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PROMOTER PROFILES

Promotor: Toots Mondt
Real Name: Joseph Raymond Mondt
Birthday: 1886 - 1976
Hometown: Iowa
Marital Status:
Height & Weight:
Trained by: Farmer Burns
Debut: 1902

  • Toots Mondt grew up on a farm in Iowa and was shifted to Greeley, Colorado when his father went broke..
  • Toots Mondt began learning the art of wrestling through correspondence courses from Farmer Burns..
  • Toots Mondt combined the teachings with his strong body shape from working on the family farm..
  • Toots Mondt make his wrestling debut in Greeley on 1902 at the age of 16 in a carnival-wrestling match..
  • Toots Mondt wrestled in caravel shows for many years..
  • Toots Mondt also tried his hand as an acrobatics. This was an unsuccessful move and Toots returned to wrestling matches..
  • Toots Mondt received his big break when he was discovered by wrestling pioneer great Farmer Burns during one of his scouting trips..
  • ~~~Working with Farmer Burns was the wrestling equivalent of a PhD--Burns was also responsible for Toots Mondts' nickname..
  • Toots Mondt was the youngest wrestler in Farmer Burns' camp..
  • ~~~The nickname ‘Toots’, had to do with either his small feet or his relative youth and baby face..
  • ~~~Many believe if not for the guidance and tutelage of Farmer Burns, Toots would not have succeeded onto the next level..
  • ~~~Wrestling was about to take a huge turn, which would change the face of the industry..
  • ~~~Up until 1919, wrestling matches were slow-moving exhibitions mainly confined to the mat and lasting on an average 60 minutes..
  • ~~~Crowds no longer found this to be suitable entertainment and accordingly, they began to dwindle..
  • ~~~The time was right for a new approach. This approach came from the mind of none other than Toots Mondt..
  • ~~~Wrestling matches slowly and eventually became pre-determined, but Toots was far from done with revolutionizing wrestling..
  • 1919: Toots Mondt joins the camp of Ed "the Strangler" Lewis with the recommendation of Farmer Burns..
  • ~~~Toots served in many capacities as a sparring partner, trainer, sometimes as an opponent and as a valuable police officer..
  • ~~~Few wrestlers were as tough as Toots Mondt and he made sure that every Lewis opponent knew the ‘rules’ of the nights match..
  • ~~~As a sparring partner and trainer, Toots Mondt helped Ed Lewis develop new holds and counters..
  • 1915: The working relationship and unity amongst wrestling promoters was wearing thin and crowd attendance was still low..
  • ~~~Toots conceived a groundbreaking solution, which would shape and determine the face of pro wrestling, as we knew it..
  • ~~~Toots first solution was to change the style of the entire wrestling concept..
  • ~~~Toots combined features of a boxing ring, Greco-Roman, freestyle wrestling & the old-time lumber-camp style of fighting..
  • ~~~Toots had called it ’Slam Bang Western Style Wrestling’..
  • ~~~Toots Mondt's second plan was to promote this new style of wrestling on a much higher scale..
  • ~~~Toots convinced Ed Lewis and his manager Billy Sandow of forming their own promotion..
  • ~~~~~As opposed to having different promoters controlling them..
  • ~~~~~The team of Mondt, Lewis and Sandow used their connections to convince many other wrestlers to sign up..
  • ~~~~~This new innovating approach of wrestling and immediately signed literally hundreds of them to contracts..
  • ~~~~~Under the control of Mondt, Lewis and Sandow, they served as bookers and agents..
  • ~~~~~Wrestlers were paid well and on time and the new style of Slam-Bang Wrestling was completely over with the fans..
  • ~~~~~Toots invented time limits as wrestling matches would aften go 3 or 4 hours!
  • ~~~~~They drew huge gates and provided huge payouts for their employees..
  • ~~~Within six months, the "Gold Dust Trio" controlled the course of professional wrestling in North America..
  • ~~~Their product was moved out to venues such as burlesque theatres and back alley halls to the major sports venue in each city..
  • ~~~All new talent was tested in Billy Sandow's private ring while routines and finishes were carefully determined by Toots..
  • ~~~The art of ‘working’ was born and the Gold Dust Trio had made their mark in the history of wrestling..
  • ~~~The Gold Dust Trio later dissolved from a power struggle between Toots Mondt & Billy Sandow's brother Max..
  • ~~~Toots gave Billy Sandow the ultimatum to pick between him or Max--To Monts surprise, Sandow chose his brother..
  • Toots Mondt then formed a partnership with Philadelphia promoter, Ray Fabiani..
  • ~~~The new combination wasted little time and found their new title holder - Dick Shickat, a former circus strongman from Germany..
  • ~~~Once Dick Shickat's title reign had run it’s coarse, Toots Mondt & Ray Fabiani made Jim Londos their new champion..
