Meet & Greet with WWE Hall of Famer Tito Santana , Tony Mr. USA Atlas and Tatanka...

 16 May
 M & J Video Games & Collectibles
 1049 Queen St - - Southington - United States
 John E Kelleher
Come Meet WWE Hall of Famer Tito Santana, Mr. USA Tony Atlas and Tatanka. Will be meeting / Greeting / Signing / and taking Photos With The Wrestling Fans Young and Old... Like us on Face Book to be entered in a contest for a VIP Meet & Greet with Tito Santana, Tony Mr. USA Atlas & Tatanka. Per Wrestling talent . Autographs 15.00 and Photo ops with Title Belt 15.00 Autograph and Photo Ops Combo 25.00 Promo photos 8 x 10's and 11 x 14's will be available (born May 10, 1953 in Mission, Texas), better known by his ring name Tito Santana, is a Mexican-American semi-retired professional wrestler whose heyday spanned from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, though he continues to appear on the independent circuit. He has stayed a babyface his entire career[4] and is best known from his time in the World Wrestling Federation where he competed almost exclusively from 1979 to 1993 (missing part of 1980 and returning in `83). Solis was twice WWF Intercontinental Champion and twice co-holder of the WWF Tag Team Championship and helped bridge the gap between the 1980s "Rock 'n Wrestling Connection" era to the 1990s "New Generation" era. During his time in the WWF, Santana, despite being born and raised in Texas, was billed from Tocula, Mexico. Tocula is actually Toluca Mexico. Contents [hide] 1 Career 1.1 Collegiate and professional football 1.2 Early career 1.3 World Wrestling Federation 1.3.1 Debut and Tag Team Champion (1979–1982) 1.3.2 Intercontinental Champion (1983–1986) 1.3.3 Strike Force (1987–1989) 1.3.4 Various rivalries (1990–1991) 1.4 International World Class Championship Wrestling 1.4.1 El Matador and departure (1991–1993) 1.5 WrestleMania 1.6 Eastern Championship Wrestling (1993) 1.7 Return to International World Class Championship Wrestling (1994–1995) 1.8 American Wrestling Federation (1994–1996) 1.9 Return to the WWF (1997-1998) 1.10 Regional Championship Wrestling (1997-2013) 1.11 World Championship Wrestling (2000) 1.12 Sporadic appearances 2 Personal life 3 Film 3.1 Behind the Ropes: The Greatest Fraternity in the World 4 In wrestling 5 Championships and accomplishments 6 References 7 External links §Career[edit] §Collegiate and professional football[edit] Solis played tight end for West Texas A&M University, where he was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. The team was quarterbacked by future professional wrestler Tully Blanchard, who would introduce him into the world of professional wrestling. After graduation, Solis was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs during training camp. He played one season for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League,[2] appearing in 13 regular-season games. §Early career[edit] He pro debuted in Championship Wrestling from Florida in 1977, also worked in Georgia Championship Wrestling in 1977-78, until he joined the World Wrestling Federation in 1979. After a near 3 year run in the American Wrestling Association from 1980 to 1982 he returned to World Wrestling Federation in 1983. §World Wrestling Federation[edit] §Debut and Tag Team Champion (1979–1982)[edit] Santana had his first taste of WWF success in 1979 when he teamed with Ivan Putski to defeat Johnny Valiant and Jerry Valiant for the WWF Tag Team Championship at Madison Square Garden in October 1979. The duo held the titles for close to six months before losing to the Wild Samoans in April 1980. §Intercontinental Champion (1983–1986)[edit] In 1983, he engaged in a lengthy feud with Intercontinental Champion Magnificent Don Muraco. Santana finally won the title on February 11, 1984, becoming the first Mexican-American wrestler to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship. Shortly before winning the Intercontinental Championship, Santana fought The Iron Sheik to a double-disqualification for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship at the Philadelphia Spectrum. After successfully defending the Intercontinental Championship against Muraco, Santana would be targeted by Greg Valentine, and in September 1984 in London, Ontario, Valentine defeated Santana to win the title. Soon after, the plot had Valentine injuring Santana's knee and putting Santana out of action for several months. Santana returned in December 1984 and set his sights on getting the Intercontinental title back from Valentine. During this time he started using The Hammer's finishing hold, the Figure four leglock and also wrestled in tag-team competition with Blackjack Mulligan. Santana wrestled at the first ever WrestleMania at Madison Square Garden in March 1985, and in the opening match defeated a masked wrestler known as The Executioner ("Playboy" Buddy Rose), making him submit to the figure four in 4:05. Santana made an appearance in the ring later in the card during the IC Championship match between Valentine and the Junkyard Dog, Santana's friend. Wearing street clothes, Santana rushed to the ring to inform referee Dick Kroll that Valentine had used his feet on the ropes to help pin JYD. Despite having already called for the bell, Kroll restarted