Ultimate History of Pro Wrestling - A Time Line of Every Major Event in Pro Wrestling History - 1937

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.


01-08-1937: Legendary wrestler Martin “Farmer” Burns dies in Council Bluffs, IA at the age of 75.

01-12-1937: Brother Jonathan loses a match to Man Mountain Dean in San Francisco after which he had to shave his beard off. At ringside was Brother Jonathan’s seven year old son who went on to become pro wrestler Don Leo Jonathan.

01-22-1937: Sandor Szabo defeats Billy Hanson for the Pacific Coast title in Oakland, CA.

01-28-1937: Mildred Burke (Mildred Bliss) becomes the World Women’s wrestling champion in Chattanooga, TN.

02-05-1937: Ray Steele wins the Mid-West title by reverse decision over Everette Marshall in Columbus, OH.

02-09-1937: Billy Wolfe defeats Clara Mortensen via DQ in a man verses woman match in Atlanta, GA.

02-11-1937: Clara Motenson defeats Mildred Burke for the World Women’s title in Chattanooga, TN.

02-28-1937: The Missing Link (Byron Dewey Robertson) is born.

Steve “Crusher” Casey defeats Cliff Olsen in New York to end Olsen’s claim to be world champion.

02-1937: Red Devil (Elmer Guthrie) wins the Florida heavyweight title defeating Dobie Osbourne in Jacksonville, FL.

03-11-1937: Ray Steele is injured in a car accident forcing him to vacate the Mid-West title.

03-15-1937: Orville Brown defeats Lee Wyckoff in Kansas City for the Kansas City version of the World title.

03-30-1937: In Dallas, TX the Cardiff Giant defeats Sol Slagel in a match where the loser had to push the winner down Main Street in a wheel barrow.

04-02-1937: In Chicago, IL Everette Marshall retained the World heavyweight championship over Osley “Chief” Saunooke. Saunooke was disqualified after 16 minutes 45 seconds when he went on a rampage. He floored Emil Thirty, veteran referee, threw Marshall onto the concrete floor. He then worked the 2,096 fans into a riot which resulted in a barrage of bottles, filled with beer, toward the ring. Others threw chairs. One struck Tom Tuite, secretary of the Illinois Athletic Commission and opened a cut on his forehead. Another chair struck a newspaper man and almost knocked him out.

04-30-1937: Little Beaver (not the famous little people star) defeats Karl Davis in Houston, TX to win the Texas Athletic Commission world title after champion Daniel Boone Savage leaves the building.

05-14-1937: Eddie Baker dies following a match with Roy Welch in Corinth, MS. Baker is believed to have died of a heart attack, he was 36 years old.

Everette Marshall wins the the Texas version of the world title by defeating Little Beaver in Houston, TX.

05-19-1937: Hugh Nichols defeats Bobby Chick in Tulsa, OK for the world lightweight title.

06-04-1937: Gorilla Monsoon (Robert Marella) is born.

06-16-1937: Bronko Nagurski defeats Dean Detton for an off shoot world championship in Minneapolis, MN. Leading wrestling and boxing magazine The Ring recognize Bronko Nagurski as world champion.

06-29-1937: Bronko Nagurski is recognized as world champion in Maryland.

06-30-1937: Lee Wyckoff claims the Kansas version of the world title when champion Everette Marshall misses a title defense.

07-12-1937: Veteran promoter Jack Curley dies.

08-13-1937: Alan Eustace defeats Jack Evans in Jacksonville for the Florida heavyweight title.

09-13-1937: John Pesek is awarded the National Wrestling Association world heavyweight title when he becomes the only wrestler to post the required $1000 bond to enter.

Salvador Gory Guerrero makes his pro wrestling debut at Arena Mexico in Mexico City defeating Rafael Rojo.

09-29-1937: A pro wrestling show is held in Tokyo, Japan’s Susaki baseball stadium with former Japanese Olympian Kiyoshi Kose defeating Ken Gen of Korea in two straight falls.

10-1937: Bronko Nagurski is stripped of world title recognition in Maryland when he refuses to defend the title against Jim Londos.

10-03-1937: “Bullet” Bob Armstrong (Robert James, Sr.) is born.

10-04-1937: Jim Londos defeats George Pencheff for recognition of the Maryland based world championship in Baltimore, MD.

11-11-1937: Dale J. Greif sues Sandor Szabo claiming to have been beaten up by the famous shooter following an October match in Santa Monica, CA. He sues for $24,000 claiming a variety of injuries from being “stretched”.

11-16-1937: Ray Steele is suspended for 60 days by the New York State Athletic Commission for using an illegal knee on Bronko Nagurski during a match.

12-29-1937: Lou Thesz becomes the World heavyweight champion by defeating Everette Marshall in St. Louis, MO. He is awarded the Paul Bowser AWA World title based on this victory. Also on the show Danno O’Mahoney defeated Paul Jones. Yvon Robert refuses to face Lou Thesz and is stripped of the AWA title by Bowser but continues to defend the title in Montreal, Canada.

Bronko Nagurski.jpeg

Bronko Nagurski

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