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1.7 | Heartland Catch in Iowa | Under the Learning Tree

Updated: Jul 6

Under the Learning Tree Season 1: Jericho & (mostly) Guevara

1.7 | Heartland Catch Roots in Iowa

1.8 | Taproots of Pro Wrestling

Under the Learning Tree is a series that follows the story of professional wrestling backwards from a current star performer in AEW Wrestling, back in time to their trainer, to their trainer's trainer, ad infinitum. The first stars we've been giving this treatment to have been kayfabe mentor and mentee Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara. Explaining Jericho's Tree only took a couple of paragraphs, but Sammy's is in the midst of taking several installments, (weekly, every Sunday!) If you have time, the story is better appreciated from the start, so please follow this link: part 1, and from there, follow links forward at the bottom of each page to each successive installment.


So far, the Guevara training tree has ranged all over the world and all through the 20th Century, and two of the most important and influential roots have been the legends Hiro Matsuda and Karl Gotch. This week, we will take a closer look at the legends behind the legends: the two men they borrowed their respective ring names from: Matty Matsuda and Frank Gotch.

Manjiro Matsuda

The Catch/Jûdô Connection

In the third installment of this Learning Tree series, I said about El Paso wrestling legend Manjiro "Matty" Matsuda:

Matsuda sought out the cornfed Iowan wrestling World Champion, Frank Gotch, to add his catch-as-catch-can style to the jûdô he had already mastered.

But that's the trouble with summarizing the scope of a man's life in a sentence: decades of events can be flattened into a pat phrase that, while not false in any particular, can be misleading or, as in this case, blithely cover over gross imprecision. Sources agree that M. Matsuda emigrated to the US as a young man, already an expert jûdôka, competed against wrestlers all over the US for some years, then took up the catch-as-catch-can style, training with the biggest wrestling star ever, the man who defeated the first unified American and European wrestling champion to become the first North American to be World champion: Frank Gotch. [4] But as to how the two men met, what led the acclaimed jûdôka to seek out training in a whole new discipline, when this training occurred, or what led the American star to take him on? On these matters, all sources I could find are unfortunately quite silent.

Manjiro looking sharp in his street clothes

One fact that is at least suggestive: throughout 1919 and 1920 Matty feuded with one Jack Reynolds over the World Welterweight Championship, trading it between them and sometimes both claiming to be the rightful titleholder. [5] One might think that this indicates the behavior of two competitors with a legitimate beef with one another. But in the cooperative mixing of fantasy and reality that is pro wrestling, that history could equally represent two men playing out their roles in a play-acted dispute as to who fairly came out on top, in order for each to hold onto their respective mystique and set up remunerative rematches. 1919 was also the year that M. Matsuda settled down to his decade-long residency as the primary drawing attraction for the regular wrestling shows at Liberty Hall in El Paso, Texas. [6] The suggestive part is: Jack Reynolds was a protégé of Frank Gotch and of Gotch's mentor, Farmer Burns [7]

Welterweight Champion, Jack Reynolds

Now, that doesn't prove anything about the timeframe, really. It remains possible for Reynolds and F. Gotch and M. Matsuda to have been sparring partners for years before the two welterweights ever met in a public bout. But it does suggest the possibility that those matches in 1919 & 20 could have been what brought the jûdôka and the wrestling star's camp to one another's attention and inspired them to begin training together. I say "train together," although I have no specific evidence that the learning went both ways. But the likelihood that the Heavyweight Champ and his crew might have liked to pick up some jûdô pointers and techniques in return certainly suggests a likely reason for the Midwestern superstar to have chosen to work with the little man from Japan.