the match and Valentine was counted out as he didn't get back into the ring to continue. Santana and Valentine went on to wrestle a memorable series of singles and tag team matches with neither gaining the upper hand. They wrestled in a variety of different types of matches such as regular title matches, No Disqualification matches, and Lumberjack matches. Santana recaptured the Intercontinental title from Valentine in a brutal steel cage match in Baltimore on July 6, 1985. Valentine, incensed over losing the belt, destroyed it by repeatedly bashing it against the steel cage. This forced the WWF to get a new Intercontinental title belt (in reality, the WWF had made a new IC Championship belt to go along with the new image they were trying to promote and 'smashing' the old belt was seen as a way of moving forward with Santana having the honour of being the first to wear the new belt). Tito would hold on to the title until February 8, 1986 when he lost it to Randy Savage at the Boston Garden after Savage knocked him out with a foreign object that went unnoticed by referee Danny Davis. Although Santana lost the IC title before the WWF's storyline that Danny Davis was a corrupt official who clearly favoured the heels, the WWF used Santana losing the belt because of Davis' bias to include him in a six-man tag team match at Wrestlemania III on March 29, 1987 where he teamed with The British Bulldogs against The Hart Foundation and their 'new' partner, former referee "Dangerous" Danny Davis (who had previously wrestled for the WWF as a masked jobber named "Mr. X"). Davis had also been the assigned referee when the Harts 'stole' the WWF World Tag Team Championship from the Bulldogs in January 1987. The story for WM3 being that the Bulldogs and Santana wanted revenge on Davis as the one responsible for losing their respective titles. The Harts and Davis won the match when Davis used manager Jimmy Hart's megaphone to 'knock out' and pin the Bulldogs Davey Boy Smith. §Strike Force (1987–1989)[edit] Santana making his way to the ring in the late '80s. Santana formed the popular tag team Strike Force with Canadian Rick Martel in the late 1980s. They defeated the Hart Foundation for the WWF World Tag Team titles and held them for five months before losing to Demolition at Wrestlemania IV. Due to a neck injury inflicted on Martel (kayfabe) shortly after the loss, the team was inactive for several months. Immediately after the injury, Santana introduced a new tag team to the WWF, the Powers of Pain, whom he briefly managed. The Powers were introduced as mercenaries to help Martel and Santana gain revenge on Demolition for both the title loss and the injury to Martel. The Powers would later find more permanent management with The Baron before finally turning heel at the 1988 Survivor Series by stealing away Demolition's manager Mr. Fuji, leaving the champions as babyfaces. Martel returned at the Royal Rumble in 1989 and reunited with Santana. However, in their WrestleMania match against the Brain Busters (Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson), Martel turned on Santana during the match after accidentally being hit by Santana's Flying forearm smash. Martel refused to tag in and walked back to the dressing room leaving Santana to face both opponents alone (the Busters then easily defeated Tito with a Spike piledriver). In an interview with "Mean" Gene Okerlund immediately following the match, Martel called Santana a loser and said he was sick and tired of carrying him. His feud with the newly heel Martel would last throughout 1989, with both men on opposing teams at both SummerSlam and Survivor Series and Santana defeating Martel in the finals of the 1989 King of the Ring tournament. Tito even allied with his former archenemies Demolition against Martel, defeating him and The Fabulous Rougeaus in a six man tag match on June 22, 1989 in Hartford, Connecticut.[5] §Various rivalries (1990–1991)[edit] After the Ultimate Warrior won the WWF Championship from Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI and vacated the Intercontinental Title, Santana took part in an eight-man tournament to name a new Intercontinental Champion. Santana made it to the finals, where he lost to Mr. Perfect. Following that loss, Santana occasionally teamed with fellow fan favorite, Koko B. Ware. At the 1990 Survivor Series, he teamed with Nikolai Volkoff and The Bushwhackers. He was the winner and sole survivor in the elimination-style match against Sgt. Slaughter, Boris Zhukov, and The Orient Express. As a result, Santana advanced to the final elimination match, teaming with Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior against Martel, Ted DiBiase, the Warlord, and Power and Glory. Santana would eliminate the Warlord before being pinned by DiBiase. Santana would then wrestle at WrestleMania VII, losing to The Mountie in a little over a minute. §International World Class Championship Wrestling[edit] While taking a short hiatus from the World Wrestling Federation, he wrestled in IWCCW briefly where he held a feud with Tony Atlas. On an IWCCW card in Brooklyn, New York, Atlas defeated Dusty Wolfe. After the bout, he openly challenged any of his fellow wrestlers to try and beat him. Tito Santana immediately responded, charging out and dropkicking Atlas out of the ring. Following the event, Santana and Atlas scheduled a match for June 15 in Nassau, Bahamas for the IWCCW title, where Santana sought to avenge his former tag team partner Ivan Putski, whom Atlas had hung over the ropes previously. Santana had the upper hand in the bout until Atlas' manager Tony Rumble interfered by distracting and enraging Santana from the ring apron. During the verbal altercation between the two and then Santana going after Rumble, Tony Atlas took the opportunity to blindside Santana with a pair of brass knuckles from behind. The referee saw this illegal attack, and disqualified Tony Atlas.