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Uncovering The Untold Journey: The Bill Watts Story

Jese Leos
· 2.3k Followers · Follow
Published in The Cowboy And The Cross: The Bill Watts Story: Rebellion Wrestling And Redemption: The Bill Watts Story: Rebellion Wrestling And Redemption
5 min read ·
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Get ready to delve into the captivating world of wrestling's unsung hero, Bill Watts. From his humble beginnings to becoming a legendary promoter, wrestler, and visionary, this article uncovers the long and winding road that molded the persona of this underrated icon.

Before we begin, let's talk about the man behind the legend. Born on May 5, 1939, in Oklahoma, Bill Watts discovered his passion for wrestling at a young age. With an imposing physical presence, standing at 6'6" and weighing 290 pounds, Watts possessed the perfect attributes to captivate audiences and shake the world of professional wrestling to its core.

Watts started his wrestling career in the late 1950s, stepping into the squared circle with an unmatched intensity. His powerful presence, combined with his signature moves, made him a force to be reckoned with. Watts soon established himself as a formidable heel, captivating crowds across the United States.

The Cowboy and the Cross: The Bill Watts Story: Rebellion, Wrestling and Redemption: The Bill Watts Story: Rebellion, Wrestling, and Redemption
by Grant Shymske (Kindle Edition)

4.3 out of 5

Language : English
File size : 3431 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Screen Reader : Supported
Word Wise : Enabled
Print length : 330 pages
Lending : Enabled

But Watts' journey didn't stop there. In the late 1960s, he transitioned from being a wrestler to becoming a promoter for his own wrestling company. Armed with his infectious passion for the sport and a keen business acumen, Watts revolutionized the industry with his innovative ideas.

Watts introduced groundbreaking concepts, such as bringing wrestling programs to television screens nationwide, and maximizing the entertainment value by showcasing charismatic characters. His efforts propelled wrestling into the mainstream entertainment industry, captivating a wider audience and creating a fanbase like never before.

During his tenure as a promoter, Watts also discovered and nurtured young talent, shaping the careers of future wrestling icons. Notable names such as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Sting, and Jim Ross owe their success to the guidance and mentorship provided by Watts.

Despite his immense contributions, Watts' story often goes untold. This article aims to shed light on his journey and share the impact he had on the wrestling world.

The Rise of Mid-South Wrestling

One of Watts' most significant achievements was the establishment of Mid-South Wrestling, a territory that redefined the landscape of professional wrestling in the southern United States. Under Watts' guidance, Mid-South Wrestling became a breeding ground for future superstars and set the stage for some of the most iconic matches in history.

Watts' vision extended beyond delivering captivating ring action. He understood the importance of storytelling and character development. With his promotion, he successfully intertwined powerful narratives that resonated with audiences on a personal level, creating a more immersive and engaging experience.

Wrestling titans such as The Junkyard Dog and "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan rose to prominence under Watts' leadership in Mid-South Wrestling. Their larger-than-life personalities and fierce in-ring abilities became synonymous with the era, making it impossible for fans to resist being drawn into the excitement and emotion of the storylines.

The Controversial Legacy

Behind Watts' stellar business acumen and wrestling prowess, controversies lurked in the shadows. Unfortunately, like many influential figures, Watts faced criticism for his handling of certain situations throughout his career. Stories of backstage politics, clashes with talent, and controversial decisions highlight the complex nature of his legacy.

One notable incident that sparked controversy involved Watts' decision to implement a strict rule against racially charged language in his promotion. While his intentions were noble, some criticized the way he enforced the rule and claimed it hindered creative freedom. Regardless, Watts' commitment to promoting a more inclusive and respectful environment reflects a side of his character often overlooked.

Post-Retirement Reflections

Following his retirement from wrestling, Watts' influence continued to shape the industry. His insights and expertise were sought after by major wrestling promotions, and his legacy lived on as he imparted his knowledge to the next generation of wrestlers, promoters, and fans.

When reflecting on his career, Watts expressed the importance of staying true to oneself. His unyielding dedication to his craft, combined with his unwavering principles, earned him the respect and admiration of those who worked alongside him.

The Enduring Legacy of Bill Watts

Bill Watts remains an enigmatic figure, forever etched into the annals of wrestling history. While his story may not be as widely known as some of his contemporaries, his impact on the industry cannot be underestimated. From his early days as a powerhouse wrestler to his visionary role as a promoter, Bill Watts has left an indelible mark on professional wrestling.

Now, it's time to honor his legacy and recognize the unparalleled contributions of this unsung hero. Whether you are a lifelong wrestling fan or just beginning to discover the magic of the squared circle, the Bill Watts story promises to captivate and inspire. Join us on this journey of discovery and celebrate the triumphs and tribulations of a man who shaped the world of professional wrestling as we know it.

The Cowboy and the Cross: The Bill Watts Story: Rebellion, Wrestling and Redemption: The Bill Watts Story: Rebellion, Wrestling, and Redemption
by Grant Shymske (Kindle Edition)

4.3 out of 5

Language : English
File size : 3431 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Screen Reader : Supported
Word Wise : Enabled
Print length : 330 pages
Lending : Enabled

In The Cowboy and the Cross, Bill Watts takes us from his stormy upbringing and his tumultuous years at the University of Oklahoma, to his days in the wrestling business, sparing nothing in his details about football coaching legend Bud Wilkinson, ugly encounters with some of the top names in wrestling in the 1960s, and frightening stories about skirting tragedy and the law in violent altercations.
Watts talks about all the top stars of his legendary Mid-South Wrestling promotion. He explores the oil crunch that killed his company and the problems that killed his marriage. His personal tribulations coincided with his reawakened spirituality, and Watts gives readers a lot to think about as he narrates the story of the profound change God made in his life. Wrestling Observer newsletter editor Dave Meltzer calls this book a “must-read” for anyone in the wrestling business.

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