Jim Londos

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Real Name - Chris Theophelos
Lifespan - 1/2/1897 - 8/19/1975
5'8" 215 lbs. - Argos, Greece
Athletic background - Weightlifting, Bodybuilding, Acrobatics
Peak Years - 30s

Place in History - During the Depression it took exceptional sports celebrities to bring in the crowds. While established sports could do it reasonably well, wrestling was much more up-in-the-air. No one was a better draw than "the Golden Greek" Jim Londos, whose good looks brought in the female fans that wrestling had never had. Born in Greece, Chris Theophelos ran away from home and made his way to the United States. Eventually he settled into wrestling in the Northwest as a Wrestling Plasterer and he worked carny "all-challengers" contests. Londos proved to be a respectable grappler, but he couldn't catch a break in the business. After losing a match to name the first National Wrestling Association champion, Londos established himself to have superstar potential. Promoter Toots Mondt jumped behind Londos and upon winning the New York State Athletic Commission's World title, he was the biggest draw on the East Coast. He drew tremendous houses and was on top of the world working his trademark "beauty versus the beast" matches. A falling out with Mondt saw him end up the wrong side of several confrontations. Londos was kept out of Madison Square Garden for two years, stripped after refusing to face Ed Lewis ands double-crossed in a worked match. But as soon as things were looking their worst, luck shined through. Londos convinced the double-cross to not be recognized and he kept his NWA title and he would defeat football star Jim Browning to regain the NYSAC's title, unifying the two and and a resolution with Mondt allowed him to defeat Lewis in a work (even though it was hyped as a shoot because of the heat between the two). Londos's success continued as he went into semi-retirement touring Europe, where he alledgedly drew some massive crowds. He resumed a full-time schedule in America in 1938 and while he still was a drawing success, Londos was stripped of several of his "world" titles, but the masses around the world still acknowledged him. Jim Londos is remembered as the first huge draw in pro-wrestling and the fact that he was only an above average wrestler makes it that more remarkable. "The Golden Greek" was a mainstream superstar unlike any of his predecessors and brought many markets alive with his drawing power.

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