Tommy Rich

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Article: Tommy Rich vs Buzz Sawyer

Title History

 

  • NWA (Mid America) United States Tag Team titles w/Tojo Yamamoto defeating Otto Von Heller & Karl Von Steiger (August 16, 1975);
  • NWA (Mid America) World Six Man Tag Titles w/George Gulas & Tojo Yamamoto by winning a Tournament (October ??, 1975);
  • NWA (Mid America) World Six Man Tag Titles w/Gulas & Yamamoto beat A.Greene & P.Hickerson & D.Condrey (November 1975);
  • NWA (Mid America) Southern Heavyweight title defeating Jerry Lawler (Febuary 22, 1976);
  • NWA (Mid America) Southern Tag Team titles w/Bill Dundee defeating Dennis Condery & Phil Hickerson (June ??, 1976);
  • NWA (Mid America) Southern Heavyweight title defeating Jerry Lawler (September 14, 1976);
  • NWA Mid America Heavyweight title defeating Roger Kirby (November ??, 1976);
  • NWA Georgia Tag Team titles w/Tony Atlas defeating Executioner & Pak Song (????, 1977);
  • NWA Georgia Tag Team titles w/Stan Hansen defeating Ole & Gene Anderson (????, 1977);
  • NWA Southeastern Tag Team titles w/Bill Dundee defeating Karl & Kurt Von Steiger (April 18, 1977);
  • NWA (Mid America) Southern Tag Team titles w/Tommy Gilbert defeating Dennis Condery & Phil Hickerson (June 19, 1977);
  • NWA Georgia Tag Team titles w/Thunderbolt Patterson defeating Ole & Lars Anderson (March 31, 1978);
  • NWA Macon Heavyweight title won a tournament (April ??, 1978);
  • NWA Georgia Tag Team titles w/Rick Martel defeating Ivan Koloff & Ole Anderson (October 13, 1978);
  • NWA Georgia Tag Team titles w/Wahoo McDaniel defeating Ivan Koloff & Ole Anderson (May 18, 1979);
  • NWA Georgia Tag Team titles w/Stan Hansen defeating Ivan Koloff & Ole Anderson (July 2, 1979);
  • NWA Georgia Tag Team titles w/Crusher Lisowski defeating Ivan Koloff & Ole Anderson (September 21, 1979);
  • NWA Georgia Heavyweight title defeating Killer Karl Kox (October 26, 1979);
  • NWA Georgia Television title defeating Austin Idol (Febuary 23, 1980);
  • AWA Southern Heavyweight title defeating Jimmy Valiant (September 1, 1980);
  • AWA Southern Heavyweight title defeating Jimmy Valiant (October 6, 1980);
  • AWA Southern Tag Team titles w/Bill Dundee defeating Roger Kirby & Guy Mitchell (December 22, 1980);
  • AWA Southern Tag Team titles w/Bill Dundee defeating Jerry & David Novak (Febuary 15, 1981);
  • CWA (Memphis) World Tag Team titles w/Bill Dundee defeating Austin Idol & Dutch Mantell (March 12, 1981);
  • CWA (Memphis) World Tag Team titles w/Jerry Lawler defeating Mr. Onita & Masa Fuchi (March 23, 1981);
  • NWA World Heavyweight title defeating Harley Race (April 27, 1981);
  • NWA Georgia Heavyweight title defeating Greg Valentine in a tournament final (May 17, 1981);
  • NWA Georgia Heavyweight title defeating Masked Superstar (August 9, 1981);
  • NWA (Georgia) National Heavyweight title defeating Masked Superstar (September 28, 1981);
  • NWA (Georgia) National Heavyweight title defeating Masked Superstar (January 17, 1982);
  • NWA (Georgia) National Heavyweight title defeating Ron Bass (April 19, 1982);
  • AWA Southern Tag Team titles w/Eddie Gilbert defeating Koko Ware & Norvell Austin (March 26, 1984);
  • CWA (Memphis) International Heavyweight title defeating Masao Ito (July 9, 1984);
  • AWA Southern Heavyweight title defeating Rick Rude (July 16, 1984);
  • AWA Southern Tag Team titles w/Dutch Mantell defeating Danny Davis & Ken Wayne (September 15, 1984);
  • (Southeastern) Continental Heavyweight title defeating The Flame (August 2, 1985);
  • NWA Southeastern Tag Team titles w/Johnny Rich defeating Danny Davis & Ken Wayne (Febaury 17, 1986);
  • NWA Southeastern Tag Team titles w/Steve Armstrong defeating Jimmy Golden & Robert Fuller (June 9, 1986);
  • WCW World 6-Man Tag Titles w/Junkyard Dog/Ricky Morton defeating Dr. X/Buddy Landell/Dutch Mantell (Febuary 17, 1991);
  • WCW World 6-Man Tag Titles w/Richard Morton/Terrance Taylor beating Tom Zenk/Big Josh/Dustin Rhodes (October 8, 1991);
  • USWA Heavyweight title defeating Jeff Jarrett (September 13, 1993);
  • TASW (Tennessee All Star Wrestling) Heavyweight title defeating Buddy Landell (November 13, 1993);
  • USWA Heavyweight title defeating Buddy Landell in a tournament final (October 3, 1994);
  • USWA Heavyweight title defeating Brian Christopher (December 19, 1994);
  • USWA World Tag Team titles w/Doug Gilbert defeating PG-13 (JC Ice & Wolfie D) (January 9, 1995);
  • USWA World Tag Team titles w/Doug Gilbert defeating PG-13 (January 14, 1995);
  • AWF (American Wrestling Federation) Tag Team titles w/Greg Valentine defeating Tony Atlas & Koko B. Ware (May 21, 1995);
  • SMW (Smoky Mountain Wrestling) Heavyweight title defeating Brad Armstrong (November 25, 1995);
  • USWA World Tag Team titles w/Doug Gilbert defeating Jesse James Armstrong & Tracy Smothers (January 3, 1996):
  • USWA Heavyweight title defeating Jerry Lawler (January 13, 1996);
  • USWA World Tag Team titles w/Doug Gilbert defeating PG-13 (Febuary 28, 1996);
  • XICW (Xtreme Intense Championship Wrestling) Heavyweight title defeating Dangerous DBA (Febuary 4, 2001);

