Lou Thesz

Real Name : Lou Thesz
Nickname in Japan : Tetsujin (Iron Man)
Birth : April 24th, 1916 in Banat, Michigan
He had been telling that he was from St. Louis, Missouri where his family moved to when he was three years old. However, it was because of the tough life his parents had to go through in a Michigan small town and Thesz wanted to ignore that.
Died in April, 2002
Debut Match : September, 1932 in East St. Louis, Illinois
Last Match : December 26th, 1992 in Hamamatsu, Japan
defeated Brian Pillman
Inducted to Pro Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame
Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame
W.C.W. Hall of Fame on May 23, 1993
RSPW Hall of Fame in 1994
Puroresu Hall of Fame in May, 1996
Tragos-Thesz Hall of Fame on April 24, 1999.

REMEMBERING LOU THESZ

by Bob Ryder
www.1wrestling.com

One word best describes the career of Lou Thesz....Remarkable.

The great champion, who passed away this weekend, won his first version of the World Heavyweight Championship in 1937 and won his last World Title in 1963. During the 26 years between those two titles he dominated the world of professional wrestling by holding World Championships in four decades.

Thesz was perhaps the most respected man to ever step into a wrestling ring. His peers respected him because they knew that he was a legitimate tough guy...a "hooker"...who could easily snap bones or dislocate joints if he wanted to inflict some real damage on his opponent. Fans respected him largely for the same reason. When you saw Lou Thesz, you knew you were seeing the very best wrestler in the world...someone who seemed unbeatable not because he was the biggest guy in the business, but because he had skills that few could even hope to match.

The book that Lou Thesz wrote, "Hooker: The Biography of Lou Thesz", is the best book I have ever read about the wrestling business and is a must read for any serious wrestling fan. Thesz chronicles his career and shares stories about his life as a champion. I very highly recommend the book, especially to fans who might not be familiar with the pre-PPV era of wrestling.

Long after his retirement and well into his 80's, Thesz frequently took time to answer questions from fans on the internet...first on AOL and more recently at WrestlingClassics.com. He clearly didn't have to spend his time doing that, and didn't really have any reason to do it other than the fact that he genuinely enjoyed the interaction with the fans who exchanged their thoughts and questions with him. It was a rare honor and privilege for fans to have the chance to interact in such a way with a legitimate legend such as Lou Thesz and all indications were that he very much enjoyed the new friendships he made online.

It's very difficult for a fan my age to watch childhood heroes like Lou Thesz pass away. So many people like Johnny Valentine, Wahoo McDaniel, and now Lou Thesz have passed recently and each time it happens it brings memories flooding back from my early days as a wrestling fan. His days as champion were behind him when I had the chance to watch Lou Thesz wrestle in person...and I can't remember who his opponent was. I just remember being in awe of being able to see the great man in person.

And now he's gone.

He'll be missed by wrestling fans around the world, particularly by those fans who were lucky enough to have struck up online friendships with him in recent years. I can't help but think, though, that Lou Thesz is up in heaven looking for some of his old friends to stretch again.

He was a remarkable man.

The following, while not a complete title history, is a chronological look at the major championship victories and losses of Lou Thesz over the course of his career.

December 29, 1937 - Thesz defeats Everett Marshall for the Midwest Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title in St. Louis, Missouri. He is also awarded the American Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title following the match, as champion Yvon Robert had been stripped of the title for refusing to wrestle Thesz.

February 11, 1938 - Thesz loses the AWA World Heavyweight Title to Steve Casey in Boston, Massachusetts.

February 23, 1939 - Thesz defeats Everett Marshall for the National Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title in St. Louis, Missouri.

June 23, 1939 - Thesz loses the NWA World Heavyweight Title to Bronko Nagurski in Houston, Texas.

June 12, 1940 - Thesz defeats Leo Numa to win the American Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title in Montreal, Quebec.

October 23, 1940 - Thesz loses the AWA World Heavyweight Title to Yvon Robert in Montreal, Quebec.

