Ultimate History of Pro Wrestling - A Time Line of Every Major Event in Pro Wrestling History - 1919

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.


01-01-1919: While in the off season at Dartmouth, Gus Sonnenberg accepts a position as coach for Escanaba High School football team in Michigan.

01-05-1919: Jim Londos defeats William Demetral in New York to win the Greek heavyweight title.

02-24-1919: In Sioux City, IA, a near riot breaks out following a two hour match between Wladek Zbyszko and Joe Stecher. The fans begins yelling, “fake” and police protection is needed to get the men to the dressing room. Wladek is named the winner the next day but all bets are called off.

03-03-1919: Ed “Strangler” Lewis defeats Joe Stecher in Chicago, IL. Lewis wins with the headlock in just over two hours.

03-05-1919: Earl Caddock sends word from the war front that he is going to retire. Jack Curley then proclaims Wladek Zbyszko as the World champion.

03-21-1919: Wladek Zbyszko defeats Ed “Strangler” Lewis in New York with a turn away crowd of over 5,000. Wladek pins Lewis after an hour and a half. The World championship which had been claimed by Lewis dating back to John Olin is now lost. Though Earl Caddock has never officially lost the World championship to anyone, Wladek’s claim to be World champion is now as strong as anyones.

05-19-1919: Ed “Strangler” Lewis defeats Wladek Zbyszko in Chicago in a match described as one of the greatest of all time. The first fall of the match went one hour and thirty-six minutes with Wladek winning. Lewis then came back and took the next two falls. Strangler Lewis then claims the world championship and is presented with the belt.

06-14-1919: John Pesek defeats Wladek Zbyszko and bills himself as world champion.

07-04-1919: Joe Stecher defeats Ed “Strangler” Lewis in Omaha, NE with Earl Caddock as referee.

09-23-1919: El Santo (Rodolfo Guzman Huertes) is born in Tulancingo, Mexico.

11-03-1919: Joe Stecher defeats Ed “Strangler” Lewis in a tournament match designed to crown an undisputed world champion in New York City. Joe Stecher now has the most legitimate claim to a world championship… Veteran champion and original “Strangler” Evan Lewis dies of cancer at the age of 59. Since leaving wrestling, Evan Lewis had served on the Ridgeway, WI Town Council and was later Sergeant-At-Arms for the Democratic Party Caucuses.

Joe Stecher World Champion.jpeg

Joe Stecher

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