The guy who popularized wrestling in America by becoming a huge star for the sport to the outside and the guy who brought in the World Heavyweight Championship, a precursor to professional wrestling world titles to U.S by beating Georg Hackenschmidt, the first ever world champion, in somewhat controversial circumstances. He also holds the fifth longest title reign in the world, when it was a legitimate sport as a fight between shooters.
His first big match was a loss to Dan Mcleod, the then reigning American Heavyweight Champion who was hugely impressed with the fight that was put up. He then lost to Farmer Burns, another legend impressing him enough to be taken under his wing. He then took the American Heavyweight title from Tom Jenkins setting his sights on the world title held by Georg Hackenschmidt who was undefeated and reigning champion who ignored the challenge at first having defeated Jenkins recently but took it eventually.
Their match won by Gotch was controversial for Hackenschmidt was first not in good terms with training arrangements and did not train as well as he does relying on room workouts and long walks, already being in poor wrestling condition. Gotch wore him down by leaning on him and getting him tired for a couple of hours and then took him down. To add to it, Gotch was well oiled all over which was referred by Hackenschmidt to the referee who ignored the plea saying it should have been raised before the match. Finally he was caught in dreaded toe hold of Gotch which took the last remaining energy out of Georg who then gave up the first fall and then forfeited the match. He held a grudge against Gotch for fouling his way to the title. Gotch went on to defend his title against Doc. Roller, Jenkins, Zbyzsko
. The last match was again controversial as Zbyszko's
customary handshake was converted to pin on a unsuspecting Zbyszko
by Gotch [the reason the brought in the bell].
The rematch between Hackenschmidt and Gotch was even more controversial for Hackenschmidt was injured during training, claimed to be intentional and paid for by Gotch, resulting in a loss for an weaker and injured Hackenschmidt. He held the title and retired undefeated making Cutler his protege.
His legacy, as great was it was, was tarnished by his controversial victories against the other two legends Hackenschmidt and Zbyzsko
, refusal to meet Gama and his dirty tactics which was acknowledged by his protege Cutler incl. keeping the referee in good tabs inspite of being acknowledged as a good fighter.
A forgotten legend who was a dangerous submission specialist and went toe to toe against many other legend popularizing wrestling across U.S becoming the first Star from wrestling in North America, Frank Gotch.