Peter Sauer (February 2, 1900 – September 11, 1949), was an American professional wrestler, better known by the ring name Ray Steele. He was born and raised in Norka, a German colony in Russia, in 1900 before immigrating to Lincoln, Nebraska in 1906. A highly skilled and dangerous catch wrestler, Steele was known for his extensive knowledge of submission holds.
|Born||February 2, 1900|
Norka, Volga Region, Russia
|Died||September 11, 1949 (aged 49)|
Valley County, Idaho, U.S.
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Masked Marvel|
|Billed height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Billed weight||210 lb (95 kg)|
After a successful amateur wrestling career, Steele then started wrestling in the carnivals, where he honed his catch wrestling skills. Upon turning pro, he relocated to California and became a regular workout partner of fellow catch wrestler Ad Santel. On 16 May 1934, he wrestled Orville Brown to a 30-minute draw. He gained some notoriety in 1936 when he faced heavyweight boxing contender Kingfish Levinsky in what is considered an early mixed martial arts (MMA) contest, which Steele won in 35 seconds. Steele's biggest accomplishment in the sport was winning the National Wrestling Association's World Heavyweight Championship from Bronko Nagurski in St. Louis, Missouri on March 7, 1940. Steele would hold the belt for over a year before losing it back to Bronko Nagurski on March 11, 1941 in Houston, Texas.
Sauer served as a mentor and coach to many young stars, including Lou Thesz before his death of a heart attack in September 1949. Thesz considered Sauer to be one of the finest wrestlers he ever knew.
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Class of 2002
- National Wrestling Association
- World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Midwest Wrestling Association (Ohio)
- Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Pioneer Era (Class of 2008)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- "Wrestling Game Mourns Ray Steele". Classic Wrestling Articles. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
- "Ray Steele". National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
- LoW Orville Brown Wrestling History: "A second thirty-minute draw was the final result of a match against Ray Steele in St. Louis on May 16th."
- Wray, J. G. "Wrestling Mourns Ray Steele" St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Sept. 13, 1949)