McIntosh Grieves his Fallen Star

After M. Matsuda's tragic and senseless untimely* death in 1929, evidently from injuries sustained in the ring while on an out-of-town tour in a match in Cincinnati, Ohio, [4] the El Paso wrestling scene never quite recovered. El Paso promoter John McIntosh pushed Matty's students in his place, such as Yaqui Joe (who we also learned about in part 3 of this series) who took over the main event slot not only in El Paso but also in the brand new promotion (that McIntosh had a talent-sharing deal with to hold them over until they could develop their own homegrown talent) that had recently sprung up in Mexico City. [8] And there was also Alfredo Ontiveros, who so reminded everyone of his fallen mentor that he was billed as "Young Matty." [9] And yet, five years after, McIntosh was quoted as saying: "There was only one Matsuda... there'll never be another like him." [6]

M. Matsuda student Alfredo Ontiveros, aka "Young Matty"

*Just how untimely of a passing it was is a point of significant confusion. In September of 1922, M. Matsuda told a reporter in Junction City, Kansas that he was 36 years old and had been in "the mat game" for half of his life at that point—having moved to the US and begun grappling at the tender age of 18. [4] This timeframe for his debut lines up with the earliest recorded matches we have for the future champion, a trio of matches in Vancouver in March of 1905. [10] And Wikipedia lists his birth year as 1887 [11] which also tracks with that statement. If correct, that would mean that he succumbed to injuries at only 43 years of age. However, while Wikipedia claims website as their source for his birth year, if you actually check the site, wrestlingdata claims his birth year as 1879, [12] which would make him 50 upon his death. But then, 5 years after his passing, McIntosh claimed to a newspaper that Matty had been 53 when he had last wrestled there in El Paso, [6] for yet a third candidate for his age. I can think of two possible resolutions: either Matsuda actually arrived in North America at 28 (or maybe 31?) and was knocking a good decade off of his age when talking to the press in 1922.... Or else Matsuda was perfectly honest, McIntosh was misquoted (or there was a typo) and he had meant to say that Matsuda had been 43, and the wrestlingdata birth year is simply an error.

Frank Gotch

His Humble Origins

It would be impossible to overstate the celebrity latterly achieved by the second, (and first of the New World,) competitor to hold the World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship, Frank Gotch. He was genuinely one of the very first true superstars, in the sense of being someone famous all over the globe without being a political, military, or religious leader....

Frank Feeling Fancy

For as exalted a level of celebrity as he would eventually reach, F. Gotch's origins are equally extreme in their humbleness, having been born and raised on a family farm three miles south of the tiny town of Humboldt, Iowa. [13] Such rural Iowa origins were something he had in common with Martin Burns, the former American Heavyweight Champion who he would meet in the ring and who would offer to become his mentor just as the 19th Century came to a close. [14] Such similar origins between two of the biggest wrestling legends of the era are not as coincidental as they might seem: in the couple decades between Martin's birth in 1861 and Frank's in 1877, the proportion of the rural population of the US declined from 80% to 70%, approximately. [15] In those days, most people in the US could still say that they had been born on a small, family farm.

Frank Gotch grew up wrestling and fighting his peers, (and in one case his school teacher,) for fun and for little side bets his whole life. In April of 1899, F. Gotch had his first actual professional bout when one of the competitors in a challenge match at the local opera house didn't show, and his friends egged him on to take his place. It was just two months later when a man claiming to be a furniture mover from Omaha killing time waiting out a train layover crashed a small-town doing that F. Gotch happened to be attending in the nearby town of LuVerne and challenged any takers to take him on in wrestling with $50 on the line. It would later be revealed that the "furniture mover" was actually the American Heavyweight Wrestling Champion, Dan McLeod. [16]

It could be theorized that McLeod had heard about the surprise challenger that had gotten a win in straight falls in a debut out of nowhere and wanted to scout him out anonymously. But it is equally possible he had been hiding his identity so that people would be willing to bet with him, and was expecting easy pickings as a champion-in-disguise among rubes. Over fifty years later, F. Gotch's later manager, Joe Marsh, would say of this event:

...I would have given more to have seen his street match with Dan McLeod than any match he wrestled afterwards....
...a 21 year-old farm boy with practically no experience meeting a champion like Dan McLeod and lasting more than an hour, stands as an event without parallel in athletic history. [16]

Two years before this, two men—Dan McLeod and Tom Jenkins—both beat the man who had up until then been considered the American Heavyweight Champ—Martin "Farmer" Burns—within a few weeks of one another. In the years since they had tried to settle the matter of who was rightful champ with recognition switching from one to the other as they traded wins back and forth, with neither man able to decisively put away the other. [17]