[6] §El Matador and departure (1991–1993)[edit] Santana then adopted a Spanish bullfighter gimmick and the nickname "El Matador" in 1991. Under this gimmick, he faced Shawn Michaels in the opening bout of WrestleMania VIII at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. Santana claims that at the time he was being considered for a run with the WWF Championship but says that the spot was given to Bret Hart;[2] the WWF was considering expanding into South and Central America, and felt that having Santana, its most high profile Latino wrestler, as champion would aid its cause. The plan was eventually scrapped and the decision was made to expand into Canada, thus making the Canadian-born Hart a more viable option as champion. In any case, Santana wrestled under the "El Matador" gimmick through 1993, mostly as a jobber to the stars. This included a loss to Papa Shango at SummerSlam (1992). In his final in-ring WrestleMania appearance, he defeated Shango at WrestleMania IX in the untelevised opening match. In his final appearance on WWF programming, Santana defeated friend and frequent tag team partner Virgil on a 1993 episode of Wrestling Challenge. As a sign of mutual respect between the two, both men embraced after the match. §WrestleMania[edit] Santana, along with only Hulk Hogan, holds the unique distinction of appearing in the first nine WrestleManias, accumulating a 2-7 record during that time. Officially he is recognized only for the first eight Wrestlemanias and a 1-7 record as the match against Papa Shango at WrestleMania IX was dark. On Right After Wrestling, hosted by Arda Ocal and Jimmy Korderas, Tito stated that he was somewhat disappointed with being in the first match at the original WrestleMania in 1985.[7] He also said that Vince McMahon later told Santana that his reason for putting him in the opening match was to kick the show off with a quality match, something he knew Tito, as a solid fan-favourite and former Intercontinental Champion, would produce. Unfortunately for Santana, despite regaining the IC title from Greg Valentine later in 1985, and two years later winning the Tag Team title with Rick Martel as part of Strike Force , he would never again win a televised match at a Wrestlemania event. §Eastern Championship Wrestling (1993)[edit] Santana played a role in the formative years of ECW. Then known as Eastern Championship Wrestling, he won the ECW Heavyweight Championship in August 1993 by defeating former WWF rival Don Muraco but forfeited the championship later that year to Shane Douglas. §Return to International World Class Championship Wrestling (1994–1995)[edit] After leaving ECW, Tito Santana returned to IWCCW where he wrestled some of his old WWF rivals such as Hercules Hernandez, Rick Martel, and Greg Valentine. During his second stint, he won the vacant IWCCW Heavyweight Championship (a title which had been vacated by Tony Atlas a man Santana first feuded with during his first stint in IWCCW back in 1991, Tony Atlas had left IWCCW for WCW back in 1992) with a tournament victory over Greg Valentine who later claimed the title in a rematch. In IWCCW Santana resumed his feuds from the WWF with Rick Martel and Greg Valentine. Santana also agreed to an interfederation title vs title match with Valentine when Valentine was IWCCW champion and Santana was AWF champion.[8] §American Wrestling Federation (1994–1996)[edit] During 1994 and 1996 Santana wrestled in the short-lived American Wrestling Federation. He was both the first and last AWF Heavyweight Champion, defeating Bob Orton, Jr. in a tournament final for the inaugural belt in November 1994, and losing and regaining the title from Orton on the same night in October 1996. Santana was slightly considered the top babyface of the company, and its major champion along with Orton (who was the top heel) §Return to the WWF (1997-1998)[edit] Santana returned to the WWF as a Commentator in the Spanish Broadcast table, He called on Monday Night Raw, as well as PPV events, he was last doing Spanish commentary at WrestleMania XIV. §Regional Championship Wrestling (1997-2013)[edit] July 19, 1997 in Morgantown, PA. Tito Santana lost by DQ to "Playboy" Jonathon Luvstruk w/Bodacious Pretty Boy in the finals of the United States title tournament at RCW's Battleground event. Aug. 8, 2009 in Leesport, PA. Tito Santana defeated Jerome Hendrix at RCW's Rumblemania 6 event. May 6, 2012 in Reading, PA. Tito Santana beat Tokyo Dragon w/Rich Rogers in tournament final to become RCW champion at RCW's Rumblemania 8 event. May 10, 2013 in Reading, PA. Tito Santana & Tokyo