Everybody’s goal in the wrestling business is to become world champion. Whether you are in a big time federation or just a fledgling independent or a strong rising federation like PWF/Zero1 being a champion is an ultimate goal—in the next few months I am going to be writing articles on the history of Wrestling world Champions, starting this month with the original NWA.
It all started wth a man named Frank Sexton. “The Sedalis Cyclone” was a staple in the American Wrestling Association, and numerous times held its world championship belt, before unifying it with the NWA championship. 2 months later he lost it to a man named Orville Browne who for over a year held onto the prestigious title until a car accident forced him into retirement. The man who then became champion is the subject of my article today—–the great Lou Thesz
Aloysius Martin “Lou” Thesz was the greatest NWA champion of all time. After being trained as a child for numerous years he made his debut in 1932 and almost immediately caught the eye of the great Ed Strangler Lewis. After training with him for many years he became one of the biggest stars in that time in the St Louis area
In 1948 the National wrestling alliance was formed. The first scheduled title match was between Orville Brown and Lou but Orville had the car accident and thus Lou Thesz began a 7 yr run of greatness unifying all the local world chamopionships into the World heavyweight cham pionship.
He has been inducted in numerous hall of fames and held 16 different world titles as well as having the most years as a NWA World heavyweight Champion. He was known to have numerous 60 minute, 90 minute, even 120 minute matches and come back the next night and wrestle.
He was a master of the scientific art of wrestling and was probably the greatest “hooker” (submission wrestler) of all time. His style transcends generations and is shown by beating people of all shapes andf sizes in his run. Without his influences we wouldnt have had wrestlers like Jack and Jerry Brisco, The funk brothers, Ric Flair, and many others. Arguably one of the greatest and most used finishes in wrestling today, The STF was invented by him. In this generations people like Daniel Bryan, John Cena, and even the late Chris Benoit, used it as their finishers of choice.
He also showed his longevity by becoming the only wrestler to wrestle in 7 decades when he wrestled his protege Masahiro Chono in 1990 at the ripe young age of 74! He is truly a legends legend and one of the wrestlers all modern day wrestlers should model themselves after.