Thesz Shows Old Speed Beating Buddy Rogers

Globe & Mail – February 8, 1963
By Steve York

There’s life in the old dog yet as Old Dog Trey of the old song might say.

Meaning that Lou Thesz had enough speed and agility to take care of younger opponent Buddy Rogers in the main wrestling match last night at Maple Leaf Gardens. Thesz retained the National Wrestling Alliance world’s heavyweight championship he won from Rogers two weeks ago at the Gardens by taking the match, two falls to one.

The crowd was given as 11,000. Included in the throng who were delighted at ageless Lou’s success were Les Girls, back after months of absence.

Thesz was awarded the first fall at 7:53 by referee Tiger Tasker. Thesz had Rogers in a corner. To get out, Rogers kicked at Lou’s chest. Thesz toppled back into Tasker and both fell to the mat. Tasker didn’t think this was a nice way to treat a referee, even if the tumble came second hand, so to speak, and rulled Thesz was winner of the first fall.

After Thesz had tested Rogers with a side headlock and Rogers replied with a body scissors, Rogers picked up Thesz and dumped him on his head in a pile driver. Rogers followed with a top spread to even the match at a fall each at 13:57.

Thesz must have become annoyed at the application of what is considered an illegal hold. Or he wanted to get away from our frigid air to his home in Phoenix, Ariz., where the temperature was 84 yesterday, he said. In any case he wasted no time in scoring the deciding fall.

Rogers tried another pile driver. Just as he was about to heave Thesz into the air Lou straightened up, flinging Rogers over his head in a back drop. When Rogers landed on his back his feet looked suspiciously under the ropes. Thesz took no chances. He pulled Rogers a few inches into the ring and applied a top spread for the winning fall at 15:45.

Wild Bill Longson, a former world’s champion, was introduced from the ring before the main match. Longson says he promotes shows in St. Louis and wrestles once in a while.

A couple of interesting aspects to last night’s card should be noted. There were seven matches and there hasn’t been a card like that since Jack Corcoran started promoting. And you would have to go back almost as far to find a main bout contested on a two-out-of-three basis.

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