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 - Vince Fahey

The Cowboy and the Cross by Bill Watts and Scott Williams was as good as I expected it to be.  My exposure to Watts and Mid-South Wrestling is extremely limited.  However, any old-school wrestling fan is aware of the territory and its importance to the sport (in terms of angles and stars that were created there).  As well, many old-school fans are aware of the “rep” that Bill Watts had had over the years… a creative genius, but also a tough taskmaster.  In this book, Watts and Williams explore in depth who Watts really was and it is a fascinating journey. 

Let me state first that many might shy away from this book for fear of it being too preachy (due to Watts born-again Christian views).  This is not the case.   Watts ’ religious beliefs are certainly a strong part of the book, but never did I feel that it was overbearing or oppressive.  Rather, it was delivered throughout the book without it taking over the book.  Fans wanting to learn about Watts ’ wrestling and promoting career can feel rest assured that they will learn about those things in abundance. 

The book in itself is pretty straightforward, following a chronological framework that covers Watts early life prior to his involvement in pro wrestling.  He discusses his early career in football and how it led to wrestling; his early work with the WWWF, and other territories; his involvement in booking for other territories; his eventual buyout and takeover of the territory that eventually became Mid-South; to his latter days within the sport working for WCW and WWE. 

Watts seems to polarize people… either you he’s fiercely disliked or he’s highly respected.  Whichever camp you fall in, this book is another piece of old-school wrestling history.  It’s an interesting read and is a worthwhile purchase for any wrestling fan.

The Cowboy and the Cross



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