I just acquired a tape of old AWA matches (appears to be mid-late 70's) I'm trying to figure out something.
There's a wrestler named Billy Red Cloud on the tape, and I was wondering if he's the same Billy Red Cloud who would have been wrestling for a number of years at that point, or if it would have been a younger wrestler, just using the name.
I'm not sure what your time frame is on the "earlier" part,but Billy(real name Billy Wright,a legit native American) had started in the business in the early 60's,even working down south as Bobby Red Cloud at one point.He was a mainstay for Joe Dusek's Omaha promotion,and then moved on to the WWA in Indianapolis/Detroit where he won the WWA strap from Baron von Raschke in Indianapolis 3/21/72(and was only recognised as champ there as well).After his short run as champ,Bruiser teamed him up with Bob Boyer(Chief Bold Eagle)and their popularity soared.Maybe a bit too much,as they soon found themselves demoted with Billy becoming a jobber to the stars before the term was coined.Gagne never used Red Cloud for much of anything except a stepping stone either,which was unfortunate,as Red Cloud was a fine performer and usually much over with the fans.Proving you can never squash the life out of a worker,Bruiser had Red Cloud back for a one off,subbing for Bruno Sammartino on a 12/73 Indianapolis card,and even though he had left the territory on his back(so to speak)he was met with probably as much enthusiasm as Bruno ever drew by the Indianapolis audience.Needless to say,he was never brought back.He retired in the mid 70's,either due to cancer or a heart condition(I had heard both).At any rate,he passed away in the early 80's.He certainly was a good,underrated performer,and a good draw when given the chance.
Billy Red Cloud, as M. DuPree stated, was a regular in Omaha during the early 70's.
He was usually a mid-card wrestler. His biggest push during the years I saw him (1970-72) was a program he worked with Ox Baker. Baker gave a horrendous beating to a young Dennis Stamp, and Red Cloud made the save. This prompted a series of match between Ox & Billy, culminating in an Indian Chain Match in early 1971, IIRC.
[This message has been edited by Larry (edited 07-28-2001).]
A little bit more about Red Cloud; he did get a bit of a push in the AWA in the mid-'60s. I have a program where he went up against Mad Dog Vachon for the AWA title and also beat Vachon in a non-title Chain Match. Around 1976 Cloud was in the AWA again and would lose against the likes of Raschke, Lanza, Duk, but wrestle draws with others in opening matches. Once in 1973 I saw him in Milwaukee against Reggie Parks, which you'd think was going to be a scientific match. Well, the opening bout had been a clean match between Geoff Portz and Joe Scarpello, so they must not have wanted to do two. Cloud came out sans the Indian headgear and was introduced as "Bill Wright" and e wrestled heel. I understand he was proud of his Indian heritage and I always assumed he was not going to wrestle as a heel as "Billy Red Cloud." I remember reading an article about him saying that he was suffering from a "leaking heart valve" and that he needed a transplant, but knew he wasn't going to live much longer. I think that's what finally killed him. I also remember him in a nifty tag team match on TV where he teamed with Dick Reynolds (a truely very capable jobber) to go against Greg Gagne and Jim Brunzell.