Monday, January 02, 2017

Tommy Rich in Columbia (1981)

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Tommy Rich comes to Columbia SC's Township Auditorium

In 1981, Ole Anderson was for a short time the booker for both Jim Crockett Promotions and Georgia Championship Wrestling.  As a result there were several wrestlers who worked both territories during that time, usually full-time in one area while working spots in the other.

Tommy Rich was one such wrestler. He worked primarily for Georgia Championship Wrestling, but made several shots for Jim Crockett Promotions during the year, including appearances on the TV shows.

This April 14, 1981 show in Columbia, SC, at the Township Auditorium is but one example. Here, Rich appeared in the semi-main event against "Bad Boy" Bobby Duncum. You will notice in the ad for the show, local promoter Henry Marcus billed Rich "from Georgia Championship Wrestling - Channel 17", the attempt being to make Rich seem like a special attraction coming off his exposure on the Superstation WTBS.

The main event featured the battle between the two top tag teams fighting for the NWA world tag team championships. Reigning champions Paul Jopnes and the Masked Superstar (Bill Eadie) defending against former champions Gene and Ole Anderson. All four wrestlers were Mid-Atlantic main-stays, but fair to point out that all four were equally familiar to Georgia audiences as well.

Two weeks later, on 5/1/81 in Richmond, VA, the Andersons defeated Jones and Superstar to regain the NWA tag team titles. But on this night in Columbia they were able to escape as champions.

Later in 1981, the Superstar returned to Georgia as his home base and he and Tommy Rich had one of the most bitter, hard fought, main event rivalries in the territory that last for many months.

Fun to see the continuing "sharing" of talent between the Mid-Atlantic and Georgia areas. in the 1970s and early 1980s.
More Mid-Atlantic / Georgia Connections

Part One: Paul Jones and the Hollywood Blondes in Augusta
Part Two: Thunderbolt Patterson tours the Mid-Atlantic area
Part Three: The Mid-Atlantic Challengers in Augusta 5/9
Part Four: Georgia Fans Find Out About World Tag Title Change - Before It Happens
Part Five: Paul Jones Surprises Charlotte During Mid-Atlantic/Georgia Talent Exchange
Part Six: Wahoo McDaniel Returns a Favor 5/16/77

...and many more.