Earl Caddock


Real Name - Earl Caddock
Lifespan - 2/27/1888 - 8/25/1950
5'11" 182 lbs. - Anita, IA
Aliases - none
Athletic background - Swimming, Weightlifting, Wrestling
Peak Years - 1910s

Place in History - Earl Caddock was an amazingly gifted technician on the mat so much so that he was competitive with world class heavyweights despite being middleweight most of his career. After being sickly as a child, Caddock got involved with athletics through the YMCA as part of his treatment and he proved to be a natural. He went onto be a great amateur in college winning numerous tournaments in not only the middleweight division, but the light heavy and heavyweight divisions as well. In the first half of the 1910s he was one of the best amateurs going and would have been an Olympic player, but freestyle wrestling was dropped from the Olympics in 1908. He even had a meeting with to-be legend Joe Stecher in an Iowa barn while he was in college. Soon thereafter Stecher turned pro and Caddock followed suit. While not knowing what was a work and what was not, in hindsight it is safe to say Caddock probably had his share of both and remained undefeated along the way. He began using the "Man of 1000 Holds" monicker to put over his technical brilliance and it became a successful gimmick for him as Caddock was the second best draw in early wrestling's down period after Frank Gotch. Moreover, Caddock was the most dominant as he remained undefeated from his debut in 6/15 until losing the first fall in a historic battle with Stecher on 4/9/17. However, he came back to hand Stecher his first pinfall lose as a pro and he never returned for the third fall giving Caddock the win and a world championship. The run was odd in that Caddock joined the Army due to the First World War and defended it throughout his training. He took part in a legendary tournament with all the big names in wrestling at the time and scored two wins before leaving to go into the service full-time. He did have several more matches and remained as successful as ever before finally heading to the frontlines in France. The ravages of war had their toll on Caddock and he returned to mostly put over people in works. He did have several very notable matches in the post-war years: a loss in a rematch with Stecher, a dominant victory over old rival Ad Santel and several classics with the bigger Ed Lewis. The accomplishments of Earl Caddock are simply too great to list off here and that is a true testament to his awesome ability as a world class shooter (who could handle himself amongst far bigger opponents), a worker (who had some of the best matches of the day) and as a star (who drew some big houses and gates).