On May 25, 1950, an NWA Bulletin circulated and stated that there had been some
confusion regarding the role Ed "Strangler" Lewis was playing in the Alliance. Some
members were advertising Lewis "as the 'czar' of wrestling." To clarify his position, the
bulletin stated that Lewis was "merely selected at the NWA meeting in November to act as
a Good Will or Public Relations man. He was never picked as a czar." It continued: "This
is made more ridiculous by advertising him as a czar, then having him referee matches.
Would Happy Chandler, the Commissioner of Baseball, be chosen to umpire a ball
During the Tulsa NWA Convention in September 1951, it was decided that the world
heavyweight champion was to receive 15 per cent of the net house for every appearance
he made. From that 15 per cent, Lewis would take 2 1/2 per cent and the NWA President
would take another 2 1/2 per cent. Also, when Lewis appeared in a town, he was "to
receive the equivalent of preliminary money" from the local promoter. Whether he was in
town or not, Lewis was to do all he could to help with publicity.
In Muchnick's NWA Bulletin #3 dated November 16, 1956, he explained that Lewis was
receiving $7,500 a year from the organization, "as we agreed on at the last meeting," and
believed it would be a good idea if Lewis traveled with Lou Thesz again. As he'd
previously done, Lewis would be responsible for interviews and to relieve Thesz from
many appearances that he'd normally be forced to handle himself. Being the kind of man
Lewis was, affable and outgoing, it was a natural fit for the "Strangler."
Research by Tim Hornbaker
December 15, 2010
|National Wrestling Alliance & Ed "Strangler" Lewis