Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Rich Tate
everyone, and welcome to my column on the history and events of Georgia
Championship Wrestling. I
thank Vince for allowing me a place to relate my memories and
recollections of what I feel was one of the most anticipated television
wrestling programs in history, as well as a group that could “sell out
any arena in the world”, according to the late, great Gordon Solie.
like most of you, anxiously awaited each Saturday afternoon for the time
to tune into WTCG or as it was later known, WTBS.
As I understand it, Georgia Championship Wrestling, hosted by
Solie, as well as Freddie Miller among other short stint co-hosts, was
one of the most watched blocks of television among cable viewers during
the late seventies and early eighties.
That led to the show also becoming a much sought after
advertisement portion of the Superstation’s programming schedule.
column could be written about Georgia Championship Wrestling without
mention of the Dean of wrestling announcers, Mr. Solie himself. Wrestling fans embraced Gordon in much the same fashion as
football fans viewed Keith Jackson, or boxing fans saw Howard Cosell,
and possibly baseball fans with Vin Scully.
Solie brought to each show a sense of drama and realism that is
invisible in announcers today. Definitely
old school, he could announce a match as if you were listening to the
matches on the radio, rather than a visual medium.
As an experiment, I once manipulated the controls on my
television to reflect a simple black screen, and listened to a few
matches rather than watch. I
am sure I was visualizing every single move nearly the way I would have
seen it with my own eyes.
was the beauty of Gordon Solie’s career.
He truly was a master of wrestling play by play.
Arguably, very few other men could even be compared to Solie.
However, if you ever saw Georgia Championship Wrestling, you
probably understand exactly what I felt about the legendary broadcaster.
Gordon started out in 1950 as a radio sports announcer for a station in Tampa, FL. Some of his various jobs had him reading box scores from baseball and football games, before taking the initiative to branch out and begin doing shows for local racing and golfing events.More...