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The Dick Shikat vs Wrestling Trust Court Case of 1936

 
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2388
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:26 pm    Post subject: The Dick Shikat vs Wrestling Trust Court Case of 1936 Reply with quote

I've been working on the time line project for the last few days, and I'm at the point in 1936 of the Dick Shikat vs The Wrestling Trust court case in Columbus Ohio. I went looking for computer info on it, and there wasn't much & what I did find was mine. And I never covered it in detail either. So after writing it up, I figured I'd post it here, just for the record. It's not finished, but this is what I got down as of now:


1936
March 2 Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY: Dick Shikat defeated Danno O'Mahoney in 18:57 to win a major claim to the World Title. History was made this night in Madison Squire Garden when Danno was matched with his old friend Dick Shikat. Why Jack Curley and Bowser would allow Shikat back into the ring with O’Mahoney, after the April 1, 1935 mess, is hard to explain. Ever major wrestler, that had met Danno, had wrestled him in many rematches all over the country. The major exception to this pattern was Dick Shikat. My guess is that Danno had run threw every major contender and Shikat was the only fresh name that could draw in New York, so Curley took a chance that Shikat would be happy with a good payday. They were wrong. In the Garden ring, Shikat was the aggressor from the moment the bell sounded. In the first minute, he took O’Mahoney to the mat with a wrist-lock and kept him down for the rest of the match, punishing the Irishman with hold after hold. At no time was Shikat in any danger from Danno and he seemed to enjoy breaking out of any hold attempted by the champion. Hold after hold was applied, with Danno only getting freed by crawling to the ropes or by Shikat releasing the lock to go to another. Danno looked to be in agony. The bout then saw Danno attempt a wrist- lock, which Shikat countered with a flying mare followed by a headlock. This was followed by a Japanese arm-lock that Danno broke, but fell into a hammerlock that the German gave up for a leg lock. Danno went to the ropes for a break only to have Shikat move him to the center of the ring and with a sudden twist take him back to the mat. A body scissors and a grueling toehold followed and were broke by Danno reaching the ropes. All these moves hurt O’Mahoney and he looked to be in complete agony. Shikat then secured a vicious hammerlock. The more Danno tried to break out of it, the more pressure the German put on. The referee George Bothner a New York commission appointee and one of the most respected men in the sport, twice asked Danno if he wanted to quit. Twice Danno said, “Yes”, but Bothner did nothing. Shikat then appealed to Bothner that if he didn’t stop it, he was breaking O’Mahoney’s arm. Bothner got on his knees and asked Danno again in a voice everyone could hear. Danno cried, “Yes, he’s killing me! Stop it, I tell you!” Bothner slapped Shikat on the back and raised the hand of the new champion.” Time was 18:57. Also Ed “Strangler” Lewis defeated Charley Strack in 7:04, Dean Detton defeated Rusty Westcoatt, Ernie Dusek defeated Dr. Ed Meske, Gus Sonnenberg drew with Abe Coleman after 30:00, Sergi Kalmikoff defeated Tex Morgan, and Sandor Vary defeated Scotty McDougal. Attendance was 7,000. Promoter was Jack Curley. In the ring and later in the dressing room, O’Mahoney and McGrath gave no indication that there was any doubt in their minds who the champion was. They even praised Shikat, but as the night went on thet changed their story. They first said that Danno was still tired and sick from the Yvon Robert match two days before. Then Danno claimed, probably after some coaching from Curley or Mondt, that he didn’t submit, that Bothner had just miss read his Irish brogue. This just made him look bad to the 7,000 fans and reporters who heard him cry out in pain. The next edition of every major newspaper in the nation carried the story of Shikat’s shoot on the phony champion and the breaking up of the Wrestling Trust. The Boston Globe told the story, but its version had Danno and McGrath claiming they had been robed of the title. Later editions had Bowser saying that O’Mahoney was sick and had simply collapsed in the ring. It seems the idea of hooking Danno was Dick Shikats alone and done out of hate for Toots Mondt, Ed Lewis and Jack Curley. Rudy Miller, Florida agent for the trust, Al Haft of Columbus, Adam Weismuller of Detroit, and former Mat Czar Billy Sandow were told of Shikat’s intentions beforehand. Jack Pfeffer wasn’t part of the deal but added Shikat in bookings following the match.... but the dirty deed was mainly Shikat’s idea. After the match, Shikat announced that the title was up for sale and just about everyone bid on it. Lou Daro and Toots Mondt offered Shikat $50,000 for two match versus Vincent Lopez in Los Angeles and Bowser agreed to pay $25,000 for Dick to return the title to Danno or lose to Yvon Robert. The surprise was an offer from Jim Londos, who was returning to action and wanted his title back. Shikat ended up making a deal with the Sandow/Haft group. What was left of the Trust started playing tricks with Shikat. Bowser owned a management contract with Shikat’s name on it, and he began booking Shikat into arenas without his permission. This got Shikat suspended in most states and the whole mess ended up in a Columbus courtroom with every major promoter being call in to testify.

