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Ron Fuller

  

Real NameRonald Welch

Birthdate - ?/?/50

6'9" 265 lbs. - Dyersburg, TN

Occupational Background - Pro-Wrestler

Mentor(s) - Buddy Fuller

Promotional BackgroundSECW[Knoxville](`76-`80), SECW[Alabama](`78-`85), Cont'l(`85-`87), USA Wrestling(`88)

Peak Years - `78-`86

Place in HistoryThe story of rasslin’ in Tennessee and Alabama cannot be told without mentioning Ron Fuller.  The grandson of Roy Welch, who co-promoted out of Nashville, and the son of Buddy Fuller, who wrestled, booked and promoted throughout the Southeast, Ron Fuller had the wrestling in the blood as few others have.  Coming from the most prolific wrestling family, Ron Fuller’s connections allowed him many opportunities at promoting in the 1970s and 1980s.  Tall and lanky, Ron had been a high school basketball star and went to the University of Miami on a scholarship.  After graduating, he found himself following his father into the pro-wrestling game.  Like his father, Ron worked an exciting brawling style and worked as both a babyface and heel around the South.  After only a few years in the business, he bought Knoxville from John Cazana.  While much has been said about the promoting and booking prowess of the Fuller (Buddy, Ron and Robert), the fact they held so much influence over such a long period of time cannot be overlooked.  He turned Knoxville into Southeastern Championship Wrestling (SECW) and really transformed the product.  He feuded with area legend Ron Wright and helped breathe new life into the area.  In 1977, he bought out cousin Lee Fields’ Gulf Coast Championship Wrestling and essentially opened a separate version of SECW in that area.  Both outfits had strong talent pools, excellent television and Fuller brought in national talent and champions more than his predecessors.  In the ring, Ron Fuller was focusing on putting over new talent and helping his company grow.  However, as time passed, it was clear that the “Southern division” of SECW had more attention from Ron, while the “Northern division” was left to Robert.  The Knoxville talent grew disenchanted and split off to form a competitor and eventually aligned with the Poffos’ ICW.  The short-lived war between SECW and ICW convinced Ron Fuller to sell that end and focus entirely on the Southern end.  Ron continued to work periodically, but by this point he was mainly a manager.  In 1985, he renamed the promotion to Continental Championship Wrestling in an effort to sound less regional.  The His Stud Stable group feuding with the Armstrongs and others was the central storyline.  After a period with Kevin Sullivan as the top heel, Fuller sold Continental to TV magnate David Woods.  By 1988, the wrestling wars were dying down and it was clear that Vince McMahon had a toehold on pro-wrestling as mainstream America saw it.  Ron Fuller wisely focused on smaller, more local ventures.  He returned to Knoxville to run USA Championship Wrestling for a time, using many of the stars of Southeastern and Continental.  Fuller also owned some minor league hockey teams and helped both the WWF and WCW in that market.  Ron Fuller is one of the most influential people in pro-wrestling, particularly in the geographical area (Eastern Tennessee and Alabama) he promoted for over a decade.  He went into two markets with long heritages and created a fresh product with new stars and approaches that speak to his excellence as a promoter.  Ron Fuller outlasted all but a few of the old guard and should be recognized for all he did for pro-wrestling.


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