Harry Ekizian

Posted on Sunday, May 19th, 2019 by John Wood
Harry Ekizian
As a boy, Harry Ekizian escaped the Armenian Genocide. As if that wasn’t bad enough, a short time later he was sold as a slave to Arabs. After four years of hard labor, he escaped and eventually made his way to the United States and joined the Navy where he worked as a fireman. There, he learned wrestling and won the Fleet Championship in the middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight divisions and after an international match in Copenhagen, Ekizian was awarded the title of World Champion Navy Wrestler. Here, Harry exhibits his immense strength on the deck of the airplane carrier Lexington as he resists twelve sailors pulling a thick rope around his neck. Harry had an unusual diet: he ate eight pounds of onions a day!

Ekizian eventually retired from the Navy in 1932, shaved his head, and became the well known “heel” wrestler “Ali Baba.” He wrestled all the greats of the day, including Milo Steinborn on one occasion. On April 24, 1936, Ekizian defeated World Heavyweight Champion Dick Shikat in front of over 8,000 spectators in Detroit, Michigan and was formally declared the World Heavyweight Champion a month later when he defeated Shikat a second time at Madison Square Garden.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Carl Busch

Posted on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019 by John Wood
Carl Busch
Another look at Carl Busch as he performs a Crucifix lift with a pair of German Kettlebells. At one time Busch had an act where he wrestled a bull (Busch always won.)

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Giovanni Raicevich

Posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2018 by John Wood
Giovanni Raicevich was an Italian professional wrestler known for his great strength. He won many international tournaments and two world championships in 1907 (defeating Laurent le Beaucairois.) and 1909 (defeating Paul Pons). Raicevich fought (but lost to) Frank Gotch in November of 1909 in a 2-out-of-3 falls match. Raicevich retired after his last professional match, a win against Hans Kavan, in 1929. His brothers were Roberto Massimo and Emilio Ruggerio Raičević who were also champion wrestlers.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Otto Arco

Posted on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 by John Wood
Otto Arco on the cover of the November, 1925 issue of Bernarr MacFadden’s Muscle Builder Magazine. In 1907, Arco became the second man in the world to hoist double bodyweight overhead with a 278-1/2 pound lift at 138 pound of bodyweight. He was also the first to one hand snatch over bodyweight with a 145-pound lift. Arco was a great wrestler, gymnast and hand balancer. He and his brother Pete performed with several different circuses in the US and abroad. Arco achieved his tremendous form through a variety of training methods, traditional weight lifting, gymnastics and Muscle Control.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Martin “Farmer” Burns

Posted on Thursday, March 8th, 2018 by John Wood
Iowa-born Martin “Farmer” Burns was a champion wrestler and America’s premier grappler at the turn of the last century. The “Old Farmer” trained hard, and that made him hard to beat. Plenty of wrestler’s bridges gave him a 20″ neck at a bodyweight of only 165 pounds and his level of conditioning was legendary, regularly tiring out much larger and stronger opponents until they could easily be pinned. Burns wrestled over 6000 matches, lost only 7 and held the World’s Championship on two separate occasions. Once his competitive career came to an end, the “Old Farmer” as he was known, focused on managing and training other wrestlers and athletes. His most famous pupil was Frank Gotch, who, thanks in large part to Farmer Burns’ coaching, became arguably the greatest wrestler of all time.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Carl Busch

Posted on Friday, February 2nd, 2018 by John Wood
Carl Busch was a great strongman and wrestler who was active in the early 20th century. After winning the 1901 German national title, he toured Europe performing feats of strength and wrestling all comers. He even wrestled the great Frank Gotch to a draw under Greco-Roman rules. Busch also wrestled the likes of George Hackenschmidt, Professor Roller, Heinrich Weber, Yousef Holusane, Fred Beell, and even Farmer Burns. As far as feats of strength, Busch could bent press 250 pounds at a bodyweight of only 175 pounds. In 1891, Busch started his own circus which is actually still going strong today if you can believe it.

Ivan Orloff

Posted on Monday, November 13th, 2017 by John Wood
Ivan Orloff, of Siberia, Russia, was a mid-card pro wrestler in the early 20th century who was quite prolific, he wrestled well into the 1940’s. Later on, he became a promoter. Orloff was billed as 6’2 and 210 pounds of wiry muscle — he was also adept at bending steel bars.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Gholamreza Takhti

Posted on Friday, November 10th, 2017 by John Wood
Gholamreza Takhti was the greatest wrestler in Iranian history. He won the gold medal at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia. He also won Silver medals at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki and the 1960 Games in Rome. To build his strength and upper body endurance, he trained in the traditional methods, as is pictured here, finishing up a workout with the light Meels.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Raymond Cazeaux

Posted on Thursday, October 19th, 2017 by John Wood
Born into a family of farmers in the Ossau Valley of Southern France in 1881, Raymond Cazeaux went on to became of the greatest French wrestlers of all time. He fought over a thousand matches, tussling with champions from all over the world, the likes of: Ed ‘Strangler’ Lewis, Constant le Marin, Stanislaus Zbyszko, George Lurich, Dr. Ben Roller, Paul Pons, Jess Petersen, Yussif Hussane, Nikola Petroff, and Ivan Poddubny. During his travels, Cazeaux would happily give free wrestling lessons to police officers wherever he went. Needless to say, he made many friends.

Cazeaux was actually not his real name, his given name was Cazeau but early in his career, a promoter thought the added “X” on the end looked better on a poster, and so it was! Cazeaux stood six feet and weighed around 220 lbs.

Rather remarkably, Cazeaux’s fame did not end a century ago, his likeness, was featured as the exotic boxer who was the namesake of Uncle Pastuzo, in the delightful 2014 children’s movie Paddington.

Yousef Housane

Posted on Friday, May 13th, 2016 by John Wood

Yousef Housane was a great early wrestler and one of Earle E. Liederman’s top students. Housane was well-known for his incredible Bicep Development which was quite impressive, especially considering the time period (he could use some work on his forearms though).
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.