Watson Subdues Rugged O’Donnell In Rough Match

Globe & Mail – February 28, 1947
By Jim Vipond

Whipper Billy Watson, idol of Toronto’s wrestling fandom, took 26 minutes and 21 seconds to successfully defend the initial challenge to his recently won world championship before more than 8,000 rabid supporters at Maple Leaf Gardens last night.

The challenger was badman Sandy O’Donnell, a caddish character who proved to be a stubborn stumbling block. On several occasions the villain caused the Watson entourage (which included most of the fans) to conjure up grim visions of sudden mat ruination as he came within a single slap from referee Cliff Worthy, of pinning the East York citizen and donning the accolade of ring superiority, as recognized in 36 of the U.S.A.

Sandy, a tallish operator who likes nothing better than to irritate the cash customers by sticking out his chest and strutting about the ring before and after a bout, win, lose or draw, used practically every illegal trick of the trade in a fruitless effort to vanquish the NWA champion of only a week’s duration.

He kicked, choked, gouged and punched the Whip for minutes on end to the accompaniment of the usual rush of faithful to the ringside screeching incriminations at the crew-cut performer.

However, Watson was equal to it all and had enough in reserve after twenty-five minutes to apply liberal portions of the flaying Irish Whip and the apparently unbreakable Canadian Avalanche. O’Donnell took a lot of punishment from the Whip with the whip, but it was the Avalanche that eventually cost him the bout.

The more rabid customers surrounded the ring after the bout and O’Donnell refused to leave until an adequate police cordon was provided. At that he had to run a gauntlet of men and women who let their irritation get the best of them and started charging the police line. One character managed to press a lighted cigaret against O’Donnell’s bare shoulder.

A new villain was introduced to Toronto fans in the semi-final in Lou Newman, making his first appearance at the Gardens. Newman, who calls Hollywood home, wrestled to a 30-minute draw with popular Bobby Bruns.

Also making his Toronto debut was a masked character named The Mummy. The fans had little opportunity of getting more than a quick glimpse at the strange one, however, as he took only five minutes and 47 seconds to subdue Toar Morgan with a body slam in the opening bout.

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