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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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Forgotten Legends95: Joe Stecher

The oldest pro-wrestling match to be ever filmed was Joe Stecher vs Earl Caddock in which Joe Stecher emerged victorious unifying all the claims to the World Heavyweight Championship becoming the first version of Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion in North America.

Starting out in wrestling in 1912 working and training with his elder brother, he quickly gained notoriety for his leg strength which he is said to have developed by crushing 100 pounds rice bags till they burst going on to earn the title of Scissors king, after his finisher, the then most feared leg scissors. He became famous when he accepted the challenge of Farmer Burns who was mentoring Frank Gotch to take on his strong man Yussif Hussane and beat him in a major upset shoot match.

When he was 22, he beat Charles Cutler with the then undefeated and retired Frank Gotch in attendance becoming the youngest world heavyweight pro-wrestling champion. A Belt day was celebrated to hand over the world championship diamond studded belt that fit a size 38'' hip was held on October 19, 1915. The inevitable Gotch vs Stecher was booked but Gotch got health complications and passed away before it could happen. Meanwhile, another star Ed Lewis was coming up fast and they naturally had a intense rivalry. Their first face off was won by Joe due to a count out on Lewis when he was knocked out accidentally outside the ring as a result of falling head first on a chair. Their second match, possibly the longest match in pro-wrestling history is said to have gone for 5 hours and ended in a draw. The third match, Joe was aggressive wanting to win by Lewis is said to have put in all efforts to secure a draw which he did. Finally Joe came out stronger of the two whenever they met in the next five years.

He finally lost the title to Earl Caddock but the title was disputed and owned by him, Joe, Lewis and Waldek Zbyszko and a tournament to unify them resulted in Joe taking it back. But Lewis' revenge was not far when he beat a now older Joe and taking the title from him to form a promotion being a part of Gold Dust Trio. Joe Stecher who was also business savy brought in Stanislaus Zbyszko to shoot on their champion, Munn who was a famous football star and bring the title over to their promotion making Joe the champion. This scene ended when they to got together when Joe dropped the title to Lewis when he was left to be overshadowed by Lewis who credited him as the greatest wrestler he ever faced.

He holds the record for being the youngest and the first wrestler to regain the title after having lost it. A forgotten legend, for his prowess and contributions to pro-wrestling while being indirectly responsible for bringing in shooters as champions over stars at that era.

The oldest match on film:

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 08:19 AM
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Re: Forgotten Legends95: Joe Stecher

Gotch sorta did a job for Stecher in an "exhibition" match, and was most likely going to put him over in the match that never came to pass due to Gotch taking ill.

One other note - it is rumored that some ancient film of Hackenschmidt wrestling a match has been uncovered in New Zealand, and that logistics are being worked upon as to how to proceed with digitizing it for public domain use. This would predate the Stecher footage.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Forgotten Legends95: Joe Stecher

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Zybyszko View Post
Gotch sorta did a job for Stecher in an "exhibition" match, and was most likely going to put him over in the match that never came to pass due to Gotch taking ill.

One other note - it is rumored that some ancient film of Hackenschmidt wrestling a match has been uncovered in New Zealand, and that logistics are being worked upon as to how to proceed with digitizing it for public domain use. This would predate the Stecher footage.
Interesting. Any idea on who was his opponent?

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