Muldoon Unable to Throw Sorakichi FIve Times

     Dominant champions like William Muldoon often had to accept handicap conditions to get fans interested in watching them wrestle.  Since only Clarence Whistler was considered skilled enough to really threaten his reign, Muldoon would often generate interest by either performing feats of strength or taking on the challenge of handicap conditions.

     On May 5, 1885, Muldoon met Matsuda Sorokichi, who he previously defeated in July 1884, in a handicap match in New York.  Muldoon had to throw Sorokichi five times in an hour or forfeit the match.


William Muldoon from the Public Domain

     The New York Sun stated that Muldoon did not look to be in the best condition.  Muldoon weighed 190 pounds which was much lower than his typical 215 to 225 pounds.  Being out of optimum condition is not how you wanted to approach a match with Sorokichi.

     Martin “Farmer” Burns stated that if Sorokichi was a bigger man he would have won most of his matches.  Sorokichi usually lost because he was 5’06” and 185 pounds at his heaviest.  For this bout, he weighed 160 pounds.

     Muldoon threw Sorokichi from almost the first few minutes that they tied up.  However, Sorokichi kept Muldoon from scoring the fall by lifting his hips, rolling a shoulder, getting a leg under him and wriggling free.

     Muldoon sat on him several times while he tried to figure out how to pin the slippery Sorokichi.  Each time, Sorokichi wriggled free before Muldoon could get him to the mat.  Finally, Muldoon threw Sorokichi, who turtled onto his hands and knees.

     Muldoon hooked in a half-nelson, which required Sorokichi to flip to his back or have his arm wrenched from its socket.  Sorokichi resisted it for a minute before finally flipping to his back.  It had taken Muldoon twenty-four minutes to get the first fall.


Matsuda Sorakichi from the Public Domain

     The men rested for five minutes and then met for the second fall.  The spectators were muttering that Muldoon would need to get moving to score four more falls in 36 minutes.

     Muldoon grabbed Sorokichi and threw him on the floor with the same half-nelson already applied.  Muldoon thought he pinned Sorokichi and stated loudly, “Another fall for me.”  The referee did not allow the fall because Sorokichi kept his other arm underneath him to keep from being pinned.

     Sorokichi surprised Muldoon, who was distracted, and tackled Muldoon.  Muldoon threw him off and was tackled back down two more times.  Muldoon powered out of each pin attempt.

     Frustrated by Sorokichi’s tactics, Muldoon grabbed Sorokichi, lifted him over his head and slammed him to the mat.  However, the slam did not take the air out of Sorokichi and they wrestled on the ground until time was called.  By the rules, Muldoon forfeited the match to Sorokichi, who also won the $200 that was put up against Sorokichi’s $100.

     While Sorokichi was the winner of this match, Muldoon always beat Sorokichi Matsada (Matsuda) when the title was on the line.

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William Muldoon: The Solid Man Conquers Wrestling and Physical Culture in paperback

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