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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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The Man Who Killed Kayfabe

Jack Pfefer.



He was the guy who exposed kayfabe nature of pro-wrestling in 1934 giving out the history of match between Londos and Marshall and it kind of embarrassed the promoters, wrestlers and the papers that covered them as if it were a real sport. He started out after the Golden Trio broke off working with NYC trust. He is credited in the rise of Londos as the biggest draw of his times (and possibly of all times) and scouting talent for the "trust". When Curley, the man who ran the trust got sick, he expected to take over. Londos vs Curley war and peace ruined Pfefer completely when he took Londos side and Curley dumped him. He did the expose in retaliation.



He also masterminded the first screwjob in pro-wrestling when he got a shooter to take away the title. He envisioned the pro-wrestling more as sports entertainment much before McMahon but is also guilty of bringing down it's value when it was covered all over the media. He is considered an imaginative promoter however. He pioneered freak show style wrestling with French Angel being a major attraction.



He is also said to have brought in Midget and Tag wrestling mainstream and had a hand in Buddy Roger's career (he is said to have given the Nature Boy Bleached hair look).

He also ruined some of the stars by running look alikes and hear alikes (hobo brazil et al).

Do you see Jack Pfefer more as a visionary and a rebel or do you see him as traitor who ruined pro-wrestling for you?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 11:37 AM
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Re: The Man Who Killed Kayfabe

Jack Pfefer was a fucking nut job!

On the one hand, he was a master at handling money and promoting wrestling. There is no doubt that he was a genius in those areas.

On the other hand, he was a neurotic bordering on being a psychopath. At any perceived slight, real or imagined, he would seek retribution far beyond the severity of the insult. The reason Pfefer went on his wrestling expose rampage in the mid-'30s was because he thought that the other promoters had insulted and shortchanged him.

He would cheat his wrestlers and speak Yiddish (mix of Hebrew and German) on the phone when discussing business matters so they wouldn't understand him. When he managed Nature Boy Buddy Rogers he couldn't get away with this ploy, because Rogers (the son of German immigrants) spoke fluent German and could understand Pfefer's Yiddish. Rogers once admitted that during his pre-bout routine he would strut around the ring and make an estimate of the number of fans at the show so that Pfefer couldn't shortchange him.

When Buddy Rogers finally realized that Jack Pfefer was going completely off the deep end he ended their wrestler/manager relationship. Pfefer was one to hold a grudge for a long time. 12 years later in 1962 Big Bill Miller and Karl Gotch were hired by Pfefer to assault Rogers before a match in Ohio. Miller and Gotch were later arrested and charged.

Pfefer's second assault on the veracity of pro-wrestling came in the early 1950s. Enraged at being fired by Rogers he began printing newsletters claiming that wrestling was fake and accusing Rogers and others of being phonies. (I'm not home right now, but later I will post a copy of one of Pfefer's early 1950 newsletters attacking wrestling as fake.)

The most insane part of all of this is that while attacking wrestling he continued to promote it!!! In the late '50s he introduced Argentina Zuma who was a carbon copy of Argentina Rocca, albeit somewhat smaller in stature. In the early part of the '60s Pfefer began promoting matches with "big names" like BUMMY Rogers, Bruno SANmartino, HOBO Brazil, etc.

In summary, I believe that Pfefer could have been one of pro-wrestling's visionaries and icons. Unfortunately, his innate talent was wasted on senseless vendettas and a borderline psychotic personality.

- Mike

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"TO A NICER GUY IT COULDN'T HAPPEN!"
Nature Boy Buddy Rogers after defeating Pat O'Connor for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in Comiskey Park, June 30, 1961.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 12:03 PM
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Re: The Man Who Killed Kayfabe

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Originally Posted by Batko10 View Post
Enraged at being fired by Rogers he began printing newsletters claiming that wrestling was fake and accusing Rogers and others of being phonies. (I'm not home right now, but later I will post a copy of one of Pfefer's early 1950 newsletters attacking wrestling as fake.)
Quoting so u have a notification / don't forget

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Last edited by Supreme Being; 08-15-2015 at 12:05 PM.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 12:12 PM
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Re: The Man Who Killed Kayfabe

This was a very interesting read. I had never heard of the man. Sounds like he was a genius that later became a madman.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 12:25 PM
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Re: The Man Who Killed Kayfabe

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Originally Posted by Supreme Being View Post
Quoting so u have a notification / don't forget

(Tag me pls when they're upped)
The OP edited his post and included a photo of the newsletter that I have in my collection. If you like I can take close up photos of the interior pages so that you might be able to read them on here. They are quite an interesting read. Pfefer attacks a whole slew of famous wrestlers - Rogers is just the tip of the iceberg on the cover of the newsletter.

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P.S. I don't have a clue as how to tag anyone. In fact, until not too long ago I didn't even know what tagging was. You're dealing with a dinosaur here. I'm not that good on the internet.

