*On May 4, 1935 in Louisville, Hugh Nichols reportedly beat Leroy McGuirk to capture a
claim to the World Light Heavyweight Title.  According to the NWA, it was a non-title match.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma:  Wednesday, August 7, 1935        
(Texas League baseball park) … World Light Heavyweight Champion Leroy McGuirk b.
Hugh Nichols and “settled all disputes as to whom the light-heavyweight wrestling champion
of the world is.” (McGuirk won the first fall, Nichols won the second with a stepover double
reverse leg hold, McGuirk won the final) … Red Berry and Charley Carr drew … Scotty
McNaught b. Michael Angelo (DQ) … Johnny LaRue b. Jack Conway … (promoter:  Sam
Avey) … (referees:  Tom Churchill, Ernest “Red” Andrews, Charles Rentrop) … (benefit for
the Daily Oklahoman and the Oklahoma-Times Milk and Ice Fund) … (5,000 fans) … (in
attendance: Colonel Harry Landry, president of the NWA)
Notes:  McGuirk trained for the match with his old schoolmate Joe “Red” McCrary, Nichols
reportedly learned tips in St. Louis from Jim Londos and worked out in a Tulsa gym with
Jimmy Logas; Landry had ordered McGuirk and Nichols to wrestle to settle the situation,
which “blew up" when they met in Louisville, KY., on Derby eve.  In that match, Nichols won
the only fall that was scored.  The time was limited to one hour and McGuirk, defending
champion, claimed his title was not at stake. – The Daily Oklahoman, August 8, 1935

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma:  Wednesday, April 28, 1937
(The Coliseum) …
Hugh Nichols b. Bobby Chick to capture the World Light Heavyweight
Title (2/3) (Nichols won the first fall in 32:35, Chick took the second in 13:29, Nichols
annexed the third in 27:54) … Lord Lansdowne b. Yukon Jake … Jack McDonald b. Monte
LaDue … Sheik MarAllah b. Rod Fenton … Count Johan von Bromberg b. Stacy Hall …
(promoter:  Sam Avey) … (in attenance:  National Wrestling Association Secretary C.C.
McCrary, NWA “member” Gilbert Harrison) … (3,500 fans)
Notes:  Said to be the first time a world wrestling championship had changed hands in
Oklahoma City.

Tulsa, Oklahoma:  Monday, May 31, 1937
(The Coliseum) … “Wild” Red Berry b.
Hugh Nichols to capture the World Light
Heavyweight Title (2-0) (Berry won the first fall in 30 minutes with an Indian deathlock and
took the second in 26:00, using the same hold) … Tony Morelli b. Jack McDonald (Morelli
won a $100 side bet) (Morelli took one fall in the four ten minute rounds) … Jackie Nichols
b. Frankie Clements (third round) … Mike Kilonis b. Jim Spencer (second round) … Chief
Arquette b. Young Zbyszko (second round) … (promoter:  Sam Avey) … (referee:  Red
Andrews) … (4,000 fans)
Notes:  The Tulsa Daily World said that Hugh Nichols began wrestling when he was 18, and
that he’s 38 now, giving him 20 years of experience.  Berry was said to be a very well
conditioned wrestler, and was said to have beaten three champions in non-title affairs.  He
beat Nichols, McGuirk and Chick.  Both wrestlers would weigh in at 2:00 that afternoon in
the office of Dr. M.A. Houser at the Beacon Life building.  The weight limit for the
championship match was 175 pounds.  Berry, reportedly, started working around the coal
mines when he was 12 years old at Pittsburg, Kansas.  He was said to be 29 years of age
and at the “peak” of his career.  He weighed in at 173, while Nichols was 174.  The paper
stated “Nichols was champion seven years his first reign, but has ruled the light
heavyweights only a few weeks this time.  He regained the crown by defeating Bobby Chick
in Oklahoma City.”  Hugh was “brought up under the wing of the great Farmer Burns.” Berry
was cheered throughout the contest.

Hollywood, California:  Monday, October 11, 1937
(Hollywood Legion Stadium) …
Danny McShain b. “Wild” Red Berry to capture the World
Light Heavyweight Title (2/3) (McShain won the first fall in 10:34, Berry took the second in 6:
21, and McShain annexed the third) (after the match, in protest, Berry attacked the referee)
(McShain captured the silver belt representative of the title) … Monte LaDue b. Frank
Stojack (2/3) (Stojack used football tactics) … Yukon Jake Jackson b. Bob Wagner (17:04)
… Steve Strelich b. Sammy Kohen (21:26) … The Dragon b. Phil Romano (7:51) …
(referee:  Herb Spegman)
Notes:  In the press reports, it was said that McShain was trying to become a double
champion.  If he beat Berry for the light heavyweight title, he was going to challenge Dude
Chick for the junior title within 30-days.  Bobby Wagner was called the “eastern claimant of
the light heavyweight and junior heavyweight titles.”

