Trained By: Kurt Von Steiger
Hometown: Goodyear, Arizona
Wrestling Weight: 220 pounds
Territories Worked In: Arizona (1974), Nick Gulas/Jerry Jarrett (1975), WWA/Dick The Bruiser (1981), WWF (1983-1998), Mike LaBell/Los Angeles (1982)
Toughest Opponents: Jody Arnold, John Ringer, The Lumberjacks, David Rose.
Best Matches: Versus David Rose in 1974 (bloodbath match)
Favorite Move: Sunset Flip & Dropkick
Titles Held: Arizona TV Champion, American Wrestling Federation Tag Team Champion (With Louie Spicoli), WWA World Heavyweight Champion, WWA World Trios Champions (With Louie Spicoli & Tim Patterson).
Bill Anderson pinning Jake \”Flying” Billy Anderson has one of the most famous faces in Arizona wrestling history and he should. He’s a top wrestler, ring announce, actor and stuntman. He has appeared on the national wrestling scene as part of the AWF and, more notably, the WWF (now WWE) – where he was a wrestler, referee and ring announcer. He has also traveled the world, appearing in wrestling matches in diverse places including Japan and the Middle East.
Aside from being a top quality wrestler, Bill is also a top q\uality trainer, having operated one of the nation’s best wrestling schools for 18 years. During that time, he trained such stars as the Ultimate Warrior, Sting and the late Louie Spicoli.
Outside of the ring, Bill has always had a personality that draws people to him. He puts it this way, “I always enjoyed meeting wrestling fans and signing autographs. I have traveled to 26 countries around the world for pro wrestling, making friends and keeping them forever. I enjoy attending wrestling reunions and seeing old friends.”
World Champion Bill AndersonThese days, Bill is retired from active ring competition, except for the occasional match as he puts it. You can find him promoting wrestling under the IWC (International Wrestling Council) banner.
He also spends his days raising his 17 year old son, Audie. As for hobbies, Bill says he enjoys playing golf and staying in touch with old friends.
He is currently working on his Here is Bill Anderson today. biography detailing his extraordinary, 30-year wrestling career.
“Cowboy” Bob Yuma
The One and Only, “Cowboy” Bob Yuma
Turned Pro: 1972
Trained By: Tito Montez
Hometown: Rogue River, Oregon
Wrestling Weight: 225 pounds
Territories Worked In: Washington State, Canada, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, California
Toughest Opponent: Hercules Stevenson
Best Match: It’s hard to pick just one match when you faced such great opponents as Jody Arnold, Hercules Stevenson, The Lumberjacks and The Monster.
Favorite Move: Western Bulldog
Titles Held: Western States Heavyweight Championship, Western States Junior Heavyweight Championship, Western States Tag Team Championship, Southwestern Junior Heavyweight Championship
When people think of Arizona Wrestling, especially under the Western States Wrestling banner, the name “Cowboy” Bob Yuma comes immediately to mind. Yuma, along with ring greats such as Jody Arnold and Tito Montez made Arizona the wrestling hotbed that it was.
Although the “Cowboy” was on the lighter end of the weight scale, he achieved great success in both the Junior Heavyweight and Heavyweight ranks. He was also equally successful as a singles wrestler or tag team competitor. Those qualities are very rare indeed.
Bob wrestled in Arizona from 1973 thru 1990. Following his career in wrestling, he started to work behind the scenes as a promoter. In 2000, he, and some associates, worked to revive the Western States Wrestling banner and bring real professional wrestling back to Arizona for a new generation of wrestlers and fans.
Although that association only lasted a couple of years, that hasn’t stopped “Cowboy” Bob Yuma. He still promotes wrestling from time-to-time and has become the guardian of Arizona Wrestling’s legacy.
Sadly, Bob passed away on May 23, 2006 following a lengthy illness. Toward the end of his life, his greatest joys were spending time with his family and friends.
Turned Pro: 1956
Trained By: Self Trained
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Wrestling Weight: 220 pounds
Territories Worked In: Arizona, Texas, California, Oregon, Canada and Mexico.
