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OneFanGang
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Mr. Thesz:

I recall seeing a "reporter goes to wrestling school" report from the late 80s, perhaps as late as 1990. You hammed it up quite a bit as you shook your head in disbelief at the reporter's every attempt to become a graduate of the Thesz school, and this was just in the conditioning stages!

The reporter separated a shoulder early on in camp by trying to 'break his fall' on a move as complex as the fireman's carry takeover. The report was quite humorous, but you still came across as a taskmaster who didn't just let anyone waltz into the business before truly understanding what the wrestling business is.

My question is, how long did you allow trainees to remain at camp? Obviously some were better than others in their advancement. Did a lesser talent who you knew would never attain any level of success stay around, even after you had covered all the training points with them and the rest of the class? Were they allowed to stay at the expense of taking up ring time for newer students? Was there a stringent "screening process" to weed out the pretenders? I am aware some schools receive their tuition, but then hook the lesser talents to encourage them to quit, and offer no refunds.

I would think as much as you would have enjoyed turning out many successful graduates and proteges, you were more concerned with having your name attached to someone's training who was less than stellar.
I am just curious how blunt you needed to be with the guys with more heart than talent, and if you encouraged them to choose non-active positions in pro wrestling instead.
That said, who among your training disciples stands out for reasons of skills, professional marketability, and longterm growth potential within the industry?

[This message has been edited by OneFanGang (edited 02-22-2001).]


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Lou Thesz
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The feature story you saw was with Lou Charlip, at that time with The George Michael's Sports Machine. And he did dislocate his shoulder. Lou is a great friend and we had a ball with the feature story.

The school was an experient which failed miserably. I was not out to make a reputation for myself or make money. I charged by the month and weight training was included. I never encouraged anyone to go or stay. If someone wanted the experience, I was willing to spend my time and so was Mark Fleming, the coach.

My real coaching was in short stints with already established wrestlers - Chono being the best known, of course. Kojhi Kitao was also a student for several months.

At that time I was pretty much a dinosaur in the pro wrestling world and could/would not teach what was needed to be a rassler.

Lou


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theshooter
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The name Mark Flemming rings a bell. Wasn't he briefly in UWFi? If it's the same guy I'm thinking of, what happened to him and where else did he wrestle?
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OneFanGang
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Thanx for the reply. Now that I think about it, "Lethal Lou" comes back into my frame of consciousness.

I remember Mark Fleming as one of the weekly TV opponents that was not pushed by Jim Crockett Promotions, but it was evident even to a kid 'kept in the dark' that he demonstrated considerable skills, if not the persona that JCP felt was marketable. Obviously the two of you shied away from the flash and concentrated on the quality of the effort in the ring. Do you keep in contact with Fleming?

[This message has been edited by OneFanGang (edited 02-25-2001).]


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Lou Thesz
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Mark Fleming was an opportunity WCW threw away. he is a very competent wrestler as well as a good performer. I think the wrestler part hurt his career because Crockett didn't have a clue what to do with him. He did wrestle with UWFi and worked for some local promotions.

He was a terrific coach and is still in VA. I see him at the Musuem each year in Iowa. He is a terrific guy as well as a very good wrestler and performer.

Lou


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