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Thread: Wrestling history question

  1. #10
    Round of 12
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Norwood, Pa.

    Default Re: Wrestling history question

    Wrestling and boxing use to differentiate between works and fixes. Remember, when you look at history, don't look back with 21st century eyes. There was no orginized wrestling, no Div 1-2-3 to divide up talent. No teams, none of that. What there was in America was, town champs and carnivals coming through town. In Europe, in particular Ireland, though I'm sure it was probably the same everywhere, town champs (the bullie) met all comers, the champ was usually "supported" by the town. Business fairs would come to town (merchants would sell their wool and crops at market) and people would fight.

    Regardless, fighters being fighters and managers being managers, those in the know realized the futility of a dominating win. Imagine I'm a town champ and the carnival comes to town, their champ is someone like Mark Schultz, Cael Sanderson, etc... who's going to win? The carnival champ of course, now, if he wins quick and decisevly, how do both sides make money? So, it's arranged Mark/Cael will carry me and win in 2 straight falls. Was it fixed, no, the best man won. Was it worked, yes, so money could be made for both sides.

    It was like this in all prizefighting, the Fancy (true fans, the smart money) knew what was going on, the "Hey, let's go down and catch a fight" fan may have been at a loss but that was it.

  2. #11

    Default Re: Wrestling history question

    One issue of The Ring that I have lists the names of people who appeared on the cover and Lou Thesz is listed.

  3. #12

    Default Re: Wrestling history question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ground&Pound View Post
    One issue of The Ring that I have lists the names of people who appeared on the cover and Lou Thesz is listed.
    Lou Thesz was definitely a pro rasslin' superstar whose career and life spanned many decades, and eras. His mentor was a guy who claimed to have trained with early 1900s world champ George "the Russian Lion" Hackenschmidt (and alleges that Frank Gotch hired him to purposefully injure Hack before the 1911 rematch)... and I believe Thesz was still in the ring in the 1970s. He died only a handful of years ago.


  4. #13

    Default Re: Wrestling history question

    One thing that I've uncovered in my amateur wrestling research is the long-running, strong bonds between real wrestling and pro rasslin that go way back, long before Brock Lesnar, Shelton Benjamin or Kurt Angle were a twinkling in their parents' eyes.

    So many great college champs spent some time in the pro ring... whether it was for a few weeks or months (like 1931-32 NCAA hwt champ Jack Riley of Northwestern, Columbia's Nate Pendleton)... or enduring careers spanning decades, like Earl McCready (Oklahoma State hwt champ, 1928-30)... and Ed Don George of Michigan, same era as McCready.

    One of the most interesting eras was the late 1940s. Of the top-ranked college big men of that era, at least four had successful pro careers: Ray Gunkel of Purdue... Bob Geigel of U of Iowa... Minnesota's Verne Gagne (1949 NCAA hwt champ)... and Dick Hutton of Oklahoma State (3x NCAA hwt champ, 1947-48, 1950... just missed being the first-ever 4x, losing to Gagne in '49) A couple more hwt champs who went pro: Dale Lewis of Oklahoma (early 60s champ), and Iowa State's Chris Taylor.

    Back then, hardly anyone batted an eye when a college champ went pro; it may have even been considered cool. Not so sure now. Nowadays, it seems more college big men are choosing MMA over WWE.


    PS For some reason I can't attach photos here. To see pics of any of these guys, go to

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