Saturday, December 9, 2023

Wrestling Legend Tony Atlas: From Mr. USA to the Independent Circuit

Adapted from an interview published on 9/23/03

In the world of professional wrestling, few names hold the weight and legacy of Tony Atlas. A true legend, he has held numerous titles throughout his illustrious career, including the ICW Title, Georgia Wrestling Title, Mid Atlantic Title, and even the prestigious WWE World Tag Team Title.

Today, Tony Atlas continues to entertain audiences on the independent circuit, carrying the torch of his passion and experience. Atlas even runs his own promotion, Atlas Championship Wrestling, where he actively mentors future stars through his pre-show seminars.

Tony Atlas' journey in pro-wrestling began in 1975, encouraged by wrestling veteran Sandy Scott. Atlas honed his skills in Charlotte, North Carolina, but stood out from the crowd due to Atlas' unique physique. At 6'2" and 280 pounds, he was a professional bodybuilder at a time when wrestlers didn't typically have such physiques. This unique attribute undoubtedly contributed to Atlas' early success in the industry.

When asked about his favorite aspect of being a wrestler, Tony Atlas' response is simple: "A paid trip around the world."- this encapsulates the spirit of a true entertainer who thrives on performing and connecting with audiences globally. While he has countless matches etched in his memory, his encounters with the legendary Abdullah The Butcher holds a special place.

Throughout his career, Tony Atlas identifies most with the face role, embodying a heroic and positive character. His "Mr. USA" gimmick further cemented his image as a symbol of strength and resilience.

Even after decades in the ring, Tony Atlas' passion for wrestling remains undimmed. He harbors a dream to wrestle Brock Lesnar, a contemporary powerhouse, and test his mettle against a new generation of talent.

Beyond the ring, Tony Atlas' impact extends to mentoring future stars. His pre-show seminars at ACW events offer invaluable guidance and training, ensuring the legacy of pro-wrestling continues to flourish.

Looking back, Tony Atlas thinks that his return to WWE in 1990 as "Saba Simba" could have been handled differently. Atlas believes fans would have resonated more with a return as "Tony Atlas," acknowledging his past accomplishments as a WWE World Tag Team Champion.

When he's not captivating audiences in the ring, Tony Atlas enjoys working out and drawing. As for his future, Atlas remains open to returning to WWE or working for NWA-TNA.

Fans can look forward to an autobiography from Tony Atlas, chronicling his remarkable journey in the world of professional wrestling.

When asked about his proudest achievement, Atlas reveals a moment that transcends fame and accolades: "My mother seeing me on TV. She was so proud." This emphasizes the true essence of success, the love and support of loved ones.

Tony Atlas is a legend who embodies the spirit of professional wrestling. His dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to his craft inspire generations of wrestlers and fans alike. As Atlas continues to impact the industry, both in the ring and beyond, his legacy is sure to endure for years to come.

I hope you enjoyed this adaption from an interview with Tony Atlas. In 2003, I began running my own website, World Wrestling Optimum, which consisted of news, articles, and interviews.

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