Blue Blood on the Mat by Athol Oakley

By Athol Oakley

The tale of Athol Oakley, one of many maximum wrestlers of our time, and the bloody international of wrestling within the early 1900s. Athol labored himself up from a 5 stone youngster to a fifteen stone international wrestling champion, combating in millions of bouts around the globe.

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The Captain was held in a Half Nelson and broke away. He got as rough as you please and Gunboat Smith, a gentle lamb of athletics, shook a warning finger under the Englishman’s nose. Once, when the British boy used a free foot to bring Berger’s head close to the floor, the crowd protested with the gunner. He is a slippery individual is the Briton. He obtained a toe hold, on two occasions, which made Berger pull faces which would have frightened Stasjak of the Out- Oakeley wore heavy rubber knee pads and looked like a cricket player.

Even the mauling and punishment which each handed out to the other got them nowhere. Zbyszko has assured me that the match was on the level, but the British press saw the static stances, and concluded (as usual incorrectly) that neither man was trying. So newspapers turned their reporting over to boxing, which, thanks to the incomparable Georges Carpentier, put the glove game into the headlines. In 1929 this new style of wrestling had brought in fast, strong heavyweights like Jack Sherry, who possessed the stamina of longdistance runners.

But his voice sounded miles away. It all seemed utterly unreal, I felt as if in a dream. The twenty-fifth minute came up. I forced my knuckles under Berger’s arm-pits and I thrust them through, grinding them down so taking double arm locks. With both legs napped in step-over toe holds and both arms drawn right up his back with double arm locks into barred hammer locks the Texan could not move one single inch in any direction. In another 35 seconds, as I increased to full pressure, he tapped. ’ It took the seconds, his and mine, helped by the referee, at least another two minutes to unravel us, so interlocked were our legs.

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