Danny Hodge: From Prospect to World Champion

This is a special look at the first ten months of Danny Hodge's pro wrestling career, beginning with his debut on 10/2/59 in Oklahoma City and ending with his being crowned the NWA World Junior Heavyweight champion after defeating Angelo Savoldi for the belt on 7/22/60, also in OKC.




To even attempt to describe Hodge's accomplishments as a collegiate wrestler in the span of a paragraph or two wouldn't do it justice. Suffice to say that Hodge is the only amateur wrestler EVER to be pictured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, back in April of 1957. After a brief attempt at a professional boxing career, Hodge turned to pro wrestling.

The chart below looks at the first 22 weeks of his pro wrestling career in Leroy McGuirk's territory based in Oklahoma. McGuirk promoted cards throughout Oklahoma as well as parts of Missouri and Arkansas (and expanding further south into Shreveport, Louisiana starting early in 1960).

The two statistics used in the chart are defined as follows:
-SPOT (Statistical Position Over Time) Ratings measure a wrestlers average position on the card; a 1.00 would signify all main events
-FEUD (Frequent Encounters Using Data) Scores measure the "intensity" of a feud; the larger the number, the more often the match occurred


Looking at the chart, we can see that Hodge was generally positioned in the upper mid-cards for the first three months of his career, wrestling regularly against opponents Sascha the Great, Jack Humberto and Don Kent. He also had a multitude of tag team matches, as this was the norm for the territory at the time. These usually didn't involve fixed tag teams, so Hodge would team with various partners against teams made up of different opponents.

His first match in each town was often put a little higher on the card based on Hodge's reputation and making a big deal of his debut in the town; this explains his SPOT Rating being above a .60 for the first three weeks and then slipping below that threshold for a few weeks.

After slowly moving up the cards throughout the rest of 1959, we see his SPOT Rating climb above .80 in mid-January, signifying his status as a main eventer. This coincides with him starting a series of matches with longtime area heel The Great Bolo (Al Lovelock). He had a series of matches against Bolo in several towns, and oftentimes the final match in the series was a 10-round boxing match, allowing Hodge to show off the skills he used during his brief boxing career. By the time Ivan the Terrible (aka Pampero Firpo) left the territory in February 1960, Hodge was firmly established as the top babyface wrestler in the territory, a mere five months into his pro career.

This next chart looks at the next 21 weeks of his career, from February 29th, 1960 through July 24th.


Hodge enters into a brief series of matches with Ali Bey & Hassan Bey, taking on Pepi Pasquale as his partner. He then has several singles bouts against Ali Bey before beginning a series of matches against NWA World Junior Heavyweight champion Angelo Savoldi. The stipulations of these bouts varied from town to town, but usually followed the traditional wrestling storylines and tropes we all know and love. In some instances, he would win a non-title match to earn a followup title bout, which would end with Savoldi retaining in controversial finish. With Savoldi slated to leave the area at the end of May, he defeated Hodge on May 23rd in Tulsa after referee Wayne Martin was "accidentally" knocked out and missed several pinfall attempts by Hodge. As Hodge and his advisor Ed (Strangler) Lewis protested the decision and asked for a rematch, Savoldi said he was leaving the area, thus denying the rematch and building anticipation for a match at a later date. Hodge and Savoldi were slated for a 10-round boxing match four days later in Oklahoma City; that match ended in chaos as Hodge's father hit the ring with a knife and attacked Savoldi, who missed about two weeks' worth of scheduled bookings in the northeast for the Capitol Wrestling Corporation.

Hodge continued to main event in the territory, winning one-night tournaments for the Oklahoma State Junior Heavyweight title and the Missouri State Junior Heavyweight title. These belts were not regular fixtures in the territory, but were brought into play at various times. In this case, it was to establish as Hodge as the best junior heavyweight in the state(s) and create demand for rematches with Savoldi, the man who laid claim to being the best junior heavyweight in the world.

The big Hodge-Savoldi rematch, a traditional 2 out of 3 falls wrestling match for the World title, took place on July 22nd in Oklahoma City. To the best of my knowledge, Hodge did not work any other dates the week leading up to the title match, with him and Strangler Lewis likely doing publicity all week in the city. Savoldi won the first fall, but Hodge came back to win both the second and third falls to win the title in front of a reported crowd of 6,000 fans. For a point of reference, a crowd of 5,500 fans in OKC five months earlier had been lauded as the largest in a year.

