Bronko began wrestling in February 1933 and won his first match in 2 minutes and 14 seconds. He wrestled January to July and then play football from September to December.
After winning the title in June 1937 by defeating Dean Detten in Minneapolis, he both wrestled and played football for the rest of the year. During one 21 day period, Bronko played in 5 football games and defended his wrestling title 8 times, while traveling from the Midwest to the West Coast, across to the East Coast and back to Midwest.
He held the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) title five times from 1937 to 1941. His favorite holds were the rope butt, the flying tackle and the body slam. He retired from wrestling in 1942 and did not resume it until 1946; he retired for good in 1958.