…Thanks to Steve Yohe…
O’Mahoney wasn’t any safer back on the East coast when Curley and Bowser booked him into Madison Square Garden against the old malcontent Dick Shikat on March 2, 1936. You would think someone would have learned something after the first Shikat/Mahoney match, but they hadn’t. Shikat shot on Danno and made the (almost) undisputed world champion submit in 18:57. The next edition of every major newspaper in the nation carried the story of Shikat’s shoot on the phony champion and the breaking up of the Wrestling Trust. The Boston Globe told the story, but its version had Danno and Jack McGrath claiming they had been robed of the title. Later editions that same day had Bowser saying that O’Mahoney was sick and had simply collapsed in the ring. On March 4, Bowser announced that the AWA still recognized Danno O’Mahoney as world champion. His first justification was that the match was non-title because the state of New York ruled all matches as exhibitions. That didn’t sound right, so the story they settled on was that the AWA title could only change in a two out of three fall match (under Boston rules). So Danno could still be called a world champion, but he was no longer a national champion. He became one of the regional champions that were multiplying by the day. The Boston newspapers took note of the hypocrisy involved and when out of their way to explain who the real champion was, and it wasn’t Danno.
t seems the idea of hooking Danno was Dick Shikat‘s alone and done out of hate for Toots Mondt, Ed Lewis and Jack Curley. Rudy Miller, Florida agent for the trust, Al Haft of Columbus, Adam Weismuller of Detroit, and former mat czar Billy Sandow were told of Shikat’s intentions beforehand. Jack Pfeffer wasn’t part of the deal, but following the match, added Shikat in his bookings. But the dirty deed was mainly Shikat’s idea.
After the match, Shikat announced that the title was up for sale and just about everyone bid on it. Lou Daro and Toots Mondt offered Shikat $50,000 for two matches versus Vincent Lopez in Los Angeles and Bowser agreed to pay $25,000 for Dick to return the title to Danno or lose to Yvon Robert. The surprise offer was from Jim Londos, who was returning to action and wanted his title back.
Shikat ended up making a deal with the Sandow/Haft group. Then what was left of the Trust started playing tricks with Shikat. Bowser owned a management contract with Shikat’s name on it and he began booking Shikat into arenas without his permission. When the star didn’t show for the matches, he knew nothing about, Shikat was suspended in most states and the whole mess ended up in a Columbus courtroom with every major promoter being call in to testify.