Ed White aka 'Handsome Johnny Davis'

Excerpted from a longer piece on the old site
Back around 2002 when I first started posting some of my collection I spoke with Ed White. He wrestled mostly around Detroit as Handsome Johnny Davis. Note he has the same name as Ed 'Sailor' White but different guy. Ed was very gracious and humble and spoke with me a bit about his time wrestling up here in the mid '70s.

Ed wrestled from 1974 -1979 after learning the ropes at Lou Klein's Detroit gym, breaking in with his pal and sometimes tag partner Denny Alberts. Anyways he shared a couple of items with me and later sent them up. A handwritten (looks to be Dave's hand) lineup sheet from a Wildman card and a receipt from a Tunney TV taping. 

He wrestled on a couple of Wildman Dave McKigney tours in '75 and on one of those trips he drove Andre The Giant around in his (Ed's) Dad's car, a big old Caddy. He remembered Dave fondly. 
'Great guy, paid good, made one of my biggest mistakes not going to work for him full time when he asked me. I was fed up and wanted out, if I had gone with him I may have lasted a few years longer and had some fun.'

McKigney had trouble with the boxing/wrestling commission and Jack Tunney in particular later on, but in those days it was an easier time.
'I always thought of Dave as the Canadian Lou Klein. He had the blessings of the Tunney's or they wouldn’t have used him on the MLG shows.'

The small towns made for interesting match-ups like Ed teaming with McKigney (Wildman) against the mammoth Haystacks Calhoun. On the trips through Ontario, the familiar names pop up, Chris Tolos, Dewey Robertson, Red Lyons, Sweet Daddy Siki, and Waldo Von Erich.
'He was funny and real nice to me. Taught me a few things about the biz too.'  

How about the Bear? 
'Never wrestled it but got in the ring with it one time just playing before a show.'  

Ontario was the home away from home for The Sheik in those days when he would appear throughout the circuit. 
'Scary at first, but I got along great with him, even though his payoffs sucked.'

Ed also made it to MLG a couple of times (under his real name interestingly), once vs Waldo and once vs  Mark Lewin in September 1975. 
'I loved going to MLG, wish I could have worked there more, big building, clean, great crowds, big ring and I loved the ramp.'  

And what about Frank Tunney? 
'Nice guy, used to pick up his Export A butts for him at the border.'  

A TV Taping for Tunney at the Hamilton Studios would also be part of the tour, and Ed would pick up a cool 50 bucks for an afternoon of taking bumps. As a mid carder/prelim type he would see his share of losses, and when asked about his biggest win...
'Win? Not many of them so I should remember, but I don’t.'

Some of those losses would come from heroes like Bobo Brazil
'Worked with him a lot and every one was a dream' 

While one would come from long time Toronto stalwart Johnny Valentine. 
'He beat the hell out of me, wasn’t long after this that he had his plane crash so I never worked with him again.  He came back to do some booking for Sheik from a wheelchair. and I got to know him a little during that time. Got along good with him and he got a good laugh when I reminded him about the ass kicking he gave me. I wasn’t the only rookie to get this from him.'
If you look around on Youtube there is a clip of Ed on Match Game from 1978, he won 6800$.
Host Gene Rayburn (in his annoying style) asked Ed about wrestling.
Gene: is it real?
Ed: as real as this show


-AC, and thanks to Ed a great guy!