Dragon beat Mad Russian, Jack Molson & Rich Rogers in a title vs. hair match, Tito cut Rogers's hair at RCW's Megabrawl 6 event. §World Championship Wrestling (2000)[edit] On January 10, 2000, Tito Santana made a one-time appearance in WCW. He defeated Jeff Jarrett in a Dungeon Match on WCW Monday Nitro. §Sporadic appearances[edit] Tito Santana continues to make appearances on the independent circuit. On March 13, 2004 he was inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame, with an induction speech by his WrestleMania VIII opponent Shawn Michaels. In September 2008, he was inducted into the Spanish Hall of Fame of Pro Wrestling (Salón del Catch). On the November 15, 2010 "Old School" episode of Raw, he ring-announced Alberto Del Rio. On April 14, 2012 he made an appearance wrestling a match for Pro Wrestling Superstars against Shawn Spears defeating him with an inside cradle In July 2012, Santana embarked on a 3 day tour of Saskatchewan, Canada with High Impact Wrestling Canada. He wrestled and defeated Jumpin' Joe by pinfall in Yorkton, SK on July 16, lost by disqualification to Rex Roberts at Pile O' Bones Rumble XVII in Regina, SK on July 17, and then on July 18th defeated King Kash by pinfall in Saskatoon, SK. On September 14, 2012, Santana made an unadvertised appearance for Chikara, when he entered the 2012 King of Trios tournament, teaming with Mihara and The Mysterious and Handsome Stranger, with the three losing to the Spectral Envoy (Frightmare, Hallowicked and UltraMantis Black) in their first round match.[9][10] On December 4, 2012, The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum announced Tito Santana will be inducted into their Modern Category. The PWHF Induction took place on May 18, 2013 in Johnstown, NY. On April 19, 2014, Tito Santana competed in a match with "The German Menace" Kraig Stagg on ECPW's iPPV "Super Showcase Saturday". §Personal life[edit] While attending West Texas A&M University, Solis was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.[11] He is now a Spanish teacher and basketball coach at Eisenhower Middle School in Roxbury Township, New Jersey where he lives with his wife Leah and their three sons Matthew, Michael, and Mark. His wife operates Santana's Hair Salon in Succasunna, New Jersey.[12][13] He also teaches wrestling classes at the New Jersey-based Independent Wrestling Federation.[14] He still wrestles at least a dozen matches per year.[15] He was also a physical education teacher for Smalley Elementary School in Bound Brook, New Jersey. His autobiography, Tito Santana's Tales From the Ring (ISBN 978-1-59670-325-4), was released in 2008. Tito occasionally wears Nike sneakers. Tito has an affinity for Girl Scout cookies. §Film[edit] §Behind the Ropes: The Greatest Fraternity in the World[edit] Santana will be featured in the professional wrestling documentary Behind the Ropes: The Greatest Fraternity in the World, which is currently in production with executive producer Alycia Kaback and The It Factor Productions.[16] The documentary is about that sense of fraternity and brotherhood in the world of professional wrestling. Behind the Ropes will follow Andrew “The Reinforcer” Anderson's path to becoming East Coast Pro Wrestling (ECPW)’s current heavyweight champion. Filming has already included Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, Tony Atlas, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, and The Boogeyman.[17] §In wrestling[edit] Santana delivering a Flying forearm smash on his opponent in 2011 Finishing moves El Paso del Norte[18] (Running leaping forearm smash to the head of a bent over opponent) – 1991–1993 Figure-four leglock[1] Flying forearm smash[1][3] Signature moves Arm drag[1] Diving clothesline[19] Dropkick[1] Headscissors takedown[1] Knee lift[20][21] Running crossbody[22] §Championships and accomplishments[edit] American Wrestling Federation AWF Heavyweight Championship (2 times) Empire Wrestling Alliance EWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time) Eastern Championship Wrestling ECW Heavyweight Championship (1 time) House of Pain Wrestling Federation HoPWF Tag Team Championship (1 time) Independent Association of Wrestling IAW Television Championship (1 time) International Association of Wrestling IAW Television Championship (1 time) International World Class Championship Wrestling IWCCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[23] NWA Western States Sports NWA Western States Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Ted DiBiase National Wrestling Council NWC Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[23] New England Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2011 Northern States Wrestling Alliance NSWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time) Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2013[24] Pro Wrestling Illustrated PWI Tag Team of the Year award in 1979 – with Ivan Putski. PWI ranked him # 51 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 1995. PWI ranked him # 93 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the PWI Years in 2003. PWI ranked him # 70 of the 100 best tag teams during the PWI Years with Rick Martel in 2003. Renegade Wrestling Alliance RWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time) USA