Ultimate History of Pro Wrestling - A Time Line of Every Major Event in Pro Wrestling History - 1901

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.


05-1901: Frank Gotch arrives in Alaska to tour the Yukon and begins wrestling under the name “Frank Kennedy”. Historian Mark Hewitt did an excellent summary of Frank Gotch in the Yukon in this article - http://jmanly.ejmas.com/articles/2001/jmanlyart_hewitt_0901.htm

07-05-1901: Tom Jenkins defeats Ernest Roeber to unify several “championship” recognitions in St. Louis.

08-29-1901: Ole Marsh defeated Frank Kennedy (Gotch) in Dawson City, Alaska. This is only Gotch’s third known loss since 1899. He now has a record of 44-3 if all matches are accounted for. Drawings of the match in the Klondike Semi-Weekly Nugget newspaper shows the men grappling on a stage corded off by at least two ropes and the men tumbling into an orchestra pit and landing on the musicians. According to the paper, the crowd thought the match to be fake.

09-13-1901: Ole Marsh again defeats Frank Kennedy (Gotch) in Dawson City, Alaska.

09-21-1901: Frank Kennedy (Gotch) wrestles a three style match series against Ole Marsh and an aged Col. James H. McLaughlin in Dawson City, Alaska. Gotch defeats McLaughlin in Cornish style. Ole Marsh then defeats Gotch in Catch-As-Catch-Can. Gotch defeats McLaughlin in Greco-Roman. Then Gotch finally defeats Marsh in Catch-As-Catch-Can.

09-25-1901: Frank Kennedy (Gotch) faces Paddy Slavin in a boxing match that ends in a second round DQ in Dawson City, Alaska.

10-01-1901: Frank Kennedy (Gotch) defeats Col. James H. McLaughlin in Dawson City, Alaska.

11-1901: Frank Kennedy (Gotch) returns to Iowa and resumes using the name Frank Gotch.

11-07-1901: Tom Jenkins defeats Dan McLeod to win the American title in Indianapolis, IN.

11-1901: George Hackenschmidt wins tournaments in France, Germany, and Russia to become recognized at the first true World heavyweight champion. This is the championship that promotions, still to this day, try to tie their title lineage back to.

12-19-1901: George Hackenschmidt wins the European World Greco-Roman championship tournament.

1901: Tag team matches are said to have their origins in San Francisco this year. It was said to be a gimmick by promoters to boost interest in their shows. Later in the 20th century, tag team wrestling is credited with beginning in Australia with many regional promotions calling tag team matches “Australian rules” tag team matches. This, however, was mainly just a gimmick idea dated back to the Fabulous Kangaroos tag team to give tag team matches a more exotic flavor.

Gotch orchastria pit spot.gif

1901 Newspaper drawing of Frank Gotch taking the orchestra pit bump.

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