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Frank Sexton (1914 - 1990)

  

Real Name - Frank Sexton
Lifespan?/?/1914 - ?/?/1990
6'2" 235 lbs. - Sedalia, OH

Athletic BackgroundWrestling, Football, Baseball (Ohio State)  

AliasesMasked Marvel #2, The Black Panther

Peak Years1940s


Place in HistoryBy the 1930s, pro-wrestling in the United States was taking shape with regional outfits and talent became increasingly dependent on promoters.  Frank Sexton was a fine athlete from the Midwest who broke in with Al Haft in his home state.  After only a couple years in the business, it was clear that the man known as “Powerhouse” had top star potential.  He was a legitimate wrestler and he had the look.  After touring around the Midwest throughout the 1930s, Sexton made the move to California, where he donned the mask and finally was pushed more than a challenger.  Over the next few years, Sexton established himself as a top star with numerous title runs in an era where the country was flooded with regional “world” champions.  His battles with men like Sandor Szabo, Bill Longson and Bobby Managoff established as one of the premier heavyweights of the time.  Paul Bowser, arguably the top wrestling promoter in the world, brought Sexton to the East Coast.  Amazingly, Sexton avoided being drafted and thus enjoyed success when many of his peers were working limited schedules at best while serving in bases across the US.  In addition to again meeting and defeating many of his rivals from the West Coast, Bowser put him over Yvon Robert, Whipper Watson and Crusher Casey before setting him on a five-year AWA championship run.  He toured throughout the US and Canada and went over most of the name talent of the post-war era from legit-types like Earl McCready and Dean Detton to attractions like Gorgeous George, Primo Carnera and the French Angel.  In 1950, Sexton embarked on an unprecedented European tour where he met men like Bert Assirati and Henri DeGlane.  Sexton’s reign was ended soon after returning and he was soon off again touring Europe and beyond with great success as the AWA Championship that he’d built up was quickly tarnished in the promotion’s final days.  Sexton retired in 1956 and save a comeback match a decade later, he largely disappeared.  Frank Sexton, although one of the biggest stars of his day, is someone simply lost in history.  Many of his contemporaries enjoy much more recognition whether it is Bill Longson (a massive draw), Lou Thesz (the emerging top champion) or Gorgeous George (the first TV wrestling star).  However, he and Orville Brown, Sandor Szabo and Dean Detton are those wrestlers from that pre-television era who were key top guys across the US.

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