Toughest Opponent: Bearcat Wright.
Best Matches: Versus Ron Pope or Freddy Gomez.
Favorite Move: The Arm Drag.
Titles Held: Canadian Champion, Arizona Champion, Western States Tag Team Champion.
One of the most popular wrestlers in Arizona, Eddie Lopez won the respect of Arizona wrestling fans the old-fashioned way, “He earned it.”
Lopez, known for his excellent physical conditioning and near-perfect timing was one opponent that no wrestler took lightly. For to look past Lopez was to ensure a check mark in the “loss” column for the foolish foe. Eddie was in demand everywhere he went and the stories of his travels are legendary.
Even though his career began in the late 50s, he was still going strong in the early 1990s. In 1992, wrestling was presented weekly in Phoenix and Eddie was still teaching young guys what it’s like to be tied in a knot. His tag team matches with Tony Hernandez were nothing short of awesome.
In 1994, Eddie was brought in to be the special referee for a match in Phoenix, which pitted Greg “The Hammer” Valentine against Tito Santana. As soon as Eddie hit the ring, the old magic was back. Even though he had been away from the ring for a little while, he was still in top-notch shape and the crowd still loved him.
These days, Eddie is STILL in great shape and you can still find him trading holds. Instead of being an active participant, Eddie spends his time training wrestlers and boxers and giving self-defense lessons.
Tito Montez with Arizona Heavyweight Championship, Tag Team Championship and Most Popular Wrestler Trophy!
Trained By: Self Trained
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Wrestling Weight: 210 pounds
Territories Worked In: Oregon, Washington, Utah, Arizona, Dallas, Mobile (AL), Oklahoma, Missouri, Louisiana, Las Vegas, etc. (22 states, Hawaii & Mexico)
Toughest Opponents: Don Kent, Jody Arnold, Danny Hodge, Chuck Karbo
Best Matches: 1962 Cadillac Winner, 1974 Match with Andre the Giant as tag team partner
Favorite Move: Abdominal Stretch, Flying Head Scissors, Drop Kick, just to name a few
Titles Held: Arizona Heavyweight Champion, Western States Champion, Arizona Tag Team Champion, Texas State Jr. Heavyweight Champion
he name Tito Montez is synonymous with Arizona Professional Wrestling, so much so in fact that when we announced the creation of this website, his was the first name mentioned. Everyone wanted to know if Tito was going to be a part of this site. Our answer was “of course.” Trying to do a tribute to Arizona Wrestling Legends without featuring Tito Montez would be like trying to make a sandwich without bread. You just can’t do it.
Tito toured Arizona for parts of three decades: 1958-59, Tito Montez and Andre The Giant – 19741960-62, and 1974-76. In that time, he met and defeated the “who’s who” of pro wrestling and endeared himself to the area fans – so much so, in fact, that Tito was awarded a trophy proclaiming him the most popular wrestler ever in Arizona.
In 1962, Tito’s wrestling abilities won him a Cadillac. When you consider that Tito was half of the Arizona Tag Team Champions at the time, it makes the feat all the more impressive. It was Tito’s skill in the ring and his ability to draw fans that made him in demand by promoters around the country.
His drawing power was well documented when 14,000 fans turned out at a baseball stadium to see a card headlined by Tito, Sputnik Monroe and Mario Galento with Pro Boxing Champion Joe Louis as a referee. Not only was Tito a great wrestler in his own right, he’s also responsible for the training of many of the other stars featured on this site. The impact that Tito has had on the sport of professional wrestling has not gone unnoticed. He has been inducted into the Oregon/Washington Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame, the Western States Wrestling Hall of Fame and he was honored by the Cauliflower Alley Club in 2003 for his outstanding career achievements.
These days, Tito is out of the wrestling business. For the past seventeen years, he has operated a successful carpet cleaning business in the Northwest. When asked his hobbies, he told us that he plays golf every week. “I love the game,” he says enthusiastically.
When asked to sum up Tito’s career in a few words, “Cowboy” Bob Yuma put it best when he said, “Tito is a legend’s legend.” We couldn’t agree more