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"TO A NICER GUY IT COULDN'T HAPPEN!"
Nature Boy Buddy Rogers after defeating Pat O'Connor for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in Comiskey Park, June 30, 1961.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 12:30 PM
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Re: The Man Who Killed Kayfabe

It's really interesting that despite him telling the media that wrestling was fake, kayfabe and how "real" it was didn't die out until some 40 or so years later.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 12:32 PM
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Re: The Man Who Killed Kayfabe

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Originally Posted by IDONTSHIV View Post
This was a very interesting read. I had never heard of the man. Sounds like he was a genius that later became a madman.
Pfefer was always a madman and always a genius! They say there is only a fine line between the two.

- Mike
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"TO A NICER GUY IT COULDN'T HAPPEN!"
Nature Boy Buddy Rogers after defeating Pat O'Connor for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in Comiskey Park, June 30, 1961.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 12:34 PM
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Re: The Man Who Killed Kayfabe

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Originally Posted by Batko10 View Post
Jack Pfefer was a fucking nut job!

On the one hand, he was a master at handling money and promoting wrestling. There is no doubt that he was a genius in those areas.

On the other hand, he was a neurotic bordering on being a psychopath. At any perceived slight, real or imagined, he would seek retribution far beyond the severity of the insult. The reason Pfefer went on his wrestling expose rampage in the mid-'30s was because he thought that the other promoters had insulted and shortchanged him.

He would cheat his wrestlers and speak Yiddish (mix of Hebrew and German) on the phone when discussing business matters so they wouldn't understand him. When he managed Nature Boy Buddy Rogers he couldn't get away with this ploy, because Rogers (the son of German immigrants) spoke fluent German and could understand Pfefer's Yiddish. Rogers once admitted that during his pre-bout routine he would strut around the ring and make an estimate of the number of fans at the show so that Pfefer couldn't shortchange him.

When Buddy Rogers finally realized that Jack Pfefer was going completely off the deep end he ended their wrestler/manager relationship. Pfefer was one to hold a grudge for a long time. 12 years later in 1962 Big Bill Miller and Karl Gotch were hired by Pfefer to assault Rogers before a match in Ohio. Miller and Gotch were later arrested and charged.

Pfefer's second assault on the veracity of pro-wrestling came in the early 1950s. Enraged at being fired by Rogers he began printing newsletters claiming that wrestling was fake and accusing Rogers and others of being phonies. (I'm not home right now, but later I will post a copy of one of Pfefer's early 1950 newsletters attacking wrestling as fake.)

The most insane part of all of this is that while attacking wrestling he continued to promote it!!! In the late '50s he introduced Argentina Zuma who was a carbon copy of Argentina Rocca, albeit somewhat smaller in stature. In the early part of the '60s Pfefer began promoting matches with "big names" like BUMMY Rogers, Bruno SANmartino, HOBO Brazil, etc.

In summary, I believe that Pfefer could have been one of pro-wrestling's visionaries and icons. Unfortunately, his innate talent was wasted on senseless vendettas and a borderline psychotic personality.

- Mike

Always enjoy reading your stuff! Great thread btw. I had never even heard the name Pfefer.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Man Who Killed Kayfabe

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Originally Posted by IDONTSHIV View Post
This was a very interesting read. I had never heard of the man. Sounds like he was a genius that later became a madman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Batko10 View Post
Pfefer was always a madman and always a genius! They say there is only a fine line between the two.

- Mike
I see him more as an evil selfish genius. Depending upon which side of the fence you fall, he can (or at least try to) raise you to the heavens or bring you down to hell.

Spoiler for the meek shall inherit Squat..:

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 12:58 PM
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Re: The Man Who Killed Kayfabe

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I see him more as an evil selfish genius. Depending upon which side of the fence you fall, he can (or at least try to) raise you to the heavens or bring you down to hell.
I find Pfefer's behavior inexplicable. He is the classic case of someone who "bites the hand that feeds him."

I'm not a psychiatrist, but I strongly suspect that Pfefer was suffering from numerous mental problems. He was definitely paranoid and had some kind of persecution complex. He frequently thought that "they" were out to get him, especially the NWA later on in the '50s.

Buddy Rogers genuinely liked Pfefer and was reputed to have tears in his eyes when they parted company at Rogers' behest. However, Pfefer's conduct was becoming more and more irrational, and Buddy felt he had no choice, but to cut ties with Jack.

I vaguely remember a story about Pfefer driving his car like a madman up and down the street. It might have been to impress a girl or something in that vein. Don't hold me to this one. I might have it confused with something else.

Whatever the case, Jack Pfefer was one of the most colorful men in wrestling! (But, he was still a fucking nutjob! lol)

- Mike

C:\Users\Batko10\Pictures\Buddy rogers signature b.png
"TO A NICER GUY IT COULDN'T HAPPEN!"
Nature Boy Buddy Rogers after defeating Pat O'Connor for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in Comiskey Park, June 30, 1961.

Last edited by Batko10; 08-15-2015 at 02:37 PM.
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