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Look back at 1999 and toward 2000
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By Lou Thesz
Six-time World heavyweight champion

Note: Lou Thesz has a Message Board on his Web site, the Lou Thesz Message Board Forum. You can ask Thesz questions directly. You can see photos and listen to an interview with Thesz on the official Lou Thesz Web site. You can also get information about Thesz' biography Hooker, one of the definitive histories of professional wrestling. He also has a Collector's Edition Photo Biography available. 

First, let me say, this is not the beginning of a new millennium! We have to wait a year for that. Y2K was only a dress rehearsal for the Millennium.

Regardless of what we call it, it is the end of another year. A year that has brought an astounding change in professional wrestling. Even in the days when the "threes" occurred - deaths of wrestlers would come in threes as planes crashed, cars crashed or other tragedies took their toll.

While Owen Hart's death was devastating, it was the lack of compassion for his death that affected me the most. Many fans were heartbroken and saddened by the tragedy, but I don't know of anyone who left their seat in the arena or turned off their TV at home.

You may not believe this, but it is the first ending of a century I have approached.. I don't remember what professional wrestling was like at the beginning of the century, but I can claim the middle. When I first became interested in wrestling, at 8 years of age, it was a different world, and my generation changed it somewhat. While I like to remember only the part that makes me proud, even the early years were not without the performers. Wrestlers like Ed Lewis are the part of professional wrestling I have chosen to recall. I cannot help but wonder what he would say about today's offerings. Knowing him as well as I did, I don't think he would be upset about it. Ed really had a live and let live attitude. I don't count a return to wrestling out for the future, but in the meantime, I will focus on the only wrestling available - amateur.

I will not rehash my disappointment any further. I would like to focus on the positive aspects of my life. First, my wife, Charlie, my dog, Herr Schultz, and I are moving to Florida. It is a move for many reasons - including a wonderful career opportunity for Charlie, closeness of family, dear old friends and exciting new ones. We will make the move after we return from Seoul, Korea.

I have been invited to serve as Wrestling Commissioner in Korea. We will leave on the 19th of January, return on the 23rd and move on the 31st. I promise to find time in there to fill you in on what happened in Korea. This is my first Korean experience, and I am looking forward to it. I have been told it is the coldest place on Earth in January, but we will try to warm it with some good wrestling. Oki Kintero is an old and dear friend. Just visiting with him will be warmth enough for me.

Charlie's last work day at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center is the 29th of January. She hates to leave there, but is looking ahead. Personally, I hope she doesn't find a place as wonderful as the PFAC in Florida - she spends too much money there! She will be working for Musical Destinations booking tours for bands and chorale groups. Sounds like she will be having as much fun as the students.

I am looking forward to having a vegetable garden, workshop for refinishing furniture and enjoying the weather. I have spotted the perfect place to work out, so I won't let myself go.

Oh my God, this is beginning to sound like a holiday newsletter! Okay, I will just close with a simple wish for all of you.

Happy New Year! And a healthy 2000.


Lou Thesz is arguably the greatest professional wrestler of all time. He held the World heavyweight championship six times in four different decades. He is the only wrestler to ever compete in seven different decades. His book, Hooker details the history of professional wrestling through his perspective as the top wrestler in the business. He has just released a Collector's Edition Photo Biography. You can also visit the Lou Thesz Web site.

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