The Hartford, Ct., Times – January 15, 1938
By Bill Shea
That famous cheer which, according to history, was first sounded in the Bronx received a tremendous workout at Foot Guard Hall last night.
The recipients were Danno O’Mahoney, who at one time wore the crown designating him world’s heavyweight wrestling champion, and Smiler Livingstone, Hartford’s own “popular” referee.
Danno, by the way (copyright, 1892, by A.B. McGinley) won the bout in two straight falls over Len Macaluso, ex-Colgate grid luminary, who substituted for Ed Don George. The latter, according to medical reports, is incapacitated by an abscessed arm.
Danno last night assumed the role of villain. But he wasn’t a very good one. He knew all the tricks, such as hair pulling, kicking, elbow battering, referee baiting, etc., but the performance in this strange role revealed crude and unconvincing style. It certainly looked as though he had been miscast.
Macaluso gave Danno more than the latter bargained for throughout the brawl. Danno’s tactics aroused the crowd, as it was expected, and even many of his warm admirers joined in the thunder of boos which arose every time the husky Irishman decided to become unorthodox.
The boys started off fast, each clamping a series of headlocks on the other. When the going got rough, Danno would run away or crawl out of the ring. That would make any Irishman mad — to see his own countrymen flee from a battle. It just wasn’t cricket, to use a good old British phrase. The first fall went to the son of Erin with his famed Irish whip in 22 minutes.
But it was the second fall which caused all the trouble. Macaluso got Danno in a vise-like scissors soon after the start and by the look on Danno’s face subjected the big Irishman to plenty of punishment. Danno squirmed and fought but couldn’t break the hold. Finally Macaluso pushed Danno’s shoulders firmly to the mat and kept them there for at least five seconds. No doubt Danno was down, but Smiler happened to be far over in back of the wrestlers and by the time he reached a position to see, Danno had swept up to his feet and with Len’s legs still tightly wound around his middle, held his opponent so his shoulders were touching. Smiler didn’t miss this one and Danno got the nod.
Pandemonium then broke loose. Hoots, catcalls and jeers filled the arena, as Danno ran to his dressing room. Smiler looked a little sad as his many constituents continued to give him the razzberry. They just couldn’t understand.
In the semifinal, Stan Pinto, former “bad man” of the ring, threw George Gostovich, the so-called “Mad Russian,” in the resin in 12 minutes with a body scissors.
Both of these grapplers tried something new in wrestling wardrobe style. Stanley appeared in a snow white robe which set off his profile in a lovely picture while the gentleman from Russia had the duckiest, gayest, gaudiest red satin piece trimmed with orange border very much like that of a Cossack dancer. It was a lovely colorful picture as these two gladiators strode into the ring, with the bright lights shining down on their upturned countenances and the hundreds of upturned faces just beaming with admiration at the fashion display. But the match was lousy.
Al Getz of Manchester whipped Billy Bartush in an elbow thumping match. Getz is an evident comer and he displayed marked superiority over his heavier but far slower opponent. The time was 23 minutes and 20 seconds. Bartush simply “collapsed” after absorbing “too much punishment.”
In the opening number, Frank Judson pinned Harry Finkelstein of New York in 11 minutes and 15 seconds. He, too, used a scissors hold. Verily, it was a great night for the tailors.
Don Louis Thesz, a 22-year-old grappler who recently beat Everett Marshall and Danno O’Mahoney, will wrestle at Foot Guard next Wednesday night.