In case some haven't figured me out just yet. I love pro wrestling history and everything it stands for.
For us as fans, it is important that we not only acknowledge the past, but also learn to love and appreciate it. We had many great grapplers that have paved the way for today's stars. Yet, it seems to me that today's fans don't know about wrestling's history.
That is why I decided to start a series of articles that will quickly spotlight our past legends. I have no timetable for how long I will run it. That will be up to you guys out there in "Internet land."
If I see you guys are enjoying it, I will run it forever.
I hope all of you not only enjoy it, but also learn a little something in the process. So without any further delay or lectures. Here is series one, volume one of my new series called Spotlighting Our Legends Past.
While it can be said that we have had many great contributors in the world of pro wrestling, it would be hard to find one more important then Lou Thesz. Thesz started his career in pro wrestling at the tender age of 16. He was soon under the wings of Ed "Strangler" Lewis.
Ed went on to teach Lou the tricks of the trade. Soon after, Lou Thesz went on to become the face of pro wrestling. Thesz traveled all over the world and won many titles over that time.
He become the youngest world champ in history by winning the title at the age of 21.
He is also is credited as becoming the first undisputed champion. In 1952, he accomplished that by beating Baron Michel Leone. During is career, he held the NWA heavyweight title for almost 13 years combined. Not only was he a decorated champ, Thesz went on to create a few moves that are widely used today.
Thesz wrestled just about everyone in his career including guys like Billy Watson, Buddy Rogers, and Fred Curry Sr. Thesz is also credited for creating the "Power Bomb", the "Lou Thesz press", and the "German Suplex". It can be easily said that without Lou Thesz, wrestling would not be where it is today.
In the early 80s, this tandem formed while competing in Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling. They were a instant hit with the fans. They also did some time in Japan with noticeable success. People remember them most though when they went to the WWE.
During the mid 80s, when the WWE probably had their best tag division, the British Bulldogs were tops amongst the ranks. Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid brought a excitement that helped excel the tag teams in the WWE.
They only held the titles once, but it wasn't the gold that made this awesome team. They had a chemistry in the ring that was second to none in the WWE. The Bulldogs feuded with many great teams like The Dream Team and the Hart Foundation.
Though their time was short in the WWE, the British Bulldogs will go down in history as one of the best tag teams in the WWE.
While many fans today like to credit Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels for paving the way for smaller champs to get a shot at the belt, they would in fact be wrong. It was Bob Backlund who was the real stone breaker in this category.
Backlund, a stand out amateur wrestler, made his debut in 1973. He had a clean-cut look and technical ability that sold out many cards. He went to the AWA where he would have some success in the tag ranks. Where he really made a name for himself, though, was in the WWE.
He went to the WWE in the late 70s, where he quickly succeeded. Backlund moved through the ranks very quickly once he arrived. In 1978, he went on to beat "Superstar" Billy Graham to become the WWE champ.
Bob Backlund went on to hold that belt for five years. He feuded with every heel on the roster at the time. Backlund was also involved in the controversial title drop with Antonio Inoki, a drop still to this day the WWE doesn't recognize.
He retired in 1984, but made a brief comeback in 1992. During this comeback, he went on to win the belt again by beating Bret Hart. He officially retired again in 1997. He proved that you didn't have to be the biggest dog in the yard to succeed.
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