The SmarK Rant for Jerry Lawler’s Classic Memphis Wrestling – 06.01.19
So I was trawling YouTube for Memphis stuff to meet people’s old school needs, and it turns out that Jerry Lawler actually has his own classic content show on there! So at least I know I’m watching official stuff that he owns the rights to.
Originally aired January 1986.
Your hosts are Lance Russell & Dave Brown
Jerry Lawler & Giant Hillbilly v. Rough & Ready
Lawler and his Hillbilly friend are the Southern tag team champions, but this is non-title. I love that Memphis has a guy named “Giant Hillbilly” and he’s a babyface. It is of course the esteemed Uncle Elmer, aka Plowboy Frazier. Lawler quickly hits one of the masked geeks with the fistdrop and Hillbilly drops the leg for the pin at 0:22. Well, Ready was ready, but it was too rough for Rough.
Bam Bam Bigelow v. Mike Murphy
Young rookie Bigelow is so offended that the previous match took 22 seconds that he storms out and destroys this guy in 13 seconds! Flying splash finishes here and then Bigelow heads over to the table to show off his head tattoos. He actually presents Lance with a letter from his trainer/manager Larry Sharpe, because he doesn’t cut promos at this point, and Russell shows some tape of young Bam Bam destroying two guys at the Mid-South Coliseum before using a top rope splash for a
DQ ref stoppage. So he continues beating on the jobbers, but Jerry Lawler makes the save and Bigelow just lays him out with a dropkick. Oh man, the King must have been smelling the money with this guy.
Larry Sharpe does a remote tape from his expensive boardroom, where he promises pain and suffering for Jerry Lawler via Bam Bam Bigelow. Oh, and also his lawyers are going to have the top rope rule rescinded any day now. And then Lawler is DEAD. And we get a picture in picture of Bigelow just standing there in front of Lance doing squats while Sharpe cuts his promo on Lawler.
Jonny Stewart & Van Van Horne v. Akio Sato & Tarzan Goto
Stewart and Van Horne are “The Beach Boys”, although they’re a little far from California here. The Japanese team double-teams Stewart, who is actually wrestling barefoot in swim trunks, but the Beach Boys double-team Sato with a double dropkick and Stewart gets two. Sato slugs him down and Goto comes in and beats on Stewart to set up a pump splash. Stewart fights back, but Sato just elbows both guys in their own corner and brings in Van Van and drops a fist on him for two. Back to Stewart and Goto gets more karate action, but Stewart makes a tag to Van Van. It’s BONZO GONZO, but Goto bearhugs Stewart and Sato hits him with a thrust kick for the pin at 4:20. Apparently the Japanese contingent were some kind of International tag team champions, but Memphis had so many fake titles that it’s hard to keep track. At any rate, Sato later went to the WWF as half of the Orient Express and then as Hakushi’s manager Shinja, but neither really stuck.
The Nightmares v. Pat Tanaka & David Haskins
Apparently David is a local “Memphian” according to Dave Brown. Is that the real term for it? If so I learned something today. I thought everyone was just called “Bubba” down there. Haskins manages to work a headlock on Danny Davis and gets an armdrag for some jobber shine, and then Tanaka tries his Hawaiian martial arts and gets cut off by Wayne. Interesting that they call him a Hawaiian here, since normally Tanaka is portrayed as Japanese. Tanaka gets some chops and gets a two count on Wayne, but then Haskins comes in and lets his team down by missing a dropkick. Never tag the local guy in! Davis gets some slams on Haskins and Wayne drops a knee on him. Davis with a tombstone piledriver on the guy and then Wayne comes off the top with a legdrop behind the ref’s back, and that’s enough to finish at 4:03. I also love that Dave Brown gives match times and they’re ACCURATE.
Paul Diamond joins Lance for an interview, and for some reason he’s dressed in combat gear and face paint.
You wouldn’t think he could find a look that makes Max Moon look good, but here we are. Like, is he TRYING for Corporal Kirschner? He’s not even American!
On a somewhat related note, I was at Cabellas and they had a vacuum sealer that was done in camouflage colors. Like, what is the intended audience for this? Hunters who want to take it with them but don’t want the deer to get suspicious? Where would you even plug it in? I just don’t feel like this was a very well thought out business model.
Jos LeDuc v. Jim Jamison
LeDuc has chosen Jamison to be his opponent in a chain match, because he’s a bastard and wants to torture the jobber. Jamison tries to stay away and LeDuc just yanks him over and beats on him in the corner while mauling him like a bear. Jamison is already bleeding and LeDuc beats on him with the chain and chokes him out, then finishes destroying him and pins him at 1:54. He continues the beating, but Paul Diamond makes the save and chokes out LeDuc with his own chain. Jos later appeared in No Holds Barred, for those keeping track.
The Bruise Brothers v. Keith Eric & Keith Roberson
Not to be confused with the Harrisssesses, this version of the Bruises are the “original” ones, Pork Chop Cash & Mad Dog Boyd. Now, this is of course not true because Pork Chop’s partner in the Bruise Brothers was Troy “Dream Machine” Graham well before this. I don’t even know who Boyd is. The Bruises beat on the jobbers with punches and headbutts and Mad Dog can barely even do a splash properly but still finishes Eric with a splash (on a second try) at 2:33. Really bad.
Debbie Combs v. Despina Montagas
Debbie is some version of the NWA Women’s champion but this is non-title. Frankly I didn’t even know the NWA had a women’s title. Despina quickly chokes out Combs on the ropes and works a headlock, but Combs reverses to a headscissors. Despina elbows her down for two, but Debbie comes back with a backdrop. Despina bumps the ref accidentally on a leapfrog, and Jos LeDuc randomly comes in and beats up Debbie Combs with a backbreaker for MONSTER heat, and Montagas gets the pin at 3:00. Oh, Memphis. Never change.
Jerry Lawler & Giant Hillbilly join Lance for some hype for Evansville, and they’re defending their Southern tag team titles against the Nightmares. Plus Dutch Mantel has several bullwhips besides Shoebaby, even though Shoebaby is his primary bullwhip and Bill Dundee has stolen her. Also, Buddy Landell and Austin Idol team up to face Fire & Flame.
The Mod Squad and Fire & Flame v. Tracy Smothers, David Haskins, Benny Trailer and Jerry Garmin
Fire & Flame are “two large gentlemen” in the words of Dave Brown, and that’s quite diplomatic on his part. The various heels gobble up the jobbers and then everyone suddenly comes in and brawls until one of the masked fire-related heels throws fire in his face and pins him at 2:00. And then it turns out that this is a 2/3 falls match, and we continue on after the break. Spike & Basher (aka the Jeffer brothers from Crockett) are the featured heels for this fall, double-teaming Trailer with various slams, and Haskins comes in and gets beat up by Fire. Smothers finally gets a hot tag, clearly the star of the jobber side, but the Mod Squad overwhelms him. He fights them off, but gets thrown over the top behind the ref’s back and Flame hits him with a chair, but he finally crawls for a tag to Trailer. And he promptly gets beat up as well. Finally time runs out on the show, which Lance notes is a good thing because the one side was having a bad week anyway, and we’re out for this week.
Apparently this channel jumps around all over the 80s, which can only be a good thing. This was 50 minutes at a breakneck pace and a whole bunch of guys who can cut promos. What a fun show!