In May 1998, the WWF signed one of the toughest men in the wrestling world at the behest of Jim Ross. Prior to the upcoming Brawl for All tournament the WWF signed "Dr. Death" Steve Williams to compete in the tournament. Williams had debuted in wresting in 1982 for "Cowboy" Bill Watts in Mid-South Wrestling. Prior to training to wrestle, "Doc" played Football both in college at Oklahoma University and for the New Jersey Generals in the USFL. Williams was actually the teammate of NFL Hall of Famer Herschel Walker.
It didn't take "Doc" long to develop a reputation in wrestling as a tough guy and a legitimate athlete. From the very beginning Bill Watts presented Williams as a local hero in Oklahoma which wasn't hard remember how much people love their college football. Williams would carve out a solid career in Mid South and later UWF, but would also start touring in All Japan Pro-Wrestling where he would team with Terry Gordy. In Japan, Williams would become not only a main event star, but in some cases a legend on the same level of his Miracle Violence Connection tag partner Gordy.
However, as everyone knows it doesn't matter what you do outside WWE it matter what you can accomplish inside WWE. Even with his reputation and seemingly being someone who fit perfectly in "Attitude Era" WWE, but we'd be wrong. It seems that for the most part a poorly timed injury and never really being able to regain his momentum was the culprit in this case. The main reason "Doc" was booked so differently in Japan to WWE is in my book the miles on his body caught up to him and couldn't be the tough guy anymore.
Overall had "Doc" come to WWE right after Universal Wrestling was sold to Crockett then he would've still been in his prime instead of in decline when he was on the big stage. I don't doubt that "Doc" could've still fought hard when he was in WWE, but I also think he had lost a step or two by the time he found his way into Vince's playground. It is fun to think though about what could've happened had somethings change a little bit.
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