Name: James "Jim" Barnes
Titles of Endearment: The Utah Titan, The Salt Lake Superman, The Mormon Mauler (a pejorative), The Desperado
Weight: 300 Lbs.
Theme Song: Raw Rivalry by OurMusicBox (Jay Man) - copyright free
Entrance Video Link (optional): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zrkELXxjgE
Base Picture: James Garner
Appearance Description: Older, blue haired, but resolute looking. This steely eyed Utah Cowboy still has salt in him.
Finishers (3 MAX, Consisting of either 2 Impact and 1 Submission OR 2 Submission and 1 Impact):
1. The Barnes Stormer - Running Jumping Elbow Drop
2. Lasso Lock - Chicken Wing Armbar w/ Bodyscissors from behind
Signatures (Try not to go overboard):
1. Middle Rope Pointed Elbow
2. Stalling Atomic Drop
4. Moseying About (Body Slam w/ a stall and walk around before slamming)
6. Elbow Strikes Against the apron ropes
7. Full Nelson
8. Running Axe Bomber
Notable Attributes: Largely regarded for his stature, strength, and easy smile, Jim Barnes is often complimented on his straight forward in ring technique, having been cited by Harley Race and Bret Hart for his ultra safe work method. Hart stated "The man will beat the Hell out of a new kid for ten straight minutes, surprise, the kids uninjured at the other end of the bell, and has the crowd's admiration in spite of losing.". The late Ray Traylor (The Big Bossman) referred to him as "As close to a Statesman that you can find in the business these days.". It has also been noted by critics that in spite of coming up during a time where the promo wasn't as long or verbose, Jim is a well accomplished talker on the microphone, and can speak effectively at length. Harley Race stating "He perfected getting heat in Canada with Lourdes, but he learned how to do it first in Mexico, snatching masks off of heads between poorly pronounced insults in Spanish!".
Wrestling Style: Oldschool heel and technical psychology learned from his walks on both sides of the fence back during the late, disintegrating days of the regional territories in the early 80s. He can play classic dirty, and fight straight up technical. Heavy, old weight and muscle still with him, Jim stays off the top rope as he never learned to work from it, and thus launches from the middle rope if need be. He still tends to only use close fist strikes when the referee isn't looking, but that's if he strikes at all. He's comfortable in clinches, holds, and orthodox pins, choosing to volley one of his finishing blows after wearing down his opponent with holds or throws.
Former Accomplishments: Like most during his era, titles were not commonly awarded, but wins and feuds made the pedigree more often, not to mention match quality. With a moniker like "Desperado" he was largely known for coming in alone to a promotion, and targeting babyfaces, adding scalp after scalp to his collection before working with entrenched heels to screw over the big time face and get the top title around a villain's waist, but this was in Canadian and territories and Mexico. Conversely, he changed his stripes on the US West Coast and Texas, playing not only to the crowd, but fairly with brilliant technical fair. In the States, he tended to work with upper midcard or top tier babyfaces and racked up a number of Tag Team Championships under numerous, dwindling promotions as the WWE empire consumed or destroyed the regional standard.
Early Career 1977-80: at 17, and 6'4'', a lean 240 Jameson Barnett laced up his boots for the first time in the Utah wrestling territory. Utah State Wrestling Coalition promoted the young, athletic Jameson as "The Utah Titan" and used him as an enhancement talent for famous outside talent, or the promotion's top draws. Jameson would cut his teeth against stiff competition, while perfecting nuance crushing the undercard roster. At age twenty, he left the USWC and plied his trade in New Mexico, hoping to grow passed the glass ceiling he reached.
The New Mexico Wrestling Alliance proved a tough nut for him to crack as the politics in the promotion at the time were relentless, but Jameson's good looks and outsider appeal gave him a slight boost from where he was before in the USWC. Still, after another three years in the midcard with no title or big push to show for it, Jameson moved on into Texas.
Texas Twister Wrestling From Arlington 1983-85 and the birth of the Desperado/Mexico Tour: Jameson, now going by James Barnett, entered into a short term contract with Texas Twister Wrestling and settled into the Arlington area, feeling resigned to the midcard work rate and whatever side work he could manage outside the ropes. It wasn't until he was brought in for a last second match that he found a winning image, and a his big break. Working as a hand at a rodeo show, one of Jame's fellow wrestlers (Angel Margolin) who knew he was working there rushed to tell him that a wrestler had messaged ahead that he couldn't make the night's card do to illness and they needed a fill in quick. James went from the rodeo when it ended to the wrestling event without any time to change his clothing, and without a chance to put on gear once he got there. He hit the ring in full cowboy regalia, won the match, and history for him was made. He would forever be known as "The Desperado" from then on out.
"The Desperado" Jim BarnettBecause more people wanted to see him, the staff wanted to book him. Working more matches, and winning more matches than ever, James Barnett was finally able to devote his full time to the ring. He would find a special welcome, be it a heated one, in Mexico, where, he tried his hand at unmasking his much smaller, highflying opponents much to the ire of the local crowds; Texas Twister Wrestling was more than happy with how he could pop the crowd in Arlington while generating hot hot heat across the border. By Winter 1985, after several slight extensions to his contract, and two brief tag team champion runs with fading draw Mel Garner, Texas Twister Wrestling sent Barnett to Winnipeg Canada. The Desperado would heat up the cold north.
