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Moose Cholak (1930-2002)

Real NameEdward Cholak

Lifespan - 3/17/1930 - 10/31/2002

6’4” 320 lbs. - Chicago, IL

Athletic BackgroundWrestling, Boxing [US Navy Champion]; Football [University of Wisconsin]

Teacher(s) - Don Eagle

AliasesEddie Cholak, Ed Cholak, Bull Moose Cholak, Yukon Moose Cholak, Golden Moose, Golden Terror

Peak Years`55-`63 

Place in HistoryBefore pro-wrestlers came from “Parts Unknown,” they sometimes came from places that did not really exist.  Whether it was Moondog Mayne hailing from Crabtree, Arkansas, Dutch Mantell coming from Oil Trough, Texas or even Sabu being introduced as being from Bombay, Michigan, promoters could use this trick to add a different dimension to a character.  Edward Cholak, despite living most of his life in Chicago and having a distinct Midwestern accent, was often billed as being from the fictitious Moose Head, Maine.  Perhaps his trademark moose head Alexander had been a resident there, but Moose Cholak, grew up in a Croatian neighborhood in Chicago where he found success in both amateur wrestling and football.  He pursued the latter at the University of Wisconsin.  While he served during the Korean War as an engineer in the Navy, Cholak continued to pursue wrestling as well as boxing and found further success.  The legendary Don Eagle encouraged him to pro-wrestling, which he did with further success in a career that lasted more than thirty years.  It should also be noted that during his career, Cholak ran a family tavern in Chicago for many years and later became an engineer for the city for twenty years.  Edward Cholak was a massive man standing 6-foot-4 and weighing around 270 pounds in his early years with an impressive physique.  While genetics gave him size, it can also account for the substantial girth that most fans would recall.  The Moose Cholak character developed in the 1950s as pro-wrestling was enjoying a surge in popularity along with the growth of the television market.  The Chicagoan was featured on the Dumont Network in his memorable moose head costume, coming to the ring as fans bellowed “Moose!” at him and he let out his trademark moose call at the start of the match.  It was a simple character, but it got over.  Coming to the ring with the massive moose head and cape was a feat itself and it always looked impressive as he handed it off to a group of attendants who struggled under its weight.  Due to the exposure on Dumont and his unforgettable introduction, Moose Cholak was able to wrestle for many more years.  He rarely ventured out of the Midwest unless he was doing a Japanese tour, but achieved an odd fan favorite status not unlike Gorilla Monsoon in the Northeast in later years.  For all of his athletic credentials, Cholak was notoriously clumsy in the ring.  He had a plain style with a lot of stiff forearms and boots.  His peers liked him outside the ring, but inside the ring, few enjoyed tangling with him.  Like his fabricated hometown, Moose Cholak only held one singles title of note and it was the IWA World Heavyweight title established by Fred Kohler when he broke away from the NWA.  It was stated that Cholak had defeated Rikidozan in Japan and Freddie Blassie in New Mexico, neither being true, but it was a plausible origin story for this short-lived championship.  Cholak might have achieved more as a touring attraction, but he held down a day job and stayed close to home.  Despite all that, he is one of the many memorable characters of the Golden Age.