Category Archives: 1884

Duncan Ross Wins

The Sun – March 25, 1884

Throwing the Detroit Giant in the Mixed Wrestling Match in Cleveland.

CLEVELAND, March 24 – The great mixed wrestling match between D.C. Ross of Cleveland and Col. J. H. McLaughlin of Detroit, took place at the Euclid Avenue Opera House tonight in the presence of 1,000 persons, including many prominent sporting men from all parts of the country.  The match was made some weeks ago for $1,000 a side, the winner of two out of three falls to take the money.  Betting was lively, Ross being the favorite in this city at $20 to $17.  A large amount of money probably $25,000, changed hands on the result.  Ed Gilman of Detroit was chosen referee.  Parson Davies of Chicago acted as second for McLaughlin and Thomas Curry of Cleveland as second for Ross. Continue reading

Sports And Pastimes

The Syracuse Standard – March 28, 1884

Joe Acton is anxious to wrestle any man in the world, catch-as-catch-can, for from $500 to $1,000 a side.

Duncan C. Ross will wrestle, in Cleveland on April 7, with Sorakichi, the Jap.  Two bouts will be Japanese style, and two catch-as-catch-can.  If a fifth turn is necessary, the choice of style will be tossed for.

John Conners

The National Police Gazette: New York – February 9, 1884



In this issue we publish the portrait of the great English catch-as-catch-can wrestler, who is to wrestle Edwin Bibby at Providence, near Scranton, Pa., on Feb. 1.  Conners has never figured in many matches in this country, but is well known in England, where he won several important contests.  He is a powerful wrestler, well posted in all the locks and catches allowed in Lancashire wrestling, and his backer, Patrick Golden, of Scranton, is confident he can defeat any man in America but Joe Acton.  Conners, since his arrival in Scranton, has made a host of friends, and his many admirers are confident he will make a great effort to capture the $1,000 Richard K. Fox now holds.

Edwin Bibby

The National Police Gazette: New York – February 9, 1884



This noted athlete, whose name is a household word in the wrestling world, is a native of England, and he has figured in numerous matches both in England and America.  His most important matches were with Joe Acton, the Little Demon.  Bibby’s first match with Acton was for £25, and Acton won, on Dec. 27, 1873. Continue reading

The Jap Overmatched

Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette – June 17, 1884

Joe Acton Downs Him at His Own Game in Short Order.

Special to the Commercial Gazette.

PHILADELPHIA, PA., June 16. – About 500 persons were attracted to Pastime Park this afternoon to witness the wrestling match between the well-known Joe Acton, champion catch-as-catch-can style, and Matsada Sorakichi.  It was arranged that they should have two trials at the two kinds of wrestling and in the event of a tie score the final to be decided at Graeco-Roman.  A few minutes before 4 o’clock the men appeared stripped to the waist, Acton was very fleshy while the Jap with tanned skin looked like a bronze Hercules.  It proved to be a very tame affair, the Jap being very much overmatched.  The first fall was in Acton’s style and he secured it in two minutes and thirty-four seconds.  After a fresh of a few minutes the Japanese style was tried and by a clever trick Sorakichi let Acton overbalance himself, and to recover he touched the ground with his hands, thus losing the fall.  Another Japanese bout was tried, and Acton this time got hold of Sorakichi and had him down in one minute and thirty-five seconds.  The next, and what proved to be the last throw was catch-as-catch-can, Acton won in one minute and thirty-five seconds.

The Jap Too Much For Daly

The Sun – March 25, 1884

Five Feet Six Whirls Six Feet Two Twice To The Floor.

Wasting Strength On The Vanquished Han After His Fall And Holding On Until Police Captain McCullagh Pulled Him Off.

Capt. James C. Daly, the Irish champion, presented a splendid physique when he appeared on the platform in Clarendon Hall last evening to wrestle with Matsada Sorakichi, the Japanese wonder.  Daly stood six feet two, and gave his weight as 220 pounds.  He wore bright green tights.  His skin had a healthy and transparent glow which showed the working of muscle and every movement of his body.  Sorakichi was also stripped to the waist, and appeared all muscle.  His broad face wore a smile of confidence.  He stood five foot six, and weighed 185 pounds.  A brother Jap stepped from the crowd of five hundred in the hall to act as interpreter, and Steve O’Donnell was his umpire and handler.  Mr. William Barry attended to Capt. Daly.  Pop Whittaker was master of ceremonies and referee. Continue reading

A Wrestling Farce

The Evening Telegram – March 11, 1884

Sorakichi Astonishes Bibby By His Lightning Tricks.

