Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – January 7, 1936
By Havey J. Boyle
Jump Into Ring After O’Mahoney and Dusek Refuse To Halt When Bout Is Called Draw By Referee.
While Charley Chaplin gave up cop-chases as a part of his comedy act back as far as the old Keystone Comedy days, the gentlemen who control wrestling in the country felt all along, apparently, that Pittsburgh had never seen enough of the time-honored situation so last night a squad of Pittsburgh’s finest were inducted into the action in the sketch between Danno O’Mahoney, dubbed the wrestling champion of the world, and Ernie Dusek, a Midwesterner, in the North Side Arena.
It has been done successfully in nearly all the large centers of wrestling, but until last night the boys have contented themselves here with the regular routine of comedy, gymnastics and acting.
Fall Out of Ring
Finding the game lagging a little here – the house was short of the first crowd attracted by O’Mahoney – the boys last night, while going through a draw in 45 minutes and 10 seconds, decided to bring in the bluecoats.
The first part of the business was to start alleged confusion by having both wrestlers rolling off the mat into the crowd. This has been done countless times before. But O’Mahoney and Dusek prolonged their absence from the ring so long as they rolled among the first row occupants that the referee, Charley Dickerhof, counted 10 over both of them and thus brought the sketch to a conclusion with a draw verdict.
It was not a curious coincidence at all, that shortly after the referee thus ended the affair, both wrestlers, a moment ago, so unwilling to re-enter the ring, now made great haste in getting back, and it was not unusual either, as they saw the referee trying to stop them from wrestling, that they insisted on continuing. Neither was doing much to the other, but the situation had the aspect of two desperate men who had turned a professional engagement into a personal encounter. Nothing appeals more to a crowd and no one knows this better than a wrestler.
Then, with the referee powerless to stop the men from pretending they were murder bent, policemen jumped into the play.
They were a little handicapped as they were in uniform and without benefit of gymnasium shoes or trunks. Still, it appeared here that Officers Roy Schaffer, Sylvester Stoehr and Jim McCormick won the decision over O’Mahoney, while Tom Cavanaugh, Bernard Bloom and Dave Wilson had no trouble whatever in putting an arm lock on Dusek. Lieutenant Dan McGreevy, who entered the ring at 10:45 o’clock, a second ahead of the other officers, had a roving commission, first pinioning Dusek and then paying attention to O’Mahoney.
Meanwhile, that part of the crowd which still believes in Santa Claus, howled and jeered. Old wrestling addicts laughed and watched closely for any new technique that might come out of a stock situation.
That the boys last night were set to put on a few extra flourishes was gleaned in the sketch between the knock-kneed Irish champion and the bull-necked and sweaty Dusek. That hint came when O’Mahoney did a nose dive out of the ring into the lap of a lady with a green hat sitting in row A of Section B. Not a large lady, she nevertheless, after the first shock, dexterously slid off her chair, and minus O’Mahoney who was now forced into the dubious expedient of resting on the lap of a fat gentleman close by, came up smiling amid the cheers of the crowd.
One gallant gentleman, refusing to stand by while American womanhood was thus being treated by a former soldier of the Irish Free State, reached from the third row and struck the Irish patriot a blow on the back with his soft hat. From now on he doubtless will wear a derby to wrestling shows, to be prepared for any contingency.
Some $3,000 was registered at the gate, as against about $5,000 on the champion’s first appearance here. While the main bouters and preliminaries were on a percentage of the gate the policemen were on the old rate of $5.50 a night.
Whether the cops will be brought back at the next show depends on the whims of the wrestling promoters. There was talk last night that city firemen might be called in to help out in the next extravaganza.
Since the police part went over so well as a grand climax it is possible a flock of custard pies will be employed next. Anything goes in wrestling because the boxing commission here wants to clean it up from the old mess it used to be in around Pittsburgh.
Joey Dusek Fine Actor.
While a part of the preliminary bill somehow got one-to-thinking about Major Bowes there was nothing amateurish about the portrayal of a wrestler in agony by one of the royal family of the game, known as Joey Dusek. Teamed in the semi-final with Vic Christy, cast as the hero of the sketch. Joey Dusek was every inch the perfect villain simulating foul tactics and following up this excellent bit with loud complaints to the fans and referee when he became the alleged victim of the same kind of tactics.
No one in this theatrical season made better faces, more awful sounds, or so willingly and enthusiastically allowed his head to be butted on the floor or his jaw to be exposed to what some fans passed as a furious assault by Christy.
With an eye to dramatic progress and climax, young Christy would one moment be apparently on the verge of collapsing from one of Dusek’s holds and the next second with the crowd now completely demanding he get adequate revenge, Christy would chase Dusek around the ring.
More than once Dusek, for full measure, rolled into the laps of the spectators. Once, Tommy Barr, the southpaw golfer sitting in the front row fondled Dusek as the 200-pounder cuddled in Tommy’s lap.
It was a 45 minute sketch with the decision being, of course, the time-honored draw.
Steinke Throws Strack.
The other preliminaries were routine bits of business. Hans Steinke, a veteran trouper, who many think, if they took the blanket off him, could toss the rest of the company within a short space of time, threw Charley Strack in 10 minutes and 46 seconds. Strack weighed 244 against Steinke’s 245 pounds.
Bill Sledge and Joe Tonti, the latter asserting that Midland is his home, put on a Major Bowes affair. This was not even funny. And the timekeeper’s bell ending the affair after 15 minutes was as welcome to the customers as the more celebrated gong made famous by Major Bowes. Tonti weight 211 pounds, Sledge one pound less.
In the curtain raiser Sandor Vary, with a body slam, won over John Swenzki in 10 minutes and 20 seconds.