Pro Wrestling USA Pro Heavyweight Championship (1 time) Unified Championship Wrestling UCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[23] Universal Superstars of America USA Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Chris Michaels[23] World Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Entertainment WWF Intercontinental Championship (2 times) WWF Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Ivan Putski (1), and Rick Martel (1) WWE Hall of Fame (Class of 2004) WWF King of the Ring (1989) Rio Grande Valley Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2007 Other titles CWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time) GWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time) USA Heavyweight Championship (1 time) UWS Tag Team Championship (1 time) Anthony White[2] (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. Contents [hide] 1 Professional wrestling career 1.1 1970s–1990s 1.2 Return to WWE (2008–2014) 2 Books 3 Personal life 4 In wrestling 5 Championships and accomplishments 6 References 7 Notes 8 External links Professional wrestling career[edit] 1970s–1990s[edit] 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 didn't see it.[citation needed] During his time with the NWA, Atlas captured the NWA Georgia Tag Team Title with Tommy Rich. He later teamed with Mr. Wrestling II, Thunderbolt Patterson, Kevin Sullivan, and Rocky Johnson. In the WWF, Tony teamed with Rocky Johnson to defeat the Wild Samoans to win the WWF World tag team title, becoming the first Afro-American team to hold the belts.[3][4] 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 was thus shunted to the mid card in the WWF in short lived tag teams with Ivan Putski, Lanny Poffo and George Wells. 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. 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 minutes 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. 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.[5] He played a warrior of a Ugandan tribe, but the gimmick was unpopular at best, and considered[by whom?] racist at worst. He left for WCW shortly thereafter. In 1992, he wrestled in WCW, 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. Atlas was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006. Return to WWE (2008–2014)[edit] Mark Henry accompanied by Tony Atlas 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. On September 1, 2009, Atlas re-appeared as the announcer for "The Abraham Washington Show" segment. He would portray Abraham's sidekick and laugh at his jokes with a forced, uproarious laugh and would also be the butt of some of Washington's jokes and abuse. Most of the guests would side with Tony and stick up for him. One time after Atlas tried to bring up with past with Barretta and Croft, the two verbally attacked Atlas, with Washington stepping in saying "You don't abuse Tony Atlas! That's MY job!" After ECW ended, he and Washington became free agents. Atlas was released from his WWE contract on April 30, 2010.[6] 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. In 2014, Atlas was regular cast member on the WWE Network original reality show, Legends' House. Books[edit] "ATLAS: Too Much, Too Soon" Crowbar Press Personal life[edit] White is currently married to a woman named Monika.[7] he has one child named Nikki resides in Alabama with former wife Joyce In wrestling[edit] Finishing moves Bearhug[8] Military press slam[3] Signature moves Headbutt Samoan drop Shoulder block Managers The Duke Cactus Jack Tony Rumble Dawn Marie Psaltis[9] Wrestlers managed Mark Henry[10] Takeshi Morishima[11] Abraham Washington Championships and accomplishments[edit] Americas Wrestling Federation AWF North American Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[12] Century Wrestling Alliance CWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[13] Eastern Wrestling Alliance EWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[14] Georgia Championship Wrestling NWA Georgia Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[15] NWA Georgia Tag Team Championship (4 times) – with Tommy Rich (1), Mr. Wrestling II (1), Thunderbolt Patterson (1), and Kevin Sullivan (1)[16] International World Class Championship Wrestling IWCCW Heavyweight Championship (2 times)[17] International Wrestling (Quebec) WCWA Brass Knuckles Championship (1 time)[18] Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[19] NWA Tri-State1 NWA West Virginia/Ohio Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[20] New England Pro Wrestling NEPW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[21] New England Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2009 Pro Wrestling Illustrated PWI Most Improved Wrestler of the Year (1980)[22] PWI ranked him #64 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the year on the PWI 500 list in 1996[23] PWI ranked him #171 of the top 500 wrestlers of the "PWI Years" in 2003[24] Southwest Championship Wrestling SCW Southwest Brass Knuckles Championship (1 time)[25] Universal Superstars of America USA Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with S.D. Jones[21] World Class Wrestling Association WCWA Television Championship (1 time)[26] WCWA Texas Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Skip Young[27] World Wide Wrestling Alliance WWWA Intercontinental Championship (2 times)[21] World Wrestling Council WWC North American Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Miguel Pérez, Jr.