Barry Windham’s Widowmaker gimmick was a big flop in the WWF

Does anyone remember Barry Windham’s brief WWF run as the Widowmaker? It seemed like a very cool gimmick — a tall, tough cowboy, similar to Windham’s father, Blackjack Mulligan — but it never caught fire.

Prior to becoming the Widowmaker, Windham had many years of success in the NWA and WWF (he appeared at the first WrestleMania 1985 with Mike Rotundo, losing the Tag Team Titles to the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff). I remember seeing him debut as the Widowmaker in Worcester, MA, at the Centrum in July 1989, the same night Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard defeated Demolition for the Tag Team Titles.

Windham’s finisher as the Widowmaker was the superplex.

But Windham never went anywhere as the Widowmaker. He only made one appearance under that name in the old Boston Garden, on October 7, 1989, when he defeated Tim Horner. Windham left the WWF at the close of 1989, around the same time his father and brother (Kendall Windham) headed off to prison for a counterfeiting conviction.

Barry Windham resurfaced in the WWF years later under the lame gimmicks of the Stalker and the New Blackjacks (with John Bradshaw Layfield), and he also served as a WWE agent in the back.

Given Windham’s talent and fame in wrestling in 1989, the Widowmaker should have been a huge star, but instead was one of the bigger duds I can remember in 1980s pro wrestling.


  1. Alf

    Yeah I thought the Widowmaker was cool. Ofcourse I was like 12 at the time so mabey I missed someting with it all. Anywho keep up the good work Wrestling rules! Peace n Love Alf

  2. Pingback: Blackjack Mulligan, known for an infamous assault by fan at Boston Garden, has died | Boston Garden Balcony
  3. worldchamp

    I remember. Yupp, thought it was weird. He really didn’t show any expression, looked out of shape, and slow. His superplex was amazing though. His next gimmick was even worse. I couldn’t believe this guy was the same studd that was part of the USA Express with Mike Rotunda. That was an amazing tag team.

  4. Pingback: Best wishes to Barry Windham, a.k.a the Widowmaker « Boston Garden Balcony
  5. bostongardenbalcony

    Joyce, I would say first that I’m sorry that your family went through the problems you experienced in 1980s. Your response does remind me that most of us have “marked out” for wrestlers at one point or another, and it is important to enjoy wrestling while remembering these guys and gals are performers doing a job. Windham no doubt had his own heartache going on during the Widowmaker gimmick with his dad going to jail, which not many knew about because relatively few people at the time had any real scoop on behind-the-scenes wrestling news. It’s hard to let the real lives of wrestlers interfere with the fantasy, which is as true today (e.g., Chris Benoit) was it was in 1989 with Windham.

  6. Joyce McIntyre

    In the 80s I had a big crush on Barry Windham and boy I was so glad he was around because when my soon o be x husband sexualy hurt my 3 month old doughter and tried to put a knife to my neck. So next morning I had my x arrested and I had to see a counceler to help me through this. And he said is the there someone to whom you know of that is reaching his or her dreams and if you do Just watch them. Well that person was you Barry. Unill you Joined the Four Horsemen and that broke my heart so much that I can,t watch wrestling anymore with Flair, Anderson, Blanshard, Dillon, or You on the card because it hurt so much. And as far as being in the same building with you forget it. I know that us fans put a lot of presure on you wreslers to do the best you can. And for what it is worth I am sorry if I did that to you. Well I think I had better end this letter . Sincerely Joyce McIntyre

    • Chuck Mullen

      @ Joyce:

      Honestly, without a doubt that just has to be the best reply ever to any type of article… except the one on Youtube during a 4 Horseman video when a guy says: “When I hear this it makes me want to get 3 of my friends and beat up Dusty!”.

      I read it 5 times to be sure I got it. Gotta ❤ wrestling FANS!

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