Buffalo Courier-Express – January 27, 1940
By Ray Ryan
Elmer Slagel squared accounts with his hirsute nemesis, Ivan Rasputin, by virtue of an ancient but effective wrestling dodge last night in Broadway Auditorium. His triumph, achieved in 29 minutes 56 seconds, proved entirely to the liking of 5,018 Buffalo Sporting Club customers.
Going into action without the services of Count (The Brain) Rossi, who was injured last week. Elmer demonstrated that he possesses a bit of mat knowledge. He played smart as Rasputin rallied at the 27-minute mark. Ivan applied his spinning headlock twice, then flung Elmer about with five successive flying mares. Two punches apparently had Elmer ready for the cleaners—but he was only shamming, it seemed. Ivan tore in, only to be met by a double-barreled kick to the chest. He was catapulted over Elmer, onto his back. Then Elmer applied the press for the fall.
Elmer Gets Fans’ Advice
Although Elmer had no official advisor, he received the benefits of the best judgment of the spectators. “Give him Number Two, Elmer!” was the favorite slogan, the fans recalling those cabalistic signs affected by the Svengali Rossi.
Rasputin’s efforts to pin Elmer early in the bout by the use of orthodox measures were check-mated by Slagel’s contortionistic ability. On several occasions Ivan shrugged his shoulders after Elmer had calmly squirmed his way out of an apparently unbreakable hold. Rasputin’s shift of other methods appeared more successful, until Elmer played ‘possum to win.
Cox, Thesz Draw
The semifinal was a riotous 30-mlnute draw between the snarling Ted Cox and Louis Thesz, capable Midwestern performer. Cox was never in better form as he stormed all about the ring, losing friends and alienating people, notably Thesz and Referee Brennan, who was working his first show since suffering a leg injury some time ago. Cox relied principally upon his punching, Speed and stamina, while Thesz operated more deliberately and succeeded in .throwing King Kong into the press row twice, Ted almost making a bank shot off Judge Harry McCoy and Vinnie Richards, former Davis Cup tennis star, on one occasion.
Ben Shalom, powerfully-built Jewish athlete, fairly overpowered Mayes McLain before registering a fall in 11.14. Shalom, reputed to speak ten languages, didn’t show that many holds, but he didn’t seem to need them. He broke McLain’s best grips by main strength, and Mayes at times resorted to slugging and the elbow business, unusual for him.
The terror from Telaviv paved the way for Mac’s downfall by kicking Mayes on the chin, as the former Iowa grid ace attempted a flying tackle. The kick did Mayes no good, and he was easy prey for the decisive press.
Russell, Hosely Even
Rebel Russell, veteran of the mat wars, made his local debut in a 30-minute draw with Mark Hosely, which saw continuous action. The rivals went at top speed for the distance, and proved so evenly matched that a draw verdict was the only possible decision. They exchanged punches, drop kicks and orthodox holds with equal facility, and upon occasion tossed each other out of the ring.
Lee Henning ironed out Pat Reilly, known in some quarters as the American Angel, in 11.38 of the opener. Reilly, a bald-headed individual, proved something of a rabble rouser, and had the fans against him from the outset. Henning used a series of flying tackles to accomplish his objective.
Winners, Weights Last Night’s B.S.C. Mat Matches At Aud
Elmer Slagel, 245, threw Ivan Rasputin, 225, 29.56, body press.
Ted Cox, 235, and Louis Thesz, 230, wrestled a draw; 30 minutes, official decision.
Ben Shalom, 240, threw Mayes McLain, 238; 11.14, body press.
Rebel Russell, 215, and Mark Hosely, 228, wrestled a draw; 30 minutes, official decision.
Lee Henning, 230, threw Pat Reilly, 221, 11.38, flying tackle.
Referee, Willie (KO) Brennan; judges, Harry McCoy and Dan Russo; timer, Frank E. Klipfel; announcer, Manny Weitz.