Vanka Cain. Long hands with huge hands, powerful hunched back and a huge head that created the athlete a fantastic image. This photo is a fighter with an unusual appearance has been placed in the nineteenth issue of the "Blue Magazine" for 1912. It was a professional wrestler Paul Bannikov, a native of Vyatka Province, who spoke under the pseudonym "Vanka Cain." This gave him a fictitious name famous organizer of French championships (classical) control IV Lebedev, Uncle Vanya. But, unlike the robber Vanka-Cain, Vyatka Hercules, with all its sinister appearance, life was good-natured and agreeable man.
His sports career began at the beginning of this century in the period of entrainment to combat tournaments and performances of athletes with power tricks. These theatrical spectacle attracted a lot of viewers. To attract the public to combat the French organizers of the championships is often practiced speech fighters in masks, which, of course, intrigued the audience. In a word, did not stint on the fudge. Sometimes the rumors that under some guise of hidden aristocrat-athlete who, because of their social status does not want to call it, but love for the sport makes him take part in competitions. But usually under the guise of a hiding any wrestler from another company.
There was also a special category of athletes - wrestlers and athletes giants, which have an enormous weight. Their participation in the championships have always ensured a full house. The most prominent were: Vyatka giant Gregory Kascheev (Kosinski) - an increase of 2 meters 8 centimeters, Muscovite Svyatogor (Klimov) - an increase of 2 meters 23 centimeters, the giant of the Archangel Vanya Goblin (Lobanov) - an increase of 2 meters 6 inches. Of the wrestlers big weight has been the most popular Vsevolod Avdeev, who spoke under the pseudonym Uncle Pud. Weighed 14 pounds (224 kg). Later, the athlete has acted as an arbitrator, there was even a dramatic actor. Of foreign fat was the most famous German athlete Emil Science, weighed 17 pounds (272 kg). To this category belonged to the extraordinary athletes and Paul Bannikov. And that's what was reported about him in "Blue Journal":
"From the Editorial Board. Near (with photo app. PS) we put the confession," Vanka-Cain, "runneth now with success in one of St. Petersburg championship fight. They say, among other things, that if at one time he was an executioner in Sakhalin but Vanka Cain indignantly rejects the veracity of this rumor.
Confessions of Vanka-Cain
"Boys, I was homely. It used to tease one of the boys, neighbors - I him on the head and knock. And as I passed the age of sixteen, I was escaping from the house. Popal in the taiga. You go through the taiga-bredesh , a living person does not see. once attacked me two. He struck me on the head with their fists, and run faster. One groaned. Maybe he died, has thrown. I ran nearly two hours. And then fell down and fell asleep. I slept, I think , the whole day. And then once met with a bear. As a man he fought. And remember funny, because, here, as it were an animal, but the bandwagon and tries. Bear-I, poborovshi, ate, then I came to Transbaikalia. Joined the Hammers Mysovaya. I've got the story out. That is not history, but is formed by the incident. We had a master ... Thank throughout Mysovaya as naiperveyshy athlete. Here he became attached to me. I have it and gently reined in, but handle a hammer hit on the head. He bryaknis on the ground, dragged him to the emergency room. Thoroughness, I know, in every movement, and hand to the same heavy. I went again, then on foot. Taiga was . In the Amur region visited. In one large village saw wandering circus. Let me at the gallery. I'm seeing that fighters came out, shouting frantic voice, "Lord are good, which you have no fighters, but I do peredavlyu." The whole audience to me ... let me into the arena. I went out for a healthy German wrestler. I turned him on his back is a German, and I'm on it, then the top. The crowd poured into my hat twelve rubles forty-six kopecks. We must speak the truth , the German after this fight in a month and gave the soul to God. And I'm just not privy to it. Now fight arrived in St. Petersburg. A good town. But this tea is not, as in Siberia. "
And, of course, after these messages with a fair amount of exaggeration and fiction audience poured into a circus and was looking forward to the appearance in the arena of a highly touted fighter.
That's what a lot later reported Bannikova newspaper "Kirov Pravda" dated May 17, 1981: "I'm sure many have heard about the famous strongman vyat Gregory and Basil Kashcheeva Babushkin. But it is unlikely readers know that the circus wrestler Paul Bannikov, known as" Vanka Cain "- our countryman. In the 70s of last century, he graduated from the Zemstvo school. ten or eleven years, Paul went to work - was the Hammers in a backwater Ilovatskom parohodovladeltsa. Then it was the same factory in Perm. Bannikov became a fighter in 1910 . This talent he opened the Polish fighter and entrepreneur Žilina. "
In St. Petersburg newspapers about Paul then wrote as "special interest has given rise to a new arena-champion athlete from Sakhalin (which for some reason thought of Sakhalin), Ivan Cain. Tall, with enormous round the back, with some knotty legs and a head like in the most fantastic cartoon, it seemed something extraordinary, even among those poluatletov-polugorill that became professional wrestlers of the twentieth century. Inventive advertising on a stunning championship holders without shame or conscience plays up this fighter. They came up with a nickname he Vanka-Cain enrolled him in Sakhalin settlers, reported that he had strangled a few fighters and strangled with his bare hands bear. All this was done in order to earn more money to address an honest, naive, oatmeal monster. "
In St. Petersburg in 1912 in one of the championships Bannikov scored ten wins, including over the world record holder Peter Krylov and German wrestler Alexander Schneider. In this championship, he received the second prize and the title of European champion. In the spring of that year at a major tournament in Moscow Bannikov won second place with one defeat, losing to world champion Vahturovu. In 1914, together with well-known fighters Lurihom and Aberg and entrepreneur Pavel Ivanovich left Žilina America, where he created a furore. During this visit, our countryman died in 1915 of dysentery. "
But that spoke about his uncle-nephew Bannikova fighter: "I was only thirteen years old, but I have fed themselves, working kid on the premises of the merchant in the city of Orlov. One day I asked you to master and, smiling broadly, told the good news: "I release you, Senka, home to as much as a visit your uncle. Come on, he's waiting for you. "" What is man? - I thought. - All of us lived in his uncle's nearby, only one of them, Paul, was somewhere far away. He fought and won in circuses. Did he? "Expectations have not been deceived. Going into the store, I saw a strange man. He was above all the growth, with long arms, big head and an ungainly figure, that brand-new tailored suit, a bag sitting on it. My uncle was not scary, but good, and I should not shy. His eyes were laughing, and he said: "Well, my nephew! Good nephew, here in a suitcase, a gift for you. "
The popularity of shows Bannikova and the following message, which was placed in the "To Sports" for 1914: Fighting in the garden "Tivoli." I. Cain, having escaped from the tutelage of Mr. Lebedev joined the championship Garden "Tivoli." Now it through hard obliging newspapers and advertising are all in the championship game. "
In the 9th issue of the journal in 1913 published the results of the 1st of the competition's most popular professional wrestlers. Ivan Cain took third place out of 15 participants. Ivan Poddubny excelled.
Much success and love Paul Bannikov enjoyed the visitors gallery - students, workers.