four rounds. In addition, two other contests will be held. Tickets are on sale at 129 North Dearborn street, and the first bout will start at 8:15 o'clock.
KILONIS HAS NO FEAR OF MEYERS
(Chicago Tribune, November 28, 1922)
John Kilonis, Greek middleweight wrestling challenger, has no fear of Johnny Meyers' "stopper" hold. Kilonis declared last night that Meyers would be allowed to use any hold he desires when they meet in their championship match at the Ashland boulevard auditorium a week from tomorrow night.
STECHER'S SCISSORS PINS FREBERG
(Chicago Tribune, November 29, 1922)
Joe Stecher, former heavyweight wrestling champion who is eager to secure a match with Ed "Strangler" Lewis for the title, easily defeated John Freberg, local heavyweight, in the main event of the show at the Aryan Grotto last night. Stecher pinned his man with his famous body scissors, after thirty-four seconds of wrestling in the sixth round.
Freberg was on the defensive most of the time and appeared to have an excellent block for Stecher's body scissors, which the local man feared from the start. Every time Joe twined a leg around his opponent Freberg secured a toe lock with the result the former champion was unable to complete his scissors lock.
Neither grappler went to the mat in the opening round of ten minutes. They appeared content to feel out one another and test each other's strength from a standing position. In the second round there was more action, with Stecher trying to secure the scissors lock and Freberg fighting to avoid it. In fact, this happened in the third, fourth, and fifth sessions.
As the bell rang for the sixth, Stecher, who had not shown much speed, jumped out of his corner, grabbed one of Freberg's arms, pulled him toward him, and as John came forward to the mat, Stecher secured his body scissors. Freberg kicked and squirmed, but the more he did the more tighter the grip was secured, until Referee Lavine patted Stecher on the back to denote the fall.
In the semi-windup, Paul Prehn, mat instructor at the University of Illinois, and Lou Talaber, local middleweight in quest of Johnny Meyers' title, wrestled four interesting rounds to a draw.
Dr. Carl Furness won over Ted Danks in the opening bout with a head scissors and wrist lock after two minutes and thirty-seven seconds of wrestling in the third round. Henry Karhunsaari defeated Cy Martin in the second bout. Martin conceded the fall after four minutes and fifteen seconds of grappling in the second round.
PROMISING WRESTLING SEASON AHEAD
(Wrestling Review, Auckland, Apr. 28, 1958)
This year's wrestling season promises to be the best ever. Once again we have a local hope in Dick Hrstich, who appears to be another Lofty Blomfield. Dick's record as an amateur in this country was outstanding, and since turning pro, he has had a fine record.
Al Karasick, in a personal note, expressed the opinion that Hrstich would be a great drawing card. He has been matchesd against George Bollas, 21 1'2 stone, 6ft., 3ins., big, tough, virile, and a man of colossal strength, who gives no quarter and asks for none.
Bollas won the All-American intercollegiate championship three years on end -- a feat never before accomplished.
It is a tough assignment for Hrstich in his first battle in New Zealand, but it will give a good line on his prospects.
NO RELIEF FOR LEG-PULLING WRESTLER
(Wellington, New Zealand, circa 1958)
George Bollas, better known as the Zebra Kid, was in a new role at last night's wrestling in the Wellington Town Hall.
Handsome young Eric Pederson lay in agony in his dressing room after sustaining a back injury while wrestling Dick Hrstich.
He called for a chiropractor to manipulate his spine. None was available so the versatile Bollas rolled up his sleeves and went to work.
In a professional manner Bollas twisted his patient's legs, but his efforts brought Pederson only partial relief.
Pederson, who has suffered similar injuries -- but never so severely -- near the base of his spine, was unable to walk properly and decided on medical advice to visit the hospital for an X-ray.
The bout lasted only till midway through the fifth round. Pederson, who proved a lively showman, gained a fall in the previous round when Hrstich missed with a dropkick.
"After a spectacular tumble over the ropes Pederson crashed the small of his back into the ring apron. The crowd, used to his hurried exits from the ring, did not realize he was hurt and were hostile when Pederson made his way to the dressing room.
The referee, Mr. Jack Prestney, after some hesitation, awarded the bout to Hrstich.
A number of spectators attempted to retrieve their entrance money.
Pederson, in the dressing room, said he was sorry he had not been able to go the distance in his Wellington debut. "But," he painfully shrugged, "money doesn't mean all that much to me."
JACOBS HAS A VICTORY
The Wellington heavyweight wrestler Abe Jacobs beat Tony (Elephant Boy) Olivas of the United States at Napier on Saturday night. Falls were even when Olivas was disqualified in the seventh round.
It was Jacobs' second professional bout; in his first, he drew with George Bollas at Hastings.
OTAGO DECISION NOT SUPPORTED
(New Zealand, circa 1958)
A decision by the Otago Wrestling Association not to promote any professional wrestling contests in Dunedin until the standard improves is not supported by officials of the Canterbury Wrestling Association.
A report of the Otago decision stated that wrestling supporters had not been impressed with the standard of matmen during the last few seasons and seemed to want scientific wrestling as promoted in the Earl McCready-Lofty Blomfield era some years ago.
"Many supporters believe that many wrestlers are relying on the minimum wrestling ability and the maximum 'ballyhoo' to draw the crowds," said the report.
Otago Association will not engage such wrestlers as George Bollas, the "Zebra Kid," or Tony Olivas, the "Fabulous Elephant Boy," who meet in the local ring tonight, and George McKay, the "Magnificent," who won his bout last week with Fred Wright by a disqualification in the last round.
President of the Canterbury Wrestling Association (Mr. A.P. Craig) said: "We wonder on what the Otago Wrestling Association bases its judgments that these wrestlers are not scientific. It is almost certain that they would keep Earl McCready and Lofty Blomfield busy. I have seen George Bollas, George McKay and Tony Olivas and I am convinced that as wrestlers they are as fine as any we have had in this country.
