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Wrestling melee at the Olympic

Wrestling melee at the Olympic

May 19, 1937: Wrestler Baptiste Paul, alias Chief Thunder Bird, got mad when referee Dick Rutherford disqualified him and gave Gus Sonnenberg the deciding fall in a match at the Olympic. In the resulting melee from left are: Rutherford on the ground, a corner second, Gus Sonnenberg on ground, Bapiste Paul and another corner second falling to the ground.

A story in the next morning’s Los Angeles Times sports section explained:

Gus Sonnenberg emerged the victor in the three-fall bout which climaxed the program when Baptiste Paul was finally counted out for refusing to stay in the ring.

Paul took the first fall in 17m. 18s, with an arm strangle and full cradle, whereupon Sonnenberg came right back in 4m. 10s. with a flying tackle climaxing several straight rights and lefts to the face. The Chief swung wildly at everybody in or near the ring, but accomplished nothing in the last fall and suddenly found himself outside the boundary lines, where he stayed while Referee Dick Rutherford counted twenty. The time for the last fall was 2m. 35s….

This photo by former staff photographer George Strock was published in the May 20, 1937 Los Angeles Times. The photographer on the left side of the ring is unidentified.

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