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Professional Wrestling November 1915

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Chicago IL: November 22, 1915 (Sunday): Frank Gotch tells Chicago American sports editor Ed. W. Smith: "I've retired and I'm to stay retired. I offered Joe Stecher a chance at the title last Labor Day and he declined it. What's the use of bothering with him, when he doesn't know his own mind for more than fifteen minutes at a time?" Two minutes later, Gotch asked, "Do you think I could get $30,000 by wrestling Stecher within the next six months? Looks as if I could, doesn't it? That's a lot of money and I could use it." Wrote Smith the next day: "Gotch and his wife spent a couple of days in Chicago, just shopping and looking around. The Humboldt Giant never looked better than he does at the present time. He looks like whopping big in his overcoat, but there is still that athletic look about his broad face and the old twinkle of competition remains in the sharp eye. 'Let's see, I'll be thirty-nine next April, won't I?' and he turned to his wife for verification. 'Why, I'm getting to be an old man in an athletic sense and they ought to be ashamed to be picking on me all the time,' and he laughed in the same old Gotch way ... He returned to his home in Humboldt, Ia., Sunday night."

Lincoln Daily Star: November 24, 1915: (Cy Sherman, sports editor) "The wrestling game ... never has produced a more sensational performer than the young Hercules from Dodge (Joe Stecher), who has won nearly a hundred matches during his career of three years without once having had his shoulders pressed against the pad ... (I) saw Hussane in his workout yesterday afternoon with Clarence Eklund and (am) frank to pass the judgment that the swarthy Turk is as superb a physical specimen as ever stripped for action on a local mat."

Lincoln NE Daily Star: November 25, 1915: Otto Floto, "sports oracle" of the Denver and Kansas City Posts, is quoted thusly in his November 23 column: "Only some great event in the athletic world holds men enthralled and amazed. At least that's the manner in which we have solved the interest being manifested in the Hussane-Stecher wrestling bout scheduled for Lincoln, Neb., on Thanksgiving afternoon. In forty-eight hours hence the world will know whether or not a Nebraskan farm hand has withstood the crucial test of his career. We will learn from his work on the mat at the state fair grounds on Thursday afternoon whether Joseph Stecher is to be pointed to as the logical candidate to wrest the crown of wrestling from Frank Gotch, who has harbored it so long and taken it into retirement with him to Humboldt, Ia. Will it be proved to the world whether the scissors hold is supreme to the toe hold? Will the clutch which has served the old champion so well in all his important matches of the past be relegated by the newer pressure with its vise-like squeeze about the upper part of the body, which makes those in its grip quake or surrender? These are the problems wrestling enthusiasts want to see settled once and for all time. Over in Iowa the farmers still have faith in F.G., but in Nebraska the tillers of the soil are ready to wager their autos, threshing machines and live stock that Joe Stecher can force Gotch to hit the sawdust trail when they meet ... One thing is certain. If Hussane can't turn the trick we know of no other wrestler able to put it over unless it be Gotch himself, and when we take into consideration the long span of time which has elapsed since Gotch left the mat we doubt very much if the former world beater would prove the same formidable opponent he once was ... Gene Melady, the millionaire cattle dealer of Omaha, is staging the bout at Lincoln. Melady's sole object of connection with the game is for the sport of it. He does not care to derive any gain from the venture, for he gave away the profits of the match when Cutler and Stecher wrestled in Omaha a few months back. Mr. Melady is fond of wrestling as a sport and is giving his time and money to place the game on the highest plane it ever enjoyed. Would that sportdom boasted of more Gene Meladys than it does."

Lincoln NE: November 25, 1915 (Thursday): (State Fair Coliseum) ... Joe Stecher beat Yussif Hussane ... Referee: Ed. W. Smith ... Chris Jordan vs Fred Moormeier ... Promoter: Gene Melady ... NOTE: Ed Smith wrote in the Chicago American before the bout: "Johnny Meyers, one of the best middleweight wrestlers the country ever produced, has been working off and on with Hussane. Last night I talked with him and he told me he thought sure that Hussane intended to make a long fight of it if that was at all possible ... Time alone will tell whether this campaign has any merit or not. It is believed it was inspired by Ed Lewis' tactics in Indiana recently." ... Stecher's $3,000 diamond-studded belt was on exhibition in Lincoln at the Tucker & Shean store prior to the bout

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