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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Chapman’

MWR Book Review: Caddock Walnut’s Wrestling Wonder by Mike Chapman

Posted by flairwhoooooo on March 13, 2012

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Review by MWR Owner/Editor Brian Kelley

Judge this book not by the size of the book but the content that is in it. In the early days of wrestling the Midwest was proud to have men such as Frank Gotch and Joe Stetcher to be recognized as World Champion. Gotch set the bar and Stetcher proved to be one of the top wrestlers of his time.

Yet, in a little town on the far western side of the state of Iowa, a young man by the name of Earl Caddock was destined to not only be a champion in the world of wrestling, but also an American hero who actually enlisted in the Army while he was “the” World Champion to fight for our rights during World War I and was inducted into the Army on December 17th. 1917.

This wonderful book takes you back in time to document the historic wrestling career of Earl Caddock as he would earn respect starting with the  AAU National title. During his pro career Caddock fought several of the toughest men to ever live such as Ed “Strangler” Lewis, Stanislaus Zbyszko and Joe Stetcher . The book features some wonderful photos of the top wrestlers of that era and life in the Midwest during his lifetime.

His time in the ring is well documented and there is even a complete Professional record of his matches added to allow you to see just how dominating he truly was.

One of my favorite quotes in the book are on page 57 where a sportswriter in the east stated that “Of all the sports figures in this country, only the World Heavyweight Champion, Earl Caddock, has demonstrated true courage and leadership by showing his willingness to fight for his country.

Earl Caddock deserves to be remembered for being a Veteran during World War 1, a Champion in world of wrestling, and a devoted family man that lived the American dream.

Mike Chapman delivers once again with this book in honoring a man who deserves to not be forgotten, no matter the years that go by.

I highly encourage you to pick up this to add to your wrestling collection of books or just for a great read on a man who gave life everything he had.
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The 88-page book includes 35 photos and newspaper articles, many not seen for 80 years, and Caddock’s complete professional record.

The cost is $7.95 plus $3 shipping and handling. It is available by ordering through Culture House, P.O. Box 293, Newton, IA 50208, or by calling 641-791-3072, or at the city hall in Walnut, Iowa.

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Is NWA World Champion Adam Pearce’s “Last Ride” tour about to come to a screeching halt due to “The Belt Collector” Jeremy Wyatt?

Posted by flairwhoooooo on January 16, 2012

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NWA World Champion Adam Pearce’s t-shirt as he makes his world tour.

By Brian Kelley

The prestigious NWA World title returns to where it all began as the NWA World Champion Adam Pearce comes to Des Moines, Iowa on January 27th in action at the 2-time MWR promotion of the Year 3XWrestling.

 Adam Pearce has been the NWA World Champion since July 31st when he won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship for the fourth time by defeating Chance Prophet, Jimmy Rave and Shaun Tempers in a four-way match to win the vacant title.

It’s a shame that Pearce, a veteran of the sport for over 16 years has never received the just do that the man of his talents deserves. While the NWA title and the organization thrived for years under the management of the likes of Sam Muchnick, times have changed and the NWA has seen dark days for the type of wrestling that made me a fan of the sport.

With his years of experience in the ring and a desire to bring back the glory of the NWA World Title Adam Pearce has embarked on what he calls his “Last Ride tour”. 

His last trip to the Midwest was memorable to say the least as he made his way to Kansas City for Metro Pro Wrestling. The Challenger was Michael Strider, the setting a packed house at the Turner Rec Center on November 5th, 2011. 

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Steven J Girthy and NWA Central States Champion Jeremy Wyatt make their claim for the NWA World title. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

Earlier in the night at Metro Pro Wrestling, Jeremy Wyatt and his manager Steven J Girthy would let the fans know that it was he who deserved a match against Adam Pearce. Bringing to the ring  Wyatt read the hype surrounding him in the year 2011 including the KC Star where they ranked him the #1 wrestler in Kansas City and copies of the MWR article “Does Steven J Girthy have Jeremy Wyatt poised to become the NWA Champion of the World on Nov 5th at Metro Pro Wrestling ?”

Yet, it would be a classic matchup in the main event as  Strider looked to have earned his boyhood dream to become the NWA World Champion when he pinned Pearce as referee  Michael Crase Jr. counted 1-2-3.

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The fans were ecstatic to see Michael Strider go for the NWA title in November at Metro Pro Wrestling. (Photo Credit Bill Smith)

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Strider look to land the big move that would give the former NWA Central States champion his dream to become the NWA World Champion. (Photo Credit Bill Smith)

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Strider the NWA World Champion??? (Photo Credit Bill Smith)

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Matt Murphy, then the MPW comish goaded Strider to continue the match due to Pearce’s feet to be supposedly under the ropes. (Photo Credit Bill Smith)

While Strider went to celebrate with his fans and father, out to the ring came MPW commissioner Matt Murphy. Murphy claimed that Pearce’s feet were on the bottom of the ropes as Crase Jr. made the final third count to the mat.

 Murphy on the mic taunted Strider stating that “You don’t want to win the title like that; you want to be a man and win it like a Champion.”

Strider unwisely would make the decision to not take the title that way and agreed to have the match continue. It would be minutes later that Pearce would benefit a little assistance from Murphy when he tripped Strider, allowing Pearce to strike and use a roll up with his feet on the ropes to retain the title.

The next day I would travel to Collinsville, Illinois to cover Ring of Honor where fans came up to me, asking if in fact Michael Strider had become the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion as they had seen on the NWA website, then was deleted as the NWA webmaster caught word of what had occurred.  Unfortunately, I had to deliver the bad news that Pearce along with Murphy had stolen the Worlds Championship from the former NWA Central States Champion Strider.

Little did we know how someone’s missed opportunities would allow Wyatt to get his wish at the NWA world title.

Fast forward to the final show of the year at 3Xrestling on December 30th.  3XWrestling Champion Jeremy Wyatt loses a close match against Mark Sterling after the “Iron Man” used the ringside bell to help Sterling began his first 3XWrestling title reign.

In the locker room, 3XWrestling camera’s captured Todd Countryman offering Sterling the contract. Let’s watch this once more to see how Wyatt and not Sterling received this dream match against the World Champion Adam Pearce.