 

Career Highlights

In the Beginning:

  • Tommy Rich is a former high school football player…

 

Getting into the Business:

  • 1974: Tommy Rich made his pro wrestling debut when he was only eighteen years old..
  • 1978: Tommy Rich won Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Rookie of the Year award..
  • October 26, 1979: Tommy defeated Killer Karl Kox to win his first regional title, the Georgia heavyweight title..
  • 1979: Tommy Rich won Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s “Most Improved Wrestler” award..
  • 1980: Tommy Rich moved to Memphis and quickly turned heel, attacking the injured Jerry Lawler and hiring manager Jimmy Hart..Georgia Championship Wrestling – Tommy Rich:
  • 1981: Tommy Rich returned to the Georgia territory and won the Georgia Television title..
  • Tommy Rich teamed with the Junk Yard Dog in a series of matches against The Fabulous Freebirds..
  • April 27, 1981: Tommy Rich defeated Harley Race to win the NWA World Heavyweight title in Augusta, Georgia..
  • Michael Hayes placed a bounty on Tommy Rich, and there were no shortage of heels trying to collect..
  • 1983: Tommy Rich began a bloody feud with Buzz Sawyer which climaxed with the “Last Battle of Atlanta” Cage match..
  • October 23, 1983: Tommy Rich beat Buzz Sawyer in a CAGE match (Paul Ellering was suspended above the ring in a small cage)..
  • Tommy Rich battled NWA World Champion Ric Flair several times but failed to win the title for a 2nd time..
  • Tommy Rich (still in Georgia) lost a “loser leave the state” match, but continued to wrestle under a mask as “Mister R”..
  • Ted DiBiase was defending the National title against “Mister R” when Tommy Rich made a surprise appearance at ringside..
  • ~~~DiBiase was distracted and lost to the “fake” Mister R, who turned out to be Brad Armstrong..
  • ~~~Shortly after that, Tommy Rich left the Georgia territory..Memphis Wrestling – Tommy Rich:
  • Tommy Rich returned to the Memphis territory and was paired with Hotstuff Eddie Gilbert..
  • Tommy Rich & Eddie Gilbert were given the “WFIA Tag Team of the Year” award, even after the split up!
  • Tommy Rich & Eddie Gilbert engaged in a bloody feud after their splite!
  • 1985: Tommy Rich disappeared into obscurity working occaisionally in southeastern indy promotions..Memphis Wrestling – Tommy Rich:
  • 1987: Tommy Rich’s career began to rebound as he made his big comeback..
  • 1987: Tommy Rich & Austin Idol turned against top babyface Jerry Lawler, igniting another enormous feud..Tommy Rich:
  • Tommy Rich was given a brief babyface push in the American Wrestling Association..World Championship Wrestling – Tommy Rich:
  • 1989: Tommy Rich resurfaced nationally in Ted Turner’s NWA: World Championship Wrestling promotion..
  • September 12, 1989 – The Clash #8: Lex Luger defeated Tommy Rich to retain the United States title..
  • October 28, 1989 – Halloween Havoc: Tommy Rich defeated The Cuban Assassin..
  • November 15, 1989 – The CLash #9: Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed) defeated Eddie Gilbert & Tommy Rich..
  • May 19, 1990 – Capital Combat: Fatu & Samoan Savage defeated Mike Rotunda & Tommy Rich..
  • June 13, 1990 – The Clash #11: Tommy Rich defeated Bam Bam Bigelow by Disqualification..
  • July 7, 1990 – Great American Bash: Harley Race defeated Tommy Rich in a rematch from 9 years prior)..
  • September 5, 1990 – The Clash #12: Tommy Rich defeated Bill Irwin..
  • October 27, 1990 – Halloween Havoc: Tommy Rich & Ricky Morton beat The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane)..
  • December 16, 1990 – Starrcade: Tommy Rich & Ricky Morton defeated The Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin & Michael Hayes)..
  • January 30, 1991 – The Clash #14: The Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin & Michael Hayes) defeated Tommy Rich & Allen Iron Eagle..
  • May 19, 1991 – Superbrawl: Nikita Koloff defeated Tommy Rich ..
  • June 14, 1991 – The Clash #15: The Diamond Stud (Scott Hall) defeated Tommy Rich..World Championship Wrestling – Thomas Rich with the York Foundation:
  • Tommy Rich joined the York Foundation led by Alexandra York and became known as “Thomas Rich”..