March 4 Boston, MA: In the Boston Globe, and other area newspapers Paul Bowser announced that the AWA still recognized Danno O’Mahoney as world champion. His first justification was that the match was non-title, because the state of New York ruled all matches as exhibitions. That didn’t sound right so the story they settled on was that the AWA title could only change in a 2/3 fall match (under Boston rules). So Danno was still a World Champion, but the fact was he was no longer a national champion. He became just one of the regional champions that were multiplying by the day. The Boston newspapers took note of hypocrisy involved and when out of their way to explain who the real champion was, and it wasn’t Danno.


March 9 Arena Garden, Detroit, MI: Ali Baba defeated Hans Schnable in straight falls (4:17 and 5:45). Promoter Adam Weissmuller (who is believed by some to be the brother of Johnny Weissmuller) was locked in a wrestling war with the old Detroit promoter Nick Londos. A minor outlaw promoter had been in Detroit for 6 years. He had been one of the major welterweight wrestlers, before being force to quit because of Trachoma (an infection of the eyes). He was German, and nationality probably helped him in getting the friendship of Dick Shikat He was promoting Ali Baba, because Detroit had a large Middle East population that would support such a gimmick performers as Nanjo Singh, and The Sheik.. Weissmuller was part of the group with Al Haft, and Billy Sandow who was backing Dick Shikat. Their main goal was getting the title on Everett Marshall.

March 11 Arcadia Gardens, Chicago, IL: Ali Baba defeated Julius “Great Mephisto” Woronick in 4:03. Promoter was Fred Kohler.

March 23 Chicago Coliseum, IL: Danno O'Mahoney defeated Gus Sonnenberg in 26:54. Danno was still claiming the AWA World Title, but the Illinois Athletic Commission joined the New York Commission in recognizing Dick Shikat as world champion. Also George Zaharias drew with Joe Savoldi after 30:00, Ed Don George defeated Ole Olson, Farmer “Whiskers” Tobin defeated Pat Murphy, and Bobby Bruns drew with Andy Rascher after 20:00. Attendance was 1,668. Five days later, Jack “Farmer” Tobin found out his wife had won the Irish sweepstakes worth $28,876.