About four hundred persons assembled at Clarendon Hall last night to witness a wrestling match on which it was said the sum of $400 stake money depended.  The men engaged for the performance were Edwin Bibby and Matsada Sorakichi, who claims to be the champion of Japan.  They had previously wrestled in catch-as-catch-can style at Irving Hall, when Bibby won easily, the Jap having no knowledge of that way of wrestling.  Last night the tables were turned when Bibby undertook to meet Sorakichi at the latter’s game of Japanese wrestling.  According to Japanese rules the men enter the nine foot circle and the first to go outside the lines loses the fall, or should either of the contestants touch the floor with any part of the body except the feet it is a fall.  “Pop” Whitaker was chosen referee and endeavored to find out what the rules were but Bibby did not know and Sorakichi could not speak English.  In sheer despair Whitaker called “time,” and the men, stripped to the waist, faced one another.  The Jap at once rushed Bibby across to the side of the stage, then turned round and threw up his hands to claim a fall.  Bibby clutched him around the neck, but the Jap carried him across the stage and hung on to the ropes.  The Englishman continued to haul away at the Jap till Captain McCullagh told him to stop.  Another attempt was then made to get at an understanding regarding the rules.  Bibby said he knew nothing about any nine foot ring, but he would wrestle “anything down a fall.”  Sorakichi consulted with a Japanese lady and gentleman in the audience, and Bibby’s terms were accepted as binding.  Time was called again, the men faced each other, the Jap jumped at Bibby, then jumped back again and the Englishman came forward on his hands and knees, whereupon Sorakichi gave him a resounding spank on his back – the whole occupying six seconds.  The audience roared with laughter, and even Bibby joined in at the idea of his being tricked so easily.  The second fall was taken by the Jap in 26 ¼ seconds, and a third in 10 ¼ seconds.  The latter was not allowed, for some reason not altogether plain to the onlookers, and Sorakichi held up four fingers to indicate he had already won four falls.  He obliged again, however, and this time Bibby stood up straighter and got a neck and arm hold, but before he knew what was the matter the wily Jap jumped back and Bibby was down on his hands and knees.  Time, 52 ¼ seconds.  This fall was allowed and ended the match, which was the best three in five falls.

The Jap Defeats Christol

The Roman Citizen – April 18, 1884

CLEVELAND, O., April 13. – Matsada Sorakichi and Andre Christol wrestled a mixed match at the City Armory, in this city, last night.  The first bout, Japanese style, was won by Sorakichi in ten seconds, the Frenchman going to the floor on all fours after two collisions, Sorakichi butting him twice about the neck.  Christol won the second bout, catch-as-catch-can, in four minutes by a leg and a half Nelson hold.  Sorakichi butted Christol like an animated battering ram in the third bout, but Christol had his revenge in the next round at catch-as-catch-can wrestling.  Each having won two falls, the final fall was determined by lot.  Sorakichi won, speedily settling the match by putting Christol to the floor in fifteen seconds.

A Victory For Muldoon

The New York Times – December 15, 1884

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 14. – The wrestling match which had been announced for a week  past for $500 a side and the division of the gate money between William Muldoon and J. H. McLaughlin came off this afternoon in Pope’s Theatre, and was witnessed by a great crowd.  The match was won at the end of five bouts by Muldoon, who won the second bout, catch-as-catch-can; the fourth, side hold, and the fifth, Graeco-Roman.  McLaughlin took the first, collar and elbow, and the third, back hold.

M’Laughlin Defeats Muldoon

The New York Times – November 10, 1884

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 9. – William Muldoon, of New-York, the champion Graeco-Roman wrestler, and Col. McLaughlin, of this city, had a mixed wrestling match, best three out of five, for a purse of $900 last night.  Each secured two falls, and in the fifth bout Muldoon’s hold broke, when McLaughlin was declared the winner.