1985-90 Winnipeg Frontier Wrestling Federation - 3 Year Tag Champions "The Wreckord": A record for the company, and a record period for any tag team, James Barnett, now going by "The Desperado" Jim Barnes, came in fiery as a brutal monster heel with conniving Earl Lourdes as his ally. The two would spoiler for each other's matches, accompany each other to the ring for promos, and travel together in a car that got mobbed more than a couple of times after screwing the long running fan favorite tag team (The Kodiaks) out the tag titles. Through various cheating methods, or all out domination, the two held onto the titles for a record breaking three years until Lourdes' tragic passing in the Spring of 1989. The reign has been dubbed "The Wreckord". By fall of 1990, Jim Barnes left the company after a brief stint chasing the company's top strap unsuccessfully.
Return to Texas Twister Wrestling 1991-96: After a short respite from the ring, Jim Barnes returned to Texas Twister Wrestling, as a villain, taking up the promotion's tag titles on three consecutive occasions as well as scoring the top title six times, holding it more times than anyone else in the company's history, be it as largely a transitional champion. All six of his combined reigns add up to just under nine months.
By mid 96, Texas Twister Wrestling folded, and Jim left the States again to find long term work.
Mexico/Canada//Australia/Japan/South Korea/India/US "The Wrestlethon World Tours" 1997-2000: Working several small promotions, and settling family affairs, Jim took up contracts in Mexico, and Canada for the experimental "Wrestlethon" cable events starting in late 97. 100 wrestlers participated in the largest singles match elimination tournament events to this date. Jim placed 15th in the first Wrestlethon (Mexico) and 10th in the second (Canada). Because he made the top ten in the Canadian competition, Jim was quickly scooped up for the Australia based Wrestlethon in Spring of 98 where he placed 7th after losing a 63 minute long bout with Trevor Gall. The match has been cited by most critics and fans alike as his best match despite having lost it.
Japan called next, and by mid Summer, The Desperado trotted into Tokyo and took 2nd behind Butcher Saito in a brutal No DQ Match that lasted 30 minutes and left both men bloodied. "If Barnes' match against Gall several months ago is a testament to his technical ability, then this match is a testament to his intensity" Pro Wrestling analyst Yogo Moto was quoted saying. From there, The Desperado went to South Korea for the Fall Wrestlethon held in the capital. Jim placed 4th. India was next in Winter, and after a 45 minute Iron Man Match with "The Tiger of Tigers" Ajheet Song, Jim found himself walking out of the competition in 10th place.
The Wrestlethon event, thus far successful by turning reasonable profits, started off Spring of 99 with another competition in Mexico. The Desperado, ever the heel in that country, unmasked his way to 4th when he was finally eliminated. The event returned to Canada in Summer, Jim managed 8th place. The Grand Wrestlethon was held in Fall of 99 at Madison Square Garden, USA. The Desperado walked in saying to wrestling journalists that this would be his last Wrestlethon. In a one hour cage match with Derrick Klembecker, Jim finally took 1st, and fittingly enough, in his own country on the gran daddy of the events.
Spring of 2000, Jim returned to Utah, and wrestled locally while staying close to home to address the health of his aging parents, even starting a small promotion and wrestling school. Desperado Wrestling Academy, and the promotion was known as Desperado Wrestling. By Winter 2000, Jim's mother Harriet passed away on Christmas Eve.
Mentor, Booker, Trainer, Wrestler, Father; Rise and fall of Desperado Wrestling 2001-2007: The Utah based school and promotion filled a knitch market, and was one of the more pronounced Independents during its eight years. Under Jim Barnes' knowledgeable guidance, the promotion grew while also producing excellent talents. Simultaneously, Jim found himself at his father's funeral in 2002 when he finally passed. Despite ups and downs, Jim married Abigail Reed that same year several months later. Staying local, and only occasionally going a State or two over for exhibitions, Jim used his celebrity to continue to push his brand of stiff hitting, meat and potatoes style of technical and Brass Knuckle hardcore.
The promotion's throwback style caught the eye and admiration of Kevin Sullivan, and Jim Cornette for a time, and they booked talents back and forth with Desperado Wrestling. Harley Race had several years of working agreements with Jim and his promotion also, but the writing was on the wall by late 2006. Unable to get consistent TV or cable exposure across even regional markets, not to mention talent being snatched away by larger federations, Jim could see the inevitable. With a newly born daughter, and feeling the years catching up to him, not to mention a company that expanded only to wither, Jim closed Desperado Wrestling Academy, and Desperado Wrestling in Summer of 2007. They had a Grand Indie "Wrasslethon" (to avoid copyrights), with other fading New Mexico, Texas, Californian, and Utah based Indie Feds.
Jim placed 1st out of 100 hundred participants, winning the event.
Part-Time and Semi-Retirement 2008-2013: Slowing down, and raising a family, The Desperado or Utah Titan, continued to work on a part time bases, taking exhibitions with upper end, be it short lived "number 2" federations for big checks. He also did several tours of Japan during 2009 and 2010, but by 2011, there was no more drive left in the Salt Lake Superman. Declaring himself Semi-retired, he wrestled sporadically for charities where he felt his celebrity would be most useful, got fully involved in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and made TV appearances for Make A Wish Foundation commercials.
Retirement/Cauliflower Alley Club Induction/PRW Appearance 2014-2018: Jim Barnes wrestled his last charity bout for Shriner's Children's Hospital, a "Marathon Match" as it was coined, in December of 2014. He wrestled Hacksaw Jim Duggan, winning in jsut short of ten minutes. At 54, Jim released a youtube video and did a personal interview for Bleacher Report declaring his intentions of finally leaving the sport. In 2017, Jim was inducted into the Cauliflower Alley Club. In the mid May of 2018, Jim Barnes was signed to PRW for a series of guest appearances with a developmental clause for further employment.
Jim "Desperado" Barnes at his induction into the Cauliflower Ally Club 2017