Ultimate History of Pro Wrestling - A Time Line of Every Major Event in Pro Wrestling History - 1908
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.
02-07-1908: Frank Gotch defeated Fred Beell in Chicago, IL.
03-06-1908: Frank Gotch fails to defeat Yankee Joe Rogers the required five times in one hour to meet his handicap. He does pin Rogers twice.
04-03-1908: Frank Gotch, the American champion, defeats George Hackenschmidt the World heavyweight champion to unify the title in Chicago, IL. Hackenschmidt leaves the ring and refuses to return. This is the first time the two had met and the event was promoted by W.W. Wittig. Hackenschmidt, who outlived Gotch by many years, had throughout his life told his version of being cheated out of the championship including claims that Gotch had covered himself in oil. Whether or not any or all of Hackenschmidt’s claims are true is debatable. Many experts feel that the match was heavily tilted in Gotch’s favor by a partial referee and questionable tactics by Gotch. Marcus Griffen, author of the 1937 book Fall Guys described the first match this way, “It was one of the most disgraceful exhibitions ever witnessed by a capacity audience of enthusiastic mat devotees and it all started the ball rolling toward the general discrediting of wrestlers and grapplers.”
Frank Gotch vs George Hackenschmidt
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