March 23 Ellis Auditorium, Memphis, TN: Pete Sauer (Ray Steele) defeated Orville Brown, the replacement for the missing Dick Shikat. Sauer won the 1st fall with a head scissors and arm bar in 20:00. Brown came back to take the 2nd fall with a Indian death lock in 3:00. Sauer then took the 3rd fall in 18:00 with what was called a body straddle. Because of Shikat not showing up for the match, Brown wrestled in a pair of borrowed trunks, and the report said the match was “excellent entertainment”. Also Frank Speer drew with Dorv Roche after 45:00, Count Zarynoff defeated Marshall Blackstock, and Otto Kuss defeated Eddie Newman. Attendance was 3,000. Promoter Charlie Rentrop, who controlled wrestling in the south, booked the Shikat appearance through Joe Alvarez of Boston, who claimed to be Dick Shikat's manager, on March 12. This was part of a plot by what was left of the Trust, mainly Paul Bowser, to get Shikat to miss cards throughout the country, and get him suspended by as many state commissions as possible. Joe Alvarez, who worked for Paul Bowser, claimed to have a signed contract with Shikat. He would book the wrestler, and then not tell Shikat to force a “no show” and a suspension. Many of these state commissions had agreements with other states to honor each others decisions and bans. Because of the O'Mahoney double-cross, the Trust was trying to put Shikat out of business or force him to job the title.

March 24 Memphis, TN: Richard Shikat was indefinitely suspended by the Tennessee Athletic Commission for failure to appear at Ellis Auditorium for the Pete Sauer match on March 23. That commission was affiliated with the National Wrestling Association and 23 other states, the suspension would also apply there. The night before the Missouri Athletic Association suspended Shikat for sending word that he would not appear for a April 3 card. This got suspensions from California, Illinois and New York. Shikat sent a wire to the commission saying that Joe Alvarez was not his manager, and had no authority to book him. However, southern promoter Charley Rentrop produced a photocopy of a five year contract Shikat made with Alvarez signed on February 13, 1934. Shikat was sent a telegram saying the commission would hear his case at any reasonable date, but he was suspended.

April 6 Arena Garden, Detroit, MI: Dick Shikat defeated John Leon Grandovich in 22:00 to defend his NY World Title. Also Ali Baba defeated Al George in 3:47, Ivan Rasputin defeated Hans Schnable in 29:50, Walter Podlak defeated Frank Malcewicz by DQ, and Jose Manuel defeated Mike Kilonis. Promoter was Adam Weissmuller. Seems Shikat wasn't suspended in Michigan. Soon after, Joe Alvarez, matchmaker for Paul Bowser of Boston, sued Shikat in the Federal district court of Columbus, Ohio to retrain Shikat from wrestling for the Haft/Sandow/Weissmuller group, and stop him from dropping the title to Everett Marshall.

April 7 Chicago, IL: The Illinois Athletic Commission refused to sanction a Dick Shikat match with Jim McMillen on April 16 at the Coliseum. A Fred Kohler promoted Shikat vs Arthur Van Saxon card at Arcadia Gardens was also not sanctioned. Missouri had suspended Shikat for missing a match there signed by Joe Alvarez. Samuel Schaeffer, an attorney, showed up at the commission office with a paper saying that Al Haft was Shikat's manager., not Alvarez.

April 8 Columbus, OH: Dick Shikat defeated Alan Eustace to defend his New York World Title. Also Ali Baba defeated Hans Schnable, and Bull Curry defeated Eddie Malone. Promoter was Al Haft.

April 16 Chicago Coliseum, IL: Jim McMillen defeated Orville Brown in 42:45. Brown replaced Dick Shikat who was sign to the match by Joe Alvarez. Also Gus Sonnenberg drew with Abe Coleman after 30:00, Ray Steele defeated Pat Murphy, and Bobby Bruns drew with Ernie Zelller.

April 19 Detroit, Mi: Promoter Adam Weissmuller announced a Dick Shikat vs Ali Baba title match for the Olympia arena on April 24. To get Shikat to agree to the match, Weissmuller had to give Shikat, if he lost the World Title to Baba, a extra $50,000. I believe this was Shikat's big payoff, and Al Haft and Billy Sandow were joining Weissmuller in making the payment.

