Sometimes YouTube really surprises me when I unearth gems from wrestling’s past that either I never knew existed or had completely forgotten about.
I was shocked to see this clip from the old Tuesday Night Titans show with all-time legend Lou Thesz.
(For those who never saw TNT, imagine Vince McMahon acting like Jay Leno interviewing wrestlers.)
I thought I had probably seen every episode of TNT, yet I was floored here in 2013 to see that Thesz was ever on TNT, because I don’t remember it. It’s not like McMahon and Thesz shared wrestling philosophies.
Thesz’s autobiography, “Hooker,” is one of the best wrestling books I’ve ever read, mainly because it’s like getting a history of pro wrestling in United States straight through the eyes of a multi-time NWA world champion.
Thesz was an acknowledged shooter who could hurt you for real, which is probably why the NWA leaned on him so much to be its title holder; wrestlers who perhaps wanted to double-cross a champion in the ring thought better of it if Thesz was their opponent. For all the talk of the Montreal screwjob with Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart, the idea of forcibly taking a title off a champ in a shoot seemed to happen often in the first half of the 20th century.
But back to Thesz on TNT. His reaction to a “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff video clip from a spa is great. “He’s an ostentatious dresser and he wants to push his weight around, but that just isn’t the way to go through your life,” Thesz said of Orndorff.