Burns likely heard about the surprise near-upset of McLeod in Iowa, and may have already been thinking of a possible indirect revenge for the loss of his American Heavyweight title, when he arranged a handicap match against the newcomer just before Christmas that year. The terms of the handicap were simple: F. Gotch simply had to survive 15 minutes with Burns to collect $25. Burns pinned F. Gotch's shoulders to the mat after "11 minutes of furious action" [14] but while Frank hadn't gained 25 dollars, he had gained a trainer and mentor. Meanwhile, Burns had found his weapon with which to indirectly regain the championship he had lost, and he was confident enough of that to announce it to the crowd in attendance on the spot, declaring:

"If this young man will train with me, I will make him champion of America." [14]

Martin "Farmer" Burns and his Superstar protégé, Frank Gotch

This led to months of tough training in the barn at Burns's farm in Big Rock, Iowa and regular matches with top competitors as they swung through the Midwest. [14] Then in the summer of 1901, the wrestler and wrestling manager named Joseph Carrol Marsh visited Burns's farm looking to persuade him that there was a fortune to be made from the cash-rich but entertainment-starved miners of the Yukon, and that he should join a troupe of competitors that he was putting together to make a tour of the region. [16] The devoted family man was unwilling to be away from his wife and children for several months, but put forward his protégé instead. [14] F. Gotch spent the summer and fall taking on the tough, proud Yukon miners. [16] This naturally brings back to mind that perennial question: of when or if professional wrestling was ever a legitimate competition?

Frank Gotch

Was It Ever Real?

Remember from last installment the two mutually-incompatible arguments made from first principles by two different academics of the history of the mat: Ruslan Pashayev makes the argument that catch-as-catch-can, with its foundation as a fighting style where the primary winning condition is the "flying fall," (in other words: throwing your opponent so he lands on his back with both shoulders down,) is simply impossible to be practiced at all safely except between two trained and cooperating performers in a staged exhibition. His thesis is that the original catch wrestling that eventually spread around the globe was always a pre-arranged fake sport going back to its genesis in the mid-19th Century in the Lancashire region of England, and that all the evidence one needs is the lack of fatalities—other than in a few impromptu brawls where someone was foolish (or bloodyminded) enough to attempt a throw "in the Lancashire manner" in a genuine dispute, which would quite consistently end up in the courts, due to someone winding up being paralyzed, or killed. [18]

OR you could go out via lung cancer! Dealer's choice!

Lee Casebolt, on the other hand, makes the argument that in the 19th century and the first decade or so of the 20th, professional wrestlers made their living via sidebets, and so the profit motive kept them honest—not regarding the use of underhanded tactics (quite the contrary!)—but in terms of competitors not secretly cooperating and making a pre-arrangement as to the victor. [19]

A case could be made that each man was right on the different continents each was talking about. In the 19th and early-20th Century Northern England, catch-as-catch-can was a holiday attraction to draw custom to public houses, and the events were run under a regime known as the Gaffer System: a term borrowed from the collieries (a Brit term for a coal mine and its associated buildings) where most of the performers worked during the week. (In those early days, catch-as-catch-can was "semi-pro": practitioners were paid, but not enough to quit their day job.) Rather than hiring men directly, the collieries would pay the "gaffer," (usually a local pub manager,) for a certain amount of work… then the gaffer would hire, pay, and direct a crew to do that work, and pocket the profit, (and then profit a second time when their crew spent much of their earnings at their pub.) On holidays, often many of the same men from those mines provided the entertainment by putting on catch matches under basically the same system: the public-house man would hire a couple of likely fellows, tell them what to do, and pay them out of pocket in anticipation of increased sales due to interest in their match, (again expecting the men he had just paid to end up drinking much of their windfall, in order to profit twice.) The performers were paid a set amount to perform as instructed, (generally speaking, however best whetted the crowd's thirst for a rematch,) win or lose, and any side-bets were pure inventions to the press to hype up public interest. [18]

