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Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    No Holds Barred: Mike Chapman on Earl Caddock, When Pro Wrestling Was Real 

    On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with wrestling and sports historian and author Mike Chapman.
    Mike has just published a new book, "Earl Caddock: Walnut's Wrestling Wonder". Earl Caddock was a three-time AAU national champion in amateur wrestling and the world heavyweight professional wrestling champion from 1917 to 1920 when this title was contested in real matches. This is a must-read book for all those interested in wrestling, combat sports, and history.
    Highlights of the match in which Caddock lost his title to Joe Stecher, on January 30, 1920 at Madison Square Garden in New York, can be seen in a video of a scratchy film from that day, on YouTube.
    We spoke with Mike Chapman by phone Thursday afternoon about Earl Caddock, his place in wrestling history, this important new book, and what was going on in pro wrestling at the time he competed. We discussed the long heritage of wrestling, the Caddock-Stecher match of 1920, the importance of real wrestlers like Frank Gotch, and how the era of real matches faded quickly after Caddock lost his title. And we examined the current revival of catch-as-catch-can wrestling and what it would take to bring back a form of real pro wrestling.
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