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DragonKingKarl Classic Wrestling July Marathon: "Wildfire" Tommy Rich

Tommy "Wildfire" Rich became a near instant star in the early 1980s but almost as quickly as he shot to stardom, he fell from the top going from one of the youngest NWA World Heavyweight champions to a comedy figure in just a few years time.

So, what went wrong? Actually, Rich had a better career than most give him credit for. And in this show, Karl Stern will talk about that in detail, including Rich's involvement in one of the best angles of 1987.

Fred Ward and Harley Race believed in Rich to such a degree that he had a short run as the NWA World Heavyweight Champion while being one of the hottest ever babyfaces in Georgia. Often moving back and forth between Georgia and Memphis wrestling, it seemed like Rich was building toward becoming one of the biggest stars of the 1980s and possibly beyond.

But it burnt out as quickly as it started. Though Rich worked a variety of places including Continental, AWA, and WCW, he never came close to recapturing that magic he had early on in Georgia.

But for a short time in 1987, he did. Along with Paul Heyman (Paul E. Dangerously at the time) and Austin Idol, he was part of one of the last great angles of the territorial era where the heels finally outsmarted Jerry "The King" Lawler. In the weeks leading to a big hair vs. hair match, Rich laid down a great series of promos and matches which helped build to the big surprise - when he came out from under the ring in a steel cage match and cost Lawler his hair for the first and only time in his career.

On the latest episode of our classic wrestling July marathon, join us in taking a look at "Wildfire" Tommy Rich.

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