Wrestling: Lou Thesz

The greatest ever. Period.

Born Lajos Tiza in Banat, Michigan, Lou Thesz (1916-2002) was an American Professional Wrestler. He is best known for his six reigns as NWA World Heavyweight Champion and for inventing such moves as the Lou Thesz Press, later used by everyone from "Stone Cold" Steve Austin to Mickie James, the STF, popularized by Masahiro Chono and used today by John Cena, and the powerbomb, popularized by Sid Vicious and by Big Van Vader and used by too many wrestlers to start listing them here. He started his career in the 1930s and had his last match, against Chono, one of his students, in 1990. While he was primarily a singles wrestler, he also held the NWA (Vancouver) Pacific Coast Tag Team Title with the Outlaw (Dory Funk Sr.), and the NWA Southern (Tennessee) Tag Team Title with Jackie Fargo. He also competed for the Lucha Libre Internacional promotion in Mexico (better known as the UWA), for Jerry Lawler's CWA promotion in Memphis and won the Legends Battle Royal at a WWE house show at the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, NJ on November 6, 1987. He was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1996.

As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.

"Lou Tropes Press"

  • Aborted Arc: His "disputed" NWA World Heavyweight Champion angle was put to an end when Montreal promoter Eddie Quinn left the NWA and the NWA president Sam Muchnick put an end to "the dispute", "assuring" everyone Édouard Carpentier had no claim to a victory over Thesz.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: More so alternate regional equivalent, being one of the men to establish professional wrestling as we know it in the United States of America(or at least as it was known until 2001) the way Rikidozan did for Japan and El Santo did for Mexico.
  • Arch-Enemy: "Whipper" Billy Watson, "The Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers, Rikidozan.
  • Autobiography: Hooker.
  • Badass: Like most wrestlers in his era, Thesz was a legitemate amateur wrestler and had an incredible amount of core strength to back it up. One ancedote details how he once beat the crap out of a fellow athlete who thought he was disgracing "legitimate" wrestling by using useless moves like dropkicks. So Thesz beat him up. With dropkicks.
  • Badass Grandpa/Ring Oldies: He wrestled in seven different decades, and had his last match at the age of 74.
  • Badass Teacher: Wrestlers he had a hand in training include Bruiser Brody, Dory Funk Jr., Nick Bockwinkel, Jumbo Tsuruta and Masahiro Chono.
    • Taught hand to hand combat defense to medics during World War II.
  • Bald of Awesome: As he got older.
  • Captain Ersatz: Fire Pro Wrestling uses him and Rikidozan, unsurprisingly.
  • Carpet of Virility: Hair of manliness and maturity, or at least that was the look he was going for.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Was famously very strong, particularly for his era.
  • Cool Old Guy: He came out of retirement to win the UWA heavyweight championship in Mexico.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Anyone who was able to have an officially recognized victory for the title over Thesz would have done this.
  • Finishing Move: Thesz Press, STF
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel: Was one in Japan, and even agreed to put over Rikidozan to give the Japanese fans a hero to rally behind. He also ended up giving the JWA the NWA International Title, a semi-unsanctioned title Thez defended overseas, and which is still part of the All Japan Triple Crown.
  • Red Baron: (in Japan): Tetsujin (Iron Man)
  • Serious Business: Thesz's full-time run, from the 1930s through the 1970s, was the era where Kayfabe was absolutely enforced and treated as something that should never be broken.
  • Stronger Than They Look: In the modern era when even lightweight wrestlers are often expected to look like they're cut from stone, the balding, slightly paunchy Thez doesnt exactly cut an impressive figure. Anyone in the business will tell you that Thez could tie them into human pretzels without breaking a sweat.
  • The Ace: Lou Thesz is technically the second NWA World Champion but is considered to be the first true "world" champion because he went around defeating the holders of rival belts to that claim and unifying them with his own.
  • Ur-Example
    • The Power Bomb, belly-to-back waistlock suplex, the stepover toehold facelock(STF) and the Lou Thesz press, naturally, are all credited to him.
    • The first Universal Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Champion.
  • Worthy Opponent: Rikidozan, Verne Gagne, Danny Hodge, Ed Lewis, Karl Gotch.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Karl Gotch. Thesz and him tended to badmouth each other and supposedly had a real brawl during a match, but they deep down respected each other and stayed in good terms until their deaths.