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Aloysius Martin Thesz (April 24, 1916 – April 28, 2002), better known under the ring name Lou Thesz, was an American professional wrestler. He holds legendary status in pro wrestling for his innovative wrestling techniques, as well as for his unification of numerous versions of the World Heavyweight Championship into one title.


At an early age Thesz's father would give him vigorous lessons in Greco-Roman wrestling style, which would help him once he joined the wrestling team in his high school. He would make his professional wrestling debut at the age of 16 in 1932

By 1937 Thesz would become one of the biggest stars in the American Wrestling Association and would defeat Everett Marshall and win the American Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Championship, making him the youngest world champion at the age of 21

In 1948 Thesz, had fully run his own wrestling promotion until it was absorbed by the National Wrestling Alliance. However part of the deal between Thesz and promoter Sam Muchnick was a title unification match between him and Midwest World Heavyweight Champion Orville Brown. Brown would get into a car accident before the match, thus ending his career. Thesz would be awarded the NWA World Heavyweight Championship

In 1957 Thesz would suffer a back injury in a title defense against Edouard Carpentier. Even though he would lose the match the title changed wouldn't be recognized. Later that year he would have a successful title defense in Japan. Thesz wanted to continue to defend his championship in Japan which was refused and instead Thesz would drop the title to Dick Hutton.

Thesz would come out of semi-retirement in 1963 to defeat real life rival Buddy Rogers winning his sixth World Championship at the age of 46. He would drop the title in 1966 to Gene Kiniski and would wrestle on a part-time basis. His last notable title run was in 1978 becoming the Universal Wrestling Alliance Heavyweight Champion at the age of 62

He would have his final match against protege Masahiro Chono on December 26, 1990 at the age of 74

Later Life and Death

Thesz would spend the rest of his years as a Color Commentator, manager, promoter, and trainer. In 1992 he would become president of the Cauliflower Alley Club, an organization recognizing and supporting retired wrestlers and actors who enjoyed an association with wrestling.

He lived in Norfolk, Virginia for the rest of his life and started his own wrestling school called the Virginia Wrestling Academy in 1988. He wrote and Autobiography titled Hooker. On April 9, 2002 he would have triple bypass surgery for an aortic valve replacement. He would pass away weeks later in Orlando, Florida after complications from that surgery.

In wrestling

Championships and Accomplishments

  • American Wrestling Association
    • AWA World Heavyweight Championship (Boston version) (1 time)
    • AWA World Heavyweight Championship (Ohio version) (1 time)
  • International Wrestling Enterprise
    • TWWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • Midwest Wrestling Association (Ohio)
    • MWA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • Missouri Sports Hall of Fame (Class of 2002)
  • Montreal Athletic Commission
    • World Heavyweight Championship (Montreal version) (4 times)

External links

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