Adnan bin Abdul Kareem Ahmed Alkaissy El Farthie, better known by his professional names such as Adnan Al-Kaissie, Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissey, Billy White Wolf, or General Adnan, was an iconic figure in the world of professional wrestling. Born on March 1, 1939, in Baghdad, he passed away on September 6, 2023, leaving behind a legacy that spans continents and wrestling promotions.
Adnan Al-Kaissy hailed from a respected family in Baghdad with his father serving as an imam. His connection to history is quite unique – he attended high school with none other than Saddam Hussein. Al-Kaissy’s early interests lay in football, but he soon pivoted to amateur wrestling in Iraq. His talents led him to the United States with a scholarship to play American football at the University of Houston. However, he soon transferred to Oklahoma State University, embracing his true passion, wrestling. He even came close to qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team, but citizenship restrictions held him back.
Professional Wrestling Career
The Beginnings (1959-1974)
His wrestling journey began in Oklahoma in 1959, where he debuted as Billy White Wolf, a Native American gimmick. In the 1960s, he was part of Pacific Northwest Wrestling. By 1964, after marrying an American, he became a U.S. citizen. Adnan brought professional wrestling to Iraq in the 1970s, and under Saddam Hussein‘s patronage, he even defeated legends like André the Giant in Baghdad. His popularity in Iraq skyrocketed, earning him gifts like palaces and cars from the government. However, sensing threats from Saddam and his regime, Adnan left Iraq in 1980.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Florida, and WWWF (1974-1977)
In 1974, Adnan entered New Japan Pro-Wrestling, partnering with Nikolai Volkoff. Post NJPW, he returned to the U.S. and joined Championship Wrestling from Florida. 1976 saw him in the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), where he secured the WWWF World tag team championship alongside Chief Jay Strongbow.
Various Promotions (1977-1981)
Adnan’s wrestling journey took him to Hawaii, where he introduced professional wrestling. He then revisited his past association with Saddam Hussein and tried promoting wrestling in Iraq.
American Wrestling Association (1981-1989)
Joining the American Wrestling Association (AWA) in 1981, he sought to win the AWA title from Nick Bockwinkel. Despite facing challenges, he managed to carve a niche for himself in the AWA.
World Wrestling Federation (1990-1992)
In 1990, Adnan allied with Sgt. Slaughter in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) as General Adnan. His highlight was at SummerSlam 1991, where he teamed with Sgt. Slaughter and Col. Mustafa.
Later Career (1992-1998)
After WWF, Adnan transitioned to the American Wrestling Federation (AWF) and managed several renowned wrestlers. His illustrious career ended in 1998.
Beyond the ring, Adnan co-owned the World All-Star Wrestling Alliance with Ken Patera. He even appeared on Fox News Channel’s Hannity & Colmes in 2006 to recount his experiences with a young Saddam Hussein.
The wrestling world mourned the loss of El Farthie on September 6, 2023, at the age of 84.
In 2005, Triumph Books released his memoirs titled “The Sheik of Baghdad: Tales of Celebrity and Terror from Pro Wrestling’s General Adnan”, offering an intimate look into his life and journey.
For those who witnessed his matches and followed his career, Adnan Al-Kaissie remains an unforgettable legend in the wrestling world.