Ken Hollis Explains The Rough Stuff

Springfield, Mo., News-Leader – April 23, 1933
By “Ringsider”

One of the most striking of “Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde” personalities in the wrestling game today is none other than Ken Hollis, better known to the fans of Springfield and the Ozarks as just Cowboy Teddy Waters.

Inside the squared circle, Hollis is a snarling, biting, clawing, kicking, slugging, diving 175 pounds of dynamite. His tactics arouse the wrath and boos of 99 percent of the fans despite the fact that he has seldom met his equal in the wrestling ring.

Outside the ring, Hollis is one of the best mannered, quietest and best all-around sports we have met among the wrestlers.

Since the Texas rules went into effect months ago, the wrestling game has narrowed down to a survival of the fittest. Wrestlers have had to use every single leniency the law allows to “get by” in their struggles against the brawny giants of the mat game.

And Hollis, with his 175 pounds of bone and muscle, has many times been pitted against such larger opponents. He has developed the rough tactics to defend himself and never wastes any time. He is out for the kill from the opening gong.

“Fans like the rough-and-tumble, blood-and-thunder stuff,” Hollis told me. “Show me a popular wrestler and I’ll show you one who takes a licking more often than he wins. This wrestling business is mighty tough. You have to give and take a lot and when you don’t know how to give more than you take, it isn’t long before you’re walking on your heels, talking to yourself. A lot of the rough stuff in the ring would kill the average human being. But the wrestlers have to learn to take it. Some can take more than others. I have trained myself to absorb punishment, as well as deal it out, and I have encountered some wrestlers who could punch a lot harder than fighters. They have taught me plenty and I have learned a lot from each licking I took. Naturally, I don’t want the fans down on me and I will always assure them that when I’m in the ring I will be putting out everything I have for their entertainment, but they needn’t expect me to ease up on my rough tactics. When I do, I’ll be taking it on the chin so regularly that it won’t be long before I wouldn’t draw flies.”

Hollis is only 26 years old. He has been in the professional wrestling game for seven years; prior to that he was an amateur fighter of some note. He will be giving Red Lyons 10 pounds when they clash here Tuesday night and will be facing one of the toughest of the tough wrestlers, but that does not worry the Cowboy one whit. He can take it and – take it from him – he also can dish it out. Anyway, it ought to be a great fight.

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