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"Mr. Wrestling" Tim Woods (1934-2002)

  

Real Name - George Burrell "Tim" Woodin
Lifespan - 7/28/1934 - 11/30/2002
6' 230 lbs. - Utica, NY

Athletic BackgroundWrestling, Track & Field (Michigan State)

Teacher(s) - n/a

Professional Background - Omaha, WWWF, Georgia, Florida, Mid-Atlantic

Aliases - none

Peak Years - `67-`73

Place in HistoryThe title "Mr. Wrestling" has been bestowed upon a number of pro-wrestlers over the years, but perhaps none embodied that gimmick more than Tim Woods.  One of the greatest amateur wrestlers of the 1950s, Michigan State's George Woodin was known for his pinning and bragged a percentage believed to be only second to Danny Hodge.  Boosting a pair of AAU National championships and a Big Ten championships, Woodin parlayed his amateur reputation into that of being a legitimate tough guy in the professional ranks.  He adopted the simpler name of "Tim Woods" and was given the handle "Mr Wrestling" by promoter Joe Dusek in Omaha.  Although Woods had legit credibility, an impressive build and could work, it was not until he adopted a white mask and singlet that he came into his own.  Mr. Wrestling developed over the next few years as a journeyman working both masked and unmasked under both pseudonyms.  A masked babyface was highly unusual in the United States, unless it was a short-term storyline, so the Mr. Wrestling character was not always welcomed.  However when Mr. Wrestling hit Georgia, the pieces all fell together and he quickly emerged as the promotion's top babyface.  In the late 1960s, booker Leo Garibaldi built the Georgia territory around Mr. Wrestling on top battling heels like El Mongol, Tarzan Tyler and Hans Schmidt.  The promotion eventually wanted to unmask him, but he left.  Woods remained in the Southeast and became a frequent challenger to NWA World Champion Jack Brisco.  Mr. Wrestling also showed that he could work effectively as a scientific heel.  When the Battle for Atlanta broke out, Mr. Wrestling made his triumphant return.  This time around, he was not planning to stay long-term so they created Mr. Wrestling II (the former "Rubberman" Johnny Walker) and the tag team got over huge.  The contrasting styles worked well as Mr. Wrestling played the scientific straight man and Mr. Wrestling II played the hot-headed one.  As Mr. Wrestling phased himself out, Mr. Wrestling II stepped up and eclipsed his partner's popularity in the state.  Continuing to work as the masked Mr. Wrestling and as a the unmasked Tim Woods, he became celebrated amongst his peers in 1975.  While working in the Mid-Atlantic territory, a tragic plane crash occurred that left Ric Flair and others injured and ended the career of Johnny Valentine.  Woods was feuding with Valentine at the time and was the only babyface on the plane.  Despite extensive rib injuries, Mr. Wrestling went right back to work to protect kayfabe and, according to many, he saved the business in that area.  "Mr. Wrestling" Tim Woods worked several more years before retiring in 1981.

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