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McDonough's Parker makes pro wrestling debut

The crowd raved over the professional wrestlers' high-flying antics.

"It's mind over matter," said up-and-comer, Terry "T.K." Parker. "If you don't mind, it don't matter. You only get one chance to make the crowd go crazy. It's unbelievable! it's just unbelievable!"

This past weekend, Parker, 19, made his professional wrestling debut with Universal Championship Wrestling (UCW), Inc.

The McDonough native, a 2009 graduate of Ola High School, was one of the featured wrestlers, during UCW's Fall Brawl, on Oct. 9, at the Jason T. Harper Events Center Outdoor Arena, at Heritage Park, in McDonough.

More than 1,500 wrestling fans, from across the Southeast, saw the native son achieve a childhood dream of wrestling in front of an energized crowd of professional wrestling connoisseurs.

"I went to a wrestling event when I was young, and it was a larger-than-life image," said Parker, who signed autographs and took photos with youngsters heading to the UCW's Fall Brawl event.

Among Parker's fans was family friend, 2-year-old Ben Jones, joined his grandfather, Steve Woodson, of McDonough.

"It was a great mixed crowd from 5-year-olds, to 70-year-olds," said UCW Vice President Ron Gossett. "I think it was an awesome first event [in Henry County]."

UCW's Fall Brawl was designed to cater to a wide range of fans emphasizing the various styles of professional wrestling, and it featured a slate of wrestlers from different eras in the sport.

"It's a man's Soap Opera," said Bill Minion, of Jackson, Ga. Minion, a lifelong fan, said he was hungry for professional wrestling with venues nearby. The 49-year-old said smaller venues, like the Jason T. Harper Events Center Arena, are what attract fans, who cannot always make the larger-city venues.

"With it being smaller, you get to be closer to your wrestlers," said Minion, noting that his in-laws, Tony Beth and Amber Hookers, made a special weekend trip to the city from Easley, S.C., to experience some professional wrestling.

"There are a lot of people here that are wrestling fans," said Joseph Hamilton, of Griffin, Ga. Hamilton is a retired professional wrestler, formerly known as "The Assassin." He is also a former professional wrestling trainer, and is now a promoter. He was on hand Saturday signing autographs.

"Major promotions only come here once a year," he said. "I think it's a more intimate atmosphere, and it's easier to interact with the fans."

Larry Pfohl, widely known as "The Total Package," Lex Luger, also reached out to professional wrestling fans. Pfohl acknowledged that such interaction was a somewhat rare occurrence during his days touring major venues.

"When you're wrestling," Pfohl explained, "you don't have much of a chance to come back and thank the fans for their support."

DeMarcus Swanson, of Atlanta, attended the event with his grandfather, Terry Ingram, of McDonough. "That's my life," said the 7-year-old, Swanson.

Swanson said he was excited to get the chance to see Reid Flair, the son of one of his favorite professional wrestlers, "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair.

Reid Flair wrestled in Fall Brawl's opening match, against Squire David Taylor. The match was followed a Mexican Lucha Libra match, pitting wrestlers, Antonio Garza, and The Mexican Dragon against one another.

Ron "The Shooter" Gossett, who is also UCW's vice president, was the event's guest commissioner. Gossett arranged the main event match between professional wrestlers, Billy Gunn and Brodie "The Stray Cat" Chase.

Adrian Hawkins, Chris Hamrick, and J.D. Kerry wrestled in a three-man elimination match. They were followed the semi-main event, tag-team match featuring Shawn Alley and Byron Wilcott, against Rodney "Rodney Mack" Begnaud and the McDonough native, Terry "T.K." Parker. Parker's team was one of the event's winners.