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Lou Klein (1916-1979)

Real NameLouis J. Klein

Lifespan - 7/10/16 - 10/11/79

??? - Detroit, MI

Athletic BackgroundWrestling

Teacher(s) - n/a

AliasesLouie Klein, Green Hornet, Lou Bastien

Peak Years - 1960s

Place in HistoryA product of Depression-era Detroit, Lou Klein was as hard-working as he was frugal.  He was an accomplished amateur wrestler in the 1930s who might have had Olympic potential before the Second World War erupted.  With a wife and child to care for, he opted to turn pro.  Known as the “Atomic Blonde from Detroit,” Klein worked around the Midwest as a junior heavyweight.  Lou Klein became the “brother” of Red Bastien and during the 1960s, and while they might not have been close friends, the pair became one of the top tag teams.  It has been said that Lou resented using someone else’s surname and while the reasoning was logical, Red was better established, despite being younger.  Red was one of the most dynamic and exciting workers around and Lou complimented him as a seasoned veteran with a mat-based style.  Working in the Northeast, the Midwest, Florida and Georgia, the Bastiens became one of the top babyface teams of the era working opposite the Grahams, the Kangaroos, the Sharpes and the Tolos Brothers.  Klein headed back to his home territory where he finished out his career.  Mainly working as an undercard veteran with “Man of 1000 Holds” moniker, Klein mainly focused on training and helping young talent.  Over the years Lou Klein helped a wide variety of individuals break into the sport including stars like The Sheik and Art Neilson, but also women (including his own daughter), little people while traveling with Jack Britton’s troupe and even referee Tommy Young.  Many would consider those contributions to be the most significant, but the Bastiens were an excellent underdog tag team who could sell and make a big comeback with exciting highspots that in some ways blazed a trail for many beloved tag teams in years to come.