[Bill Watts Gallery]

Cowboy Bill Watts Tribute Page
Wrestler/Promotor: "Cowboy" Bill Watts
Real Name: William Watts
Birthday: May 5, 1939
Hometown: Bixby, Oklahoma
Marital Status:
Height & Weight: 6'3" - 278 lbs
Trained by:
Debut: 1963
Previous Gimmicks: Dr. Scarlet (1968)
Midnight Rider
Finishing Move: The Oklahoma Stampede
Favorite Moves:
Notable Feuds: Bruno Sammartino
Crippler Ray Stevens
Verne Gagne
Gene Kiniski
The Spoiler

  • NWA Texas Heavyweight title ();
  • WWWF United States Tag Team titles w/Gorilla Monsoon ();
  • JWA/All Japan NWA International Tag Team titles ();
  • (Louisiana/Oklahoma) Mid-South North American Heavyweight title (5);
  • (Louisiana/Oklahoma) Mid-South Brass Knuckles title (2);
  • (Louisiana/Oklahoma) United States Tag Team titles (4);
  • NWA Georgia Heavyweight title (2);
  • (Georgia/Florida) North American Heavyweight title (2);
  • (Louisiana) Mid-South Louisiana Tag Team titles ();
  • (Louisiana/Oklahoma) Mid-South Tag Team titles ();

  • In The Beginning:
  • Bill Watts is the father of former WCW, WWF, ECW, and TNA wrestler Erik Watts..
  • Bill Watts was a former football player and had been undefeated as a wrestler during his senior year of high school..
  • 1961: Bill Watts signed a contract with the Houston Oilers of the American Football League and helped them win a championship..
  • Bill Watts joined the Minnesota Vikings | He eventually quit because the Vikings wanted him to limit wrestling to the off season..
  • Bill Watts' wrestling career was heavily influence by Leroy McGuirk, Danny Hodge and Dale Lewis..

    World Wide Wrestling Federation:
  • Bill Watts travelled to the Northeast to work for Vince McMahon Sr. and team with WWWF Champion Bruno Sammartino!
  • ~~~Of course, this eventually led to Watts breaking off from Sammartino and demanding a shot at the WWF title...
  • ~~~Their collosal confrontation took place in Madison Square Garden in front of a sell out audience.....
  • ~~~Bruno Sammartino managed to retain his championship and continued to retain in their series of rematches..
  • ~~~Bruno won most of his matches due to a technicality, but he never won a clear-cut decision over Watts..

    San Fransisco Wrestling for Roy Shires:
  • Bill Watts quickly captured the Pacific Coast United States title from "Crippler" Ray Stevens..

    Japanese Wrestling:
  • Early 1967: Bill Watts travelled to Japan to work for Giant Baba's All Japan Pro Wrestling promotion..

    Touring The United States:
  • Late 1967: Bill Watts began appearing on wrestling shows all over the upper Midwest of the United States..
  • ~~~Watts became a regular competitor on cards in Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Omaha...
  • ~~~~~~Bill Watts was appearing on AWA cards and NWA cards during the same time period..
  • ~~~~~~Bill Watts was soon challenging for Verne Gagne's AWA World title, and Gene Kiniski's NWA World title..

    Oklahoma Wrestling for Leroy McGuirk:
  • May 3, 1968: Bill Watts (wrestling under a mask as Dr. Scarlet) was unmasked by Gene Kiniski [SEE NOTES BELOW ABOUT THIS]..

    Larry W. Tinker wrote in with these notes: I would like to correct a statement made on line 2 of the "wrestler career highlights" section that states "* May 3, 1968: Bill Watts (wrestling under a mask as Dr. Scarlet) was unmasked by Gene Kiniski.." I was at that match with my brother and our late father. The deal was, Watts came into the St. Louis area as "Dr. Scarlet" who was a vicious heel. He pounded everybody he met and then made a deal on TV (the old "Wrestling at the Chase"....ahhhh that was real 'rasslin') Dr. Scarlet started out by apologizing for "having to hurt a lot of men, some who were friends of his." He explained that that was the only way he could work himself into a position to get a title match with Gene Kiniski. He said "if Kiniski knew my true identity he would never sign for a match with me." "I will take off my mask if Kiniski gives me a title shot." The match was signed and I'll never forget that night at the Kiel Auditorium. Dr. Scarlet came to the ring first, in his usual mask and resplendent robe. Kiniski made his way to the ring and paced nervously as the introductions were made. The special guest referee was "Whipper" Billy Watson. When Dr. Scarlet was introduced, he simultaneously took off his mask and let his robe drop, revealing to everyone his true identity, cowboy boots and all. Kiniski saw that it was Bill Watts and immediately jumped out of the ring. After some tension building time, Kiniski got back into the ring and suffered a tremendous pounding at the hands of Watts. It was only when "Whipper" Watson didn't notice that the Cowboy's leg was draped over the bottom rope that he errantly counted 1,2,3 for the pinfall and win. Watts was understandably upset and, while he wasn't successful in his title bid, he did exact some measure of revenge at the next Kiel show when he was granted a "grudge" match with "Whipper." We went to that match as well and Watts pretty much destroyed the old, out of shape Watson. In the end, they shook hands before leaving the ring. ----- So, while Dr. Scarlet unmasked in a match with Kiniski, he did it himself........just thought you'd like to know from an old man who was there when he was a kid......

    Mid South Wrestling (run by Bill Watts):
  • Mid-South spanned these regions: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Eastern Texas and Southern Missouri..

    Universal Wrestling Federation (run by Bill Watts and his associate Jim Ross):
  • May 1986: The Universal Wrestling Federation evolved from Mid-South Wrestling when it grew to nationwide syndication..

    World Championship Wrestling:
  • Early 1990s: Bill Watts was running World Championship Wrestling..
  • ~~~Bill Watts was responsible for installing the not-so-popular Off-The-Top-Rope-DQ rule for WCW matches..
  • "Cowboy" Bill Watts came up with the idea of the Road Warriors using face paint..
  • June 8, 2003: Bill Watts was rumored to show up in TNA as the Director of Authority but that never happened..