May 12, 1944 - Thesz defeats Hans Schnabel for the Texas Heavyweight Title in Houston, Texas.

June 30, 1944 - Thesz loses the Texas Heavyweight Title to Ernie Dusek in Houston, Texas.

August 18, 1944 - Thesz defeats Ernie Dusek for the Texas Heavyweight Title in Houston, Texas.

December 8, 1944 - Thesz loses the Texas Heavyweight Title to Olaf Olson in Houston, Texas.

May 3, 1946 - Thesz defeats Buddy Rogers for the Texas Heavyweight Title in Houston, Texas.

May 10, 1946 - Thesz loses the Texas Heavyweight Title to Buddy Rogers in Houston, Texas.

September 11, 1946 - Thesz defeats Bobby Managoff for the AWA World Heavyweight Title in Montreal, Quebec.

February 20, 1947 - Thesz loses the AWA World Heavyweight Title to Bobby Managoff in Ottawa, Ontario.

April 16, 1947 - Thesz defeats Bobby Managoff for the AWA World Heavyweight Title in Montreal, Quebec.

April 25, 1947 - Thesz defeats Whipper Billy Watson for the NWA World Heavyweight Title in St. Louis, Missouri.

November 21, 1947 - Thesz loses the NWA World Heavyweight Title to Bill Longson in Houston, Texas.

November 26, 1947 - Thesz loses the AWA World Heavyweight Title to Yvon Robert in Montreal, Quebec.

July 20, 1948 - Thesz defeats Billy Longson in Indianapolis, Indiana for the NWA World Heavyweight Title.

November 27, 1949 - Thesz unifies the National Wrestling Association Title with the National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Title when Alliance champion Orville Brown was not able to wrestle in a unification match due to injuries suffered in a car crash.

July 27, 1950 - Thesz defeats AWA World Heavyweight Champion Gorgeous George in Chicago, Illinois. The title is not on the line, but this victory solidifies his claim to being the Undisputed World Champion.

May 21, 1952 - Thesz defeats Baron Michele Leone for the Los Angeles version of the World Heavyweight Title. Thesz is considered the Undisputed World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion.

March 15, 1956 - Thesz loses the NWA World Heavyweight Title to Whipper Billy Watson in Toronto, Ontario.

November 9, 1956 - Thesz defeats Whipper Billy Watson for the NWA World Heavyweight Title in St. Louis, Missouri.

June 14, 1957 - Thesz loses to Edouard Carpentier by disqualification in Chicago, Illinois when Thesz can't continue due to a back injury. The World title is splintered, as several promoters recognize Carpentier as World Champion, while others continue to recognize Thesz.

November 14, 1957 - Thesz loses the NWA World Heavyweight Title to Dick Hutton in Toronto, Ontario.

November 1957 - Thesz is awarded the NWA International Heavyweight Title. Reports that he defeated Antonio Rocca for the title are incorrect.

August 27, 1958 - Thesz loses the NWA International Heavyweight Title to Rikidozan in Los Angeles, California.

June 24, 1963 - Thesz defeats Buddy Rogers in Toronto, Ontario for the NWA World Heavyweight Title. Because it was a one fall match, Northeast promoters refused to recognize the switch, and formed the World Wide Wrestling Federation, with Rogers as their champion. Thesz would later defeat Rogers in a three fall match, but no title is exchanged.

June 1964 - Thesz defeats Karl Gotch for the AWA World Heavyweight Title in Columbus, Georgia. The championship was unified with the NWA World Heavyweight Title.

January 7, 1966 - Thesz loses the NWA World Heavyweight Title to Gene Kiniski in St. Louis, Missouri.

October 14, 1966 - Thesz defeated Buddy Austin for the World Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title in Los Angeles, California.

October 28, 1966 - Thesz loses the WWA World Heavyweight Title to Mark Lewin in Los Angles, California.

August 15, 1977 - Thesz is awarded the first Universal Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title.

August 27, 1978 - Lost the UWA World Heavyweight Title to El Canek in Mexico City, Mexico.


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credits to Bob Ryder
www.1wrestling.com