Evan Lewis (wrestler)
May 24, 1860|
Ridgeway, Wisconsin, United States
|Died||November 3, 1919
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Evan Lewis|
|Billed height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Billed weight||180 lb (82 kg; 13 st)|
Evan Lewis (May 24, 1860 – November 3, 1919) was an American professional wrestler who was the first recognized American Heavyweight Champion and is credited with perfecting the "stranglehold" or "neck yoke" more commonly known today as the rear naked choke. He is sometimes confused with Ed "Strangler" Lewis, a later 6-time World Heavyweight Champion also credited with first using the hold, whose moniker is attributed to Lewis's after a reporter noted a resemblance between the two.
Born in Ridgeway, Wisconsin, Lewis began wrestling professionally winning a 64-man tournament in Montana in May 1882. He returned to Wisconsin and defeated Ben Knight for the Wisconsin Heavyweight Championship in a Mineral Point match on March 20, 1883. Moving to Madison in 1885, he later defeated several international wrestlers including Andre Christol, Tom Cannon and Matsada Sorakichi.
Defeating Joe Acton in Chicago, Illinois, for the American Catch-as-Catch-can Championship on March 14, 1887, he later unified the World Catch-as-Catch-can and American Greco-Roman Championship in a best-of-five match against Ernest Roeber in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 3, 1893 (he also had defeated him for the "Collar and Elbow Championship" on May 18, 1890). After defending the title for over two years, Lewis lost the American Heavyweight Championship to Martin Burns, whom he had previously defeated in his debut match in 1886.
- Finishing moves
- Strangle Hold (Rear naked choke)
- Evan Lewis Ends (Fireman's carry fallen backwards into a spine-first slam)
Championships and accomplishments
- Catch wrestling
- World Catch-as-Catch-can Championship (1 time)
- American Catch-as-Catch-can Championship (1 time)
- Greco-Roman wrestling
- Professional wrestling
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum
- "Gary Will: Deceased Pro Wrestlers - A Tribute to Mat Stars of the Past". Gary Will's Pro Wrestling History. 2003. Archived from the original on May 23, 2015. Retrieved 2007-06-18.
- Pearson, Ray C. (1913-11-30). "Neck Yoke Strangler Lewis In The Bid For Honors". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2007-06-18.
- "The Line of Ascension". The New WAWLI (Wrestling As We Liked It) Papers No. 15-2001. 2001. Retrieved 2007-06-18.
- "World Catch-as-Catch-Can Heavyweight Title (19th Century)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 2007-06-18.
- "American Greco-Roman Heavyweight Title (19th Century)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Archived from the original on 2007-08-06. Retrieved 2007-06-18.
- "American Heavyweight Title (19th Century)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 2007-06-18.