Greg Anthony is called the “Golden Boy” for one reason and one reason only. When he started wrestling 17 years ago, he was destined for championship glory. The man from Dyersburg, Tennessee gained notoriety while wrestling with “Tradition Championship Wrestling” between 2010 and 2013, but no one can discount the fact that he has held nearly 80 different titles throughout his career from all over the United States.
Anthony is currently the six times NWA Mid-South Unified Champion, but no accomplishment might be sweeter than being able to say that he has held the NWA National Heavyweight Title on three different occasions throughout most of 2016.
“It was a big year and the competition was tough,” said Greg Anthony.
When you are the NWA National Champion, you are going to go up against some of the toughest and the biggest names in the business. It might just be one of the most prestigious wrestling belts there is next to the North American Title and the NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship.
Men who have stepped through the ropes and hoisted the belt in the air after their National Title victory include wrestlers such as Ron Garvin, Paul Orndorff, Mr. Wrestling II, Ted DiBiase, Dusty Rhodes, The Spoiler, Ron Bass, Tully Blanchard, and The Masked Superstar. The list of names goes on and on with some of the best wrestlers that have ever laced up a pair of boots.
“It’s humbling because a lot of those guys like Tully Blanchard and the Masked Superstar are the guys that I have looked up to while I was growing up,” said Anthony. “Those guys are amazing and to have my name etched in stone with them and that title is humbling.”
It was a chilly, wet, and rainy night on November, 19th 2016 when Anthony was defending his NWA National Title in Gallatin, Tennessee to a man who is no stranger to the belt and who had worn it proudly twice before that night throughout his own career, Damien Wayne.
“He’s tough as nails. He is an old school guy like me and we beat the hell out of each other,” said Anthony. “He is as legit as legit can be.”
Wayne was legit that night in North Central Tennessee, so legit that he ended up defeating Anthony and leaving him feeling very close in comparison to the weather that was outside.
For the third time in one year, Anthony let the belt slip from his hands with questioning whether he would get another shot to wrestle for his once-coveted championship. Anthony was familiar with his opponent, but that was the very first time that he went up against Wayne, the wrestler who has been referred to as the “Mid-Atlantic Bad Ass.”
“I worked all year to build the National Title back up and to lose it was a tough pill to swallow,” said Anthony.
“The Golden Boy” was taken to his limit and why would he not be. Not only was 2016 a great year for him as far as accomplishments go, but challenging to say the least because his arch-rival and wrestling manager Christopher White has vowed to eliminate Greg Anthony from the sport.
“He showed up in the beginning of 2016 out of nowhere. He grew up in Dyersburg too and wanted to be a part of wrestling, but every time he mentioned wrestling my name was brought up,” said Anthony. “He has a rich Uncle in New York that is fitting the bill and White’s goal in life is to get me out of professional wrestling.”
White’s goal might be to run Anthony out of the Mid-South, but last year while Anthony was the NWA National Champion, White had something else up his sleeve.
“He was bringing in guy after guy to come to beat me and take the title,” said Anthony. “There were so many guys that Christopher White lined up for me to fight and I defended them off one by one.”
Some of the guns for hire that White brought in to try and defeat Anthony were Johnny Saxon, Rodney Mack, Wild Bill, and Mustang Mike. They were unable to get the job done, but the punishment that they delivered to the “Golden Boy” might have been enough damage to allow Wayne to make his move and win the belt.
Anthony thought he was going to have his chance to take care of White for good last year when the two men squared off in a “Street Fight” style wrestling match. Because White claims he didn’t sign a waiver before the match took place, he threatened to sue the NWA.
After dealing with all the legal issues that came from the ordeal, in an attempt to appease White, he has now been promoted to Chairman of the Championship Committee.
“Now he is in charge and he has formed a group called The Office and they are running rough shot over the Mid-South,” said Anthony.
“The Office” includes White’s bodyguard Jamal Soul along with wrestlers Jacob Edwin and The Posse, a tag team that features Simon Reed and Mr. Chris.
“The Posse were fan favorites for 11 years in this area and now they have turned their backs on the fans, jumped me, and now they are part of The Office,” said Anthony.
“The Golden Boy” may have his hands full while dealing with White and his henchmen, but what his enemies might not know is that Anthony doesn’t just have heart, he also has knowledge from being mentored by one of the best wrestling technicians in the sport, Bobby Eaton, one half of Jim Cornett’s famed Mid Night Express.
The two met each other in 2009 and they formed a tag team called “Midnight Gold.” Together they were unstoppable and they left an impression on the wrestling fans in the South. Their opponents knew they meant business and the ring was their workplace. Anthony is very grateful to have had the opportunity to wrestle along aside from Eaton for two years.
“He was one of my favorite wrestlers growing up and then I ended up being his tag team partner, it was amazing,” said Anthony. “It was educational, but at the same time it was a confidence booster because Bobby would always tell everyone that I was the captain of the team.”
Even though Anthony worked with Eaton near the tail end of his career, there were moments during their matches when Anthony caught a glimpse of the magic that made Bobby Eaton so special inside the squared circle.
“Every once in a while when we were tagging together, I would look over in that corner and it was like 1986 all over again,” said Anthony. “There was no way Bobby Eaton was going to be the weak link in a match. I would tag him in and he would start going.”
The lessons and small details that Eaton passed on to the “Golden Boy” about the art of wrestling were invaluable. Anthony credits “Beautiful Bobby” for the road that he is currently on career-wise today.
Years of hard work and years and taken beatings are the high prices that many have had to pay in the wrestling game, but not everyone in the dressing room is guaranteed success in a business that takes more than muscles and sequins sewed on a jacket to survive.
“I really believe that I was put on this earth to be in professional wrestling. It was just something that spoke to me personally and I have a great aptitude for it,” said Anthony. “In wrestling, there are guys that are naturals athletically, but naturals are also guys that get it. You don’t have to explain every little detail of the whys and the hows to me. That was always something that I just got.”