Welcome back to another edition of "Spotlighting Our Legends Past". Over the years we have had many greats dawn the squared circle. In the last edition I covered guys like Lou Thesz, Bob Backlund, and the Bulldogs. This week I wanted to mix the flavor up a bit and include greats from the land of the rising sun, a true black pioneer, and wrestler who would go unbeaten for a decade.
I hope all of you enjoy this trip down memory lane. It is always fun to look back at our greats and appreciate what they gave to the business. Toady's superstars owe guys like these a great deal of respect and gratitude. I hope that they are respectful enough to do so. So please sit back, relax, and enjoy this revisit to the past.
"Dr. Death" Steve Williams
"Dr. Death" Steve Williams
Steve Williams started his wrestling career in 1982 under the training of Bill Watts, JYD, and Ali Baba. Whether it was Mid-South, UWF, NWA, WCW, or All-Japan, success has always followed Dr. Death.
Early in his career, he was mainly a tag specialist, winning gold with the likes of Ted DiBiase, Kevin Sullivan and Bubba Rogers. In fact he had the rare honor of holding the WCW and NWA titles at the same time, though WCW refused to recognize the belts due to conflicting interests.
Dr. Death's pinnacle of his career didn't come until the 1990s, when he wrestled for All Japan. He went on to become a staple there, becoming one of All Japan's biggest stars. During the 90s he also wrestled in WCW and the Indy circuit.
Dr. Death Steve Williams went almost unbeaten for a decade in the 1990s. He later went on to face a much bigger opponent when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2004. He would go on to train for several years before he recently passed away.
The Great Muta
The Great Muta
The Great Muta started wrestling in the early 80s. In his first stint with NJPW, his success was mild at best. In fact his first real success didn't come until he went to Puerto Rico. There, he wrestled with the gimmick "Super Ninja".
He went on to win the heavyweight and TV title in the WWC. Not only did Muta gain respect from the fans in Puerto Rico, he caught the eyes of promoters in the U.S. He soon started wrestling in Florida and some of the other NWA territories. He accomplished something that one other Japanese wrestler did in the U.S.
He went on to win the NWA heavyweight title. During his time in the states he went on to have matches with guys like Sting, Hogan and other American greats. He also was a key player in the the WCW/Japan crossover promotions. He went back over to Japan to hold several titles and eventually became the owner of AJPW.
Bobo Brazil made his ring debut in the '50s at a time when racial tensions where at their height. He started his career feuding with other black trailblazers such as Ernie Ladd, and Abdullah the Butcher.
He was the one major black wrestlers that broke ground for other black wrestlers to succeed. He was often called the Jackie Robinson of wrestling. He later moved on to feud with the other territories top talent guys, fighting the likes of Dick the Bruiser, Gorilla Monsoon, Andre the Giant, the Sheik, and many more.
He has held a lot of gold in his time in wrestling, and is considered the true first black heavyweight champ. What most consider the biggest accomplishment in this man's career, though, was when he beat Buddy Rogers in 1962 for the NWA title.
It was ground breaking for a couple reasons, for starters Buddy Rogers was one of the most popular wrestlers in the territories at the time. Most importantly, he was the first black wrestler to win a major title from a white wrestler. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994.
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