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Last updated on 2017/02/09


Georg Hackenschmidt
Frank Gotch
Chicago, Illinois

Georg Hackenschmidt 1905/05/04 New York, NY, USA
Has won the World Greco-Roman Championship tournaments in Vienna, AUT and Paris, FRA in 1901; wins European Greco-Roman Title from Tom Cannon on 02/09/04 in Liverpool, GBR; wins recognition as World champion on 04/01/30 in London, GBR, defeating Ahmed Madrali; defeats Tom Jenkins, recognized as world and American champion in North America, on 05/05/04 in New York, NY to be recognized in North America.
Frank Gotch 1908/04/03 Chicago, IL, USA
Retires as champion in 12/08; in 14, Gotch states that Americus and Fred Beell should wrestle for the vacant world title.
Americus (Gus Schoenlein) 1914/03/13 Kansas City, MO, USA
Defeats Fred Beell.
Stanislaus Zbyszko 1914/05/07 Kansas City, MO, USA
Leaves the U.S. in 14/10< and does not return until 20; again wins the title claim, defeating Ed "Strangler" Lewis on 21/05/06 in New York, NY (see below).
Charlie Cutler 1915/01/08
Defeats Dr. B.F. Roller, a world title claimant since 13/07/04; starts claiming Frank Gotch's title after 15/02/21; recognized at least in Omaha, Des Moines, Chicago, and New York.
Joe Stecher 1915/07/05 Omaha, NE, USA
Defeats Cutler with Frank Gotch in attendance.
John Olin # 1916/12/11 Springfield, MA, USA
Given the decision by the referee when Stecher leaves the ring because Olin continues to stall throughout the match.
Earl Caddock 1917/04/09 Omaha, NE, USA
Defeats Stecher.
Ed "Strangler" Lewis # 1917/05/02 Chicago, IL, USA
Defeats John Olin; billed as a title match with Frank Gotch as a special referee.
Wladek Zbyszko # 1917/06/05 San Francisco, CA, USA
Not billed as title match; Zbyszko claims title after winning the only fall in a 2/3-fall match.
Ed "Strangler" Lewis [2] # 1917/07/04 Boston, MA, USA
Wladek Zbyszko pins Lewis in an international tournament final on 17/12/22 in New York, NY and claims title; Lewis also continues to claim the title.
Caddock also defeats Wladek Zbyszko on 18/02/08 in Des Moines, IA; Zbyszko continues to claim title but loses to Ed "Strangler" Lewis on 18/05/19 in New York, NY; Caddock defeats Lewis on 18/06/21 in Des Moines, IA.
Wladek Zbyszko [2] # 1919/03/21 New York, NY, USA
Defeats Lewis for the John Olin line of the title.
Joe Stecher # 1919/05/09 Louisville, KY, USA
Later defeats Caddock to end the dispute (see below).
Joe Malcewicz claims that he defeats Caddock around 19/12 in Utica, NY, but the match actually takes place on 21/01/14 (after Caddock loses the title); Marin Plestina also claims the world title at least between 18/07 and 20/03.
Joe Stecher [2] 1920/01/30 New York, NY, USA
Defeats Caddock and ends the dispute.
Ed "Strangler" Lewis [3] 1920/12/13 New York, NY, USA
Stanislaus Zbyszko [2] 1921/05/06 New York, NY, USA
Ed "Strangler" Lewis [4] 1922/03/03 Wichita, KS, USA
Wayne Munn 1925/01/08 Kansas City, MO, USA
Lewis continues to be recognized as champion by promoter Ed White.
Stanislaus Zbyszko [3] 1925/04/15 Philadelphia, PA, USA
Munn continues to be recognized as champion in Michigan and Illinois.
Joe Stecher [3] 1925/05/30 St. Louis, MO, USA
Ed "Strangler" Lewis [5] 1928/02/20 St. Louis, MO, USA
Has defeated Wayne Munn on 25/05/30 in Michigan City, IN to win the Michigan/Illinois version of the title; defeats Stecher on 28/02/20 to end the dispute.
Gus Sonnenberg 1929/01/04 Boston, MA, USA
Recognition withdrawn by more than 20 athletic commissions including New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois in 29/07 for failing to meet "real" contenders; declines the invitation from the wrestling department of National Boxins Association to enter a tournament to crown the heavyweight champion in 30.
Ed Don George 1930/12/10 Los Angeles, CA, USA
Defeats Sonneberg.
Ed "Strangler" Lewis [6] 1931/04/13 Los Angeles, CA, USA
Loses American Wrestling Association World title to Henri Deglane by DQ on 31/05/04 in Montreal, QC but is still recognized as champion in California; recognized in Illinois by defeating Wladek Zbyszko on 31/11/02 in Chicago, IL; wins New York State Athelitc Commission World title defeating Jack Sherry on 32/10/10.


Danno O'Mahoney 1935/06/27 Boston, MA, USA
Defeats Jim Londos to win NYSAC and National Wrestling Association World titles; wins AWA World Title, defeating Ed Don George on 35/07/30 in Boston, MA to become the unified champion.
Dick Shikat 1936/03/02 New York, NY, USA
Boston AWA continues to recognize O'Mahoney as champion.
Ali Baba 1936/04/25 Detroit, MI, USA
Dave Levin 1936/06/12 Newark, NJ, USA
Wins by disqualification; recognized by The Ring magazine as the true world champion; Baba continues to claim the title but loses to Everette Marshall on 36/06/26 in Columbus, OH; Levin also wins Los Angeles version, defeating Vincent Lopez on 36/08/19 in Los Angeles, CA.
Dean Detton 1936/09/28 Philadelphia, PA, USA
Recognized by The Ring magazine as the true world champion; has also defeated Ed Strangler Lewis in a title tournament final earlier in the year in Philadelphia, PA.
Bronko Nagurski 1937/06/29 Minneapolis, MN, USA
Recognized by The Ring magazine as the true world champion.
Jim Londos 1938/11/18 Philadelphia, PA, USA
Recognized by The Ring magazine as the true world champion; retires in 46.


Lou Thesz
Unifies following titles to become the unified world champion:
Leo Nomellini # 1955/03/22 San Francisco, CA, USA
Defeats Thesz by countout in the second round and disqualification in the third round; California Athletic Commission recognizes the title change by disqualification, but both Thesz and Nomellini continue to claim the title.
Lou Thesz # 1955/07/15? St. Louis, MO, USA
Defeats Nomelini in rematch.
Whipper Billy Watson 1956/03/15 Toronto, ON, CAN
Wins by count out.
Lou Thesz [2] 1956/11/09 St. Louis, MO, USA
Loses to Edouard Carpentier by disqualification on 57/06/14 in Chicago, IL when Thesz cannot continue due to a back injury; Thesz defeats Carpentier in rematch by disqualification on 57/07/24 in Montreal, QC; however, NWA continues to recognize Carpentier as the champion; Carpentier withdraws his claim to the title when his manager and Montreal promoter Eddie Quinn leaves NWA; NWA voids all recognition of Carpentier as champion and returns the title to Thesz in 57; Carpentier continues to be recognized as World champion in Omaha and Boston and later by Worldwide Wrestling Associates to legitimate the lineages of their world titles.



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