[28] World Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Entertainment WWE Hall Of Fame (Class of 2006)[29] WWF Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Rocky Johnson[30] World Bodybuilding Guild WBBG Hall Of Fame (Class of 2007)[31] 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. Christopher "Chris" Chavis[1][2] (born June 8, 1961),[1] is a Native American professional wrestler; he is best known for his work with the World Wrestling Federation (later known as World Wrestling Entertainment) as Tatanka from 1991 to 1996 and from 2005 to 2007. His ring name is a Lakota word that literally means "bull buffalo". He is part of the Lumbee tribe. Contents [hide] 1 Bodybuilding and football careers 2 Professional wrestling career 2.1 Early career (1989-1990) 2.2 World Wrestling Federation 2.2.1 Undefeated streak (1992–1993) 2.2.2 Million Dollar Corporation & departure (1994–1996) 2.3 Independent circuit (1997) 2.4 Return to WWE (2005–2007) 2.5 Second return to the independent circuit and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2008–2009) 2.6 Second return to WWE (2010) 2.7 Third return to the independent circuit (2011–present) 3 Personal life 4 In wrestling 5 Championships and accomplishments 6 Books 7 References 8 External links Bodybuilding and football careers[edit] Chavis started competing in powerlifting. He competed in his first bodybuilding contest, Mr. Virginia Beach, placing second. He won many competitions during his time in bodybuilding, but decided against competing on the national level and possibly turning pro. From 1985 to 1990 he worked for Bally's Health and Tennis Corporation, becoming a divisional manager. During the 1987 NFL Players Association strike, he received many tryouts for the National Football League, from teams such as the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins, and the Los Angeles Raiders. He decided to pursue a career with the Dolphins. Chavis was one of 20 hopefuls offered a deal out of approximately 2,000 tryouts. The Dolphins offered him a free agent contract with the availability to increase after the first year. He declined, since his income at Bally's exceeded the value of the contract. Professional wrestling career[edit] Early career (1989-1990)[edit] In 1989, Chavis left Bally's to pursue an accounting career. He met "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers in Florida at a video store while looking for wrestling tapes. Rogers had Chavis call Larry Sharpe, who ran a wrestling school in southern New Jersey called "The Monster Factory". He had his first match, as Tatanka, against Joe Thunderstorm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 13, 1990. Rogers introduced Chavis to George Scott, the booker for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) during the 1980s. Scott was starting his own promotion called the North American Wrestling Association, later known as South Atlantic Pro Wrestling. Chavis wrestled under the name "The War Eagle" Chris Chavis and was voted 3rd runner up for Rookie of the Year in Pro Wrestling Illustrated for 1990. Also in 1990, he became the South Atlantic Heavyweight Champion by beating Ken Shamrock. Not long after, he was signed to a WWF contract. World Wrestling Federation[edit] Undefeated streak (1992–1993)[edit] Chris Chavis started his WWF career in late 1991 under his given name. Soon after, he took on the ring name "Tatanka". After wrestling in tryout matches at house shows, Tatanka made his television debut as a fan favorite on the February 1, 1992, episode of Superstars, defeating Pat Tanaka in his debut match. As Tatanka, Chavis performed a war dance to the Lumbee tribal war cry that preceded his entrance to the ring, and had a red stripe dyed in the middle of his hair. Tatanka was pushed as undefeated on WWF television; he did not suffer any defeat by pinfall or submission, but he lost several matches at house shows, the first being a countout loss to Rick Martel on June 4, 1992, in Fort Wayne, Indiana.[3] Tatanka's earliest rivalry on television was against Rick Martel; it culminated in Tatanka's pay-per-view debut at WrestleMania VIII, with Tatanka winning the match. On May 18, 1992, Tatanka reached the peak of success by winning the 40-man Bashed in the USA battle royal. He renewed his "feud" with Martel, who had stolen sacred eagle feathers from him to add to his wardrobe, going on to defeat Martel again at Survivor Series to reclaim the feathers. At WrestleMania IX, Tatanka received his first televised title shot in WWF against Shawn Michaels for the WWF Intercontinental Championship. Tatanka won the match by count-out. Since a title could not change hands on a count-out, Michaels retained the title. On the October 30, 1993, edition of Superstars, Tatanka suffered his first televised defeat in the WWF, losing to Ludvig Borga (Borga had hit Tatanka in the back with a steel chair while Mr. Fuji distracted the referee). After the match, he was attacked by WWF Champion Yokozuna and was subsequently