Posted in: Wayne's World Wayne's World: The YouTube Review - Earl Caddock v Joe Stetcher 30/1/20 (On This Day In Pro Wrestling History)
Jan 30, 2013 - 7:52:14 PM
Writer's Note: With Mr. Tito doing a great series at the moment entitled "On This Day In Pro Wrestling History" I thought I would throw my hand in for today. This column is one I wrote back in August last year but the date of the match makes it perfect for an on this day column for today. Also this introduces a series I will hope to add new parts too as the year goes on, the YouTube Review. The intro may leave you slightly confused as it references a tournament that was happening in the CF at the time of writing but otherwise the column should be fine once it gets started. Hope you all enjoy the look back at this day in pro wrestling history.
Welcome back one and all to the only column which thinks Kevin Nash has some weird sexual fantasies, covering Midgets in Vanilla, that’s just plain strange. I am your host Wayne and this is my world. Now if anyone has been paying attention I haven’t posted a column except for my CSI entry, which you can’t really call a column for the lack of words, in the last two weeks. For those who did pay attention they may also realise that this is not like me at all, I am normally someone who has a column out at least once a week at minimum. It’s not like I haven’t been trying though, I have a total of four separate columns I have started in this time which remain unfinished on my computer, two put aside for a later date because of writer’s block and two scrapped for the fact that they just look wrong. Add to this the one I did the stat research for but didn’t like the outcome so never started writing and that means five unfinished columns in two weeks.
With the next round of CSI and the year anniversary of the pre-PPV Analysis just a couple of days away I thought this writers block needed to be nipped in the butt so I devised myself a little challenge to once again get my mojo back. My challenge was to go to YouTube and type in “professional wrestling match” and then to review the first match that was on the page. When I choose to do this I expected maybe some match from WWE or maybe some indie promotion. I was even preparing myself for some sort of backyard wrestling or maybe some classic match from the 80’s. What I got though had never even crossed my mind.
The match I got was in fact from 1920, a whole 63 years before I was even born and could possibly be the oldest surviving wrestling footage in the world. The guys in it, Earl Caddock and Joe Stecher are names I have never even heard of but I could only believe would be legends of the squared circle. The match itself happened on January 30, 1920, at Madison Square Garden and was their second match for the World’s Championship. While the match went for a total of 2 hours and 5 minutes, the footage only had 25 minutes of tape covering the whole match and because of the age of it the quality is not the best, but I would call it a failure if I didn’t go through with it, so into the unknown I plunged.
The first thing that strikes me in this match is that even 82 years ago the match starts with a collar-to-elbow tie-up. This is a move we see all the time yet forget how important it really is. It is a move that goes all the way back in time to the very beginning of wrestling, yet is really taken for granted in today’s wrestling. Even though all wrestlers use it they forget what it is really meant to do, they just use it for a way to segway to the next big impactful move. This was not the case back in 1920, they remembered what a collar-to-elbow tie-up was meant to be, a way to jockey for position. While I wouldn’t want todays wrestlers to remain in the hold for the length of time that they did back then, they could at least make us believe they are in a struggle to get the next move happening.
Even being only a few minutes into the footage you know that you are truly watching a fight. Reading into this match you find that this is one of the last true shoot fights in professional wrestling history and watching the match you could accept that claim as true. Both men could be seen truly fighting for every inch of ground they could get again something that is just not seen nowadays. Brock and Cena seemed slightly like a legitimate fight earlier this year but you still knew it was fake, this is something entirely different.
One thing I have to say is even watching a video from so long ago; catch wrestling is a real work of art. I mean it is just a beautiful thing to watch and truly this is it at its best. Both of these guys seem to be great practitioners of the art but then again I guess they had to be to be fighting over the World Championship. Again this is just something that does not happen enough anymore. Catch wrestling is such a historical part of the American style that it is such a shame that it is not really practised anymore. Watching this has me craving for a good Chris Benoit/Kurt Angle match so bad, why don’t we make them like that anymore?
This match truly seemed like it would have hurt. The slams that they were doing, while not as clean as they are in today’s version of professional wrestling, definitely looked a lot more brutal. Also what can be seen of the submissions looked legitametly painful. Again I have to ask what happened to the business, why did they ever leave the legitimacy of the sport for just the showmanship and the cheap frills. That is one of the main problems with today’s product, they forget to make you believe the shit they are doing actually hurts.
Another thing that jumps out at me as I watch this match is that the longer the match goes the faster the action gets. I mean you need to remember this match goes for over 2 hours in reality, not just the 25 minutes of edited action I am watching. As the match progresses the pace just seems to get more frantic as the two guys try to end the contest. They would have had to have been getting awfully tired as this was a full contact sport with no real rest spots and yet they still keep a good pace going. The physical endurance these two had must have been off the charts to do matches like this.
OK, how many of today’s wrestlers would love to win with as something as easy as a wristlock? It definitely doesn’t seem like a very brutal way to win. What does impress me though is the use of the body scissors. I think this is a move that is greatly ignored in today’s wrestling. If you go back twenty years this particular move was used a lot more. While it was rarely used to win a match it was used constantly as an effective mid-match submission hold. It looked effective and gave plenty of room for things like rope shenanigans. It is truly just the bear hug but on the mat, again the wrestlers just forget the fundamentals of wrestling.
After watching this tape all I can say is that I think it needs to be shown to all wrestlers. They all need the reminding of what professional wrestling truly means. While they pretty much all get into the business because they grew up fans they forget why they truly do the stuff they do. While I don’t want to see them to go back into the past and return to just this style, I wish they would return a lot of the realism back into the fold. So much could be taken from this small part of footage that could truly make wrestling today so much better than it currently is.
Well that’s it for today folks. I hope you enjoyed my little review because it is not something I do very often as I normally struggle with this type of column. But honestly I enjoyed this so it may not be long before you once again see a YouTube Review from me,