||Joseph Raymond Mondt
||1886 - 1976
|Height & Weight:
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..