RushmoreBefSince perhaps the most important figure in the United States history is missing from the real Mount Rushmore, so then will perhaps the most important figure in professional wrestling history Toots Mondt be missing from my Pro Wrestling Mount Rushmore.  Mondt, with Ed “Strangler” Lewis and Billy Sandow, comprised The Gold Dust Trio, which took control and dominated professional wrestling in the 1920s and forever defined the art form by combining features of boxing, Greco-Roman, freestyle, lumber-camp fighting, and theater into what Mondt deemed “Slam Bang Western-Style Wrestling”.  They perfected the art of the finish, as well as such innovations as time-limit draws and double count-outs.  This would cause a shift from the legitimate style to the more entertainment style of today.  The Gold Dust Trio are credited as founding the first pro wrestling promotion as they moved wrestling out of old burlesque theaters to major sports venues.

(more…)