Six World Title Matches Tonight!

Associated Press – November 17, 1938
By Paul Mickelson

NEW YORK – Battling Pistone, who is our wrestling editor simply because nobody else will have any truck with the mysterious business, today tried to peddle his job. Even Pistone, a carefree fellow with a love for figures, couldn’t endure the modern trend in the grunt industry when he discovered the “world heavyweight wrestling championship” will be defended in six different cities tomorrow night.

“Give me a simple job like counting the number of people who pass Forty-second street and Fifth avenue at noon time,” requested the upset Battler. “I can’t keep up with them any more! Look at tomorrow night’s all-championship program.”

Well, the list is unbelievable – even for the wrestlers. Six “championship” matches for the same title in six cities on the same night unquestionably sets a new high for sports daffiness even in rassling. This is the program that caused Pistone’s surrender:

At Tampa, Fla.: “World Heavyweight Champion” Dick Shikat vs. Sholem Whale-em Aleichem.

At Cincinnati, Ohio: “World Heavyweight Champion” John Pesek vs. Nig Wilcox.

At Philadelphia: “World Heavyweight Champion” Bronko Nagurski vs. “International World Heavyweight Champion” Jim Londos.

At St. Louis: “World Heavyweight Champion” Crusher Casey vs. Ali Baba

At Houston, Tex.: “World Heavyweight Champion” Leo Daniel Boone Savage vs. Elmer Wiggins.

At Bridgeport, Conn.: “World Heavyweight Champion” Steve Passas vs. King Kong Frankenstein.

Some of these matches, warns Pistone, may be changed at a moment’s notice.

“It’ll be the biggest wrestling night since day before yesterday,” he said. “Eight were listed for that night but two were called off on account of bad train schedules when the promoters saw the crowds. By late Friday night, we’ll have only six ‘champions.’

“Londos is the international champ. He even claims the title of Mars. Friday night’s winners will be Shikat, Pesek, Casey, Savage, Passas and Londos. Wish I could pick football winners like the wrestlers!”

Nobody really knows how many grunters claim the “world heavyweight championship.” Since the death of Jack Curley two years ago, the rassling business has gone in for wholesale lots. Every promoter has a champ. Nobody seems to care much.

This corner used to enjoy watching Pesek, the Ravenna, Nebr., tiger man. Then we saw him wrestle big George Godfrey. George was a tough guy with a chin so tough even Jack Dempsey couldn’t knock him down. He won the first fall from Pesek by cracking him a good, stiff right to the jaw. Pesek recovered and won the next fall by giving tough, old George a slap on the tummy. Down George went. After a 20-minute rest period, it was announced:

“Godfrey was so injured by the last fall, he is unable to continue. The winner – Pesek.”

That’s the day Pistone got the wrestling editor’s job that he’s trying to peddle today.

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