Lou Thesz was the one professional wrestler who gave the National Wrestling Alliance
credibility during its growing years, adding to the organization's credibility, and strengthening
its resolve to survive difficult situations. Particularly with so many other regional "world"
champions in the late 1940s and early '50s, the ability of Thesz as a legitimate wrestler
allowed him to confront adversaries through a worked, or "scripted," exhibition or a real shoot
match (a real contest). His reputation as a skilled grappler eliminated the potential
challenges of rouge champions, and gave the NWA a major boost.
But more importantly, Lou Thesz was a legendary professional wrestler, perhaps the greatest
single figure in the sport's history.
Through years of success and achievements, Thesz proved to be the backbone of
professional wrestling between 1937 and the 2002. He was a perinnial champion and
emissary for the sport he loved. He held versions of the World Championship at 21 years of
age and at 62. He was a talented shooter and hooker, traveled over 16-million miles across
the world and participated in upwards of 8-10,000 matches.
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