Tag Archives: Henry Graber

Second-Rate Talent Killing Mat Game Here

Norfolk Ledger-Dispatch – May 17, 1937

The repeated use of second-rate talent is slowly but surely killing the professional wrestling game in Norfolk.

There was a time when $1,200 and $1,300 houses were not uncommon. Continue reading

Last Night’s Mat Results At The Olympic

Los Angeles Times –  January 12, 1933

Ray Steele won over George Zaharias in the main event of Lou Daro’s wrestling match last night at the Olympic by gaining the “rubber” fall with a full nelson in 16m. and 50s. A istic fight between the gladiators followed, but Daro separated them before any bodily harm was done. Continue reading

Londos Beats Vic Christy in Straight Falls

San Francisco Chronicle – February 17, 1933

Whatever wrestling championship it was that Jimmy Londos held when he came here, he still holds for he easily defeated Vic Christy in two straight falls last night at the Civic Auditorium before a crowd of about 6,500. The crowd was keen for Christy but Londos was entirely too strong, clever and experienced for the young fellow and when he got ready to take a fall he took it in decisive fashion. Continue reading

Londos Scores Over Szabo At Olympic

Los Angeles Times – November 9, 1939

Lee Wykoff joined the also-rans in the international wrestling tourney at the Olympic last night, lumbering Hans Steinke being returned the winner, but it was Jeemy Londos and Sandor Szabo who stole the show with a Graeco-Roman match which had no bearing on the tournament proper. Continue reading

Mercier Is Victor Over Zeller In Feature Bout At Auditorium

The Ottawa Evening Citizen – April 5, 1935

Flying Frenchman From Vancouver Shows Improved Form and Gives Pleasing Display in Defeating Former University of Indiana Football Star on Queensbury A.C. Program.  Little Beaver, Goldberg Win.

Showing marked improvement over previous appearances here, Al Mercier, the Flying Frenchman from Vancouver, last night scored a two-falls-to-one victory over Ernie Zeller, former University of Indiana football star, in the main bout of the Queensbury A.C. wrestling program in the local Auditorium.  Mercier’s improved form was so pronounced that he was stamped a favorite by the enthusiasts present, and his victory was enthusiastically acclaimed at the conclusion of the bout. Continue reading

Oki Shikina Bows To Londos At Olympic

Los Angeles Times – February 23, 1933

Oki (Chokey) Shikina was no match for Jimmy Londos last night, the Greek titleholder stopping the Japanese grappler in the second round of the tussle at the Olympic.

Londos used a backward body slam to beat Shikina and Oki was knocked out by the fall, forcing three cops and an usher to pack him away. The end came after 16m. 23s. of the catch-as-catch-can round.

Starting the match, Oki won the toss and elected to wrestle with the kimonos on in jiu-jitsu style.Shikina had the better of the going, but failed to make Londos say Uncle Oki, which is what one must do to win in jiu-jitsu grappling. This went on for 20m. and then the catch-as-catch-can wrestling commenced, which ended disastrously for Oki.

George Kotsonaros and Vic Christy grappled all over the place in the semi-wind-up but got practically nowhere for the match ended after thirty minutes in a draw. Kotsonaros suffered a cut eye during the melee, while Christy contracted a pretty shiner and with all the grunts, groans and grimaces there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Wladek Zbyszko inaugurated a new hold to beat Don De Laun in the special event. After two minutes and thirty-seven seconds of wrestling hither and thither around the ring, Don tried a flying scissors. Just as Don started to fly Zibby turned his back so De Laun landed plop on the broad Pole’s rear. Zibby got all excited and started coughing, falling backward with Don on the bottom. Thus De Laun was knocked colder than an Eskimo’s hat and Zbyszko was awarded the victory on a backward cough drop.

Rudy Skarda beat Henry Graber in 20m. 47s. with a sneaker side body slam. This also was a new fall improvised for the occasion. Skarda started to look for a nickel or something. This drew Graber’s attention and he also commenced gazing at the canvas. Skarda then jumped on poor old Hank when he wasn’t looking and won the match.

In the opening bout Walter La Core beat Clyde Miller in 14m. 10s. with a body slam. This is sometimes known in the wrestling world as a “buddy” slam, as it is only used between “pals.” La Core presented a striking color scheme, wearing bright yellow tights, which were  enhanced later in the bout when La Core suffered a nose bleed.

Londos And Szabo Tangle In Graeco-Roman Tiff

Los Angeles Times – November 8, 1939

Jimmy Londos makes his first appearance in a wrestling ring here since he joined the ranks of the benedicts when he appears tonight at the Olympic in a Graeco-Roman match against Sandor Szabo, the Hungarian heavyweight star.

Jimmy is the world’s catch-as-catch-can champion, but Szabo has repeatedly dared him to meet him at the ancient European style and it took quite a bit of angling to get Londos to agree to the match.

Olympic rules will prevail. The match will be over three periods of 10 minutes each with a minute rest in between. A decision will be rendered by two judges and the referee on the best two-out-of-three throws. No holds are permitted below the waist under Graeco-Roman rules.