So mark your calendars, ask for the day off, and make your way to Des Moines, Iowa at ALL PLAY as the Champion of the World Adam Pearce comes to defend his title against the 2-time 3XW Champion Wyatt. Wyatt is currently the NWA Central States Champion and only the 3rd man in the history of the NWA to hold both the NWA Central States and the NWA Missouri title (He did this last year, Harley Race and Bob Orton being the other two men) Jeremy Wyatt.

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Only the third man to hold the NWA Central States and Missouri Championship at the same time, Jeremy Wyatt(Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

Though Adam Pearce used some underhand tactics to defeat Strider at Metro Pro Wrestling, make no doubt about it that he can defeat Wyatt in many many ways. Pearce in the past has successfully defended the NWA World Heavyweight Championship against Bryan Danielson (WWE’S Daniel Bryan, the reigning World Heavyweight Champion) and Danielson is just one name on a list of victims.

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From the Apr '09 edition of Pro Wrestling Illustrated; Pearce bludgeons perhaps his greatest opponent, a bloody Brent Albright, in New York City.

Pearce brings the ring an old school high impact attack, standing 6’2, 245 pounds he will unleash a fury of moves including the Figure four leglock, Flying fist drop, and the Middle-rope elbow drop setting his opponents up for The Rack Bomb (Backbreaker rack dropped into a powerbomb) or the vicious Jumping piledriver to retain the title.

Quite honestly, after hours of studying tape of Pearce in action, you can see many of his opponents in fear of those finishers from the start of the match. 

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Pearce will have to beware of the crossface finisher from Wyatt. Many matches and titles have been won via this feared move in the Midwest for “The Belt Collector” Jeremy Wyatt(Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

One man who will not have fear in his eyes is the “The Belt Collector” Jeremy Wyatt.  Wyatt considered by many to be the best wrestler in the Midwest, has been dying for this opportunity to make a name for himself. He knows that opportunities likes these are very rare for wrestlers in the area. Quite possibly the most hated man in the Midwest, 3XWrestling fans have come to love him for his multiple matches of the year and giving a 110% during every match.

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Wyatt can strike from anywhere!!!(Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

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Wyatt has many of the fans scattering for safety as he stalks Gage Octane. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

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Opponents have to be concerned about going to the mat as Wyatt is a student of the game and is scary to defend against. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

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Devin Carter goes flying from a right hook from Wyatt….Where Wyatt lacks in size he makes up with the knowledge of when and where to deliver the blow.(Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

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Wyatt has successfully defended his NWA Central States championship against arch rival and NWA Kansas champ Tyler Cook. In less than two weeks he goes for the NWA WORLD TITLE!!!(Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

Wyatt most likely will be the first to tell you he is not doing this for the fans, yet he is the fans best chance to bring back the NWA Worlds title back home to the Midwest. 

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Adam Pearce has been the heart of the NWA since his first NWA World title reign September 1st, 2007 when he defeated Brent Albright in the finals of the vacated NWA tournament. Here Pearce is on set of NWA Wrestling Showcase talking 'rasslin' with David Marquez. (Photo credit Shane Kidder.)

Is Pearce making a mistake as he makes good on his promise to “GIVE BACK to a deserving industry that has given me 16+ years of experiences that I’ll cherish forever.”

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Onlu the kids are brave (naive)enough to talk back to the champ. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

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Pearce has been wise in the past to align himself with men who can assist him in keeping his beloved gold, here he celebrates with the then MPW Champion Derek Stone and Matt Murphy. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

Pearce, a fighting champion will be around the world in  Oberhausen, Germany defending the title a week prior to his return to the Midwest. Fans in Iowa can prepare for a double shot starting off with match against Wyatt at 3XW then heading to Council Bluffs, Iowa for Magnum Pro Wrestling to take on “ Babyface” Tony Cortez the very next night.

With one Lighting Spiral from Wyatt on January 27th at 3XWrestling, the NWA president Robert Trobich   and Magnum Pro may be scrambling late Friday night to come up with a plan to resign a rematch against the NEW NWA World Champion Jeremy Wyatt and Adam Pearce immediately. 

When it is all said and done, I want the NWA and Adam Pearce don’t say that Missouri Wrestling Revival didn’t try to warn you of “The Belt Collector”.

Great NWA world title moments in the Midwest.

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April 3, 1908-Frank Gotch defeats George Hackenschmidt to become the world champion in Chicago, Illinois.

April 19, 1917 Earl Caddock defeated Joe Stecher to become the world champion in Omaha, Nebraska.

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Earl Caddock was not only a world champion but also enlisted in the Army to serve our country. Fans be sure to pick up the new book from Mike Chapman called Caddock “Walnut’s Wrestling Wonder” on one of the best wrestlers to ever come from the Midwest. For more info on how to purchase the book click here.

 March 3,  1922  Ed “Strangler” Lewis defeated  Stanislaus Zbyszko to become the world champion in Wichita, Kansas.

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Here is a great photo of two of the most powerful, respected and important men in the history of wrestling, Sam Muchnick and Lou Thesz.

December 29, 1937 Lou Thesz defeats Everett Marshall in the first of his six NWA world titles in ST Louis, Missouri.

June 30, 1961 Buddy Rogers defeats Pat O’Connor to win his first NWA world title in Chicago Illinois.

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I love this photo of Harley Race. Arguably the greatest NWA World champion of all time.

May 24, 1973 Harley Race defeats Dory Funk Jr. to win first of 8 NWA world titles in Kansas City, Missouri.  Match named Pro Wrestling Illustrated match of the year.

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Ric Flair would capture his first NWA World title right here in the Midwest in what many called an upset at the time.

September 17, 1981 Ric Flair defeats Dusty Rhodes to win first of 9 NWA world titles in Kansas City, Missouri.

June 10, 1983 Harley Race defeats Ric Flair for the NWA world title to set up Starcade.  Match named Pro Wrestling Illustrated match of the year.

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February 20, 1989 Ricky Steamboat defeat Ric Flair to capture the NWA world title in Chicago, Illinois

January 27th 2012 Jeremy Wyatt ???? Adam Pearce Des Moines, Iowa

Information of the NWA world title courtesy of the 16th edition of the PWI Wrestling Almanac.

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Could Jeremy Wyatt be defending the NWA WORLD TITLE at these MWR Promotions after January 27th?

