Ultimate History of Pro Wrestling - A Time Line of Every Major Event in Pro Wrestling History - 1920

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.


01-16-1920: Joe Stecher defeats John Pesek in Omaha, NE. Pesek had, at times, billed himself as world champion. Now there is little question that Joe Stecher is the true world champion aside from the fact that Earl Caddock relinquished the title with a premature retirement and didn’t lose it in the ring. That would be rectified in two weeks.

01-27-1920: Helmar Myre becomes recognized as World lightweight champion.

01-30-1920: Joe Stecher defeats Earl Caddock in New York City at Madison Square Garden. The show drew a gate of $80,000. Earl Caddock took home $15,000 and Joe Stecher took home $25,000. This match took Joe Stecher’s claim of the world title and made it virtually undisputed. Stecher was lead to the ring by the Navy Color Guard and Caddock by the Army.

03-05-1920: Ed “Strangler” Lewis defeats former world champion Earl Caddock in New York. Another showdown with Joe Stecher is brewing.

04-16-1920: Joe Stecher defeated Ed “Strangler” Lewis to retain the World title in New York in just over three hours.

12-13-1920: Ed “Strangler” Lewis wins the World heavyweight title from Joe Stecher in New York. Strangler Lewis is managed by Billy Sandow. According to Lou Thesz in his biography Hooker, this was a legitimate contest and was likely the last major world title shooting match in history though many wrestling historians dispute that claim. Whether a legitimate contest or not, an era of wrestling came to an end and a new one dawned.

1920: Nat Pendleton finishes second in the Olympics and later turns pro.

Joe Stecher World Champion.jpeg

Joe Stecher

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