Tag Archives: Gus Sonnenberg

Lewis Keeps Title By Pinning Meyers

The New York Times – February 7, 1933
By James P. Dawson

Ed (Strangler) Lewis, world’s heavyweight wrestling champion, had no difficulty defending his crown last night against the assault of Dr. Fred Meyers, Chicago’s grappler-dentist, in Madison Square Garden. Continue reading

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Jim Browning Trounces Gus Sonnenberg

Los Angeles Times – July 13, 1933

Surprising practically nobody, Jim Browning defeated Gus Sonnenberg in the feature wrestling match at the Olympic last night. Gus won the first fall but Browning rallied to take the next two in great style. Continue reading

Jim Browning Out To Wreck Gus Sonnenberg

Los Angeles Times – July 11, 1933

When Jim Browning arrived here from the East a few days ago to complete training work for his three-fall title match with “Dynamite” Gus Sonnenberg at the Olympic tomorrow night, he was warned by close friends to keep pout of the way of the former champion’s low billy-goat butts as the referee had never called a foul on the chunky 200-pounder for their use. Continue reading

On the Mat

Time – February 2, 1931

In Madison Square Garden, Jim Londos humped an enormous torso shaped like a single pile of white dough and topped with a tiny spike of head, wrapped his arms around Jim McMillen, U. S. wrestler who once played with Red Grange on Illinois’ football team. For 56 minutes, 54 seconds they grunted, sweated, flopped with terrific thuds on the canvas. Once Londos threw McMillen out of the ring. Then McMillen slipped Londos through the ropes. Then both fell down into the press bench, were helped in again, resumed grappling. At last Londos picked up McMillen, slapped him down, rolled him over with a quick half Nelson that won the match and kept one of the world’s heavyweight wrestling championships safe for Greece. Two nights before the bout, at a dinner in the Madison Square Garden Club, lion-headed, box-chested Londos had been presented with a jeweled gold belt supposed to symbolize the wrestling championship of the world. However, it is not the only belt with this significance. Don George, Michigan graduate, also claims the world’s championship because he beat Gus Sonnenberg two months ago. Not since herculean Frank Gotch retired in 1913, after a career in which he won 154 matches out of 160, has there been an undisputed heavyweight wrestling champion. In the last seven years two main groups of wrestlers have emerged to do business separately, each with its own champion: a group controlled by Promoter Jack Curley in the East, the other by old-time Billy Sandoz in the Midwest and on the Pacific Coast. Curley’s champion is recognized by the National Boxing Association, whose authority over wrestling is vague. Sandoz’ champion is supported mainly in Massachusetts, Michigan and California. To Curley goes credit for having revived wrestling, long discredited by its reputation as an incurably crooked sport, as a big money-maker in eastern cities.* It is still maintained by experts, and borne out in college wrestling, that when wrestlers are sincere they immediately fall to the mat and lie prone, grunting, until one succumbs from fatigue. No matter what can be said for its spirit, such sincerity is exceedingly weak as entertainment.

*Rev. Charley Urban, onetime University of Pennsylvania footballer and 220lb. wrestler, signed a professional wrestling contract with a Philadelphia promoter. “A preacher doesn’t get much money and the little I can make on the side will keep me in a cheerful frame of mind which . . . will be reflected in my sermons,” said he.

Jim Londos And Joe Savoldi Meet Tonight

Chicago Tribune – April 7, 1933

Jim Londos and Joe Savoldi will wrestle tonight at the Stadium in the main bout of a five-match program. The encounter is to be decided by one fall, with a time limit of an hour and a half.

In one of the other bouts, Jim McMillen will meet George Zaharias. Matchmaker Coffey has promised McMillen that he will get a chance at the winner of the main bout at a later date if he is victorious tonight. Continue reading

Home Town Happy

Chicago Tribune – January 6, 1929

MARQUETTE, Mich., Jan. 5 – (Special) – A farmer boy from “the sticks” of the northern peninsula of Michigan today wears the world’s heavyweight championship wrestling belt and the “old home town” is right proud. The champion is Gustav Sonnenberg, who took the title from Strangler Lewis at Boston, Mass., last night, and the “old home town” is Marquette. Continue reading

Sonnenberg, New Mat Champ, Plans To Take On All Comers

Associated Press – January 5, 1929

BOSTON, Mass. – “Dynamite” Gus Sonnenberg wants to be an active heavyweight wrestling champion. He said today that he would rest only two weeks and then take on any opponent any promoter selected for him. Continue reading

On The Hoof

Saturday Evening Post – December 14, 1935
By Milton MacKaye

The standing of wrestling as a profit-making enterprise has received little attention in the economic journals, and even those publications devoted to the fevers of sport have been niggardly in space and headlines. There has been a general tendency to regard wrestling as a sort of little country cousin of the opulent boxing profession, a rude and primitive trial of strength persisting feebly in the backwoods sections, but destined ultimately to become as extinct as the broadsword. As a public spectacle, it has been rated just ahead of long-distance walking contests and the hop, skip, and jump, and considerably behind the breath-taking thrills and romance of puss-in-the-corner and the potato race. Continue reading

‘Ali Baba Bah!’ – So Scoffs Gus

Detroit Free Press – April 28, 1936

As far as Gus Sonnenberg is concerned, he will be wrestling for the world’s championship Friday night when he takes on Danno O’Mahoney at the Olympia. The dispute in the courts has not affected Gus in the least. Continue reading

You Don’t Say!

The Pittsburgh Press – July 12, 1929

The Illinois Athletic Commission recently barred Dan Koloff, a Boston wrestler, from the state…  It was charged that he wrestled Gus Sonnenberg six times since March 19… Once under his own name… And the other times under these names – Dave Shannon, Dan Kolman, Dave Petroff and Fred Gotch… And Paul Prehn, the chairman of the Illinois commission, is a former wrestler… And the wrestling coach at the University of Illinois… McGraw was bounced by the umpire a few days ago for the first time in years…  And Robby, the Brooklyn manager, never has been gated…  And when McGraw was walking toward the gate Robby said – “It’s about time some of these young fellows learn to hold their tempers.”