Ultimate History of Pro Wrestling - A Time Line of Every Major Event in Pro Wrestling History - 1887

By: Karl Stern (@wiwcool)

Much of the text of this entry comes from issue 82 of the DragonKing Press Newsletter available as a downloadable .pdf in the digital downloads section.


03-03-1887: Jack Carkeek is badly injured in his match against Evan “Strangler” Lewis in Milwaukee, WI. Lewis won the first fall in 22 minutes. Carkeek gave up the second fall and lost the third in just two minutes. Carkeek was said to have suffered a “rupture”.

04-11-1887: Evan “Strangler” Lewis defeats Joe Acton for the Catch-As-Catch-Can title in Chicago, IL answering a challenged laid out in 1886 by Acton in the National Police Gazette.

04-12-1887: Evan “Strangler” Lewis defeats Joe Acton in Milwaukee. Lewis wins the match with a new hold he has developed. When asked what he called the new hold by the newspaper, Lewis responds, “I don’t know, I guess I do it with my legs.”

06-01-1887: Shokichi Hamada brings twenty American wrestlers to Tokyo, Japan for a pro wrestling show. The event fails to catch on despite a first day sell out.

06-14-1887: Tom Conners defeats Evan “Strangler” Lewis in a dirty match in Pittsburgh, PA. The match was marred by numerous fouls and at one point broke down into a war of words between the two corners that almost resulted in the match being called off. The match resulted in four falls, three of which were fouls and the only legitimate fall of the match was won by Conners.

08-20-1887: Jack Carkeek defeated Thomas Bragg in Plymouth, MA. Carkeek won two falls to none. Carkeek apparently calls himself “world champion” and Bragg was the “Champion of England”. Carkeek is supposed to have won 126 matches at this point with just one loss.

11-10-1887: Ed Decker wins the National Police Gazette wrestling title from H.M. Dufur in Swanton, VT. Decker is called “The Little Wonder from Vermont” because he stood only 5’4” tall and weighed 160 pounds. George Ed Decker was managed by and wrestled for P.T. Barnum and the Barnum, Bailey, and Hutchins Circus. Allegedly the circus offered $100 to anyone who could throw Decker and $50 to anyone who could remain unthrown by him for three minutes. Supposedly, no one was ever able to collect the prize money.

Evan Strangler Lewis.jpg

Evan “Strangler” Lewis

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