Wrestling Match Thought To Be Lost To History Has Been Found

The Last Battle of Atlanta was a match that many fans have wondered if they would ever see. There were rumors that the tape no longer existed because of how poorly Georgia Championship Wrestling kept their tape library. Ole Anderson didn’t seem to care about it much and supposedly left the library in a dank shed. The match became folklore and legend. Paul Ellering in a shark cage. Tommy Rich and Buzz Sawyer blowing off their feud in a “hell in a cell” that predates the original by more than a decade.

WWE Network has a section called Hidden Gems, and that match, in it’s entirety showed up one day. The holy grail of lost matches for wrestling fans was found. That means that the “lost matches” no longer had a match that was so coveted. Slowly but surely thought, more and more people began talking about Bret Hart vs. Tom Magee. The discussion really picked up when Bruce Prichard’s podcast Something To Wrestle With spoke about the match.

Tom Magee was a Canadian power lifter. Magee became Canadian National Powerlifting Champion in 1981 and 1982. In 1982 he also won the IPF World Powerlifting Championship. This got Tom enough fame to become the star of a documentary, Tom Magee: Man of Iron.

Soon the wrestling world took notice, specifically Japan. Tom had what is thought to be his first match in AJPW. The match was reviewed by Dave Meltzer and Meltzer had this to say about Tom. “He was the greatest combination of strength and agility the business had ever seen”.Magee was named third runner-up for the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Rookie of the Year. Which then brought him to the WWF.

Magee’s first match was with Bret Hart, whom Magee defeated. The man was poised to be the second coming of Hulk Hogan, but this time with agility. There is little to no footage of Magee’s wrestling matches, only word of mouth. Then Twitter user @MaryKayfabe sent out a picture.

Which perked up many wrestling historian’s ears. David Bixenspan and Kris Zellner mentioned that the tape might exist. Then there it was. T.J. Wilson, f.k.a. Tyson Kidd even validated the find.

A quick Google of “Tom Magee Bret Hart” shows that this has been a topic of discussion for years. From what I know at the moment, only a picture of the tape has made its rounds. There will be a time soon when it is released, and a whole new generation of wrestling fans will get to form their own opinion on the wrestler that could have been.

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