In the early 1920s, Jack Ross was a leading South Florida wrestler.
On July 19, 1921 at the Park Theatre in Miami, Charlie Cutler beat Frank Hockmann in
two-of-three-falls, winning what a local newspaper called "one of the most thrilling
wrestling matches ever witnessed in Miami." Cutler was a former claimant to the American
heavyweight championship and Hockmann (Hockman) was billed as the Champion of
Belgium. Shows during this time-frame were promoted by "Doc" Cannon.
Promoter Ed Douglass went to Havana, Cuba on Saturday, March 25, 1922 to arrange
several matches, including one involving former World Heavyweight Champion Charlie
"Ye Old Sport' was a sportswriter for the Miami Herald in the early 1920s. On Friday,
March 31, 1922, in his column, "Facts for Fans," he wrote: "Fleas on a dog in August are
no more numerous than the claimants of titles in the wrestling game."
A former promoter in Miami and now a restaurant owner in Atlanta, Ed Douglass was
"severely" injured when he was hit by a car on Sunday, December 25, 1932 in Coral
Gables. 47 year old Douglass suffered a serious concussion and lacerations, and the
Miami Herald reported that he was in semiconscious condition. He'd come to the city the
week earlier because of the death of his mother, Laura C. Douglass.
Douglass returned to Miami in January 1935 (Miami Herald, 1/11/1935) and planned to
run the Florida East Coast Railway's daily racetrack train to Hialeah Park.
Al Ritchie promoted Miami beginning in 1941, stopped for his service during the war, and
returned to stage wrestling shows until the early 1960s. He was involved with a wrestling
war against Pat Malone in 1948. His real name was Ernest A. Ricci and he was born
around 1912. He also promoted at Lake Worth and Fort Lauderdale.
In the summer of 1948, Dave White opened the Causeway Arena at 1325 NE Bayshore
Place, and planned for boxing and wrestling events. On the wrestling side, shows would
be staged by Pat Malone. The facility had between 5,000-6,000 seating. By June 1951,
a Miami newspaper (6/19/51, Miami Daily News) claimed that Causeway had "long since
been overrun with beetles and termites." During the wrestling run at the facility, the Miami
Daily News reported that Gorgeous George drew a 22,500 house there on March 8,
1949. However, this has to be a misprint, as the Arena held a much less capacity. Also,
if true, it probably would have made national news and would've been one of George's
largest houses in his career.
According to a letter from Willie Gilzenberg to Jack Pfefer dated March 15, 1962, Al
Ritchie had problems with Florida booking agent Cowboy Luttrall and Eddie Graham.
Gilzenberg wrote: "As for Al Ritchie and his dealings with the Cowboy – it is only an Al
Ritchie that Cowboy would dare do this too. Eddie Graham grabbed Ritchie one day and
choked him – Cowboy is always displaying a knife – that’s why I cannot fit in with either of
Buck Weaver, former wrestler and football star at the University of Indiana, was the
matchmaker at the Bayfront Park Auditorium in Miami in 1951.
In August 1956, Charley Wheeler was elected president of the National Wrestling
Association during a meeting at the Delano Hotel. Wheeler had been a member of the
Miami Beach Boxing Commission for more than 20 years.
A new Miami Beach Athletic Commission was appointed to serve for two years beginning
in September 1961. Edward Lassman was the Chairman, Fred Aaronson was the Vice
Chairman, and the other members included Morris Klein, Frank Cohn, and Robert
Around 1987, wrestling ceased at the Miami Beach Convention Center, and it marked the
end of an era. The following year, World Championship Wrestling began running
programs at the Knight Center.
At one point around 1991-'92, because of poor attendance, WCW stopped running
wrestling in South Florida. There was some consideration in February 1991 to holding a
PPV at the Convention Center, but because of bad camera angles, the decision was
Chris Dundee Enterprises, Inc.
Incorporated: February 25, 1969
Address: 2031 N. Bay Road, Miami Beach, FL
Registered Agent: Chris Dundee
Directors: Chris Dundee, Suzanne Dundee
Involuntarily Dissolved: October 13, 1989
Research by Tim Hornbaker
|Miami Wrestling History