Wednesday, September 6, 2017

KFR on Tommy Rich's road to the Championship

Because Facebook text doesn't display properly on the black background of our website, I've pasted the text from the embedded Facebook post at the bottom from the Kentucky Fried Rasslin' Facebook page. You can click the post below or the title link below to go directly to that post.

Kentucky Fried Rasslin'
September 4 at 5:36pm

The great guys at recently posted some rare photographs of Tommy Rich, who broke into the business in Memphis but only after working his butt off on Jerry Jarrett's farm.

Kentucky Fried Rasslin'
Once Rich had proven to Jarrett just how bad he wanted to become a wrestler, he endured training sessions with the likes of Tojo Yamamoto, who was known to run off young dreamers. Within two years, Rich was headlining the Mid-South Coliseum with another rising star named Jerry Lawler, capturing the Southern title in front of 8,000-plus fans.

Rich moved on to Georgia, where he became one of the biggest babyface in the country on the ever-expanding WTBS stage via this new technology called "cable television." Rich became a polished worker in the Peach State, working with the likes of NWA World champion Harley Race, AWA kingpin Nick Bockwinkel, the Masked Superstar, Ivan Koloff and Austin Idol, while soaking up the knowledge of veterans like the Crusher, Mr. Wrestling II and Wahoo McDaniel on the road.

After returning to Memphis in 1980 to work heel should he get a run with the 10 pounds of gold, Rich made a triumphant return to Atlanta in March 1981.

On April 27, 1981, in Augusta, Ga., Rich finally toppled Race with a Thesz Press, becoming the first man from Tennessee to reign as NWA World champion. The following day, Rich taped his only televised promo as Alliance champion before heading to Macon, Ga., where he again pinned Race. Rich stunned Harley again the next night in Columbus. Wildfire was snuffed out on Friday in Gainesville, Ga., dropping the NWA title back to Race; however, Rich's legacy as a former World champion continues to burn bright to this day. Good luck to Tommy with his new wrestling school in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Classic Brisco Cover from Japan

Thursday, August 3, 2017

NWA Champion Tommy Rich and Freddie Miller

This rare shot of NWA Champion Tommy "Wildfire" Rich with Freddie Miller was shot during a segment to air on the "Best of Georgia Championship Wrestling Program."

Check out this YouTube video of the interview from which this photograph was taken:

See our earlier post with details about Rich's 5-day reign as champ, and the controversy that remains over the taping and airing of these segments on Georgia television.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Rare Photo of Tommy Rich During His 5-Day Reign as NWA Champion

Sunday, July 16, 2017

New NWA World Champion Terry Funk

Great shot of the belt with the globe horribly dented and the paint all missing from either side of the globe. It would be totally repaired with and fixed back up just before Funk lost it to Race in early 1977. You will also notice the white lettering on a black background over the flags. This would be reversed (black letters on white background) on the next version of the belt. You'll also notice the NWA letters on the globe are straight across. On the next version of the belt, they would arched/curved along the bottom of the globe.

See how beautiful the belt would later look, as seen on the night Race beat Funk in Toronto. When the referee presents the belt to Race (at around 9:27 in the video), you'll see it at it's sparkling, shiny best!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Terry Funk with the NWA belt on Macon, Georgia TV

This match takes place on "Macon Championship Wrestling" in 1976. The opponent is Irvin "Rip" Smith. The host at the desk is Gordon Solie. The ring announcer (who would later take over hosting duties on the Macon show) is Jim Carlisle. The referee is Ronnie West.

From a post on the video page: "Smith was an early tag team partner for Ted DiBiase, and I've heard DiBiase credited Smith as the person he credited his power slam after. Smith also used the figure-four as a finisher."