1960's, a former boxer in the U.S.Navy and
Deputy Sheriff at The Houston County Sheriff's
Department named Leon Baxter made his
professional wrestling debut by wrestling as
''Tarzan Baxter'' all over the Southern United
States, but his most fruitful stint was in Leroy
McGuirk's Tri-State Wrestling where he had a
legendary feud over the United States Junior
Heavyweight Title with Danny Hodge, one of the
top wrestlers in the Junior Heavyweight
division. During this period, he also teamed
with Juan Sebastian in Georgia and The Carolinas
as The Masked Guachos.
1970's, he returned to his home territory Gulf
Coast Championship Wrestling managed by Joe
Powell as a member of the tag team ''The Masked
Wrestling Pros'' the team eventually split when
when the other ''Wrestling Pro'' unmasked
revealing himself to be a wrestler named Tim
Tyler. Which prompted Leon to go it alone as
''The Wrestling Pro'', it was no secret that The
Wrestling Pro was Tarzan Baxter due to his very
teamed with ''The California Hippie'' Mike
Boyette to capture the Gulf Coast version the
NWA United States Tag Team Championship. He
would turn on Boyette while defending the belts
against Rip Tyler and Eddie Sullivan which made
Tyler and Sullivan the new champs.
Sullivan eventually suffered a broken leg, and
The Pro was soon teaming with Rip Tyler with
Sullivan as a manager. They soon became the most
hated group in the Gulf Coast territory.
Afterwards, The Pro defeated Ken Lucas to become
the new Gulf Coast Heavyweight Champion, and the
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Dory Funk Jr.
came to the Gulf Coast to defend his title
against the winner of a #1 Contender's
Tournament in Mobile, Alabama that would last
Since The Pro
was the Gulf Coast champ, most were hoping he
would win the tourney, and get a shot at the The
World Heavyweight Title. However, the
universally hated Donnie Fargo who had been
suspended from the Gulf Coast area found a
loophole in which he was able to enter the
second week of the tourney under a mask as ''Mr.
In the finals
of the tourney, Mr. D defeated The Pro costing
him the shot at Dory Funk Jr. and the World
Title. As a result of the match with Fargo, the
fans began to love The Pro, but their love for
him would be short lived as he began teaming
with The Spoiler who at the time was the most
hated wrestler in the Gulf Coast area.
The Pro then
started feuding with Cowboy Bob Kelly who had
beaten Donnie Fargo for the Gulf Coast
Heavyweight Title and was also the Mississippi
Heavyweight Champion. The Pro wanted a title
shot so badly that he beat the living hell out
of Cowboy Bob Kelly on a television taping, and
cut his hair! Which sent Kelly screaming that he
wanted a match against The Pro, a match in which
Kelly lost both titles, they then had a bloody
feud in which many of those matches saw The
Cowboy tear the mask right off The Pro, but
luckily the hometown hero from Dothan knew how
to cover his ''beautiful face'' up.
lost both back titles back to Cowboy Bob Kelly,
and started a feud with
Mysterious Medic who soon teamed with him to
regain The Gulf Coast version of the NWA United
States Tag Team Titles. The Pro briefly
disppeared after he and The Medic lost the
One of The
Pro's biggest feuds was with NWA World Junior
Heavyweight Champion Ken Mantell.
words of Cowboy Bob Kelly:
challenged Mantell to championship match, but
The Pro weighed too much. Mantell told him if he
got down to the correct weight, and agreed to
put his mask up against the belt, he would give
him a match. The match was signed.
of the match I was promoting for Lee (Fields), I
took a set of scales into the ring, and weighed
The Pro. He was down to the correct weight, the
match ended with the referee getting knocked
out, and The Pro clearly winning the match. But
a second referee came in, and counted out The
Pro by Mantell having his feet on the ropes.
went crazy wanting The Pro to take his mask off,
I went out and got into the ring as The Pro was
taking his mask off and stopped him. I told The
Pro he didn't have to unmask, I told him that I
would like to see him without his mask too, but
right is right, and wrong is wrong.
