MIKE BILINSKY

(1919 – 1939)

aka: Mike Belinsky
Real Name: Michael Bilinsky
Height: ?
Weight: 160 pounds
Born: c. 1897

Titles Held:
Canadian Amateur Heavyweight Title 1918
Canadian Middleweight Championship (3x) 1919-1926, 1929-1931


108 Recorded Matches as of March 17, 1939

Career Record Compiled by David Creahin * [email protected]


1918
After four years in the amateur ranks, 17-year-old Mike Bilinsky wins the “amateur title of Canada” in Hamilton, Ontario.

1919
?? Montreal, QC beat Phillip Lang
*Won the Canadian Middleweight Championship

1922
12/11 Winnipeg, MB beat Leo Young

1923
04/18 Winnipeg, MB beat Fat Salter Wrestler vs. Boxer Match
06/06 Winnipeg, MB beat Kid Whittaker Wrestler vs. Boxer Match
07/07 East Selkirk, MB vs. Hammerlock Sudae
*Match may have been for the Western Canadian Middleweight Title

1924
Police Athletic Union
02/11 Winnipeg, MB drew Tom Elder

1925
03/23 Leduc, AB beat Pete Olson

09/19 Cranbrook, BC drew Jack Milo
09/30 Yahk, BC lost to Nels Jepson Best 2-out-of-3 Falls Match

1927
One Big Union
01/28 Winnipeg, MB vs. Harry Berg
02/04 Winnipeg, MB vs. Harry Berg
03/11 Winnipeg, MB vs. Archie McLaughlin
03/25 Winnipeg, MB vs. Billy Crossley
11/04 Winnipeg, MB vs. Billy Crossley
12/02 Winnipeg, MB vs. Mike Kuruzak
12/09 Saskatoon, SK vs. Jack Milo
*The winner of the bout was to wrestle Chicago wrestler Pete Doerksen

1928
01/27 Winnipeg, MB vs. Billy Crossley
02/03 Winnipeg, MB vs. Mike Kuruzak
03/02 Winnipeg, MB Advertised to appear
11/29 Saskatoon, SK lost to Canadian Middleweight Champion Henry Kolln by forfeit Best 2-out-of-3 Falls Match

KOLLN WINS
(Lethbridge Herald, Friday, November 30, 1928)
SASKATOON, Nov. 30 — Henry Kolln, middleweight champion wrestler of Canada, stopped Mike Bilinsky of Winnipeg, in three minutes in the main bout of the Canadian Legion card here last night. Kolln threw the Winnipeg grappler heavily to the mat wrenching his shoulder so that he was unable to continue his match.

MIKE BILINSKY AFTER RETURN WRESTLING BOUT
(Winnipeg Tribune, Monday, December 10, 1928)
Not satisfied with the result of his match with Henry Kolln, of Saskatoon, recently, Mike Bilinsky, local grappler, is after a return match with the westerner. Mike had the misfortune to injure his arm in the opening minutes of the bout, and was unable to continue.

1929
?? Toronto, ON beat Oscar Levech
*Won the Canadian Middleweight Championship
02/19 Brandon, MB beat Bray Willet
11/05 Brandon, MB vs. Bray Willey
11/08 Winnipeg, MB beat Billy Crossley
12/06 Winnipeg, MB vs. Bill Crossley

1930
01/17 Winnipeg, MB vs. Fred Lark
01/31 Winnipeg, MB vs. Billy Crossley
02/07 Winnipeg, MB vs. Vic Jassick
04/04 Winnipeg, MB vs. Phillip Lang
04/16 Flin Flon, MB vs. Jack Romanson
04/26 Flin Flon, MB beat Les Hansen Best 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
05/12 Flin Flon, MB beat Jack Romanson
05/13 The Pas, MB beat Jack Romanson
05/13 The Pas, MB beat Erik Erikson
*Romanson broke a rib during his match, so Bilinsky accepted a challenge from Erikson.
05/24 Calgary, AB vs. Paul Paulson
06/03 Winkler, MB vs. Fred Hoffman
06/11 Flin Flon, MB vs. Erik Erickson
08/16 Winnipeg, MB vs. Jack Romanson
09/24 Calgary, AB beat Frank Pilling by DQ Best 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
*According to the Calgary Herald (9/19), Bilinsky is “one of the foremost middleweight in Canada”.
10/11 Gleichen, AB vs. Alex Lee Best 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
11/18 Calgary, AB drew Frank Pilling Best 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
12/01 Calgary, AB beat Jud Foley Best 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
12/16 Calgary AB lost to Frank Pilling

1931

?? Bilinsky becomes the wrestling instructor-manager for the Edmonton Wrestling and Physical Culture Club (Edmonton Athletic Club) based out of the York Hotel Gym. Others involved in the group include Club President Carl McDonald, Vice President John Boze and boxing instructor Alex Wynnychuk. Bilinsky later promotes shows in Edmonton under the “Bilinsky Wrestling Club” banner. The Edmonton Journal (5/20/1931) calls Bilinsky “the man who brought wrestling in a big way to Edmonton”.

