Atlas in 2008
|Birth name||Anthony White|
April 23, 1954|
(m. 1973; div. 1997)
Monika White (m. 2001)
|Professional wrestling career|
|Billed height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Billed weight||240 lb (109 kg)|
|Billed from||Roanoke, Virginia|
|Trained by||Larry Sharpe|
|Debut||July 10, 1974|
Anthony White (born April 23, 1954) better known by his ring name Tony Atlas is an American bodybuilder, powerlifter, and professional wrestler who has held multiple titles and championships in each sport. He is also known by his bodybuilding title, "Mr. USA" (a distinction he earned three times), the nom de guerre the "Black Superman", as well as an alter ego named Saba Simba. He returned as an on screen manager for WWE, appearing on its now-defunct ECW brand. He re-signed with WWE in a Legends deal in mid-2012.
Professional wrestling career
Atlas started wrestling in 1974 for the National Wrestling Alliance World Wide/Mid Atlantic area. His debut, on July 10, was a tag team match with Bob Bruggers against Art Neilson and The Blue Scorpion. The match finished with Atlas winning the fall for his team with a sleeper hold on The Blue Scorpion.
Throughout his career he worked for World Championship Wrestling (WCW), the NWA's Jim Crockett Promotions, the World Wrestling Council (WWC), World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW), the American Wrestling Association (AWA), and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Among his regular partners were Tommy Rich (as "TNT"), Dick Murdoch, and Rocky Johnson. He was also the very first man to press slam and pin Hulk Hogan though Hogan's foot was on the rope and the referee did not see it.
WWF (1982-84, 1985-87)
One of Atlas' earliest feuds in the WWF was with Jesse "The Body" Ventura, with both arguing over who had the better physique. In 1983, Tony teamed with Rocky Johnson under the team name "Soul Patrol" to defeat The Wild Samoans to win the WWF World tag team title, becoming the first Afro-American team to hold the belts. After losing the titles to Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch, Johnson soon departed. WWF management was prepared to offer Atlas a run as the company's Intercontinental champion, but a burgeoning drug problem led to Atlas missing dates and becoming unreliable both inside and outside the ring. Atlas spent a brief period of time in the AWA before returning to the WWF in 1985. Upon his return, Atlas was shunted to the mid card in the WWF in short lived tag teams with Ivan Putski, Lanny Poffo and George Wells. Atlas appeared in the Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 2 being eliminated by William Perry. He was also used as a jobber to the stars, putting over newly arriving talent like King Kong Bundy and Harley Race, as well as a series of matches with other muscle bound strongmen such as Hercules and "The Worlds Strongest Man" Ted Arcidi, the latter of which in an infamous match at Boston Garden where both men were booed by the crowd and mocked by commentators Gorilla Monsoon & Lord Alfred Hayes for their poor performances.
In 1987, Tony left for the Texas-based World Class Championship Wrestling where he adopted the moniker of "The Black Superman". He had almost instant success when he teamed with Skip Young to win the World Class Texas Tag Team Title. Atlas left the company in 1988.
On July 16, 1988, Atlas was appearing at a WWC event in Bayamón (a city near San Juan), Puerto Rico, where he was witness to the fatal assault on wrestler Bruiser Brody. José Huertas González a.k.a. the Invader, a fellow wrestler and booker, asked Brody to go into the shower to discuss business. Brody entered the shower stall and a few seconds later a scuffle ensued, followed by two groans, loud enough for the entire locker room to hear. Atlas ran to the shower and saw Brody bent over and holding his stomach. Atlas then looked up at González and saw him holding the knife. When the paramedics arrived, Atlas carried Brody downstairs to the waiting ambulance, as, due to Brody's enormous stature, paramedics were unable to lift him. González, who always maintained his innocence, was initially charged with first-degree murder but was later reduced and tried for involuntary homicide.
Atlas then moved on to the Northeast independent area in late 1988. He joined International Championship Wrestling (owned and operated by Mario Savoldi) where he turned heel and under the management of The Duke (not Pete Doherty) won the ICW Heavyweight title from Joe Savoldi. Atlas lost the belt to Vic Steamboat in Middletown, NY. But after a few months, he regained the belt from Steamboat. That match became infamous because of the number of times it was shown on the IWCCW syndicated show.
Return to the WWF (1990-91)
In late 1990, following a battle with drug addiction, a rejuvenated Atlas returned to the WWF, reinvented as Saba Simba and was a competitor in the 1991 Royal Rumble. On December 13, 2010, Tony appeared on Right After Wrestling and credited the Saba Simba character with saving his life as he was homeless and living on a park bench before getting a phone call from Vince McMahon. He played a warrior of a Ugandan tribe and was intended to feud with Akeem, but the feud never took place and Atlas was kept at midcard status, losing to Dino Bravo & The Barbarian. The gimmick was unpopular at best, and racist at worst.
Sporadic independent appearances and WCW run
He left and returned to IWCCW shortly thereafter and then in 1992 he left IWCCW and went to WCW as a heel, and in 1994 for the American Wrestling Federation (AWF). He briefly showed back up in the WWF around Wrestlemania 13 being spotted in the crowd and cheering for Rocky Maivia (Dwayne Johnson, AKA: "The Rock").
Atlas was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006.