Don McDonald will referee the bout and Snowy Baker, noted Australian sportsman, and Frank Borzage, the ace film director, will act as judges.

Szabo was an Olympic Games champion at Graeco-Roman before coming to this country. Londos often has wrestled abroad under Graeco-Roman rules but never here.

The Graeco-Roman bout is an added feature, promoter Jack Daro announces, to the international tournament bouts. Nine matches are on the tourney card with the Hans Steinke-Lee Wykoff showdown being the top spot in interest.

Bill Hansen, Salt Lake star, is in a tight spot this evening. If he loses to Hardboiled Haggerty he will be dropped from the tourney.

Other tournament matches on the card: Lee Wykoff vs. Hans Steinke; Vic Christy vs. Tom Zaharias; Sammy Stein vs. Hank Metheny; Crusher Al Billings vs. Joe Pazandak; Cliff Thiede vs. LaVerne Baxter; Tiny Roebuck vs. Henry Graber, and Jack Kogut vs. Young Stecher.

Jim Londos Meets Dangerous Foe

Los Angeles Times – February 19, 1933

Oki Shikina’s chances of breaking Jim Londos’ three and a half-year winning streak over the greatest heavyweights in the country when they clash in a three-fall mat battle at the Olympic Wednesday night are being rated very high as the result of the title-holder’s agreement to tangle with the Japanese star in a mixed bout — jiu-jitsu and catch-as-catch-can.

One or more of the falls of this battle will be competed for in the jiu-jitsu style of wrestling, and Shikina is as much of an expert in this type of mat work as Londos is in the American, or catch-as-catch-can.

A toss of the coin will decide what style shall be used for the first fall, and even should Londos win the toss, mat experts figure Shikina smart enough to play a waiting game with the titleholder and make his big bid for a win during the second fall, when both grapplers would be required to don the jiu-jitsu jackets.

Although Londos has had some experience wrestling with the Japanese jackets, he is far from being rated in the same class with Shikina. The 23-year-old, 205-pound Nipponese star is rated a No. 3 man by the National Judo Society of Japan. In getting this rating Shikina had to prove he was an expert in the use of every trick and hold known to jiu-jitsu. He had to prove he had the strength and ability to compete against the best in the world in this style of wrestling.

When Londos faces Shikina with the jackets, he will face the biggest risk he has taken on the mat since winning the world’s title. Strangling is done quicker and easier with the jacket than any style of wrestling known to the game. Unless one is a real expert at the Japanese style of wrestling, defense against the strangle is impossible.

A strong supporting card will precede the feature event.  George Kotsonaros, the fiery Greek, faces Vic Christy in the semi-wind-up. Wladek Zbyszko, former world’s Graeco-Roman champion, will tangle with Don De Laun in the special; Henry Graber faces Rudy Skarda in the second bout, while Walter La Core and Clyde (Wildcat) Miller meet in the opener.

Jim Londos Mixes With Oki Shikina

Los Angeles Times – February 22, 1933

Jim Londos and Oki Shikina meet in a combination catch-as-catch-can and jiu-jitsu bout, best two out of three falls to decide the victor, at the Olympic tonight.

This is probably the most unusual battle between topnotchers scheduled in years, as the American style grapplers have always shied clear of jiu-jitsu experts because of the entirely different principles of the two types of mat work.

In jiu-jitsu wrestling a grappler is not considered pinned when both shoulders have been planted on the mat. To score a fall in the Japanese style of mat work, an opponent must quit when he is no longer able to withstand the punishment, strangled into unconsciousness, or injured so that he is not able to continue. Both Londos and Shikina will wear the regulation jiu-jitsu jackets.

The possibility of injury ending the encounter was so great that Ed White, who manages Londos, late last week decided against the bout unless Shikina signed a new contract in which he agreed to meet the Greek star in a return bout within thirty days. The contract will be put into effect should Londos be injured and lose through default. And to insure Shikina’s appearance in this section in that time, promoter Lou Daro signed the Japanese star for two other bouts for the next month.

A toss of the coin will decide whether the American or the Japanese style of mat work will be used in competing for the first fall. The grappler taking the least time to score in the first two falls has the right to name the style of wrestling to be used in competing for the deciding event.

In the Japanese style of wrestling Shikina should have little trouble in disposing of Londos. According to his handlers when the Nipponese star snaps a hold on Londos to score a fall, it will be one of those that will put the Greek away for the night. Shikina intends to take no chances on Londos being able to return for more wrestling.

In the American style, Shikina, although outclassed, has enough ability to force Londos to the limit. The Japanese grappler uses more combination Japanese-American grips and “nerve-pressure” holds than any heavyweight in the game.

George Kotsonaros, the fiery Hollywood Greek, will mix with Vic Christy, Sunland flash, in the thirty-minute semi-windup.  Wladek Zbyszko, king of tournament grapplers, will tangle with Don De Laun in the thirty-minute special event. Henry Graber and Rudy Skarda, popular young heavyweights, meet in the second event, while “Wildcat” Miller faces Walter La Core in the opener.