BILINSKY GOES SOUTH
(Calgary Herald, Wednesday, February 4, 1931)
Mike Bilinsky, who appeared in a number of wrestling bouts in this city recently, has been booked for several matches in Shelby, Butte, and other Montana centres.

02/26 Edmonton, AB Advertised to appear
03/17 Edmonton, AB drew Frank Pilling “Australian Rules” Best 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
04/03 Edmonton, AB beat Steve Soultice Best 2-out-of-3 Falls Match

?? Vancouver, BC lost to Jack McLaughlin
*Lost the Canadian Middleweight Championship

Zbyszko-Maguire Wrestling Match Is Moved Ahead Veteran Pole Will Meet Indian Grappler on Friday Night
(Edmonton Journal, Monday, May 4, 1931)
Owing to the inability of Stanislaus Zbyszko to arrive in time the heavyweight wrestling match between the veteran Pole and Chief McGuire, Osage Indian, originally billed at Vegreville for Tuesday has been postponed until Friday, May 8. In the meantime Promoter Mike Bilinsky is going steadily ahead with arrangements for the show. Special seating arrangements are being made to accommodate a large crowd of fans. Advance sales of tickets are indicating that there will be a big attendance of sporting enthusiasts not only from local sources but also from all points east and west along the C.N.R. There are also a number of tickets arranged for from the north country. It is expected that two or three special buses will make the run from Edmonton to see the big grunt and grapple boys follow the gentle practice of their profession. Among the Ukrainians who are anxiously waiting the arrival of their countryman Is Michael Dutka, who claims the distinction of attending school with the grand old man. He has not seen his former schoolmate since 1910 when he saw him wrestle Maestro in Buffalo. Local experts predict that Zbysko will win the match as they do not believe the red-skinned chief to be any match for the prodigious strength and skill of the former champion. Others however who have seen McGuire do his stuff believe that he will prove a tough customer for the old man. His cute little tricks with his feet may bother Zbysko somewhat.

Busses to Take Edmonton Fans To Mat Battle Zbyzsko and McGuire Wrestle at Vegreville Friday
(Edmonton Journal, Wednesday, May 6, 1931)
With interest in the wrestling match between Stanislaus Zbyzsko, former world’s champion, and Chief McGuire, Osage Indian grappler, billed at Vegreville on Friday night at a high level, special arrangements to convey Edmonton fans to the scene of conflict and return have been made. At least three special busses will carry Edmonton fans to Vegreville, leaving the city at 5:00 o’clock and starting the return Journey at 1:00 a.m. Passengers will be carried at greatly reduced rates and persons wishing to take in the bout should make inquiries at the offices of the Northland Rapid Transit company. Zbyzsko will arrive In Vegrevilte tomorrow. The veteran Pole has been wrestling regularly In the east and will be in first-class shape for his joust with the Indian chief. Since his match here two weeks ago when he lost the decision in a particularly hard-fought affair to Jack Taylor, McGuire has been training hard at Vegreville and has not a few backers who are willing to risk a little coin on his chances against Zbyzsko. Indications point to a packed house sitting in on the encounter which will be the headline feature of a fine program of bouts arranged by Mike Bilinsky

