Tag Archives: Man Mountain Dean

Matmen Thrown For Loss On Coast

N.Y. Daily Mirror – April 28, 1939
By Dan Parker

Some people have no sense of humor. Out on the Coast, a lot of legislators in Sacramento are trying to prove wrestling isn’t on the level.

Everyone with common sense knows it is because Promoter Ray Fabiani and Larse McCurley of Philadelphia and Boxing Commissioner Stanley Scheer of Baltimore say it is.

Their word is good enough for me. Besides, if it wasn’t on the level, how could I have predicted that draw in Cleveland Wednesday night between the Great Evans and Bull Komar? Or foreseen tonight’s victory of the Golden Tanker over Hans Steinke in Philadelphia, after King Kong has thrown Nanjo Singh.

Of course it’s on the level, which is why Dzimmie Londos has been signed up for a return bout with Joe Savoldi in Louisville on Derby eve.

Another feather, making 6,732 in all, was added to my hat Wednesday night when, in one of the most astounding upsets of the century, Londos threw Chief Chewacki Trenton. The only mistake he made was in not throwing him into the Delaware River and putting an end to this tiresome serial that dates back to the early days of “The Perils of Pauline.”

On the same card, George Pencheff, Londos’ protege, threw Maurice LaChapelle for the second night in succession. But the issue is still in doubt and they will engage in many a return match before Pencheff is proclaimed the better man.

Shadows are falling all over the wrestling map, in addition to those cast in the Sacramento investigations. There’s a Red Shadow in Montreal and for the information of the natives, he’s the old tanker, Leo Numa, who was the Black Mask in Boston. Leo’s glad to be out of the black and into the red.

Cleveland’s Purple Shadow is Bill Longson, whose back is still calloused from all the dives he took for fifth-raters during his wrestling career. The Purple Shadow left San Francisco recently one hop, skip and a jump ahead of Vigilance Committee.

In the Sacramento investigation, being conducted by the California State Legislature, R.H. (Tommy) Thompson, a former wrestler, testified under oath that practically all wrestling bouts of which he has had any knowledge were fixed and that wrestlers who didn’t obey orders had to get out. Referees had to let wrestlers manhandle them as part of the show, he said.

Thompson chirped his biggest mouthful when he told the investigating committee that from Coast to Coast, he doesn’t know of a single heavyweight wrestler who can’t beat Man Mountain Dean, despite Man Mountain’s long string of victories. This expert fearlessly picks Dzimmie Londos to beat Man Mountain Dean when and if they meet again.

City Got A Full Dose Of Female Wrestlers

Florida Times-Union – December 3, 1997
By Bill Foley, Columnist

Steker was the name, pilgrim.

Airplane spin was her game.

Out of the West Stella Steker came the fall of 1937 to the Main and Beaver arena, to settle questions long nettling the mind of man.

Could a good brunette whip a good blonde?

Could a grapplerette whomp a grunt and groaner?

Lived there a woman in this whole great land who could best Mildred Burke, women’s wrestling champeen of the entire meaningful world?

Stella Steker was a bit of a mystery. George Romanoff wanted it that way.  Romanoff was commencing a legend when he brought Stella Steker to town.

He announced wrestling henceforth would be held at the arena each Tuesday and Friday, ”with good performers gracing both programs.”

Romanoff, himself, was somewhat a man of mystery. He, too, was an erstwhile grappler but, more, was said to be of the Russian royal family.

Either that or the original Tarzan, depending on what saloon you heard it in.  Women had wrestled in Jacksonville before, but it had been more than a year since the mat-gals clashed at the local sport emporium.

And Stella would not be dumped on the undercard, where female wrestlers usually were billed, down there with the midgets and the battle royal.

This November it would be the Texas Dobie Osbornes and Red Devil Guthries in the prelims. The mysterious Stella Steker would head the card.

”Miss Steker, mythical holder of the women’s championship of Arizona, is a shapely miss,” said The Florida Times-Union.

”Her specialty, the spectacular airplane spin, went over big in Mexico, where she proved too much for the Senoritas of that territory.”

Nor would the airplane-spinning Arizonan be going against chopped liver.

Popular Dora Dean was coming to town.

Dora Dean, the favorite blonde of the wrestling world, was said in polite terms to be the protege of Man Mountain Dean, Georgia’s contribution to wrestling legend. Man Mountain taught Dora the flying scissors, which she used to great advantage.

Between Stella Steker’s airplane spin and Dora Dean’s flying scissors a tremendous aerial clash. The flower of local Sporting Life packed the arena.  Stella pinned the Dixie darling in 13 minutes.

She fought lean, mean, down and dirty and got booed and hissed.

”The dark-haired Arizonan, who protrayed the role of villain that would have done credit to other ‘rough’ artists like Machine Gun Jack Evko, clamped on an airplane spin to end the festivities,” the Times-Union said.

”Miss Dean displayed by far a larger number of holds, including Irish whips, back-body drops and an assortment of arm locks but could not cope with the hair-pulling tactics of her opponent.”

Next stop for the dark-haired, hair-pulling, crowd-taunting, blonde-whipping, Man Mountain-tweaking shapely grapplerette: A man.

Romanoff announced Stella Steker’s next assault on Southern wrestledom would be the next week against local wrestler George Cowart.

”Miss Steker promises to give her male opponent plenty of trouble,” said the Jacksonville Journal.

”Bob holds an edge in the weights but is not expecting to have an easy time of it in the one-hour time limit,” said the Times-Union.

Eleven minutes.

In two minutes less than it took her to launch Dora Dean Stella Steker whapped an airplane spin on wrestler George and dusted him off amid the boos and catcalls of the multitude, with nary a vicious hair-pull.

What next for the Arizona stranger?

Deep, deep water. Mildred Burke had had enough with the Western upstart.  Romanoff stilled the local sporting crowd into hushed apprehension: Mildred Burke would fight Stella Steker, right here in the Main and Beaver street arena.

Burke came into the ring with a gold championship belt the papers said was worth $2,500, back when that was real money. She had recently won it from Clara Mortenson in New York City.

Tension was thick as the smoke over the ring as Steker and Burke climbed through the ropes. The jam-packed crowd already had seen Cowboy Dobie, Machine-Gun Jack and Florida state champ Allen Eustace win their matches.

Fourteen minutes.

”The champ did not have an easy time of it,” the Times-Union said. ”Miss Steker unleashed all her holds, but to no avail. Both of the tusslerettes landed in the aisle on one occasion and delighted the audience further by ripping off referee Gus Pappas’s undershirt.”

Mildred ended it with a ”neatly executed body slam.”

Three weeks, three bouts, 38 minutes; three matches that each drew more people to see wrestling in Jacksonville than any bout that did not involve Jack Dempsey, and the undisputed winner by a unanimous decision, with a nice assist from shaply brunette Arizona grapplerette Stella Steker, was promoter George Romanoff, a member of the Russian royal family or the original Tarzan, depending on which saloon you heard it in.