ALWAYS READY WITH A DIVE
Congratulations on the wrestling spread (SI, April 11). As one who knows this entertainment like the back of his hand I learned long ago the futility of disillusioning the wrestling fan. If you tell him the truth he either thinks you are not quite bright, or are just plain spiteful.
I still enjoy the tin ears, if for no other reason than to see what they'll think up next. They are marvelous athletes. They train very casually, if at all, work hard and often and are always ready to dive out on the concrete on their heads. Those cauliflowers are real. I like to hear a fan say, "Yes, I know most of them are fixed but I saw one Monday night I KNOW was on the level." He saw no such thing, of course. What he saw was two good performers, the kind who could take a sack of meal into the ring and put on a convincing show.
Some while ago a match in Dallas was really something. The gimmick was a two-by-four left "thoughtlessly" by a carpenter on the apron of the ring. At the height of the festivities the villain was to hop through the ropes, pick up the two-by-four, and break it over his rival's head. The weapon was to have been almost sawed in two. Everything went according to schedule except that the board didn't break as expected. "Guess he didn't saw it quite far enough," said the villain, striking a harder blow. Well, he had the poor guy's scalp open, with blood streaming down his face, before he discovered the carpenter had forgotten to saw it at all.
To wrestling's credit: I never heard of a dime being bet on it.
Keep going with SI.
G. V. BURKE
THEY'RE ON THE UP-AND-UP
I very much enjoyed your pictures about professional wrestling, but it seems to me that the words made it sound like the matches are faked. This is an impression which many of my friends who have seen it only on TV also have. I attend all the matches held here in Harrisburg and for that reason can say that most of them are on the up-and-up. You can't tell me that such holds as the full nelson, drop kick and fore arm blows don't hurt. Of course some of those wrestlers deserve to be hurt since so many of the referees are blind just as you said; maybe you could kick up an investigation on some parts of wrestling just like you did in boxing.
I AM SATISFIED
After reading front to back the April 11 COLOR SPECTACLE on professional wrestling, I will finally keep my big mouth shut...for at long last I am satisfied and SI can now go on its merry sport-go-round.
Truly I enjoyed the April 11 issue more than words can convey: to sum the whole thing up in a very few well-contented words—I'm like the old dog who after a good hunt and a well-filled stomach, just wants to go lay down somewhere and snooze.
Best wishes always and anxiously awaiting future issues.
ERNEST E. VONKLEECK
...I must admit that those lovable villains were far more entertaining in SI than they could ever hope to be on TV.
Ridley Park, Pa.