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Wrestling returns to the Southern Crescent

Universal Championship Wrestling is back with "Super Brawl," featuring two locally grown professional wrestlers. McDonough residents, Nikki Diamond and Terry "T.K." Parker, are scheduled for the lineup of wrestlers competing Saturday, at Ola High School in McDonough.

"We're trying to give wrestling a rebirth," said Parker, recently, before beginning a workout in the ring. He and several other wrestlers from across Georgia have been training for Super Brawl at the Universal Championship Wrestling (UCW) Academy –– the wrestling promotion company's new training facility in McDonough.

At the academy, young wrestlers, like Parker, 19, learn wrestling skills and techniques from veteran wrestlers, like Micah Taylor, and the academy's head trainer, "Squire" Dave Taylor, formerly of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

"Without the old school, there is no modern wrestling," said Parker, as he engaged in a familiar conversation with legendary wrestler, "Wildfire" Tommy Rich.

Tommy Rich, whose given name is Thomas Richardson, regaled the young Parker with tales of his travels as a professional wrestler in the 1970s and 1980s, traveling the region competing in shows on almost a daily basis.

"I'm an old-school wrestler," said Richardson, also of McDonough. "I was a wide-eyed Southern boy, but I knew how to draw a crowd. Wrestling now — it's a dying art."

Richardson paid the academy a visit Tuesday to help instruct its up-and-coming wrestlers on time-tested skills and techniques to use in the ring.

Parker, a 2009 graduate of Ola High, said he has been on a learning continuum since his days of wrestling freestyle and Greco-Roman style in high school. He said he is excited to showcase his skills in UCW's Super Brawl.

"If I get a little bit of space, I'm going up to the top rope," warned Parker. "It's either you're doing it, or you're not."

UCW's Fall Brawl event, which was held in October at Heritage Park in McDonough, drew a crowd of 1,939 fans from throughout metro Atlanta, said UCW Vice President Ron Gossett.

Gossett said he anticipates a hefty crowd for the Super Brawl event, which includes a slate of 10 matches. The matches will take place in the Ola High School gymnasium, located at 357 North Ola Road in McDonough.

He said several wrestling stars will be on hand, including: Larry Pfohl, known as "The Total Package" Lex Luger; Latino superstar, El Hijo de Rey Misterio; WWE's "Hardcore" Bob Holly; UCW Champion Johnny Swinger, also known as Joe Dorgan; Tracy Taylor, of Deep South Wrestling fame; as well as second-generation superstars, Shawn "Shawn Stasiak" Stipich, of the WWE and WCW, and "The Prodigy" Reid Flair, of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), and the son of wrestling legend, Ric Flair.

Saturday's bell time, Gossett added, will be at 7:30 p.m., and doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available online at www.universalsuperstars.com; at CJ's Hot Dogs, 593 Jonesboro Road in McDonough; or at Boost Mobile locations — 926 Ga. Highway 81 in McDonough, 5394 North Henry Boulevard in Stockbridge, and 4185 Jonesboro Road, Suite D, in Forest Park.

Gossett said VIP super passes, ringside, front row, with back stage access, are $45; advance ringside tickets are $20 ($25 the day of the show); advance adult general admission is $12 ($15 the day of the show); general admission for children, ages 6 to 12, is $5; and children, ages 5 and under, are free.

Military and county employees receive a $3 discount on all adult tickets, noted Gossett, adding that all the night's stars will be available to sign autographs before the event and during intermission.

For additional information about Saturday's event, or Universal Championship Wrestling Academy, call (770) 656- UCW9 (8299).