Hodge won a rematch the following week in Oklahoma City, and his career was off and running. Most title histories list him as having seven different reigns with the NWA World Junior Heavyweight between 1960 and 1976.

Below are all the known matches for Danny Hodge beginning with his debut and ending with his title win over Savoldi. Results are listed where available, as well as some items of interest.

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10/2/59 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Sascha the Great

10/7/59 Springfield, MO
Danny Hodge defeated Sascha the Great

10/9/59 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Luigi Columbo (sub for Ray Duran) by referee’s decision
*Columbo was injured during the bout and the ref awarded the match to Hodge, though he “refused to accept the victory”

10/12/59 Tulsa, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Ray Duran

10/13/59 Little Rock, AR
Danny Hodge defeated Sascha the Great

10/14/59 Fort Smith, AR
Danny Hodge defeated Sascha the Great

10/16/59 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge & Joe Costello defeated Great Bolo & Mr. Sasaki

10/19/59 Tulsa, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Sascha the Great

10/20/59 McAlester, OK
Danny Hodge & Red McKim defeated Great Bolo & Sascha the Great
Prelim: Danny Hodge defeated Sascha the Great by disqualification

10/21/59 Fort Smith, AR
Danny Hodge defeated Joe Costello

10/23/59 Fairview, OK
Danny Hodge & Red McKim vs. Great Bolo & Sascha the Great
Prelim: Danny Hodge vs. Great Bolo

10/26/59 Tulsa, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Chief Red Cloud

10/27/59 Woodward, OK
Danny Hodge & Chief Red Cloud vs. Great Bolo & Sascha the Great
Prelim: Danny Hodge vs. Sascha the Great

10/28/59 Springfield, MO
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal
Danny Hodge defeated Mr. Sasaki by disqualification

10/29/59 Shawnee, OK
Great Bolo & Mr. Sasaki defeated Danny Hodge & Chief Red Cloud
Prelim: Danny Hodge wrestled to a time limit draw with Great Bolo

10/30/59 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge & Oni Wiki Wiki defeated Jack Humberto & Mr. Sasaki

11/2/59 Tulsa, OK
Danny Hodge wrestled to a time limit draw with Joe Costello

11/3/59 Little Rock, AR
Danny Hodge defeated Jack Humberto

11/4/59 Springfield, MO
Danny Hodge wrestled to a time limit draw with Joe Costello (sub for Jack Humberto)

11/5/59 Shawnee, OK
Danny Hodge & Oni Wiki Wiki vs. Great Bolo & Mr. Sasaki
Prelim: Danny Hodge vs. Great Bolo

11/6/59 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge & Joe Costello & Lord Littlebrook defeated Jack Humberto & Mr. Sasaki & Bull Brummel

11/9/59 Tulsa, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Jack Humberto

11/10/59 Guthrie, OK
Danny Hodge & Chief Red Cloud vs. Jack Humberto & Mr. Sasaki
*Hodge likely also wrestled a prelim match against either Humberto or Sasaki

11/11/59 Fort Smith, AR
Danny Hodge & Laura Martinez defeated Mr. Sasaki & Ella Waldek
Prelim: Danny Hodge defeated Mr. Sasaki by disqualification

11/13/59 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Jack Humberto

11/16/59 Tulsa, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Don Kent by disqualification

11/17/59 Little Rock, AR
Danny Hodge defeated Don Kent

11/18/59 Fort Smith, AR
Danny Hodge defeated Mr. Sasaki

11/20/59 Oklahoma City, OK
NWA World Junior Heavyweight champion Angelo Savoldi defeated Danny Hodge in a non-title match
*Hodge won the first fall and Savoldi won the second fall; Hodge was knocked out at the end of the second fall and could not continue

11/24/59 Little Rock, AR
Don Kent & Soldat Gorky defeated Danny Hodge & Red McKim
Prelim: Danny Hodge defeated Soldat Gorky by disqualification

