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Lou Thesz (1916-2001)


Real Name - Lajos Tiza or Aloysius Martin Thesz
Lifespan - 4/24/1916 - 4/28/2001
6'2" 225 lbs. - St. Louis, MO

Athletic Background - Greco-Roman Wrestling

Teacher(s) - Martin Thesz, Ray Steele, George Tragos, Ad Santel, Ed Lewis

Professional Background - St. Louis(`33-`35), Iowa(`35), Minnesota(`35-`36), St. Louis(`36), Los Angeles(`36), San Francisco(`36), St. Louis(`36-`37), St. Louis(`39), Houston(`41-`43), Washington(`44-`45), Texas(`46), St. Louis(`46-`68,`69,`70), San Francisco[NWA](`61), Kansas City(`64), San Francisco[AWA](`66-`67), AWA(`67,`69,`75), New Japan(`73;`91), Nashville(`74-`78), Houston(`74), Memphis(`78), UWFi(`9?)

Groups - none

Peak Years - `37-`53

Finisher(s) - 

- Stepover Toehold Facelock
- Back Suplex
- Thesz Press (Jumping Vertical Bodypress Cradle)
- Piledriver
- (Front) Dropkick

Favorites - 
- Airplane Spin
- Hip Toss
- Hammerlock Takedown into Head Scissors
- Back Elbow after breaking a Side Headlock
- Elbow

Ringwork Rating - 


Intangibles Rating - 


Place in History - Lou Thesz is one of the most widely respected wrestlers ever and it is difficult to put his legacy into words.  He was the last of the great hookers from the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century.  When he wrestled an exhibition with Ed Lewis in 1936 in St. Louis, "The Strangler" knew this was the future of wrestling.  Thesz was a good-looking, sophisticated man, who was always be in tip-top shape and could more than handle himself in a shoot.  Former NWA World champion, Harley Race, likened Thesz to a leopard as a man with respectable size, who wasted no motion.  Lou Thesz became the youngest world champion at the time at twenty-one.  This task was unprecidented as it would take about six months to popularize a wrestler and years to make them a world caliber star.  Like his mentor, Thesz was a seemingly unbeatable champion, who only ever lost the belt to keep interest.  His career is one of wrestling's most colorful, thankfully it was captured in his autobiography "Hooker."  His career spanned seven decades and he was a top star for many of them, wrestling everyone: Everett Marshall in the 30s, Buddy Rogers in the 40s, Whipper Watson in the 50s, Rikidozan in the 60s, Antonio Inoki in the 70s and everyone in between.  Many who were fans, fellow pro-wrestlers or promoters from those decades and beyond regard Lou Thesz as the greatest pro-wrestler of all-time.