Nick Londes Starts A Drive To ‘Purify’ Wrestling Game

United Press – April 5, 1936

DETROIT – Nick Londes, Detroit’s impressario of promotion, Saturday announced the opening of his campaign to purify the wrestling industry.

This benevolent movement, according to Londes, will help raise the grunt-and-groan profession to a high standard by eliminating the so-called gorillas, mustachioed fakirs, bearded beasts and small-fry wrestlers who, it is claimed, are running the sport into the ground.

The Detroit promoter, whose endeavors range from pugilism to grand opera, has requested the National Wrestling Association to sanction a professional tournament, to be held in Detroit “from now until we clean out the fakes.”

Londes’ present plans call for a tournament with matches to be held weekly (if necessary) among wrestlers who think they can last 10 minutes in a gym workout with some of the present-day chieftains of the industry.

“In other words,” Londes explained, “every wrestler in the country will have a chance. The gymnasium eliminations will push aside these man-eating monsters – the type that is disgusting the fans.

The school of wrestlers Londes would like to force out of the business are the ones he describes as the chair-smashing, eye-poking palookas, whose crowd appeal depends upon such stunts as eating spectators’ straw hats and slugging referees. Nick insists that Danno O’Mahoney, Jim Londos, Ray Steele, Strangler Lewis, Gus Sonnenberg or any of the other top-notchers could wrap any 10 “burlesque wrestlers” around the ring posts in two minute.

Londes’ plans were revealed following the suspension and late reinstatement this week of Dick Shikat, recognized world heavyweight champion, by the Michigan Athletic Commission. Indiana and Tennessee have barred the new N.W.A. champion because he failed to show up for contracted exhibitions.

Shikat, who recently wrested the heavyweight crown from O’Mahoney, is the No. 1 nomination on the Detroit promoter’s list of small-fry wrestlers.

“Any wrestler who jumps dates and is always complaining about the so-called wrestling trust is a disgrace to the sport,” Nick insisted.

The Detroit promoter stamps as first-class wrestling flesh such performers as Lewis, Steele, O’Mahoney, Londos, Sonnenberg, Jim McMillen, Man Mountain Dean, the Dusek brothers, Joe Savoldi, Ed Don George, Dr. Karl Sarpolis, Hans Kampfer, Hans Steinke, Ray Richards, Fred Grubmeier, Leo Numa, Vincent Lopez, George Zaharias, Cliff Olson and Everett Marshall.

It might be well to mention that Londes is in the midst of bitter rivalry with Herr Adam Weissmuller for the title of Detroit’s No. 1 promoter. Shikat will wrestle at the Arena Gardens Monday with John Leon Grandovich under Weissmuller’s colors. The champion, with many extra pounds of blubber around his midsection, worked out yesterday, and told spectators that when he won the title from O’Mahoney he could have broken the Irishman’s arm with the triumphant bar hammerlock.

The Shikat-Grandovich match was approved by the State Athletic Board because the contracts were signed before the suspension was voted.


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