Los Angeles Herald-Express – July 15, 1937
By E.W. Krauch
Man Mountain Dean, giant Georgia hillbilly wrestler, wasn’t kiddin’ in the least last night at the Olympic Auditorium as he lay on the canvas moaning:
“My leg, my leg! It’s broken!”
Today Dean, with his left leg in a cast, was in Georgia Street Receiving Hospital.
X-rays revealed that he sustained several broken bones and pulled muscles as a result of being tossed over the top ropes by Sandor Szabo during last night’s main event at the Grand Avenue arena.
“Some of the fans seemed to think I was kiddin’,” groaned Dean from his hospital cot today. “Even that Szabo didn’t believe me. Why, he even kicked me in the face as I tried to tell ’em I had a broken leg. I guess this is proof enough, ain’t it?”
And then the Man Mountain rubbed his hand through his whiskers and said:
“Aw, I’ve had enough of this business. I’m 46 now, and if I break a leg on a little fall like that I guess it’s time to quit. Yep, I’m going to quit wrestling for good this time.”
Dean’s injury last night came as the climax to a wild evening of mat competition.
It was by far the wildest bill of wrestling ever dished up at the Grand Avenue arena, and that includes the gripping battles offered by Ernie Dusek and the old-time free-for-alls which made “Dirty Dick” Daviscourt one of the most hated guys of all-time Olympic wrestlers.
Practically the entire card was so wild that most of the customers were doing everything but sitting down in their seats during the proceedings.
And down in the first three rows, especially, most of the folks would have been better off if they could have spent the evening standing up in the ring, because most of the time they were giving up their $3 seats to a couple of huskies who had no idea of sitting down.
Gather an ear-load of these details:
Man Mountain Dean gets himself defeated by Sandor Szabo, and makes the hospital with a badly injured leg after a wild session, which would make a riot look like a picnic.
Vincent Lopez and Gino Garibaldi spend most of the evening outside the ring taking pot shots at each other and the cash customers and the referee finally counts them both out and calls it a draw.
Ted Key, who learned how to tackle under the expert Bill Spaulding of U.C.L.A., puts on one of the greatest free-for-alls of any time and wins from “Dirty Dick” Lever.
And, to give announcer Dan Tobey credit, he all but sustains a broken back and minor injuries to his valuable vocal chords when one of the angry contestants attempts to toss Daniel for a row of lions’ dens while the meek and mild mannered Tobey is attempting to announce that somebody has won something in some time or other.
Of course, all wrestling fans know that Man Mountain Dean’s match with Szabo was a rematch from last week, when Dean used a running broad jump to win while the referee was out in the front row seats.
Szabo demanded the return go, insisted that he’d get revenge, and he made good his threat.
Although he dropped the first fall when the bewhiskered Dean clamped on a hammer lock and yelled, “I’ll break it off!” Szabo made short work of the M.M. when he finally got down to business in the second fall.
Dean had dashed from his corner at the start of the session, clamped on another hammer lock and the cash customers were practically heading for the exits when the Hungarian strong man managed to stagger to his feet and flip the M.M. over the top rope of the ring.
Dean landed on one of his legs and yelled like a stuck pig.
“It’s broke. It’s broke!” he groaned.
Referee Don McDonald didn’t take the trouble to count him out.
He immediately called Dr. Lloyd Mace into the ring and after a hurried examination Dr. Mace decided that Dean was unable to continue.
As they carried the M.M. out on a stretcher, Szabo yelled to the customers at ringside:
“Next time, I’ll break his neck!”
That battle was a classic.
But the Lopez-Garibaldi contest was a super production.
More dirt was dished than you’ll find in a Japanese celery garden. It was just one grip after another on telephones, seats, cash customers’ necks and arms for some 36 minutes, when both finally became so entwined out in the fourth row that referee Dick Rutherford counted ’em out.
When they finally returned to the canvas and Rutherford hoisted both arms in signal of a draw, another fight started that sent ringside customers scurrying for shelter. Only the timely arrival of Chief Officer of the Peace Sid Marks caused the boys to realize that it was time to go down and get a shower.
However, of all the matches, Ted Key probably made the biggest hit of the evening.
Last week he slapped Chief Thunder Bird into submission. Last night, using the good old football tactics that Bill Spaulding planted in his noodle when he was playing for U.C.L.A., Key made himself a host of friends by battering Dick Lever down and out with a series of tackles that would have even made Gus Sonnenberg look like a sissy. Key’s win required but 7 minutes and 31 seconds, and that’s speedy time with a guy like Lever.
In other bouts: Jimmy Sarandos and Hans Steinke went 30 minutes to a draw; Laverne Baxter used a flying tackle to flatten George Wilson in 6:57; Ignacio Martinez clamped on a reverse Indian death grip in 13:20 to beat Tom Marvin, while Jules Strongbow kicked Leo Papiano in the face in 6:20 to win the verdict.