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Lou Thesz vs Buddy Rogers (01/26/51)

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Thesz defends his title against Rogers in a 2 out of 3 falls match. I liked the first two falls. Lots of matwork including headlocks and body scissors. They both did a good job of selling in the holds. Both moved around, looking for ways to counter, and they didn't just lay there in the holds. I liked Thesz's alternating wrenching the ankle and elbowing Rogers in the back of the head. Thesz took an oversized bump off a shoulder block that sort of reminded me of Mr. Perfect. He won the first fall with an airplane spin, and Rogers wins the second fall after a piledriver.

 

Something interesting in the match was their kicking out before the referee started counting. No two and a half kickouts here. Rogers strutted some, but it was subdued compared to Flair's version. The match dragged in the third fall. They became repetitive, going back to the same holds. Neither worked with any urgency as the time limit approached. It ends with a time limit draw and a handshake between the face Thesz and the heel Rogers.

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My recollection of this was that it was stunningly disappointing, especially compared to the entertaining Lou-Verne draw.

 

I'll have to watch the shorter one since people appear to have liked it.

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I really loved this match and didn't expect to based on some similar reviews I'd heard that have been stated previously. I especially loved the nuances that both men used, especially Thesz' little short elbows while in a hold to really sell how fucking vicious he was. Rogers had incredibly poise and that really made me see where he got the reputation that he has had now for decades. I would agree that the match began to drag and actually I've yet to see the Verne/Thesz draw so I'll be on that soon. :)

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