When Lou Thesz wrestled his last match in 1990, he ended a career that lasted through seven different decades and thousands of matches.
He is considered one of the most innovative wrestlers of all time. He invented countless moves, including the Powerbomb, STF and Lou Thesz Press.
Thesz was an AWA World Champion in the 1930s, but it was not until after World War 2 that he would become a nationwide champion with the National Wrestling Alliance.
He held on to the NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship for a record 3749 days over a period of three reigns. Despite Ric Flair having a record 10 reigns with the championship, he did not manage to hold the belt for as long as Thesz.
While his career began in 1933 when he was just 17, it lasted 57 years. He is regarded as a “God of Wrestling” in Japan and is one of the biggest stars in company history.
In this article, we’ll look at the final match of Lou Thesz’s career and who he wrestled his last match in his legendary pro-wrestling career.
Lou Thesz Last Match
The final match of the incredible career of Lou Thesz came in 1990.
The American legend was well past his prime at this point and was 74 years of age! To put this into perspective, Ric Flair was 73 during his disastrous last ever match, and he nearly died multiple times in the ring.
Lou Thesz had a retirement match eleven years prior, although it would not prove to be his last match.
His match against Luke Graham was billed as his retirement match, Thesz continued to wrestle on a sporadic basis over the next 11 years. He won his title in Mexico the year prior, but would wrestle across the world throughout the 1980s and the start of the 1990s.
Lou Thesz’s last match was on December 26, 1990, in Hamamatsu, Japan. He took on his protégé in wrestling, Masahiro Chono.
It was an incredibly short match. As expected, the 74 year old was in no shape to wrestle. He looked just like an old man had wandered into the ring to wrestle.
However, the crowd were electric. They were thrilled to see the man who innovated wrestling in Japan and was referred as “The God of Wrestling” by fans of pro-wrestling in Japan.
The bout had very little substance. Neither men really did anything and it was clearly just an exhibition to end Thesz career. He wasn’t in shape and fell over while trying to lift Chono for a Gotch-Style piledriver.
He took a single bump, but it was incredibly carefully taken not to hurt himself. It looked anything bigger could have killed him then and there.
Masahiro Chono won the final of Lou Thesz. He looked him mentor in the STF submission hold and forced him to give up. It was a move that is said to be innovated by Thesz, so was a nice way to end the match,
It ended a career that lasted over 50 years and saw Lou Thesz wrestle in 7 different decades.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.