"There is of necessity a certain amount of by-play in the ring," said Mr. Craig, "but we feel Otago is more frightened of the names of these wrestlers than the men themselves."
THREW SHOE AT WRESTLER
(New Zealand, circa 1958)
A young woman who threw one of her shoes into the ring at a Wellington Town Hall wrestling match was charged in the Magistrates' Court yesterday with throwing a missile to the danger of a person or property, and was fined 30 pounds. She is Valerie Yvonne May Hawkes, 23, tailoress.
The police prosecutor, Mr. C.J. Smillie, said a constable at a bout beteen George Bollas and George McKay on May 26 saw her throw a shoe which struck on of the wrestlers on a leg. She said she had become overexcited.
FROM THE GEORGE BOLLAS JR. SCRAPBOOK
(South Africa, August 3, 1967, picture caption)
George Bollas, the giant, 315-pound American professional wrestler, makes his Pretoria debut against the Kalahari Wildman (Martiens Jacobs) in the City Hall on Tuesday night. The picture shows Bollas trying to pull Al Mills, of Minneapolis, back into the ring. Bollas, a former amateur champion of Ohio State, meets his first South African opponent in Johannesburg on Saturday night when he comes up against Percy Hall, the current South African extra heavyweight title-holder.
LETTERS TO WRESTLING THEN & NOW
(ED. NOTE -- Here are a few more examples of the good stuff to be found at Evan Ginzburg's Wrestling Then & Now web site, from which we poached the Ernie Ladd story in issue No. 555. Remember to take a peek and see what you may have been missing. The URL is: http://members.xoom.com/wtnow)
Just received #105 and great as usual. Ernie Ladd story from Mooneyham brought back instant memories. Seeing Ladd in the ring meant you were seeing a legitimate star. In November Ď75 at the Philly Arena, he beat Ivan Putski in the main event in a 34 minute classic! That led to a title match against Bruno in the Spectrum that drew 15,000 during X-Mas weekend, 1975. Dynamite!
Looking forward to the Bobby Shane piece in the annual. I loved late Sat. nite UHF Florida shows in Ď72 that showcased Shane vs. Bearcat Wright. Just missed him during short northeast tour at Arena- Feb. Ď73 vs. Jack Brisco. Just great stuff.
Keep it up, baby!
I just wanted to write and let you know that I heard from Bobby Shaneís mom about the article from the Annual. These are the words that she wrote: "Thank you for sending me "Wrestling Then and Now". I enjoyed your article, "Remembering the King of Wrestling" and also the article Dr. Mike Lano wrote. Tell Mr. Evan Ginzburg that I appreciate the copy that was sent to me."
That was all she wrote regarding the article, and again, she didnít mention Bobby at all. I can tell that itís very difficult for her to talk about him, so I donít mention him anymore when I write to her.
I do know that it does make her feel good that Bobby is remembered by the business that he loved so much, and she knows that he will never be forgotten. It is such a nice feeling knowing that we were able to reach out to her with the article. When I first sent her the original draft last year, I had no idea if it would ever get published. And thanks to you, Evan, it became a reality. I hope your readers enjoy it!
NORTH BABYLON, NY
This is to let you know that I didnít receive my copy of WT&N yet and the month is nearly 2/3 over.
If itís to be late because youíre turning out more than your usual great issue, thatís cool.
But Evan, Evan, Evan, if thatís not the reason and there is no reason for its tardiness, then all I can say is Evan, Evan, Evan!!!
Seriously, if they were mailed I didnít get one
yet. If they werenít Iíll be patient a few more days. But Evan, Evan, Evan?
WILKES BARRE, PA.
EDITORíS NOTE: Rich, Rich, Rich. I teach 4 classes. Do a radio show. And production ace Jeff Archerís promoting Theater In a Squared Circle. Sometimes this little (ahem) money machine isnít priority one. So Rich, Rich, Rich whenever you need a WT&N fix just call my hotline at 1-900-GREEDY for all the latest results from 1973. E.G
I appreciate the stimulation "WT&N" brings me as well as the opportunity to be connected with a class act.
Letís hope the holiday season brings happiness and that Ď99 puts us in the lives of more wrestling romantics.
Bluesman David "Honeyboy" Edwards was great. We saw him in Arkansas.
By the way, with the WWF & WCW having "heel" kingpins, donít you sometimes think of the heel stabbings back in the "old" daze?
EDITORíS NOTE: The more vicious the heels, the more the fans seem to like them. Itís the end of the world as we know it. E.G.
The annual arrived the other day, and what a delight it was to see it autographed by the great Killer Kowalski whom I first saw back in the 1950s on TV shows from Chicago. Then on Sunday, Oct. 11, on a "Golden Age of Wrestling" program on cableís Classic Sports Network, he was featured in a 1963 match against Buddy Rogers in the Chicago Coliseum. (Killer lost the third fall when he came off the top rope for a knee drop, missed, and fell victim top Buddyís piledriver and then a pin.)
Aside from everything else about this all-time heel (and there are volumes that can be written), he has one of the five greatest wrestling names of all time. When you hear "Man Mountain Dean," "Gorilla Monsoon," "Dick the Bruiser." "Andre the Giant," and "Killer Kowalski," you feel the ground tremble. Their names are their identities. Wrestlers who adopted names like "Percy Pringle," "Magnificent Maurice," and "Playboy Buddy Rose" must have had different agendas.
DALE M. IWATAKI
A few months back you mentioned seeing Johnny Maestro perform. One of my all-time favorites! Still sounds great. Had a big string of hits.
If you could just keep the music and wrestling from late 50ís to late 70ís weíd be all set.
Pretty scary that it takes TV GUIDE sixteen years to realize that big-time rassling is the third largest televised spectator sport in North America, isnít it? (Football and automobile racing are one and two. As the audience for the latter is increasingly female, more stock cars would be carrying soap powder logos in the future.)
