An all-time great and true pioneer of the sport, Lou Thesz is the Wrestling Republic Wrestler of the Day for April 24th.
Lou Thesz Biography:
Birth Name: Aloysious Martin Thesz
Age: 86 (April 24th, 1916 – April 28th, 2002)
Weight: 225 pounds
Place of Birth: Banat, Michigan
Accolades: 3x NWA World Heavyweight Champion, NWA Hall of Fame (Class of 2005), 1x NWA International Heavyweight Champion, 2x World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion (original version), 1x Universal Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Champion, WCW Hall of Fame (Class of 1993), WWE Hall of Fame (Class of 2016), Wrestling Observer Newsletter (Class of 1996)
Roman Reigns is defying modern imagination with a title reign that is fast approaching 1,000 days. While impressive, this title reign pails in comparison to those held by champions past, including the great Lous Thesz. We are honoring Thesz and his career because today is his birthday.
Born to Eastern European immigrants, Thesz began training for a career in wrestling at a young age. Thesz rose to stardom just in time to see the creation of the NWA in 1948 and became the world champion for the first time when inaugural champion Orville Brown was forced to vacate after a career-ending injury. To demonstrate Thesz’s dominance in his career, he held the NWA World Championship for a combined 3,749 days or just over ten years. For comparison, the next highest combined days is Ric Flair, who did it in nine reigns as opposed to Thesz’s three.
In addition to his dominant championship reigns, Lou Thesz is also remembered for the innovations he contributed to in the business. Many fans will be familiar with the Thesz Press, of course, named after Lou Thesz. However, he also pioneered the German Suplex, STF submission hold, and the powerbomb. Matches would look very different if not for Thesz’s contributions.
Photo Credit: WWE