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NewsboardDate (CET)Date (ET)
Wrestling History: What happened on January 25th?
2023/01/25 6:002023/01/25 0:00
Wrestling History: What happened on January 24th?
2023/01/24 6:002023/01/24 0:00
Wrestling History: What happened on January 23rd?
2023/01/23 6:002023/01/23 0:00
Wrestling History: What happened on January 22nd?
2023/01/22 6:002023/01/22 0:00
Wrestling History: What happened on January 21st?
2023/01/21 6:002023/01/21 0:00
Wrestling History: What happened on January 20th?
2023/01/20 6:002023/01/20 0:00
Wrestling History: What happened on January 19th?
2023/01/19 6:002023/01/19 0:00
Oldschool: Oldschool Updates #13: A Monster of Many Names
2023/01/18 19:522023/01/18 13:52
Wrestling History: What happened on January 18th?
2023/01/18 6:002023/01/18 0:00
Wrestling History: What happened on January 17th?
2023/01/17 6:002023/01/17 0:00
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Oldschool: Oldschool Updates #13: A Monster of Many Names
Welcome to this thirteenth installment of Oldschool Updates, where the lens is directed towards updates to the site from before 1985.

Disclaimer: the history nugget in this update casts a spotlight on a wrestler and events that in some ways are comparable to the Chris Benoit tragedy. This account might be disturbing to some readers. If you would rather just view the updates, please scroll down to the New and updated shows header.

History Nugget
Charles Eastman was born in McAllen in the early 1900s. He began his wrestling career in 1926 while working for the Poole and Schneck Carnival, taking on all comers, as well as taking part in arranged matches. By 1930, Eastman had turned professional and featured regularly in his native Texas, wrestling under his own name. Going on the road in 1935, he featured prominently on the Chicago and Detroit circuits, now going by the name of “Gorilla” Charley Grubmeyer, likely a nod to the Iowa Beanstalk Fred Grubmeyer.

For much of the next 10 years, Eastman would be based in the Mid-West, often fighting for, but never winning the light heavyweight laurels for the Mid-West Wrestling Association conglomerate. Almost exclusively a heel, Eastman’s distinctive facial features made him well-suited to that role, scaring fans with his ape-like mannerisms. While the “Gorilla” moniker followed him for the rest of his career, Eastman also enjoyed other inventive billings. Most notably in the North East where he was billed under the monstrous amalgamation of “King Kong Frankenstein”.

The man, the monster
While portraying a monster inside the ring, Eastman was described by friends and co-workers as a gentle soul. Long-time Dayton, Ohio promoter, John Collins, stated: “The Gorilla loved to excite the fans with his brutal tactics in the ring, but actually he was a mild fellow with a good sense of humor. He didn’t drink, and seemed very fond of the pretty wife. [...] The last time he was here, during the winter, Grubmeyer was concerned over his wife’s illness and wanted to cancel the bout so he could fly home.”

Eastman was married to Geraldine, who was thirteen years younger than himself, and with whom he had a baby daughter in 1943. By early 1944 the couple had become estranged. An effort was made to get back together, but they couldn’t make a go of it. Eastman had become increasingly frustrated with the situation, and had reportedly threatened to give his wife and baby a “one-way-ride.”

Mrs. Eastman went to Chicago on Friday, May 21, 1944, to file a divorce action. Somehow her wrestler-husband caught wind of her intentions, and trailed her to the home of her parents in Michigan City.

Armed with a wrench and a .32-caliber revolver, Eastman entered the house of his parents-in-law, hid in his daughters bedroom and when his wife entered the house, he dragged her into the basement and shot her three times. For unknown reasons, his attempt to kill their daughter failed. The police reported that they found Eastman hanging by the neck from the water pipes in the basement. He had shot himself through the temple.

The last match we can find for Grubmeyer was in Chicago on May 15 against Joe "Flash" Gordon. He was scheduled to appear in Muskegon, MI on May 19, but canceled his engagement an hour before the show citing tire trouble.

New and updates shows
Stampede 1971
Once more we have to credit clippings from Al Getz at Charting the territories for allowing us to greatly improve the archive for Canadian-based Stampede Wrestling.
Notable stars: Wild Angus, Les Thornton, Joe Tomasso, Earl Black, and Carlos Colón

A lot of new cards for the Gulas-Welch territory:
Updates to these weekly towns:
Johnson City, Tennessee 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, and 1975
Padukah, Kentucky 1969
Jackson, Tennessee 1969
Bowling Green, Kentucky 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, and 1978 (there was no wrestling in 1970)

Updates to several spot show towns including:
Clarksville, Tennessee 1970, 1971, and 1972
Notable stars: Tojo Yamamoto, Bearcat Brown, Don Greene, Jackie Fargo, and Tommy Gilbert

WWWF shows from Manchester, NH 1975, 1976, and 1977
New Hampshire is one of the states with the fewest shows in our database. These three years of spot-shows from the McMahon empire increased the amount of shows from the state by approximately 10%.
Notable stars: Chief Jay Strongbow, Stan Hansen, Ivan Koloff, Billy Graham, and Ken Patera

Belle Vue, Manchester 1949
Another batch of results from one of Manchester’s greatest venues. Though most of wrestlers on top of the cards were native brits, the shows nevertheless featured lots of international talent.
Notable stars: Bert Assirati, Chick Knight, Leo Demetral, David Armstrong, and Ray St. Bernard

1939 from these Massachusetts cities – Boston, Fitchburg, and Holyoke
The major player in Massachusetts was undoubtably Paul Bowser, who presented big shows from the Boston Gardens, and later Boston Arena. Sam Price was another prominent promoter who used mainly local talent as well as some stars “on loan” from papa Bowser.
Notable stars: Steve Casey, Gus Sonnenberg, Bull Martin, Marvin Westenberg, and Curley Donchin

Notable profile updates
Enhanced the biographical information for Baby Cheryl, Al Greene, Ed Wolfe, and Whitey Caldwell

Added new aliases to Bull Curley, Charlie Layden, George Ryan, and Joe Parelli

This week’s milestone smashers include Bobby Jaggers with 2,000+ matches, and David Novak and Rufus Jones who passed 1,000 matches.
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