Youíre selling your annuals way too cheap. They are outstanding pieces of work!
Proud to say Iíve been with WT&N since issue #1...and plan to be around as long as youíre still publishing it. Might even get enough energy to write a nostalgia column for you.
Thanks again for your dedication.
I must be in the minority among so-called "smart fans" as I prefer WCW to the WWF. There is no wrestling in the WWF anymore, just angles. Not that there was ever much wrestling there in recent years. WCW does have a lot of this, but they donít seem to go as far off the deep end as the WWF. Again, I think for myself and donít go along with the crowd, as I like Bill Goldberg. Heís no Thesz, but he reminds me of Dick the Bruiser.
I continue to enjoy WT&N and the Annuals. I have every one. Will gladly pay more for more pages in WT&N. Take care.
JOHN C. MURTON
I write to introduce our Sport promoting outfit Royal Sports World, an independent organization established solely for the promotion of Pro Wrestling in the African Continent and Worldwide. We offer consultancy services to wrestlers, link worldwide promoters and wrestlers with one another and we have some wrestling publications.
ROYAL SPORTS WORLD
PO BOX 2965
SOMOLU, LAGOS NIGERIA
The piece of "Doc" Roller in the annual was very interesting stuff. Iíve done a lot of research on the Jenkins-Burns-Roller-Gotch era, too. For the most part, pro wrestling has always been "worked", despite what people want to say. There is strong evidence that Gotch used Roller as a "policeman."
MARK S. HEWITT
Received and immensely enjoyed the Dec. 1998 issue. Some comments on the Ginzburgís Gab section.
1) Whatís the problem with the new name change? At Banco Popular, they speak Spanish. El Ultimo Ginzburg forever!
2) If you have paternal feelings to satisfy, you can rent one of my 7 nieces and nephews.
3) My Pavlovian response to Lex Luger is to get up and pee.
4) Glen Jacobs (Kane, Yankem, etc.) is one of the biggest stiffs ever. He should be a jobber for NWA 2000 if heís lucky.
5) Ron Simmons was WCW World Champ. Plus The Rock is only 1/4 Black (along with 1/2 Samoan and 1/4 French Canadian).
6) Carpal Tunnel Syndome, huh? You want nude photos? Of me? You like gladiator movies? Or do you mean someone else?
Novemberís was another great issue as usual. Bryan Walsh and Walter Kowalski give a viewpoint that only people in the business can offer. The La Raza interview as intriguing as well as WT&N seems to be the ONLY sheet dedicated to giving any and all indies some deserved space.
The only thing that rubbed me the wrong way was Mr. Zarembaís article. RE: Bill Alphonso. He states that Alphonso "sliced his forehead so deeply and bled so profusely that the entire ring was awash." In short, that means Alphonso bladed wrong. That and taking a chair to the head is NOT wrestling; itís bullshit and his opponent, Beulah, saw the light and went to college.
According to Zaremba, most of Vince McMahonís top stars "suck." Thatís why Austin gets bigger pops than any bingo hall bums (bigger pops than when he worked for ECW, actually). Scorpio is tons better than Lance Storm or Jerry Lynn. Christian is twice the talent Douglas or Candido will ever be and Rob Van Dam hasnít been on a Monday night show in over a year, so that gimmick doesnít mean anything. Iíve seen better work on bad and horrible indy cards than anything Heyman has done in the last 3 years. Shane Douglas is a crybaby who wasnít good enough when his break came. Where did all Heymanís talent go? To the big leagues as Olí Paul E. couldnít afford them anymore.
I applaud Evan for giving everyoneís viewpoint on ECW, even Zarembaís. I know other sheets like Dave Schererís Lariat would rather kiss ass than tell the truth, or be house organs or suckups. Maybe Zarembaís column would be more appropriate there as heíd probably be welcome with open arms and cans of beer.
BILL M. WALKOWITZ
EDITORíS NOTE: As a trained English teacher (licensed, even), I have read all the context clues and conclude that Billís not a big ECW fan. E.G.
Thanks for the many years of providing enjoyable reading on wrestling history and other subjects (there is more to life than wrestling). Due to the work of both Scott Teal and yourself, the memories of those who gave of themselves, and those who still do, to entertain us in the ring remain alive. I look forward to many more years of receiving WT&N in my mailbox.
STATEN ISLAND, NY
Sorry you couldnít make the Cauliflower Alley Club function. Convention and dinner seemed to be well attended. Our good friend Karl Von Hess received the Mike Mazurki Award- good choice. There were some old wrestling mags for sale which were virtually passed over by the buyers- a shame. One of the reasons I donít set up at these so-called "conventions" any more. Judging from what was being purchased I could make a fortune on the figures I have from several years ago.
Whatever happened to real memorabilia?
I received a payment check to Wild Bill Longson signed by Sam Muchnick (endorsed by Longson). Doesnít sound like much to the modern day "fan" but to us old-timers it has a place in our memories and an item to place in a scrapbook.
I finally released the Danny McShain Red Book at $25 each plus $3 postage and handling. As expected, the response has been luke warm at best. A helluva worker/showman.
82 Highland Ave.
Port Washington, NY 11050
The New WAWLI Papers (Wrestling As We Liked It) No. 557
(ED. NOTE -- Steve Yohe, tireless Los Angeles-area historian, checks in with a few more items of interest from his unrelenting searches of pro wrestling's history.)
LEWIS AND SANTEL MEET IN RETURN
(San Francisco Chronicle, January 2, 1917)
By Harry B. Smith
San Francisco's second big wrestling match under the modern revival int he West will be held tonight at the Civic Auditorium. Ad Santel and Strangler Lewis, whose first match showed there was comparatively little difference between them from a standpoint of ablity: the two who put up such a battle that fans have been talking about it ever since, are to meet this evening in a session which is virtually under the same conditions as before.