A Wigan Colliery Disaster

There is significant evidence that this was the system of arranging things in the Lancashire region, [18] but according to Casebolt's research, in North America pro grapplers made their living based on the sidebets and stakes in each match all through the 19th century right up until the Teens, until the promoters incrementally took over with the promise of a guaranteed purse to performers, win or lose. In my opinion, each researcher has his blind spots. It is no doubt true that the takeover of promoters in the Teens and 20s changed everything in North American pro wrestling. However, the comparison of pro wrestling before that time to any long-established legitimate pro sport, like baseball—that had occasional scandals, but was presumed to be mainly on the square—isn't really the most apt. A better comparison would be to other competitive games, the sort of competitive activities that allow those most skilled at them to make their living through betting on one's own skill: such as billiards, poker, or dart throwing. But just because someone had enough skill to make a living at such a thing, would they in general choose to rely for their livelihood on winning fairly against other professionals at a similar competitive level? Of course not! There are all kinds of ways to use both skill and savvy to manipulate a situation to make money with less risk than that, whether by facing someone who is far below one's own skill level without them knowing it, or by cooperating with a fellow professional. F. Gotch's trip to the Yukon is a classic example of the former: he traveled under an assumed name as a classic "ringer"/"shark" scam, to hide his true prowess from his opponents—and, more importantly, from the betting crowd—so that the odds would be distorted and a bet on oneself more valuable than it, theoretically, should be.

But this exposes the blind spot in Pashayev's thesis: one may manipulate a situation to fight someone far enough below one's competitive level to ensure an outcome, but breaking an opponent's neck will still be frowned on! Also, even if one has a pre-arrangement with a fellow professional, if both men aren't congenial comrades in a regime such as the Gaffer System as found in England, one must be prepared for the possibility of an... unexpected change of plans. The means to handle both situations is obviously with the use of the sort of holds that cause pain, threaten injury, or lead to unconsciousness. Such torture-holds, strangles, and chokes had been specifically outlawed in organized Lancashire catch-as-catch-can competition going back to the very first set of rules to catch ever, the Snipe Inn Rules, put in place in 1856. [20] These rules may very well have been strictly enforced, in North England (and with the postulated spirit of cooperation between "competitors," strictness of officiation may have been little needed to prevent "rough business.") But agile mental gymnastics are required to try to argue that such a prohibition in North America's version of catch was anything more than a technicality. For example, there is Pashayev's insistence on taking at face value possibly the most facetious statement I've ever read, wherein F. Gotch explained how the step-over toehold taught him by his coach Burns—"the most feared wrestling hold of all time" [14]—was of course NOT a submission hold in contravention of the official rules:

Let his opponent "turn his shoulders to the mat, if he doesn't like it"!![20] This may not fall under some rule-lawyer definition of a submission hold, but in terms of being a style of fighting that can lead to a victory whether the opponent wishes to cooperate or not, all without breaking anybody's neck? ...It incontestably qualifies.

F. Gotch demonstrates his dreaded hold

Frank Gotch

His Meteoric Rise

Upon his return from the Yukon, F. Gotch continued his rise in the grappling world, expanding his scope beyond Iowa. In the meantime, McLeod and Jenkins had been trading the American Championship between them. [17] In January of 1904, F. Gotch defeated the current champ, Jenkins, to be recognized as American Champion for the first time. His reign as American champ would not be without a couple of hiccups, the first coming the following year when Jenkins regained the title for a couple months. F. Gotch defeated Jenkins again in May of 1905 to resume his reign, but not before something significant happened: shortly before dropping the title back to F. Gotch, Jenkins lost a match to the established European Champion to create George Hackenschmidt as the first World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion. [17]

Then at the tail end of 1906, F. Gotch suffered another reverse from the significantly smaller grappler, Fred Beell. [17] Reportedly, the underdog got a fluke win despite already being down one fall to none to the Champion [16] by tossing him "into an orchestra pit" [21] and getting two quick pins in succession when F. Gotch returned to the ring with his bell rung. [16] Ironically, the relatively small competitor is remembered today primarily for this "Beell Toss," [21] a move mostly performed in modern times by the giants of the mat.

