Ultimate History of Pro Wrestling - A Time Line of Every Major Event in Pro Wrestling History - 1940

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.


03-07-1940: Ray Steele defeats Bronko Nagurski in St. Louis, MO to win the National Wrestling Association World title.

05-13-1940: The French Angel (Maurice Tillet) defeats Steve Casey by DQ for the American Wrestling Association World title in Boston, MA.

05-24-1930: Richard Smith, 28 years old, dies in the ring during a match with Swede Hansen in Pleasant Green, MO after Hansen applied what amounts to a sleeper hold on Smith. No charges are filed.

06-12-1940: Lou Thesz defeats Leo Numa for the Montreal AWA title.

06-27-1940: Orville Brown defeats Dick Shikat for the Midwest title in Columbus, OH.

07-15-1940: Boxer Jack Dempsey defeats Bull Curry in a boxer verses wrestler match in Detroit, MI.

07-1940: Midwest wrestler Orville Brown is the reigning Midwest Wrestling Association World champion under promoter Pinkie George. The title may have been referred to as the “National Wrestling Alliance” World title as early as this date. Though the actual National Wrestling Alliance of regional promoters doesn’t take place until 1948, the predecessor to the world title itself now looks to have dated back to 1940.

Orville Brown.jpg

Orville Brown

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