Sunday, August 9, 2009

Dr. Death was Full of Life

Steve Williams earned the nickname 'Dr. Death' while in junior high. Due to a facial injury, Williams wrestled in a hockey mask. One of his coaches jokingly referred to him as Doctor Death and the name stuck and would remain with him throughout his pro wrestling career.
Williams was an All-American football player at the University of Oklahoma. He was also an outstanding wrestler. After college, he spent time in the USFL with the New Jersey Generals.
As a pro wrestler, he found great success in Japan as well as in the United States. The late Terry 'Bamm Bamm' Gordy was his long-time tag team partner.
Williams is one of the few wrestlers who never did much in the WWE. He unexpectedly lost an ill-fated brawling (unscripted, legit) match, which almost completely ruined his tough guy image. This essentially ended his WWE career.
In 2004, he battled throat cancer. He seemingly has been victorious in this battle.
One last bit of trivia concerns the name 'Steve Williams'. Another wrestler was legitimately had that name, but had to change it because Steve Williams was already a wrestling star. That other Steve Williams became Steve Austin (who later added 'Stone Cold' to his moniker).
When I met Williams, he was making one of his first appearances post-surgery. He spoke with the help of a voice box. He didn't say much, but he was certainly touched by the fan reaction to him.
Steve Williams and me in St. Petersburg, FL-January 2005.

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