Photographer Flees As Whip Wins

Toronto Star – April 27, 1956
By Jim Proudfoot

Whipper Watson outpointed Hans Schmidt and Hardboiled Haggerty by a matter of two feet in last night’s wrestling headliner at Maple Leaf Gardens.

A cryptic statement, you say? Confusing? Leave us explain.

It was a handicap match, you see. First Whipper wrestled Schmitty to a finish. If he won – and he did – he would then wrestle Haggerty. Had he lost in either case, the team would have won. Well, as it turned out, the Whip pinned Schmidt and then tied with Haggerty when their segment of the two-part bout was ended by the 11 p.m. curfew. A win and a tie evidently gave Whipper victory, three points to one.

It was in the pinning of Schmidt that the two feet played a vital part. Two feet is the difference in waist measurements between referees Joe Gollob and Bert Maxwell. Whipper flattened Schmidt by bouncing off the ropes and knocking the terrible Teuton on top of Gollob. Even though the referee was trapped underneath. Schmitty’s shoulders apparently were touching the mat and out from under the German’s hulking body you could hear Gollob giving the one-two-three that proclaimed Watson the winner.

Now any wrestling fan can tell you that if Whip had knocked Schmidt on top of Maxwell, Han’s shoulders wouldn’t have been anywhere near the mat. He’d have been lying practically in mid-air. So you see the fact that Maxwell’s waist measures 58 inches, while Gollob’s goes only 34, was the key to the whole thing.

Not that anybody is suggesting Bert Maxwell is stout, or even a little plump. Far from it. He’s quite slim, as a matter of fact. But that Gollob. Is he thin?

When HBH entered the ring, though, the Whipper’s domination wasn’t so clear-cut. Watson was up and down like a Murphy bed. Haggerty ould clout Whipper down on to the cement floor. Whipper would struggle back into the ring. Down he’d go again. Up he’d come. Down he’d go. Between times, Haggerty would apply a headlock that looked suspiciously like a strangle to the 7,000-odd fans.

But the referee didn’t agree. After the curfew tolled, Schmidt appeared in the ring and hellped Haggerty belt Watson onto the shoulders of the crowd, which had, as usual, surged to ringside. The fans bore the Whip’s battered body to the dressing room door, thus writing finis to a weird evening.

Highlights of the match to track and field enthusiasts in the audience was the turn of speed shown by photographer Mike Burns on a couple of occasions. Mike was stationed at ringside and twice took shots of Hardboiled Haggerty just at the time a Watson manoeuvre had made him look ridiculous. HBH leaped out of the ring and gave chase, intending, no doubt, to destroy the embarrassing film. But Burns outfooted him and won going away each time.

A couple of promising newcomers hove into view in the earlier bouts. Aldo Bogni, as mean a rassler as has shown locally in some time, tore Maurice LaPointe to shreds. He polished him off with a South American neck snapper, which may sound like a species of fish, but is actually a hold of the most diabolical sort.

Dick Hutton also made his local debut and made it look easy (it probably was) in squelching Donn Lewin. Hutton is a neat and fast operator, whose style is highly scientific and he made quick work of Lewin.

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