Nagurski Regains Title

St. Paul Pioneer Press – March 12, 1941

Bronko Nagurski, International Falls, Minn., dethroned Ray Steele, Lincoln, Neb., as holder of the National Wrestling Association’s heavyweight championship before 8,000 fans in the Minneapolis Armory Tuesday night.

It took Nagurski 57 minutes and 17 seconds to subdue Steele and capture the title for the third time in just a year to the week after he lost the crown to his opponent. But, in that 57 minutes, the former Minnesota All-American was the master of the situation.

Finally, after beating Steele around the ring, he cracked the St. Louis grappler three times with bone-breaking flying tackles followed by one shoulder block after another against the ropes and when Steele was out on his feet he picked him up with a backflip.

Steele was unable to move during the fatal three-second count.

Nagurski, the favorite of the crowd, gave as neat an exhibition of making and breaking holds as has ever been seen here. He actually threw the wrestling book at Steele with toe holds, full nelsons, hammerlocks, flying tackles and blocks, scissors and aeroplane spins.

Once, after 15 minutes of wrestling in which the Bronko had the upper hand, Steele came up with a toe hold that took the much stronger Nagurski almost four minutes to break. Another time, after 25 minutes, one of Nagurski’s famous flying tackles went wrong and Steele fell on him for a one count.


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