Missouri Wrestling Revival

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Posts Tagged ‘Dan Hodge’

2010 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Mike Chapman

Posted by flairwhoooooo on January 1, 2011

History should
be studied
because it
is essential to
individuals and
to society, and
because it
harbors beauty.

Pro Wrestling fans are passionate about their love of the drama and action inside the squared circle. In a sport where the desire for us, the fans to know more about our heroes and villains more than ever, we are very fortunate to have websites, shoot interviews, movies and documentaries to fall back on.

Growing up I dreamed of a Hall of Fame for the stars that I saw in publications such as Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Wrestling needed a Hall of Fame just as baseball has Cooperstown New York and the NFL Canton Ohio. Sure, many magazines had a Hall of Fame on paper but I wanted more. I wanted to see the championship belts, photos and posters from past shows.

To be honest, coming from a boom time for pro wrestling in the 80′s with “Rock and Wrestling”, I still lived in a small town in the Midwest where there were still many that did not understand my love for wrestling. I thought that if a Hall of Fame was to exist I would have to make my way to New York or California to see such a wonderful museum.

Thankfully, we have one of the leading authorities on wrestling history in Mike Chapman living right here in the Midwest. Mike took his passion for amateur and pro wrestling and parlayed his talent to provide wrestling fans around the world a chance to gather to celebrate the accomplishments of our heroes.

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Mike and Bev pose for a photo in the ring in the Pro Wing of the Museum. (Photo Courtesy of Mike Chapman’s website)

Now fans young and old can come together to look back and remember the stars of yesterday at the The Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Waterloo Iowa. Mike Chapman founded the museum in 1998. With several years of hard work he retired from the museum on October 31, 2009 to devote full time to his new magazine, Iowa History Journal, and to write books.

Mike has represented the Midwest and the wrestling world with class and honor by promoting the sport as a public speaker, an author of 21 books (14 about wrestling) and his work has appeared in dozens of national and regional magazines.

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In his books wrestling fans are able to take a trip back into time to look back at the incredible careers of Frank Gotch in “Frank Gotch: His Life and Legacy” and one of my personal favorite wrestlers and human beings Dan Hodge in “Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story”.
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Fans of today are well aware of the talents that the collegiate wrestling world has as many in wrestling such as Bill Miller, Jack Brisco, Bob Geigel Brock Lesnar, Ken Shamrock, Steve Williams, Bobby Lashley, LeRoy McGuirk and of course Kurt Angle . Each of these men have all become important wrestlers in the pro ring at one time or another.

If some of these names are people that you may not know, I urge you to check out the museum or look them up, each a champion in their own right.

Let’s look at just a small part of his resume.

Mike is the founder of W.I.N. Magazine, considered by many the nation’s top amateur wrestling publication; the WIN Memorabilia Show, which draws 8,000 fans each year to the NCAA Championships.  Mike has been important in the jumpstarting the “Dan Hodge Trophy,” which goes each year to the top college wrestler in the United States. It has been called “the Heisman Trophy of wrestling.”

Mike has earned the respect of many in the sport by being named in six Hall of Fames the AAU National Wrestling Hall of Fame. In 2002 he  received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cauliflower Alley Club (CAC), an organization of boxers, wrestlers and movie actors. In 2007 he received the Order of Merit for lifetime achievement from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and the President’s Award from the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association.

As a reporter, he has attended 38 NCAA wrestling tournaments, two Olympics and two World Championships. He has won numerous awards for journalism and writing. He has been named National Wrestling Writer of the Year five times, by four different amateur wrestling organizations.

He has met and interviewed such people as Ronald Reagan, Muhammad Ali, Robert Redford, Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk from TV fame), Denny Miller (Tarzan actor and star of “Wagon Train”) and many other famous stars of movies and sports.

Mike has appeared on numerous TV shows –including the networks ESPN, A&E, Fox Sports, Iowa Public Television and Fox and Friends. He has been the guest on over 200 radio talk shows. He has produced three wrestling videos and has two screenplays in Hollywood, including “GOTCH: An American Hero.” The movie rights are owned by Empire Film Group and it is currently in pre-production.

As an athlete, he competed in wrestling, judo, sombo and bench press contests. He once bench pressed 440 pounds at a bodyweight of 205.

I first had the pleasure of meeting Mike Chapman in Newton Iowa, the original home of the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum several years ago during an annual Hall of Fame. Several of my heroes from years past where in attendance in 2005 along with theInduction of Harley Race to the HOF.

Terry Funk, Verne Gagne and Larry Hennig were just a few that where there to sign autographs for the each and every one of the fans in attendance. Still one of the fondest memories that I had of that trip to Newton Iowa was how nice this guy that worked for the museum was towards Dubray and I. He spoke to us just like he had known us all of his life, telling stories of the displays and the posters on the wall.

We left that day in Newton with the perception that he just worked there and enjoyed what he done. I would later find out that that worker was none other than Mike Chapman, the founder of the museum, a man who had rubbed elbows former World Champions in Boxing and wrestling, Presidents of the United States, and some of the top Hollywood stars.