Finale of Wrestling Season Set For Empire Next Monday Zbyszko, Rogers, Yousoff Amar and Other Grapplers Promise Good Closing Show Under Catch-as-Catch-Can Rules
(Edmonton Journal, Wednesday, May 27, 1931)
Can Jack Rogers, “the Colorado Cowboy,” set a fast enough wrestling gallop to ride to a victory over Stanislaus Zbyszko, veteran Pole, wise to all the quirks there are in this mat game? He thinks he can and hopes to prove it at the Empire theatre here next Monday in the headline bout of the season’s last wrestling show. He won’t if the elderly Stanislaus can do anything to prevent it. On the same bill Youssoff Amar, known to the talent as ‘the Terrible Turk’, will try conclusions with Walter Anderson, and Mike Belinsky will tackle Walter Knudsen. It looks like a smart wrestling card. Rogers is reputed to use a combination nose-dive and flying tackle that is often disastrous to his opponents. Whether or not he can torpedo the stalwart Zbyszko with this tactic is another matter which must be decided on Monday night. It will be the first time this season that the flying tackle has been seen in wrestling here. Reports Indicate that the American wrestling fans like it a lot. Youssoff Amar is 210 pounds of terror from Turkey. Walter Anderson will undertake to apply the “tear” to the Terror. Youssoff has tussled with some of the best in the mat game, Strangler Lewis, Sonnenberg and others. Anderson has also a record of considerable proportions. Mike Bilinsky and Walter Knudsen will present the curtain-raising event of the evening. Bilinsky’s arm, which has kept him out of wrestling for some time, is now in shape again. Another feature of the program will be that all bouts will be under catch-as-catch-can rules. Antipodean regulations are out, the boxing and wrestling commission has ruled. Tickets are now on sale at Mike’s News Stand.

Promoter Mike Bilinsky
06/01 Edmonton, AB lost to Walter “Kid” Knudsen
*Alex Boytzun was the referee?

FUTURE DATES
(Camrose Canadian, Thursday, June 18, 1931)
The wrestling match which was to have been staged on Friday, June 19 in the municipal skating rink, under the direction of Mike Bilinsky of Edmonton, and Wm. Glatiotis, proprietor of the Palace Cafe, Camrose, has been postponed, due to a change in the plans of those who were to participate. The bout will probably be arranged for a date in the near future.

Promoter Josef Zabaw
07/02 Calgary, AB lost to Steve Soltice
07/30 Calgary, AB drew Hans Knudson
08/31 Calgary, AB drew Alex Boytzun

Canadian Defenders Athletic Club
09/16 Winnipeg, MB beat Jack Russell

Promoter Josef Zabaw
10/01 Calgary, AB beat Walter Adams

Promoter Walter Anderson
10/02 Edmonton, AB vs. Alex Boytzun

Promoter Josef Zabaw
10/30 Calgary, AB beat Les Hansen
10/31 Lethbridge, AB vs. Steve Soltice

‘In days of Yore’
(Camrose Canadian, Wednesday, November 22, 1961)
30 years ago —
November 19, 1931
With the arrival of wintery weather, the relief problem in the town is again beginning to make itself felt. Mike Bilinsky, well-known grappler, is the promoter in charge of a heavy-weight wrestling card which will be staged here in the Orange Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 24th, at 8:00 p.m. Mike has matched Joe Kotelmack of Saskatoon and Adolph Mittlestadt of Camrose in the feature bout. They will wrestle for the heavyweight championship of Western Canada.

12/03 Calgary, AB vs. Steve Soltice

1932
03/08 Ponoka, AB drew W. Knutson
*Bilinsky also refereed the other bouts on the card.

Promoter Josef Zabaw
04/14 Calgary, AB beat Walter Adams

06/16 Kerrobert, SK beat Les Burbank Best 2-out-of-3 Falls Match?

An older Mike Bilinsky.

Bilinsky Plans Grunt Carnival In Near Future
(Edmonton Daily Bulletin, August 11, 1932)
After an absence of three months, Mike Bilinsky, the local Poo-Bah of grunt and growl lanes, announces that he is planning his first fall season wrestling show on Monday night, August 22nd.

The Mike will introduce for the first time in Edmonton, Wladeck Zybysko, youthful relative of the old master, Stanley. Wladeck is a powerful young man, gifted with the flair of the showman, a spectacular grappler, wise in the tricks of modern grunt. Bilinsky has not yet decided on “Biscuits'” opponent, but he is angling for a formidable opponent, either Earl McCready, Henri De Glane or Roughhouse Saxon.

Promoter Emil Klank
09/02 Vancouver, BC lost to Oscar Shone
09/03 Vancouver, BC vs. Leo Jensen

1933
?? lost to Bob Meyers by referee’s decision
*This was a 10-round match
?? drew World Middleweight Champion Waino Ketonen

Mike The Bilinsky To Growl and Roar Again; Colorful Old Roman Starts Southern Campaign of Squirming
(Edmonton Bulletin, Saturday, April 15, 1933)
As the flowers bloom in the spring, so “The Mike Bilinsky” blooms. The call of the mat, the rising clouds of dusty resin and the roar of the wolves has rocketed Mike’s pulse and so he is away once more.

