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 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 02:24 am
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beejmi
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20+ years in the ring. Former NWA Champion.

He wouldn't make it in my "Hall Of Fame" but I concede he isn't too far off having been wrapped up in some of wrestling's feuds that have survived the test of time (Masked Superstar, Buzz Sawyer) And he was in the middle of the Lawler head shaving match vs The Austin Idol.

I don't think he ever worked the AWA -- scratch that his work in Memphis may have been under the AWA banner and his only WWF appearance was a one-shot MSG appearance.

Of course all the rumors of how he got the NWA belt are up for discussion but we are likely going to our graves not showing for sure. Was in the dreadful AWF and finished (I believe) in ECW as a member of the FBI. Lots of turns and twists in this career.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 02:47 am
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HBF



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Proof that if you push somebody hard enough that they can get over.  And he was insanely over for a while in GA when I was watching TBS.

My favorite thing about watching old GA stuff is watching Solie turn his head when "Wildfire" starts speaking and his breath hits Solie. I believe that may have been the origin of his nickname.:)

Last edited on Thu Mar 20th, 2008 02:48 am by HBF



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 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 03:08 am
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clawmaster
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Tommy was in the AWA during late 1987. He feuded a bit with Adrian Adonis IIRC. He also did a one shot for the AWA in Oakland during 1981. Tommy looked better in his run for Turner in 89 than he did during his AWA run in 1987.

I really liked the FBI gimmick.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 03:11 am
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clawmaster
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As for Hall of Fames, Tommy would not be in an all encompassing HOF but would definitely be in the Georgia HOF and possibly the Memphis HOF.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 04:06 am
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It just so happened that I got to experience WTBS through the local cable company at the same time that "Wildfire"-mania was beginning to rise. 

I enjoyed the whole GCW experience.  GCW took me back to the days of studio wrestling. 

It was not only me that got to begin witnessing GCW, but thousands more throughout the region were able to watch it.  With that said, I remember many of the conversations that took place about Tommy Rich.  Girls and guys alike got caught up with the whole Wildfire fanbase. 

The guy was at the top of the business it seemed to me, but then he basically self-destructed.  He let himself go physically.  And from the stories on the net, he really was worried about other things than trying to continue with his success in the business.

I do not consider him HOF worthy for pro wrestling, but as claw said earlier, he would make some of the regional HOFs.

He had to be half-decent, because he knew to play out the feuds that he was involved in. 



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 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 05:28 am
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BigJ



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sucked a dick.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 05:38 am
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BigJ wrote: sucked a dick.
Sometimes 2 or 3 at a time. That got him "all fared up"



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 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 07:43 am
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sportatorium roach



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You think literally, Big J?  Some of the more painful threads to read at WC and KM have been about the Barnett-Rich situation. 

My favorite era for Rich is 1987 in Memphis... I'm a fan of the Rich-Idol-Paul E. gang.

Last edited on Thu Mar 20th, 2008 07:45 am by sportatorium roach

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 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 12:27 pm
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bpickering
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http://www.angelfire.com/pa5/old/other/rich.html

Maybe the first wrestler to become a National star because of being one WTBS

Liked him better as a heel than a face...but then again I never seen that much of him other than a few videos.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 02:37 pm
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retroken



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I am currently about 13 discs into GCW 79-82 and have seen a lot (maybe too much) of Tommy by this point....interesting because I never got to see him "back in the day", just read about him in the Apter mags where he got a huge amount of press

was all the attention deserved?....hard to say-  he was a definite product of his era, a blond 70s-80s pretty boy, with some decent ring skills, quick and somewhat acrobatic...but for some reason I find myself rooting against him...maybe it is the annoying studio audience that was always behind him on GCW with all the cheerleader chants etc....I still am surprised by his NWA title victory because that is just plain out-of-character for the NWA to sanction putting the belt on such a pantywaste

just for comparison, Michael Hayes was just coming into GCW at this point in my viewing and would have been a favorite of mine...more arrogant, better mic skills, better ring skills, tougher and more entertaining to watch

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 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 04:53 pm
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BigJ



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sportatorium roach wrote: You think literally, Big J?  Some of the more painful threads to read at WC and KM have been about the Barnett-Rich situation. 

My favorite era for Rich is 1987 in Memphis... I'm a fan of the Rich-Idol-Paul E. gang.

Don't get me wrong, I like some of Rich's work.  Funny thing is my favorite work of his is the Allen Iron Eagle tag team in WCW 90-91. 

But yeah, I think something happened.  I tend to believe more the he let Barnett story more than Tommy did anything.

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 Posted: Fri Mar 21st, 2008 01:32 pm
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beejmi
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Here's a scenario that would have been very good for Tommy. 1979-1982 somewhere in there he ventures to the east (as a bad guy) to challenge Backlund for the WWWF belt. Managed by The Grand Wizard. And you get that Southerners vs the Northerners thing going.

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 Posted: Fri Mar 21st, 2008 11:39 pm
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The Stunning One



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Despite being stuck with a lame duck gimmick, what I've seen of his team with Eddie Gilbert as the new Fabs in Memphis is actually pretty good.

Love the TV segment they did where they were presented with a tag team of the year award after they had quit teaming. Rich beat the shit out of Eddie, Eddie apologized and wanted to get the team back together and then he beat the shit out of Rich. They bled everywhere.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=mqHh2x4KPWM

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 Posted: Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 12:11 am
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srossi

 

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I loved him as a heel in Memphis and he was hilarious at the end in ECW.  Other than those two runs, I can't say I was a fan.  I hated him as the young good-looking babyface (and honestly I never thought he was good-looking at all although Barnett and some Georgia pre-teens seemed to disagree).  A lot of his offense was generic and him getting "fired up" and doing his comeback was as cartoonish as Hogan.  He was a good bleeder though and I liked him just brawling around the building doing Memphis' version of garbage wrestling.

Last edited on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 12:12 am by srossi



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 Posted: Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 01:42 am
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HBF



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He's the classic example of the funny bleached blond bowl cut mullets while still having black eyebrows.  I always laughed about that.  My friends would say "look at the guy in GCW, those rednecks forget to bleach their eyebrows". 
At least Ken Patera remembered to do that in his 1980 run as comparison.



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