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Friday, May 25, 2018

No Holds Barred: Mike Chapman on the Future of Catch Wrestling, Joe Stecher Days, Bill Smith Passing, Media Projects, and Retiring 

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

We spoke with him by phone Thursday.

With two important catch wrestling tournaments scheduled for July and August, there appears to be some life left in this latest but small and struggling incarnation of catch wrestling. However, as we discussed, much, much more needs to be done, and very soon.

"I just hope that somebody out there will say, 'Catch wrestling is a cultural part of American history that deserves to continue to exist,'" he said.

"And that somehow, with all your cajoling and all my cajoling, that we can get this done. You and I are out there telling people that there's a formula for this. And we're both willing to work with anybody. I think we'd both serve on a board if somebody came up with some kind of a platform and plan.

"You have invaluable knowledge that you'd like to share, and I'd like to think that I do, too."

We discussed how undefeated catch wrestler Curran Jacobs has become "the face of catch wrestling" to many younger people, and these upcoming catch tournaments.

In addition, we discussed how Mike will be a guest speaker and part of the "Joe Stecher Days" event on July 14-15 in the village of Dodge, Nebraska, Stecher's hometown. Joe Stecher was a world heavyweight wrestling champion in the days before professional wrestling ceased to be a sport. His two matches with Earl Caddock, with Caddock winning the first and Stecher the second, are still talked about. A video of highlights of that second match, held at Madison Square Garden on January 30, 1920, still survives today.

And we discussed the passing at age 89 of 1952 Olympic freestyle wrestling gold medalist Bill Smith; the planning of several wrestling media projects including a full-length dramatic film; his offer to sell his inventory of books and posters; why we don't really retire; and much, much more.

(Photo by Phil Monson, courtesy of Catch Wrestling Alliance.)

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No Holds Barred is sponsored by:

The Catch Wrestling Alliance, resurrecting and promoting the sport of authentic catch-as-catch-can wrestling. The Catch Wrestling Alliance provides tournaments, seminars, and training as well as education about catch wrestling. Join the movement and keep real wrestling alive. For more information, go to CatchWrestlingAlliance.com.

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