THE CURTAIN RISES
Edmonton’s wrestling showman and promoter lifted his pedals onto a Calgary bus early this morning, bound for the Foothills City and points further towards the boundary line. Mike opens his barrage in the thriving town of McLeod Monday night where he will attempt to stiffle the ‘rasslin hopes of one Bill Hamilton. Bilinsky and Hamilton go to war in the semi-windup to the Jack Taylor-Joe Kotelmach affray.

After giving the natives of McLeod a glimpse of his famous bowl-shaved upper story, his machine-gun action and the never-to-be-forgotten Bilinsky sound effects, Don Miguel will then move in on Calgary, where he faces the masked terror, known by the wierd handle of Smitty Monk, or the Mad Monk of Painted Post.

BUTTE IS NEXT
Then to Butte, Montana. There Mike will have to be a regular King Kong if he hopes to mash his rival, none other than menacing Cyclone Thompson.

And here is his master stroke.

EARL IS COMING
None other than the boisterous Earl McCready, “front page” grappler from Regina and formidable candidate for the “world’s championship” has been signed by Bilinsky to appear in Edmonton at an early date. His opponent has yet to be selected but needless to say, said opponent will have to be good, because when Mr. McCready goes to work there, is no foolin’.

04/17 Macleod, AB vs. Billy Hamilton

Promoter Josef Zabaw
04/20 Calgary, AB: Apr 20, 1933 beat Smithy Monck

05/27 Macleod, AB lost to Frank Pilling
*Lost Canadian Middleweight Championship?

Promoter Frank Donald
06/02 Grand Prairie, AB vs. John Demechuk
*This match was for the Alberta Middleweight Championship. According to the Grand Prairie Herald (5/25), Bilinsky “has won and lost the middleweight championship of Canada three times”.

06/23 Coleman, AB beat Albert Dietrich Best 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
*Bilinsky was billed as the “Ukrainian middle-weight champion of Canada”. According to the Blairmore Enterprise (6/29), Axel Boyd, of Leduc, “wired to challenge the winner of the Bilinsky-Dietrich contest”.
07/03 Coleman, AB vs. Albert Dietrich
07/21 Edmonton, AB lost to John Demchuck Edmonton Exhibition Week
*According to the Edmonton Bulletin (7/21), Demchuck was a pupil in Bilinsky’s wrestling school.
08/31 Nanton, AB beat Frank Pilling
10/29 Nanton, AB drew Tiger Jackson

Boxing and Wrestling
(Stony Plain Sun, November 30, 1933)
Stony’s fight fans are due for a good evening’s sport when Mike Bilinsky of Edmonton brings to Stony his troupe of well-trained athletes on the evening of Friday, Dec. 1st.

The main event is billed as a six round boxing bout between Pete Jackson (180) and P Sinner (175).

Two mat champions, Joe Semmock and John Demchuk will wrestle six eight-minute rounds.

The appearance of Philip Sinner, who has been seen in the ring on several occasions in Stony, should bring a good caowd.

Several good boxing prelims are also on the bill. The price of ringside seats has been set at 50c. A dance follows.

Assault Case Dismissed
(Stony Plain Sun, December 7, 1933)
At Magistrate J. McCulla’s Court on Saturday a charge of assault against Mr. J. McDonald of Graminia, laid by Mr. G. Hennig of Golden Spike, was heard. Much conflicting evidence was given; at the conclusion of which the Magistrate dismissed the case with costs against the complainant, Hennig.

Mike Bilinsky, the fight promoter, has sent a postcard to each, inviting them to attend his next get-together party here.

1935
Promoter Josef Zabaw
03/01 Calgary, AB beat Frank Hall
05/10 Calgary, AB drew Don Ferguson

Don Ferguson Out Of Wrestling Wars Owing to Injury
(Calgary Herald, Wednesday, June 26, 1935)
Don Ferguson, middleweight wrestler, who has appeared on many of Promoter Joe Zabaw’s Victoria Pavilion squirms, will be out of action for a year or more. Don suffered an internal injury when he met Mike Bilinsky in a recent bout. He was not aware of the injury until he started working out a,’in. Doctors have ordered him to rest.

1936

Mike Goes to Hospital
(Stony Plain Sun, March 12, 1936)
His friends here will regret to learn that Mike Bilinsky, the well known sports impressario and all round sportsman, is seriously ill in University hospital as a result of injuries received in a recent wrestling match which aggravated other injuries received several years ago.

Mr. Bilinsky has staged several entertainments in Stony, including dances and boxing and wrestling bouts.

