Acrylic on 24″ x 24″ wood
Lou Thesz is quite possibly the greatest professional wrestler who ever lived. Beyond his accomplishments like holding the NWA Championship for 10 years, three months and nine days over three reigns, and holding the World Title for multiple other organizations, he is also credited with creating many of the moves that have defined a pro wrestling match. Maneuvers he’s credited with innovating are the belly to back waistlock suplex aka the German suplex, the (aptly named) Lou Thesz press, the STF and the powerbomb. Behind the scenes, the NWA stood behind him being champion due to his notoriety as a hooker (get your mind out of the gutter!), someone who can fend off an opponent that decides to try to legitimately beat him in the ring.
Thesz was a legit tough guy, but also widely known as a gentleman that was easy to put forward as the face of not just the National Wrestling Alliance, but wrestling itself. It’s not surprising at all that he’s still known as the pedigree of wrestling’s royalty or that the professional wrestling wing of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum is named after him. He was just that good, and raised the quality of the sport simply by being associated with it.