A former world heavyweight wrestling champion will soon return to where he won the title to fight a different type of battle.
Tommy “Wildfire” Rich, who fought in the World Championship Wrestling and Georgia Championship Wrestling organizations, will appear Friday at Alter Ego’z Sports Bar and Grill on Gordon Highway in a return to the ring.
The wrestling show benefits the Children’s Miracle Network, with ticket proceeds going toward the organization.
Rich’s last appearance in Augusta was at the Bell Auditorium in 1981 when he defeated Harley Race to win the NWA World Heavyweight title.
“It’ll be great to come back and see the fans in Augusta,” Rich, 55, said. “It’ll be great to get back in the ring one more time for a good cause. Winning that title was the biggest thing in my career, so it’s great to return.”
Aside from Rich’s world title in Augusta, he also wrestled throughout the country. His career included several years in the WCW, where he fought such stars as Lex Luger and Bam Bam Bigelow. He also fought Ric Flair numerous times while in Georgia.
The 6-foot-3 Rich last fought in a Legends of Wrestling event in 2010 in Conyers, Ga.
“Augusta is always a great crowd,” he said. “This is the first time I have worked with (the Augusta Wrestling Alliance), and it’s an honor to be part of this and for the reasons we’re doing it.”
Dale Sherrill, owner and promoter of the AWA, said he expects around 200 people to attend the show.
“We’re definitely excited,” Sherrill said. “The last time he was here, he won a world title. He has fans here who love him. So we’re expecting big things.”
The cost to attend is $10. There will be a meet and greet at 6 p.m., followed by the show at 7.