Norfolk Virginian-Pilot and the Norfolk Landmark – March 16, 1916
With interest at high pitch everything is in readiness for the bout between “Strangler” Lewis and Antone Irsa, the “Bohemian Perfect Man,” at the Pickwick tonight. A preliminary will be staged between two of the best known local grapplers and the demand for reserved seats indictes that the largest crowd of the season will be witness the match.
Ed “Strangler” Lewis became champion catch-as-catch-can wrestler of the world January 17, 1916, after a series of the roughest battles in the annals of this ancient sport. Lewis won decisions from Wladek Zbyszko, Dr. Roller, Sula Hevonpaa, Ivan Linow, Pierre La Caloose,
Johnson, Lundin, Christiansen, Mohl, Vogel, Wagner, Schilling and many other wrestling stars. Lewis won the championship at the great international tournament which was staged in the Manhattan Opera House, New York City. More than 50 of the world’s best wrestlers competed, and Lewis carried off the honor of the catch-as-catch-can championship. Some of his experiences in lfattening the big specimens on their backs were among the most thrilling in the history of the wrestling game.
The best of the European stars was Zbyszko. It was in New York on January 17 that Lewis met and defeated Zbyszko after a sensational match lasting nearly an hour and thirty minutes.
Strangler Lewis, who is booked to appear in this city tonight, is a fanatic on the wrestling game, and he is constantly studying it with the idea of perfecting new holds. He announces that he has a brand new one to spring, sort of a crotch and half-Nelson to be used in connection with his famous headlock, using his leg to secure the crotch hold He calls the new hold the “grapevine and headlock” and believes it will prove a winner.
Lewis, so far as strength is concerned, is sort of superhuman. He has the arms of a Hercules, the chest development of Fitzsimmons and the brawn of a John L. Sullivan. This is a formidable combination but it is an accurate description of the prowess of the Kentucky Strangler. He has beaten the best in the game and is always willing to take on all comers.
Lewis is always in good condition and when he goes after a man he never seems to tire. It is because of his wonderful strength and endurance that Lewis is the most feared heavyweight wrestler on the mat today. Leading experts declare Lewis to be the perfection of physical power and wrestling science and possessing a marvelous endurance, carrying 225 pounds that is every ounce vigor.
Zbyszko was rated a wonderfully strong man. Lewis dazed him with the rapidity of his attack. He thought and acted quicker than the slow-thinking Pole could follow. The wrestler that beats Lewis will not only have to be possessed of wonderful strength and endurance, but he will also have to possess quickness of perception and ability to execute the messages of his brain.