11/25/59 Fort Smith, AR
Danny Hodge & Oni Wiki Wiki vs. Don Kent & Soldat Gorky
Prelim: Danny Hodge vs. Soldat Gorky

12/1/59 Little Rock, AR
Danny Hodge & Oni Wiki Wiki defeated Don Kent & Jack Humberto
Prelim: Danny Hodge defeated Jack Humberto by disqualification

12/2/59 Springfield, MO
Danny Hodge defeated Mr. Sasaki

12/3/59 Shawnee, OK
Danny Hodge vs. Don Kent

12/4/59 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge & Oni Wiki Wiki defeated Jack Humberto & Soldat Gorky

12/7/59 Tulsa, OK
Danny Hodge & Oni Wiki Wiki defeated Angelo Savoldi & Soldat Gorky
*Hodge pinned Savoldi after KO’ing him with a right hand to win the 3rd and deciding fall

12/8/59 Little Rock, AR
Danny Hodge defeated Joe Costello

12/9/59 Fort Smith, AR
Don Kent & Soldat Gorky defeated Danny Hodge & Joe Costello
Prelim: Danny Hodge defeated Don Kent

12/11/59 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge vs. Mr. Sasaki

12/14/59 Tulsa, OK
Danny Hodge & Ivan the Terrible defeated Don Kent & Mr. Sasaki

12/15/59 Little Rock, AR
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal
Danny Hodge defeated Angelo Savoldi
*since the singles matches on this card were determined by order of elimination in the battle royal, this bout was almost certainly a non-title match (since it wasn’t a “scheduled” match); Hodge won in two straight falls, but the 2nd fall was by disqualification

12/16/59 Springfield, MO
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal
Danny Hodge wrestled to a time limit draw with Angelo Savoldi
*since the singles matches on this card were determined by order of elimination in the battle royal, this bout was almost certainly a non-title match (since it wasn’t a “scheduled” match)

12/17/59 Shawnee, OK
Danny Hodge & Farmer Jones vs. Don Kent & Karol Krauser
Prelim: Danny Hodge vs. Don Kent

12/18/59 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge & Oni Wiki Wiki defeated Angelo Savoldi & Soldat Gorky

12/21/59 Tulsa, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Mr. Sasaki

12/23/59 Springfield, MO
Danny Hodge defeated Don Kent

12/25/59 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal
Danny Hodge wrestled to a time limit draw with Soldat Gorky

12/28/59 Tulsa, OK
Danny Hodge & Farmer Jones defeated Mr. Sasaki & Soldat Gorky

12/29/59 Woodward, OK
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal

12/30/59 Springfield, MO
Danny Hodge wrestled to a time limit draw with Oni Wiki Wiki

1/1/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge & Ivan the Terrible defeated Karol Krauser & Soldat Gorky

1/4/60 Tulsa, OK
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal

1/5/60 Little Rock, AR
Danny Hodge vs. Mr. Sasaki
*card cancelled due to inclement weather

1/6/60 Fort Smith, AR
Danny Hodge defeated Oni Wiki Wiki

1/7/60 Shawnee, OK
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal
Danny Hodge defeated Mr. Sasaki

1/8/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge & Ivan the Terrible defeated Great Bolo & Soldat Gorky

1/11/60 Tulsa, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Soldat Gorky

1/12/60 Little Rock, AR
Danny Hodge defeated Soldat Gorky (sub for Great Bolo) by reverse decision
*Gorky won the 3rd fall after outside interference from Mr. Sasaki; ringside fans informed referee Jack Gott of the interference and he “gave the match to Hodge”

1/13/60 Fort Smith, AR
Danny Hodge & Farmer Jones defeated Don Kent & Red McKim (sub for Mr. Sasaki)
Prelim: Danny Hodge wrestled to a time limit draw with Red McKim

1/15/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Great Bolo defeated Danny Hodge

1/18/60 Tulsa, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Soldat Gorky

1/19/60 Little Rock, AR
Danny Hodge & Farmer Jones & Kenny Ackles defeated Mr. Sasaki & Soldat Gorky & Wild Red Berry
Prelim: Danny Hodge defeated Mr. Sasaki

