Played football at Oklahoma, also wrestled there, later played in the USFL (I think), before turning to pro wrestling. The guy was legit tough as nails. Got his start working for Cowboy Bill Watts in Mid-South/UWF, went on to stardom in Japan. Formed legendary tag teams with former Free Bird Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy, and Ted Dibiase. Was the third and final U.W.F. Heavyweight Champion. Was also one of my personal favorites back in the day.
A true legend in the industry and, while it wasn’t unexpected, it still is a sad day. He was only 49 years old.
The last ten years have sucked for wrestling fans, but this is a distressingly common occurrence and I think we’re kinda getting used to it. Every time I find out another wrestler who was big in 80’s or 90’s has passed away I’m just a little bit less surprised. Back at the beginning of December another lesser known wrestler by the name Eddie Fatu, (aka ‘Umaga’ in WWE), passed away at his home in Texas after suffering two heart attacks. He was only 36.
Depends on what you like. Doc was not a good talker. He was pretty impressive in the ring. Stiff worker, strong as a bull, with shooting ability. I’ll never forget seeing him press Terry Gordy into the top of a cage not just once, but 10 times.
This is very true and, personally at least, I think the gradual move over the last 20-30 years toward spectacle and larger wrestlers has contributed to higher death rates.
However it’s well known that Eddie Fatu was a user of illegal drugs, (not at all uncommon in the industry unfortunately), and failed two company administered drug tests. He was released from the WWE this past summer, (June or July I believe), because he refused to enter rehab after the second.
He was one of the names that was uncovered in the Orlando PED scandal back in 2007, along with 9 other well known wrestlers. (Cite.)
A lot of the best hands had/have little charisma or ability on the mic, and make their way in their career using pure athletics. “The Dynamite Kid” Tom Billington and Chris Benoit top that list. Most fans know how those stories ended.
I don’t get what you’re saying here. Lack of mic skills had nothing to do with the way Benoit and Billington ended up. They made certain choices, and paid heavy prices therefor. Doc got cancer, which could happen to anybody, but still has nothing to do with his limited ability on the stick.
Old school promoters often paired good workers that couldn’t talk with guys that could do the talking for them, either in teams, or using managers. Watts put Doc with Dibiase, who was a great talker (also a great worker). Later, in WCW, Doc teamed with Mike Rotundo, another good worker that couldn’t talk, but they had Kevin Sullivan as a manager. In Japan, mic work was less important, but Gordy could talk enough to get by for the team.
I guess my point was simply that guys who can’t talk have to put their bodies through a whole lot more than guys who can, simply to get noticed by the fans much less the booker. And I’m speaking on both a physicality front as well as “image” and physique, and what looks good on television. Both Benoit and Billington put on an incredible amount of weight and muscle over the course of their careers.
If you don’t think this was done precisely to attraction the attention of fans and promoters because they really couldn’t do it any other way, you’re fooling yourself. Also, when Benoit’s autopsy was done his brain was found to be in the condition of an average 80 year old’s. He was only 40 when he died. The obvious reason for this is because he’d spent the last 20 odd years of his life throwing himself off the top rope and headbutting people. Frequently and at high rates of speed. (A move that Billington pioneered BTW) Again they did this to impress the crowd because they couldn’t talk on the mic.
I would never say that their choices weren’t their own responsibility in the end, but their choice of career certainly had an effect on how they ended up. They were small, (average really), men who got into an industry that prefers freaks of nature.
You’re right though that what happened to Williams had nothing to do with his style and I shouldn’t have lumped him with Billington and Benoit, and I would even go as far as to say I don’t think Williams ever used PEDs extensively. He always looked natural for his size. It was simply a stroke of tremendously bad luck. It was more a rambling stream of conscious thing. My apologies for that as it’s a hijack.
Yes, a practice which has been ignored for some time now to the detriment of the business.
I wasn’t implying anything about wrestling with my post. I was implying that a guy extremely close to the most notorious figure currently in the public eye - with a lot of secrets in his life - dying unexpectedly would have caused a lot of speculation in all areas of the press.
FWIW I didn’t read Shirley or Lamar’s posts as disrespectful at all. Tiger Woods news is huge right now, (when is it not :)) and I knew that Tiger’s caddy happen to share a name with Doc. For someone who doesn’t follow wrestling I can see easily where the confusion could happen.
“Steve Williams” strikes me as being a very common name anyway. There’s another very famous wrestler who happens to share that legal name as well. It’s why he had to go with a different name when he started wrestling at the time. (Fellow wrestling fans will probably know who I’m talking about. :p)