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Preview of Yohe's "Time line Project"

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Steve Yohe

Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2983
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:41 pm    Post subject: Preview of Yohe's "Time line Project" Reply with quote

This is a section from my "Time Line Project" I'm working on. It's covers the career of Dr Patrick O'Callaghan in 1938.


Aug. 3 The Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA: Bronko Nagurski defeated Gus Sonnenberg two falls to one in defending the CA World Title. Bronko won the 1st fall with a body slam in 14:07. Gus took the 2nd fall with two flying tackles in 4:10, and the champion won the 3rd in 4:20 with a flying block followed by a pin. Also Dr Patrick O'Callaghan defeated King Kong Kashey by count out. Promoter was Jack Daro. O'Callaghan, was the Irish gold medal winner in the hammer at the 1928 and 1932 Olympics. He was the man that Paul Bowser sent Jack McGrath to Ireland to find in 1934. McGrath instead brought Danno O'Mahoney back to America and made him champion. The money and fame found by Danno convinced Dr. O'Callaghan to give American pro-wrestling a try in the spring of 1938. He seemed to have a slight ego problem, and announced he was going to win both the wrestling and boxing heavyweight crowns, as well as making Hollywood movies. His first match was in San Francisco, defeating Cy Williams. The next night he wrestled Jimmy El Pulpo in Los Angeles, and broke his arm. In the above match with Kashey he refused to sell, and the match ended up in a brawl of a mess. He still received a good “push” on the West Coast.

Aug. 17 The Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA: Bronko Nagurski drew with Sandor Szabo with a fall each after 2:20:00. Nagurski defended the CA World Title. Szabo won the 1st fall with a snap suplex in 1:12:00. The fans thought the champion would win the 2nd in short time, but they were wrong. Szabo came close to winning the 2nd too, but both men fell out of the ring. When they returned, Nagurski, bleeding from the mouth, caved Szabo in with a series of flying tackles and pined him after a body slam in 52:35. The 3rd fall continued until the mid-night curfew. The referee Verne McCullough added 15 minutes to the match, but, with both getting upper hand back and forth, that time-limit also ran out. The total time was 2:20:00, and they were in the ring for three hours. In the “to a finish” semi-final, George “K. O.” Koverly drew with Dr Patrick O'Callaghan after the match was stopped by the referee after 20:00. Seem the stuff Doctor had run into someone stiffer. Koverly split his nose, ripped his lip, and gave him a bad cut over his right eye. Newsmen claimed that Koverly, an ex-boxer, had “given the works” to the Irishman. Incensed O'Callaghan challenged Koverly to a private bare knuckled fight with a $1,000 side bet. Turned out O'Callaghan was even a worst showman than a wrestler, and he was shipped out to Philadelphia. Ray Fabiani had problems finding wrestlers to work with him, and by the end of September he was on his way back to Ireland. Seems the Irish gimmick had run out of steam in 1936. He died on December 1, 1991 at the age of 90. Attendance was a soldout 10,400. Promoters were Lou and Jack Daro. Jim Londos was advertised as Szabo's second, but nothing was said in the post match report. Maybe that explains the sell out.

Oct. 6 St Nicholas Arena, New York City, NY: Bronko Nagurski defeated Tom Mahoney to defend the CA/PA World Title. Also Sandor Szabo defeated Tor Johnson. This was a Jack Pfefer card using the Toots Mondt West coast Booking office. It was an attempt to revive New York City wrestling. It drew 3,000. The card was reviewed in the December 1938 Ring Magazine. It claim the drop in attendance was due to the lack of new talent. It gave Nagurski a good review, saying he showed form, and tremendous strength. They felt he had gained not only in his knowledge of the sport, but also in his physical development. In my personal evaluation of Bronko, I would say he was underrated as a worker, and very overrated as a boxoffice draw. On tape, he always looks good to me, and seems to wrestle as well as anyone of this era. The Ring also said that Sandor Szabo old admirers turned out in force, and “he showed his appreciation by giving them the kind of wrestling that seldom was seen in New York City”. Szabo was one of the best worker and pure wrestlers from the 1930's to 1960, and at this time was gaining in front office power on the West Coast. Dr Patrick O'Callaghan no showed the card, and that angered a lot of the Irish fans. The big card only drew 3,000. In 1938, the two big powers in New York City was Jack Pfefer, and Rudy Dusek. The same issue of The Ring offered a championship belt to the winner of a Nagurski/Marshal match. The East Coast didn't seem to have any knowledge of John Pesek's problems or title claim.

