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Billy Goelz and other 50s finds

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The best match I've seen the 50s has been Thesz/Gagne. The Thesz/Schmidt and Thesz/Rogers matches are MOTYC level. Maybe Gagne vs. Carpentier too.

this i agree with

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I've been watching some footage of Dick Shikat. What a wrestling specimen he was. I've said it before but he really was like a 1920s Horst Hoffman. There are outtakes of a grappling exhibition he did for some newsreel that showcase his beautiful technique. His matches seemed heated as well so it appears that he had a good sense of how to work the crowd. A fine wrestler if ever I saw one.

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I was really impressed by Dick Shikat when I was going through the 20's and 30's footage. Always struck me as weird that he wasn't in the WON HOF.

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Watched a couple of matches of the amazing hypnotist and wrestler, Dr. Lee Grable.

 

The first match was a short match against JTTB and journeyman, Ivan the Terrible, which didn't tell us a heck of about Grable.

 

The second was a long main event tag match with Grable and Sandor Szabo vs. John Tolos and Hans Schnabel. On paper, it looked like it might be a bit vanilla but it ended up being fairly solid. Grable was the smallest man in the match but worked with a ton of fire and had some great forearm smash spots and energetic work off the ropes. The bout was a good chance to check out a young and handsome John Tolos years before the Blassie feud and a pretty decent look at Szabo too, whose suplex hold was heavily featured. I appreciated the steady commentary of Bill Welsh, who took the time to explain between falls the mechanics of the suplex, Szabo's background in wrestling and how the Szabo/Grable team came to be. There were some neat post-match interviews too where Schnabel (who sounded more like a longshoreman than a German heel) slyly explained that the suplex is, in fact, a chokehold or stranglehold, and another from the babyface team where Szabo expounded on some wrestling philosophy explaining the differences between tag wrestling and singles matches. I can't remember being overly sold on Szabo before but listening to him speak I began to like the idea of a Hungarian Greco-Roman wrestler coming to the States to work the catch-as-can style and his suplex was nice, especially the one on the larger Schnabel. Tolos was good in his role as a young heel and Schnabel was solid as the wise old head in the corner giving him instructions. Pretty decent look at everybody and a good match to boot.

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Worked my way through the available footage from 1930. Most of it is newsreel clips of the finish. The standard finish to a bout in 1930 was guys throwing each other, and knocking each other off their feet as many times as they could, to ear their man down for the body press. Some of the finishes were wilder and rougher than others but that was the general gist. The finish could come after an hour or more of wrestling, though, so the real gems from the 1930 footage are the longer clips of Gus Sonnenberg vs. Count Zarynoff and Shikat vs. Londos which show you what the body of the bout looked like. There wasn't a lot of matwork shown presumably because the men filming the bouts wanted to save their film for the standup portions which promised to be more exciting. There was a strong emphasis on the tie-up in 1930. We're used to seeing a tie-up or a lock-up to stand a bout but they constantly returned to it in the early 30s as a means of throwing their opponent and further weakening him. There were a lot of cool escapes to avoid being thrown and a lot of cool work leading to the tie-up especially in Londos/Shikat where they kept giving each other shots to the face and head before the tie-up. I also noticed quite a lot of European flair from workers like Count Zarynoff which was cool to see.

 

Also, I must add that Paul Boesch commentating over home videos of himself wrestling in the 30s is one of the treats in the 1930 collection.

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