Studcast – Georgia Champion 1973
Release Date: December 5, 2018
Running time: 1:09
Recap by: Joe Aguinaldo
In today’s podcast, Ron closes out 1973 and looks ahead to 1974.
- Ron only wrestled 11 times in December 1973.
- They were not using Ron a lot in Florida because he was Georgia and St. Louis a lot, making him less valuable in Florida.
- Louise Tillett didn’t use him because Ron was not around. At the time, Ron was a little upset because he hadn’t been in the business that long and didn’t understand what bookers did.
- That said, Ron didn’t blame Louise and they got along. In fact, Ron hired him as his first booker when Ron started running a territory.
- During this time frame, Jimmy Golden came to Florida who was Ron’s cousin. Jimmy was a tremendous worker. Ron tells a story about scuba diving and seeing a hammerhead shark.
- When Jimmy came to the territory he was young (23) and is becoming a skilled guy in the ring.
- In Florida, Ron worked with Jimmy in a tag match against Don Carson and Les Thornton. Ron also worked matches with Dick Slater, Buddy Colt and a single with Les Thornton.
Ron Fuller/Jimmy Golden vs. Don Carson/Les Thornton
- Jimmy had just recently joined the Florida crew. He’s been wrestling longer than Ron because he started at a younger age. He is naturally talented and has a good feel for psychology.
- Don Carson is another great worker but is lost in this match because Les Thornton stole the show with his wrestling ability.
- Les became the star on the heel side of the ring just from wrestling.
- After this match, Ron is thinking this is what Florida wrestling is all about and Ron uses this same match in his first territory, Southeastern Wrestling.
- At this time, Ron is starting to assess talent but doesn’t know why. It came naturally to him and it was like putting a database of wrestlers together. He says this helps him become successful as the promoter for Southeastern Wrestling later on.
- Les Thornton is from Manchester, England. Ron says he’s one of the best junior heavyweights in the world. He wrestled all over the world and held the WWF and NWA Jr. Heavyweight titles.
- He’s not big in size but has the great wrestling background that guys from England had.
- When they wrestled in Florida, it looked like Ron was going to manhandle Les. But Les had a little shooting ability and great wrestling ability. They had a good scientific babyface match, which is not something fans had seen a lot.
- When you can have a good scientific match, fans will be impressed. They tore the house down. Ron was sure when they left the ring, the rest of the guys in the back were wondering how they were going to follow that.
- Ron made a note of Les and had Thornton wrestle in his Southeastern territory.
- When Les wrestled for Ron, he would go up against Tony Charles, who was another European wrestle, and they were amazing matches.
- Les vs. Tony changed the style and believability of wrestling in Southeastern. Many fans were used to people fighting but had never had a taste of real wrestling. It was a great education for the current fans and hopefully something that would attract new fans who loved wrestling.
- Ron had Les, Tony and even Adrian Street work for him. He said they could all wrestle. They may not be great at getting heat or having an American Style match but they could tear the house down with wrestling.
- Ron always had great matches with Buddy Colt. That was the last match for Ron in 1973.
- Ron had a TV match with Hans Schmidt. He says Hans is in his top 5 of worst guys to work with and many of the other boys felt the same way.
- He also had a return match with Blackjack Lanza in St. Louis in a death match. Blackjack put him over and next week Ron wrestled Harley Race.
- Ron also wrestled against Baron Scicluna who was a good worker.
- During a match with Gorilla Monsoon, Baron got thrown over the top rope and left the ring. Muhammad Ali was sitting in the front row and when Scicluna left the ring, Ali attacked Monsoon. This was part of the build for Ali vs Antonio Inoki which is considered the first MMA match by many.
- Ron had been in Georgia a year before to try and talk Ann Gunkel out of promoting in Georgia.
- In December 1973, Ron goes to Georgia Championship wrestling to wrestle Hiro Matsuda.
- Bill Watts and Lester Welch start taking over Georgia and are drawing money. The territory is on fire. December is normally not a great month for wrestling but it’s not the case this December.
- Ron and Matsuda have a partial shoot match but they had a great match. Matsuda put Ron over and makes him look good leading into the match with Bill Watts.
- At this time, Ron didn’t know anything about Bill Watts. Watts didn’t want to put Mr. Wrestling II over and chose Ron although Ron doesn’t know why.
- After the Matsuda match, Ron wrestled in a match in Griffin, Georgia where he played basketball. He worked a six man tag with Rob and Les Thatcher against Bobby Shane/Gorgeous George Jr./Luke Graham.
- There were several players from Ron’s old basketball team that watched his matches.
- Ron wrestled Watts with Haystack Calhoun as special ref.
- Considering they had never worked with each other, they had a good match.
- Watts came to Ron before the match and asked if he had any spots in mind.
- Ron says Watts not putting over Wrestling II was unusual. This doesn’t happen a lot and can hurt a person’s credibility.
- Before the match, Bill asked if there was something they could do to really pop the crowd. Ron thought about it and said he should kick out of Bill’s finishing move. He also suggested a spot where they both went over the top rope. When they got back in the ring, that’s when Ron won the belt.
- Because of this match, Bill started using Ron more in Florida.
Rating – 7.5/10
Another great podcast from the Tennessee stud. The wrestling historian geek in me loves hearing about the territories from a guy who wrestled and promoted for them. I’ll admit though this week wasn’t as good as the last few podcasts I’d listened to but still a good one nonetheless. Definite thumbs up recommend.
Joe is a long time wrestling fan from Toronto. He is a co-host on the Pull Apart Podcast with Jeff Rush and Caitlin Lavelle as well as a contributor to www.pwpodcasts.com. One of his life goals is to be a guest host on one of Wade Keller’s post-show podcasts. He doesn’t consider himself any sort of expert, he just likes wrestling. Check him out on Twitter and Instagram @ja113.