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John Pesek (1894 - 1978)


Real Name - John Pesek
Lifespan - 2/21/1894 - 3/12/1978
6' 185 lbs. - Ravenna, NB

Athletic Background - Wrestling

Teacher(s) - n/a

Aliases - none

Peak Years - 1920s

Place in History - The early twentieth century saw a number of significant stars with varying levels of credibility.  Some have been strongly put over by peers, admirers and disciples, but their authenticity is questioned by others.  John Pesek is not such a person.  The "Nebraska Tiger Man" is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous and vicious hookers of the era.  Like many, he earned his stripes on the carnival circuit and trained with the man who would eventually hand him his first recorded loss - Joe Stecher.  Pesek, like Stecher, was a strapping farm boy, who once armed with the finer points of hooking and hurting opponents became near unstoppable.  "Strangler" Lewis was fortunate to have Pesek serve as his "policeman" and several challengers, including silver medalist Nat Pendleton, were unfortunate enough to cross paths with him.  After tiring of this role, he returned to the Midwest and held several versions of the World title and supposedly only lost once between 1928 and 1954.  Aside from his pro-wrestling accomplishments, Pesek became a renowned breeder of racing greyhounds and was an early inductee into that sport's hall of fame.  Before retiring, Pesek was able to team with his son, Jack, as well.  John Pesek is a man with a tremendous reputation as a fierce hooker who commanded respect in an era where legitimacy still mattered.