  • ~~~The pair of Toots & Fabiani struck success as Jim Londos went on to become one of the most well known wrestlers in history..
  • ~~~Toots Mondt & Ray Fabiani continued to hold on the northeastern area..
  • ~~~~They soon expanded onto New York City, Hartford, Baltimore and Washington DC..
  • ~~~~New York City was a hard location to promote in..
  • ~~~~Toots/Fabiani were unsuccessful because rival New York promoter Jack Curley prevented them from promoting in NYC for years..
  • 1936: In Los Angeles, Lou Thesz & Toots Mondt had a bad history..
  • ~~~Lou Thesz never forgot the way he was treated badly by Toots through short pay and lousy bookings when Thesz first debuted..
  • 1937: As Jack Curley was on his deathbed, Toots realized that New York wrestling would fall apart..
  • ~~~So Toots & Fabiani immediately formed a vigorous alliance with fellow booking heavyweight Rudy Dusek..
  • ~~~This formation to take over New York was kept a secret..
  • ~~~At Curleys funeral, one of his sons approached Toots about taking over New York, and wasn’t aware that Toots had a plan..
  • ~~~Toots also gained help from other bookers such as Jack Pfeffer, the Johnston Brothers and Jess McMahon..
  • ~~~Jess McMahon worked for boxing promoter Tex Rickard, who despised wrestling, preventing bookings in MSG (1939-1948)..
  • 1948: Toots found former wrestler turned millionaire Bernarr McFadden, who gave Toots the financial backings..
  • ~~~Bernarr McFadden helped Toots promote in NYC and gain access into Madison Square Garden!
  • 1948: In the main event of the first card held in MSG for 9 years, Gorgeous George defeated Ernie Dusek..
  • ~~~In that same year Toots Mondt was in search for another champion..
  • ~~~After several failed attempts, Toots Mondt hit the jackpot with Atonino Rocca..
  • ~~~Antonino Rocca brought in more Latino fans to the matches which financially favored Toots!
  • ~~~Toots Mondt wasn’t able to manage to keep Rocca happy and Vince McMahon Sr. was brought into the scene by Ray Fabiani..
  • ~~~Toots & Vince McMahon Sr. would eventually put their differences aside to form Capital Sports, a territorial member of the NWA..
  • ~~~Toots & Vince McMahon Sr. slowly began work to break away from the NWA in order to form their own promotion..
  • ~~~Within a year of their partnership, Toots & Vince McMahon Sr. controlled 70% of the NWA champions booking..
  • ~~~Toots taught Vince Sr. and nearly everyone in the company how to book and book good wrestling..
  • 1963: Toots Mondt & Vince McMahon Sr. break away from the NWA, renaming Capital Sports Corporation to the WWWF..
  • Toots Mondt parted ways with NWA President Sam Mushnick on good terms so that the WWWF would not be seen as an enemy..
  • ~~~Toots & Vince were also in the middle of fighting off an invasion by Crockette Promotions from promoting in the WWWF territories
  • Toots controlled his wrestling desk from the New York State AC from the mid 1950s to the mid 60s, which amazed a lot of people..
  • When Buddy Rogers was crowned NWA: World Heavyweight champion, Toots controlled the bookings for Rogers’ title defenses..
  • ~~~Toots would rarely allow Buddy Rogers to defend the title outside the Northeastern region..
  • ~~~This would be one of the factors which led to the World Wide Wrestling Federation splitting from the NWA..
  • April 1963: Buddy Rogers is awarded the WWWF World Heavyweight title..
  • ~~~A fictitious ‘phantom’ tournament explains that Buddy Rogers won the title in in Rio de Janeiro..
  • ~~~This fictional storyline was created by Toots Mondt and this ‘explanation’ was also used in the birth of the WWF IC title..
  • ~~~The "Rio De Janiero" storyline was a rib towards Bobo Brazil-- Toots used his witt in developing many of his ideas..
  • 1965: Toots Mondt stepped down as Promotor at Madison Square Garden and Vince McMahon Sr took over..
  • When Bruno Sammartino was brought into the WWWF, Vince Sr. predicted that he would be a midcarder for 2 or 3 years at best..
  • ~~~Toots called Sammartino the future of the company because people instantly liked and responded to him..
  • ~~~Toots convinced Vince McMahon Sr. to build the company around Bruno Sammartino!
  • Toots sold his shares (he needed money) to Willie and Vince Sr in the mid to late 60's but he remained on the payroll..
  • One of Toots Mondt few and rare weaknesses was TV, which he never understood and it scared him..
  • Toots Mondt and Vince McMahon Sr. had a love hate relationship that lasted for at least a decade..
  • Toots Mondt did a lot more than revolutionize the face of wrestling, The most important thing, is that Toots Mondt had a vision
  • 1976: Toots Mondt died after a long battle with illness..