The scrappy Fred Beell

The two-week Beell reign [17] was very likely an example of one of the main ways one can make money off of gambling as a pro wrestler with less risk than trying to win competitive matches: putting the fix in for a dark horse from time to time, then betting heavily on him, (through intermediaries, so as not to be caught in the obviously-shady practice of betting against oneself.)

Finally in 1908, F. Gotch got his opportunity at the new World Championship, meeting Hackenschmidt for the title in Chicago. Although the bout was best of three falls, after over two hours of struggle with neither man earning a fall, the "Russian Lion" claimed he was unable to continue. and gave up both the fall and the match, and so the championship was awarded to the American. [16]

The Russian Lion

The win over Hackenschmidt made F. Gotch only the second ever to claim the Wrestling Heavyweight Championship of the World, and the first to be from North America. But the follow-up on that win made the Iowa farm boy a global celebrity. A film was shot of the match that made him Champion that was shown in cinemas all over the world. [22] He also starred in a short play called "All About a Bout" that loosely fictionalized his match with the heavily muscled "Russian Lion," portraying a virtuous college wrestler who has to face a last-minute challenge from a European strongman called "Atlas" and dramatizing a wrestling match in the climactic scene. [23] Each time F. Gotch entered, he was greeted with standing ovations, and the playlet was a hit, running for 38 weeks. [22] At the tail end of 1908, he took the theatrical to England where Hackenschmidt made his home. Feelers were put out regarding a rematch, this time on the former Champion's home turf, but, claiming dirty tactics by F. Gotch to the press, "Hack" remained cold to the idea. [16]

Frank Gotch in fighting trim

In the meantime, the World Champion defended his title from the top contenders out there, such as Stanislaus Zbyszko and Yussiff Mahmout. [24] His celebrity continued to grow with numerous product endorsements and a new theatrical tour, this time teamed up with other sports sensations from boxing and baseball, called "the Band of Champions." For his section he would put on an exhibition match against Dr. Benjamin Roller, going from town to town for an easy payday each night [22]

Years passed, but eventually Hackenschmidt agreed to the highly-anticipated rematch for Labor Day 1911 at the newly-built Comiskey Park in Chicago, which would set attendance records and be the first "Match of the Century" of the century. [24]

Match of the Century

Hackenschmidt went into the match with a leg injury due to an accident in training, and F. Gotch went after him mercilessly, defeating him in less than a half hour. Due to the unusual circumstances, rumors abounded that the match was fixed or that the Champ had put a mole into the Russian strongman's camp to intentionally injure him in sparring. But the evidence points to the truth being that the injury was a genuine accident, and the match was one of the few legitimate fights those mat fans were likely to see, as—much like Rikidôzan would to Kimura decades later—F. Gotch and Hackenschmidt had agreed to trade falls, but on the day, the Champion betrayed the challenger and went for a total victory. [24]

F, Gotch's fame continued to skyrocketed, and he remained undefeated as World Champion, but the whiff of impropriety also haunted him. At the start of 1908, a few months before the big rematch, F. Gotch married and began to consider starting a family. When he proposed to Gladys Oestrich, he indicated that he was considering retirement, and his new wife would perpetually encourage him to follow through on this. [25] Over the next few years he fell into a pattern of announcing his retirement but then being lured out of it for a big payday. [26]

Frank and Gladys

in 1914, Frank and Gladys were blessed with a son they named Robert, and in the interest of being a good family man and in recognition of the passing of time, Frank announced his retirement one more time, undefeated still, but waiving any claim to the World Championship, suggesting that a match between top contenders Beell and Americus fill the vacancy. [26] He quite likely may have been sincere in his desire to return permanently to his farm and devote himself to family... but this was not to be.

Frank Gotch

His Tragic Demise: A Deadly Catch?