Nov. ? New York City, NY: In the December issue of Ring Magazine (the date mark on each magazine, was the date the magazine was to be taken off the newsstand, and was always a couple of months behind the actual news.) contained a story by Emery Clarke covering Dr Patrick O'Callaghan, and breaking wrestling kayfabe in a very direct way. O'Callaghan was back in Ireland, and very upset about his treatment in America. He denounced Toots Mondt, and complained that the wrestling world title was a farce and said he returned home because he refused to do what he was told by the “syndicate”. He said that he was ordered to put up $25,000 before he could get a title match, and had been ordered to carry wrestlers. The Ring, under pressure from fans, answered: “Our answer to the charges of Dr O'Callaghan is that wrestling in America is controlled by groups, just as it is in England, with Toots Mondt the leading figure. That champion is his man. Dr O'Callaghan was brought to America not because he knows anything about wrestling, for he doesn't, but because of his color. It was figured that he could draw well among the Irish because of his great athletic ability but to call him a wrestler, would be stretching things too far. Dr. O'Callaghan was within his rights when he quit because he wouldn't stand for the nonsense that promoters perpetrate in the name of wrestling. But the same hold true in his own country and in England. So, Doctor, why be so perturbed. It's all in the game today. ….We are glad that Dr O'Callaghan saw fit to expose what he deems poor sportsmanship in wrestling, but might I inquire from him, since when he or any other follower of the sport couldn't point to wrestling, as now being conducted, as anything other than a good burlesque entertainment! I sympathize with the great Irish athlete, because he was disillusioned, but if he had followed wrestling before he made his move to join the ranks of American professionals, he would have saved himself much of his chagrin. The mat sport is simply an entertainment. The champion and all other wrestlers belonging to any one group, work under the command of the head man. We all know that. Yet the fact remains that there must be a leader in every sport and, in wrestling, the leader is Bronko Nagurski. The reason Mondt wanted Dr O'Callaghan to deposit $25,000, if such a demand was made, could not have been made because of the Doctor's ability, but because of his lack of knowledge of wrestling. He couldn't draw here, and for the champion to defend his title, he insisted that there, at least, be enough money at stake to make it worth-while.”
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Steve Yohe

Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2983
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is about a promoter meeting that isn't thought about & could be mixed up with a NWAlliance Convention but it isn't that. It plays a part in ending the St Louis War, has some MSG info, and give you an idea why some many promoters were wiling to join the Alliance:

Oct. 3(?), 1948--Santa Monica, CA: A local wrestling newsletter called PAN published a story by promoter Hardy Kruskamp that told about a dinner party at the home of Sandor Szabo. The social event was in honor of Tony Stecher who was in California with his wrestler Bronko Nagurski. Also present at the dinner was Joe Malcewicz, Johnny Doyle, Ed Lewis, Jack Dempsey, Kuskamp and other Calfifornia big shot promoters. After the steaks were eaten, Ed Lewis gave a speech about the benefits of having only one world champion, like in the days before Lewis lost the title to Gus Sonnenberg. The promoters thought it wasn't a bad idea, mainly because of network TV. Lewis then suggested a meeting of major promoters in Chicago or some other central location to talk about a tournament between the champions Thesz, Sexton, Robert, Brown, Torres, Rogers, etc. Tony Stecher, who was a founding member of the new NWA, said that if everyone was willing to see the idea through, he could speak for several of the mid-west promoters (which I guess meant the National Wrestling Alliance?) would go along. Malcewicz said it was a good idea but he was skeptical. Lewis said he'd work on the meeting. It was held from October 30, to October 31 in Chicago.

Oct.31, 1948--Chicago, IL: At a local hotel,there was a meeting between the major promoters. It covered the use of TV, and the need of having just one world champion.There was a meeting between Lou Thesz, Frank Tunney, and Eddie Quinn, with Sam Muchnick and a number of other NWA members (Orville Brown, Al Haft and Pinkie George). Fred Kohler and Johnny Doyle was also present. Sam Muchnick proposed a merger to end the St. Louis war, and after the two groups haggled for some time, the offer was turned down by Thesz. Thesz's side were still feeling stronger, and tried to push Muchnick around, the NWA members stuck with Muchnick (mainly Orville Brown) to push back. Ending the St Louis war was something they wanted, but the big prize they really wanted was getting the major Canadian booking offices to join the Alliance. The meeting failed but it, at least, put the idea in Thesz's head.

Nov.?, 1948---Los Angeles, CA: Hardy Kruskamp reported in the newletter PAN that the Strangler Lewis meeting took place in Chicago with 33 wrestling promoters present. The group formed was named The Wrestling Promoter's Association Of America and Allied Countries. It claimed that committees were formed to discuss the possibility of a tournament to create a undisputed world champion. TV was discussed and the problem of TV wrestling shows running the same night as local live shows was brought up. Ed Lewis received a unanimous vote to be wrestling's official public relations man. The job paid $25,000 a year. It was stated at the meeting that boxing was having a hard time in New York City, and Madison Square Garden was pushing the idea of bring pro wrestling back. They said the Garden manager was encouraging the idea, which to me, means they were lowering the rent, and setting up dates for promoter Bill Johnson. Lewis was pushing the idea of booking the unification tournament into Madison Square Garden so it would get national attention. There are a few other news clipping about this meeting, and the promoter's association, but I think the idea disappeared after the National Wrestling Alliance got going, and more members joined.

This meeting was talked about in a Nov. 9, 1949 St Louis program. I had to piece together info from the program, Puff newsletter, and info from Tom Hornbaker's NWA Book. This is stuff you can do with a "lime Line".---Steve Yohe
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