Dean Detton


Real Name - Dean Henry Detton
Lifespan - ?/?/08 - 2/23/58
225 lbs. - Richmond, UT
Aliases - none
Athletic background - Wrestling, Football (College)
Peak Years - 1930s

Place in History - In the 1930s, Dean Detton was one of the premier heavyweight wrestlers on the West Coast. By the late 1950s, the scene was struggling, Detton was well past his prime and he shockingly ended his own life. Pro-wrestling was becoming hot in California and Detton was one of the key stars. A successful college athlete, Detton took to the new style of pro-wrestling that many credit Gus Sonnenburg for pioneering. His trademark toehold and shoudler tackles illustrate his style which was a hybrid of old school scientific wrestling and new school rough n' tumble highspots. Detton was not on the level of Sonnenburg or Ed Don George, but he was a drawing card in Los Angeles when it was booming in the 1930s. Understandably, he was drawing considerable attention as a talent. Toots Mondt brought him east and was pushed hard. While he was not a major draw, he was made a World Champion and toured much of the US defending his title. He went over everyone from "Strangler" Lewis to Man Mountain Dean. By the end of the decade, Detton had dropped his title to football legend Bronko Nagurski. He mainly stayed in California from that point forward, putting over up-and-coming talent. After a stint serving during World War II, Detton returned to wrestling and became a regular Pacific Coast champion, exchanging it with some of his greatest rivals like "The French Angel" Maurice Tillet, Earl McCready and Sandor Szabo. By the mid-1940s, Detton was an established, but aging star. He owned several businesses in Southern California and remained a standard there as well as in San Francisco, but still accepted a lot of paydays traveling to towns to put over local champions like Orville Brown and "Whipper" Watson. After retiring in 1951, Detton spent his final days running a bar and that business declined in the late 1950s. His suicide ended the life of a well-respected wrestler with legit skill as a shooter and credibility as an in-ring worker. Detton was a great wrestler who was most effective when paired with opponent who could draw. He is often dismissed because he was on top during a tough era, but Dean Detton should be remembered as one of the top talents of the 1930s and 1940s.