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HAPPY BIRTHDAY LES THATCHER!

By Mike Johnson on 2012-10-28 09:31:26
We just wanted to make a quick note that our friend and long-time contributor here at PWInsider.com, Les Thatcher turns a very young, spry 72 years young today.

Les has been involved in every facet of pro wrestling, as a wrestler, promoter, announcer, trainer, publisher, writer, consultant, and if you can think of any position within the pro wrestling world that I didn't mention, at one point or another, Les held it.

After breaking into the business in 1960 under promoter Tony Santos in Boston, Les worked for the Crocketts, The Harts, The Grahams and just about every other promoter you can think of, usually as a babyface and often as a tag team partner of the late Whitey Caldwell and Dennis Hall, among others. He held the NWA World Tag Team championship as well as Tag Team belts in several others territories.

Les helped publish and produce the first-ever WWWF magazine, worked as a commentator and host for Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, Georgia Championship Wrestling, Smoky Mountain Wrestling and most notably, Southeastern Championship Wrestling.

As a producer, Les brought in the concept of personality pieces on talent, something that is utilized today in all forms of entertainment.

As a producer and promoter, Les worked for and with every major promotion, including WCW and the WWF.

After retiring from the ring, Les launched a promotion and training school in Cincinnati, the HWA, which developed talents including Nigel McGuinness, BJ Whitmer, Dean Ambrose, Matt Stryker, Shark Boy and many more. For a time, the HWA held a WWE developmental contract running for several years with local TV and helping to develop talents during the time period after WWF purchased WCW.

During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Les also promoted the Brian Pillman Memorial Shows, raising money for Pillman's family and setting the stage for a number of important moments and matches, including the resurrection of William Regal's career following his performance against the late Chris Benoit.

Les has been honored by the Cauliflower Alley Club with their Lifetime Achievement Award and was the first-ever inductee into Smoky Mountain Wrestling's Hall of Fame.

Even after all that has been mentioned here, we've just BARELY scratched the surface of Les' experiences and legacy within the business.

Les continues to share his mindset, opinions (of which there are many) and memories today with anyone and everyone smart enough to ask for it and is still involved in training talents via his seminars In many ways, that is his legacy as much as everything he has accomplished within the business and trust me, those accomplishments are infinite.

On behalf of everyone with PWInsider.com, I can tell you we are very proud and pleased that Les has had a regular home here, both as a columnist and as a regular fixture in our Elite site's audio section. He is a cherished piece of this website.

Les is, without exaggeration, a national treasure when it comes to the world of professional wrestling and we wish him the best birthday possible!

Be sure to drop Les a birthday wish at his Facebook Page.