R: Rabin - Rasmussen
Wrestling Heritage A-Z
Another Rabin. Another Jewish champion. Sadly we can tell you little about Nat Rabin, a wrestler active from 1934 (we found him losing to Billy Riley) until 1951, working for Jerry Jeary Promotions. Between those years Nat was never as famous as the namesakes to whom he was not related, Sam or Harry, but does seem to have been a skilled wrestler, and a muscular one, allegedly a “Pocket Hercules.” The Portsmouth Evening News said he “May succeed Sam as the Hebrew Champion of the World.”
The Ramsgate Advertiser and Echo said a match between Nat and Jim Maloney, “Was all that could be desired. These boys fought six rounds of the real thing and, quick to appreciate the sporting spirit of the fight, the audience gave them the biggest hand of the night.”
In conclusion, we may not be able to tell you much of Nat Rabin. But we can tell you he is a man worth remembering.
Read our extended tribute in Top Wrestlers of the 1930 - Sam Rabin
Erstwhile French and European lightweight champion Jean Rabut visited Britain in the early 1960s. Opponents included the welterweights big three of McManus, Pallo and Dempsey, alongside a Royal Albert Hall victory over Bernard Murray, which a decade later was said by Bernard to be one of his most memorable contests.
See the entry for Sam Rabin
Max Raeger (Dai Rees)
Many of the names you read about here at Wrestling Heritage tell us they owe so much to Charlie Glover and his gym behind The Junction Public House in Barnsley. Well, Max Raeger is yet another. As a teenager he was there learning the business from old hands that included Dai Sullivan, Dwight J Ingleburgh, Karl Von Kramer, Pedro the Gypsy and the rest of the Yorkshire lads that made The Junction their second home.
“My inspiration to become a professional wrestler came from the first time I saw Hans Streiger in action. His charisma and showmanship was outstanding. He could manipulate the audience with his ring psychology to any degree. I was proud to have known him both in and out of the wrestling business as we had a common interest in other things. A man's man if ever there was one.”
Max was a Yorkshire lad with Irish roots, born in the Denaby area of Doncaster in 1945, with memories of his grandfather who sold ice cream from his horse drawn cart. Max left Northcliffe School in 1961 and when he was 19 years old he began working on the boxing and wrestling booths. It was hard work, wrestling as many as five or six times a day, but the money was good and the experience prepared Max for life as a professional wrestler.
It wasn’t an instant life choice. Max had only become a wrestling fan a few years earlier when friends of his took him along to the wrestling and he became hooked on the likes of Hans Streiger. Another who Max holds in high esteem is Heritage friend Dwight J Ingleburgh, a generous man who was willing to teach youngsters without taking liberties.
When he turned professional in 1964 it was initially for the independent promoters. Early opponents included Butcher Goodman, Stoker Brooks and Pedro the Gypsy, who was later to become a regular tag partner. “Some of my Happiest times in the business were when I was doing Blackpool shows with Pedro. After the shows we would often go to the Tower to listen to the Wurlitzer, ,have a pint,and watch the dancers. It was a great way to relax after doing 4or 5 shows during the day”
When Max caught the attention of George de Relwyskow he was signed up by Joint Promotions and became a regular worker throughout the north of England and Scotland meeting the likes of Honey Boy Zimba, Ivan Penzecoff and Barry Douglas. Max's career was to span twenty-two years, taking in over three thousand contests.
Much of the time Max wrestled overseas, working in India, Pakistan, the UAE, Germany, Zambia, Kenya, Sweden and Norway. Following his retirement in 1986 Max bought a farm in the West of Ireland, where he farms, keeps horses and breeds Japanese game poultry.ers who graced British and European rings in the 1950s and 1960s.
Ragnor the Viking (David Cross, Ox Brody, The North Man, Dave Viking)
Heavily tattooed and well endowed in the facial hair department the variously named 1970s/80s heavyweight villain from Merseyside worked for both the independent and Joint Promotions.
A massive man who usually towered over his opponents Ragnor was an imposing figure in the ring. Ragnor would challenge opponents to an "Axe match" in which each contestant carried an axe; and we wonder why we went off wrestling! Following a grounding on the independent circuit Dave Cross made the transition to Joint Promotions, where he made television appearances, in various guises, against Wayne Bridges, Tiger Gil Singh and Ray Steele. Ragnor wrestled extensively in Germany, Austria and South Africa, using the name Dave Viking. He liked Germany and, Gernot Freiberger tells us,.moved to Germany as an organic farmer, and part time street entertainer.
Eddie Burton learned the business at the St Lukes Club and at the gymnasium at the Alexander Pub, Middlesbrough, working for independent promoters in the 1970s as Guy Rainer. An electrician by trade Guy Rainer retired from wrestling in his mid twenties.
The powerful Spanish heavyweight from Barcelona visited Britain in 1965. A mixed bag of results including wins over Gerry DeJager, Earl Maynard and Ramon Napolitano alongside losses to Danny Lynch and a draw with the lighter Johnny Czeslaw. In the photo he is about to post Roy Bull Davis.
Dave Ramsden (Reggie Ramsden)
Half a century after the most popular days of British wrestling there remain some men who are hardly remembered. Men with skill, such as Dave Ramsden.
Young Yorkshireman Dave Ramsden, from Ossett, was trained by former British heavyweight champion Ernest Baldwin at his gymnasium in Tingley, Yorkshire. Well, he couldn’t have had a much better tutor.
Dave turned professional in January 1966 and was to remain a busy yet unspectacular worker on the Joint Promotions circuit for a dozen years before disappearing towards the end of 1978.
Many of his earliest matches were against fellow Yorkshireman Mike James (Mick Jackson) but by the end of the year he was opposing a greater range of more experienced opponents such as Peter Preston, Sid Cooper and Ted Heath. He worked mainly in the north of England and Scotland for all the Joint Promotions companies. A frequent worker for Relwyskow and Green Promotions meant that Dave often worked in Scotland, a tag partner of Andy Robin and a member of the Eldorado All Star Wrestling team , captained by Andy Robin and largely populated by Yorkshiremen (Ian Gilmour, Mick McMichael, Jim Mckenzie and Alan Bardouille were also in the team at the time). During his career he wrestled most of the bigger names in the lighter weight divisions: Jim Breaks, Mick McManus, Zoltan Boscik and Vic Faulkner. We cold find record of only one television appearance, which surprised us; losing to Jackie Robinson by the odd fall in a match broadcast in July 1975. Towards the end of his career promoters gave him the name of Reggie Ramsden. Maybe it was his actual name. Apologies offered. Sorry to Reggie's everywhere, but the boy deserved better.
Read our extended tribute: A Tough Nut to Crack
Related articles: Calling the Shots in Armchair Corner on www.wrestlingheritage.com
Leif Rasmussed was the blond heavyweight from Copenhagen who was dubbed the "King of the Vikings" when he visited Britain in 1954 and returned for an extensive tour of southern England during the winter months of 1964- 1965. Reality was that the Nordic Viking was Austrian, born in Vienna, with the birth name of Franz Vorhemus.
A six year amateur career led to a professional debut when he was eighteen years old. A liberal interpretation of the rules meant that the King of the Vikings was not exactly cheered by the fans, and disqualification losses were not unknown.
Amongst losses against the best of the natives he was able to claim a surprising Royal Albert Hall win over Steve Veidor. He was one of the many colourful characters who graced British and European rings in the 1950s and 1960s.