SECW #17 Page #2Bill Ash: What can one say about Bill Ash that will do justice to the genius of this ring psychologist? Ash could make a crowd hate his guts, not by his ring work, which was superb, but by his attitude. This man could literally tick off the Pope. Yet there was something to this guy that made you respect him. I know it is a cop out to say it was just something that you can not put your finger on, but that is exactly what it was. It was something intangible, but whatever you call it, Bill Ash had it. Ash had memorable feuds with Scott Armstrong, Johnny Rich and Tommy Rogers, just to name a few. One of the best angles Ash was involved with was when he went to the I will only defend this championship once every 30 days, as that is all the NWA says I have too. He did this during the Scott Armstrong feud because Ash felt that Armstrong had too many opportunities and came up short each time, so Ash invoked the 30 day clause. Great strategy that got the heat machine even more heat. It did end up backfiring on Ash, because his invocation of the 30 day clause caused NWA President Bob Geigel to rule that Scott Armstrong was going to get an upcoming NWA World Jr. title shot against champion Denny Brown. Ash was so good on the microphone that before this announcement was made, he was selling hard how he could beat Brown, and he also gave Armstrong credit saying he could beat Brown also. You do not see that kind of excellence these days. Oh, and by the way, Ash held the title five times. Great champion.
“Hustler” Rip Rogers: Most may know the “Hustler” as preliminary wrestler from WCW, but that was at the end of his career, after he had already accomplished so much in the wrestling game. The former “Convertible Blonde” made quite a splash on the Southeastern scene. Rogers brought a first to the area, by introducing a female valet, Brenda Britton. Britton would “cleanse” the ring with her atomizer, which she would place back in her purse. The purse was a weapon that Rogers made efficient use of to gain victories. He had feuds with Ken Lucas amongst others. The most famous angle Rogers’ was involved in as US Jr. Champ was that he was actually heavier than the 225 lbs weight limit. This eventually led to Rogers foregoing the Jr. heavyweight division and right into a feud with “The Universal Heartthrob” Austin Idol.
There were plenty of great wrestlers who held the United States Jr. Championship in addition to these, really too many to include. These are the ones who made the biggest impression with me. I can not discount the impact made by Scott McGee, Ken Lucas, Scott Armstrong and others. The title remained one of the top titles even after the change over to Continental such as, “Mr. Class” Ken Timbs, Roy Lee Welch, Tom Prichard, Ken Wayne and many more, but I am sure the Continental writer will bring those stories to you.
Look for me to cover Southeastern’s version of the “Living Legend” (my moniker for him, not his) Ken Lucas.
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