April 20 Columbus, Ohio: The Federal Judge Mell G. Underwood ruled there was a temporary order retraining Dick Shikat from working or defending the world title for wrestling promoter Al Haft in the state of Ohio. The trial between Joe Alvarez and Shikat would begin on April 23. In Detroit. Promoter Adam Weissmuller had booked a Shikat vs Ali Baba title match for April 24. Weissmuller had called a bunch of lawyers in Columbus. And they felt that Detroit was out of the jurisdiction of the Ohio court, and that the match may take place. The injunction would be discussed on April 23, when the trial started. The Shikat side made statements that they were willing to talk about anything to win. The trial was getting national press and people were really interested is hearing about pro wrestling insiders exposing themselves and the sport's secrets in public.

April 22 Detroit, MI: Promoter Adam Weissmuller stated that Detroit was out of the jurisdiction of the Ohio court, and would take place on April 24. He said he would fly to Cincinnati, and a higher court, to over turn the injunction if needed.

April 23 Columbus, Ohio: Joe Alvarez's lawsuit, to stop Dick Shikat from working with promoters Billy Sandow, Al Haft, and Adam Weissmuller, began in the Federal District Court of Columbus, Ohio. Alvarez brought Jack Curley, Ray Fabiani, and Leon Balkin with him. His lawyer was a Attorney Fred C. Rector. Shikat's lawyer was a John Connor. The judge was Mell G. Underwood. Alvarez side claimed he had a signed contract to manager Shikat, and that's all there was to the case. Shikat claimed he had to sign the contract to be part of the wrestling Trust in 1934, and part of the deal was a deposit of $20,000 to ensure he'd follow instructions, and do jobs when told. Charges were made that a wrestling “Trust” existed in the Eastern half of America, and the wrestlers were forced to “win, lose, or draw” according to orders or lose huge forfeits. He claimed he worked for two years to get his deposit back, but was told he'd have to sign with another manager, then he got the O'Mahoney match. After he won, he was offered the deposit and $25,000 to drop the title back to O'Mahoney. He refused and signed with Al Haft's stable. The two attorneys argued about putting a paper into evidence, that showed an agreement, signed by Jack Curley, Paul Bowser, Ray Fabiani, Ed White, Tom Pack, and Toots Mondt to split the wrestling world up into a wrestling combine or trust. Jack Curley was the first witness on the stand, and he admitted the agreement existed and vouched for the signatures on the agreement. Then in a response to a question he said he had never fixed a wrestling match, and had never heard of such a thing. He testified thay wrestling was “on the level”, and he never asked Shikat to take a dive against O'Mahoney. He also didn't seem to like being called by his real name, Armand Jacob Schmul. The next witness was Garrett L. Smalley the chairman of the Missouri State Athletic Commission. He claimed he had seen Shikat contracts with Alvarez's name on them, but he had no documentation because all wrestling contracts were destroyed after the matches were over. During the day, Judge Underwood dissolved the temporary restraining order, forbidding Shikat to appear in any match not booked by Mr. Alvarez. They then discussed a request for a permanent restraining order. I don't think the Judge ruled in favor of Alvarez because his side wasn't doing well, and I don't think the trust thought that Haft would let the title go to a gimmick wrestler. They felt the Haft's and Sandow's plan was to pass the title to the respected Everett Marshall. Also I don't thing a Ohio court had jurisdiction over something happening in Detroit.

April 24 Columbus, OH: On the 2nd day of the Shikat trail, the process was losing steam. Jack Curley's booker, Leon Balkin's testimony was pretty much unimportant. Some papers and checks were admitted that had Jack Curley signature on them, and they were from a time when Alvarez was supposed to be his manager. Other checks were signed by Toots Mondt, who was always billed as his manager in the arenas. Ray Fabiani was going to testify, but I've read nothing about it. Judge Underwood then ruled against reinstating the restraining order. The Alvarez side complained that Shikat might lose the title in Detroit, which gave the impression that the trial was all about the title and not Shikat. Judge Underwood probably wasn't all that interested in wrestling titles, so he ruled Shikat was free to wrestle Ali Baba.

April 24 Chicago, IL: The Illinois commission, because of an agreement with the Missouri commission, announced it was continuing the suspension of Dick Shikat in Illinois until his manager dispute was settled.