When the Kentuckian and the local favorite were first signed up by Promoter Frank Schuler it was for a two-hour contest, with a decision to be given in the event of neither contestant securing the necessary two-out-of-three falls.
Lewis won that bout by an eyelash, a fall that came almost at the end of a match crammed full of exciting moments, turning the advantage of points from Santel to the Stranler.
When Schuler started to talk of rematching the heavyweights, Manager Billy Sandow, speaking for the Strangler, attempted to make other conditions. He wanted to make it a proposition of Lewis gaining two falls within two and a half hours or forfeiting the match. In brief, Sandow wanted to get away from the possiblity of a decision awarded on points.
This in itself was an admission that Lewis fears Santel far more than he did prior to a few weeks ago. He realizes evidently that Santel is a foreman worthy of his steel and quite likely to give a good account of himself.
But Sandow's proposition fell on deaf ars. San Francisco did not want a handicap match; did not care for any idea to creep out that Santel is the lesser man of the two. In the end, Sandow gave way and the bout has been arranged practically as Schuler and local fans would have arranged it for themselves.
One point was conceded to Lewis. The bout, instead of being cut short at the two-hour limit, as was the case before, has been stretched into two and a half hours. That extra half hour, naturally, should be considered of far more advantage to the heavier man.
There was before, and there doubtless will be tonight, a difference of from forty to forty-five pounds between the principals, and forty pounds, as everyone can appreicate, helps to wear out the lighter man as time progresses.
Other than for this difference in time, there are no handicaps that Santel need fear. He proved on one other occasion that he is a far cleverer man than Lewis and faster on his feet. He has the additional advantage of having studied the Lewis style, and in a matter of this sort I'm inclined to wager that Santel, the student of wrestling, would be the chap to improve his moments.
There have been many arguments as to the fall that Lewis gained to win him honors in the first match. Was it purely accidental, a fluke fall, or should it be counted in the ordinary course of events?
Santel's explanation of what happened carries some weight. He says that his tights were filled with resin from the canvas, used previously for fights, and that as they slipped he was forced time and again to pull them up. It was in one of those moments, as you who saw the affair appreciate, that Lewis charged his man, gained his celebrated hold and, slowly but surely, pinned Ad's shoulders to the floor of the ring.
Lewis declares, on the other hand, that it was not a fluke; that he had been trying for the same hold time and again, and finally there came this opportunity.
The writer was never inclined to the theory of accidental falls in wrestling or accidental knockouts. It was unquestionably a fair hold that Lewis gained and the credit is not to be taken away from him.
At the same time, from a Santel standpoint it should be said the lesson, though an expensive one, is apt to be worth while. It isn't likely Santel will be caught napping. Perhaps the fashion in which he had been piling up points for an hour and three-quarters had rendered him altogether too confident. At all events, he is too shrewd a mat man to grow careless tonight.
There is confidence in both camps as regards the outcome of this battle that will produce an opponent for Joe Stecher in February.
Lewis feels that he made mistakes in the first match; that he delayed altogether too long trying for holds which he could not secure. Manager Billy Sandow says frankly that the Strangler disobeyed instructions and will not do so again.
Santel feels the weight difference doesn't mean as much as he had feared would be the case. At close grips with Lewis he has discovered the ability to maintain the aggressive.
It would not seem in the cards for Santel to win by falls, but there is a strong probability, if he holds his head, that he might take the honors from a standpoint of points.
Tonight's match will start promptly at 8:30 p.m. Doors at the Civic Auditorium will open early in order to accomodate that part of the crowd that wants to be on hand early, and special arrangements have been made by the promoter to insure ticket holders their seats whrever the coupons indicate. Women fans are permitted and a large gathering is anticipated.
5,000 CROWD WELL PLEASED AT VERDICT
(San Francisco Chronicle, January 3, 1917)
By Harry B. Smith
Strangler Ed Lewis and Ad Santel wrestled 2 hours and 31 minutes to a draw decision last night at Civic Auditorium and when Referee Al Williams raised the arms of both men in unison to indicate an even break not even the most partisan of Santel's admirers could complain as to the ruling. There were no falls; no advantage that would have given either wrestler even so mcuh as a shade verdict and it was a fitting end to a night's entertainment that even surpassed the previous engagement between the same pair.
That extra minute of wrestling was thrown in by the timekeeper, who made the mistake of working the match with a stop-watch and checking each sixty seconds on pencil and paper. Somehow or other, in the excitement that punctuated the bout from start to finish, he skipped a count and the result was a little more mat work than had been the bargain.
Undoubtedly this forecasts a bout on Washington's birthday between Joe Stecher and Santel, as Stecher will now pick his opponent.
There was no let-up in the all the two hours and a half; no tendency on the party of either heavyweight to lay off for a rest and so many times was each man in jeopardy that the crowd was treated to unexpected thrills.
Santel, as had been predicted, proved the more clever of the two. Likewise, he was the flashy one of the pair in gaining his holds. He tried everything in his repertoire -- the arm and head scissors, the half and full Nelsons and even adopted to himself the famous head lock that had been perfected by his opponent.
Lewis, far more methodical, was contented with a smaller variety when it came to holds. His favorite, of course, was the head lock that he missed more times than he landed. However, he proved himself not altogether a one-hold wrestler by resorting to the inside crotch that on several occasions put Santel in jeopardy.
Taking the match for the entire distance, the Strangler was on top a greater share of the time, but Ad evened it up with the holds he obtained and his spectacular workmanship. Of the two, Santel was easily the more tired when the belated gong finally tapped an end to the hostilities. That was to have been expected, with a difference of some forty-two pounds or more of weight, and gave rise to a general belief that in a long-distance session, with no time limit, the heavier Lewis would eventually have overcome his lighter, if craftier, opponent.
