Southern States Wrestling

Southern States Wrestling is an American independent professional wrestling promotion based in Kingsport, Tennessee. Founded by wrestler Beau James in early 1991, SSW (along with NWA Bluegrass) succeeded Smoky Mountain Wrestling as the top promotion in eastern Tennessee following its close. It featured a number of former SMW mainstays including Steve Flynn, Tracy Smothers, Killer Kyle, Tom Prichard, Bunkhouse Buck, Buddy Landell, The Mongolian Stomper[1] and The Batten Twins (Bart & Brad Batten). While in the promotion, Ricky Morton teamed with longtime Fantastics rival Bobby Fulton as the Fantastic Express as well as forming a second incarnation of the Rock 'n' Roll Express with Ricky Harrison capturing the promotion's tag team title with both men.

Southern States Wrestling
HeadquartersFall Branch, Tennessee (1991-1998)
Kingsport, Tennessee (1999-present)
Founder(s)Beau James
Owner(s)Beau James (1991-present)
ParentNational Wrestling Alliance
SisterChampionship Wrestling
FormerlyNWA Championship Wrestling

Others to appear in the promotion have included former National Wrestling Alliance veterans Ivan Koloff, Jimmy Valiant, Junkyard Dog, Pez Whatley, Terry Taylor, Shane Douglas and female wrestlers Sherri Martel, Debbie Combs, Brandi Alexander, Lexie Fyfe and Malia Hosaka. Jillian Hall,[2] EZ Money, Joey Corman and Samir and Andy Douglas. The promotion also runs a wrestling school in Fall Branch, Tennessee.[3]

In 2015, Beau James began cutting back SSW's schedule due to his commitments to Appalachian Mountain Wrestling as manager of The Progressive Liberal, however, the promotion continues to hold events at county fairs and high school gyms.


Southern States Wrestling was founded by Beau James, who began promoting wrestling events in Kingsport and Fall Branch, Tennessee. The promotion crowned its first heavyweight champion when The Tennessee Equalizer defeated George Hiatt in Elizabethton, Tennessee on February 16, 1991. A junior heavyweight title was created the following year when Eddie Golden defeated Jamie Gibson in Banner Elk, North Carolina. In 1995 the promotion expanded by creating two more titles. The junior heavyweight title was abandoned the previous year and replaced by the SSW Appalachian Heavyweight Championship won by Eddie Golden when he beat Tracy Smothers in a best-of-three series in Meadowview, Virginia on May 11, 1996. Four years later, Mike Cooper won the SSW Young Guns Television Championship in Kingsport coinciding with the promotion launching its weekly television program which aired regularly on WAPK-CA from January 1999 until October 2003. The promotion eventually released a series of dvds from the program, most notably, Superstars and Legends, Vol. 1, which featured Don Wright, Ivan Koloff, The Equalizer, Jimmy Valiant, Wahoo McDaniel, Killer Kyle, Jimmy Valiant and Stan Lee.[4] On May 10, 2001, the promotion held the Mark Curtis Memorial Weekend of Champions in Kingsport, Tennessee in honor of World Championship Wrestling referee Mark Curtis with the proceeds donated to the Children's Miracle Network. Among those headlining the event included Arn Anderson.[5] The next year, the Mark Curtis Memorial Weekend of Champions and Legends Reunion featured Jimmy Valiant, Ivan Koloff and Sandy Scott. Family members of the late Whitey Caldwell were also in attendance.[6] Southern States Wrestling became involved with AWA Superstars of Wrestling during the early-2000s, although not an official affiliate promotion, and has held interpromotional events with its sister promotion Tennessee's Championship Wrestling. In April 2005, Beau James, Tom Prichard and The Super Destroyer faced Championship Wrestling's "Adorable" Danny Ray, Nick Hammonds & Wayne Adkins at the Night of Grudges supercard at the National Guard Armory in Kingsport.[7] This was the first interpromotional event in which both promotion's champions faced each other.[8] In November 2006, Beau James married female wrestler Misty James at the 15th annual supercard Thanksgiving Night Spectacular at the Kingsport National Guard Armory.[9] Both would participate in mixed tag team matches during the next year. In early 2008, he and his wife were involved in a major interpromotional feud with AWA Superstars of Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion Brian Logan.[10]

Southern States Wrestling NetworkEdit

In August 2017, Beau James announced that SSW had signed a deal with a VOD service to provide online streaming platform for the promotion.[11] It took nearly a year to transfer the entire SSW Video Library from VHS/DVD to a digital format. The Southern States Wrestling Network made its debut on July 15, 2018.[12] In addition to SSW television and supercards, the network also has rare footage from Continental Championship Wrestling and other Territory-era wrestling promotions from the Tennessee area.[13]


Current championsEdit

Championship Current champion(s) Previous champion(s) Date won Location
SSW Heavyweight Championship Eric Darkstorm Kyle Matthews November 29, 2013 Mt. Carmel, TN
SSW Junior Heavyweight Championship Alex Wynters Ray Idol January 22, 2005 Kingsport, TN[14][15]
SSW Appalachian Heavyweight Championship Eric Darkstorm Super Destroyer April 23, 2004 Greenville, TN[16]
SSW Young Guns Television Championship Bunkhouse Buck Beau James July 20, 2003 Kingsport, TN[17]
SSW Tag Team Championship Robbie Cassidy and Tony Givens Super Destroyer and Josh Cody March 4, 2005 Kingsport, TN[18]

Defunct championshipsEdit

Championship Current champion(s) Previous champion(s) Date won Location
TWA/NWA Tri-State Championship Ryan Phoenix August 2000 September 2004 Title is officially renamed the NWA Tri-State Championship after Tri-State Wrestling is bought by NWA Championship Wrestling in 2003.[14][19]
SSW International Cup Chris Walker March 13, 1999 N/A Defeated Heinrich Franz Keller in tournament final to win the International Cup.[14][20]

Kingsport Wrestling Hall of FameEdit

The Kingsport Wrestling Hall of Fame (also known as the East Tennessee Wrestling Hall of Fame) is an American professional wrestling hall of fame maintained by the Kingsport-based promotion Southern States Wrestling (SWW). It was established in 1999[21] to honor select personalities in East Tennessee wrestling history. The induction ceremonies are held as part of its annual "Weekend of Champions and Legends Reunion".

