"Wildfire" Tommy Rich was a wrestling superstar on Ted Turner's Superstation WTBS and a participant in the "Last Battle of Atlanta" (vs. Maddog Buzz Sawyer), one of the Atlanta Omni's most talked matches ever. He was also the National Wrestling Alliance World's Heavyweight Champion.
Much like our 2022 Tag Team Award Winners, "The Rock and Roll Express", Tommy had teenage girls hearts all a flutter whenever he made his way into the ring.
Starting his career in Tennessee, Rich was still a teenager when he stepped into a professional wrestling ring for his first match. In 1978, he was Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Rookie of the Year award winner and in October 1979 defeated Killer Karl Kox to win his first regional title, the Georgia Heavyweight Championship. Of course, on April 27, 1981 Tommy Rich famously defeated Harley Race for the NWA world heavyweight championship in Augusta, Georgia, only to lose it back to Race less than a week later.
He's had a bounty placed on his head by former CAC honoree Michael "P.S" Hayes, both teamed and feuded with "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert, feuded with Jerry "The King" Lawler, and battled our very own Cuban Assassin (David Sierra) at Oct. '89's World Championship Wrestling Pay-Per-View event Halloween Havoc. He's been managed by Alexandra York (Terri Runnels), Paul Heyman and Jimmy Hart and has pretty much battled and/or teamed with a who's who of '80's professional wrestling.
He's got a list of accomplishments a mile long, including being the leader of Extreme Championship Wrestling's "Full Blooded Italians" faction and now "Wildfire" can add one more accomplishment to that list. The 2022 Cauliflower Alley Club's Men's Wrestling Award.
Congratulations to "Wildfire" Tommy Rich on his latest well deserved honor. We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas in September.