The SmarK Rant for Jerry Lawler’s Classic Memphis Wrestling – 07.27.19
So this is it, the last episode of Jerry Lawler’s Classic Memphis available on YouTube. And this one is focused on the Rock N Roll Express. Jerry points out that he’s the one who put them together in the first place.
The Galaxians v. The Rock N Roll Express
This is from the Mid-South Coliseum in what I would guess is 1983. We’re very early into the careers of the RNR as a team, and the Galaxians are managed by a young Jim Cornette on top of that. The Galaxians (Alpha & Beta) are of course a masked Danny Davis & Ken Wayne, aka the Nightmares. Although I’m pretty sure Ken Wayne isn’t the Alpha in the prison where he’s currently residing. Although it should be noted that it marks the second time that Beta was brought down by pornography. Alpha gets a slam on Gibson, but the RNR double-team for a bit and then Morton comes in with a crossbody for two. We get some stalling and the Express hits a double dropkick on Beta, but it’s not yet their deadly finisher so it only gets two. I should point out that the Galaxians’ bodysuits remind me of the Golden Age Daredevil, although probably not deliberately. The aliens switch off and beat on Gibson in the corner, and Alpha goes to a bearhug and they switch off on that, but Robert gets a sunset flip on Beta for two. The Galaxians switch off again and go back to the bearhugs, but Robert escapes with a back suplex before the tag is cut off again. Galaxians with a double elbow, but Robert falls into the hot tag to Ricky and he cleans house. But then Alpha hits him with a foreign object and switches off to get the pin at 10:15. This was pretty dull stuff. **
The Rock N Roll Express v. The Nightmares
Back at the Mid-South Coliseum again, looks like about a year later. So the Galaxians have now been unmasked since the last match and changed their gimmick accordingly, and are now managed by Jimmy Hart. Ken Wayne slugs away on Robert to start, but the RNR foil their double-teams and whip them together in the corner. We get stereo monkey flips and stereo atomic drops to chase the heels to the floor, as you can immediately see the RNR meshing into a team 100% more here. Ricky frustrates both guys with armdrags and the RNR chase them out of the ring again. Back in, Robert gets double-teamed and the Nightmares work the leg and double-team him in the corner, but Robert gets a sunset flip on Davis for two. Wayne gets a headbutt, but Morton gets the hot tag. Wayne cuts him off with Jimmy’s cane and goes up for a headbutt, but that misses and Morton gets the pin at 8:20. This was much better, with good double-teaming on both sides. ***1/4
The Rock N Roll Express do a promo here in the present about all the talent that originated in Memphis and Ricky sarcastically thanks Lawler for starting them out.
Tornado match: The Galaxians v. The Rock N Roll Express
Back to younger and shorter-haired Morton again, so I’m guessing this is the rematch from the show opener. The masks of the Galaxians are at stake here. The RNR clear the ring to start, but Robert slugs away on Alpha and chokes him out in the corner before the heels run away. Back in, Morton sends Alpha flying over the top rope and the RNR drop a double elbow on Beta before chasing them to the floor and beating on them out there. So this one has an odd camera angle, as there’s no hard camera and the whole thing is shot from the corner cameraman on the floor. Back in, the Galaxians slug the Express down, but Robert gets a cradle while the ref is busy with the other guy. They slug it out again and the Galaxians choke away on both sides of the ring. Beta drops an elbow on Ricky for two, but he comes back with a backbreaker and the ref is again busy with the other guy. This is some shoddy refereeing right here. The RNR take turns dropping elbows, but that only gets two. Ricky slugs away on both guys and gets a sunset flip for two, and then they collide and Ricky lands on top for two. Both Robert and Alpha try a dropkick and land on their face, while Ricky goes up with a fistdrop on Beta for two. Robert hits Alpha with a missile dropkick for two with time running out, and the Express drops stereo legs on them, but time runs out at 15:00. It was actually only 13:00, but then that actually becomes a story, where they read the time wrong! So the ref restarts the match to make up for the lost 2:00, as Lance Russell sheepishly admits that he read the 13:00 as 15:00. And then Jim Cornette hits Gibson with the shoe anyway and the Galaxians get the win 0:40 into overtime. This was another one too soon into the careers of the Rock N Rolls, as they hadn’t yet figured out how to be the Rock N Roll Express and it was mostly just a bunch of stuff. **
The Rock N Roll Express v. The Masked Marauder & Kenya Condori
We’re off to the Memphis studio for this one, again very early in the run of the Rock N Rolls, and Dave Brown is kind of flabbergasted by the “outrageous attire” of the Rock N Roll Express. The Express double-teams Kenya with kneedrops, and Robert brings in the Marauder with a headlock. Ricky with a suplex for two, and then it’s back to Kenya and they finish him with the double dropkick at 4:00.
Not much of a classic this time, sadly.
And that’s it for Jerry Lawler’s Classic Memphis Wrestling, as Lawler’s company never uploaded any more of them to YouTube. I’ll probably go back to more Mid-South and TNT in the rotation again, but I’ll definitely miss this charming show. Hopefully more episodes pop up, though.