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WRESTLING EVOLUTION

IS THERE A CYCLE?

Observant people must often have been struck by the complete change which has overtaken the game of wrestr ling, progressively and effectively during the past decade. The game is, of course, comparatively new to New Zealand, but even in the short space of time into which has been crammed our local experiences, there has been a change which has made the present type of wrestling as different from that which preceded it as chalk from cheese. ' ■

Of the older school Ike Robin, the one-time famous exponent, stands out perhaps as an example of the type that wrestled according to the old rules. In those days matches were contests and a matman had to be the better man to win. True, there were none of the fireworks and antics now employed in the profession: The public, upon whose bounty the box office relied, and upon whose generous patronage survival depended,^ had to be enticed. Feats of strength alpne could sustain interest only for a limited time. OLD ORDER CHANGES. The old edition, however, palled,.and something new had to be found. The Robin brigade fought against the onslaught but finally, and despairingly, faded out. Though long after the new vogue had been ushered in in America, New Zealand got its first thrill of the change when Billy' Edwards made his sensational debut some years ago. Wellingtonians will recall with a smile the bomb Edwards threw amongst civic authorities. The people's, Town Hall was barred against such debasement and Edwards at once became famous. ' Yet it was just a stage in the evolution of the mat game. Soon afterwards the vogue had caught on and nothing but a Billy Edwards—plus— would do. Today the demand, and therefore money, is for something more. It is for the modern style plus the competition spirit of the old regime. Are..both possible at one and the same time? This is a. question that is exercising the minds of a few sporting writers in the States. , • . ■ • SONNENBERG'S VIEWS. Upon Sonnenberg's return to his homeland after' His! four of Australia and New Zealand last year he stated that "professional; wrestling matches are not. wrestling matches, they are just plain fights." . He added that ;he did not advocate a return to the.restricted rules of inter-collegiate' wrestling, but thought that there ought to be some, deadline. - "Why,it!is so bad now," continued the ex-champion, "that, wrestlers just about have to kill one another to satisfy the public.". ;:' What, one may now ask, is to be the next edition? As an exponent of the modern style, it cannot be said that Sonnenberg succeeded in thrilling New Zealand crowds. • Indeed,' he 'was a party to the only ."no contest" match during the whole of last season. Sonnenberg did not have to kill his opponent at Auckland on that occasion. . It was urged there were other reasons for the failure of two modern exponents, Sonnenberg and Mamqs, to pass the match off as a contest.' But that is just the trouble. There are other reasons it is true, but the public now want to know something about those mysterious other reasons. Some further thoughts on the question may be expressed in this column in another, issue. .

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19350504.2.203.1

Bibliographic details

WRESTLING EVOLUTION, Evening Post, Volume CXIX, Issue 104, 4 May 1935

Word Count
537

WRESTLING EVOLUTION Evening Post, Volume CXIX, Issue 104, 4 May 1935

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