out of action for three months. Tatanka returned to WWF in the beginning of 1994. Million Dollar Corporation & departure (1994–1996)[edit] Main article: Million Dollar Corporation Tatanka was honored by previous Native American professional wrestlers Chief Jay Strongbow and Chief Wahoo McDaniel and by Lumbee tribesman Ray Littleturtle on an edition of Raw. Littleturtle presented him with a full-length Lumbee tribe chief headdress. Tatanka engaged in a storyline feud with Irwin R. Schyster, who insisted he pay a gift tax on the item. Strongbow briefly served as Tatanka's mentor and manager during the duration of the feud. During the summer of 1994, Tatanka accused Lex Luger of selling out to Ted DiBiase, which resulted in a match between the two. Afterward, DiBiase entered the ring with a red, white and blue bag full of money. Luger kicked the bag out of DiBiase's hands resulting in Tatanka attacking him and turning him into a villain at SummerSlam, joining DiBiase's Million Dollar Corporation. He spent the remainder of the year feuding with Luger which topped off in a cage match on Raw that saw Luger come out the victor. In spring 1995, Tatanka had another feud with Bam Bam Bigelow, who just turned face. As a result he teamed with Sid Vicious at King of the Ring (1995) to lose to Bigelow and Diesel. Following a hiatus at the end of August 1995, Tatanka returned to the WWF to compete in the Royal Rumble match at the Royal Rumble 1996 event, where he was eliminated by Diesel. On March 19, 1996, Tatanka wrestled his final televised match in WWF, losing to the WWF Champion Bret Hart in a non-title match. Tatanka would leave the WWF in the spring of 1996, citing family and spiritual issues. At the time, the WWF and major rival World Championship Wrestling (WCW) were in a major talent war, and WCW President Eric Bischoff offered him a lucrative deal, but Chavis declined. He continued to appear for independent promotions, which allowed him to continue to wrestle while maintaining a lighter schedule. Independent circuit (1997)[edit] Tatanka with Falcon Coperis in 1997 In 1997, Chavis wrestled for the independent New York-based promotion Ultimate Championship Wrestling (UCW), where he wrestled Bruce Hart of the Hart wrestling family, Falcon Coperis, King Kong Bundy, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart and Marty Jannetty. He went from playing the role of a face to a heel when he turned on Falcon Coperis and Tommy Cairo to align himself with the likes of the UWF faction of the organization which included Jim Neidhart, Bruce Hart, and eventually Marty Jannetty. Chavis captured the UCW Heavyweight Championship title and handed then-champion Falcon Coperis his first championship defeat. Chavis left champion when the organization folded its professional wrestling division in 1998. Return to WWE (2005–2007)[edit] On August 1, 2005, Chavis returned to Raw as a face once again which was intended to be a special one-time appearance to face Eugene in the "Eugene Invitational", a three-minute match with Kurt Angle's Olympic gold medal on the line. Tatanka lost the match when Angle attacked Eugene with 27 seconds remaining, causing a disqualification. Chavis returned to a full-time schedule for WWE as "Tatanka" at the tail end of 2005, debuting at a December 27 house show, teaming with Shelton Benjamin in a win over Carlito and Jonathan Coachman. He returned to television in the Royal Rumble match at the January 2006 event, where he was eliminated by Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro. The next month he began appearing on Velocity before being moved full-time to the SmackDown! brand. As a face, Chavis teamed with Matt Hardy to defeat MNM, the then-Tag Team Champions, in a non-title match at No Way Out. They were granted a title shot on the next edition of SmackDown!, but lost. On the April 28 SmackDown! a vignette played announcing that "a new warrior would soon be forged in Tatanka." Over the next three weeks footage aired of Tatanka being (legitimately) adopted into the Oglala Sioux Tribe (Lakota). When he returned to wrestling Tatanka defeated Simon Dean with his new finisher, "Wakinyan" (from the Lakota word for "Thunder"). Tatanka engaged in a mini-feud with Sylvain Grenier, trading victories with him, before he was moved into an angle where he entered into a losing streak due to what he perceived to be bad decision-making by referees during his matches. This escalated until the October 27 SmackDown! when Tatanka, alongside partner Bobby Lashley, lost a match to William Regal and Dave Taylor when Regal pinned Tatanka by illegally using the ropes after. (During the pin Dave Taylor got his hands in the last second.) After the match Tatanka argued the decision again, then he turned heel by attacking the referee and then Lashley when he tried to calm him down. The next week he appeared on SmackDown! with a new style of warpaint, covering the top of his face in black and the bottom in white, and cut a promo on Lashley saying he owed neither him nor the crowd an explanation for his actions. He compared his recent losing streak to the years of persecution that his people had suffered over the years and said that he "called upon his forefathers to unleash a new warrior in [him]". He asked for and was released from his WWE contract in January 2007,[4] but not before ending his losing streak by defeating Jimmy Wang Yang, his first victory in months. noted this event with these parting words: "Tatanka is an accomplished veteran of the squared circle. The Native American made a splash upon his entrance to the WWE in the early 90s, remaining undefeated for two years."