When an irate Watts attempted to confront Thomas backstage after the match, Sailor called him out – for real. In his first-ever appearance at the CHSAA State Wrestling Tournament, the Sailor fell 8-5, dashing his hopes at a title. Thomas, who had poor eyesight, didn’t drive, never owned a driver’s license and did much of his traveling via Greyhound bus, Jacobs remembered. The arrangement also worked since Jacobs did all the driving from town to town. The line between fact and fiction has always been blurred in professional wrestling. Sailor Watkins (born Kirby Carroll Watkins, January 28, 1905 in Moody, Texas, died unknown) was a professional wrestler who worked throughout the United States in the 1930s and 1940s. Big John Strongbo, Crazy White, Moondog King, Sailor Moondog White, Sailor White: Trainer Was trained by Luigi Macera. "Sailor Watkins Wins Wild Match From Pete Friday." “We did a lot of miles down the road. He won the Pacific Fleet Wrestling Championship three times and won the U.S. Navy Championship before a crowd of 10,000 in a tournament in the Canal Zone. I had a bunch of big guys because I was pretty fast and I could work around them. Your email address will not be published. Sailor Art Thomas, whose chiseled physique and massive strength made him a top name in the wrestling business during the ‘60s and ‘70s, died Thursday at age 79 at a hospice facility near his home in Madison, Wis. “Where am I going to get the cover to cover him with?” Thomas deadpanned. "Sailor Watkins To Meet Wildcat Pete Here Friday." The only exception are names starting with an article. He’d only take so much.”, “You’d never meet a better fellow than him, but he was very gullible,” recalled Burrhead Jones, who worked with Thomas and Patterson on the Florida circuit during the early ‘70s. He was always up first thing in the morning looking for a gym so he could go and work out on the weights. Promoters compensated by routinely pairing him with skilled technicians in tag-team bouts. September 7, 2020 Monday Night RAW results, IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, https://prowrestling.fandom.com/wiki/Saylor_James?oldid=1719455. White attended the University at Buffalo, graduating in 2008. Originally dubbed “Seaman” Art Thomas, the gentle giant formed top teams with other black standouts such as Bobo Brazil, Thunderbolt Patterson, Dory Dixon and Sweet Daddy Siki. Thomas also teamed with Bruiser to win the AWA tag-team belts from Black Jack Mulligan and Black Jack Lanza. Required fields are marked *, You may use these HTML tags and attributes:
. There, she wrestled her only match, on December 18, 2008, losing to The Girl … Rita Adair, one of Thomas’ seven children, called her father “a humble, traditional, religious man with the patience of a saint.” “He never spanked us,” she told The (Wisconsin) Capital Times. “He wasn’t a technical wrestler, but he was a heck of a fighter and a very strong man who didn’t know his own strength.”. “I started out with Haystacks (Calhoun), and then I had Klondike Bill and Man Mountain Mike. The 6-4, 275-pound Thomas, a former bodybuilder and one of only a handful of big-name black stars during that era, succumbed to cancer. The many tattoos that he got in the Navy served him well in a profession where appearance is as important as skill. With a stalling warning against Rankin, it looked like Mader had the momentum going into the third. Thomas also competed for WWE in the 1960s, forming partnerships with the likes of Bobo Brazil and Bruno Sammartino. A top draw in the Carolinas and Virginia, Florida, Texas, St. Louis and Detroit territories, Thomas also achieved great success in the Midwest, particularly in Chicago and Indianapolis where he wrestled for Dick The Bruiser’s promotion and feuded with Baron Von Raschke over the WWA title. Watkins was wild in the ring, doing such things during a match as climbing the ropes and beating his chest “like a monkey,” as one newspaper reported. For added effect, he would often twist his face like the popular cartoon character Popeye. In the 132-pound semifinal against Zane Rankin of Lamar, Mader used a second-period take down to make it 3-2. He was part of a regular cast of stars, which included Charlie Keene, Green Shadow (Pat Malone), Red Byrd, Nick Carter, Joe Parelli, Herb Welch and The Bat (Sid Nabors). “Zacko almost swallowed that stogie of his.” Jacobs said Thomas possessed one of the most impressive physiques of any wrestler during that period. You want to try it now? Catalina White (January 22, 1986) is an American female model and professional wrestler better known by her ring name Saylor James. She worked as model, appearing in published shoots for Maxim. As soon as he could Thomas enlisted in the Navy where he developed an interest in boxing and wrestling. Jones recounted another story at the old Sunnyside Garden in New York where promoter Phil Zacko was going over the finish of a match between Thomas and Al Costello of The Fabulous Kangaroos. Sailor Art Thomas, whose chiseled physique and massive strength made him a top name in the wrestling business during the 60s and 70s, died Thursday at age 79 at a hospice facility near his home in Madison, Wis. “A good guy, a great, great body,” a wrestler “before his time,” was how the late great Lou Thesz described Thomas, whose reign as Texas heavyweight champion earned him a series of title shots with the former six-time NWA world champ.