April 24 The Olympia, Detroit, MI: Ali Baba defeated Dick Shikat to win the World Title. Shikat spent most of the night sticking his fingers in Baba's eye and pulling his moustache, until Baba (201 pounds) got mad and started throwing the 230 pound Shikat around the ring. Twice Ali threw the champion out of the ring. The 2nd time Dick landed on the near the famous movie star Buddy Rogers. Once Shikat got back in the ring, Baba body slammed until he couldn't get up, and then pinned him at the 46:40 mark of the match. Baba tried to help the ex-champ to his feet, but Shikat was carried to the dressing room, and later taken to a hospital for x-rays. The crowd stayed to cheer the new champion and hero Ali Baba. In the dressing room the mood was different, Shikat got his payoff of $50,000 plus his regular purse. Also John Swenski defeated Alex Kasaboski, Frank Sexton defeated Pat McCleary, Jim Heffner drew with Bill Kief, Frank Malcewicz drew with Ernie Peterson. Attendance was 8,562 with a gate of $7,405.83. Promoter was Adam Weissmuller.

April 25 Columbus, OH: A photo of the new world champ, Ali Baba, appeared in just about every newspaper in North America, and it was treated as a joke by both newsmen, and fans. People felt that wrestling had lost it's mind. The spectacle of the performance sport on trial in Columbus destroyed whatever creditability pro wrestling had left in the eyes of the general public. Wrestling fans always understood that the art form was worked and, like today, they enjoyed it — but the general public couldn’t understand the concept as anything but “fake.” Baba later got double-crossed by a light heavyweight named Dave Levin in an unconvincing way — and before long the wrestling world had at least five champions. Soon every major and minor promoter had their own world champion. To the public, wrestling was a joke, and when major newspapers stopped covering it, attendance dropped. Promoters knew the public thought its product was a joke — so they promoted it like a joke. By 1940 the sport was filled with gimmicks like mud matches or Jell-O matches or dead fish matches. Performing freaks became wrestling’s biggest draws. Before 1936 and the O’Mahoney / Shikat match, wrestling’s storylines were national. There may have been more than one champion, but everyone in the country knew who they were and the storylines involving them. After 1936, with the Trust dead, the whole sport became regionalized, with every territory’s storyline walled in from all the others. Promoters no longer wanted intelligent fans that understood the whole picture. They wanted ignorant fans that didn’t know they were being lied too. Facts and knowledge was something promoters found hard to deal with. So all the work that Lewis, Stecher, Curley and Sandow did to rebuild the sport after Frank Gotch went to waste as the sport fell into its dark age. All these changes took place because Dick Shikat shot on Danno O’Mahoney on March 2, 1936. It didn't happen in every territory at the same time, but the pro wrestling's dark age covered everyone, but St. Louis. (Most of this is from the book Fall Guys, and Marcus Griffin seemed to have researched it, because he gave sources. The rest came from the Detroit Free Press.)

April 27 Columbus, OH: The trial did continue in Columbus, but without Avarez and other promoters who had lost interest. Only their paid counsel Fred Rector remained. Shikat wasn't present but filed a 3,000 word paper answering Judge Underwood questions. In it Shikat denied he entered a contract with Alvarez to manage him. He hadn't been paid for some matches and $15,000 of his $20,000 forfit was never returned. Claimed he never received 12 1/2 % of gates as called for in the contract. He said he was told to lose to Dano O'Mahoney by Jack Curley, and Rudy Dusek, but “crossed” them, and won. He declared that Alvarez had not filed the managerial contract with the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission until 11 days after Shikat won the title, although it was signed more that two years before. He asked that the contract be declared null and void, that the plaintiff's plea be dismissed and that Alvarez be forced to pay court costs. The paper also charged that six wrestling promoters had signed a profit-sharing contract and that it was impossible to get matches in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and other mat centers unless funds were posted as forits to assure the orders would be obeyed. The promoters named were Jack Curley of New York, Paul Bowser of Boston, Ed White of Chicago, Tom Packs of St. Louis, and Joe Mondt of California. Judge Underwood granted a continuance until May 12 and permitted Shikat to do as he pleased until then. In Boston, Joe Alvarez statyed he had lost all interest in Shikat. “Shikat is now worthless to me from a financial standpoint. His defeated at the hands of Ali Baba removes him from the ranks of the big money getters and I think if would be a waste of time to battle for him in a court or elsewhere.” Everything printed, through the years, on the trial says it ended with that statement. (Report from the Detroit Free Press, April 28, 1936)

