The Cowboy and the Cross: The Bill Watts Story: Rebellion, Wrestling, and Redemption
This book chronicles the rocky road of one of pro wrestling's most controversial figures, from angry young man, to successful wrestling promoter, to born-again Christian. Along the way, ""Cowboy"" Bill Watts mixed it up with some of the top names in the unique world of wrestling. A straight shooter, he definitely tells stories that will scorch your ears.Watts takes us from his stormy upbringing to his tumultuous years at the University of Oklahoma, and spares nothing in his thoughts about football coaching legend Bud Wilkinson.From there, he chronicles his early days in the wrestling business, including some ugly encounters with some of the top names in wrestling in the 1960s. You'll also read frightening stories about a powerful young man who cheated tragedy and skirted the law in more than one violent altercation. And you'll discover how this same man used a stint in the Northeast to become one of the biggest names in the wrestling business.In the 1970s, Watts became one of the true power brokers in world of professional wrestling, and Watts takes readers behind the scenes to detail power struggles in Oklahoma and his key role in one of the nastiest promotional wars ever, in Georgia.Watts also writes about his time in Florida, which gave him an understanding of the logic and psychology of successful promotion. Later, his in-depth analysis of that logic and psychology alone makes this book what Wrestling Observer Newsletter editor Dave Meltzer called a ""must-read"" for anyone in the wrestling business.In ""The Cowboy and the Cross"" Bill Watts talks about all the top stars of his legendary Mid-South Wrestling promotion, and the events that made that promotion the success it was, even as it battled the expansion of Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation. He spares no detail as he explores the oil crunch that killed his company and the problems that killed his marriage.His personal time of trial coincided with his reawakened spirituality, and Watts gives readers a lot to think about, as he discusses Christianity and the role it played in his life.Watts talks about being out of the business and how he adjusted, and his controversial 1992 stint in World Championship Wrestling. Finally, Watts discusses his last wrestling venture, a short trip to the WWF in 1995, before giving his thoughts on today's wrestling and how God has touched the life he lives now.Not the typical story of Christian salvation, the book is still a compelling story of the profound change God can make in even the most hardened heart.