Showman (1937)

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SHOWMAN ern version is largely circus stuff put on for customers who don't know much about wrestling, and just like to see the boys toss each other round. The old version was real wrestling, pretty much on the square for a while, and the fans knew enough about its fine points to go for good work. There were three main varieties —catch-as-catch-can, Graeco-Roman—the most popular version, barring all holds below the waist—and collar- and-elbow. Our first bout with Roeber was Graeco- Roman and it was Roeber's going desperately to work on the Turk's legs that moved him to heave Roeber out of the ring. Eventually, of course, the fact that wrestling is the easiest of all sports to fake inspired unscrupulous promoters to all kinds of funny business, and wrestling hit the skids. That happens every five years or so in a regular cycle. As soon as the game catches on again and begins to make a little money, that attracts the vultures and the vultures ruin it in short order. Everywhere this overgrown what-is-it scared the liv- ing daylights out of his opponents. But his triumph in that line was the panic he inspired in a handsome Greek called Heraklides in another Garden bout. To avoid more throwing people out of rings, we pitched this ring on the floor, a canvas with padding beneath. A match between a Greek and a Turk was a whooping natural, of course, since the Turks and the Greeks are always fighting or wanting to. Nobody had ever heard of Heraklides, but he was ballyhooed as big stuff and 217