The WWE Network holds the key to the history of professional wrestling in the United States. Owning a lot of the major tape libraries from some of the best territories that ever existed there are some awesome matches that can be seen on the network. On September 6th, 2016 the WWE is going to release 15 hidden gems to the world.
The vault will have matches that go as far back and the 1950s and will include rare ECW match between Bret Hart and Terry Funk. Yes, that ECW with Bret Hart, sounds crazy right? Well that’s not even the biggest news. The leading story out of this release is that the “The Last Battle of Atlanta” will be available for view in this collection.
The Last Battle is considered the Holy Grail of professional wrestling footage and was believed to not have even existed for some time. This match was the final blow off of a two-year long feud in Georgia Championship Wrestling between Wildfire Tommy Rich and Mad Dog Buzz Sawyer. This feud was carried out on national TV as the Georgia territory was broadcast on TBS.
The historic match took place in Omni in Atlanta on October 23rd, 1983 and was housed inside of a steel cage. Shawn Michaels credits this match with being the inspiration to “Hell In A Cell”. It was the first steel cage match to feature a chain link fence on top of the cage to prevent competitors from getting out. Suspended above the cage in a smaller cage was Paul Ellering to prevent any interference on Sawyer’s behalf.
For the better part of 30 years no footage whatsoever has appeared. Not in any wrestling tape collection or even a YouTube clip. There was a belief that this was not even taped and then there was the theory that Ole Anderson had destroyed the footage. Either way the match has only existed in the memory of those who were there will now finally be made available too public.
Keith B. Holt
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