Tim Woods Breaks His Back in a Plane Crash, Stays in Character
In October 1975, a Cessna 310 plane crashed while transporting a promoter and four wrestlers to a match in North Carolina. One of the wrestlers on board was Tim Woods, also known as Mr. Wrestling (presumably because he spent all his imagination on "Mr.").
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And on picking the color scheme for his costume.
Woods suffered a concussion, bruised ribs and a compression fracture in his back. But all he could think about as he lay in the wreckage was "This could lead someone to find out that wrestling is fake!"
You see, another wrestler, his archnemesis and scheduled opponent for the evening, Johnny Valentine, was also on the plane. He suffered a back injury so severe that he was paralyzed for life. But what really matters here is that the crash could mean that people might find out they had been traveling together.
"But it says 'versus'. They're legally obligated to hate each other forever."
Tim Woods was one of the industry's most popular good guys at the time, while Johnny Valentine was a reviled villain. Good guys can't chum around with bad guys -- that would be like Skeletor pedaling a tandem bike with Prince Adam. So while Woods was being rushed to the hospital after surviving a plane crash that killed one man and paralyzed another, the first thing he did was give a different name and lie about who he was (he pretended he was a promoter instead of a wrestler) so as not to ruin the illusion. And that wasn't all.
You see, despite this, rumors still began to circulate that Mr. Wrestling had in fact been in a plane crash with Johnny Valentine, so Woods did the only logical thing: He wrestled two weeks after the crash and acted like his back wasn't broken. You know, to prove he hadn't been on that plane.
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