TODAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY… JAN 7th: A Thunderous Title Win

DATELINE: JAN 7, 1966 – KIEL AUDITORIUM – ST. LOUIS, MO


Gene Kiniski defeats Lou Thesz to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

(Attendance: 11,612)
Gene Kiniski wins the NWA championship by beating Lou Thesz. 1-Thesz won with a series of drop kicks in 18:08. 2-Kiniski won via DQ. Thesz was stunned by a back breaker from Kiniski, after Kiniski caught Thesz in mid-air when Thesz tried a flying head scissors. Trying to fight Kiniski off following the back breaker, Thesz lifted him and flipped him backwards over the top rope. Referee Joe Schoenberger called for the DQ at 4:28. 3-Kiniski won after three back breakers in 1:17.

FULL CARD: http://crazymax.org/newsite/results/st-louis-1966/

Big Thunder had previously defeated Verne Gagne for the AWA World Championship in 1961, thus his victory over Thesz in St. Louis made him the first man to have held both the AWA and NWA titles in their career. The AWA went defunct in the early 90’s… with no man ever managing to match Kiniski’s amazing accomplishment.

Dubbed “Canada’s Greatest Athlete”, the legendary Gene Kiniski died on April 14, 2010, at his home in Blaine, Washington. He was 81 years old.

Unidentified match footage of Gene Kiniski vs. Lou Thesz from 1966

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