Tag Archives: William Muldoon

Billy Muldoon The Apollo

The Williamsport Sunday Grit – January 6, 1889

There are fifteen or twenty prominent professional wrestlers now before the public, but there are not more than a half dozen of them that have much more than a living out of their profession. H.M. Dufur, the collar-and-elbow wrestler, is probably the richest man in the business. He lives at Marlboro, Mass., where he has an elegant home, with plenty of good, paying property. Dufur is worth $50,000. He did not earn it on the mattress, but acquired it by inheritance. William Muldoon, the solid man and the Apollo Belvedere of all wrestlers, probably comes next on the list. Twelve years ago handsome Billy carried a club and paraded as one of the special squad of Broadway “collars.” Muldoon has been a big drawing card ever since he started out as a wrestler. He is also known in the profession as a cold man, and has put a hammer-lock on every dollar that has fallen into his possession. He owns a good farm near Belfast, N.Y., and has besides about $15,000 in other investments. Muldoon would have been better off but for the failure of the Marine Bank in which he was loser to the extent of $16,000. Tom Cannon, the English wrestler, who now makes Cincinnati his home, is one of the “savers” of the business. No better hustler ever lived than this same Cannon, and no one likes “beans,” as he calls money, better than he does. Tom will go to any point for a match, no matter when, if he sees a chance for turning a dollar. He was worth about $5,000 in 1885, but his trip to Australia helped him greatly. He made no less than $11,000 in the antipodes, and returned with about $7,000 of it. Besides Tom married well, his wife being a prospective heir to a farm worth about $15,000. Duncan C. Ross, the Scotch athlete and wrestler, has probably earned more money than all the rest of the wrestlers put together. He is the best jobber and hippodromer in the business, and he works skin matches so well as to always have a good “gate.” Ross is a great “spender,” however. He lets his wealth go with the prodigality of a drunken sailor. Nothing is too good for the Scotch athlete or his friends. For all that, Duncan is not a pauper by any means. He is worth $20,000 or $25,000 and, like Cannon, has been all over the world. Professor Miller is also well to do. He is worth at least $20,000, but he received it from his father’s estate. Joe Acton, “the little demon,” who for years stood head and shoulders above any catch-as-catch-can man in the country, is not worth a dollar. Joe is indolent and a poor business man. He has always had some one to manage his affairs, and is not a good hustler. He is also an intemperate man.

Nobody’s Business

Chicago Tribune Syndicate – March 4, 1933
By Westbrook Pegler

WASHINGTON, D.C. – It was my misfortune not to be among those present at the dedication of the new wrestling champion of the world, or New York, or somewhere, one Jim Browning, from some little town in Missouri, who lay on his back in the Garden ring on a recent evening, wrapped his legs around Strangler Lewis, twizzled him around in midair for some time, banged his head on the floor as you might wallop a catfish against the side of a boat, to subdue his wiggles, and then ironed him out, amid cheers. 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

Sporting Notes

The National Police Gazette: New York – July 9, 1887

William Muldoon called at the “Police Gazette” office in reply to the challenge of Evan Lewis, the Strangler, who issued a challenge to wrestle Muldoon or any man in America Graeco-Roman style.  Muldoon states that he will wrestle Lewis and cover any forfeit that he may post either with Richard K. Fox or with any other stakeholder.  If Lewis and his backers mean business they will have no trouble in arranging a match, for Muldoon is eager to meet the Strangler, having never had that opportunity. Continue reading

Wm. Muldoon

The National Police Gazette: New York – May 5, 1888

The Graeco-Roman champion wrestler, was born in New York State May, 1852, of Irish parents.  He began wrestling when 17 years of age.  He defeated Andre Christol, Edwin Bibby, Prof. Miller, Clarence Whistler, James Quigley, Charles Murphy, Prof. Baur, Hyghster, Oak of the Rhine, Donald Dinne, Duncan C. Ross, Greek George, John Leon, Matsada Sorakichi and others.

The Muldoon-Hugues Match

Sacramento Daily Record-Union – September 11, 1883

The Athletic Pavilion, at the corner of McAllister and Jones streets, San Francisco, was filled Saturday night with the crowd that usually attends wrestling matches, the attraction being a match between William Muldoon and Chas. Hugues.  According to the agreement, Muldoon was to throw Hugues in two hours’ wrestling to win the match, while Hugues, to win, had to prevent Muldoon from throwing him or to throw him himself.  Muldoon, however, failed, and according to the conditions, lost the match, not having thrown Hugues in the two hours.


Brooklyn Eagle – October 27, 1879

Bauer and Muldoon. – “Out of their own mouths are they convicted” is the exclamation made after reading the recent exposures of professional rottenness which have made in the case of the Bauer and Muldoon quarrel. There cannon be the slightest doubt in the minds of any sporting man, after a perusal of the testimony published the case, that there has been scarcely been an honest wrestling match in the country for the past two or three years. It is the same old story, with every sport in the which professionals take part – except one and that is cricket – since pool selling was introduced in America. Pool rings govern the turf, the pedestrian course, the ball field, the rowing matches, billiard championships, wrestling encounters and every prominent sport in vogue except cricket. That game is still free from the curse.

