Henri DeGlane was a former World Champion in America, Canada and Europe. He made
his professional debut in the late 1920s. DeGlane appeared at the St. Nicholas Arena in
New York on February 13, 1928 and wrestled Wladek Zbyszko to a thirty-minute draw. The
next night, he drew with Cyclone Ress at the Ridgewood Grove Sporting Club in Brooklyn.
On February 28th, DeGlane and Wladek Zbyszko wrestled to a 58-minute draw when the
match was stopped by the New York Athletic Commission at the Grove. The finish match
was ended because it appeared that the two men would wrestle all night.
DeGlane was seriously injured during a Boston match with claimant to the World Title, Gus
Sonnenberg on March 20, 1930. After being butted from the ring with a flying tackle,
DeGlane suffered a concussion and several fractured ribs. DeGlane had been leading the
contest when the former football player drove him through the ropes and down to the
concrete floor. Both men fell but DeGlane landed on his head. Bleeding, the challenger
was helped back into the ring where the champion leveled him with another tackle. The
referee awarded the second fall easily to Sonnenberg. The match was finished when
DeGlane was unable to continue. It seemed as if he were ready for a World Title reign
DeGlane traveled to Kansas City and participated in the American Legion Tournament
held by Gabe Kauffman at the Convention Hall. He was matched up against Ed Lewis on
March 31st in the third round contest. The two ended up wrestling to a 60-minute draw.
More than a year later, DeGlane beat the heavyweight champion, Ed Lewis by
disqualification on May 4, 1931 in Montreal. The Montreal Athletic Commission announced
DeGlane as the new World Champ, and backed him. Promoters and Officials in
Massachusetts and California followed their lead. DeGlane had captured two straight falls
for the victory. He was not recognized in New York State or Illinois, two of the major
American Wrestling Locales. 30,000 fans turned out to watch DeGlane defeat Ed Don
George to retain a claim to the World Heavyweight Title on July 14, 1931 in Boston at Braves
Field. At the end of the month, DeGlane returned to the same field to stop the challenge of
On January 13, 1933, he beat Sonnenberg with two-falls in front of 22,000 in Boston.
DeGlane later lost the World Title to George in Boston on February 9th. He defeated Dr.
Len Hall of California on September 21, 1936 in Paris, France at the Palais des Sports. An
estimated 12,000 fans were in attendance. The match was two-of-three and went to the
final. DeGlane was billed as the Champion of France. He met the Champion of Germany,
Dussing, on October 3, 1936 in Paris. DeGlane defeated him twice in two-falls. On
November 2, 1936, DeGlane beat Jim Wright in Paris. Frank Bronowicz, another American
challenger, stepped up on November 30th, and DeGlane won the match in the third fall.
DeGlane pinned The Terrible Turk Arif twice at the Palais des Sports in front of 12,000 on
January 11, 1937 in Paris, France. In the following weeks, DeGlane defeated “Terrible”
Nawrocki and prepared himself for his match with another former World Heavyweight
Champion, Ed Don George. The two knew each other pretty well. The match was set for
February 8, 1937 in Paris and was for the championship of France. George took the initial
fall in 53:46 with an armlock. The match was evened by Henri in the second with a pin after
27:28. The third fall ended with a final bell, the match called a time-limit draw.
A rematch was quickly signed for March 8, 1937 at the Palais des Sports. This time, to a
finish. The match was again tied at one when the third fall was forced to begin. DeGlane
pinned George in the first after 46:44. George defeated the champion with a body-slam in 6:
06. Controversy surrounded the third. The ropes became the fourth man in the ring,
providing enough to allow DeGlane to get the win as George had been tied up in the bottom
strand. Unable to free himself, George withstood a three count by the referee, with a twenty-
second pause between the second and third counts. The referee, himself, questioned the
pinfall, but nevertheless ended the bout there instead of allowing George to free himself.
DeGlane was also a fire-fighter in Paris.
He challenged World Heavyweight Champion, Yvon Robert on Monday, January 9, 1939.
DeGlane lost in front of 18,000 fans at the Palais des Sports. He beat George Clarke in two-
straight falls on February 27, 1939 and then won two-of-three-falls from Charles Rigoulot on
March 20, 1939 in Paris. A rematch was set between the “1938” World Champion, Yvon
Robert and DeGlane on April 3, 1939 in Paris’ Palais des Sports. Henri pinned Robert twice
after losing the first fall to win the contest. DeGlane was “over” in Montreal and other parts
of Quebec, many territories in the U.S. and in Europe.
When he retired later in the 1940s, many of his fans were depressed. They did know that
Henri DeGlane was one talented wrestler. A Hall of Fame grappler at that.
Research by Tim Hornbaker
|Henri DeGlane Wrestling History
Legends of Pro Wrestling