The WAWLI Papers, page 1


Dan Parker
New York Daily Mirror - June 9, 1941

What is happening throughout professional wrestling these days shouldn't even be occurring to a pigeon- toed Madagascar weasel.    Opponents who are utter strangers like Amos and Andy are wrestling each other, once and for all, mind you, to decide which of the two shall hold the title neither possessed in the first place.

There are shooting matches, challenges, recriminations, and even $200,000 libel suits! If the situation gets any more complicated, all factions may get together and prevail upon Marcus Griffin, promoter of honest wrestling, to come out of retirement and restore order to the sport.

One of the 27 world's heavyweight wrestling championships contested for recently was the National Wrestling Association version, which has the benediction of a high-minded gentleman named Col. Harry J. Landry who, like Mr. Griffin, is interested in cleaning up wrestling.    With such cleansing motives, Col. Landry really should have a "u" in his name, but that's neither hither nor yon.    The vital fact is that in Minneapolis, on March 12, with Col. Landry's blessing, Bronko Nagurski wrestled Ray Steele for the National Wrestling Association's title and won.    That would seem to have made Bronko the N.W.A. champion.

This suspicion was verified when Bronko wrestled Sandor Szabo in St. Louis last Friday night in a match advertised as being for the N.W.A. title.    Szabo won on a foul and was proclaimed champion.    Commissioner Griffin of Missouri, who is not to be confused with Mr. Griffin of New York lately interested in the promotion of honest wrestling in Madison Square Garden, although said to be a distant relative, jumped into the ring after the bout and announced that Szabo would be recognized as champion in 34 states.    How Commissioner Griffin could speak for 34 states when he is commissioner only for one wasn't explained, but perhaps the answer lies in the fact that he is from Missouri (home state also of Promoter Tom Packs).

While all this was going on in St. Louis, a match for the N.W.A. title was being advertised out in Los Angeles for tomorrow night between Dzimmie (Stromberries and Crim) Londos and Ray Steele, who is advertised as the N.W.A. champion!

This was billed as a match to "decide once and for all" who is the real world's champion.    Londos had admitted right along that HE was, but his action in agreeing to meet this almost stranger Steele (whom he hardly knows -- since he has been wrestling him for only 15 years or so, both under the name of Steele and Pete Sauer) indicates that he is now in doubt as to his own status.    The bout, of course, will be a shooting match, with Londos winning "once and for all." It is also to be a benefit for the Greek relief fund.    In most of these wrestling benefits every cent that's taken in over 100 per cent is turned over to the fund, the wrestling mob merely retaining the one hundred per cent.    But with the charitably inclined Mr. Londos wrestling and stricken Greece the beneficiary, the fund is likely to get something besides a shellacking.

Mr. Jack Pfefer, the Plotter from Pinsk, offered yesterday to clear up wrestling's problems overnight by shaving the chestnut tresses off the cantaloupe- shaped skull of John Grimek, alias Mr. America, and tossing this amazing mass of muscles against the whole list of 26 champions in one night.    Although Pfefer will not admit it, it is believed General John Phelan of the New York State Athletic Commission has prevailed upon him to induce Grimek to become a wrestler and mow down the entire field.    Neither could it be ascertained for certain whether or not it was General Phelan's suggestion that Pfefer have Grimek's mallet shaved and call him "The Chesty-Slovak Angel." If both these reports are false, there are still many who think wrestling's problems could be settled at a round-table triple-talk conference to be attended by General Phelan, Plotter Pfefer and Strong Man Grimek.    The title problems would then be really settled, and I do mean once and for all.

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