Ted Turner to be inducted in NWA Wrestling's Hall of Heroes
Ted Turner And Former TV Wrestling Announcer Gordon Solie Tapped For Hall of Heroes Honors (ATLANTA) - Media mogul, philanthropist, and former WTBS SuperStation owner Ted Turner is among eight legendary figures being inducted into pro wrestling's Hall of Heroes here this August.
Turner will be recognized for seeking out wrestling programming in the early days of cable TV and, for more than two decades, providing a broadcast home for matches sanctioned by the once-mighty National Wrestling Alliance.
The exposure gained from being on Turner's quickly-expanding SuperStation broadcasts, and the station's jump to satellite transmission in 1976, brought Georgia Championship Wrestling and the NWA to a new level of national popularity.
In short order, it made household names of "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, "Wildfire" Tommy Rich, and Mr. Wrestling #2. Another is Atlanta wrestling legend Claude "Thunderbolt" Patterson. A 2007 Hall of Heroes inductee himself, Patterson arrived in Georgia in the early 1970's and experienced first-hand the added popularity of being seen on one of cable television's first wrestling shows.
"Ted Turner provided us a lot of opportunities in the early days," said Patterson, who will be inducting Turner during a dinner banquet and awards ceremony Friday night, August 5, at Atlanta's Airport Marriott hotel. "Suddenly, our TV wrestling show was not just seen in Atlanta each week, but in far-away places like Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia. Without Ted Turner, Atlanta wrestling would still be ‘Atlanta wrestling.' Thanks to his vision, it became World Championship Wrestling!"
The Hall of Heroes inductions are part of Atlanta's first-ever NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest Weekend August 4-7. The tenth annual event offers fans and followers of all ages an exciting three-day forum to reconnect with some of TV wrestling's notable heroes and villains. Autograph sessions, photo opportunities, and question-and-answer sessions fill the weekend, and tons of wrestling memorabilia will be on display.
Turner will be joined by seven other Class of 2011 Hall of Heroes inductees, including legendary TV wrestling announcer Gordon Solie, affectionately known as "The Dean" of all wrestling announcers.
Recognized by fans for his monotone, stoic interview style, Solie arrived in Atlanta in 1974 at the urging of Turner and played a vital role in Turner's broadcast expansion and ultimate media empire. He became the voice of the weekend studio wrestling shows -- filmed on location at Tuner's 1050 Techwood Drive studio -- that quickly became the most-watched programming on cable television at the time.
"He was the man," said wrestling icon Dusty Rhodes, "the absolute best to ever call a match!" Others being honored will include professional wrestling legends The Assassins, Ron "Hands of Stone" Garvin, Sir Oliver Humperdink, Ray "The Crippler" Stevens, and the Masked Superstar.
For more information on the Hall of Heroes inductions and details on Atlanta's first-ever NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest Weekend, please visit http://www.NWALegends.com.
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