09/07 Lacombe, AB Advertised to appear “Harvest Moon Revue”
*According to Western Globe (9/10), Malcolm Watt was “the only local boy to take advantage of the offer made by Mike Bilinsky to take on all comers.”
11/13 Calgary, AB vs. Bob Kitchen
*KayfabeMemories.com lists Bilinsky wrestling “Don Kitchen”
11/27 Calgary, AB lost to Emil Van Velzen

1937
01/15 Calgary, AB beat Hec Trudeau
*Also refereed the show with Steve Soltice
01/20 Medicine Hat, AB lost to Toby Wallace Best 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
01/29 Calgary, AB lost to Bud Wallace
03/05 Calgary, AB drew Ed Briand
03/12 Calgary, AB lost to Jack Page by DQ
04/17 Calgary, AB beat Andy Scott
04/30 Calgary, AB lost to Dave Jacobs by DQ
05/06 Turner Valley, AB vs. Ed Briand
09/24 Calgary, AB beat Bill LaMar
09/25 Macleod, AB drew Dave Jacobs
10/01 Calgary, AB drew Ed Briand
11/10 Hanna, AB vs. Steve Soltice
11/12 Calgary, AB drew Dave Jacobs
11/15 Blairmore, AB beat Wally Shervin Best 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
11/18 Nanton, AB vs. Nick Harris Best 2-out-of-3 Falls Match

1938
01/14 Calgary, AB w/. Bill Sheriff lost to Steve Soltice & Nick Harris
*Earliest documented tag team match held in Western Canada
04/15 Calgary, AB referee for Sailor Franks vs. Dougherty Mud Wrestling Match

Wrestlers Perform in Sea of Mud at Pavilion
(Calgary Herald; Apr 16, 1938)
Local wrestling fans found out why mud wrestling had been so popular in the United States during the past few months. They also found out why the business is very profitable to dry-cleaning firms, providing the mud is mixed into a slimy, slippery mess. That was what happened last evening when two grapplers waded through gobs of mud at the Victoria Pavilion.

All the adjectives in the King’s English could not describe how Sailor Franz and Dougherty grappled in six inches of slippery mud. One could not call it wrestling but the crowd liked it even if it did mean a few dry cleaning bills today.

And when the battle smoke cleared, Franz was the one who came out victorious. Caked with mud from head to toe it was practically impossible to recognize the grappler until a bucket of water was thrown over him.

No sooner had the main event started, when ring-side patrons scattered in all directions to escape the showers of mud. A fairly large crowd was on hand to witness the debut of mud wrestling in the city.

After pouring water for about 10 minutes, and requiring the assistance of three workmen to mix the mud up well, the two grapplers complained it was too cold. They finally agreed to go ahead.

Their own mothers would not recognize them after the grapplers had been battling for less than five minutes. Sailor Franz took a swing at Dougherty – missed – and slid half a dozen feet, and then sank almost out of sight into the mud heap. It was only after Dougherty washed his face that Referee Mike Bilinsky was able to ascertain who won the first fall. The time was 3:20 minutes.

Franz tried to take a swing at Dougherty, and almost connected when both grapplers slipped, and went headfirst into the heap. Mike tried to peer his head in between the wrestlers when he sensed something was afoul but he was awarded with a severe ducking.

The sailor let loose a haymaker but no sooner had he connected, when his two feet slipped from beneath him. Reeling like drunken sailors the mud-heap was getting worked up into excellent form. Someone fell into the heap, and Mike stumbled over to ascertain who it was. Wiping mud from his face, the ref found it to be Dougherty and he awarded the round to Sailor Franz. The time was 9:50 minutes.

Dougherty was given a mouthful of mud when he started to play foul with Franz, and for a moment, Bilinsky and the two grapplers were mixed in one heap. The sailor ran amuck for a few moments. Pushing Dougherty out of the ring, the grappler landed on the lap of a spectator. Franz then went after Mike, and the ref was relieved when Dougherty re-entered the ring. The sailor threw Dougherty down and applied a body press.

05/13 Calgary, AB drew Nick Harris
05/27 Calgary, AB beat Bill Batch
05/28 Strathmore, AB vs. Edgar Briand Best 2-out-of-3 Falls Match

Promoter Frank Henrich
12/06 Brooks, AB lost to Alberta Heavyweight Champion Pat Meehan Best 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
*Meehan had to throw Bilinsky three times within 30 minutes in order to win

Promoter Josef Zabaw
12/16 Calgary, AB Begins refereeing full-time for promoter Josef Zabaw

1939
03/17 Calgary, AB lost to King Kong Clayton