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Pez_Whatley

Pez Whatley

Pezavan Whatley (January 10, 1951 - January 18, 2005) was a professional wrestler in the 1980s and early 1990s who wrestled primarily under the ring name Pez Whatley.

Career

Whatley played football and wrestled for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). He was UTC's first African American wrestler. Whatley was also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans.

Whatley started wrestling in 1975 after a brief career as a power lifter. He wrestled primarily in Alabama and Tennessee before going to Florida Championship Wrestling in 1984. He won the Southern Title twice while there. He was one-third of the Convertible Blondes with Rip Rogers and Gary Royal in the Angelo Poffo-promoted ICW, even though he didn't dye his hair blonde. One of Whatley's best-known moments in ICW was the "Mop Head" angle where Whatley had to wear a mop wig after losing a match to Ron Garvin. The match stipulation also required him to keep wearing it until he won another match. This led to not only a lengthy feud with Garvin but also to a long losing streak for Whatley. Most of Whatley's losses were by disqualification due to outside interference when Garvin would attack Whatley's opponent. The angle lasted for several months until Whatley finally won a match.

He went to the NWA's Jim Crockett Promotions in 1985 and often teamed with Jimmy Valiant against members of Paul Jones' Army. In 1986, after Valiant called Whatley "the best black athlete in professional wrestling", Whatley turned on Valiant and cut some of Valiant's hair, thinking Valiant's comment was racist. Whatley joined Jones' Army and re-named himself Shaska Whatley. He frequently teamed with The Barbarian and Baron Von Raschke in their war against Valiant. He eventually lost a hair vs. hair match to Valiant and was shaved bald.

In late 1987, Whatley had left Jones and started teaming with Tiger Conway Jr. as The Jive Tones. They did not have much success, and Whatley left for Florida in 1988. He was part of Kevin Sullivan's goon squad in Florida and departed for Alabama shortly after his arrival.

In Alabama's Southeast Championship Wrestling, Whatley became Willie B. Hert and was one of the top faces for the company.

In the early 90's Pez Whatley had a short stint in Japan's UWFi. He also worked for the WWF as an enhancement talent during this time. Whatley retired from in-ring competition in 1995 and became a backstage worker for WCW and an assistant trainer at the WCW Power Plant, making sporadic appearances at special WCW events, including one of WCW's World War 3 PPV events.

On January 15, 2005, Pez suffered a heart attack and died on January 18 while awaiting a heart transplant.

In wrestling

Finishing Move: Headbutt (aka The Flying Willie)

Championships and accomplishments

*NWA Florida Southern Heavyweight Championship (2 times)

*ICW United States Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
*ICW United States Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Rip Rogers

*NWA Mid-America Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Ray Candy

*NWA Western States Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Abe Jacobs

*PWI ranked him # 345 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003.

  • Other Titles

*NCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Sam McGraw

References

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