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MWR fans for a great source of the NWA check out the Alliance-Wrestling.com here.

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Frank Gotch statue ceremony is July 4!!! – Add your name to the brick walkway around the statue via donations.

Posted by flairwhoooooo on January 7, 2012

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Frank Gotch was world heavyweight wrestling champion from 1908 to 1915, the best known athlete of his era.

HUMBOLDT, Iowa – The hometown of world wrestling champion Frank Gotch, one of the nation’s best-known athletes in the early part of the 20th Century, is honoring its most famous citizen with a bronze statue to be placed in Bicknell Park. The unveiling ceremony is set for this summer.

All wrestling fans are invited to be a part of wrestling history by making a donation in exchange for their name on a brick or a bench. The project is being run by a not-for-profit organization called the Frank Gotch Statue Committee.

Frank Gotch was arguably the top athlete in America in the 1908 to 1915 era,” said co-chair Steve Reimers, a lifelong resident of the city located in the northwestern part of the state. “Frank brought great recognition to this town and to all of Iowa. Many of us feel it is time to pay a special tribute to Frank Gotch and the great legacy he left behind.”

Jeff Adams, an artist from Mount Morris, Illinois, was selected from several sculptors bidding on the project and began work in October. The statue will be unveiled in special ceremonies on July 4. In addition, the Humboldt City Council recently voted to name the street in front of the park Frank Gotch Boulevard and the signs are already up.

Bicknell Park was the site of Gotch’s training camp prior to his epic match with George Hackenschmidt, known as The Russian Lion, on September 3, 1911, in Chicago. Gotch set up camp by the small bluff on the Des Moines River and spectators flocked to watch the world champion in training. Sports reporters from around the nation converged on Humboldt the month prior to the match. One reporter estimated that one day there were nearly 2,000 fans down by the park watching Gotch train.

The camp consisted of a large ring, handball courts and an area for wall pulleys and punching bags. Several of the top wrestlers in the world came to the camp at various times to serve as workout partners for Gotch. His training was supervised by Farmer Burns, considered the greatest professional wrestling instructor of all time.

Bicknell Park was donated to the city in 1920. The project will include a brick walkway around the pedestal on which the statue stands. Bricks are still available for a donation at the following levels:

•             $125 for a state champion brick (your name on a 4 inch by 8 inch brick in the 6 outside rows of the landscape design);

•             $250 for a national champion brick (your name on a 6 inch by 8 inch brick in the next 4 rows in the landscape design);

•             $500 for a world champion brick (your name on a 8 inch by 8 inch brick in the first 3 rows next to the statue).

 The statue will be made of bronze and stand eight-foot tall, depicting Gotch in a familiar pose with hands on hips while attired in a wrestling uniform. It will be placed on a two-foot high pedestal, with accompanying information on his career and life in Humboldt.   A spotlight will illuminate the statue at night.

Gotch was undefeated during his seven-year rein (1908-1915) as world champion and won his last 88 matches in a row. He owned a considerable amount of land in Iowa and Minnesota and was active in the community in a variety of ways. He was part owner of an automobile dealership in Humboldt and served on several civic boards. He was even being considered to star in a movie in Hollywood and the Republican Party of Iowa was looking at him as a possible candidate for governor in 1920.

But Gotch fell ill in early 1917 and died on December 16, 1917, at the age of 39, of kidney failure. His death was front-page news all around the nation and an estimated 2,000 people attended his funeral. He is buried in a large mausoleum in Union Cemetery, two miles west of town.

According to the author Mac Davis, in the book 100 Greatest Sports Heroes, Gotch was a bigger star than any boxer or baseball player. “As the idol of millions in the United States, Canada and Mexico, Gotch made wrestling a big-time sport in his day. Babies had been named in his honor, as had buildings, toys, farm implements and a hundred other things. The word ‘Gotch’ was a synonym for quality and strength.”

The statue committee is comprised of various members of the Humboldt community, as well as two noteworthy “outsiders.” Frank Gotch III is the grandson of the legendary wrestler and currently lives near Austin, Texas. He is an honorary member. Mike Chapman is one of the nation’s leading wrestling historians and the author of 22 books, including three on Gotch. One of them, Gotch: An American Hero, is under development as a major motion picture.

“We are delighted that the grandson of Frank Gotch and a well-known historian are helping us with the project,” said Reimers.

Anyone wishing more information should contact the Frank Gotch Project, c/o Friends of the Park, PO Box 247, Humboldt, Iowa, 50548, or call Tonya Harklau at 515-332-3285 (or harklauj@goldfieldaccess.net) for further details. Donations are tax deductible to the extent offered by the law.

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Midwest wrestling great Earl Caddock’s story now available from author Mike Chapman.

Posted by flairwhoooooo on January 5, 2012

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January 1, 2012

Editor’s note: It is quite fitting that during the time that we celebrate the wrestlers around the Midwest with the 2011 MWR Awards that we also announce the new book of a true Midwest wrestling legend.

Wrestling historian and the 2010 MWR Lifetime Achievement recipient Mike Chapman has just released his new book on the life and times of Earl Caddock, CADDOCK: Walnut’s Wrestling Wonder.

Please take the time to purchase yourself a copy of this book today!!

NEWTON, Iowa – A new book tells the story of the life and athletic career of Earl Caddock, one of the greatest wrestlers in American history who lived most of his life in Iowa and is buried in his adopted hometown of Walnut.

CADDOCK: Walnut’s Wrestling Wonder, was written by Mike Chapman, noted wrestling author and historian, and published by Culture House Books of Newton, in cooperation with the city of Walnut.

Earl Caddock came off an Iowa farm to become a great amateur wrestler and then won the world heavyweight championship of professional wrestling, back when the sports was a true athletic contest. He was an AAU national champion, in 1914 and 1915, but the cancellation of the 1916 Olympics ended his amateur career.

With Frank Gotch of Humboldt, Iowa, acknowledged as the top athlete in America at the time, Caddock decided to follow Gotch into professional wrestling. On April 9, 1917, he took a perfect record of 79-0 (53-0 as an amateur and 26-0 as a pro) into the ring in Omaha to take on the world champion, Joe Stecher. After more than two hours of grueling wrestling, Earl Caddock emerged as the heavyweight champion of the world.

