Wrestling Fake At Last Is Exposed

The Pittsburg Press – April 28, 1916
By Robert Edgren

“Masked Marvel” Henderson Under Weekly Salary, With Date Of His Defeat Known In Advance

New York, April 28 – A new attempt is being made to make a popular “mystery” of a wrestler called the “Masked Marvel” and identified as Mort Henderson, a clever western mat artist who lacked the bulk necessary to make him actually first class.  Two of the officials told me there were no less than three men in the so-called “tournament” held at the Manhattan Opera House who could throw him at any time.  They were Aberg, Zbyszko and Lewis.

The “tournament” hippodromed its way along for weeks, the “Marvel” being a star attraction.  His presence was explained rather romantically.  According to the story he appeared like some old knight entering the lists with visor down and issuing his defiance to all comers.  He was said to have walked into the manager’s office one night, masked.  Thinking he was a robber the manager leaped to close the safe.  The masked man then explained that he merely wanted a chance to wrestle the best men in the tournament, and go unrewarded if he failed to beat them.  He appeared in disguise and always left in a closed car, for a supposedly unknown destination.

The mere facts were that the “Marvel” was mysterious only to the spectators, and was paid a weekly salary for his work.

I went to the Manhattan Opera House affair one night – I believe it was the last night in December.  The “Marvel” was wrestling Zbyszko.  Aberg, programmed for the next bout, was standing around in his wrestling tights as if ready to go on.  I wanted to see Aberg wrestle, but about midnight grew tired of waiting for the end of the “Marvel” – Zbyszko match, which went along with all sorts of picturesque complications.  I left my seat on the stage and started for the exit.  One of the officials walked along with me.

“I’d like to stay and see Aberg,” I said, “but it’s getting too late.”

“Come on outside,” said the official.

When we had left the stage he stopped.

“Aberg isn’t going on tonight, he said.

“But he’s supposed to go on,” I said.  “He’s waiting around in his tights.”

“Oh, that’s just a stall,” said the official.  “Zbyszko and the ‘Marvel’ are going to wrestle until 1 o’clock without a fall.  Tomorrow night Aberg is going to throw the ‘Marvel.’  Then they’re going to have a return match and wrestle to a draw.  You’ll have a chance to see Aberg.”

The prediction came out so exactly as to preclude any suspicion of guess-work on the part of the official.  But he was wrong in one thing.  I didn’t see Aberg.  I didn’t care to see any more wrestling “contests” in New York.

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