Ad did his shining in the early half of the bout, with Lewis gaining force as the battle proceeded and making himself far more dangerous. Indeed, in the last half or three-quarters of an hour it was Lewis who was gaining the lion's share of the holds and putting his enemy in jeopardy.
There was not, through all the long evening, the slightest indication of foul tactics by either opponent, and save for the roughness that naturally goes with a professional wrestling match of any sort, where there are jiu jitsu holds such as the arm and head scissors, the affair might have been conducted in a drawing room.
More than 5,000 spectators roared their approval of the clean-cut work of the pair and the holds they gained -- a bigger crowd by far than greeted the same principals a few weeks ago. Promoter Schuler announced the receipts as being $6,275. Lewis took 30 per cent, or$1,882.25, for his share. Santel was the richer by $2,196.25 when the evening's entertainment was over, and the management, of which Santel is a part and parcel, gathered in 35 per cent, or exactly the same amount of money.
A minor preliminary kept the crowd quiet before the appointed hour for the big fellows to make their appearance. Charlie Strelbart and Billy Roumanoff going seven minutes to a draw. The heavyweights were a trifle late in entering the ring. Santel, who was the first to climb between the ropes, being greeted with loud applause, while Lewis, just a moment behind him, was accorded a cordial reception.
Referee Williams called the wrestlers and the newspaper men together for a brief conference, warning them against the strangle hold or any stalling, and at 8:50 they were sent away on their long journey.
The pair came together with a crash as they were waved to their work and in less than a minute Santel had the Strangler on the mat from a cross buttock. Ad couldn't hold the advantage, however, and for a matter of ten minutes they were up and down with no advantage.
Lewis finally gained his well known headlock from a standing position, but he couldn't hold it. When a quarter hour had passed, Santel broke a half Nelson, secured the arm scissors and for the first time there was real excitement. The Strangler was plainly in agony but he broke it finally by main force.
For a few minutes, the pair fairly tore after one another, rushing around the ring, in their furious rallies. Santel nailed the Strangler with a double reverse Nelson but found the Kentuckian too strong and couldn't maintain his position.
Just as the half hour stage was passed, Lewis, who was after an inside crotch hold, was downed with an arm scissors and hand hold that was one of the best of the evening and, just as before, main strength helped his opponent out of a tight spot.
The Strangler had matters looking serious for Ad when Santel was sent to the canvas with a headlock. To that hold Lewis added his weight and there was applause galore when the German finally tore himself loose.
Ad nailed his man with a wicked toe hold after 55 minutes of strenuous work, and the Strangler, who writhed in pain, took plenty of advice from Sandow before he shook his tormentor loose.
With an hour and a half of the battle gone, Lewis showed more confidence in himself. Where previously he had been all at sea when the two were on the mat, he started with holds that looked as dangerous as they proved, and more than once the referee's hand was poised in the air, evidently prepared to tap Lewis for a fall.
By far the worst hold that Lewis gained came in a neutral corner as two hours had passed. It was a head scissors and body lock that threatened the trouble, and Ad was so close to having his shoulders pinned there was no fun about it. Another toe hold for Santel set the local chap's followers to cheering, but during the last twenty minutes it was chiefly a Lewis victory, with many dangerous crotch holds.
Lewis showed to the fans he is the fastest man of his weight the country has produced. Santel, naturally, is speedy, but when you stop to consider the extra poundage the Strangler is carrying, his speed is little short of phenomenal. Unquestionably as well, he might appear to advantage against a heavier man than Santel.
WHAT THE REFEREE THOUGHT
(San Francisco Chronicle, January 3, 1917)
By Al Williams
It was a great match and I could do nothing else but call it a draw. Lewis was on top more than Santel, but in figuring all the holds and the counters, they were even, so far as I could determine.
Santel showed the sensational work, but Lewis seemed to be far the stronger during the last half-hour of the bout. The Strangler used the inside crotch a great deal, and that put Ad in jeopardy several times.
I would like to say one thing to the crowd. If the spectators would shout less when they see a hold obtained, there would be more wrestling and better results. A shout of warning naturally puts the man who might be in jeopardy on guard, and he counters against what might be a fall. Applaud good work, but don't warn the wrestlers.
'CAVEAT EMPTOR' APPLIES TO MAT GAME
(San Francisco Chronicle, October 1, 1921)
By Harry B. Smith
"Are they going to get away with that wrestling game again?" was the somewhat pointed question a chap thrust at me after the Joe Stecher-Ad Santel match. His particular plaint, it eems, was based on the fact that four years ago Stecher had not the slightest difficulty in pinching Santel with his body scissors, whereas the other night Joe couldn't seem to get going.
In short, the critic implied more than broadly that all is not as it should be.
And I answered that after due deliberation I can't hold myself responsible for the vagaries of the wrestling game. The people seem to like the sport and since they have been sufficiently warned, the writer can see no reason for further strictures.
"Caveat emptor" might apply as equally to wrestling fans as to horse traders.
A free translation of this judicial Latin phrase is "Let the buyer beware."
It fits the bill.
If San Franciscans enjoy wrestling sufficiently to pay their money, if they have an evening's entertainment, then it's quite up to them.
As I remarked once before, I am now inclined to view wrestling as I would a vaudeville performance and get a lot more pleasure out of it than when I was bothering my head as to its intensity.
STECHER SAYS TONIGHT'S ANOTHER NIGHT
(San Francisco Chronicle, October 4, 1921)
By Harry B. Smith
Joe Stecher, whose two-hour session with Strangler Ed Lewis is on the cards for tonight at the Coliseum, strolled in yesterday afternoon. Joe, in his own diffident way, explained it is not all going to be as easy sailing for Strangler Ed this evening as we might be led to believe. Most of us, after watching the way that Stecher did not throw Santel, had reached the abrupt conclusion that the San Josean will make nice meat this evening of his middle western opponent.