In 1919 and 1920, Caddock was one of the nation’s most popular athletes, standing alongside such legendary figures as Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey and Jim Thorpe.

At the peak of his sports career, Caddock enlisted in the U.S. Army to fight in World War I and served gallantly in France as a doughboy, suffering lung damage from gas attacks. He returned to make his home in Walnut, Iowa. After three more years of wrestling, Caddock retired from the ring and began a successful career as a businessman in both Walnut and in Omaha.

“Earl Caddock was a devoted husband, father, Christian and high-successful businessman, as well as patriot and champion athlete,” said Chapman, who has written a total of 23 books, 15 on wrestling. “His story is both heroic and inspirational.”

“As mayor of Walnut, I am delighted that a book has finally been written about our most famous citizen,” said Gene Larsen in the foreword. “Though his fame was immense in the late teens and early 1920s, it has faded through the decades and I feel it is time that Walnut does something to keep his memory alive for future generations.”

Caddock is a member of the Des Moines Register Sports Hall of Fame. Sec Taylor, legendary sports editor of the Register and a personal friend of Caddock, once compared Caddock’s fame in Iowa to that of Nile Kinnick.

By winning the world title, “overnight Caddock became the toast of the entire state, “ wrote Taylor at the item of Caddock’s death, in 1950. “Perhaps no other athlete, not even Frank Gotch, caught the fancy and the imagination of the public as did Caddock, until the late Nile Kinnick, Iowa football player, came along.”

Nat Fleischer, considered the top boxing and wrestling writer of the first half of the 20th century, eulogized Caddock in his book, Milo to Londos: “He was an inspiration to the youth of America. During his entire career, he exemplified the best in American sports tradition. And when the history of wrestling is written…. I shall see that Earl Caddock’s name goes up near the top for his wrestling ability, and on top as the man who has done most for the uplift of wrestling in this country.”

The 88-page book includes 35 photos and newspaper articles, many not seen for 80 years, and Caddock’s complete professional record.

The cost is $7.95 plus $3 shipping and handling. It is available by ordering through Culture House, P.O. Box 293, Newton, IA 50208, or by calling 641-791-3072, or at the city hall in Walnut, Iowa.

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Mike Chapman receives his 2010 MWR Lifetime Achievement plaque.

Posted by flairwhoooooo on August 2, 2011

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By Brian Kelley

Recently I was honored to be invited to the home of wrestling historian Mike Chapman to present him with the 2010  Missouri Wrestling Revival lifetime achievement plaque.

It has taken me some time to write about this, because I wanted to be able to put over the fact that how much I appreciated to be a guest in Mike Chapman‘s home.

With that said here I go.

The MWR Lifetime Achievment award in the past have been given to 8 times NWA World Champion Harley Race in 2008 For his many great years in the sport and continued support of wrestling and communities in the Midwest. Last year in 2009 we presented the award to Wrestling at the Chase announcer and wrestling historian Larry Matysik.

The award is given to the man or women who have been a positive influence in the Midwest throughout their years in the sport.

When we sat down to decide who was deserving of the 2010 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award receipt, we wanted an individual who had been active in bringing to the Midwest a positive endorsement for the sport that we love. Mike Chapman was an easy choice.

As his bio states at his website Mike Chapman retired from a 35-year newspaper career in 2002 and in 2009 retired from an 11-year career serving as the executive director of the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum (DGIWIM).
As a writer, he has met and interviewed such people as Ronald Reagan, Muhammad Ali, Robert Redford, Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk from TV fame) and many other famous stars of movies and sports. Mike has appeared on numerous TV shows –including the networks ESPN, A&E, Fox Sports, Iowa Public Television and Fox and Friends. He has been the guest on over 200 radio talk shows.

Mike is highly respected in the world amateur wrestling. He is the founder of WIN Magazine, the nation’s top amateur wrestling publication; the WIN Memorabilia Show, which draws 8,000 fans each year to the NCAA Championships; and the “Dan Hodge Trophy,” which goes each year to the top college wrestler in the United States. It has been called “the Heisman Trophy of wrestling.”

Mike is a member of six halls of fame. In 2002, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the CAC (Cauliflower Alley Club, an organization of boxers, wrestlers and movie actors)

In 2009 retired from an 11-year career serving as the executive director of the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum (DGIWIM).

That is just a quick look at some of the accomplishments of Mike Chapman. For more please take a look at his website here.

Before I made the drive to Mikes home, I had read his book, Frank Gotch An American Hero. When I finished the last page and put the book down, I truly was a fan for life of the great Frank Gotch. During our time together at his house Mike would show me many of his personal collection of the greats in pro wrestling . One memorable item for me was the opportunity to wear the bowler hat that Gotch personally owned while sitting in the chair that Mike had bought from the Gotch home during an auction at his house.

For a few hours, Mike shared story after story of his time around the ALL-TIME greats including Lou Thesz and Danny Hodge. Mike spoke of the sad days at the flood at the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum (DGIWIM) in Waterloo when so many important items were lost.

When I asked about the City of Humboldt to honor Frank Gotch with a statue in park his eyes lit up letting me know how proud of the work that the men and women involved had done during a recent open house to raise funds for the statue in Humboldt. MWR will keep you posted of the progress of the statue her at MWR when more details come out. It is with great hope that we are able to cover such an historic event, honoring one of the all time greats in Frank Gotch.
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The world of pro wrestling in the Midwest should be thankful to have Mike Chapman as a presence in the sport. His time and efforts have been instrumental in keeping the legacy of the golden age of wrestling alive.

When the time came to leave Mikes house I knew that he had given his heart and soul to each of his passions. In the end I came to the conclusion that he deserved each and every award and HOF inductions .

Mike has spent a lifetime given back to many people and it is with great hope that I hopes that he knew that I was honored to present him with the 2010 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award.

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2010 Missouri Wrestling Revival Award winners

Posted by flairwhoooooo on January 27, 2011

What a great year 2010 was for pro wrestling in the Midwest. Shows throughout the Midwest showed a steady growth in an economy that is struggling.

The biggest companies in the World, WWE and TNA both had pay per views in the Midwest. Fans were able to meet the stars at TNA’S fan fest. The ST Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame honored Dory Funk JR, Bobby the Brain Heenan and Baron von Raschke with their inductions to the hall of fame during the celebration.

