WRESTLING ALLIANCE OUTLAWED BEFORE IBC
(New York Mirror, Thursday, June 27, 1957)
By Dan Parker
Jim Norris needn't feel so uppity because his I.B.C. has been declared a combination in restraint of trade. The National Wrestling Alliance won that distinction last Oct. 15 and anyone who comes forward with proof that he heard so much as a peep, much less a burp, out of the Mat Trust, will be rewarded with a plaster cast of Antonino Rocca's bare feet, impregnated with Chanel 5.
This should serve as a reminder of the entertainment the barefoot boy with cheek of ten wafted over the ether on Channel 5 in the good old Trust days now gone beyond recall.
Norris, who is supposed to be a smart cookie, spent a half-million on lawyers instead of reading the handwriting on the wall. The squareheads of the wrestling racket whose brains tick like bombs when they meditate, ruminate or even mediate, as they did in this case, tacitly admitted their guilt when the Dept. of Justice accused them of operating a combination in restraint of trade by offering no defense.
With the money saved from legal bills they thus avoided incurring, they could cancel all Toots Mondt's debts, pay the wrestlers all the dought they swindled them out of over the years, and still have enough left to finance the Home for Young Bulgarian Weasels which Mahout Jack Pfefer is going to build in his native Minsk.
The National Wrestling Alliance, dissolved on Oct. 15 under a judgment filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District, Iowa, by Judge William F. Riley, was a combination of promoters and bookers who set themselves as the bosses of the mat racket.
Using such weapons as the boycott, the blacklist and coercion, they bottled up the wrestling business for themselves, along with the television rights and control of the champions they made and unmade. Forced into a corner, this group of fakers told the truth for the first time in their lives instead of trying to hornswoggle the man with the whiskers (Uncle Sam, not Man Mountain Dean's spirit), by admitting they didn't have a leg to stand on.
Under Judge Riley's judgment to which 35 promoters and bookers in the United States and Canada subscribed, the National Wrestling Alliance agreed to cancel all its existing rules, regulations and bylaws and draw up a new code consistent with the terms of the court order. The Final Judgment enjoined all members of the new N.W.A. from:
1. Assigning to any booker or promoter the exclusive rights to operate in a designated area.
2. Preventing, restricting or impeding any booker or promoter from doing business in any area.
3. Restricting the promotion or booking of wrestling exhibitions to members of the N.W.A. or inducing or requesting any person to do so.
4. Requiring, requesting or inducing any booker to book wrestling exhibitions only through promoter members or to discriminate in favor of promoter members.
5. Requring, requesting or urging any promoter to promote wrestling exhibitions only through the services of booker-members or to discriminate in favor of booker-members.
6. Requiring, requesting or inducing any person to refuse to promote or book any wrestler.
7. Preventing, restricting or impeding any wrestler, booker or promoter from participating in studio exhibitions or discriminating against any wrestler, promoter or booker because such person participated in the booking or promoting of studio exhibitions.
The defendants and signatories to the judgment are also enjoined (a) from refusing to book for any promoter any wrestler who is available and is being booked by the defendants, and (b) from fixing, maintaining or adhering to any term or condition, particularly one stipulating performance payments, under which promoters or bookers shall promote or book any championship or other wrestling exhibition.
However, bookers requested by a champion to book for him may charge the promoter a certain fixed percentage of the gross.
Only one prominent name in wrestling promotion circles is missing, like a link, from the list of signatories. His Lordship, Jack Pfefer, Third Baron of the Principality of Halitosky in Outer Nijninovgorod, who fled Russia one step ahead of the last Czarist pogrom, doesn't appear on the roll. This is easy enough to understand because Baron Pfefer was always an outcast who, however, wouldn't be caught dead on the same list with Honest Eddie Quinn of Montreal or stainless Toots Mondt of New York. Now Toots would have to book wrestlers of Pfefer on request.
The role of Abou Ben Adhem on the list is filled with muchnick eclatnick by Sam Muchnick of St. Louis.
Besides Mondt and Quinn, the Montreal Mahout, the signers include Frank Tunney of Toronto, Al Haft of Reynoldsboro, O., Cal Eaton of Los Angeles, Pinkie George of Des Moines, Stewart E. Hart of Calgary, Alberta, Paul Jones of Atlanta, Orville Brown, who puts on those orville matches in Kansas City for which the stockyards get all the blame; Billy Wolfe, who controls the women wrestlers; Ignacio Martinez of Buffalo, to whom Toots Mondt once sold all the riparian rights 10 feet below the surface on Barren Island; Cowboy Luttrall, the Tampa humanitarian who used the good name of the Runyon Fund once to promote a phony benefit and didn't give the Fund so much as a nickel; Fred (Coca) Kohler of Chicago, who once had the Saturday night TV sewed up; Jim Crockett of Charlotte, N.C.; Mike London, the turkey from Albuquerque; Hugh Nichols of Hollywood, two of whom would never make on Jimmy Dime; Tex Hager of Spokane; Harry (Let There Be) Light of Detroit, Denny Stecher of Minneapolis, S. Lutteroth of Mexico City, Rudy Dusek of Broadway, Paul Bowser of Bostonn, Morris Sigel of Houston and a dozen others.
With Canada's three leading Entrepreneurs de Burp committed to obey the mandate of the U.S. Dept. of Justice in conducting their business above the border, relations with the Dominion, already strained, may be stretched to the point of a shooting war -- and that would be the first shooting match ever connected with wrestling in Canada or almost anywhere else. Verily, it was an ill wind that wafted Monsieur Edouard Quinn to Montreal when this old buzzard from South Boston fled the Battle of Bunker Hill and became a Royalist.