  • September 5, 1991 – The Clash #16: Thomas Rich defeated Joey Maggs in a DARK MATCH..
  • November 19, 1991 – The Clash #17: Big Josh (Matt Borne) defeated Thomas Rich in a “Lumberjack” Match..
  • December 29, 1991 – Starrcade: Thomas Rich & Ron Simmons defeated Steve Armstrong & PN News (Lethal Lottery)..
  • January 21, 1992 – The Clash #18: Vinnie Vegas (Kevin Nash) defeated Thomas Rich..
  • Tommy Rich floundered in WCW and eventually departed..Back in Memphis – Tommy Rich:
  • 1994: Tommy Rich moved onto Memphis for that promotions dying days..
  • March 7, 1994–Memphis Memories: Tommy Rich defeated “The Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant by Disqualification..
  • June 10, 1995–Memphis Memories II: Tommy Rich & Doug Gilbert defeated Bill Dundee & Brian Christopher..
  • ~~~Tommy Rich & Doug Gilbert defeated Jerry Lawler & Jimmy Valiant in the second round..
  • ~~~The Fabulous Ones defeated Tommy Rich & Doug Gilbert to win the Best of Memphis Tag Team Tournament!Smokey Mountain Wrestling – Tommy Rich:
  • August 4, 1995–SuperBowl of Wrestling: Terry Gordy & Tommy Rich defeated The Mongolian Stomper & Boo Bradley..
  • August 12, 1995–Fire on the Mountain: Boo Bradley (blindfolded — aka Balls Mahoney) defeated Tommy Rich..
  • ~~~The Punisher (aka the Undertaker) & Tommy Rich beat Boo Bradley & Brian Armstrong in a “Falls Count Anywhere” match..
  • November 23, 1995–Thanksgiving Thunder: Buddy Landell & The Bullet (Bob Armstrong) defeated Tommy Rich & The Punisher..United States Wrestling Association – Tommy Rich:Extreme Championship Wrestling:
  • Tommy Rich eventually rejoined his former manager, Paul Heyman, signing on with ECW as a member of the Full Blooded Italians..
  • January 11, 1997–House Party: The Gangstas (New Jack & Mustafa Saed) defeated Tommy Rich & Ricky Morton..
  • ~~~After the match, “Wildfire” Tommy Rich defeated “RockNRoll” Ricky Morton in an unscheduled match!
  • March 15, 1997–Hostile City Showdown: The FBI (Tommy Rich & Little Guido) defeated Tracy Smothers & Chris Chetti..
  • April 13, 1997–Barely Legal: J.T. Smith & Chris Chetti defeated The FBI (Little Guido & Tommy Rich) in a DARK MATCH..
  • January 10, 1998–House Party: Balls Mahoney & Axl Rotten & Tommy Dreamer beat Tommy Rich & Tracy Smothers & Little Guido..Tommy Rich:
  • June 2, 2006–NWA Wrestle Birmingham: McNasty w/Robert Fuller defeated Tommy Rich in Irondale, Alabama ..
  • June 9, 2006–NWA Wrestle Birmingham: Tommy Rich defeated McNasty by DQ in Sheffield, Alabama
  • June 16, 2006–Clash of the Legends III: Tommy Rich defeated Brickhouse Brown in Jackson, Tennessee ..
  • June 17, 2006–Memphis Wrestling: Brickhouse Brown defeated “Wildfire” Tommy Rich…
  • July 7, 2006–Legends Show: Tommy Rich & Doug Gilbert defeated Robert Gibson & Chris Cagle in a tag team match..
  • December 6, 2006–Great Championship Wrestling: Tommy Rich was interviewed but attacked by Danny Inferno
  • December 13, 2006–Great Championship Wrestling: Tommy Rich vs Danny Inferno w/Synn ended in a Double Countout..
  • January 31, 2007–Great Championship Wrestling: Danny Inferno defeated Tommy Rich in Phenix City, Alabama…
  • February 3, 2007–Southern Championship Wrestling: Tommy Rich & Mike Jackson defeated Adam Armor & Chris Lee..
  • February 9, 2007–NWA Wrestle Birmingham: Tommy Rich beat The Bullet (Bob Armstrong) in a “Loser Leaves Town” match
  • May 15, 2007–All-Star Championship Wrestling: Tommy Rich defeated Frankie Valentine in Carrollton, Georgia..
  • ~~~LATER THAT NIGHT: The Masked Superstar (Bill Eadie) defeated Tommy Rich (sub for Bullet Bob Armstrong)…
  • July 17, 2007–All-Star Championship Wrestling: Tommy Rich beat The Masked Superstar in a Falls Count Anywhere match
  • July 22, 2007–Southern Extreme Championship Wrestling: Tommy Rich defeated Jimmy Golden in Villa Rica, Georgia..
  • August 5, 2007–Cleveland All-Pro Wrestling: Jimmy Snuka vs. “Wildfire” Tommy Rich ended in a Double Countout
  • August 9, 2007–CWA: “Wildfire” Tommy Rich defeated The Masked Superstar (Bill Eadie) in Columbia, South Carolina..
  • September 15, 2007–Southern Championship Wrestling: Jimmy Golden defeated Tommy Rich in a Legends Grudge Match
  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~(Continental Legends Reunion) “Wildfire” Tommy Rich won a $1000 Over the Top Rope Battle Royal..
