Real Name - Frank Alvin Gotch
Birthdate - 4/27/1878 - 12/16/1917
5'10" 205 lbs. - Iowa
Athletic background - Wrestling, Hooking
Peak Years - 1900s-1910s
Place in History - Frank Gotch's effect on pro wrestling is undeniable. He just proceeded anything that people now associate with modern wrestling. He was trained by Farmer Burns, one of the great hookers, after he lasted eleven minutes with the veteran in a carny wrestling bout. Gotch, similar to Burns, was not large but bragged incredible strength, exceptional endurance and even more skill. Frank Gotch was not unbeatable, but no one ever got over on him twice. While a good hooker could be a serious threat to anyone, Gotch was vicious when put against the wall. In 1908, he met world champion George Hackenschmidt and in that Chicago marathon Gotch used every trick in his bag before getting a submission out of the champ to win the first of three falls. Both men left for a break and Hackenschmidt never returned and Gotch was named the new world champion. The rematch was inevitable, but not after Gotch defeated the likes of Tom Jenkins, Dr. Benjamin Roller and Stanislaus Zbyzsko. In preparing to face his greatest rival, he had a hooker take him down a few notches and then Gotch finished the job in Chicago, which pulled in the biggest gate ever. While this side of Gotch was criticized by sports writers, it made him the man in the eyes of the fans. Gotch remained the champion until he retired two years later and fell ill and died soon after. Frank Gotch's career was the prototype of what made a wrestling legend, he worked hard to establish himself, bended the rules to stay there and ducked challengers to keep the belt. Love him or hate him for the approach he took, Frank Gotch was inarguably the man.