Monday, February 19, 2018

Whipper, Tunney, & McCready 1941

A notable date in MLW history featuring Whipper Watson vs Earl McCready for the undisputed Canadian Heavyweight Championship on June 12 1941

This was the beginnings of the British Empire Title which became the main title here for close to 30 years. McCready had come in to Toronto as holder of both the B-E Title and the Canadian Championship and had faced Whipper the week before this bout.




In the mid 40's McCready owned a farm on 2nd Concession in Whitchurch Township (Vandorf) near what is now Aurora. He would be gone for 6 months at a time traveling around the world and was known for a time as 'The Whitchurch Farmer. In a 1944 Stoufville paper it proclaimed Frank Tunney as the second most well known local name in pro wrestling - next to McCready.

In June of 1941 rookie promoter Tunney introduced the new title belt 'emblematic of the dominion wrestling championship' in order to give more credence to Canadian wrestlers. McCready was still billed across the nation as champ and Tunney deemed local star Whipper Watson to be a claimant so the two were set to meet at MLG.

The initial meeting was inconclusive but in the re-match McCready pinned Watson in the 5th round of another 8 round bout to become undisputed champ. Both were said to be competing for the chance at the World title so it helped to establish Watson as a worthy challenger. The new British Empire title would then become the centrepiece for the next decade and provide a platform for Whipper to eventually attain the World Title.

McCready would lost the title to Nanjo Singh who then lost it to Whipper for his first run in Apr 1942, McCready would regain it from new champ John Katan late in the year and by 1943 Whipper would regain it and hold it on and off (mainly on) before it was retired in 1967.

McCready and Watson would also find time to team up as a formidable tag in 1942 in a bout billed as the 'first time four men in the ring at the same time.' Our era's Texas tornado bout. The two would beat John Katan and Al 'Bunny' Dunlop in a wild bout.

McCready would continue to appear often through the 1940's while still maintaining a busy schedule throughout the wrestling world and would wrestle his last area appearances here in 1954 before finishing his career out West.

*note in the photo above with all three, McCready who was billed at 5'11 looks to tower over Whipper (billed 5'10) (and Tunney -5'9?) , there is an entry on the web that claims Watson was 5'7 but photos show him to be about 5'10. Another photo shows them to be about an inch apart, must be the angle of this one.