1/20/60 Springfield, MO
Great Bolo & Mr. Sasaki & Soldat Gorky defeated Danny Hodge & Ivan the Terrible & Wild Red Berry
Prelim: Danny Hodge wrestled to a time limit draw with Soldat Gorky

1/22/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Great Bolo
*this was billed as a “winner-take-all” match, which generally arises from a controversial finish in a previous match, leading to the (storyline) purse being held up pending the winner of the rematch, who would then get the winner’s shares of the purse for both weeks

1/25/60 Tulsa, OK
Great Bolo defeated Danny Hodge
*both men fell to the mat after a “smash into the corner” and Hodge’s shoulders were definitely down for a three-count but the referee may have overlooked Bolo’s being down for the full three-count as well

1/26/60 Little Rock, AR
Great Bolo defeated Danny Hodge
*Bolo slipped a foreign object underneath his mask during the third fall and repeatedly hit Hodge with head butts until Hodge “caved in”

1/28/60 Shawnee, OK
Danny Hodge & Joyce Scott defeated Don Kent & Margie Ramsey
Prelim: Danny Hodge went to a time limit draw with Don Kent

1/29/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge & Judy Grable defeated Mr. Sasaki & Peggy Allen

2/1/60 Tulsa, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Great Bolo in a match with two referees

2/2/60 Little Rock, AR
Danny Hodge defeated Great Bolo by reverse decision
*Bolo won the third fall with his foot on the ring ropes for leverage; “spare referee” Tommy Peterson alerted ref Jack Gott, who then reversed his decision

2/3/60 Springfield, MO
Danny Hodge defeated Soldat Gorky

2/4/60 Shawnee, OK
Danny Hodge & Kenny Ackles defeated Don Kent & Mr. Sasaki
Prelim: Danny Hodge vs. Don Kent

2/5/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Soldat Gorky

2/9/60 Little Rock, AR
Danny Hodge defeated Great Bolo by knockout in the 6th round of a boxing match

2/10/60 Fort Smith, AR
Danny Hodge defeated Don Kent

2/11/60 Shawnee, OK
Danny Hodge & Cowboy Bradley defeated Soldat Gorky & Tiny Roe
Prelim: Danny Hodge vs. Soldat Gorky

2/12/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge & Lord Littlebrook defeated Don Kent & Bull Brummel
*attendance for this card, headlined by Ivan the Terrible vs. Great Bolo in a beard vs. mask match, was 5,550 (“largest in a year” according to the newspaper); Bolo lost the match

2/15/60 Enid, OK
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal

2/17/60 Springfield, MO
Danny Hodge defeated Don Kent

2/18/60 Shawnee, OK
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal

2/19/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Great Bolo in the 7th round of a boxing match

2/23/60 Hot Springs, AR
Danny Hodge & Farmer Jones vs. Great Bolo & Soldat Gorky
Prelim: Danny Hodge vs. Soldat Gorky

2/24/60 Springfield, MO
Danny Hodge defeated Great Bolo by knockout in the 7th round of a boxing match
*attendance was “some 1000 fans”

2/29/60 Tulsa, OK
Ali Bey & Hassan Bey defeated Danny Hodge & Pepi Pasquale
Prelim: Danny Hodge defeated Hassan Bey

3/1/60 Little Rock, AR
Danny Hodge & Pepi Pasquale vs. Ali Bey & Hassan Bey
Prelim: Danny Hodge vs. Hassan Bey

3/2/60 Springfield, MO
Ali Bey & Don Kent defeated Danny Hodge & Oni Wiki Wiki
Prelim: Danny Hodge defeated Don Kent
*regarding the prelim, the newspaper article states that “Hodge was awarded the … match over Kent when Kent refused to have his arm raised with his opponent after an apparent draw”

3/4/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Ali Bey & Hassan Bey defeated Danny Hodge & Pepi Pasquale

3/8/60 Little Rock, AR
Danny Hodge vs. Carlos Rodriguez

3/9/60 Nixa, MO
Danny Hodge & Oni Wiki Wiki vs. Ali Bey & Don Kent
Prelim: Danny Hodge vs. Don Kent

