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Thread: Tommy Rich

  1. #1
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    Default Tommy Rich

    I know he was the hottest thing around in 1981, but I never knew why

    So my questions are:

    What was so great about Tommy Rich?

    Why he was so hot?

    Why after that he became a nobody in Wrestling?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Burlap Sac's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tommy Rich

    He was a full blooded Italian. Or was that Tracy Smothers?

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  3. #3
    Senior Member The Icon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tommy Rich

    He was in the FBI. Little Guido, Tracey Smothers and Tommy Rich comprised the group.

    With regards to his popularity,he was before my time when he was at his peak. It seems with his look he could garner a lot of sympathy, especially going up against guys like Harley Race and Buzz Sawyer (which was a hot feud in '83 after his title run). I do remember seeing him in WCW in the early 90's and he looked out of shape and half pissed most of the time. Too much too soon I guess.

  4. #4
    The Wrestle-O-Pedia TheMaskedOtter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tommy Rich

    Quote Originally Posted by Special One View Post
    I know he was the hottest thing around in 1981, but I never knew why

    So my questions are:

    What was so great about Tommy Rich?

    Why he was so hot?

    Why after that he became a nobody in Wrestling?
    I think it was a case of right place at the right time. Tommy Rich's popularity came about at the same time cable TV was spreading and Georgia Championship Wrestling was going into more and more home. He was a good looking charismatic face. I wouldn't say he became a nobody, he was always a reliable mid-card guy. I think the 5-second NWA World Title reign did more harm than good and he simply lost his heat with time and couldn't get it back as more wrestling went national and more stars developed a national following.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bayke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tommy Rich

    His weight gain didn't help either. Everybody else was starting to firm up in the mid 80s and Rich was getting flabbier. He was still a good hand in the ring tho.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mr. Perfect's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tommy Rich

    I could go on for pages and pages on what made Wildfire so great, but I type pretty slow, so let me first say I encourage ANYONE who does not know the career of Tommy Rich to spend an hour watching a few of his matches and you will see why I've been saying in this exact forum for years that Wildfire should be in WWE HOF.

    Tommy "Wildfire" Rich was one of the hottest wrestlers of the late 70's-early 80's. His good guy look made him a perfect match to all the top heels of the south. It was not uncommon for any show Wildfire headlined to actually have more women in the crowd than men, a testament to his good looks. Wildfire came about at the perfect time, just as wrestling was getting some great tv time slots, and his look just simply appealed to the audience.

    Now let me just say he wasn't just about the look. Wildfire could flat out go in the ring, technical, brawler, endurance, he had it all. Just watch a few matches and you'll see.

    Now, as for his downfall. I think it's actually a combination of several factors. First off, his four day title reign as NWA world champ just killed his legitimacy as a believable champion contender.

    Also, I personally think Hulk Hogan had a factor in Rich's downfall. Hulk Hogan was physically in better shape than Rich, but they had a similar look, i.e. tall, tan, blond, in shape, etc. So when Hogan hit WWF in 1984 and won the title, in typical NWA fashion they had to do the exact opposite in choosing their champion, going with Flair (NWA preferred to go with more technical wrestlers throughout the Hogan WWE reign). So NWA didn't want to look like they were copying WWF, even though Wildfire had already been wrestling in NWA for years, so Rich never again made it into the main event title contention again.

    But Rich's biggest downfall had NOTHING to do with his wrestling or look. Rich was in a very famous, very legendary feud with Buzz Sawyer. The feud lasted almost two years before they finally had their legendary match dubbed "The Last Battle of Atlanta." The match was said to be INCREDIBLE, but there was a problem, the match was not on TV, ppv, nor was the match even recorded by the NWA. No one except those in the arena that day got to see the match that took almost two years to get to. There is said to be one recording of the match, I believe recorded on a home camera, that has never been released by the private owner. So a two year feud ended with a match that most would never get to see. That would kill anyone's momentum. But even after that fiasco, NWA thought it would be a good idea to put Sawyer and Rich in a tag team, even though no one outside the arena in Atlanta got to see their final match. Frankly, the fans were not happy.
    Wildfire Tommy Rich for WWE HOF 2014

  7. #7
    Johnson. Piss. Ring. Kilgore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tommy Rich

    Blonde hair = automatic wrestling sex symbol. Tommy Rich was a hideous man.
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