At Mike’s website this quote was stated

The mission of the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum (DGIWIM) is to preserve, maintain and promote the long and illustrious heritage of mankind’s oldest sport in a manner which will benefit the sport, educate and entertain the public, and to inspire youth to dream big and work hard.

Mission accomplished Mike, this Lifetime Achievement Award is a thank you from the fans of the Midwest and around the world.

Editors Note: Please come back to MWR in the future for updates on the progress Mike latest project as he has been working with a committee in Humboldt, Iowa – the hometown of Frank Gtoch – to build an eight-foot statue of the world heavyweight champion (1908-1915) in the center of town.

If all goes as plan we hope to cover this historic occasion at Missouri Wrestling Revival
Please take the time to check out more information of Mike Chapman at his website here.

Fans of wrestling should check out the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum website here and make plans to see it live in 2011.

Brian Kelley
Missouri Wrestling Revival

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The Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum team up with WLW for the Hall of Fame.

Posted by flairwhoooooo on July 6, 2009

By Brian Kelley

This week I am excited to take the trip to Waterloo Iowa for the annual George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. A wonderful weekend set aside for wrestling fans old and alike to pay respect to the sport that they love.

On Friday July 10, Harley Race’s World League Wrestling will excite the fans with a Night of the Legends pro card at Young Arena. This is one event every year that I mark on my calander and so should you.

Thanks to World League Wrestling I was able to catch up with rising star “The Vietnam Phenom” Bao Nguyen eariler this year.

Nguyen is scheduled to be at the Night of the Legends card along with WLW Stars “King of the 450” Steve Anthony, Brian Breaker, Curt Hennig’s daughter Amy, Ricky Steamboat Jr, Darin Waid, Jason Jones and WLW Champion “Superstar” Steve Fender.

The pro hall of fame is located inside the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum. The museum was nearly destroyed by the historic flood of June 10, 2008, but re-opened this month.

The 11 th class is comprised of living wrestlers Nick Bockwinkel, longtime world heavyweight champion in the AWA; Ricky Steamboat, a superstar in the WWF, and Fritz Von Goering, who wrestled many of the top stars of the 1950s and ‘60s, and all five of the other inductees at one point in his long career.

Three deceased wrestlers are also being inducted: Bronko Nagurski, Luther Lindsay and Karl Gotch.

NICK

Bockwinkel was the son of former pro star Warren Bockwinkel and was a top college football prospect at Oklahoma University before injuries put him on the sidelines. He then turned his attention to pro wrestling full time, early in the 1950s. Over the next 30 years, he wrestled every major star in the business and held the AWA world heavyweight title for nearly seven years, as well as dozens of lesser belts. One of the most popular heels in wrestling history, he has been president of the Cauliflower Alley Club (CAC) for the past several years and resides in Las Vegas.
ricky-steamboat
A native of Hawaii, Steamboat was an amateur wrestler in Florida before entering the pro ranks in 1976, for Verne Gagne’s AWA. He entered the WWF in 1985 and became known as The Dragon and often struck karate poses in the ring, and electrified the crowds with his skills and antics. His title bouts with Ric Flair are among the best matches of the past two decades. Ricky captured the NWA world championship in 1989. He retired 1994 and lives today in Denver, N.C., working for the WWE.

FRITZ

Von Goering was a street-tough kid from Chicago when he turned pro in 1950. He learned the business the hard way, traveling around the country to take on the biggest names in the industry and learning all he could. He spent gym time with pure wrestlers like Dick Hutton, Lou Thesz and Luther Lindsay to learn the craft and today is one of the last from his generation. He won numerous regional titles in his 27-year career. He lives in Campbell, California.

From northern Minnesota, Bronko Nagurski is one of the greatest football players of all time, and is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Professional Football Hall of Fame. While starring with the Chicago Bears in the late 1930s, Nagurski approached Lou Thesz about wrestling in the off-season and used his great athletic skills to become a huge draw in wrestling, holding the world NWA title several times in the late 1930s and early 1940s. He died in 1990, at age 82.

Lou Thesz was one of many who considered Luther Lindsay the best African-American wrestler of all time. Big, powerful and fast, he played football at Hampton Institute in Norfolk, VA, and later in the Canadian football league. He then turned to pro wrestling and was trained by Stu Hart in the art of hooking. Well known for his skills and athletic abilities in the ring, he was popular outside the ring as well. He died from a heart attack during a match in 1972, at the age of 47.

Karl Gotch holds a near mythical spot in the history of wrestling. A native of Belgium, he made the 1948 Olympic team at age 18. He then moved to England, where he trained in the legendary Wigan “Snake Pit,” learning hooking and ripping techniques that made him one of the most feared wrestlers of all time. He was an absolute legend in Japan and all places were shooting ability is revered. He died in 2007 at age 82 in Florida.