  • September 22, 2007–All-Star Championship Wrestling: “Wildfire” Tommy Rich defeated Pretty Boy Floyd
  • ~~~ “Wildfire” Tommy Rich defeated The Masked Superstar by DQ to retain the National Heavyweight Title..
  • October 14, 2007–Southern Extreme Championship Wrestling: Tommy Rich defeated Bulldog Raines in Villa Rica, Georgia..
  • October 21, 2007–Southern Extreme Championship Wrestling: Bulldog Raines defeated Tommy Rich in Villa Rica, Georgia….
  • November 11, 2007–SECW: Tommy Rich & Scotty Blaze & Adrian Hawkins beat Frankie Valentine & Billy Love & Chick Donovan..
  • December 16, 2007–Southern Extreme Championship Wrestling: Tommy Rich defeated Inferno #3 in Villa Rica, Georgia .
  • December 22, 2007–AWA World 1 South: Tommy Rich & Glacier defeated Matt Mercer & Big Bank Barfield
  • January 6, 2008–SECW: Bob Armstrong & Tommy Rich & Buff Bagwell beat Steve Lawler & Chick Donovan & Bulldog Raines -DQ..
  • January 20, 2008–SECW: Tommy Rich & Brad Armstrong beat Bulldog Raines & Rowdy Matiz in a West Georgia Tornado match
  • January 27, 2008–Southern Extreme Championship Wrestling: Tommy Rich & Kidd Body Drop beat Chick Donovan & Kidd Enigma
  • February 7, 2008–NAWA Ring Champions: Tommy Rich & Jimmy Powell vs. Bulldog Raines & Steve Lawler ended in a Double DQ..
  • February 10, 2008–Southern Extreme Championship Wrestling: Tommy Rich defeated Billy Love in Carrollton, Georgia …
  • February 17, 2008–Southern Extreme Championship Wrestling: Tommy Rich & The Nightmare defeated Billy Love & Sal Rinauro..
  • February 21, 2008–NAWA Ring Champions: Steve Lawler & Bulldog Raines (w/Jackie Rosedale) beat Tommy Rich & Kenny Arden..
  • March 2, 2008–SECW: Tommy Rich & Adrian Hawkins & Austin Creed defeated TC & Cody Gunn & Pretty Boy Floyd…
  • March 23, 2008–SECW: Tommy Rich & Chris Lightning defeated Pretty Boy Floyd & Awesome TC in Carrollton, GA…
  • March 28, 2008–Georgia Wrestling Promotions: Tommy Rich defeated Murder One (mystery opponent) by DQ..
  • April 3, 2008–Southern Extreme Championship Wrestling: Tommy Rich vs. Abdullah the Butcher ended in a Double DQ..
  • May 15, 2008–Georgia Pro Wrestling Association: Tommy Rich defeated the Masked Superstar in Tifton, Georgia ..
  • May 22, 2008–Southern Extreme Championship Wrestling: The Super Destroyer defeated Tommy Rich by DQ in Carrollton, GA..
  • June 5, 2008–NAWA Ring Champions: Tommy Rich & Chris Ganz defeated Jason Valentine & Air Paris in Rome, Georgia ..
  • June 6, 2008–NAWA Ring Champions: Tommy Rich & Bambi defeated Nigel Sherrod & Peggy Lee Leather in Cedartown, Georgia ..
  • July 4, 2008–Southern States Championship Wrestling: Tommy Rich took pictures and signed autographs for the fans . .
  • July 5, 2008–Southern States Championship Wrestling: Jarrod Michaels defeated “Wildfire” Tommy Rich by DQ..
  • July 6, 2008–Southern Extreme Championship Wrestling: Rob Adonis defeated Tommy Rich in Bremen, Georgia ..
  • October 4, 2008–Southern Championship Wrestling: Tommy “Wildfire” Rich defeated The Bounty Hunter
  • November 28, 2008–Southern Championship Wrestling: “Wildfire” Tommy Rich defeated The Lethal Luchador
  • November 29, 2008–Peachstate Wrestling Alliance: “Wildfire” Tommy Rich defeated The Lethal Luchador
  • August 9, 2009–JCW Bloodymania: Sabu defeated Raven w/”Wildfire” Tommy Rich.
  • June 5, 2010–Legends of Wrestling: Abdullah the Butcher vs. Tommy Rich ended in a Double DQ in Conyers, Georgia[Booking Information] Tommy “Wildfire” Rich, the Former NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Georgia Heavyweight Champion, USWA Heavyweight Champion and Wrestling Legend is now taking booking thru his personal email. Tommy is available for Wrestling Bookings, Personal Appearances, or Conventions. To book Tommy Rich send an email at 1wildfire@tmo.blackberry.net and he will get back to you to discuss a booking.Additional Notes:
  • Tommy Rich was managed by Alexandra York (Terri Runnels), Paul E. Dangerously, Jimmy Hart..
  • Tommy wrestled in: Memphis,Georgia,Mid-South,AWA,NWA,WCW,ECW,All-Japan,IWA,USWA,SMW,Continental,Southeast..
  • Nobody can deny that Tommy Rich was one of the most popular wrestlers in the 1980s..

