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.
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.