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Forum Home > Talk Wrestling > Around which year were masked wrestlers first introduced on to the bills?

Romeo
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Posts: 139

Can anybody pinpoint approximately when masked wrestlers first appeared on the bills?It was an absolute marketing masterstroke.I would imagine it must have packed out the halls on first introduction.Your opinions please.

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Romeo

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March 2, 2018 at 8:40 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Ron Historyo
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Posts: 1895

Romeo at March 2, 2018 at 8:40 AM

Can anybody pinpoint approximately when masked wrestlers first appeared on the bills?It was an absolute marketing masterstroke.I would imagine it must have packed out the halls on first introduction.Your opinions please.

I am not aware of anyone masked in the Catch or Greco Era's so you have a situation that , when All In or Free Style started, the idea was already born. There were loads of Masked Marvels and certainly one who did the London Club in 1931.

What you must remember is that USA and Australia were ahead of us and I think South Africa as well in this new style so people like Irslinger knew all the tricks of the trade. Benny Sherman certainly wrestled masked here in the 1930's. I think a few years back we had a Forum Topic on it all and by the end of the 1930's there had been at least ten masked men. Carl Van Wurden and Bob Silcock were early examples.

I would say a Mastersroke though , they have always enchanted myself.

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HISTORYO

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March 2, 2018 at 10:06 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Romeo
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Posts: 139

Thanks Ron.Very informative as usual.

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March 2, 2018 at 12:28 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Ron Historyo
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Posts: 1895

To go a stage further the one thing more exciting than seeing a masked man was the actual unmasking.

The earliest one I can find is in 1936. Frank Judson unmasked MR X (again a much copied ID). The mystery man was a very famous technician in Louis Pergantes.


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HISTORYO

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March 2, 2018 at 2:19 PM Flag Quote & Reply

David Mantell
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Posts: 2507

First ever masked wrestler was The Masked Wrestler Of Paris, wrestling in Professional Greco-Roman Wrestling shows in France from 1865.  Played by Thiebaud Bauer who later in 1879 went to America and upset William Mulldoon for the American Greco Roman title in 1879 before losing it back in 1880.  Notorious for travelling on trains between shows with his mask on - would pin a publicity sheet to his jacket before going off to sleep on the train so that nobody would bother him about why he was wearing a mask - and indeed nobody ever did bother him.


Second ever masked wrestler was The Masked Marvel who turned up in 1915 ringside at a tournament in a New York Opera House with his spokesman Pollard demanding to be added to the tournament.  He was duly added and went on to win the tournament but then went on to lose a title vs mask match to World Heavyweight Champion Joe Stecher 2-0 in under twenty minutes (considered a squash in those days).  Worse still, when he was unmasked, he turned out to be a jobber called Mort Henderson.

March 2, 2018 at 7:28 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Romeo
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Posts: 139

Interesting info David.Thanks.

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Romeo

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March 3, 2018 at 10:31 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Hack
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Posts: 2601

The first masked man in Britain I'm aware of was in 1909. A masked wrestler wrestled Yukio Tani at Newcastle on Tyne in April, 1909. He had three matches against Tani, the third at Gateshead on 10th April. The first two had ended in a draw but the third was a fght to the finish.  

Tani won after 37 minutes.

The masked man unmasked but his identity was not announced.


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British wrestling - great characters but the plot was always a bit of a mystery.

March 8, 2018 at 5:43 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Bernard Hughes
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Posts: 2415

Hack, can you explain that post please.

It reads as if Tani fought Tani.

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March 8, 2018 at 10:48 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Hack
Moderator
Posts: 2601

Bernard Hughes at March 8, 2018 at 10:48 AM

Hack, can you explain that post please.

It reads as if Tani fought Tani.

Sorry Bernard. As Anglo Italian pointed out I'm not having a good day. 

Now edited with the addition of the word "wrestled."

The first masked man in Britain I'm aware of was in 1909. A masked wrestler wrestled Yukio Tani at Newcastle on Tyne in April, 1909. He had three matches against Tani, the third at Gateshead on 10th April. The first two had ended in a draw but the third was a fght to the finish.

Tani won after 37 minutes.

The masked man unmasked but his identity was not announced.



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British wrestling - great characters but the plot was always a bit of a mystery.

March 8, 2018 at 10:51 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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