Strangler Lewis Displays Famed Headlock Tonight

Sacramento Union – December 14, 1931
By Steve George

A world’s champion, known the width and breadth of the universe for his prowess on the wrestling mat, will be the attraction on display tonight in Memorial Auditorium as Sacramento goes “big time” for the first time since the advent of the grunt and groan sports scene some four months ago. Ed (Strangler) Lewis, recognized in most states as the present heavyweight wrestling champion of the world and onetime undisputed holder of the title when wrestling was wrestling, brings his famous headlock into play in a finish match, two out of three falls, with Nick Velcoff, an able-bodied giant of Bulgarian extraction, who in a short span of time lifted himself into the limelight of Pacifc Coast wrestling. To predict Velcoff will beat the champion would be folly, but stranger things have happened and Velcoff, primed for the opportunity, is prepared to wage a bitter battle against the master of men on a wrestling mat.

Regardless of the outcome, a night of entertainment is in store for local fans who have been quite generous in their support of the shows staged by the Disabled American Veterans, Doc P.H. Visser, local challenger to the heavyweight title and an attraction in his own right, takes the semi-windup position tonight against Jack Reynolds of Seattle, a recent arrival from the Northwest.

Visser would have liked to have been scheduled with Lewis, but financial arrangements could not be met by matchmaker Bill Mastin. A guarantee asked by Lewis was too stiff for the local promoter, but he has hopes of matching the two at a later date. Visser and Reynolds are billed for a one-fall, one-hour limit.

For the special event, Don Andreas Costanos, Spanish grappler who appeared in main-event roles no less than 12 times in San Francisco in recent months, is scheduled for a one-fall, 20-minute bout against Jimmy Kilonis, a stablemate of Lewis. It’s a case of Greek meets Spaniard in a tugging, fighting battle.

Opening the show will be a 15-minute match between Jack Reed of Portland and Hank Oswald.

The all-star card is presented without a price increase, although it is necessary to discontinue the free list and women will be admitted at a nominal cost.

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