Stecher asserts it will be largely a different story.
"The Santel match was my first appearance on the mat for many months," he said as a starter. "In addition to that, I was for several days on the train and had no opportunity to do any training for the bout. That counted against me. For this match I've had a week of preparation and it is going to make a wonderful difference -- just you watch, that's all."
Stecher, by the way, has faced Lewis four times in the wrestling game. Two of these sessions were in Omaha. Once Stecher threw Lewis by means of the body scissors and the other time they wrestled five hours to a draw, their afternoon bout being called on account of darkness -- just like some of the prolonged baseball games.
In New York, likewise, there were two engagements. Once, as in Omaha, Stecher threw his man.
The last time Lewis clamped on the headlock so hard that Stecher was several weeks getting over the effects of it.
This will be their fifth battle (sic), and it will be a tough one, because the winner is the one who will be right in line for Stanislaus Zbyszko, and another crack at the championship.
Tonight's engagement at the Coliseum, as is the practice in San Francisco, will be a two-hour affair, with a decision to be rendered at the close in case there are no falls by which to give the deciding count.
NO FALLS, BUT STECHER GETS THE NOD
(San Francisco Chronicle, October 5, 1921)
By Harry B. Smith
Joe Stecher won the decision last night from Strangler Ed Lewis after two hours of the best wrestling ever staged in this city. It was a great bout that was held at the Coliseum arena, with never an idle moment, and even Mrs. Strangler Ed (Dr. Morton), who was an interested spectator, shook her head as if in confirmation of the verdict handed down by Referee Charlie Andrews.
Stecher may not have had much of an edge on his opponent, but, since the conditions of these matches call for a decision and no draw verdict, he had to be the winner. On points there could be no question as to who was ahead. Stecher, a vastly improved wrestler over a week ago when he met Ad Santel, had Lewis in jeopardy for more than the reverse, was in superb condition and, all in all, had an advantage over the San Josean.
Lewis hardly seemed in the best condition. He was coughing all through the evening's entertainment and didn't seem to have the reserve strength that has marked his previous matches. To be sure he clamped on his famous headlock time and again, but he seemed to use up most of his strength with that hold and was unable to come back with the same strength for a second flash hold of the same sort -- something that has been his specialty in the past.
Stecher of course did his best execution with this famed body scissors and the most spectacular hold of the entire evening came some fifteen minutes before the finish. Stecher had broken the headlock and, after a rest while he was behind, Joe clamped on a body scissors and, with an arm lock, held Lewis in jeopardy for fully five minutes.
The big chap from the Garden city came close to being pinned but lunge followed lunge and, finally, at the close of a long period, he succeeded in breaking the hold of the Stecher legs.
Lewis, however, was palpably weak when he stood on his feet and though he did secure another headlock it was by no means a dangerous one.
Both men were tired from the speed they showed but Stecher was easily in the better condition of the two when the two hours' engagement was over. Strangler Ed tired rapidly in the last three-quarters of an hour and it was during that portion of the session that Stecher piled up enough points to win for himself.
I've seen many a wrestling match hereabouts, but never one that gave more thrills per square minute. Both men were fast, stayed on their feet as much as possible and, what is more to the point, they were trying every inch of the way.
For big fellows, they were exceptionally speedy last night.
For the first twenty-five minutes there was plenty of action but nothing in the way of a dangerous hold. Then Lewis missed his headlock and Stecher took the body scissors and half Nelson, the same holds he used so frequently on Santel.
When the bout had gone an hour Lewis used his headlock, but Stecher was apparently able to break these holds and showed little effect from the pressure exerted against his head.
The boys varied the monotony by some strange holds. Stecher once used the toe hold and Lewis the head scissors, but in the main they held fast to their favorites. As I have said, Stecher was winning toward the close.
"One-Eyed" Connolly, after much difficulty, "crashed the gate" and was a ring-side spectator for the balance of the evening.
There was a big crowd and one evidently that was
The New WAWLI Papers (Wrestling As We Liked It) No. 558
STRANGLER SAID MIDGET WAS BEST
(Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Apr. 12, 1998)
By Dennis McCann
Charles Fischer topped out at a barrel-chested 5 feet 3 inches, so when he needed a name for professional wrestling he settled on "Midget."
That was in the 1920s, when wrestling had not yet been reduced to the steroid-stoked cartoon hokum of our time.
Newspapermen, in the florid style of the day, sometimes hung on him "The Wisconsin Wildcat" or even "Wisconsin Gorilla," for his long arms and hairy chest, but "the burly Butternutter" of sports page fame was first and foremost "Midget" Fischer -- the biggest thing to come out of Butternut since the last white pine.
Few in Wisconsin know him now, but back when Midget owned world titles in two weight classes a paper could announce "Fischer is Here!" and readers would ask only when to get in line, not "Who?" It was the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald & Times-Journal's headline on Sept. 15, 1930, and it could be yet again on Saturday when friends and relatives gather to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the little man who made it big.
How big? Check out "Bone Crusher" at Saturday's event, the 1931 MGM short film starring a certain big name wrestler. Take it from Eagle River's Kenneth Boness, who has called his biography of Fischer "Champion of Champions." Or, ask Butternut High School's athletic teams, named 50 years ago in Fischer's honor.
Fischer wasn't the only famous wrestler to come from Wisconsin. Ed "Strangler" Lewis, the five-time heavyweight champion who used his knowledge of human anatomy to perfect choke holds, was from Nekoosa. But even Lewis once claimed Fischer was the best man he ever trained with, no matter how vertically challenged.
"The 'Strangler' believes Fischer can beat 95 percent of the heavyweight wrestlers," the Kansas City Journal said in 1931, "which is a high percentage as there are a lot of pachyderms in captivity at the present moment."
Not bad for a man who, as the story begins, was born in a log cabin.