Return to WWE (2008–2014)
Atlas appeared on the July 8, 2008, airing of ECW where Theodore Long appointed him the special guest ring announcer for the main event featuring Tommy Dreamer with then-babyface, Colin Delaney in his corner against then-heel, Mark Henry. Atlas attacked Delaney, which in turn distracted Dreamer, allowing Henry to gain the victory. Atlas then announced Henry the winner of the bout, although the official result was a double countout. This is also the first time since his brief stint in WCW in 1992 that Atlas has worked as a heel. Atlas also accompanied Henry to the ring at The Great American Bash. Atlas helped Mark Henry retain his title at SummerSlam, attacking Matt Hardy once a win by Hardy appeared to be imminent. Henry was also able to retain his ECW Championship on the August 19, 2008 episode of ECW due to an outside interference from Atlas. At Unforgiven, Atlas was there to support Henry in retaining his Championship in the ECW Championship Scramble, although Henry lost the title to Hardy after Hardy got the last fall. On December 9 edition of ECW, Atlas wrestled in a WWE ring for the first time in 17 years (along with Mark Henry) in a tag team match, where they defeated Finlay and Hornswoggle. Tony also wrestled Evan Bourne on the June 9, 2009 episode of ECW in a losing effort. Henry was then traded to the Raw brand on June 29, resulting in Atlas no longer managing him.
Atlas was released from his WWE contract on April 30, 2010. However, he made a brief appearance on the Old School Raw episode on November 15, 2010. On December 12, 2011, he made a brief appearance to co-present the Slammy Award for "Trending Superstar of the Year." On April 10, 2012, Atlas made an appearance on WWE Smackdown: Blast from the Past.
ATLAS: Too Much, Too Soon Crowbar Press
Born in Roanoke, Virginia he attended Patrick Henry High School. White is currently married to a woman named Monika. They live in Auburn, Maine.
Championships and accomplishments
- Americas Wrestling Federation
- AWF North American Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Century Wrestling Alliance
- Eastern Wrestling Alliance
- Georgia Championship Wrestling
- International World Class Championship Wrestling
- International Wrestling (Quebec)
- Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
- NWA Tri-State1
- NWA West Virginia/Ohio Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- New England Pro Wrestling
- NEPW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- New England Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Class of 2009
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Southwest Championship Wrestling
- Universal Superstars of America
- World Class Wrestling Association
- World Wide Wrestling Alliance
- WWWA Intercontinental Championship (2 times)
- World Wrestling Council
- World Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Entertainment
- World Bodybuilding Guild
- WBBG Hall Of Fame (Class of 2007)
1This promotion is not to be confused with the NWA Tri–State promotion founded by Leroy McGuirk in the 1950s. This promotion would eventually be taken over by Bill Watts in 1979 and renamed Mid-South Wrestling Association. The promotion would eventually be renamed Universal Wrestling Federation.
- "Tony Atlas". allwwewrestlers.com.
- Wrestling Scene, Feb 1988, no 45 issue, p.17.
- "Tony Atlas' bio". WWE.com. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
- "OWW - Tony Atlas profile". onlineworldofwrestling.com. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
- "Tony Atlas' bio". TonyAtlas.com.
- Cawthon, Graham (2013). the History of Professional Wrestling Vol 1: WWF 1963 - 1989. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1492825972.
- Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.36)
- http://radio.thescore.com/episodes/tony-atlas-interview-dec-13-2010[permanent dead link]
- RD Reynolds and Randy Baer (2003). Wrestlecrap – the very worst of pro wrestling. ECW Press. ISBN 1-55022-584-7.
- "Tony Atlas released". WWE. 2010-04-30. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
- "Atlas blames no one but himself in autobiography". SLAM! Wrestling. 2010-12-30. Retrieved 2010-12-30.
- "AWF NORTH AMERICAN HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE HISTORY". solie.org. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- "CWA Heavyweight Title". wrestling-titles.com. Archived from the original on 2009-01-15. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- "Solie's Title Histories". Retrieved 2009-03-18.
- "NWA Georgia Heavyweight Title". wrestling-titles.com. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- "NWA Georgia Tag Team Title". wrestling-titles.com. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- "International World Class Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Title". wrestling-titles.com. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- "NWA Texas Brass Knuckles Title". wrestling-titles.com. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- "The Definitive History of the Mid-Atlantic Championship". midatlanticgateway.com. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- "NWA Tri-State Heavyweight Title". wrestling-titles.com. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Award Winners - Most Improved Wrestler of the Year". Wrestling Information Archive. Archived from the original on 2009-01-30. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 - 1991". Wrestling Information Archive. Archived from the original on 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 Wrestlers of the PWI Years". Wrestling Information Archive. Archived from the original on 2007-08-22. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- "Southwest Championship Wrestling Southwest Brass Knuckles Title". wrestling-titles.com. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- "World Class Television Title". wrestling-titles.com. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- "Texas Tag Team Title". wrestling-titles.com. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- "WWC North American Tag Team Title". wrestling-titles.com. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- "History of the World Tag Team Championship". wwe.com. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
- "Hall of Fame - Tony Atlas". wwe.com. Retrieved 2011-01-09.
- Pelletier, Justin (August 23, 2007). "TONY ATLAS TO BE INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME ON SATURDAY". Wrestling Figs. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
- Mick Foley (2000). Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. HarperCollins. p. 511. ISBN 0-06-103101-1.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tony Atlas.|