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History of Pro Wrestling #14 (August 1953-March 1954)

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History of Pro Wrestling #14 (05:29:14)
Matches from August 1953-March 1954

  • GREAT BOLO & LOUIE MILLER vs WILD RED BERRY & BUD CURTIS (08/31/1953; 00:56:52)

  • BILL MELBY & BILLY DARNELL vs MIGHTY ATLAS & BOB ORTON SR. (09/25/1953; NWA Chicago; 00:26:26)
    I think this is the earliest match we have in color!

  • LARRY CHENE vs ROCKY COLUMBO (09/25/1953; NWA Chicago; 00:27:08)

  • YUKON ERIC vs HANS SCHMIDT (09/25/1953; NWA Chicago; 00:26:18)
    Pro Wrestling Musings has a good summary of the match and participants.

  • KILLER KOWALSKI vs GENE STANLEE (10/27/1953; Manhattan Booking Agency; MSG; New York, NY; 00:03:25)

  • VERNE GAGNE vs KILLER KOWALSKI (11/26/1953; Manhattan Booking Agency; MSG; New York, NY; 00:02:51)
    A great photo from this match on Reddit.

  • LOU THESZ vs RIKIDOZAN (12/06/1953; Big Time Wrestling Honolulu, HI; 00:09:16)
    Our earliest clips of the legendary Rikidozan, and we see some amazing footage of him hanging out in Hawaii to accompany the match as part of his first wrestling excursion outside of Japan. Thesz busts out his great powerbomb, and what we get to see of the match is really fun. We’ll get to see these two against each other in full-length matches later.

  • ALBERT FALAUX vs GUY ROBIN (1953; French Catch; 00:03:15)
    Brief clip but fun action. Falaux competed as an amateur wrestler in the 1948 Olympics.

  • BOBBY NELSON & BERT RUBY vs GREAT BALBO & SAM HALLOCK (1953; NWA Chicago; 00:26:05)

  • BARON MICHELE LEONE vs ALI PASHA (1953; NWA Los Angeles; 00:02:23)
    Leone is billed as the Pacific Coast Champion.

  • CARL DAVIS vs JESSE JAMES (1953; NWA Los Angeles; 00:27:39)
    According to a Gorgeous George documentary, James’ parents took a teenage Gorgeous George in when he became orphaned.

  • KILLER KOWALSKI vs YUKON ERIC (01/15/1954; NWA Chicago; 00:35:10)
    This was a little more than a year after the famous match between these two where Eric lost part of his ear. Slam Wrestling has a great bio of Yukon Eric.

  • PAT O'CONNOR vs IVAN RASPUTIN (01/15/1954; NWA Chicago; 00:18:41)
    Most have found Pat O’Connor to truly be a revelation when going through old footage, and this isn’t anywhere close to his best work.

  • RAY GUNKEL vs HANS SCHMIDT (01/15/1954; NWA Chicago; 00:09:24)

  • THE SHEIK & ART NEILSON vs BILLY GOELZ & LARRY CHENE (01/15/1954; NWA Chicago; 00:44:01)
    The footage debut of Ed Farhat, a.k.a. THE SHEIK, billed here as “The Sheik of Araby”, in a long tag team match that doesn’t really resemble the style that made him such a massive heel in the years ahead. Still very cool to see him at this stage of his career.

  • RIKIDOZAN & MASAHIKO KIMURA vs BEN SHARPE & MIKE SHARPE (02/21/1954; JWA Big Competition Series; 00:08:32)
    The oldest known footage of a match from Japan. Kimura was undefeated in judo for 15 years and became Rikidozan’s earliest tag team partner. This is not the same Mike Sharpe who had a JTTS run in 1980s WWF, but it is his father. The Sharpe brothers were a huge act in Japan. Ben was a former Olympian with the 1936 Canadian rowing team who served in the Royal Air Force during World War II, where he was stationed in England as a physical fitness instructor because he was too tall (at 6”5”) to fit into a cockpit. Televisions were not very common in Japanese households yet at this point, so legend has it that thousands of people gathered around the windowfronts of various stores to watch their matches against Rikidozan and Kimura.

  • RIKIDOZAN & MASAHIKO KIMURA vs BEN SHARPE & MIKE SHARPE (02/27/1954; JWA Big Competition Series; 00:01:01)

  • ANTONINO ROCCA vs KILLER KOWALSKI (03/05/1954; NWA Chicago; 00:27:55)

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