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Danno O'Mahoney (1912-1950)

Real NameDaniel A. O'Mahony

Lifespan - 9/29/1912 - 11/4/1950

217 lbs. - Dereenlomane, Ireland

Athletic BackgroundWrestling, Boxing, Track & Field

Teacher(s) - Jack McGrath

AliasesDanno O'Mahony

Peak Years1935-1938

Place in HistoryPaul Bowser had been trying for years to create an Irish wrestling star to compete with ethnic superstars like Jim Londos. Boston, Bowser's home city, was full of Irish who would come out in droves to see a real superstar of their own. Danno O'Mahony was an athletic private in the army in his homeland when a scout of Bowser's found him. O'Mahoney's great strength and natural ability were transformed while training in London and later in Boston under some seasoned veterans. Bowser promoted him prior to his arrival and with the right opponents - he was an overnight sensation. Danno played a whitemeat babyface to the hilt, selling a beating at the hands of rough opponents, then making a spirited comeback before hitting his trademark "Irish Whip." The move, best described as a version of the modern snap mare, was dynamic at the time and way over. He received a monster push, going over Jim Browning, Dick Shikat, Ray Steele, Ed "Strangler" Lewis and the Duseks on the East Coast and Joe Malcewicz, Vincent Lopez and Man Mountain Dean on the West Coast before returning to Boston as a real threat. Bowser took him to the next level with wins over Gus Sonnenburg and Henri DeGlane leading up to a bout with Jim Londos. In front of 25,000, Danno O'Mahoney was put over by Londos for a version of the World Championship and his legend was truly made. He defended his title all over the US with great success before meeting the other top World Champion, Ed Don George. The match drew a huge crowd, but a debacle tainted O'Mahoney's victory. He continued his winning ways though and had rematches with everyone he'd beaten on the way up and they all drew big houses. Visa problems forced Bowser to create a potential replacement in Yvon Robert, an upstart French-Canadian, who got the better of O'Mahoney in an unsanctioned scuffle. The rivalry was building with O'Mahoney becoming the bad guy when Dick Shikat double-crossed him in a match and took the title. It hurt not only O'Mahoney's credibility, but the sport's, because he was the biggest star at that time. Robert eventually beat Danno and essentially ended the Irishman's Superman run. Over the next few years, O'Mahoney continued to work on top and was definitely a draw, but he was putting over rising stars now like Lou Thesz, Bill Longson and "Crusher" Casey. The latter, a fellow Irishmen, became one of O'Mahoney's final rivals as the two battled in Madison Square Garden (the last card there for what would be over a decade) and around Ireland. O'Mahoney, wrestled into the late 1940s and he mostly put people over in main events. He had had some successful restaurants and served in the Army before a car accident took his life. Danno O'Mahoney's meteoric rise is one that is common in recent pro-wrestling, but at that time it was unique. He was a performer and had the right ethnic background and promotion to become one of the biggest draws of the first half of the century. He drew numerous crowds between 15,000 and a reported 45,000 in Boston. Although he spent the bulk of his career as a has-been who jobbed to stars, for a time Danno O'Mahoney was the hottest pro-wrestler in the world.