On This Day: June 21, 1950 – Lou Thesz defends NWA World Championship against Nature Boy Buddy Rogers – Wrigley Field – Chicago, IL

On This Day: June 20, 1950 – Lou Thesz defends NWA World Championship against Nature Boy Buddy Rogers – Wrigley Field – Chicago, IL

by Michael Tereshko

On this day 68 years ago Lou Thesz and Nature Boy Buddy Rogers met in a historic match in Wrigley Field, Chicago where almost 10,000 fans were privileged to see what I believe is the first time a missed flying tackle resulted in a wrestler’s head tangled in the ropes.
Nature Boy Buddy Rogers gets his neck caught in the ropes during this June 21, 1950 matchup with Lou Thesz at Wrigley Field
Nature Boy Buddy Rogers gets his neck caught in the ropes during this June 21, 1950 matchup with Lou Thesz at Wrigley Field
Buddy and Lou were asked by promoter Fred Kohler to come up with a spectacular ending for their NWA World Championship Match which headlined a charity show for the Chicago Heart Association.  The turnout for this historic match was disappointing.  Kohler predicted a record attendance of 38,000.  The actual attendance of just under 10,000 might be attributed to the fact the show was on a Wednesday workday in the middle of the week.  Another deterrent might have been the expensive price of the tickets.  The best seats went for $6.50 which was a lot of money back in the day in 1950.For those who are interested in seeing this match in its entirety go to the link below.  To see the spectacular climax of the bout go to 33:45 on the video.

From my collection the original vintage program from the show and a complete ticket for a ringside seat:

Original program and ticket for the June 21, 1950 match between NWA Champion Lou Thesz and challenger Nature Boy Buddy Rogers from the collection of Mike Tereshko

From my collection the June 17, 1950 copy of “WRESTLING AS YOU LIKE IT” with a first page article on the upcoming Thesz/Rogers Wrigley Field match in which Kohler predicts an attendance of 37,000 fans (see last paragraph of article).

Wrestling As You Like It Program June 17, 1050

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