Evan Lewis Maims Wrestler
As the wrestler jumped off the mat, he grabbed the referee by the lapel with his good arm. “Why didn’t you stop it?” As Referee Siler tried to pull free, Duncan Ross’ seconds grabbed him and pulled him away. The man told Ross, “He can’t stop it. You have to submit.”
Ross screamed, “I’m out of here.” As he walked back to the dressing room, the muscular man in black trunks with a pencil thin mustache smirked. Siler raised Evan “Strangler” Lewis’ hand. Ross’ forfeit gave him the match in 3 straight falls.
Evan “Strangler” Lewis was one of the most vicious human beings to ever put on a pair of wrestling trunks. Skilled at twisting limbs and applying the guillotine choke, Lewis would often injure his opponents particularly if they somehow annoyed him. However, Lewis could maim someone just because he was having a bad day.
Lewis signed to meet Duncan Ross, a professional wrestler skilled in the Cumberland style of wrestling. Lewis’ skills at Greco-Roman wrestling and catch-as-catch-can wrestling were far superior to Ross’ skills though.
When the match commenced in Chicago, Illinois on November 20, 1893, Lewis proved his superiority in Greco-Roman wrestling by throwing Ross after a fierce back and forth battle. Lewis had agreed to win all three falls to take 80 percent of the $2,000 purse.
Since Ross would have an advantage in the Cumberland style, Lewis decided to end the match during the catch-as-catch-can fall. Lewis charged at Ross, grabbed hold of him and secured a hammerlock. Lewis began raising the wrist towards Ross’ head causing great pressure on his rotor cuff.
Siler watched Lewis slowly twist Ross over and onto his shoulders for the second fall. While Ross’ face showed the tremendous pressure being exerted on his rotor cuff, he refused to submit. Siler watched as Lewis used the hold to secure the fall.
Lewis’ hammerlock caused an obvious injury to Ross’ rotor cuff. Rather than go out for the third fall, Ross screamed at the referee and left the ring. Lewis didn’t seem to phased by the injury as he pocketed $1,800 for the victory.
Lewis hurt wrestlers for many reasons. Money and anger were the most frequent cause of his maiming. Sometimes, Lewis just felt like it. It was best to avoid the original Strangler from Wisconsin.
Sources: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 20, 1893 edition, p. 8Pin It