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Wrestler Lou Thesz goes flying

Wrestler Lou Thesz goes flying

Nov. 12, 1952: Wrestler Lou Thesz hits the canvas but bounced up to defeat Argentina Rocca in three-fall match at the Olympic Auditorium.

Jack Geyer reported in the next morning’s Los Angeles Times:

There are those who buy gold stock in nonexistent mines and those who buy the Brooklyn Bridge. There are those who consult fortune tellers and also those who attend wrestling matches.

And more than 10,000 of the latter were on hand at the Olympic Auditorium last night to see if Lou Thesz could retain his heavyweight wrestling championship against the onslaught of Argentina Rocca, the bouncing boy from below the border.

Thesz not only could, he did, taking the second and third falls after Argentina had annexed the first.

The affair ended with Argentina, still groggy from a fall on the head, staggering around the ring to the strains of “Rocca Bye My Baby.” While in this semicomatose state it was a fairly easy matter for Thesz to pocket the final fall. …

This photo by Art Rogers appeared in the Nov. 13, 1952, Los Angeles Times.

Aloysius Martin “Lou” Thesz held the NWA World Heavyweight Championship three times. He passed away on April 28, 2002. Here is a link to the Los Angeles Times obituary: Lou Thesz, 86; Former World Champion Wrestler.

Antonino “Argentina” Rocca passed away on March 15, 1977. In 1995 he was inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame.

On YouTube is this video of Thesz vs. Rocca 1950s-era fights at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Below, I’ve posted a couple additional photos of Thesz and Rocca.

Professional wretler Louis Thesz trains with Louie Miller for an upcoming match with Argentina Rocca. This photo was published in the Sep. 9, 1952 Los Angeles Times.

Professional wrestler Louis Thesz trains with Louie Miller for a match with Argentina Rocca. This photo was published in the Sept. 9, 1952, Los Angeles Times.

Dec. 8, 1949: Wrestler Argentina Rocca applies back breaker to Chief Little Wolf during match at Olympic Auditorium. This photo appeared in the Dec. 14, 1949 Los Angeles Times. The referee is Mickey McMasters.

Dec. 8, 1949: Wrestler Argentina Rocca applies a back breaker to Chief Little Wolf during match at Olympic Auditorium. This photo appeared in the Dec. 14, 1949, Los Angeles Times. The referee is Mickey McMasters. Credit: Larry Sharkey/Los Angeles Times

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