3/11/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Hassan Bey

3/14/60 Shreveport, LA
Danny Hodge defeated Carlos Rodriguez

3/15/60 Norman, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Don Kent

3/16/60 Springfield, MO
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal
Danny Hodge defeated Jack Donovan

3/18/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal
Danny Hodge defeated Carlos Rodriguez

3/21/60 Tulsa, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Ali Bey
*the newspaper reported that Hodge was now under the tutelage of Ed “Strangler” Lewis; Lewis would accompany Hodge to the ring on occasion in Tulsa and Oklahoma City and perhaps other towns as well

3/22/60 Little Rock, AR
Danny Hodge defeated Hassan Bey

3/23/60 Springfield, MO
Ali Bey & Hassan Bey defeated Danny Hodge & Pepi Pasquale
Prelim: Danny Hodge wrestled to a time limit draw with Ali Bey

3/28/60 Tulsa, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Jack Donovan

3/29/60 Little Rock, AR
Danny Hodge defeated Ali Bey

3/30/60 Marshfield, MO
Danny Hodge & Oni Wiki Wiki vs. Ali Bey & Jack Donovan
*Hodge likely also wrestled a prelim match against either Bey or Donovan

4/1/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Oni Wiki Wiki in the finals of a one-night tournament to win the vacant Oklahoma Junior Heavyweight title
*Per newspaper reports, previous champion Angelo Savoldi had vacated the state title at some point after winning the NWA World Junior Heavyweight title

4/4/60 Shreveport, LA
Danny Hodge defeated Jack Donovan

4/6/60 Springfield, MO
Danny Hodge defeated Carlos Rodriguez in the finals of a one-night tournament to win the Missouri Junior Heavyweight title
Danny Hodge defeated Ali Bey by referee’s decision in the second round of the tournament
Danny Hodge defeated Hassan Bey by referee’s decision in the first round of the tournament
*both of the earlier matches went to time limit draws with the referee allowed to decide the winner; the last known titleholder was Mike Clancy, with the last known reference to the title having been in May of 1964 (per title-histories.com)

4/8/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Oklahoma Junior Heavyweight championship: Danny Hodge (champion) defeated Ali Bey

4/11/60 Canton, OK
Danny Hodge & Pepi Pasquale vs. Carlos Rodriguez & Jack Donovan
*Hodge likely also wrestled a prelim match against either Rodriguez or Donovan

4/18/60 Shreveport, LA
Carlos Rodriguez & Don Kent defeated Danny Hodge & Red McKim (sub for Jody Hamilton)
Prelim: Danny Hodge defeated Carlos Rodriguez by referee’s decision

4/20/60 Springfield, MO
Danny Hodge & Luis Martinez defeated Carlos Rodriguez & Don Kent
Prelim: Danny Hodge defeated Carlos Rodriguez

4/21/60 Mountain Home, AR
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal

4/22/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge & Timmy Geohagen defeated Don Kent & Jack Donovan

4/25/60 Tulsa, OK
Danny Hodge & Luis Martinez defeated Angelo Savoldi & Carlos Rodriguez
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal that also included Terrible Ted the wrestling bear

4/27/60 Springfield, MO
Danny Hodge defeated Ali Bey
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal that also included Terrible Ted the wrestling bear

4/28/60 Blackwell, OK
Danny Hodge vs. Hassan Bey
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal that also included Terrible Ted the wrestling bear

4/29/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge defeated NWA World Junior Heavyweight champion Angelo Savoldi in a non-title match

5/2/60 Tulsa, OK
Danny Hodge defeated NWA World Junior Heavyweight champion Angelo Savoldi in a non-title match
*with Hodge up 1 fall to none, Savoldi was disqualified for attacking Hodge outside the ring

5/3/60 Little Rock, AR
Danny Hodge defeated NWA World Junior Heavyweight champion Angelo Savoldi
*while not explicitly stated in newspaper ads or articles, this was likely a non-title match; with Hodge up 1 fall to none, Savoldi threw him over the top rope and was disqualified

5/4/60 Springfield, MO
Danny Hodge defeated NWA World Junior Heavyweight champion Angelo Savoldi in a non-title match
*this was a clean victory for Hodge as he won the second and third falls

5/5/60 Springdale, AR
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal that also included Terrible Ted the wrestling bear