Wrestling returned to Kansas City in a big way when Metro Pro Wrestling debut at the historic Memorial Hall with special guest Tommy Dreamer and a TV deal on Metro Sports. Led by former WWE Superstar Trevor Murdock, the Metro roster has to step up their game if they are to be the best if they are to stand out of the 3 time WWE Tag Team Champions shadow.

We were happy to add New Midwest Wrestling to our coverage area.At MWR we have seen some of the NMW talents in past in Dan the Man and Ryan Phoenix but we quickly saw that Bobby Houston, Eric Logan and NMW Champion Jonathan Magnus are just a few that are worthy of seeing in action as well.

Once again we were able to enjoy another great PWE show at the Lincoln Balloon Festival. PWE later in the year saw Donovan Ruddick and Mason Beck go up against the fun lovin former WWE Star U-Gene and the Mississippi Madman.

We were able to see PWP get out of the grasp of the Murder Militia in a classic War Games match while on the other side of the state 3XWrestling continued their standard of providing the fans with great wrestling and an up and close look at their great website including the monthly Outside the Ring program.

In ST Louis MMWA-SICW was the 2009 MWR Promotion of the Year, but they did not rest on their laurels. They continued to train young wrestlers while bringing in some of the very best in Mark Sterling and Mike Sydal, fans where also  thrilled to see old favorites return like Danny Boy and Ron Powers.

AAPW had one of the very best feuds in the Midwest with Shane Rich turning his back on his good friend Edmund “Livewire” McGuire.

NWA Dynamo has brought back some of the GCW flavor and packed the house in a great show in the summer with Pete Madden and Mike Sharona going to war with Nikki Strychnine and Makaze in the main event.

HVW had a slow year but was proud to boast that HVW Original Santana G had made her way to Florida with a great opportunity to valet on Spike TV for TNA with Orlando Jordan.

World League Wrestling is primed to be at their very best with the young talent training at the Harley Race Wrestling Academy. Don’t be surprised to see the talents of Jason Jones, the Cancun Kid, Lucy Mendez, Jack Gamble, Brian Breaker and Ethan Wright hold titles throughout the Midwest and beyond in the near future.

IHW proved that they were one of the best with entertaining shows that grew more and more fans each time. Brandon Aarons has turned into the one of the biggest fan favorites in all of the Midwest. Eric Allen and Sean Vincent would test the skills of the rising young star.

MECW mixed hometown flavor with a dose of Windy City Wrestling, including former WWE Star Mike Anthony and the one and only Bailey Mannix along with teen heart throb Evan Money.

IWA Unlimited provided the fans of Olney Illinois with free wrestling each Wednesday. High flying and hard hitting action gave the wrestlers a chance to improve their skills in a great environment.

IWA Productions packed the house with special guest The Honky Tonk Man but it was the local fans that stole the show when Christian Rose and Danny Cannon tore the roof off the place.

NWA Supreme shows may not have that many shows but the ones they did have where filled with some of the best stars locally and nationally.

MWR wrestlers have been active working to get to the top. Mike Sydal was announced as the 2009 PWI Rookie of the year while Midwest stars Mark Sterling, Ace Hawkins, Brandon Espinosa all made appearances with Ring of Honor.

The fans and friends of Barry Ryte showed their support for their guy after he was diagnosed with cancer causing him to back out of the 2010 ECWA Super 8 tournament. Barry has shown in the ring that he has the heart of a champion, and that fighting spirit has helped him It has been announced that he has been cleared to wrestle in 2011. If we had an inspirational wrestler of the Year he would have won hands down.

Fans were blessed to have the Champion of the World Tyler Black make their way to their hometown as Tyler Black met Jeremy Wyatt at 3Xwrestling in Des Moines Iowa, while in Illinois Black went one on one with Brandon Aarons.

This fall word got out that the Future Donovan Ruddick had made his way to Florida with a developmental contract for WWE. He joined the before mentioned Black who has since lost his title to Roderick Strong but we all know the best is yet to come for Tyler Black.

I hope that you have enjoyed the coverage of all of your favorite promotions. It is with the hard work of Dubray Tallman, Mike Van Hoogstraat, Bill Smith, Gary Giaffoglione, Matt Murphy, Greg Anthony , Dartallion Allen, Mark Campos, Josh Ray and Rob Schamberger that makes the site what it is today.

We would like to thank the promoters and wrestlers that support the site for the past three years.

Last but not least thank you so much to the fans of pro wrestling in the Midwest. Take the time to see a wrestler before they become the next Superstar.

On January first we were proud to announce that Mike Chapman was named as the 2010 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. For more info on Mike Chapman click here.

Now with further ado I give you the 2010 MWR yearly awards.

2010 Wrestler of the Year

Mike Sydal-

Mike Sydal (Photo Credit Scott Finkelstein)

The wrestler of the year was a close vote this year as the surge of Mark Sterling coming within votes to be named for the second year in a row for MWR Wrestler of the Year. Meanwhile Donovan Ruddick had a great push thanks to great performances in 2010 against Dave Vaughn, Mephisto, and the Mississippi Madman. Hard work would pay off for Ruddick as the opportunity that many felt was long overdue, came to pass when he was signed to the WWE developmental contract late this fall. Jeremy Wyatt and Trevor Murdock both garnered several votes thanks to what many voters voiced their respect for each of these men. Last but not least just on the outside of the voting range was Brandon Aarrons who and his former tag team partner Brandon Espinosa .

Mike Sydal toured the country in 2010 wrestling in matches each and every week. Promoters loved him, fans cheered him and the country noticed. His hard work and dedication combined with a true desire to improve earned made him the second wrestler that took part in the WLW/Noah camp that won the PWI Rookie of the Year.

Sydal was just getting started, during Wrestlemania weekend he was in California wrestling with Ring of Honor. He would continue wrestling with Ring of Honor training at their training center before making appearances on Direct TV’S HDNET against Tyler Black, Christopher Daniels and more.

In the fall Sydal returned to much fan fare. At Metro Pro Wrestling, Rock and Roll Mike Sydal was once again on TV with Metro Pro Wrestling against the former WWE Tag Team Champion Trevor Murdock.

