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Burns won what would forever after be billed as the “world” championship from Lewis in 1895.

By then, “catch”, as opposed to the previously popular disciplines of collar-and-elbow and Greco-Roman, had ascended to primacy in the minds of American pro wrestling enthusiasts.

Bibby was born in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, United Kingdom in 1848. He performed for Queen Victoria in Prince Albert’s Court in London.

He married Mary Ann Connelly (age 16) in 1867 and had 13 children, only three of whom survived. In 1879 he immigrated to America and later sent for his family.

From then till he reached his twentieth birthday he had wrestled fifty-eight matches without sustaining a single defeat. 13, 1882, he defeated Ike Smith in a match for the championship, Smith having previously wrested the title from Joe Acton, the “Little Demon.” Ike, not being satisfied, challenged Connors to another meeting, which occurred two months later. He returned to England in July of the same year, where he remained till Sept. Arriving in New York nine days later, he issued a Challenge to Joe Acton or any other man in America.

He toured the United States that same year facing several prominent wrestlers including Edwin Bibby, Arkansas Heavyweight Champion Clarence Whistler, and Matsada Sorakichi as well as several rematches against Tom Connors and was widely regarded as the best wrestler in America by 1887, even though he lost the American “Catch-as-Catch-can” Championship bout to Evan “Strangler” Lewis on 14 March 1887 in one of the biggest matches of the decade.

He’d slip his wrist down below his opponent’s ear over the carotid artery and squeeze, shutting off the blood supply to the brain thus putting his opponent to sleep.

It was a legitimate hold in Evan Lewis’ day, but it was illegal by the time Ed Lewis came along. Ed himself learned it in Chicago and adopted it as a performing hold, something to excite the crowds.

Bibby’s final wrestling match was against Sorakichi Matsuda, whom he defeated on October 28, 1887, in Buffalo, New York. Source: “Edwin Bibby”, All about Bibby (Google Sites).

Joseph Acton (8 March, 1852 – 26 June, 1917) Known by his ring name “Little Joe” or “Limey Joe”, Joe Acton was a British professional wrestler and world champion who competed in England and America during the late 19th century.

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