5/9/60 Shreveport, LA
Danny Hodge & Jack Curtis Jr. & Red McKim defeated Carlos Rodriguez & Hassan Bey & Jack Donovan
Prelim: Danny Hodge defeated Hassan Bey

5/10/60 Little Rock, AR
Danny Hodge & Luis Martinez defeated Angelo Savoldi & Ted Christy
Prelim: Danny Hodge defeated Ted Christy by disqualification

5/13/60 Oklahoma City, OK
NWA World Junior Heavyweight championship: Angelo Savoldi (champion) defeated Danny Hodge

5/16/60 Shreveport, LA
NWA World Junior Heavyweight championship: Angelo Savoldi (champion) defeated Danny Hodge
*after splitting the first two falls, Savoldi pinned Hodge to win the third fall
**attendance was listed as “almost 500” fans; while attendance figures were not regularly given for the weekly shows, Shreveport had drawn crowds of between 1100 and 1500 for the first three events run out of the McGuirk office in March and April

5/18/60 Shawnee, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Hassan Bey (advertised as Hodge vs. Carlos Rodriguez)
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal that also included Terrible Ted the wrestling bear

5/19/60 Bartlesville, OK
Danny Hodge vs. Hassan Bey
Danny Hodge was scheduled to compete in a battle royal that also included Terrible Ted the wrestling bear
*card rescheduled for 5/22/60

5/20/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge defeated NWA World Junior Heavyweight champion Angelo Savoldi
*the newspaper does not explicitly state whether or not this was a title match, but it does refer to last week’s decision being somewhat disputed; Hodge won the third fall this week on a “referee’s decision”

5/22/60 Bartlesville, OK
Danny Hodge vs. Hassan Bey
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal that also included Terrible Ted the wrestling bear

5/23/60 Tulsa, OK
NWA World Junior Heavyweight championship: Angelo Savoldi (champion) defeated Danny Hodge
*in the third fall, Hodge accidentally hit referee Wayne Martin; Martin missed Hodge getting multiple “visual falls” on Savoldi, but came to in time to see Savoldi pinning Hodge. Hodge and advisor Ed “Strangler” Lewis protested the decision, at which point Savoldi said he was leaving Tulsa for “a series of bouts in the east”

5/25/60 Springfield, MO
Danny Hodge defeated Carlos Rodriguez
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal

5/26/60 Ponca City, OK
Danny Hodge & Jack Curtis Jr. vs. Angelo Savoldi & Ray Duran
*Hodge likely also wrestled a prelim match against either Savoldi or Duran

5/27/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge vs. Angelo Savoldi in a 10-round boxing match
*the match was stopped when Hodge’s father, William Edward Hodge, entered the ring during the fifth round and “slashed Savoldi’s back” with a knife. Per newspaper reports, the elder Hodge was jailed on a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon and released on a $20 bond, with a “police hearing” scheduled for the following Thursday. Savoldi, who was hospitalized with lacerations of the back and arm, “declined to press state charges”. He was being advertised for shows in the northeast the following week, but appears to have missed those. His next matches listed on wrestlingdata.com are on June 15th in Montreal and June 16th in Washington, D.C. In May of 1962, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of Savoldi against the city of Oklahoma City, Leroy McGuirk, Danny Hodge, William Edward Hodge and two Oklahoma City ticket agencies, seeking $125,000 in damages. Savoldi’s attorney, Howard K. Berry Jr., said Savoldi “was slashed so severely it required 60 stitches to close his wounds and the wrestler suffered permanent injuries and is unable to continue his profession.” I haven’t been able to find any further details on the lawsuit. While records for Savoldi are incomplete, wrestlingdata.com lists him as having a significant number of matches annually through 1969.

