Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast and the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2015

No Holds Barred: Mike Chapman on Frank Gotch World Catch Championships 

(Photo of Mike Chapman wearing Frank Gotch's favorite derby hat by Brad Wilder.)

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with wrestling historian and author Mike Chapman.

Our discussion focused on a new event, the Frank Gotch World Catch Championships. This catch wrestling event will be held Sunday, July 3, 2016, in Gotch's hometown, Humboldt, Iowa. It will be organized by the Catch Wrestling Alliance and co-sponsored by the Gotch Statue Committee and the Frank Gotch Kids Wrestling Club. It will take place at the Humboldt High School, 1500 Wildcat Road, Humboldt, Iowa 50548.

We spoke with Mike Chapman by phone Monday.

"The exciting thing about it," he said, "it is in the hometown of Frank Gotch, who many people would consider the greatest catch wrestler of all-time, or at least the best-known catch wrestler of all-time. He was heavyweight champion of the world from 1908 to 1915. His matches with the great George Hackenschmidt in Chicago are a part of wrestling folklore and legend. His second match in 1911 drew 31,000 people to Comiskey Park."

But Gotch's legacy still lives on a century later.

"Gotch in the state of Iowa is responsible, in my opinion," he said, "for the state's long-lasting love affair with the sport."

While this event is "still in the development stage," we discussed Gotch's importance for wrestling, the basic rules of catch wrestling where you win by pin or submission, the importance of holding this inaugural event in Gotch's hometown, activities planned around this event, information about Humboldt for those planning to travel there, and much more.

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