Tommy Seigler, a veteran of the ring wars in the 1970s, primarily in the southeastern United States, has died. He was 84.
His daughter, Tara Seigler Wilson, shared the news on Facebook, on July 25, 2023:
This is a post I never wanted to make – my sweet Daddy passed away a few hours ago. I am so lucky to have his guidance & memories to look back on. I couldn’t have been loved more than he loved me. I wouldn’t trade any of my time with him for the world. Those summer road trip / life talks stick with me still today. I will think of you, miss you, and love you everyday. Goodnight Daddy, Tommy Seigler
Barry Rose, a long-time Florida fan and podcaster, shared his thoughts on Facebook too: “One of my childhood idols passed away yesterday after putting up a valiant fight. Tommy was a former Florida TV Champion, brought into the state by booker Jody ‘The Assassin’ Hamilton. Tommy was a gracious and friendly guy, and I quickly became the president of his fan club. We stayed in touch when he left the state, and tommy even sent me letters and postcards from his travels including New Zealand and Singapore, and I treasure this to this very day. The world lost a GREAT man yesterday. May he always RIP.”
Seigler, born in Fieldale, Virginia, spend most of his childhood in Anderson, South Carolina. He attended high school in Iva, South Carolina, where he played football, basketball, and baseball.
He went into wrestling as many local wrestlers at the gym convinced him to try it out. it was only a part-time gig, as he also worked in construction, but later transitioned it into full-time, after six years.
“I knew if I didn’t give up my job and try wrestling full time, I’d always wonder if I could’ve done it,” Seigler said in a 2008 interview in the Anderson (SC) Independent-Mail News. “But that first year or two I had some serious doubts, because the first match I had, I broke two ribs, and I didn’t make as much as I did on my other job.”
During his tenure in All- South Wrestling Alliance, he defeated Ox Baker to win the All-South Wrestling Georgia Television Championship. He also teamed up with Super Gladiator to defeat Rock Hunter and Assassin #2 to capture the All-South Wrestling Alliance Georgia Tag Team Championship. In his return to NWA, he won the NWA Southeastern Television Championship, and the NWA Florida Television Championship. A big career moment for Seigler was defeating The Iron Sheik to win the NWA British Commonwealth Heavyweight Championship, a title he held until his retirement.
He was never into the extravagant costumes and huge entrances. Seigler’s persona was more cool, calm and collected. “Having a gimmick doesn’t change your ability,” said Seigler in the 1980 article. “It just draws more attention to you.”
He worked in many promotions like the NWA, the All-South Wrestling Alliance, CWF, GCW, and WCCW, having performed in countries all over the world.
In December of 1977, Seigler’s career was cut short due to him rupturing three discs in his lower back while wrestling the Iron Sheik in Singapore.
“They wanted to take me to the hospital and were talking about acupuncture,” Seigler recalled in 2012 in an Independent Mail interview. “I just wanted to go home.”
Seigler wasn’t aware of the seriousness of the injury at that time. A surgeon from the Atlanta Falcons would let him know this was an injury that couldn’t be fixed.
“It was a disappointment. It was painful, too,” Seigler said in 2012.
He tried to return after having the discs fused together, but ultimately retired in 1978.
His after wrestling career saw him guest in matches but not actually perform. He returned to Anderson where he was a member of the local law enforcement for over 20 years. In 2019, he retired as the head of security for the Historic Anderson County Courthouse.
Seigler leaves behind four children and seven grandchildren. Funeral information is not known at this time.
— with files from Greg Oliver