From The Front, Henry Brings Grapple News

United Press – December 30, 1936
By Henry McLemore

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – There is a wrestling war being waged up in New York, and this is a direct appeal to the citizens of the United States for funds.

Unless a goodly amount of money is raised by subscription there is a danger that the war will be discontinued. This would never do. In the name of fair play, decency and civilization, this war must be waged unto the bitter end and there isn’t a single combatant left to menace society with “Indian death grips, billy goat butts, boa constrictor scissors, airplane swings, Irish whips and head hunter hammerlocks.”

Any funds raised – and, in my opinion, you can’t any more afford to refuse the appeal than you can the cry of the community chest or the Red Cross – will be used to purchase bigger and better guns, and larger and more deadly ammunition. It will be distributed without favor. For every gun and every high explosive shell given one side, a gun and high explosive will be furnished its opposition.

Much more money is needed – more than in an ordinary war. This is because wrestlers are involved, and a weapon that would destroy a Uhlan, a Riff, a Moor or a Chinese pirate with a football headguard on even, won’t so much as dent a wrestler.

The ordinary army Springfield bullet only gives a wrestler a temporary buzzing in the temples. Even the dum-dum bullet is useless, because dum-dum as the bullet is, the wrestlers are dumb-dumber. Anti-aircraft weapons are considered the most effective, largely because they don’t fire on the level.

The wrestling war broke out several months ago when the great trust (next to Swift & Co., the largest beef handlers in the world),which had controlled the industry for years, went on the rocks. The fact that it probably went on the rocks because of lack of “rocks” only adds to the confusion.

Details of the war are difficult to get for two reasons, the first being that the combatants won’t come out in the open. They probably figure that as they never came out in the open even in peace times, there’s no sense in coming out now. The war is being waged behind the doors of their grubby little offices and on the gray canvas rings of the city’s wrestling joints.

The second difficulty in securing reports from the front is the unwillingness of anyone to become a wrestling “war correspondent.” The hazards are too great. To pass safely through the lines a man must have at least 15 sets of papers, each crossed and double-crossed by the proper authorities. Furthermore, to deal safely with the opposing camps a correspondent must memorize the entire list of grunters operating as “world champions.” To learn all five hundred of them is work for a mental giant, for scores of the “champions” have names which would indicate they were named, not after relatives, but after bones of the body and prehistoric animals.


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