Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Southeastern Championship Wrestling (Knoxville)

Les Thatcher and Phil Rainey on the set of "Southeastern Championship Wrestling"

"Southeastern Championship Wrestling" emanated from the television studios of WBIR-10 in Knoxville, TN. It was the NWA promotion in the mid-to-late 1970s that covered East Tennessee and later parts of Northern Alabama.

The host of the show was veteran wrestler and broadcaster Les Thatcher. His frequent co-host and promo announcer was Phil Rainey, who was one of the lead sports personalities at WBIR.

Rainey's voice is heard over the opening theme song to "Southeastern Championship Wrestling" uttering these famiar words:

"Welcome to Southeastern Championship Wrestling, featuring slow motion, instant replay, and other technical firsts. The program voted number one by the Wrestling Writers Federation. Join us now for the fast paced competition of professional wrestling, featuring the top stars from the world's largest governing body, the National Wrestling Alliance."
Thatcher was one of wrestling's busiest men (still is!) as he not only hosted the program out of Knoxville, but produced it as well. He also published the area's arena program and magazine, was a photographer, organized the local promotional spots, sold advertising, and occasionally still wrestled - - a renaissance man if there ever was one!

We are proud to spotlight this great photo from the Southeastern Championship Wrestling studio.