# Year Ring name
(Real name)[a]
Inducted by Inducted for Notes[b]
1 1999 Sam Bass
(Fred White)
2 1999 Jim White Wrestling
3 1999 Don Wright Wrestling
4 1999 Tony Peters Wrestling
5 1999 Masked Superstar
(Bill Eadie)
1 1999 Earl Walters Wrestling
1 2000 Wahoo McDaniel
(Edward McDaniel)
2 2001 Wild Bill Canny
(William F. Canny)
Ken Bowles Wrestling Posthumous inductee:
3 2001 Melvin Johnson Ken Bowles Refereeing Longtime referee for the NWA's Tennessee and Mid-Atlantic territories
4 2001 Ron West Jim White Refereeing and Promoting
5 2001 Sandy Scott
(Angus Scott)
Pam Hildebrand Wrestling
6 2001 Buddy Landell
(William Ensor)
Beau James Wrestling
7 2001 Arn Anderson
(Martin Lunde)
Tim Horner Wrestling
8 2001 Ken Bowles Beau James Wrestling
9 2002 Paul Steele Wrestling Former Tennessee state athletic commissioner
10 2002 The Spoiler
(Bud Adams)
11 2002 Kim Birchfield Wrestling
12 2002 Charlie Peters Wrestling
13 2002 Tim Horner Wrestling
14 2003 Sensational Sherri
(Sherri Martel)
Managing and Wrestling
15 2003 Fuller wrestling family Wrestling Posthumous inductee:
16 2003 Golden wrestling family Wrestling Posthumous inductee:
17 2008 The Iron Cross
(Mike Samson)
Mike Cooper Wrestling
18 2008 Carl Fergie Jimmy Valiant Wrestling
19 2008 Johnny Rich
(John Richardson)
Beau James Wrestling
20 2008 Davey Rich
(David Haskins)
Beau James Wrestling

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Nevada, Vance; Rodgers, Mike; Rose, Barry; Taylor, Becky; Will, Gary (2008-05-11). "Wrestlers Results Archive: Archie "The Stomper" Gouldie". SLAM! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer.
  2. ^ Xamin, Mark (2007-06-18). "Jillian Hall". SLAM! Sports.
  3. ^ Macika, Dominic; Cal Jewell (1994). "Wrestling Schools". Professional Wrestling Online Museum.
  4. ^ "Southern States Wrestling Releases "A Night to Remember" on DVD". 2008-06-28.
  5. ^ Lane, Matthew (2001-05-10). "Wrestling Legend Arn Anderson Heads Ticket". The New WAWLI (Wrestling As We Liked It) Papers, No. 173-2001.
  6. ^ Kenyon, J. Michael (2002-05-19). "Sunday Punches (edition of May 19, 2002)". Archived Sunday Punch Columns. Cauliflower Alley Club. Archived from the original on September 19, 2008.
  7. ^ Bauer, Ben (2005-04-07). "Dates for upcoming WWE DVD releases + Jack Brisco and Tom Prichard". WrestleView.
  8. ^ Tremley, Matthew; Givens, Tony (2005-04-17). "Championship Wrestling "The Conclusion" this Saturday in Kingsport, TN".
  9. ^ "Misty James". Misty James' G.L.O.R.Y. Wrestling Profile. 2008.
  10. ^ "World Champion Brian Logan Has A Target on His Back". News Articles. 2008-06-06.
  11. ^ James, Beau. "We are very pleased to announce that we have finalized a deal with a VOD service to bring you many classic SSW events". Facebook. Southern States Wrestling.
  12. ^ James, Beau [@kingofkingsport] (July 15, 2018). "I'm excited to share hundreds of hours of never before seen video. Big announcement coming tomorrow about @SSWWrestling1 streaming network. 27 years of footage! We are ready to share the memories with the World. Major Events, classic TV episodes, Best of Series, and much more!!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ "Southern States Wrestling Network".
  14. ^ a b c Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  15. ^ Westcott, Brian (2005). "SSW Junior Heavyweight Title History". Solie's Title Histories.
  16. ^ Benaka, Matt; Brian Westcott (2005). "SSW Appalachian Title History". Solie's Title Histories.
  17. ^ Westcott, Brian (2003). "SSW Young Guns Title History". Solie's Title Histories.
  18. ^ Westcott, Brian (2005). "SSW Tag Team Title History". Solie's Title Histories.
  19. ^ Williams, Brett (2005). "TWA/NWA Tri-State Heavyweight Title History". Solie's Title Histories.
  20. ^ Benaka, Matt; Westcott, Brian; Roelfsema, Eric (2005). "SSW International Cup History". Solie's Title Histories.
  21. ^ "The Wrestling Booking Sheet, Issue #222". The Wrestling Booking Sheet. April 21, 1999.

Further readingEdit

  • Valiant, Jimmy. "Woo...Mercy Daddy!" Welcome To My World: The Jimmy Valiant Story. Shawsville, Virginia: Self-Published, 2006.

External linksEdit