Fischer -- the name was often spelled Fisher -- was born Jan. 2, 1898, in Butternut. He was working in Chicago in 1923 delivering beer in barrels (technically, yes, it was Prohibition, but Chicago didn't recognize Prohibition) when his wrestling potential was discovered.
According to Boness' as-yet-unpublished biography, Fischer was making a third-floor delivery to a building with a broken elevator. His boss bet another man, a retired wrestler, $10 that Fischer could carry the beer -- it weighed more than twice what he did -- up the stairs without stopping.
Fischer won the bet for his boss, and the next star wrestler was discovered.
In his first match he tossed Morris Rubenstein, a promising middleweight, in just 5 minutes 35 seconds, and within six weeks he had become both middle- and light-heavyweight champion of Cook County.
In those days wrestling was bigger than basketball, football or hockey. By 1925 "the little lumberjack" was wrestling professionally and earning attention in fights-to-the-finish that sometimes ran for hours.
After he dumped Heinie Engel, the pride of Dubuque, in two straight matches and was seeking a title bout, the Park Falls Herald declared the Butternut band would meet Fischer at the train when next he came to visit and "it is even possible that some of the fans from adjoining towns would be on hand . . ."
Fischer did not win every big match. In 1928, he and Gus Kallio of Louisville went at it hammer and tong for 2 1/2 hours in sweltering heat without either man suffering a fall, but Kallio was awarded the win in a referee's decision. Fischer was even more the midget when that fight was done; he lost 13 pounds in the heat.
Another sort of heated battle came in a match at Chetek in northern Wisconsin, when Fischer had Jack Hackensack pleading for a draw after more than an hour of narrowly escaping Fischer's holds.
"At this point in the fracas, Hackensack's wife leaped into the ring . . . grasped hubby by one leg and endeavored to drag him to safety," the Park Falls Herald said later.
"Fischer, who had a punishing hold on the other end of Jack's anatomy, was indeed reluctant to relinquish his prize catch. After a variety of side-splitting theatricals . . . the referee declared Fischer the winner."
Fischer retired in 1938, still holding his two separate titles. He was active in local politics until his death, at age 84, in 1982.
But the legend remains, as does some evidence that his fame was deserved. As world champion, Fischer often toured with a $3,700 jeweled champion's belt presented to him by the proud citizens of Butternut, which remained his hometown despite his improved fame and fortune.
The belt and other mementos will be on hand at Saturday's celebration, which will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Park Theater in Park Falls. Boness expects a big crowd. If so, it will prove that the little wrestler had, you'll pardon the expression, a hold on his hometown.
WRESTLING CAMP THEIR BIG CHANCE
(San Francisco Examiner, July 18, 1999)
By Marianne Costantinou
HAYWARD -- Take your typical lifelong dream. A cushy job -- or no job at all. A big house. Wads of cash. And everybody treating you with kid gloves.
But for a bunch of guys sweating it out in a smelly gym here these days, their big dream would probably make their moms shudder - if they could bear to watch.
For these guys, the fantasy is to have some man with bowling-ball biceps squeeze their necks in a grip so tight that their faces look like giant angry zits ready to pop. They want their bodies hurtled about like kamikaze rag dolls and twisted like tortured pretzels. They can't wait for the chance to be lifted into the air and sent crashing with a wincing thud onto a merciless floor of wood and steel.
They want to be pro wrestlers.
And to help realize this dream, they've enrolled in the Pro Wrestling Boot Camp, a two-year program that is one of only two dozen or so across the country and the only one in Northern California or the Pacific Northwest, said owner Roland Alexander.
Alexander, 45, a former accountant, said he was "too small and not talented enough" to make it in the pros himself. But he couldn't get the dream out of his system. Maybe he could produce wrestlers. So in 1991 he took his severance pay, sold his house and started the training camp in an industrial park off West Winton Avenue.
At first, he had only a few students. But in the past two years, thanks to the feverish popularity of pro wrestling, he's had waiting lists to get into his camp.
On his door is a "VIP of Talent" plaque. But breaking into the big time - the World Wrestling Federation, World Championship Wrestling or the new Extreme Championship Wrestling - is tough. Even though Alexander touts the camp as "a minor league feeding system," only three of his 150 or so graduates have landed pro contracts, he said. However, seven of his students last year had tryouts - proof, he said, that his camp is on the pros' radar screen.
But not all the students want to be the next Hulk Hogan or even Jesse Ventura. For many, just the dream of pro wrestling is enough to keep them going at their day jobs, in offices, warehouses, retail stores and auto repair shops.
Many said they'd feel like they'd made it even if they only got to try out, or had a chance to perform in the WWF's "Dark Matches," which are the untelevised warm-up shows before the big matches.
"I couldn't care less about the money or being famous," said Jayson Scott, 24, who moved from Eugene, Ore., to attend the camp and is a maintenance worker here.
"I'd be content staying here in Hayward the rest of my life, just so I can do it just once. . . . Your dreams are always hard to chase down," he said.
"I don't want to say when I'm 80 years old, "I should have gone for it,' " said Tim Skaggs, of Hayward, a customer service rep for Pacific Bell, who is the oldest student at 39. "I want to do it to have some pictures to show my grand-kids. "My granddad was a pro wrestler.' They could bring me in for show and tell."
Right now, about two dozen guys are enrolled with Skaggs in the beginners' course, an eight-month session of weekly, grueling, four-hour classes where they learn basic amateur wrestling moves and such fundamentals as how to take a fall without breaking every bone in their bodies.
Those who survive will then go on to the semi-pro and pro camps, where they will compete in front of crowds at high school and fund-raising events for Alexander's All Pro Wrestling, an independent organization he's hoping will one day be as big as the WWF. At this stage, the students are also helped with resumes, publicity photos and a video portfolio.
The financial cost for the two-year program is $6,000, but the personal costs are a lot higher. Many have uprooted themselves from across the country, selling their cars and belongings to raise the money, even saying goodbye to loved ones in pursuit of their dream.