5/30/60 Tulsa, OK
Taro Miyaki & Ted Christy defeated Danny Hodge & Luis Martinez

6/1/60 Springfield, MO
Carlos Rodriguez & Hassan Bey & Jack Donovan defeated Danny Hodge & Jack Curtis Jr. & Red McKim
Prelim: Danny Hodge defeated Carlos Rodriguez

6/3/60 Hope, AR
Danny Hodge vs. Ray Duran
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal that also included Terrible Ted the wrestling bear

6/6/60 Tulsa, OK
Bull Brummel & Tony Morelli defeated Danny Hodge & Lord Littlebrook

6/13/60 Tulsa, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Jack Donovan

6/14/60 Little Rock, AR
Danny Hodge defeated Jack Donovan

6/15/60 Springfield, MO
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal

6/16/60 Poteau, OK
Danny Hodge & Jack Curtis Jr. vs. Carlos Rodriguez & Taro Miyaki
*Hodge likely also wrestled a prelim match against either Rodriguez or Miyaki

6/17/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Hassan Bey
Danny Hodge competed in a battle royal

6/20/60 Tulsa, OK
Jack Donovan & Karol Krauser & Taro Miyaki defeated Bob Clay & Danny Hodge & Red McKim
Prelim: Danny Hodge defeated Taro Miyaki

6/22/60 Fort Smith, AR
Danny Hodge vs. Karol Krauser

6/23/60 Muskogee, OK
Danny Hodge & Red McKim vs. Jack Donovan & Karol Krauser
Prelim: Danny Hodge vs. Jack Donovan

6/24/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Jack Donovan & Karol Krauser defeated Danny Hodge & Jack Curtis Jr.

6/25/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge vs. Carlos Rodriguez
*this match was held as part of an “all-sports day” at Springlake Amusement Park that included clinics and appearances from Johny Unitas and Bob Pettit among others

6/27/60 Shreveport, LA
Danny Hodge vs. Karol Krauser

6/29/60 Miami, OK
Danny Hodge & Judy Glover vs. Taro Miyaki & Lorraine Johnson
Prelim: Danny Hodge vs. Taro Miyaki

6/30/60 Clinton, OK
Jack Donovan & Karol Krauser defeaed Danny Hodge & Lorenzo Parente
Prelim: Danny Hodge defeated Jack Donovan

7/1/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Jack Donovan

7/5/60 Little Rock, AR
Danny Hodge was scheduled to compete in a one-night tournament to crown an Arkansas Junior Heavyweight champion, with the winner also to receive a future shot at Angelo Savoldi
*While full results for all the tournament matches (other than the finals, where Karol Krauser defeated Lorenzo Parente) are not available, the newspaper article the day after the show did not include Hodge’s name when listing those who participated

7/8/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Great Bolo & Jack Donovan & Karol Krauser defeated Danny Hodge & Chief Red Cloud & Jack Curtis Jr.
Prelim: Danny Hodge wrestled to a time limit draw with Karol Krauser

7/11/60 Tulsa, OK
Danny Hodge & Jessica Rogers defeated Great Bolo & Millie Stafford 
*the newspaper article ahead of the show listed Hodge teaming with Stafford and Bolo teaming with Rogers, but the results have Hodge & Rogers beating Bolo & Stafford
**this appears to have been the first show held at Cimarron Arena; attendance for the show, which featured Jack Donovan vs Red McKim in a Texas Rules (aka Texas death) match main event, was a “turnaway crowd of 2,000”

7/12/60 Duncan, OK
Danny Hodge & Millie Stafford (sub for Laura Martinez) defeated Jack Donovan & Jessica Rogers (sub for Lorraine Johnson)
Prelim: Danny Hodge wrestled to a time limit draw with Jack Donovan

7/13/60 Anadarko, OK
Danny Hodge & Jessica Rogers defeated Great Bolo & Millie Stafford
Prelim: Danny Hodge defeated Great Bolo

7/15/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Great Bolo & Jack Donovan & Karol Krauser defeated Danny Hodge & Jack Curtis Jr. & Lorenzo Parente
Prelim: Danny Hodge defeated Great Bolo
*it is somewhat surprising to see Hodge on the losing team here (in what was the main event) given that he gets the big title match with Savoldi the following week

7/22/60 Oklahoma City, OK
Danny Hodge defeated Angelo Savoldi to win the NWA World Junior Heavyweight championship
*Savoldi won the first fall before Hodge won the second and third falls with “a body press”
**attendance was a “capacity crowd” of 6,000
***Hodge won a rematch against Savoldi the following week, winning the first and third falls to retain the title


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