The induction ceremony is the key part of the big weekend. It begins with a Celebrity Golf Tournament at noon Friday, July 10, and continues with a big pro card at Young Arena on Friday night, starting at 7. Harley Race and the WLW are putting the event together for the third straight year.

The official inductions will take place at noon on Saturday in the Gable museum. After the ceremony, fans will be able to meet with the inductees and former hall of famers in attendance.

The induction banquet takes place at 7 p.m. at the beautiful Five Sullivans Convention Center two blocks from the museum. Seating is limited and tickets are $60, and includes the souvenir program.

Dan Hodge, Class of 2000, and the only man to ever win national titles in both boxing and wrestling; he will be signing copies of his new book, “Oklahoma Shooter: Than Dan Hodge Story;
Harley Race, Class of 2005 and eight-time NWA world heavyweight champion;
Baron Von Raschke, Class of 2002, great star of the 1970s and ‘80s, who was third in the World as an amateur wrester;
Bob Geigel, Class of 2002, former wrestling star and legendary Kansas City promoter;
Mad Dog Vachon, Class of 2003; a former Canadian national amateur champion who wrestled in the 1948 Olympics before becoming a pro icon
Larry “The Axe” Hennig, Class of 2006 and father of the late Curt “Mr. Perfect” Hennig, Class of 2007.

FRIDAY, JULY 10
10 a.m. – Museum opens (until 5 p.m.)
Noon – Celebrity Golf Tournament at Irv Warren Golf Course.
7 p.m. – Night of the Legends pro card at Young Arena
WLW JULY

SATURDAY, JULY 11
10 a.m. – Museum Opens (until 5 p.m.)
Noon – Official inductions at museum, fan festival afterwards
7 p.m. – Banquet at Five Sullivan Brothers Center (advance tickets mandatory)
SUNDAY, JULY 12
9 a.m. – Museum opens (until noon

For more information, persons can contact Kent Sesker, marketing director, at 319-233-0745.

For more information on theThe Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum go here

To find out where you can check out more World League Wrestling. go to their website here.

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Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story.

Posted by flairwhoooooo on February 10, 2009

Oklahoma Shooter:
The Dan Hodge Storyhodgebook

NEWTON, Iowa – The incredible athletic career of Dan Hodge, the only man to ever win national titles in both boxing and wrestling, has been published by Culture House Books and is now available.

It is called Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story.

Hodge came out of Perry, Oklahoma, to set the amateur wrestling world on fire in the mid 1950s. He won three NCAA Championships at 177 pounds for the University of Oklahoma, never losing a match or even a takedown. He also won three national titles in freestyle wrestling and one in Greco-Roman.

He also competed on two Olympic teams. He made the 1952 team as an unheralded 19-year-old, at that time the youngest wrestler ever to make an Olympic team. In 1956, he won the silver medal in the 174-pound class in Melbourne, Australia.

On April 1, 1957, Hodge was on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine, the only amateur wrestler ever accorded such an honor.

After completing his amateur wrestling career with his third NCAA title in 1957, Hodge turned to boxing. He was 17-0 as an amateur boxer and on March 24, 1958, won the National Golden Gloves heavyweight title with a dramatic knockout victory in Madison Square Garden!

Hodge boxed briefly as a professional, posting a record of 8-2 and at one time was being considered for a world title shot against champion Floyd Patterson. In the book, he discloses for the first time the behind-the-scenes problems he had with the business, and why he left boxing even though he had a promising future.

After his horrible experience in pro boxing, Hodge became a professional wrestler and is regarded as the greatest junior heavyweight champion of all time. He is also considered one of the greatest “shooters” (a wrestler willing to wrestle for real at any time) in the history of the sport.

The book concludes with a ranking of where Dan Hodge fits on the list of the greatest shooters of all time, dating back to the start of the early 1900s.

Author Mike Chapman has known Dan and his wife, Dolores, for over 30 years and has spent considerable time with Dan talking about his incredible career. A recognized author and historian, Chapman is the founder of the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Waterloo, Iowa, and the founder of W.I.N. magazine, one of the top wrestling publications in the country. He has been named National Wrestling Writer of the Year six times, by five different organizations. This is his 21st book, and 15th on wrestling.

The book includes 66 photographs, many never seen before. The photos cover Hodge’s careers in both wrestling and boxing, as both an amateur and professional
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“Dan Hodge has lived a truly amazing life,” said Chapman. “He has rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in sports history – from Jack Dempsey to Rocky Marciano, from Ed “Strangler” Lewis to Lou Thesz. There are photos of all of them with Dan in the book, plus many stories about them.”

The foreword was written by Jim “J.R.” Ross, one of the best-known announcers and commentators in pro wrestling history.

Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story is published by culture House Books of Newton, Iowa, a small publishing company that specializes in books about sports legends and movie personalities. It sells for $22.95, with $5 shipping and handling costs.

Persons can order the book by calling Culture House Books at 641-791-3072.

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