In April of 1916, F. Gotch began a summer tour with the Sells-Floto circus, with the intent of leading up to yet another one-last comeback match, this time against the latest World Champion Joe Stecher. But this match never came to fruition because F. Gotch broke his leg that July in a freak accident in a tune-up match against one of the wrestlers in the circus troupe, Bob Managoff, leading F. Gotch to finally permanently retire. [16]

However, this happy and long-sought retreat to his farm and family was cut tragically short. Over the course of the following year, F. Gotch began to develop concerning and mysterious symptoms: upset stomach, lack of appetite, pain in the back and abdomen, and headaches. He consulted with doctors across the country who returned the verdict of "Bright's Disease," a diagnosis that is no longer recognized today, but at the time was a sort of catch-all for chronic kidney conditions. [27] In October of 1917, Frank and Gladys traveled to Chicago for further consultation, and he ended up confined to the hospital for several weeks. He claimed to the press that he was feeling much better and that he had simply strained his back moving rugs on the farm. The couple planned to go from there to Hot Springs, AK to enjoy the recuperative powers of the thermal baths, but ended up taking the train back to Humboldt instead, because the doctors' prognosis was the worst: Frank was dying and there was nothing further that the medicine of the era could do. [16]

Back at the farm, F. Gotch continued to decline, experiencing confusion, weight loss, fatigue, mood swings, irrational behavior, nose bleeds, puffiness around the eyes, and vomiting, until he passed away on December 16th. His cause of death was given as "uremic poisoning," another old-fashioned term that today would fall under kidney failure. However, people being the suspicious sorts that they are, rumors soon swirled and persisted for decades that untreated syphilis was the root cause. While it's true that untreated syphilis can damage the kidneys, there are no known cases where such damage advanced to total kidney failure before other breakdowns associated with advanced syphilis kill the patient first. The Wrestling with Death blog makes the case that the most likely cause of death was glomerulonephritis: an inflammation of the glomerulus, the filters of the kidneys, a condition that can be caused by a number of underlying diseases, including lupus. [27]

However, I believe that they have overlooked one of the biggest clues—drawing a conclusion based on the most likely suspect for such a condition fails to take into account the fact that Frank Gotch was not a typical man who had led a typical life. Another suspect for kidney failure is: trauma. It might not seem like the obvious suspect: kidney trauma serious enough to lead to death is associated with surviving a car accident or earthquake, not straining oneself moving a rug or performing a worked wrestling match. The kidneys are highly protected by our core muscles and ribs, [28] and if pro wrestling could typically seriously damage them, we would have heard of more examples of this. However, it occurs to me that a decade later F. Gotch's student, M. Matsuda also died mysteriously, at about the same age as his catch mentor had, after injuries that one wouldn't expect to be life-threatening. Is it possible that there was something uncommon or extreme that they were both doing in their sparring or training that turned out to be far more dangerous than either man realized? (You may reasonably ask what I mean by "extreme"? I think it's worth noting that Gotch's mentor, Farmer Burns, would perform a stunt to show off his neck development where he would step off a six-foot drop with a noose around his neck—a hangman's drop—and when his neck stopped his momentum, not only would he be uninjured, but he would then whistle "Yankee Doodle"! [29] In 1912, an athlete named George Loeffler died attempting to replicate this stunt. [30])

He's a Yankee Doodle Dandy

Could it be that the Farmer's protégé developed some stunt, feat of strength, or toughening drill that—gradually with multiple reptitions? or with one rep gone just wrong?—left the function of his kidneys hanging by a thread that a minor later injury could... snip? And perhaps taught that same stunt or move or drill to his own student, Manjiro? Maybe... or maybe not. But I believe it's a possibility worthy of consideration.

Dr. Frank Gotch

A New Hope

To leave you all on a less somber note, I made a delightful, serendipitous discovery while researching for this piece. I had dozens of tabs open and couldn't find the one with a particular bit of info that I needed, so I tried finding it all over again by scrolling through search returns for "Frank Gotch bio"... and an oddity caught my eye: "Frank Gotch 1927-2017." Born 10 years after the famous wrestler's death, when his only child Robert would have been 13—so: not his son or his grandson. A doctor in San Francisco, so: perhaps unrelated? Reading the obituary a little further, the man's birthplace was Humboldt, Iowa, so, no: not a coincidence of names! [31] A considerable amount of digging allowed me to establish that there was a Frank Gotch who was 3 years old at the time of the 1930 census, whose father was Bert Gotch. [32] Bert was the wrestling champion's nephew, son of his older brother Charley, ten years his junior. [33]

