Wild Bill Longson
|Birth name||Willard Rowe Longson|
June 8, 1906|
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
|Died||December 12, 1982
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Purple Shadow
Wild Bill Longson
|Billed weight||240 lb (110 kg)|
Willard Rowe Longson (June 8, 1906 – December 12, 1982) was an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, Wild Bill Longson. He spent most of his career in St. Louis, Missouri. He perfected the role of the arrogant heel, and is credited with inventing and popularizing the piledriver.
Professional wrestling career
Longson was a 3-time National Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Champion during the 1940s. He was also the last National Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Champion, losing his title to Lou Thesz on July 20, 1948, when Thesz elevated onto Longson's shoulders from the piledriver position and fell into a Thesz press. As a result of this victory, Thesz unified the venerable National Wrestling Association Championship with his own new National Wrestling Alliance World Championship, beginning the process of consolidating all American world championships into one.
Longson retired from professional wrestling in 1960 after sustaining a broken pelvis while riding an unbroken horse. He continued to work in the professional wrestling industry as a booker and promoter until 1977.
Longson died on December 10, 1982 in St. Louis.
Championships and accomplishments
- Central States Wrestling
- National Wrestling Association
- NWA San Francisco
- NWA Pacific Coast Heavyweight Championship (San Francisco version) (3 times)
- Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Southwest Sports
- St. Louis Wrestling Hall Of Fame
- Class of 2007
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards