|Wild Bill Longson|
|Birth name||Willard Rowe Longson|
|Born||June 8, 1906|
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
|Died||December 12, 1982 (aged 76)|
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 three-time National Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Champion during the 1940s. He first won the title from Sandor Szabo, before losing the title to Yvon Robert. Longson won his second title from Bobby Managoff before losing to Whipper Billy Watson. He won his third and final title from Lou Thesz
Longson lost his title for the final time to Thesz on July 20, 1948, when Thesz elevated onto Longson's shoulders from the piledriver position and fell into a Thesz press. The following year, Thesz was awarded National Wrestling Alliance World Championship by default after champion Orville Brown was forced to retire after an automobile accident. Following this, the Alliance retrospectively withdrew recognition of Brown's reign in favour of a lineage traced via the Association's lineage - ultimately back to George Hackenschmidt in 1905 - beginning the process of consolidating all American world championships into one. As a result of this, the Alliance retrospectively recognises Longson as a three time World champion.
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
- International Wrestling Association (Montreal)
- 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
- Luce, Don. "Bill Longson". PWHF.com. Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "(Texas) Dallas: NWA Texas Brass Knuckles Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 271. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- "Texas Brass Knucks Title [East Texas]". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
- Duncan, Royal; Will, Gary (2000). "Texas: NWA World Tag Team Title [Siegel, Boesch and McLemore]". Wrestling title histories: professional wrestling champions around the world from the 19th century to the present. Pennsylvania: Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- "National Wrestling Alliance World Tag Team Title [E. Texas]". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved February 21, 2017.