The Oregonian – November 3, 1927
Ira Dern, the handsome Salt Lake City matman, won from Mike Romano, Chicago Italian, on a foul in their wrestling match at the Heilig Theater last night. The match ended when, after each man had taken a fall, Romano gave Dern the knee in the pit of the stomach. That was too much for referee Chet Wiles who, up to that time, had been overlooking considerable more rough stuff than the wrestling law allows. He stepped in while Dern was still writhing on the mat from the effects of the kick and awarded the match to the Salt Lake City grappler.
Romano, from start to finish, tried to turn the bout into a miniature Chicago gang war to the extent of slugging, kicking, biting and gouging. The only thing he didn’t take into the ring with him was a machine gun.
In what little actual wrestling took place Dern had it over his opponent in every department. He started out in the first period by all but twisting Romano’s head off his shoulders with a varied headlock attack in which he slapped on head holds from every position. He also worked a short arm scissors with telling effect. The hold which brought him the first fall in 16 minutes 52 seconds was a wicked leg split.
Romano spent most of the time of the first fall in trying to land a sleep producer on Dern and in making wild gestures at the spectators when warned to cut out the rough stuff by referee Wiles.
The second fall was clocked in 10 minutes 3 seconds by timekeeper George Adams. It was ten minutes of fast and rough work on the part of both men. Dern tried just once to work his famous airplane spin but when he failed to pull it off successfully switched to another headlock attack. After Romano had been treated to a half dozen flying headlocks, the Italian looked as if he was about ready to call it a night but he crossed everybody up by putting Dern down for the fall.
There wasn’t any wrestling science used by Romano in taking the fall. He was behind Dern at the time, with both men on their feet. Romano had his arms locked around Dern’s middle when suddenlyhe brought his locked fists sharply against the Salt Lake City man’s midsection. The force of the blow was enough to knock the wind out of Dern and he flopped to the canvas. Before he could recover Romano had pounced on him and pinned him for the fall.
The third period lasted 6 minutes 2 seconds. It was a repetition of the rough work of the first two periods until Romano, after rushing Dern to the ropes, brought up his knee to the latter’s groin.
In the 30-minute preliminary, Walter Johnson took one fall and a decision from Oscar Olson.