Tommy Rich

Longtime professional wrestler Tommy Rich is pictured in a promotional photo provided by IWWA Championship Wrestling. Rich will be part of a 10-bout show set for Aug. 17 at the Atkins-Porter Recreational Center.

Professional wrestling will be making a return to Paris with a presentation of IWWA Championship Wrestling set for 7 p.m. Aug. 17 at the Atkins-Porter Recreational Center, 301 S. Highland St.

The promotion promises fans will see “old school wrasslin’” but headliner “Wildfire” Tommy Rich says there should be something to appeal to all levels of wrestling fans.

“There for sure will be some old school wrestling moves on display but there are several young guys in the lineup and I’m sure some of the action will be over the ropes with all the leaps and action you see nowadays,” said Rich in a telephone interview on Tuesday.

Rich is a 40-year veteran of various wrestling circuits. He began training with wrestling legends Tojo Yamamoto and Jerry Jarrett in the late 1970s and broke into the wrestling scene in a big way in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. In those times, the wrestling scene was divided more into regions all across the country and Rich was involved in some big championship bouts from Memphis to Atlanta through the years.

A regular on wrestling shows produced for cable television by Ted Turner for Atlanta’s superstation TBS in the 1980s, Rich had championship matches with noted wrestlers like Jerry Lawler, Buzz Sawyer, Ricky Steamboat, Eddie Gilbert, Bill Dundee, Lex Luger and Ted DiBiase to name just a few.

Rich said it really didn’t seem like he’d been in the business for 40 years.

“You know you are always traveling from show to show and staying busy and time just passes. I guess I still really enjoy doing the shows and performing for the fans. I’d have to say seeing the fans’ reaction is the thing that keeps me coming back,” said Rich.

This is his first event with the IWWA organization that also features stars like Adam Parsons, Rip Rogers and Dylan Bostic. The Paris event will also feature the debut of Alexander the Russian Monster.

There are 10 bouts planned for the Paris show and the show will be filmed for Jarrett Parsons Wrestling TV which is a feature on Roku and Amazon Firestick.

Jarrett Parsons Wrestling TV is a partnership between two longtime wrestlers and wrestling promoters in Jerry Jarrett and Dave “Rock” Parsons. The station features classic bouts from many of the nation’s regional events of the past. One of the most popular shows is “Classic Memphis Wrestling,” which is hosted by Jarrett, the father of former WCW champion and WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett.

Rock Parsons is the father of Adam Parsons and another son, Michael, helps with the technical side of the business.

“We want to invite wrestling fans to come out early to the show. We’ll be set up there to sign autographs and do pictures and meet the fans. It should be an exciting night,” said Rich.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Advance tickets are on sale for $10 at Take Me Back Cafe, 302 W. Wood St. Tickets at the door will cost $12.

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