Dr. Frank Gotch

The reason this family namesake is of interest though, is that he grew up to be "a pioneering nephrologist," (meaning: a kidney doctor,) both a direct caregiver to many kidney patients and a researcher personally responsible for developing something called "kinetic modeling," a method used to improve the survival rate of dialysis patients. [31]

Am I over-romanticizing to imagine that Dr. Frank grew up with stories of his legendary namesake from his father, the man's hero-worshiping nephew, and of his tragic death that doctors could do nothing to prevent, and was inspired to go into the field and to find ways to help make sure that people in that situation in the future might have the opportunity for a better outcome? Maybe. It's like the "Batman" story, but without the violence and insanity! And yet, I can't help but imagine that's exactly how it went down.

One last one-last chapter! Tune in next Sunday, 12/10 for 1.8: the Taproots!

Learning Tree Lineage Diagram

Work-in-Progress Learning Tree Hypertext Document


  1. RFVideo, “Scott Casey Shoot Interview

  2. webisjericho, “An Interview With Jon Moxley,” by B.J. Lisko

  3. Mediaman, “Interview - Les Thatcher”

  4. El Paso Times, "El Paso wrestler Matty Matsuda was undefeated at Liberty Hall in 1920s" by Trish Long

  5., "World Welterweight Title"

  6. El Paso Herald-Post, "16 YEARS AS MAT PROMOTER HERE"

  7. Wrestling Data, "Jack Reynolds"

  8. "PAN AMERICAN CITIES: BINATIONAL METROPOLITAN DEVELOPMENT IN EL PASO AND CIUDAD JUÁREZ, 1945-1994," doctoral dissertation to the University of Houston by Alberto Wilson III

  9. Wrestling Data, "Young Matty"

  10. Wrestling Data, "Match Statistics for Matty Matsuda"

  11. Wikipedia, "Manjiro 'Matty' Matsuda"

  12. Wrestling Data, "Matty Matsuda"

  13. Notes on Iowa, "Iowa History Daily: December 17 - Frank Gotch" by Kevin Mason

  14. Frank Gotch: World's Greatest Wrestler, by Mike Chapman, excerpt to be found in WAWLI Papers #590

  15. Statista, "Urbanization in the United States 1790 to 2050," by Aaron O'Neill

  16., "Frank Gotch Wrestling History" by Tim Hornbaker

  17., "American Heavyweight Title [Turn of the Century]"

  18. The Story of Catch: The Story of Lancashire Catch-as-Catch-Can Wrestling, by Ruslan C. Pashayev

  19. "From sidebets to sideshow: The influence of gambling on the development of professional wrestling in America, 1870-1911" by Lee Casebolt, download

  20., "Catch-As-Catch-Can (E. Lancashire, England)" by Ruslan C. Pashayev


  22. Pro Wrestling Stories, "Gotch vs. Hackenschmidt – The Original Wrestling Screwjob" by Javier Ojst

  23. Intermat, "Intermat Rewind: Gotch vs. Hackenschmidt" by Mark Palmer

  24. History of Wrestling, "Frank Gotch" by Stephen Von Slagle

  25. Gotch vs. Zbyszko: The Quest for Redemption by Ken Zimmerman, Jr. excerpt from Zimmerman's blog

  26. Wrestling-Titles, "THE LAST YEARS OF FRANK GOTCH" by J. Michael Kenyon

  27. Wrestling With Death, "The Death of Frank Gotch"

  28. Urology Care Foundation, "What is Kidney (Renal) Trauma?"

  29. Legendary Strength, "Working on Hanging Feat of Strength" by Logan Christopher

  30., "Farmer Burns Wrestling History" by Tim Hornbaker

  31. San Francisco Chronicle, "Frank Gotch, 1926-2017"

  32., "Frank A. Gotch, 1930 United States Census"

  33. Find a Grave, "Bert A. Gotch"


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