The SmarK Rant for Jerry Lawler’s Classic Memphis Wrestling – 07.06.19
Man, I’ve had a day. You know how sometimes your car dies in sub-zero temperatures and the auto club says it’ll be 45 minutes for a tow truck and then you’re left sitting there for FOUR HOURS waiting for it when you were supposed to be at work? And then there’s literally no rental cars to be found in the entire city aside from one on the complete opposite side from where you dropped off the car? Or is that just me? That’s why there was no mailbag questions yesterday, by the way.
Time for some Memphis to get me back into the groove again.
So I’m finally starting to understand the wacky dating on these videos, as the listed date is when they were aired on the TV station in Tennessee as a show, and then there’s also the date where Lawler posted them to YouTube, which is typically a couple of months later. Now it makes sense, since I wasn’t aware before that this was actually a TV show produced for a local station. Thanks as always to commentator chrisH for being on top of this stuff so I don’t have to.
Back to 1988! Obviously Lawler loves this period as much as I do.
Your hosts are Lance Russell & Dave Brown
Jimmy Jack Funk stops by the desk to gripe that Jerry Lawler, who is KING OF THE SISSIES, hasn’t defended the Southern title against him before now. So now that’s changing.
CWA Heavyweight title: Jerry Lawler v. Jimmy Jack Funk
OK, so as I understand it, this title was the AWA Southern title for years and years, and then turned into the CWA Heavyweight title to get away from the AWA. So it’s basically the same top belt that Lawler held a million times over the years. Jimmy Jack overpowers Jerry to start, but Lawler sends him into the corner and Funk immediately complains about having his hair pulled. So it occurs to me that Jimmy Jack is a weird trivia answer, the only wrestler I can think of who switched from one famous wrestling family (The Barrs) to another one (The Funks). Also, I know they say you can’t fake the funk, but Jimmy Jack is pretty solid proof that you can. So they exchange wristlocks and this time Lawler takes him down, at which point Funk freaks out and retreats to the dressing room, bringing Teijo Khan back with him. Khan takes the ref and Funk of course grabs a headlock and pulls the hair several times after complaining at length about it. And then the ref catches him and Funk has a tantrum about that. So this time LAWLER walks out and goes to the dressing room, bringing Jeff Jarrett with him for backup. So now Lawler grabs his own headlock and JARRETT takes the ref so that Lawler can pull the hair egregiously, and finally Funk slugs him down in the corner and drops him on the top rope to take over. That gets two. But then Lawler pulls down the strap and makes the comeback, and Khan trips him up to cut that off. So Lawler goes and gives him what for on the floor and they all brawl out there until the ref stops it at 7:22. Didn’t go anywhere but it was a lot of fun. **1/2
AWA World tag team titles: The Original Midnight Express v. The Midnight Rockers
This is actually from the AWA TV show but I don’t remember if I’ve reviewed it before so might as well. The Rockers were returned from their first failed WWF run and the MX were soon bound for the NWA. Also, unlike the stuff on the Network, the Express use “The Chase” for their entrance and the Rockers have “Living After Midnight”, so someone is definitely paying for music rights here. Shawn slugs away on Dennis Condrey in the corner to start and Dennis goes bumping to the floor off that, and then Marty adds an atomic drop on the floor and then one for Randy Rose as well. Marty stops by and pats Rose on the ass to make sure everything is still fine down there, so the Express decides to walk out on the match. The Rockers grab the titles and threaten to steal them, so that brings the champs back into the match again. Shawn whips Condrey into a Rose clothesline on the apron as the heels’ double-team attempt goes sideway, and then Marty comes in and works on Rose’s arm, and Shawn takes him down with a headlock. Finally Condrey pulls down the top rope and Shawn bumps to the floor, allowing the MX to take over. Rose suplexes Shawn back in for two. Rose with a clothesline for a 360 sell from Shawn and that gets two. Condrey with a backbreaker for two and goes to the chinlock. Rose with a backbreaker for two and he goes to the chinlock. Shawn fights out, but Condrey gets the knee to the gut for two. He stops to showboat and Shawn manages to slug him down, but can’t get back to the corner and Rose comes in and cuts him off. Pump splash gets two. Rose goes to a chinlock and Shawn powers out of it, but Rose just maneuvers him back to the heel corner and takes him down again. That’s some great ring psychology. Condrey comes in with an abdominal stretch and cranks on that, and Rose comes in with a flying elbow to the back for two. Condrey goes and gives Marty a cheapshot and then goads him into the ring, allowing Rose to get more punishment on Shawn behind the ref’s back, but finally Shawn gets a double clothesline and it’s HOT TAG Marty. Jannetty runs wild with slams and the meeting of the minds, and a small package on Rose for two. It’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA and Condrey suplexes Shawn, but the ref gets taken out on the bump. But Rose tries a full nelson on Marty, and he pushes over and gets the pin at 14:53 to win the belts! And then Vince came calling again and they lost it right away. Hell of a match, though. ****
The Midnight Rockers v. The Bruise Brothers
OK, so after the Rockers won the AWA titles in that last match, they went to Memphis as the champions and became super-arrogant Hollywood dick heels to set up a feud with the Rock N Roll Express and it was AWESOME. I’m hoping we get some promos here as well. And yes, these are the young Harris twins with full heads of hair and doing monkey flips and shit. Ron gets said monkey-flip on Marty and then Don comes in and holds an armbar on Shawn, but Marty gives him a cheapshot to break it and the Rockers take over. Shawn with a back elbow for two and they work Ron over in the corner, but he comes back with a boot to the head and everyone is brawling with time running out. The Rockers get chased from the ring and a Bruise rolls up Marty, but Shawn flies back in with a clothesline off the top to break it up, and Marty gets the pin at 4:45. The Rockers were severely underrated heels and I’m disappointed that they never tried it in the WWF. **
Jeff Jarrett joins us to pass on the bad news of Manny Fernandez getting injured by Teijo Khan, which means there’s no tag team match tonight and he’ll have to go as a single. So Jimmy Jack Funk and Khan come out and Funk goes to the YOU’RE A SISSY-LOVER well again and they jump him and try to hang him with Funk’s noose. Luckily a bunch of babyfaces save before anyone can be hung by the neck until dead.
Terry Taylor & Gary Young v. Bill Dundee & Rikki Nelson
I don’t remember Taylor being in Memphis for any length of time, unless it was part of the crossover wackiness in 88. Dundee controls both guys and clears the ring, and Nelson does some basic babyface stuff until a cheapshot turns the tide. Young comes in and drops an elbow for two and follows with a high knee. Taylor with a spinebuster for two, but Nelson gets a kneelift and slugs Terry down. He goes for the tag, but Superstar gives him the old short-arm before deciding to come in after all. And then the Rockers run in for the DQ at 5:34 and destroy Dundee until Lawler makes the save. Not sure what was with Dundee teasing the heel turn there.
Lance and Dave recap the shenanigans and wrap things up for another week.