Talking of belts.
Can anyone shed any light on this belt held by Steve Wright in The Wrestler magazine 1972.
Hack, could it be a belt he was challenging for, rather than one he had won?
I read that Steve Wright went to Mexico in 1968 to fight for the NWA World Middleweight Title, against belt holder Rene Guajardo, which Wright lost 2-1 in a three falls bout. Could this be a pre-match pose with the belt he was after?
The Wryton Belt.
Thanks SaxonWolf and Wryton. Saxo's reply seemed feasible but Wryton seems assured. What can you tell us about the Wryton belt? Was it a tournament? Annual? Where and when did the belt originate?
Hi.Hack and all involved about Steve Wright and the belt. Yes it was a Wryton belt and from memory seeing some old programmes of mine it was for THE ANNUAL BELT and was a tournament held at ALTRINCHAM. Hope this is correct and helps all involved.
All the best to all on the site,Ian Pringle.
Great stuff, you learn something new everyday on here!
Excellent Ian, thanks for that.
It's a bit of a mystery though why this very small annual tournament that I bet few of us knew about should have such a magnificent looking belt. Any bets on Steve just borrowing it for the photo shoot? I wonder where the belt came from and who was the owner?
I was watching wrestling at that time, and have just been through posters and programmes for 1971 and 1972 and can find no reference to Steve winning the belt on any of them.
Well done guys.
Eliminating contests used to take place in the regular Wryton venues, with the semis and finals taking place at either Bolton or Altrincham, I'll see if I can dig anything up.
Thanks Wryton. I'd be interested in that.
I wonder how many more annual tournaments were held around the country or was this a one off. And at what weight class was it held at or did the weight class vary from year to year?
If you look at Ron's galleries for Bolton Early 70's - the one dated October 20th 1972 mentions it. i've a programme for Hanley 16-12-72 with it on too.
I wonder if they used the same belt. Thanks Wryton.
Dear Hack, thanks for your post, appreciate.I have some info on the belt which was held by Steve Wright in the early 1970s. It was a very very very old belt, better say a historical title belt from the early 1900's.I researched English titles from the early 1900s on BritishNewspaperArchives (BNA) that site is quite helpful British Library did a good job digitizing their collections and making them available online. But, long story short. There was a sporting promoter from London his name was Joseph Smith, he produced many belts for his boxing and wrestling champions.The belt used by famous champion wrestler Tom Connor and Steve Wright, and yes it was the same belt, was one of many Joe Smith belts. All belts had similar designs, both boxing and wrestling.The thing is Tom Connor himself never won any actual physical title belts, but he borrowed existing belt for his promotional pic, which I'm sure was taken in berween 1904-1908.Joe Smith's Wrestling Championships were the most important CACC Title in England during that era.Wrestlers who held his titles were super stars among them Peter Gotz, Lauritz Nielsen, Henry Irslinger, Joe Oshood, Young Jack Smith who became famous boxing and wrestling referee.I desperately tried to figure out what was that belt emblematic of...tried to find out who was the real owner/winner of that belt's title.But I wasn't successful. Again Joe Smith had many champions and his titles were annual.Smith was first English promoter who introduced all existing boxing weight classes into CACC wrestling.
Good information, thanks!
If anyone has good quality photos of that Steve Wright Belt (or Wryton Belt) please make a post of them I would highly appreciate that, it can help to finally find out who won it in the early 1900's and which weight class it was. Thanks in advance.Kind regards, Ruslan.
Dear Friends, if anyone has any info on that THE ANNUAL BELT title which was held at ALTRINCHAM please let me know,I would highly appreciate that.Thanks. Ruslan
Hello Ruslan, it's great to see your posts. You've had some positive replies. I'm sure members will help where they can. But interest in belts is a very specific niche that I would think most of us in Britain find unusual. Do keep posting, your knowledge adds a lot to the forum, and one day one of us might come up with something useful for you.
Hi Hack thanks so much appreciate. Honestly I am not interested in belts' stories, my study is forgotten English Titles, 1800-1914. Kind regards, Ruslan
The mystery of this belt has been haunting me for a few years. My great grandfather, Tom Connors, wore this same belt, he had promotional pictures of him wearing it, in 1908, on his last tour of America. Where or how he got it? I don't know. I cringe at the idea but maybe Tom Connors borrowed it too? The family story was that there was a Lonsdale belt... I 'm not sure about that. Tom's eldest daughter, the last person to maybe hold onto this belt, passed away in the UK in the early 70's. So, I could imagine that this might be a time to see the belt for sale in an antiques market or offered to a promoter. Hence why MAYBE Steve is wearing it? Is it still in existence? As you say, it's magnificent! And for sure this belt was worth winning! But how? Surely, someone has seen the inscriptions? Thanks
Hello Jerry, it's great to have you with us here on Heritage. Thanks for making your first post. I'd certainly enjoy you sharing any discoveries you have made about your great grandfathers career. I had hoped you'd make it to the Blackpool Reunion, and had heard you might be there, maybe next year? Lord Lonsdale did give belts for wrestling, but that's about all I know. Maybe Ruslan can tell us more.
Dear Friends, yes Lonsdale did give belts for catch-as-catch-can wrestling championship...ONLY SIX in the whole entire history of English Pro Wrestling. Names of the holders please see below: 1909 - John Lemm, Frank Crozier, Tom Rose 1910 - Andre Cherpillod, Bob Berry, Peter Gotz. There were NO any other Lonsdale Belts ever given to any catch-as-catch-can wrestlers BUT those 6 champions. Thanks to everyone. R
As for the Joe Smith Championships 1904-1908. The main reason of running those music halls titles was to discover new talent. Basically it was a "stars factory", both famous Neilsen and Gotz started their careers with winning Smith's Titles, prior to that they were no heard of. It was for NOVICES ONLY. Wrestlers of reputation like Joe Carrol, Tom Connor, "old" Jack Smith of Stalybridge WOULD NOT, participate in those, simply because they didn't need it, it wasn't designed for the "veterans of the mat" but for newcomers. Thanks, R
Joe Smith didn't engrave any of his belts, there's NO names of the winners on it, neither the titles are there. No inscriptions whatsoever. Why? Because Smith was using the same belts (and cups) for different wrestlers of different weight classes over and over again. Thats why its so hard to trace those titles. Almost impossible. In many cases its a pure luck to figure the new name. Sitting on BNA for hours with literally NO success, hahaha Smith was finding beginner wrestlers and giving them "chance" in life. Smith just like any other pro-wrestling promoter owned all his trophies. And if wrestler would want to keep it, he had to buy it. Again it was BIG TIME music halls russlin.
this one is actually very interesting...harry gotz (peter's borther) and willie wood of argentine (he in fact traveled that far)...it is famous willie wood one of the most popular british pro wrestlers of the first half of the XXc. this wood shouldnt be confused with another man of the same name a wrestler who was runner-up at 1908 olympics at light weight...there were two willie woods...one amateur and another renowned pro-wrestler who won light weight championship of the world in Paris in 1913. pro-wrestler willie wood wrote a book on wrestling...and his Paris' triumph is mentioned there as well as his glorious trip to Argentine...nothing about Olympic Silver Medal though.