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Wrestling / George Hackenschmidt

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Georg Karl Julius Hackenschmidt (1 August [20 July in the Old Style calendar] 1877 19 February 1968)) was a Professional Wrestler, strongman, author and philosopher from Dorpat, Estonia, and was the first to be recognized as the World Heavyweight Champion. This is the real and ORIGINAL version of the title, not to be confused with the Big Gold Belt formerly used in WWE. He started his career in 1896 and competed in tournaments all over Europe, all of which he won. He became the first recognized World Heavyweight Champion in 1905 and had his most famous rivalry with Frank Gotch. He retired in 1911 and passed away in 1968. He was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1996.

Tropes associated with Georg Hackenschmidt:

  • Arch-Enemy: Frank Gotch. He didn't think too highly of him outside the ring either and even years into retirement.
  • Bear Hug: His Finishing Move, which he is credited with innovating.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Decades before there was a name for it.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Retired rather than face surgery for a knee injury.
  • Genius Bruiser: He was a very well-educated man who could speak seven languages.
  • King of Beasts: He was known as "The Russian Lion". It's not a case of invokedFake Nationality, since his homeland was only a province within Tsarist Russia when he was born and was only independent for about 19 years of his life (long after he retired).
  • Long Title: Among the books he wrote while in retirement were Consciousness and Character: True Definitions of Entity, Individuality, Personality, Nonentity and The Three Memories and Forgetfulness: What They Are and What Their True Significance is in Human Life.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: By today's standards at least, since he was 5'9. However, there was really nothing to compare him to at the time. In fact, while he generally won his matches quickly, he moved more slowly than his opponents due to his build, which worked fine in the Greco-Roman style he used but not so well in the catch-as-catch-can style. In fact, if he was around today, he might even qualify for Mighty Glacier by current standards.
  • Sesquipedalian Smith: Inverted from the perspective of English speakers.
  • Spear Counterpart: A World Champion for women wrestlers, Josie "Minerva" Wahlford, was decided on about twenty years before Hackenschmidt became recognized among men. However, Minerva wasn't recognized outside of the United States, despite traveling to other countries like Mexico. The first world recognized women's champion was Cora Livingston, whose reign began five years after Hackenschmidt's.
  • Ur-Example: Of a World Heavyweight Champion and practically of a pro wrestler in general.
  • Worthy Opponent: Later in life, he spoke highly of Tom Jenkins.