For four years, Dwayne Skinner, 27, an Oakland bank teller, and his wife argued about the camp. They were living in New York when he saw it advertised in the back of a wrestling magazine.
He wanted them to move to the Bay Area so he could attend.
"She thought I was nuts," he said.
There he was, the father of two toddlers, wanting to give up his job as a butcher and move them across the country where they knew nobody just so he could chase this long shot.
In the end, Skinner said he had to go. He and his wife are getting a divorce - mostly, he said, because he couldn't let go of the dream.
"I have to make it to the pros. I have to. I have to," said Skinner. "Even if I just make one match in the pros, I'll know I lived my dream."
For now, though, there's only grueling training. Michael Cariglio, 27, whose name in the ring is Michael Modest, "The Natural One," is the head instructor. His assistant, Donovan Morgan, 23, "The Suicide Machine," is the assistant. Their day jobs are at a furniture store. But they've had a taste of the pros, with tryouts, Dark Match shots, and stints as extras in TV movies.
Last week, they showed the students little mercy. But then, the trainees would be getting no mercy in the pros.
"To the untrained eye, it looks like you're killing yourself," said Morgan, as the students dove backwards off the ropes. "A good wrestler can make you believe whatever they want you to believe."
But sometimes, the pain is for real.
"C'mon, you got to keep up with the skinny guys," Modest told Larry Harvey, 22, who at 5-foot-8 and 360 pounds is by far the heaviest student and looked like he was ready to explode after 20 minutes of aerobics.
"These are the push-ups we let the girls do," Modest said.
But minutes later, Harvey was pulverizing the mat doing "bumps," which are somersaults, dives and drops in which students are taught how to fall without hurting themselves, but with the theatrical thud that's such a crowd pleaser in pro wrestling.
"I'm having more fun than I've ever had in my life," said Harvey, a Pittsburg plumber, between gasps of air. "Where there's fun, there's work."
WRESTLING PUMMELS FAIR PLAY
(syndicated column, July 18, 1999)
By Dave Barry
If there's one question that troubles every thinking person, it's this: Does cheating go on in professional wrestling?
In an effort to find an answer, I recently attended a tournament sanctioned by Florida Championship Wrestling. I chose FCW for two solid journalistic reasons:
It is a venerable circuit in the minor leagues of professional wrestling, where the potential stars of tomorrow learn the ground rules, the do's and don't's that make up the ethical standards of the sport.
It is near my house.
The FCW tournament I attended was held at the Miccosukee Indian Gaming Center, located west of Miami on the edge of the Everglades. This is one of the few gaming facilities where you can gamble on bingo, slot machines, poker, etc., and then ...merely by walking a short distance ...get eaten by alligators.
I watched the wrestling matches from a seat right next to Bernie Siegel, the FCW commissioner. It is Commissioner Siegel's job to monitor the sport closely for cheating and impose stiff punishments on wrongdoers.
"I haven't had an eye exam in years," he told me.
In the first match, a wrestler who had been losing suddenly gained the upper hand (so to speak) by kicking his opponent in a very sensitive masculine region.
"Did you see that?" I asked Commissioner Siegel.
"See what?" he answered.
The referee didn't see it either, even though he was standing about two feet from the wrestlers. It takes a special type of person to be a professional-wrestling referee, the type of person who, if he had been present when the Hindenburg was being consumed by a giant ball of flame, would have been looking, with intense interest, at the ground.
Next, in one of the featured matches, a wrestler named Larry Lane fought "Playboy" Bobby Davis, who is 350 pounds of highly disciplined, superbly trained, expertly conditioned fat. Lane was winning, but then Davis' manager, a woman named Ebony who was wearing a pair of shorts that would be two sizes too small for Barbie, distracted the referee while a third wrestler, Tony Apollo, who was supposed to be injured and who was not even in this match, climbed into the ring and whacked Lane over the head from behind with his crutch.
"I didn't see anything there," said Commissioner Siegel, before I even asked him.
In another featured match, a wrestler named Anthony "The South Beach Stud" Adonis distracted the referee by asking him about the rules ("Our referees are trained to be instructive at all times," said Commissioner Siegel).
For several minutes, while the referee patiently explained the rules, Adonis' opponent, Billy Viper, was writhing on the mat in agony while being repeatedly kicked in the masculine region and clawed in the eyeball region by Adonis' manager, a woman named Babe.
"We've had people get their eyes gouged out," observed Commissioner Siegel, adding, "They become referees."
As he spoke, Tony Apollo, who was not technically in this match either, slipped a folding chair into the ring for Anthony Adonis to whack Billy Viper with.
"It looks like he's slipping a chair into the ring," I said.
"I'll have to check the tape on that," said Commissioner Siegel.
In subsequent matches, a wrestler beat his opponent in the face with a cowbell (yes, a cowbell); a manager named Abudadein (The Master of Darkness) used his staff (The Staff of Darkness) to knock out a security guard; and Duke "The Dumpster" Droese appeared to be about to win his match when his opponent, the Cuban Assassin, clubbed him senseless with a flagpole holding a Cuban flag, which the Cuban Assassin's manager, a woman named Fantasy, had slipped into the ring, unobserved.
"Is he allowed to hit him with the flagpole?" I asked.
"He hit him with the flagpole?" responded Commissioner Siegel.
All in all, it was an exciting evening of athletic competition. And although at times it appeared to my untrained eye that some of the contestants might have been taking liberties with the rules of fair play, I realize that this could hardly be possible if the commissioner of Florida Championship Wrestling, who happens to be a licensed attorney and whose whole JOB is to keep an eye on things, did not see any violations.
So rest easy, America: The popular sport of
professional wrestling is definitely n the up and up. Its integrity is protected
by safeguards every bit as stringent as the ones used to protect America's most
vital nuclear secrets.
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