Les Thatcher is a man who’s seen and done it all in his over 60-year career in professional wrestling. He’s been a wrestler, a promoter, a TV commentator, a trainer, and has even worked with WCW and WWF/WWE. He’s also been a t-shirt designer (designed the first wrestling t-shirt sold, the “Brisco Booster”) and helped work on some of the early WWWF magazines. From 1995-2003, Les ran the Main Event Pro Wrestling Camp and also the Heartland Wrestling Association (HWA) out of Cincinnati, Ohio and helped develop stars such as Nigel McGuinness, Shark Boy, Rory Fox, Chad Collyer, Charlie Haas, and The Island Boys (aka Three Minute Warning aka Rosey and Umaga) to name a few. During that time he also promoted the annual Brian Pillman Memorial Shows from 1998-2001 which featured stars from WWF, WCW, and ECW along with independent stars from HWA, OVW, and other independent promotions on the same show.
In this near hour long conversation, Les chats about his distinguished career and how he got started in professional wrestling; what led to the creation of the HWA and the Main Event Pro Wrestling Camp, how the Brian Pillman Memorial Show anthology DVD project with Joe Dombrowski came together, the legacy of the Chris Benoit vs. William Regal match from Pillman 2000, promoting Pillman ’99 at the legendary Cincinnati Gardens, how HWA became a developmental territory for both WCW and WWF, and why he ultimately stepped away from HWA in 2003. He also talks Jon Moxley, Nigel McGuinness, and so much more in this fantastic interview!