For years, Columbus, Ohio was one of the most exciting wrestling territories on the map
and featured the greatest athletes in the sport on a routine basis.
The January 1, 1930 edition of the Columbus Citizen reported that Charlie Grip
"dethroned Bull Montana as the world's ugliest human on a local mat." It was also noted
that within the last year, wrestling champions Dick Shikat, John Pesek, Hugh Nichols,
Jack Reynolds, Gus Kallio, and Clarence Eklund appeared in the city.
Fritz Howell, a sports writer for the Associated Press, gave a droll account of the trial in
Columbus between Joe Alvarez of Boston and Dick Shikat in newspapers on May 1, 1936.
An advertising piece ran in the Newark (OH) Advocate and American Tribune on
Tuesday, July 5, 1949 announcing that "Gambrinus Brings You Wrestling! Television's
Favorite Sport." It continued by stating that "GAM chalks up another television FIRST!
Wrestling televised in Columbus - direct from the Town and Country Miracle Mile -
featuring big name wrestling professionals in two fast and furious matches." The show
was going to be presented on WLW-C from 9-10 p.m. on July 5, July 12, and July 12,
1949, "and following Tuesdays to be announced later." The advertising also stated "And
remember - the companion to all good times is that good Gambrinus Beer - wherever
you are, just say, 'Gimme a Gam!'" At the bottom of the advertising, it stated, August
Wagner Breweries, Inc. Columbus & Chillicothe, Ohio. Perry Distributing Co., Near 38
North Third St., Phone 3044, Newark, Ohio.
The 34-year-old pastor of the Nelson Memorial Presbyterian church, William Charles
Jones, often went down to Haft's gymnasium and wrestled with the likes of Ruffy
Silverstein, Luther Lindsey, and Don Eagle. The October 14, 1951 edition of the
Mansfield News Journal (Mansfield, Ohio) explained that Jones had never wrestled as a
professional, but did as an amateur, and taught grappling at Hanover College and at the
University of Kentucky. There was a quote from Lindsay saying that he didn't think
Jones could grapple legitimately, but that he was surprised when he found out that, in
fact, he could wrestle.
Al Haft Sports Enterprises, Inc.
Incorporated: August 10, 1934
Registered Agent: H.H. Hamer
Address: 606 Eastmor Boulevard, Columbus, Ohio
Research by Tim Hornbaker
|Columbus Wrestling Territory