May 5 Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY: Ali Baba defeated Dick Shikat in 53:37 to win recognition as NY World Champion. Also Ernest von Heffner defeated Joe Corbett, Dave Levin defeated Chief Little Wolf, and John Murphy drew with Maurice LaChapelle. Attendance was 4,000. Promoter was Jack Pfefer with help from Al Haft, The Johnson Brothers and Adam Weissmuller. With Jack Curley gone, the Garden had become an “open house” that could be used by any promoter who could produce $4,200 rent.
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Ken Viewer



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great article, research and writing, Steve. In one post, you explained the collapse of professional wrestling in the United States.

Ken
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

April 27, 1936---Detroit, MI: An article was published in the Detroit Free Press by a reporter named Jack Miley. It was titled “Circus Men”, Scribe Fears Putting Rasslin' Near Brink : Shikat's Trial Shows That Jack Curley Is Yielding Control to Radical Mob.” It read like this: “ New York, April 26---- Some of the boys in the rassling racket who really should know better, are calling each other fighting names out in that Columbus courtroom where dour Dick Shikat is being sued by someone or other for something or other. The whole squabble is too involved and complicated for the lay mind to grasp...which is probably just as well for the litigants. But one thing is as obvious as the nose on your face. If these mat mahouts don't button up their lip they are going to kill the goose that produced their 14 karat shell-fruit. Houdini never explained his tricks and if these Titans keep on telling the public what goes on behind the scenes at their hippodromes, the customers will stay home and enact these didoes on this parlor axminster. The Shikat shinanigans seem to be a smoke screen behind which the Left Wingers or Minsk mob are trying to depose that eminent patriarch of the pachyderms Mons Jack Curley....and install as the Stalin of these stumble bums one Jake (Hassen) Pfefer...who learned the tricks of his trade at old Mons Jacques knee. Jake is a droll little man with one of those garment center accents, a head of hair like a old Shakespearean actor and a silver headed cane which he clutches in mid-shaft, somewhat like Sabin Carr getting ready to take off on a pole vault. Hassen Pfefer is deemed a dangerous radical by the more conservative element among our narrators. The menace from Moscow has absolutely no regard for the hallowed traditions of this ancient sport. Jake is a whistle-blower, which is unforgivable. Not only that, but he tweetlies his cop-caller with thick Yiddish overtones. It would be bad enough if he blasted the bluecoats in English. A couple of years ago, during one of his numerous altercations with the Curley clique, he mounted a soap box in Times Square and screamed “All rassling is a lousy fake! I know, because I've been in the business for 20 years! I never saw a rassling match yet, or had anything to do with one, that was on the level!” Naturally the trade was shocked. Jake was called before the New York Commission, where he repeated his heinous accusations........his confreres didn't let Hassen Pfefer finish his tirade.....They refused the bolshevik a license, they barred him from the better places, but Pfefer laughed at them and kept right on trafficking in tusslers. His argument has been that rassling isn't athletic competition, but is a part of show business; that he is a theatrical man and that his activities don't concern the commissioners a whit. It will be a great pity, I think, if Jake succeeds in wrestling control of rassling in New York from Curley. The latter is a great showman. He does things with a flair and a flourish. Some of his productions are magnificent ; all of them are interesting. Curley is a Ziegfeid, while Pfefer is merely a Minsky. Curley's circus is like the Ringling B and B, while Jake's resembles Goldfarb's dogs and ponies. Curley introduced acrobatics; he thought up the flying tackle, the dive from the ring, and a dozen other death-defying feats with which his Thespians thrilled and spell-bound their audience. Jake took a bunch of mangy, malformed matmen and barnstormed around the smaller clubs for wheatcakes and carfare. Curley showed Jim Londos how to make a million. “This game is as level as the Alps” shrills Pfefer. “I am a purveyor of entertainment” the bland inscrutable Curley replies when someone asks him if his dodge is on the square. In all the years I've known him, I've never heard him say his pitch was a phoney, nor have I head him claim it was the McCoy. And I 've never bothered to inquire, since I know what the response would be. It is like asking someone: “Do you still beat your mother-in-law?” Probably half the folk who attend the Curley Carnivals are hep to the hooligans who entertain them. The other 50% of the spectators---the foreign born, the confirmed rassling addicts and such---are equally certain they are witnessing the genuine article. That has been the secret of Curley's success. He satisfies the scoffers and the believers too. He has made rassling a state of mind. It is everyone to his own opinion and nobody gets hurt---including the athletes. …...For everybody knows that Hassen Pfefer will employ cheap foreign labor. He's already started, since he's got Ali Baba , a dusty short-order cook from Detroit, in his menagerie. Ali Baba couldn't cope with a folding bed; yet he “threw” Dick Shikat the other night and he'll be in Madison Square Garden soon."
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

