Dick Hutton Captures Lou Thesz’ Mat Crown

Globe & Mail – November 15, 1957
By Steve York

Dick Hutton became a good guy again to 9,099 wrestling fans at Maple Leaf Gardens last night.

All the Oklahoma strong boy did was win over Lou Thesz to become National Wrestling Alliance world’s heavyweight champion.

Hutton forced the veteran to concede when he applied his fearsome abdominal stretch at 35:15 of the one fall, no time limit match.

Hutton also kept his $2,000. For so long it had become laughable he had been offering $1,000 to any wrestler who could defeat him in 20 minutes or less. For last night’s crucial contest, Hutton waived the time limit and also increased his offering to $2,000. If he lost, half would go to charity and half to Thesz.

Well, that’s one way to save $2,000.

Next to Thesz, the most disappointed man there was probably Sam Muchnick, Alliance president.

There he was with Hutton’s two grand in one hand and not able to give it away, and a handful of the Alliance’s latest by-laws that he was unable to use. The result was clear-cut.

Last time Muchnick was here, Whipper Watson won over Thesz by disqualification. Sam just happened to have a recent Alliance by-law with him that said the title couldn’t change hands by disqualification.

Watson, incidentally, challenged the winner of last night’s match.

Next week’s main event will have three teams in the ring at the same time: Fritz von Erich and Gene Kiniski, Whipper Watson and Yukon Eric and Pat O’Connor and Roy McClarity.

Officially, only the first two teams will be wrestling. O’Connor and McClarity will be acting as referees.

This is the lineup of several weeks ago that was knocked into the discard by Watson’s attack of la grippe.

Hutton set up Thesz for defeat with a couple of body slams. Dick caught Thesz coming off the ropes as Lou was planning a flying tackle. Instead Hutton seized him, lifted him high and slammed him mightily to the mat.

Thesz, a cagey character, made a production of recovering to stall off his eager and younger rival, but Hutton bounced Louie heartily again. Before he could recover this time, Hutton was on him swiftly and enmeshed him in his abdominal stretch. Thesz made one valiant effort to fall into the ropes but couldn’t make it and referee Bert Maxwell finally awarded the match to Hutton.

It wasn’t a very spectacular clash as neither man wished to give his rival any openings. So they ground each other down with headlocks, hammerlocks, scissors holds and toe holds.

Thesz annoyed the customers by his mean tactics along the ropes. Some times before breaking a hold at Maxwell’s behest he would punch at Hutton’s head or give him an elbow smash. At other times Thesz would break cleanly immediately when Maxwell ordered it, but before Hutton could get away from the ropes the old champ would rap him in the head with a punch or an elbow.

Main Bout – Dick Hutton, 255, def. Lou Thesz, 237, with abdominal strech at 35:15 of one-fall match.

Semi-final – Al Costello, 240, and Roy Heffernan, 240, won over Tiger Tasker, 229, and The Mighty Ursus, 325. Heffernan pinned Tasker with flying tackle and top spread at 7:16 of a scheduled 30-minute match.

Preliminaries – Roy McClarity, 232, defeated Pierre LaSalle, 229, with sleeper hold at 8:34 of scheduled 30-minute match; Farmer Boy, 265, and Jim Bernard, 255, wrestled 20 minutes to a draw; Fred Atkins, 248, and Joe Blanchard, 239, wrestled 20 minutes to a draw.

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