A Modern Hercules

The Pittsburg Press – September 7, 1890

Greek George The Giant Of All The Wrestlers.

He Has Never Yet Been Defeated.
What He Says of the Art of Wrestling.

Since the death of Clarence Whistler, of Kansas City, the recognized American champion athlete, there are many aspirants for the title of “champion mixed wrestler,” and several lay claim to it.

Among those who are classed as the champion is “Greek George,” and until he meets with defeat at the hands of either Acton, Muldoon or Ross he will hold that honor.  He has an excellent record, as his list of victories goes to show.

The “Greek” is a powerfully built man, thoroughly versed in the science of wrestling and has a firm aversion to all kinds of “hippodromes.”  He stands ready to back himself for any amount against any wrestler in the world at catch-as-catch-can.

Invisible Strangle Hold

Invisible Strangle Hold

George came to this country in 1877.  He traveled with Antonio Pannay, the German Hercules, showing in South America, Peru and Chili.  His first public appearance as an athlete in this country was in 1880, at the Athenaeum gymnasium in Chicago, defeating George, the janitor of the gymnasium, in two straight falls, Graeco-Roman style, in seven minutes, Muldoon acting as the referee.

Breaking Bridge With Leg

Breaking Bridge With Leg

He next wrestled a draw, Graeco-Roman style, with Muldoon at the lyceum theater, Chicago.  Time, 25 minutes.

At the Olympic, in Chicago, George subsequently won a fall from Muldoon in 11 minutes.  The affair wound up in a wrangle, the referee refusing to give a decision.

He is truly a remarkable wrestler.  He has almost superhuman strength and marvelously good wind.

That catch-as-catch-can is the most used now is shown by the fact that no other style of wrestling is permitted in the amateur ranks.  Catch-as-catch-can explains itself by its own name.  The restrictions are few, but no striking or kicking is allowed.

“I unhesitatingly give preference to the collar and elbow as being the most scientific and beautiful of them all.”

Continuing he said:
“Next to it and very close behind is the Graeco-Roman.  This last school of wrestling does not originate with the Anglo-Saxon race at all.  It first came into public notice in England and American within the past 30 years.  Its name is a misnomer, as it has nothing whatever to do with the methods known in Greece or Rome.  Its name should be changed to ‘Franco-Roman.’  It is an old German style of wrestling, which was first developed in France.  It came into vogue in England some 20 years ago and then found its way to this country, where it immediately aroused great enthusiasm and was adopted as the favorite style of wrestling.”

It is strange, but nevertheless a fact, that the masters of the Graeco-Roman style at present day are born Americans.

A great number of people are laboring under the idea that the great pugilists are wrestlers.  It is not necessary to be a wrestler in order to be a pugilist, or vice versa.

“The most effective hold,” said Champion George, “is the neck lock.  There are others that are very useful and which every wrestler has to learn. These are the palm lock, body lock and hip lock.  These are all allowed under the rules.  The double Nelson lock is a very hard lock to acquire.  In Graeco-Roman wrestling you are not allowed to catch the legs or to clasp hands so as to break fingers.”

George went on to say that in making the bridge – that is, arching the back and resting on hands, elbows, head and feet, so as to avoid a fall – the man on top is allowed to press his forearm against the under man’s neck, but he must not press his fingers.

“Would not the forearm pressure choke a man as quick as the hand?”

“Yes; but there’s nothing to prevent the under man from rolling over.  This ‘side roll’ is one of the ways of escaping from the bridge.  If you are down you seize your opponent’s wrist and roll him under if he is not watching himself.”

Greek George said in conclusion: “In my opinion the Americans are away ahead of the English wrestlers, just the same as they are in the fighting line.”

Muldoon the Victor

The New York Times – July 5, 1887

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio, July 4. – William Muldoon and the Jap, Matsada Sorakichi, wrestled three bouts, Graeco-Roman style, at the fair grounds here this afternoon for a purse of $500.  Nearly 4,000 people witnessed the match.  Muldoon was declared the victor, winning the first and third bouts in eight and seven minutes, respectively.  The Jap won the second in four and a half minutes.


Otago Witness – August 6, 1886

William Muldoon tried to throw Evan Lewis, “The Strangler,” twice at Graeco-Roman wrestling inside of an hour, at Minneapolis, Minn., on May 28.  He failed to accomplish the feat.  Muldoon had reduced his weight and tipped the beam at 207 pounds, while Lewis weighed 28 pounds less.  The men went at it at twenty minutes past nine o’clock.  Lewis acted entirely on the defensive.  The match was brought to a close after they had wrestled 45 minutes.  Lewis got a body hold on Muldoon, who went to the floor, and in dropping threw Lewis over his shoulders.  Lewis attempted to trip him, but he failed.  Muldoon retired to his room, and then sent out Mr Hilton to make the announcement that he would not try another fall.  One thousand people paid 1dol apiece to see the match.

The Muldoon-Cannon Graeco-Roman wrestling match at the Grand Opera House, Cincinnati, June 17, ended in a draw.  Muldoon gained the first fall in 35min, and Cannon the second in 8min.  They then wrestled 56min without success, and the referee declared the match a draw.  2500 people witnessed the struggle.