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Thesz still a busy man



Lou Thesz, right, with Tiger Ali Singh, and his valet Babu, at the Cauliflower Alley Club East Coast Banquet in New Jersey in October 1998. -- Greg Oliver, CANOE
By GREG OLIVER -- SLAM! Wrestling

In our list of the Wrestlers of the Millennium, six-time world champion Lou Thesz, didn't finish in the top three. It's unfortunate, but then today's wrestling doesn't exactly cherish and promote it's past as other, more legitimate sports do.

Thesz was recognized as the most influential NWA Champion in our fall survey of the greatest NWA champions of all time. He was the perennial champion from the '40s to the '60s, as the National Wrestling Alliance came into prominence as the leading wrestling governing body.

Now 83, Thesz says that he is busier than ever.

"I'm running around, sometimes really disconnected," said Thesz from his Virginia home. "The older I get, the busier I get. It's not supposed to be that way, but that's the way it's working out."

He travels the continent doing seminars, and working with his wife (and chief organizer) Charlie on the Internet selling his book, Hooker.

What are the seminars about? "I'm teaching people how to hurt people," he laughed.

"Most of the fellows are amateur wrestlers. There's probably 50 to a group, and I'll demonstrate some of the hooks, some of the things you can really use to defeat someone if you're a wrestler. It's amazing how the amateur wrestlers are vitally interested in the 'How To', because in amateur wrestling, the bone-breaking holds are not permitted. But they want to know how to do it. It's very interesting."

The legitimately skilled wrestler isn't bitter over today's wrestling scene, just embarrassed by it.

"What it really is now, and I don't want to be unkind, but it's choreographed tumbling," he said. "They are entertaining. And it is entertainment today, it's not even looked at as a contest."

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