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W.J. Watson P.S. is named for "Whipper Billy" Watson, a well known philanthropist in Georgina and a director of the Ont. Society for Crippled Children. Mr. Watson was also a wrestling star in the 1940's, 50's and 60's.
Our school mascot is the "Watson Wildcat".
W.J. Watson P.S. was officially opened in 1993.
"Whipper Billy" Watson Biography
Real name: William Potts

The pride of East York. Toronto's top wrestling star from the 1940s through the 1960s. Two-time world champion, defeating Wild Bill Longson and Lou Thesz. Lost the title to Thesz both times. Frequent British Empire champion.

Wrestled in England in 1936 along with fellow Canadians Al Kormann and Tiger Tasker. Began wrestling at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1940, starting a long relationship with promoter Frank Tunney. Through the 1940s, there were two dominant stars in Canadian wrestling -- Watson in Toronto and Yvon Robert in Montreal. They were almost the same age, they both became world champions, and they were both huge draws in their respective hometowns. The two were frequent opponents but got together to win the Canadian Open tag title in Toronto in 1953.

Other than his world title victories, Watson's best-remembered match may be the bout against an aging Gorgeous George at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1959 where George lost and had to have his head shaved in the ring. Two years later they tried again with the stipulation that if George lost, his valet Cherie would have to have her head shaved in the ring. George lost and his valet lost a bit of hair before the chivalrous Watson put an end to the shaving. Watson and George faced each other eight times in singles and tag matches between 1948 and 1961.
To review Watson's career in depth would require writing the history of Toronto wrestling from 1940 to 1971. His first Maple Leaf Gardens match was against Lee Henning in 1940 (Henning may be the only wrestler who had a longer run at Maple Leaf Gardens than Watson, but he was a prelim guy and not a main eventer). Twice challenged Wild Bill Longson for the National Wrestling Association world title in 1942 and won the title from Longson five years later. Wrestled Lou Thesz for the world title 11 times at Maple Leaf Gardens between 1947-1965 and won the title from him in 1956.

His most notable feuds in Toronto were with Nanjo Singh (29 singles matches between the two, with several more tag matches where they were on opposing teams) and Gene Kiniski (24 singles matches and many tag bouts), but there were many others. Was the first man to cleanly defeat The Sheik at Maple Leaf Gardens, pinning him in a 1965 match. His final shot at the NWA title in Toronto was in October 1966 against Kiniski.

Mostly wrestled in tag matches in the late 1960s and 1970s, although he did have a return series of bouts against The Sheik at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1969-70, which Watson always lost by DQ or countout.

Continued to wrestle in Toronto until November 1971 (age 55), when he nearly lost his left leg after being hit by a car on an icy road (ironically, Yvon Robert had died just a few months earlier at age 56).

A celebrity in Toronto, Watson was perhaps known as much for his charitable work as for his wrestling. He was director of the Ontario Society for Crippled Children, and for 37 years (until 1982) was a prominent figure in the Easter Seals campaigns.

At age 49, Watson -- a devoted admirer of John Diefenbaker -- ran unsuccessfully in the 1965 federal election as a Progressive Conservative in the York East riding of what is now Toronto. He had promised to retire from wrestling if he won. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1974 and in 1987 became one of the first 20 recipients of the Order of Ontario. He dropped the puck to open the Toronto Maple Leafs' 1989-90 season and soon after went on an extended vacation in Florida. While there, he suffered a heart attack and died in February 1990 at age 74. Long-time rival Kiniski was one of Watson's eight pallbearers.

His son Phil Watson (named, I assume, after Phil Lawson who got a 13-year-old Watson started in wrestling at the YMCA and later became his manager) wrestled and promoted wrestling shows. He worked for Frank Tunney in 1971 as Whipper Watson Jr., and worked on various independent shows through the 70s and 80s. Whipper's other son, John, also wrestled briefly.

Biography from "Canadian Pro Wrestling" website

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