May 14, 1936--Columbus, OH: Mrs Ureka Shikat, 30 year old wife of Dick Shikat, died from burns suffered when her auto turned over and caught fire on May 8. Her car struck a curb, three milesEast of Columbus, skidded 150 feet, turned over, and burst into flames. I believe Dick Shikat took his wife's body back to German. He didn't wrestle in America again until October 1936.
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

May 12 Columbus, OH: There was an attempt to continue the court case against Dick Shikat by his alleged Manager Joe Alvares. Judge Underwood was prepared to hear the suit, that was continued from April 27 by the request of Fred C. Rector, attorney for Alvares. A proposed dismissal of the case had been declined by Shikat, who was being quoted in the press as willing to”blow the lid off the wrestling Trust.” He stated he was ready to take the stand and tell of the alleged manipulations of wrestlers. Seems that Shikat's side wanted the Alvares's managerial contract ruled in valid in court, and maybe was looking to get money back he was owed. Jack Curley had been interview in New York, he stated he was hurt that Shikat had broken kayfabe in front of the public. I think he was sick and getting weaker. After April 27, a number of well written newspaper articles had been written in major publications exposing the trial, and pro wrestling, so Curley, Bowser, Alvares just wanted the trial to end, and be forgotten. So they probably settled or the Judge put an end to it. The exposing of the trial seemed to end what was left of the trust. Tom Packs never had much to do with the trial, and by the end of 1937 was working with Billy Sandow, and Al Haft promoting Everett Marshall, and Steve Casey in St Louis. Jack Curley health and promotional power in New York became weaker. He not only gave up on Madison Square Garden, but lost the Hippadrome Theater, and ended up back in the 71st Armory until his death. Toots Mondt had a huge booking agency that covered the country from Los Angeles to New York. Ray Fabiani attempted to move into New York. Jack Pfefer became the major promoter in New York, but the city was years away from being what it was. He also became the cheap booking office that supplied talent to most of the small outlaw promotions in America, sometimes even running them for lost promoters. Rudy Dusek controlled a major part of the East Coast. Lou Daro was also in poor health, so his Los Angeles promotion was being run by his brother and Toots Mondt. Paul Bowser continued to promote in Boston, and he had a booking office that had some control in St Louis, San Francisco, Canada, and, until Hitler got in the way, France and parts of Europe.
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