British wrestling history 
has a name...

M: Martinsen - Matsuda

Wrestling Heritage A-Z

Ivar Martinsen
The Danish heavyweight, and one time European Heavyweight champion,  is best remembered for wrestling his way through to the  final of the World Heavyweight Championship tournament held at Harringay in 1947. In the final, held on March 4th 1947, he lost by a KO to Britain’s Bert Assirati, in a bout refereed by Lou Marco. On the way to the final he had beaten Phil Siki, Karl Reginsky and Bert Mansfield. Martinsen In the return contest, fought in Paris  in October of the same year, Martinsen took the title from Assirati. In 1952 Ivar defeated Felix Miquet to claim the European version of the World Heavyweight Championship. He is said to have taken part in the first ever tag match in France, around 1955, partnering Francois Miquet against Eddie Brush and Jack Wentworth. Ivar Martinsen passed away on 22nd July, 1975.

Ed Martinson
 Billed as the  “Dockland’s strong boy” 1950s and  1960s heavyweight working for independent promoters mainly in the south and midlands of England. Opponents included top opposition men such as Tiger Ed Bright, Mike Demitre and Ron Harrison.

Billy Masadula
See the entry for Ebo Ashanti


The Mask
Not the most imaginative of names for a masked man, but that didn't prevent a successful eight year reign that lasted from 1958 until 1966. A tall, lean heavyweight the Black mask was dressed head to toe in black, even his eyes being difficult to distinguish. An alleged aversion to having his legs touched (a bit of a handicap for a wrestler we would think), would see the Black Mask heading for the ropes whenever an opponent went for them. In anticipation of such an occurrence fans would scream "Get his legs, get his legs."Find out more, including the famous face beneath the hood, in the Wrestling Heritage Top   20 Masked Men.

The Masked Gladiator
See the entry for Tony Cassio

The Masked Marauders (Major) 
See the entry for Scrubber Daly

The Masked Marauders (Minor)
See the entry for Lucky Gordon

Masked Marvel
Ah, the Masked Marvel. There were so many of them over the years, one of them was a driver on our local buses in the 1960s! We wouldn't know where to begin (or end), but it is certainly a name with a place in Britain's wrestling heritage. Wrestling historian Charles Mascall claimed to have known at least thirty of them.

Masked Resistor
See the entry for Ted Heath

Crusher Mason
The awesome shaven headed assassin  is remembered with affection by fans and fellow wrestlers alike.  

Essex wrestler Neil Sands told us, "He was without doubt one of the best,but most under used and under rated heavyweights of the last thirty years. He had it all, the looks, the size, amazing athletic ability, (he could take awesome bumps) great timing, and a pro to his finger tips."   

Eddie Rose added that Crusher was "A lovely man with whom to work and a great gee-er up of audiences." 

We can't say there was  no one else like him because Crusher (Brian) based his ring persona on his long term mentor and friend, Danny Lynch. Such a statement does him an injustice, however, because Crusher was very much a top rate villain in hs own right.  He partnered Lynch as one of the Assassins, and was at times billed as Butch Lynch or the Mighty Chang 

Not to be confused with Milton Reed, the original Mighty Chang.

Mario Matassa
Italian and European heavyweight champion   visited Britain for the first time in 1951 and returned just about every year until 1962, with wins over top class opposition such as Joe Cornelius, Frank Manto and Mike Marino. Here was a man who knew every rule in the book, and a good few more besides it seems. Always associated with Italy, he was born in Genoa, Mario actually lived in Belgium, where his family owned an ice cream business.

Japanese  ju jitsu exponent visited Britain  wrestled in Britain during 1933-35 and  caused interest by wrestling barefooted and  by letting out a loud cry each time he threw his opponent. This seemed to be a frequent occurrence as Matsuda held a good record against big name opposition, a ferociousness which was belied by his placid demeanour. .On one occasion he was reported to have “made mincemeat” of Jack Pye, twice forcing the Doncaster Panther into submission. His British visit was said to be part of a world tour financed by his rich merchant father. Whilst in Britain Matsuda was engaged by Oxford university to teach ju jitsu.  Weighing only 12 and a half stones Matsuda had good wins over skilful opponents such as Sam Rabin and heavier men including Jack Pye.