The Spokesman-Review – April 13, 1956
There were 3,284 wrestling fans at the Coliseum last night and evidently 40 of them came to see Primo Carnera.
Carnera, former world heavyweight boxing champion, failed to show for his scheduled match with Quebec’s Adrien Baillargeon, but when fans were offered their money back because of Primo’s nonappearance, only “about 40” took advantage of the opportunity.
Matchmaker Tex Hager announced that state athletic commissioner Louis August had told him that, as of last night, Carnera is suspended from wrestling the state of Washington indefinitely, and that the state would ask other athletic commissions to honor the ban.
Ken Kenneth, 235-pound Californian, substituted for Carnera against the Quebec strong boy and gave him quite a tussle for 22 minutes and 6 seconds. Baillargeon, a 240-pounder, preceded his match with Kenneth by lifting 11 men and a 300-pound board – a total of 2,435 pounds, in a mid-ring exhibition.
The one fall of the no time limit match went to Baillargeon on a drop kick which saw him extended in midair almost six feet – it seemed – above the mat. The body press which got the actual fall seemed almost unnecessary.
The co-feature, which apparently was what most fans were waiting for, saw the Donovan brothers, Doug and Red, team for a two-fall to one decision over Logger Larsen and Kurt Von Poppenheim. The first fall, a highly legitimate looking toehold by Doug, caused Logger to quit after 18:48. The second, by Von Poppenheim over Red, came at 4:05 and followed a series of body slams administered by both Logger and Kurt.
The final fall, booed long and lustily by the crowd, went to Red with a body press over Logger at 10:19. Larsen had Donovan balanced on his shoulder, with intentions of slamming him to the mat, when brother Doug reached through the ropes and kicked Larsen head-over-Red. The fall stunned Logger long enough for the three taps. Protests availed nothing.
In the opener, Elmer (Bad News) Davis and Jerry Gordetski went 20 minutes to a draw in the fastest match of the night. Leon Kirilenko took 16:39 to down Treach Phillips in the special event. Phillips had Kirilenko groggy with drop kicks but missed one and rebounded off the ring post into the fall.
Tony Borne, beard and all, won over Billy Kohnke at 17:49 of the semifinal. Borne used an abdominal stretch to win and had lots of abdomen to work on. Kohnke, stocky blond, is one of the roundest wrestlers to appear here. Matchmaker Hager announced the next Coliseum card will be May 10, featuring heavyweight champ Lou Thesz.