Thursday December 29th was the 2 year anniversary of the passing of, a great wrestler and athlete, “Dr. Death” Steve Williams. The star amateur athlete, turned pro-wrestler, died after a lengthy battle with throat cancer. Williams was thought to have beaten the cancer but it returned by the summer of 2009 after several years of remission.
Steve was an all-American football player at the University of Oklahoma and was also a successful amateur wrestler. One time, Steve played in a football game for Oklahoma and then flew to his wrestling match and one that contest too.
It was at Oklahoma where Steve was first introduced to Bill Watts and the possibility of a career in pro-wrestling after college. However, it wasn’t Watts or Steve who came up with the nickname “Dr. Death”. Steve earned the nickname of “Dr. Death” after wearing a hockey mask while wrestling for his high school team. He wore the mask to protect his broken nose.
He graduated from Oklahoma in 1981 and had entered into pro-wrestling by 1982 after being trained by Watts. Steve began wrestling in Watts’ Mid-South Wrestling and became the promotion’s world champion after it switched names to the UWF in 1986.
By late 1987, the UWF was bought out by Jim Crockett and some of the wrestlers, like Williams, were brought into the fold with the NWA. Steve was initially teamed up with the Garvins but quickly turned heel and joined the Varsity Club that had several talented wrestlers like Mike Rotunda, who he won the tag-titles with.
Steve would wrestle with NWA/WCW for the next few years before finally leaving in 1992. However, he was also spending time over in Japan where he formed a great tag-team with Terry Gordy. The duo won numerous tag-titles overseas. Williams would go on to have a prolific career in Japan, becoming one of the country’s top stars.
Williams would go on to have a short stint with the WWE in the late 90’s and even teamed up with his long-time friend Jim Ross. Unfortunately, he was released after a short run with the WWE. However, a few years later, he was signed by the WWE to train wrestlers at their developmental league OVW.
Williams turned to Christ during his battle with cancer and professed this faith for the remaining years of his life. Steve was greatly admired and respected by his peers and loved by the fans. He was 49 years old when he died.
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