At 3XW he was involved in one of the most emotional matches of the year when he was force to face “The Unbreakable” Zach Thompson. Thompson defeated his High Flyers’ partner Mike Sydal following a Dublin Driver in a very emotional and hard fought Loser Leaves 3XWrestling match set up by 3XW Commissioner Todd Countryman in May. Fans rejoiced when Thompson overcame the odds to defeat Brian Ash in November to allow Sydal to once again return.

Throughout the year of 2010 Sydal popped up just about everywhere good wrestling could be found.

Sydal has earned the respect of his peers and promoters and it showed in the 2010 in the final vote. Out of 14 awards committee voters the lowest Sydal got were 16.

We would like to congratulate Mike Sydal as the 2010 MWR Wrestler of the Year.

First Runner upMark Sterling
Second Runner upDonovan Ruddick
Third Runner upJeremy Wyatt

2010 MWR Tag team of the Year

Attitude Inc. (Guy Smith, Spencer Powers, and Michael Shard)

New Midwest Tag Team Champions : Attitude Inc – Spencer Powers, Michael Shard and Guy Smith

Attitude Inc is a flashy tag team that has electrified the ring at New Midwest Wrestling for the past year. All three men are former NMW Heavyweight Champions who have come together and found success. Like the Freebirds, Attitude Inc have mixed partners to their advantages. Their success and talent has won over the awards committee.

At the start of the year they dismantled the faction the Sin Club of Steve Bishop, Dave Parker and Dareian Frost in impressive fashion.

In July the they outlasted the tag teams of Logantyre (Eric Logan and Justin McEntyre) , The New Immolare (Tom Arson and Ryan Phoenix) and the Full Metal Jackals( Danny Cannon and Alex Castle) in an exciting four way match to win the NMW Tag Team titles.

In consecutive months of October and November they defeated the up and coming tag team the Full Metal Jackals (Danny Cannon and Alex Castle) to retain the NMW Tag Team Titles.

Though Attitude Inc has their hands full with the tag team of the Uninvited (Rip Mystic and Tom Arson) heading into 2011, the team can hold their head up high that MWR has named them the 2010 MWR Tag Team of the Year.

First Runner up Gentleman’s Club- Devin Carter and Casanova
Second Runner up- Steve Fender and Mark Sterling
Third Runner up – The Hooligans -Devin and Mason Cutter

2010 MWR Female of the Year

Amy Hennig

Amy Hennig (Photo Credit Bill Smith)

The current World League Wrestling Women’s champion has been dominate in 2010. Hennig has trained at the Harley Race Wrestling Academy and has all the tools to make it to the top of the wrestling world.

Matches with Lucy Mendez, Santana G and Angelus Layne were must see matches in 2010.

You can catch her brother Joe every Monday night on WWE, do not miss the chance to see her in the Midwest while you still can.

First Runner up -MsChif
Second Runner up- Santana G
Third Runner up- Lucy Mendez

2010 MWR Promotion of the Year

3Xwrestling

3XW’s fifth year proved to be the best yet, featuring a mix of incredible wrestling, packed crowds, strong business relationships within the community, and a continuing commitment to charitable efforts.
Despite the common perception that interest in wrestling is on the decline, 3XW enjoyed consistently growing crowds throughout the year, routinely packing the Des Moines Social Club each month for events thanks to a loyal – and growing – following and strong television, radio, print and word-of-mouth advertising, not to mention the most talented roster of wrestlers in the entire Midwest.

This past July, 3XW also had the honor of being the last wrestling promotion to hold matches in historic Veterans Memorial Auditorium, a building with 55 years of wrestling history. The athletes of 3XW competed in the same building that NWA affiliates, particularly Central States, held matches years ago, not to mention some major WWE/WWF/WCW moments.

3XW’s webshow, Outside the Ring, enjoyed an increasing number of views, as did 3XWrestling.com, which was visited by thousands of fans each month.

First Runner up- Independent Hardcore Wrestler
Second Runner up- MMWA-SICW
Third Runner up- Metro Pro Wrestling

2010 MWR Match of the Year

Jeremy Wyatt vs. Tyler Black – 3XW – April 2, 2010

Spring Showdown at 3Xwrestling was a monumental night of pro wrestling featuring one of the top wrestlers in the Midwest proving to the world that he could hang with the Champion of the World.

The two wrestled to a 30-minute time limit draw in an incredible wrestling match that earned a standing ovation from the crowd after the final bell. The last minute of the match saw referee Jeromy Robb inadvertently get crushed in the corner by both men and fall to the canvas. Black quickly nailed Wyatt with a tremendous reverse brainbuster and covered him for the pin, only there was no ref to count the pin. As Black was checking on the ref in the corner, Wyatt slowly rose to his feet and grabbed Black from behind, slamming him hard with his patented Kansas Tumbleweed (Lightning Spiral) and covering him for the pin with 20 seconds remaining, only for the ref to still be out. Wyatt screamed and pleaded for the ref to get up to no avail and he even counted the pin himself. The time then ran out before a winner could be determined but the fans gave a standing ovation.

First Runner up- MECW November 20, 2010 – Bailey Mannix vs. Eric Allen – 30 Minute Ironman Match

Second Runner up- The Mississippi Madman vs. The Future Donovan Ruddick with MR Late Nite at Pro Wrestling Epic August 28th, 2010 Lincoln, Illinois

Third Runner up- Danny Cannon vs Christian Rose ladder match from IWA Productions OCC show in January 2010

For a complete list of nominations sent from fans, promoters and wrestlers around the Midwest click here.

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City of Humboldt to honor Frank Gotch with a statue in park

Posted by flairwhoooooo on January 6, 2011

HUMBOLDT, Iowa – The hometown of world wrestling champion Frank Gotch, one of the nation’s best-known athletes in the early part of the 20th Century, is making plans to honor its most famous citizen with a statue to be placed in Bicknell Park. The park occupies the site where Gotch trained for his most important match.

The project is being run by a not-for-profit organization called the Frank Gotch Statue Committee.

“Frank Gotch was arguably the top athlete in America in the 1908 to 1915 era,” said co-chair Steve Reimers, a lifelong resident of the city located in the northwestern part of the state. “Frank brought great recognition to this town and to all of Iowa. Many of us feel it is time to pay a special tribute to Gotch and the great legacy he left behind.”

