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Wrestling / "Dr. Death" Steve Williams

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"Stitch me up doc, I got a match tonight!"

Steven Williams (May 14, 1960 – December 29, 2009) was an American amateur and professional wrestler from Lakewood, Colorado, best known for his work in Mid-South, WCW and, especially, for All Japan Pro Wrestling from the 1980s into the 21st Century. He debuted in 1982 for Mid-South, being billed from Norman, Oklahoma, and teamed with Ted DiBiase against Eddie Gilbert and the Nightmare (Randy Culley, aka Moondog Rex/the first Demolition Smash). Williams won the renamed UWF's World Heavyweight Title. He was included when National Wrestling Alliance promoter Jim Crockett bought out the UWF in 1987. He turned Heel and joined Kevin Sullivan's Jerk Jock Power Stable The Varsity Club in late 1988. After the group disbanded, he went over to Japan, where he would achieve his greatest success. He would hold the All Japan Triple Crown Heavyweight Title once and the All Japan World Tag Team Title 8 times, five times with Terry Gordy, once with Vader, once with Gary Albright and once with Johnny Ace (John Laurinaitis). In America, he and Gordy would hold the WCW World Tag Team Titles in 1992. He also competed for ECW. He died of esophageal cancer in 2009. He was inducted into The Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 2011.

Not to be confused with "Doctor" Stevie Richards. Or "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, whose given name when he started wrestling was Steven Williams.

"Stitch me up, doc, I got a trope tonight":

  • Arch-Enemy: The Road Warriors, the Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott), Stan Hansen
  • Bash Brothers: Ted DiBiase, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, Mike Rotunda, Kevin Sullivan, Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy, Gary Albright, Richard Slinger, Ryo Miyake, Johnny Ace.
  • Biography: His 2007 autobiography How Dr. Death Became Dr. Life.
  • Captain Ersatz: His likeness but not his name was lent to Fire Pro Wrestling. It was explicitly him in returns though.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower/Offscreen Moment of Awesome: He once rescued a guy who was trapped in a burning car by pulling the door right off of the car.
  • Collegiate American Football: He was an All-American at the University of Oklahoma.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: He went from 1987 to 1997 without ever getting pinned or submitted in the U.S., until ECW World Heavyweight Champion Raven pinned him following Stevie Richards' interference at ECW Crossing the Line Again, February 1, 1997.
  • Determinator: He was a standard-bearer for toughness in professional wrestling. His Red Baron "Dr. Death" came from his days as a champion high school wrestler in Norman, OK. He had been busted open in a match, but came back the next night wearing a hockey mask, which prompted a local sportswriter to call him "Dr. Death." The "Stitch me up doc, I got a match tonight!" quote is something he himself said after he got busted open during an afternoon show.
  • The Dreaded: Invoked by Tommy Dreamer during his feud with "Prime Time" Brian Lee. Lee had enlisted the help of Taz, who was hoping Tommy would choose Sabu as a tag partner against them. An angry Tommy instead called in some favors and got Williams to come to ECW specifically because he knew Taz was afraid of him.
  • Finishing Move: Oklahoma Stampede (Running Powerslam after ramming the opponent's lower back into the turnbuckle), Doctor Bomb (Gutwrench lifted into a Sit-out Powerbomb), & Backdrop Driver (A very high Backdrop Suplex).
  • Genius Bruiser: He had a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Recreation.
  • Hammy Herald: He faced Bam Bam Bigelow at the UWF (Herb Abrams)'s only PPV, Beach Brawl, in the tournament final for the UWF SportsChannel Television Championship. Bigelow got a normal introduction (weight, hometown, name.) Doc, on the other hand, got this, which presumably crushed the dreams of any Bigelow fans watching that night.
    "And his opponent, the roughest, toughest man in wrestling today, 'Dr. Death' Steve Williams. Coming down the aisle right now, getting cheered on by the crowd, 285-pounder from Lakewood, Colorado, a former football star, tremendous athlete, here vying for that championship belt to become the first-ever UWF Champion, and here they're squaring off in the middle of the ring, 'Dr. Death' and Bam Bam Bigelow."
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: An accomplished wrestler.
  • In the Hood: As seen above.
  • Large Ham: Was either this or The Stoic. No in-between.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Nearly 300 pounds and strong enough to catch a 200 pound guy from a suicide dive and ram him into the ring corner, he could also pull off dropkicks, cartwheels and over the top rope planchas himself.
  • The Mentor: To "Fear Factor" PJ Friedmannote  in MLW in 2003, until the Extreme Horsemen (C.W. Anderson and Simon Diamond) injured Friedman and put him out of action. This led to Doc enlisting the help of D'Lo Brown and the Sandman in attempting to take the Extreme Horsemen's MLW Global Tag Team Crown Championships, without success.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Yes, go take your injury to Dr. Death, especially since he's really got a bachelor's.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Does a nickname like Dr. Death give any doubt.
  • One-Steve Limit: Williams was an established star working the Mid-South territory when it merged with the Von Eric Owned World Class Championship Wrestling, who had their own Steve Williams. Since Dr. Death was more famous, Dutch Mantell forced the other man to change his name to...Steve Austin.
  • Power Stable:
    • (in Mid-South/UWF): Devastation Inc.
    • The Varsity Club
    • (in All Japan): The Triangle of Power (with Gary Albright and the Lacrosse ["Jungle" Jim Steele])
    • Team 2000
    • Black-Ship (with Mike Drond [Rotunda], the Lacrosse, Mike Burton [Bart Gunn], George Hines [Jackie Fulton] and Johnny Smith).
  • Red Baron: "Dr. Death", in Japan "Satsujin Ishi" ("Doctor of Murder").
  • Suplex Finisher: His Backdrop Driver.
  • Tag Team: The Miracle-Violence Connection, with Gordy
  • The Worf Effect: His match with Bart Gunn in the Brawl For All and his MMA match with Alexey Ignashov. The day of his MMA match was the day he was told he had cancer possibly making this Worf Had the Flu.