Ultimate History of Pro Wrestling - A Time Line of Every Major Event in Pro Wrestling History - 1938

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.


01-23-1938: Shohei “Giant” Baba is born in Niigata, Japan.

01-1938: In a match against Man Mountain Dean in San Francisco, CA, The Purple Shadow (Bill Longson) is thrown out of the ring to the floor suffering a broken back which is feared to have ended his career.

02-03-1938: Stanislaus Zbyszko announces the debut of his new protege Wladyslaw Talun who is reported to be seven feet tall and 262 pounds. Zbyszko tells a newspaper that Talun is “… the nearest thing to Yousouf the Terrible Turk I have ever seen…”

02-06-1938: Octavio Gaona defeats Black Guzman for the Mexican National Middleweight title in Mexico City.

03-03-1938: Vic Christy defeats Yvon Robert for the Montreal AWA World title in Toronto.

03-18-1938: Loft Bloomfield wins a tournament in Auckland, New Zealand to win the rights to come to the United States and wrestle for the world title.

04-06-1938: A record attendance of 12,099 is set in St. Louis, MO to see Lou Thesz defeat Steve Casey. In other matches on the show: Young Gotch Juan Humberto… Ed Don George defeated Dr. Karl Sarpolis… Ernie Dusek defeated Pat Kelly… Pierre le Belle defeated Walter Stratton… Abe Coleman went to a draw with Fred Voepel. It should be noted that the St. Louis Star & Times has the attendance at 11,144.

05-31-1938: World hammer throwing champion Dr. Patrick O’Callaghan makes his pro wrestling debut defeating Cy Williams.

06-09-1938: The Masked Marvel (Ted Cox) defeats Vic Christy for the Montreal AWA World title in Toronto.

06-19-1938: Wahoo McDaniel is born.

08-02-1938: Everette Marshall defeats Kansas World champion Lee Wyckoff in Colorado Springs, CO in a non title match. Wyckoff, however, relinquishes his claim to the title.

08-08-1938: Man Mountain Dean withdraws from his run for Legislature in Georgia.

08-17-1938: The National Wrestling Association withdraws their recognition of John Pesek as world heavyweight champion.

08-22-1938: Dean Detton wins the New Zealand title from Lofty Bloomfield in Auckland.

08-23-1938: Bronko Nagurski unmasks The Purple Shadow in San Francisco revealing him to be Bill Longson.

09-05-1938: Bob Kenaston defeats John Swenski in Hollywood, CA for the World Junior title.

09-10-1938: Lofty Bloomfield wins the New Zealand title over Pat Fraley in Auckland.

09-14-1938: Everette Marshall is awarded world title recognition by the National Wrestling Association at the associations 1938 annual meeting.

The AWA title splits further. Yvon Robert had taken a version of the title in 1935 to Montreal which has been defended there and in Toronto. Now Robert defeats the Masked Marvel (Ted Cox) for the title and continues it still in Montreal but Cox takes a new version to Toronto and is billed as champion there.

11-1938: John Pesek is awarded recognition as Mid-West champion.

11-14-1938: Jack McAdams wins the Southern Lightweight title from Eddie Williams in Atlanta, GA.

11-15-1938: Bill Longson defeats Sandor Szabo for the Pacific Coast title in San Francisco.

11-18-1938: Jim Londos defeats Bronco Nagurski in Philadelphia, PA to win a version of the World heavyweight championship.

12-01-1938: Mildred Burke regains the World Women’s title from Betty Nichols. Burke would hold the title until a controversial 1954 shoot match in Atlanta, GA.

12-05-1938: Danny McShain defeats Leroy McGuirk in Hollywood, CA to win the world lightweight title.

12-10-1938: Ray Steele wins the British Empire title from Lofty Bloomfield in Auckland, New Zealand.

12-12-1938: NFL and college football star and world champion wrestler Bronko Nagurski is granted his U.S. citizenship. Nagurski had lived virtually his whole life in the United States but was born and lived just a few miles into Canada.

Bronko Nagurski.jpeg

Bronko Nagurski

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