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Bicknell Park was the site of Gotch’s training camp prior to his epic match with George Hackenschmidt, known as The Russian Lion, on September 3, 1911, in Chicago. Gotch set up camp by the small bluff on the Des Moines River and spectators flocked to watch the world champion in training. Sports reporters from around the nation converged on Humboldt the month prior to the match. One reporter estimated that one day there were nearly 2,000 fans down by the park watching Gotch train.

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The camp consisted of a large ring, handball courts and an area for wall pulleys and punching bags. Several of the top wrestler in the world came to the camp at various times to serve as workout partners for Gotch. His training was supervised by Farmer Burns, considered the greatest professional wrestling instructor of all time.

Bicknell Park was donated to the city in 1920. The project will include a brick walkway around the pedestal the statue stands on. The statue will be made of bronze and stand eight-foot tall, depicting Gotch in a familiar pose with hands on hips while attired in a wrestling uniform. It will be placed on a two-foot high pedestal, with accompanying information on his career and life in Humboldt.

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Gotch was undefeated during his seven-year rein as world champion and won his last 88 matches in a row. He owned a considerable amount of land in Iowa and Minnesota and was active in the community in a variety of ways. He was part owner of an automobile dealership in Humboldt and served on several civic boards. He was even being considered to star in a movie in Hollywood and the Republican Party of Iowa was looking at him as a possible candidate for governor in 1920.

But Gotch fell ill in early 1917 and died on December 16, 1917, at the age of 39, of kidney failure. His death was front-page news all around the nation and an estimated 2,000 people attended his funeral. He is buried in a large mausoleum in Union Cemetery, two miles west of town.

According to the author Mac Davis, in the book 100 Greatest Sports Heroes, Gotch was a bigger star than any boxer or baseball player. “As the idol of millions in the United States, Canada and Mexico, Gotch made wrestling a big-time sport in his day. Babies had been named in his honor, as had buildings, toys, farm implements and a hundred other things. The word ‘Gotch’ was a synonym for quality and strength.”

The statue committee is comprised of various members of the Humboldt community, as well as two noteworthy “outsiders.” Frank Gotch III is the grandson of the legendary wrestler and currently lives near Austin, Texas. He has agreed to serve as an honorary member. Mike Chapman is one of the nation’s leading wrestling historians and the author of 22 books, including three on Gotch. One of them, Gotch: An American Hero, has been purchased by Empire Film Group in Los Angeles and is under development as a major motion picture.

“We are delighted that the grandson of Frank Gotch and a well-known historian are helping us with the project,” said Reimers.

Other members of the committee are Ron Wasoba, former Humboldt High School wrestling coach, who is co-chair; Tonya Harklau, former executive director of the Humboldt Area Chamber of Commerce; Maurey Abens, Chad Beaman, Jana Bratland, Ken Bratland, Kent Clendenen, Todd Lee, Phil Monson and Bruce Reimers, a former NFL football player from Humboldt who played in a Super Bowl as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals.

“In an effort to make this project all inclusive, we are reaching out to the citizens of Humboldt, and also to wrestling fans across the state and the entire nation,” said Wasoba. “Frank Gotch helped created a strong interest in wrestling in America in the early 1900s. We believe many fans across the nation will want to be a part of this effort to honor his memory and his impact on the sport, both amateur and professional.”

“I think part of the reason this is such a wonderful project is because Frank Gotch had a very powerful love of this community,” said Chapman. “After he became world champion, many promoters and managers tried to get him to leave Iowa and move to the big city. But he never was tempted. He told them he was born an Iowa farmer, was raised an Iowa farmer and would die an Iowa farmer. And he was true to his word.”

There are various levels of support offered to donors, beginning at $125 and going up to $3,000, and beyond. Anyone wishing more information should contact the Frank Gotch Project, c/o Friends of the Park, PO Box 247, Humboldt, Iowa, 50548, or call Tonya Harklau at 515-332-3285 (or harklauj@goldfieldaccess.net) for further details. Donations are tax deductible to the extent offered by the law

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2010 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Mike Chapman

Posted by flairwhoooooo on January 1, 2011

History should
be studied
because it
is essential to
individuals and
to society, and
because it
harbors beauty.

Pro Wrestling fans are passionate about their love of the drama and action inside the squared circle. In a sport where the desire for us, the fans to know more about our heroes and villains more than ever, we are very fortunate to have websites, shoot interviews, movies and documentaries to fall back on.

Growing up I dreamed of a Hall of Fame for the stars that I saw in publications such as Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Wrestling needed a Hall of Fame just as baseball has Cooperstown New York and the NFL Canton Ohio. Sure, many magazines had a Hall of Fame on paper but I wanted more. I wanted to see the championship belts, photos and posters from past shows.

To be honest, coming from a boom time for pro wrestling in the 80’s with “Rock and Wrestling”, I still lived in a small town in the Midwest where there were still many that did not understand my love for wrestling. I thought that if a Hall of Fame was to exist I would have to make my way to New York or California to see such a wonderful museum.

Thankfully, we have one of the leading authorities on wrestling history in Mike Chapman living right here in the Midwest. Mike took his passion for amateur and pro wrestling and parlayed his talent to provide wrestling fans around the world a chance to gather to celebrate the accomplishments of our heroes.

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Mike and Bev pose for a photo in the ring in the Pro Wing of the Museum. (Photo Courtesy of Mike Chapman’s website)

Now fans young and old can come together to look back and remember the stars of yesterday at the The Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Waterloo Iowa. Mike Chapman founded the museum in 1998. With several years of hard work he retired from the museum on October 31, 2009 to devote full time to his new magazine, Iowa History Journal, and to write books.

Mike has represented the Midwest and the wrestling world with class and honor by promoting the sport as a public speaker, an author of 21 books (14 about wrestling) and his work has appeared in dozens of national and regional magazines.

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In his books wrestling fans are able to take a trip back into time to look back at the incredible careers of Frank Gotch in “Frank Gotch: His Life and Legacy” and one of my personal favorite wrestlers and human beings Dan Hodge in “Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story”.
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Fans of today are well aware of the talents that the collegiate wrestling world has as many in wrestling such as Bill Miller, Jack Brisco, Bob Geigel Brock Lesnar, Ken Shamrock, Steve Williams, Bobby Lashley, LeRoy McGuirk and of course Kurt Angle . Each of these men have all become important wrestlers in the pro ring at one time or another.

