Legion To Help Stage Wrestling

Wichita Eagle – January 29, 1925

Wrestling matches will fall thick and fast in Wichita soon, if a plan announced yesterday by the American Legion goes through. Frank Priest and Glen Thomas, members of the Legion athletic committee, state that they are working on an arrangement whereby the Legion will assist in the promotion of wrestling matches. “Doc” Reed, well known referee from Kansas City, will be the matchmaker. Reed stated yesterday that he would use Eustace, Zbyszko, Lewis and other men commonly referred to as the “trust.”

Reed also stated that he would endeavor to line up other matches here. “I am not connected with the wrestling trust as controlled by Sandow,” stated Reed. “However, I will use some of these men, in fact will use any wrestler I can get. We intend to open up the game.”

Since last spring the “trust” wrestlers have not appeared in Wichita. Since then there have been efforts made to bring Lewis, Mondt, Pesek and others here. William Floto of the Floto Motor company is also interested in the proposition of getting Lewis and other wrestlers here, but states that he is not connected with the move in a financial or any official capacity.

The first match will probably be held within the next three weeks, possibly either immediately before or after the Shrine circus. Alan Eustace, who helped persuade “Doc” Reed to come to Wichita, will be on the main event of the first card, in all probability.

Frank Priest, in explaining the Legion’s connection with wrestling, said that there was no inclination to take part in any wrestling war. “We are interested in it solely from a financial standpoint,” said Mr. Priest yesterday. “We are not making the matches but hope that the game is held open. In fact we have insisted that all comers be used on the cards and not just ‘trust’ men.”

Tom Law, local wrestling promoter, when questioned yesterday on the statement that he would not bring a certain faction of wrestlers here and that this had led to another promoter coming to Wichita, issued the following statement:

“It is true that I have not used Sandow’s men here this year. It is not true, however, that I refused to use them. In fact I have been working hard on a Pesek match with Stecher. Pesek is a member of the ‘trust,’ managed by Sandow’s brother. I have insisted upon the ‘trust’ wrestlers meeting men I selected for them. I have been in the wrestling game for 15 years and know that Sandow will not permit his wrestlers to meet any one outside the ‘trust.’

“However, if anyone here or elsewhere can get them together I would be more than pleased to cooperate. I will give the Legion or any other organization 10 per cent of the gross receipts if they will agree to have Eustace, Mondt, Lewis, Zbyszko or Munn meet Stecher or Ad Santel here. I have tried all year to get some of these men to meet Stecher, Santel, Howard or others. I have no connection with any of these men in any way. The only man I am connected with is Jim Browning, whom I manage.”

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