Quick Bits: Rocca vs Thesz 1962

 It was a highly touted matchup but it actually went on before the semi of Bruno Sammartino vs Bob Stanlee. Frank Tunney said it was done to ensure the fans were not fretting about the late hour and leaving before the bout. 'A switch used for cards in New York' he added. 

Main pic Rocca and Thesz on the mat MLG Sept 1962 as ref Joe Gollob looks on

In the recap the next day in the Globe Steve York said fans were disappointed in the finish, hoping to see Rocca win over Thesz. At the 19 minute mark Rocca was into his high flying takedown when they both bumped their heads off the mat and remained on their backs as ref Joe Gollob counted both out.

Thesz who was in  between NWA Title reigns returns in Jan 1963 to defeat Buddy Rogers and regain the title. Rocca is making his last appearance at MLG. He was advertised for a card in 1971 but didn't appear.

'Rocca was an amazing athlete, he could do a running leap say from six or seven feet, and land atop his opponents shoulders, he would then ride his opponent all the  while twisting him for a better view from the audience, he would often finish his opponent off by draping him in his own form of a bouncing back breaker.

I remember one Thursday night at The Gardens, Rocca had beaten his opponent, and was basking in the adulation of several thousand vocal fans who were in awe of Rocca's acrobatic prowess as well as his wrestling skills. As a reward for the fans affording Rocca such appreciation for his in ring performance, he then proceeded to do dozens upon dozens of one armed pushups in the ring. When he finally exited the ring, he bowed to the crowd, and waved goodbye. His audience was highly impressed with Rocca's unexpected, but most appreciated post bout performance.'
-Roger Baker

Excerpted 'From Nanjo to The Sheik Tales from Toronto Wrestling'