If some of these names are people that you may not know, I urge you to check out the museum or look them up, each a champion in their own right.

Let’s look at just a small part of his resume.

Mike is the founder of W.I.N. Magazine, considered by many the nation’s top amateur wrestling publication; the WIN Memorabilia Show, which draws 8,000 fans each year to the NCAA Championships.  Mike has been important in the jumpstarting the “Dan Hodge Trophy,” which goes each year to the top college wrestler in the United States. It has been called “the Heisman Trophy of wrestling.”

Mike has earned the respect of many in the sport by being named in six Hall of Fames the AAU National Wrestling Hall of Fame. In 2002 he  received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cauliflower Alley Club (CAC), an organization of boxers, wrestlers and movie actors. In 2007 he received the Order of Merit for lifetime achievement from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and the President’s Award from the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association.

As a reporter, he has attended 38 NCAA wrestling tournaments, two Olympics and two World Championships. He has won numerous awards for journalism and writing. He has been named National Wrestling Writer of the Year five times, by four different amateur wrestling organizations.

He has met and interviewed such people as Ronald Reagan, Muhammad Ali, Robert Redford, Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk from TV fame), Denny Miller (Tarzan actor and star of “Wagon Train”) and many other famous stars of movies and sports.

Mike has appeared on numerous TV shows –including the networks ESPN, A&E, Fox Sports, Iowa Public Television and Fox and Friends. He has been the guest on over 200 radio talk shows. He has produced three wrestling videos and has two screenplays in Hollywood, including “GOTCH: An American Hero.” The movie rights are owned by Empire Film Group and it is currently in pre-production.

As an athlete, he competed in wrestling, judo, sombo and bench press contests. He once bench pressed 440 pounds at a bodyweight of 205.

I first had the pleasure of meeting Mike Chapman in Newton Iowa, the original home of the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum several years ago during an annual Hall of Fame. Several of my heroes from years past where in attendance in 2005 along with theInduction of Harley Race to the HOF.

Terry Funk, Verne Gagne and Larry Hennig were just a few that where there to sign autographs for the each and every one of the fans in attendance. Still one of the fondest memories that I had of that trip to Newton Iowa was how nice this guy that worked for the museum was towards Dubray and I. He spoke to us just like he had known us all of his life, telling stories of the displays and the posters on the wall.

We left that day in Newton with the perception that he just worked there and enjoyed what he done. I would later find out that that worker was none other than Mike Chapman, the founder of the museum, a man who had rubbed elbows former World Champions in Boxing and wrestling, Presidents of the United States, and some of the top Hollywood stars.

At Mike’s website this quote was stated

The mission of the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum (DGIWIM) is to preserve, maintain and promote the long and illustrious heritage of mankind’s oldest sport in a manner which will benefit the sport, educate and entertain the public, and to inspire youth to dream big and work hard.

Mission accomplished Mike, this Lifetime Achievement Award is a thank you from the fans of the Midwest and around the world.

Editors Note: Please come back to MWR in the future for updates on the progress Mike latest project as he has been working with a committee in Humboldt, Iowa – the hometown of Frank Gtoch – to build an eight-foot statue of the world heavyweight champion (1908-1915) in the center of town.

If all goes as plan we hope to cover this historic occasion at Missouri Wrestling Revival
Please take the time to check out more information of Mike Chapman at his website here.

Fans of wrestling should check out the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum website here and make plans to see it live in 2011.

Brian Kelley
Missouri Wrestling Revival

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Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story.

Posted by flairwhoooooo on February 10, 2009

Oklahoma Shooter:
The Dan Hodge Storyhodgebook

NEWTON, Iowa – The incredible athletic career of Dan Hodge, the only man to ever win national titles in both boxing and wrestling, has been published by Culture House Books and is now available.

It is called Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story.

Hodge came out of Perry, Oklahoma, to set the amateur wrestling world on fire in the mid 1950s. He won three NCAA Championships at 177 pounds for the University of Oklahoma, never losing a match or even a takedown. He also won three national titles in freestyle wrestling and one in Greco-Roman.

He also competed on two Olympic teams. He made the 1952 team as an unheralded 19-year-old, at that time the youngest wrestler ever to make an Olympic team. In 1956, he won the silver medal in the 174-pound class in Melbourne, Australia.

On April 1, 1957, Hodge was on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine, the only amateur wrestler ever accorded such an honor.

After completing his amateur wrestling career with his third NCAA title in 1957, Hodge turned to boxing. He was 17-0 as an amateur boxer and on March 24, 1958, won the National Golden Gloves heavyweight title with a dramatic knockout victory in Madison Square Garden!

Hodge boxed briefly as a professional, posting a record of 8-2 and at one time was being considered for a world title shot against champion Floyd Patterson. In the book, he discloses for the first time the behind-the-scenes problems he had with the business, and why he left boxing even though he had a promising future.

After his horrible experience in pro boxing, Hodge became a professional wrestler and is regarded as the greatest junior heavyweight champion of all time. He is also considered one of the greatest “shooters” (a wrestler willing to wrestle for real at any time) in the history of the sport.

The book concludes with a ranking of where Dan Hodge fits on the list of the greatest shooters of all time, dating back to the start of the early 1900s.

Author Mike Chapman has known Dan and his wife, Dolores, for over 30 years and has spent considerable time with Dan talking about his incredible career. A recognized author and historian, Chapman is the founder of the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Waterloo, Iowa, and the founder of W.I.N. magazine, one of the top wrestling publications in the country. He has been named National Wrestling Writer of the Year six times, by five different organizations. This is his 21st book, and 15th on wrestling.

The book includes 66 photographs, many never seen before. The photos cover Hodge’s careers in both wrestling and boxing, as both an amateur and professional
.
“Dan Hodge has lived a truly amazing life,” said Chapman. “He has rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in sports history – from Jack Dempsey to Rocky Marciano, from Ed “Strangler” Lewis to Lou Thesz. There are photos of all of them with Dan in the book, plus many stories about them.”

The foreword was written by Jim “J.R.” Ross, one of the best-known announcers and commentators in pro wrestling history.

Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story is published by culture House Books of Newton, Iowa, a small publishing company that specializes in books about sports legends and movie personalities. It sells for $22.95, with $5 shipping and handling costs.

Persons can order the book by calling Culture House Books at 641-791-3072.

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