    TeriLynn wrote: Your facts aren’t right about trainers, debuts. Although if you or anyone would like to book Tommy, you can contact me through email @ kateyed57@tmail.com. Through the past years there have been many different evaluations of Tommy Rich and based on this information there have been many misinformed people. I can honestly say no one knows the real truth of the man Tommy “Wildfire” Rich as I do. The “truths” of Tommy Rich you’re thinking how do I know? That is simple, for the past 30 years while everyone has been passing judgement I have sat idle. Now it is time for the real truth to be known. I am his friend, personal confidant, mother of his children, the Grandmother of his five grandchildren, I am his wife! TeriLynn Kateyed57@t-mail.com

 


Brandon Welch wrote: The last ever match between Tommy Rich and Buzz Sawyer was a closed steel cage match (with manager Paul Ellering in a little cage 30ft above the ring) called “The Last Battle of Atlanta on October 23, 1983 in the Omni. Rich won, it was a bloodbath and concluded their 18month fued. I saw Rich wrestle before and after and this match (and the fued in general) really took a lot out of him. He would go on to fued with Ted DiBiase over the Georgia National title, and have great matches (even under a mask in the amusing Mr.R story line) but he was never quite as fast or explosive as he had been when battling Sawyer. They murdered each other every night and it was unlike any wrestling conflict I have ever seen. Sawyer is one of the best wrestlers I saw, he could do a great match with a huge man like Crusher Jerry Blackwell or a ring scientist like Arn Anderson. He had the best powerslam ever, better than the Steiners. To bad he ODed at the age of 32 and is completely forgotten by many modern fans. He would have done great in a promotion like ECW because he could look fantastic in any kind of match. It would have been great to see him get a popular as Mick Foley.