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Wrestling / Bruce Tharpe

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Richard Bruce Tharpe (born 1961) is an American attorney born in Tampa, Florida and residing in Brownsville, Texas who was the president of the National Wrestling Alliance from 2012-2017.

The son of Chet Tharpe, the wrestling announcer for the NWA territory, Championship Wrestling from Florida, Tharpe started working for the company at 14 selling drinks. During this time, Tharpe did a a magic trick that caught the eye of CWF owner, booker and wrestler, Eddie Graham. Impressed with Bruce’s unwillingness to reveal how he did the trick, even to his own father, Graham gave him a job in the front office at 18, trusting him with the then strict Kayfabe of pro wrestling and other confidential information. Eventually, Tharpe worked his way up to working as ring announcer and then a referee.

Encouraged by his father to focus on his education, Tharpe went to first the University of South Florida then South Texas College of Law in Houston, TX and became a lawyer. As he worked for the district attorney's office in Brownsville, Tharpe began to train as a wrestler with Zar Rojo, a Masked Luchador from Matamoros. In the early ‘90s, he wrestled in promotions in Texas and Mexico as Modelo Enmascarado aka the Maked Model and later Supermodel when he was unmasked.

In August 2012, Tharpe’s company International Wrestling Corp, LLC, sued NWA’s then-parent company, Robert Trobich's Pro Wrestling Organization LLC, for insurance fraud. The case was settled out of court with IWC, LLC becoming the owners of the NWA with Thapre as its president.

During his run with the company, Tharpe changed the NWA’s membership system causing many territories to leave or fold in the interim.note  Beginning in March 2013, the NWA entered a relationship with New Japan Pro-Wrestling. What started with Tharpe going over to New Japan shows to put over his talent as company president, quickly turned him into a over the top Heel that actively cheated for his talent and cut condescending promos to the crowd.

On March, 2016, NWA’s partnership with New Japan expired. On May 1, 2017, Bruce Tharpe sold the NWA to Lightning One, Inc. owned by The Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan.

Tharpe currently continues his law practice in Brownsville while remaining a huge fan of pro wrestling.

Tropes associated with Tharpe-desu:

  • Amoral Attorney: Certainly played up during his time with New Japan.
  • Evil Laugh: After he cut a hammy promo on Jushin Thunder Liger about beating him and sending him to a hospital.
  • Flanderization: Started out simply putting over his wrestlers to New Japan. Over time, he became and obnoxious loudmouth with even louder jackets and glasses.
  • Generation Xerox: His father was civil servant (as a fire chief) and a wrestling ring announcer, Burce became a civil servant (a lawyer) and a wrestling ring announcer.
  • Evil Is Hammy: By fan his defining trait during his New Japan stint.
  • Renaissance Man: He is or, at one time, was a lawyer, president of a major wrestling company, pro wrestler, heel manager, referee, announcer, businessman, magician and spokesman for his local Golden Corral.
  • Smug Snake: In his promos and ring announcing for his talent, Tharpe would put over that they were form the United States of America and arrogantly asked the Japanese crowd if they understood him in Japanese.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Wore sparkling suit jackets and glasses that came in a plethora of colors.
  • Wrestling Doesn't Pay: A wrestling supermodel in the ‘90s.
  • Wrestling Family: With his father, Chet who was a ring announcer.