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Grimmas

Tommy Rich

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Unless somebody else steps up and declares they will be the high voter for Tommy Rich, I will probably be the high voter for Tommy Rich. Loved his early Memphis stuff. Loved his post-World title run Memphis stuff. Wished their was more Georgia footage out there. He has enough complete high-end matches that I have no problem putting him high on my list. Add that he made the transition to a great mouthpiece for the FBI and Rich is A+ in my book.

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Me and Will watched an awesome Tommy Rich v. Brad Armstrong brawl from late 80's Georgia. It only goes about five minutes but is awesome. Rich looks like Kawada or Finlay as he just beats the shit out of Armstrong, we have some sightings of Mr. Donnie the greatest scumbag manager of all time and then a post match where Brad smears Rich's blood all over the hood of a white car. Man Tommy is great, I don't know how high I am going to put him, but my guess is too high

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That was such a great little brawl. They packed a ton of shit into 5 minutes but it never felt like they were going overboard with a million spots. Just a fast paced hard hitting match. Tommy was really great bumping and stooging for Brad and then looked like a vicious ass kicker when he took over. Great find. Tommy is another guy I plan on watching a ton of for this project. I think the announcer said "Brad Armstrong" 150 times in this 5-6 minutes.

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Tommy Rich 's mother was gold. How can anyone top Peggy Rich came on Memphis TV to begged Tommy to end his evil ways and got beat down by Handsome Jimmy and Tojo .

 

Tommy feud with Eddie Gilbert needs to be mentioned . Tommy and Eddie had a nice series with Koko Ware and Novrel Austin . Also the Rich cousins feud with The Nightmares stands out in my memory .

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Anyone wanting to see some of Tommy teaming with cousin Johnny should check out The Nightmares thread where I've uploaded a few of those matches on to youtube.

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Since a lot of guys seem to have spotty late-career runs, I will say I've been enjoying his JTTS run in WCW so far. He doesn't get a lot to do but improves most of what he gets to do. Just full of veteran...naturalness? The Luger stuff was adequate. The Gilbert pairing works fine even if it is a bit awkward to see both guys just filling time. He has that fun match with Race at GAB 90. The only knock I have is that he's not in very good shape. He gets a go with Flair that should be on the level of Flair's better TV work from 89-90 but just isn't because Rich is a bit blown up.

(As you can see I have a ways to go on it. We'll see if my WCW rewatch even makes it to the York Foundation.)

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Anyone wanting to see some of Tommy teaming with cousin Johnny should check out The Nightmares thread where I've uploaded a few of those matches on to youtube.

I really liked that feud. Some of the matches were great.

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Has anyone watched much post ECW indy worker Tommy Rich? Anything worth seeking out? I came across a match against Steve Corino from PWX (no date) that looks interesting.

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I voted Tommy Rich 86th in 2016 and that's another one I feel good about. Footage is a bigger problem with Tommy than with others, but I still think he's awesome just about every step of the way from early stuff in Memphis up through ECW. The Last Battle of Atlanta answered a major question (is his reputed best match ever the classic it was made out to be, yes) and Rich is exactly the sort of punch first bleed first 80s redneck that I love in wrestling. 

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Rich is in theory one of the guys who may have a stronger case now than he did in 2016, if only for the Omni stuff WWE released, but I still don't think he gets all the way there. If we had all the Omni shows that exist on tape, he'd probably easily be a top 100 pick. Not just the Last Battle of Atlanta, but matches with Flair and DiBiase that have shown a little bit more of what he could do. A big part of Rich's appeal was him being such a willing bleeder, which is why a lot of those footage issues exist. It was harder to show bloodbaths on TV. He is basically the prototype for the right way to get a wrestler over as tough to male fans when his primary appeal was to draw women. I think it works against him that he was already on the way down in 1983, at a time he was only 29 years old, but he did seem to have a fun second career too.

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How much Georgia (Omni) stuff is actually out there in full?  My impression is that there wasn't enough to make an 80s set for it even if that project had continued.  IIRC, Florida was in the same boat, although with a little bit more available.

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Not a lot, but there is more than there was in 2016 because of Hidden Gems on the WWE Network. They released a handful of Omni shows in full.

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Rich had some new Houston footage too towards the end of the last voting period or shortly thereafter, like Rich/Slater vs Dynamic Duo, but we didn't get Rich vs Bockwinkel from this card, which is one of my major regrets of the footage:

Boesch @ Houston, TX – Sam Houston Coliseum – March 26, 1982
The Grappler d. Tom Jones
Hacksaw Duggan d. Terry Gibbs
Tully Blanchard d. Frank Monte
Wayne Farris fought Chavo Guerrero to a draw
Dick Slater d. Bob Sweetan by DQ
Canek d. Gino Hernandez
AWA World Heavyweight Title: Nick Bockwinkel © d. Tommy Rich

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