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By Donnie Brannen on 7/12/2018 7:08 AM



Kingsport -- Southern States Wrestling at Calvary Baptist Church: Dustin Steel beat Krunch The Equalizer... Phillip Lawson pinned Daniel Richards ... Beau James beat Shawn Cruz

(7/7/18)                                                                                                      - Donnie Brannen

Gray-- Southern States Wrestling at The Appalachian Fairgrounds: The Mega Destroyer beat Phillip Lawson... Misty James pinned Yasha .... Wayne Rogers and Don Wright fought Krunch The Equalizer and J.D. Hogg to a Double Disqualification ... Phillip Lawson beat Shawn Cruz ... Beau Jamespinned Daniel Richards

(7/7/18)                                                                                                           - Donnie Brannen


Kingsport host a huge city wide festival for two weeks every July called FunFest. Each neighborhood in and around Kingsport host Block Parties the first weekend to kick it off. The Kingsport event was at 12:30 pm as apart of Village Fest. This was our fourth straight year teaming up with Calvary Baptist for their event. The Gray Event was at 6:45pm as a part of The Gray Block Party. This was our 5th straight year in Gray. The Gray Block Party is the biggest in the area. Over 5,000 people were at the Gray Block Party. About 1500 of them were watching the wrestling. 

Don Wright is 72 years old. He still works out every day and is very active. He started wrestling in 1964. Don and Frank Morrell are the last  home grown stars surviving of the  Kingsport Territory. The other local  stars of the era include Jim White, Sam Bass (not from here but started here, his wife Jodi was born and raised in the area and he lived here for years), Ed Wolfe and of course Ron Wright and Whitey Caldwell. 

Don still wrestles 4-5 times a year. He might be slower but still takes bumps. He signed pictures (of him and his Brother Ron) and took pictures with the fans for over an hour after the matches. It was something to see and hear when the fan shared stories with him about their Memories of him, Ron, and Whitey Caldwell.

Don is now married to Buddy Fuiler's widow Sandra. They had several of the Welch Grand kids with them at the matches. 

Don was a big help in getting history correct in Beau James' book on 1960s Kingsport Wrestling. He was emotional talking about the book and was telling everyone they need to read it. He is also helping with the 1950s book that is being put together now. The Wright's and Whitey grew up big fans and were regulars at the weekly events as fans in the 50s. They were also working out with pro wrestlers at the Boys Club in their teens at the time. Local promoter Mickey Baarnes ended up giving them jobs as ring crew and running errands for him. 

Wayne Rogers was trained by Ron and Don Wright. He started wrestling in 1976. Wayne wrestled in Ron's All Star Wrestling, Southeastern, Georgia, and Mid Atlantic. He was a main stay on Southern Indies until the late 90s. He also still wrestles a few times a year. He and Don were a surprise and got a great reaction from the audience. 

SSW has a few more Festivals this Summer and Fall in Tennessee and West Virginia. This is our 27th year of operation. 

Ricky Morton had an event at one of the Block Parties Saturday night also featuring the students from his School of Morton.