Tulsa, Oklahoma:  May 16, 1938
( ) ...
Leroy McGuirk b. Danny McShain to capture the World Light Heavyweight Title

Little Rock, Arkansas:  Tuesday, October 18, 1938
(The Sportatorium) …
Danny McShain b. Leroy McGuirk to capture the “light heavyweight
wrestling championship of the National Wrestling Association,” according to the Arkansas
Gazette) (1-0) (two hour match) (McShain won the only fall in 94 minutes) … Toto Higami b.
Red Berry (DQ) … Allah Pasha b. Eddie Rogers … (promoter:  Leslie Wolfe) … (in
attendance:  National Wrestling Association President Col. Harry J. Landry)
Notes:  This marked the wrestling debut at the Sportatorium, at Markham and Ringo
streets), which had a wrestling capacity of 5,000 fans.  McGuirk reportedly won the 175-
pound championship from McShain in Tulsa “early in the year.” It was said that this title
switch was the “first time in the history of wrestling that a national championship changed
hands in a Little Rock ring.” Also, “Col. Harry Landry, president of the NWA was on hand to
present the belt to McShane.” The newspaper said “It was the fourth time in his six years of
professional wrestling that McGuirk had lost the championship.  Several months ago, he
lost to Ralph (“Wild Red”) Berry in a championship bout at Tulsa, Okla.  Berry then lost to
McShane in California and McGuirk defeated McShane two months ago, to regain the title.”
The newspaper claimed this match was “dull and uninteresting.”

Hollywood, California:  December 5, 1938
(Hollywood Legion Stadium) …
Danny McShain b. Leroy McGuirk to capture a full claim to
the NWA World Light Heavyweight Title (2/3) (McShain won the first fall in 18:26, McGuirk
won the second in 6:47, McShain won the final in 14:56) … Jack McDonald b. Buddy Knox
(2-0) … Billy Raburn b. Monte LaDue (2-0) (second by DQ) … Sheik Mar Allah b. Andy
Tremaine (14:44) … Paul Murdock b. Charley Carr (21:12) … (promoter:  Charley
Notes:  The December 5, 1938 edition of the Los Angeles Times said McShain was
“developed” at Frank Garbutt’s Los Angeles Athletic Club.  Regarding the main event, the
paper said “This is the biggest attraction the Legion has booked since moving into its new
$250,000 stadium.” It said that five weeks before, McShain challenged McGuirk for the title
in Little Rock, and after two hours, McShain had the only fall.  From there, he claimed to be
the champion.  McGuirk protested to the NWA, which “favored” matches ending with two
falls.  “The Arkansas commission seized the belt McGuirk had brought with him awaiting a
ruling from the NWA.” McShain went on the road, claiming the title, while McGuirk lost two
falls to Paul Orth in Hollywood, leaving the latter to claim the championship as well.  The
NWA ordered McGuirk and McShain to wrestle for the title, with the winner meeting Orth
within 30-days to settle all disputes.

Hollywood, California:  Monday, March 6, 1939
(Hollywood Legion Stadium) … Jesse James b.
Danny McShain to capture a claim to the
World Light Heavyweight Title (McShain won the first fall in 19:44, James won the second in
20:47, James won the third by DQ in 9:24) … Red Berry b. Jackie Nichols (2/3) … Charley
Carr b. Frank Schroll (15:47) … Sailor Trout b. Bobby Wagner (15:22) … Sheik Mar Allah
b. Sugi Hayamaki (17:58) … (promoter:  Charley MacDonald) … (referee:  Popeye O’Brien)
Note:  The National Wrestling Association ruled that McShain’s title remained intact
because the championship couldn’t change hands by disqualification.

*In the May 30, 1939 edition of the Arkansas Gazette, Ben Epstein wrote in his column
“Gazette Sport Gazing” that  “The National Wrestling Association does not recognize Jesse
James as the light heavyweight champion.  James beat Danny McShain in California, a
state not affiliated with the NWA.”

*The World Light Heavyweight Title split into two different strands at this point:  One was the
main line National Wrestling Association Light Heavyweight Title and the other was the
"California" or "Pacific Coast" Light Heavyweight Title.

*On March 6, 1940 in Oklahoma City, Jesse James beat World Light Heavyweight
Champion Danny McShain in three-falls, winning the third by disqualification.  After the
controversial finish, Gilbert Harrison, Oklahoma City Athletic Commission Secretary held up
the championship belt pending an official statement from National Wrestling Association
President Harry J. Landry.  Avey, in turn, help up both wrestlers purses.  NWA rules had
stated that a title could not change hands by disqualification.

*The March 10, 1940 edition of the Daily Oklahoman stated that National Wrestling
Association President Harry J. Landry had been with the State Legislature in session at
Jackson, Mississippi, and that was why he didn’t immediately respond to inquiries.  Landry
and the NWA ordered McShain to wrestle James in a rematch or risk the loss of his
championship.  Landry explained, “There seems to have been some misunderstanding as
to my policy.  I never have contended that a champion could not lose his title on a foul – on
that the title could not change hands on a foul, and there’s a difference.” He approved the
Oklahoma City Athletic Commission’s holding of McShain’s belt and purse, and said that if
McShain was disqualified again, his title would be vacated.  Then there would be a series of
elimination matches to determine his successor.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma:  Wednesday, March 13, 1940
(Municipal Auditorium) … Jesse James b. Danny McShain to capture the World Light
Heavyweight Title (2/3) … Dick Trout b. George Wagner … Billy Raburn b. Mike Nazarian
… Mickey Ryan b. Red Berry … Hugh Nichols b. Johnny Swenski … (promoter:  Sam Avey)
… (referee:  Red Andrews) … (5,000 fans)

Research by Tim Hornbaker
National Wrestling Association
World Light Heavyweight Title History