[4] Tatanka stated on his official website that he requested to be released and mentioned he was not done with WWE as he would like to return someday. Second return to the independent circuit and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2008–2009)[edit] In 2008 Tatanka toured Ireland and France with the American Wrestling Rampage tour. He also wrestled for All Star Promotions in the United Kingdom. He competed in All Star and American Wrestling between August 29 to October 31, 2008, in the Tower Circus area of Blackpool Tower. He also appeared in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling for Jay Lethal's invitational tournament, defeating him with an End of the Trail. Second return to WWE (2010)[edit] Tatanka made an appearance on the Old School Raw on November 15 backstage along with Ron Simmons, Dusty Rhodes, IRS, and The "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase. Third return to the independent circuit (2011–present)[edit] Tatanka made an appearance in Danish Pro Wrestling (DPW) and lost to Chaos after he was hit by a DDT. He was given a standing ovation after the match. Tatanka also made headlines in Scotland while appearing for Scottish Wrestling Entertainment, renewing his partnership with the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase in Dundee. Tatanka was due to return to Scotland to wrestle for the SWE at the Dewars Centre in Perth on the 25th of August 2012. On August 8, 2012, Chikara announced that Tatanka would be making his debut for the promotion in the following month's 2012 King of Trios tournament, where he will team with the 1-2-3 Kid and Aldo Montoya as "Team WWF".[5] In their first round match on September 14, Team WWF was defeated by The Extreme Trio (Jerry Lynn, Tommy Dreamer and Too Cold Scorpio).[6][7] The following day, Tatanka defeated Sugar Dunkerton in a singles match.[6][8] Tatanka made another appearance in Danish Pro Wrestling (DPW) and defeated Chaos after hitting Wykea after a long and enduring match. He was given a standing ovation once again. He also wrestled in Germany, in June 2013 for ACW (Athletik Club Wrestling) and GHW (German Hurricane Wrestling). Tatanka won the MFW tag team championship in Silver Creek, New York, alongside Primal Warpath March 1, 2014. On May 2, 2014, Tatanka won the DPW Tag Team Championship along with Rick "The Prick" Dominick. Personal life[edit] Chavis is married to his wife Michelle. Together, they have two daughters, Christiana and Rhea, and a son, Joseph Tatanka Chavis.[9] He lives with them in Tampa, Florida, and is a spokesperson for the Beaming Hope Church. Chris was married to Dawn Chavis Doyle in 1989 in a snowy Valentines Day wedding in Hampton, Virginia. He has a younger brother, Sean Chavis, who is currently serving in the U.S. Navy as a Chief Air Traffic Controller. In wrestling[edit] Finishing moves End of the Trail[2] / Papoose to Go[2] / Renegade Drop[2] (Samoan drop, sometimes as a counter to an oncoming opponent) Wakinyan (Swinging side slam) – 2006–present Signature moves Battering ram Diving crossbody High knee Multiple chop variations Backhand Open hand Tomahawk Chop (Overhead, sometimes from the top rope)[1] Running DDT Running leg drop Savate kick Shoulder block Managers "Sensational" Sherri Martel Chief Jay Strongbow Ted DiBiase[1] Championships and accomplishments[edit] Athletik Club Wrestling ACW German Championship (1 time)[10] Covey Promotions Covey Pro Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[11] Dansk Pro Wrestling DPW Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Rick Dominick[12] Deutsche Wrestling Allianz DWA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[1][13] German Hurricane Wrestling GHW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[14] i-Generation Superstars of Wrestling i-Generation Australasian Heavyweight Championship (2 times)[1] International Wrestling Superstars Wrestler of the Year (2003) Israeli Pro Wrestling Association IPWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[15] North American Wrestling Association Mercedes Benz 400 SL Tournament (1990)[16] Pro Wrestling Illustrated PWI ranked him # 279 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the PWI Years in 2003 South Atlantic Pro Wrestling SAPW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[1] Stampede Wrestling Stampede North American Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[1] Top Rope Championship Wrestling TRCW International Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[17][18] United States Wrestling Association USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[1] World Wrestling Federation Slammy Award for Most Greediest (1994) Other titles IWA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[1] Books[edit] Christian Wrestlers: Wrestling With God, 2001,

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