everyone I saw what happened, that The Pro had
Mantell beat fair and square, and as I far as
I'm concerned The Wrestling Pro is the new World
Junior Heavyweight Champion. I tried to get the
belt from Mantell, but he took off with it.
after I got a message from NWA President Sam
Muschnick on TV to stop calling The Pro the
champion, that I decided to get a belt made for
The Pro. When I presented to him in the ring,
the people cheered just as loud as if he had won
the only way to stop The Pro from being called
the champion was for Mantell to come to Mobile,
and take it away from him. Then Sam Muschnick
sent several interviews to the TV Station
ordering me to stop.
wouldn't, he sent in several troubleshooters to
defeat The Pro (the most notable troubleshooter
being legendary World Heavyweight Champion Lou
Thesz) when none of the troubleshooters could
get the job done, Sam sent one more message
saying that The Pro was a better man than he
anticipated, and that he would send Mantell back
to Mobile to wrestle The Pro belt for belt.
several packed houses with this angle, and a
standing room only crowd when Mantell came to
Pro feuded with NWA World Heavyweight Champion
Jack Brisco when The Pro was named the #1
Contender in the Gulf Coast. During their first
match, it appeared as if The Pro had won the
World Heavyweight Title when the referee saw The
Pro's feet were on the ropes. As a result, the
title was awarded back to Brisco, and The Pro
was disqualified. Since the match ended on a
technicality, Brisco awarded him a rematch.
On the night
of their first attempt at a rematch, Jack Brisco
had flight trouble, and couldn't get to the Gulf
Coast due to an emergency landing the plane made
in Memphis. As a result, The Pro had to wrestle
Ken Lucas in a non-title match that night.The
Pro and Brisco finally got around to their
rematch which Brisco retain the title.
then aligned himself with Gulf Coast
Heavyweight Champion Duke Miller, Gorgeous
George Jr, and Billy Spears. The short lived
group's faced off against The Pro's old
rivals Cowboy Bob Kelly, ''The California
Hippie'' Mike Boyette, The Mysterious Medic
(Tony Gonzalez), and Sweet Daddy Watts in
The California Rumble in which Murder Inc.
dressed in street clothes except for Duke
Miller who dressed in a suit while their
opponents were dressed like a motorcycle
gang. Miller quickly pulled out of the match
with the remaining seven men covered in
blood due to the abscence of Miller the odds
were in favor of Kelly, Boyette, The Medic,
and Watts who won The California Rumble.
Baxter then went to Ron Fuller's
Wrestling territory in Knoxville,
Tennessee, teamed with fellow Dothan,
Alabama native Dick Dunn as The Masked
Superstars, and held the Knoxville version
of the Southeastern Tag Team Titles. He
eventually returned to the Gulf Coast area
to beat Terry Lathan to regain the Gulf
Coast Heavyweight Title, and feuded with
Alabama Heavyweight Champion and former
manager Rip Tyler.
rival Ken Mantell returned to Gulf Coast
Championship Wrestling after losing the NWA
World Junior Heavyweight Title, they had a
short feud over the Gulf Coast Heavyweight
Title, The Wrestling Pro eventually lost the
title to Kurt Von Hess.
Fuller's Southeastern Championship Wrestling
began promoting in the Gulf Coast area, and
The Pro wrestled occassionally putting over
wrestlers like Austin Idol and the man who
would eventually become Hulk Hogan. He
started teaming with another masked wrestler
who called himself The Super Pro who turned
on Baxter, lost to him in a mask vs. mask
Pro was revealed to be Randy Rose who would
later form The Original Midnight Express
with Dennis Condrey and Norvelle Austin.
Leon Baxter pretty much retired after this,
but he made an appearance at The Continental
Reunion show earlier this year where he
finally took off the mask, it was one of the
highest selling shows, they had in 2004.
also retired from The Houston County
Sheriff's Department in Dothan, Alabama, and
now works part time at the local livestock.