The SmarK Rant for Jerry Lawler’s Classic Memphis Wrestling – 06.15.19
I’m not sure what the exact date of the featured episode would be, but it opens with highlights of Lawler and Dundee winning the AWA World tag titles from Doug Somers & Soldat Ustinov at the Mid-South Coliseum, so that would place it between 10/11/87 when they won it, and 10/18/87 when they lost it to Hector Guerrero & Dr. D the very next week! So using the power of math, that means this episode aired 10/16/87. Oddly, they won the belts back at the Coliseum the week after THAT, and then dropped for good one week after that to the Original Midnight Express, making them two-time champions with a combined reign of two weeks.
Your hosts are Lance Russell & Dave Brown, who are very excited about the hometown boys winning the tag team titles.
Jerry Lawler & Bill Dundee joins us to start and they’ve got their fancy jackets and bowties. Look at how fancy Lawler is!
He looks kind of like Joel Gertner without the neck brace, actually. Of course he still doesn’t wear a shirt underneath these days, either. Both Lawler and Dundee deny that winning the World titles mean that they’re going to be touring all over the world and leaving Memphis, although they do a have championship rematch in Whitewater, WI. But if guys want their shot, they can come to Memphis! Sadly, as a result of winning the World titles, Dundee has to give up his International title, and Lawler hands over the Southern heavyweight title. Moving on, Dundee doesn’t even know who this “Dr. D” guy is, but even if it’s the same guy who slapped John Stossell, he’ll be happy to slap him too. So, that whole “Dr. D” thing was really weird, because it was just Carl Styles under a mask and he literally only had one match in the area before winning the titles in Lawler’s first title defense. And then he disappeared again after losing the titles the next week, and never returned to the area!
Hector Guerrero & Dr. D join us, and Hector is in a really good mood because he’s getting the title shot on Saturday. Dr. D stands there posing while Hector cuts a very Eddie-like promo. If Dundee gets any taller, Hector might use him as a stool! They should just change his name to Shorty Dundee and point out how short he is every week. That would be way more effective in getting him over.
Jeff Jarrett & Billy Travis talk to Lance in the back, and they’ve got matching sequined jackets, so they’re ready for their Southern tag title match against the RPMs on Saturday.
Jeff Jarrett & Billy Travis v. Super Destroyer & Keith Roberson
Again, I have no idea how they can use licensed music (in this case, “Sledgehammer”) without getting a content strike on YouTube. The Destroyer slams Travis right away, but Roberson misses an elbow and JJ comes in with a spectacular dropkick to finish at 0:53. The girls were just SHRIEKING for them. It’s again so weird that Jarrett was such a great babyface for years and then spent the rest of his career hitting people with guitars and spelling his name for heel heat.
Speaking of girls shrieking, Eddie Marlin introduces some video of the Midnight Rockers, who will be coming into Memphis soon, complete with “Living After Midnight” as the theme. That’s a little on the nose but still a great song choice. I forget if that run was the one where they were suddenly asshole heels after the video building them up as high-flying babyfaces, but if so, it was an AMAZING run for them. Who could ever think that Shawn Michaels kid could be evil?
The Rock N Roll RPMs are tired of all the hoopla and celebration going to the wrong teams. Basically the idea was that they dressed like the Rock N Roll Express and cut promos like southern heels. Anyway, Jarrett & Travis are just stepping stones for them because they’re getting the World titles soon.
The Rock N Roll RPMs v. Ed Mattox & William “The Freezer” Thompson
Hmm, the one jobber is a big fat black guy, so I think we can see which famous football player he was spoofing. Mattox gets a quick armdrag on Tommy Lane, but Mike Davis comes in with a snap suplex. So it’s over the Freezer, and he’s just useless, but does take a good bump off a double suplex and gets pinned at 1:23.
The Midnight Rockers v. The Assassins
Shawn starts with his heel edge in the pre-match interview with Lance, where he admits that maybe Memphis is a weak link in tag team wrestling, so they’re gonna exploit it. The Rockers double-team one of the Assassins with a double hiptoss and work on his arm. Interestingly, we get a station bug for Evansville here, so that’s why some of the dates have been hinky, because Lawler doesn’t have the original Memphis tapes and they were using the Evansville dating. Shawn drops an elbow on an Assassin for two, but the other Assassin drops a knee on him from the middle rope and gets two. Shawn comes back with a backdrop out of the corner and Marty runs the masked men together, which sets up the ROCKERPLEX at 3:00 to finish. I wish they would have kept using that finisher in the WWF.
AWA Southern Heavyweight title: Billy Travis v. Hangman Bobby Jaggers
So we go back to the Mid-South Coliseum for this one, which is weird because it’s a tournament final that happened on 10/19 to fill Lawler’s vacated title, which is the week AFTER the show we’re currently watching. They trade headlocks to start, but Jaggers tosses him and runs him into the railing. Travis is busted wide open from that and Jaggers works on the cut back in the ring. That gets two for Jaggers. They slug it out and Travis goes down and Jaggers gets two. Swinging neckbreaker gets two. Jaggers runs him into the turnbuckle and gets two off that, but Travis grabs the ropes to block another neckbreaker and he makes a comeback. To the top with a flying knee for two, but Jaggers is in the ropes. Bobby hits him with a lariat and pins him at 6:25 to win the title. Don’t worry, Lawler got it back a couple of weeks later and then the belt was retired for good.
The MASTER OF PAIN v. David Johnson
Hey, guess who is making his Memphis debut here?
He finishes with a press slam and legdrop in 0:54. Geez, he beat that jobber so badly that we might need some kind of corpse-handling professional to deal with the body.
Dutch Mantell is sick of Jerry Lawler, so he challenges the King RIGHT NOW, and Lawler is game.
The Master of Pain v. Jerry Lawler
This Pain guy, who apparently spent a lot of time in prison before coming to Memphis, chokes away on Lawler and gets a press slam on him, but Lawler comes back and tries to throw some punches in the corner. That does nothing and Master gives him some slams as Dutch talks about how Master of Pain will soon win Lawler’s title and give it to Dutch. Wait, what title? This episode must be all kinds of out of order. Master pounds away on Lawler in the corner, but Dutch comes into the ring to pull him off and the announcers are outraged that this isn’t an immediate DQ. So they just stop the match and Dutch decides that his point is proven. So I actually looked this up, and the Master of Pain stuff comes from February of 1989! That’s a weird edit to just stick on there.
So this was kind of a strangely edited show, but as always, tremendously entertaining stuff.