Who Was That Wrestler At Ringside?

Tacoma News Tribune – February 20, 1934
By Nelson R. Hong

Of the 2,814 persons who crowded into Greenwich Coliseum last night to watch the “groan and grunt” artists, a few noticed that a burly heavyweight wrestler was occupying a seat next to Arthur E. Grafton Sr., state athletic commissioner. It’s not usual for grapplers to occupy ringside seats, but the presence of Charley Mason in the first round is probably explained in an attempted assault on the commissioner last week by an irate fan who thought that Grafton was lax in his duty in allowing Ted Cox to pursue his roughhouse tactics. With Cox and (John) Freberg in the ring and the fans in a lather, it is likely that the management decided that it would be wise to guard against any fans who might go berserk during the excitement of the bout. As far as is known, Mason had nothing to do in his role as “bodyguard.”

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It’s nothing short of amazing how the wrestling game has come back in the Northwest. For the Freberg-Cox match last night, promoter Lou Porter upped his scale of prices and yet drew a tremendous crowd. There were three fewer persons than the crowd which saw the first match between Cox and Bob Kruse, but the number of paid admissions last night was greater. Attendants estimate that between 300 and 400 persons left when they found that there was standing room only. More than 900 persons were crowded into the balcony, designed to seat comfortably not many more than 600 persons.

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Revival of the wrestling game in the Northwest, with all the principal cities attracting capacity crowds every week, will result in a parade of the “big shots” of the sport before the end of this season. Word already has been received that Jim Londos, probably the most colorful of all the bone crushers, will be in Tacoma sometime during March. Londos appeared here more than four years ago in the early days of the boom in the game, and while Tacoma fans have seen every other important grappler the Greek Adonis has never been booked back.

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