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Memphis Wrestling (1.17.1981) Review

November 25, 2022 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Wildifre Tommy Rich Memphis Wrestling 11.29.80 Image Credit: Memphis Wrestling
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Memphis Wrestling (1.17.1981) Review  

-Originally aired January 17, 1981.

-Your hosts are Lance Russell and Dave Brown.

-Oh yay! This one has the commercials intact! And now I’m craving Long John Silver’s because of the first commercial and there’s not one anywhere near me. Somebody mail me a platter and some hush puppies.

-Lance welcomes Hector Guerrero back to the territory, in response to a lot of mail from fans who wrote in and said they wanted to see him again. Oh by the way, Lance casually mentions that the Southern Heavyweight Title is vacant and offers NO details on it at all, but “as we all know,” that tournament has been going on lately and this is absolutely the first we’re hearing about the title being vacant and that tournament that’s going on. Apparently, Hector’s in the quarterfinals after beating “all those other guys” but he’s got Dream Machine as his opponent in the quarterfinals match.


-Joe attacks during the ring introduction and the commentators are shocked at how relentless Joe is here, not even letting Hector take his sparkly jacket off. Joe chokes him out in the corner, not letting up for a moment, and then throws Hector to the concrete again. Joe slams Hector for a two-count. Joe sends him into the ropes for a backdrop, but Hector counters with a sunset flip for Joe and gets three. I always advocate for letting your opponent shine because it makes you look like a bigger star when you win, but man, Hector took that a little TOO far and he looked like a lucky punk instead of a star.

-Billy Robinson is back in the area and gives him props for an incredible match recently in Mid-South Coliseum. We go to the video, where Robinson faces Tony Charles in a face/face encounter, and they have a pure wrestling competition, with a lot of sweet counters and reverses.

-Back in the studio, and this is GREAT–Billy is a smiling, polite charming babyface right up until Lance mentions “It went to a draw, you didn’t beat him,” and there’s a sudden, noticeable shift in his mood before shifting back to polite friendly babyface. Billy is gracious and well-mannered, but he emphasizes that Tony is an outstanding LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT wrestler, not quite on his level.

-So Lance pokes the bear again and points out, well, if he’s not on your level, why did he go to a draw with you? And Billy starts to steam a bit. He keeps his cool mostly, but he’s pretty irked by the time he’s done talking with Lance.

-Tuesday in Louisville, Jerry Lawler faces Austin Idol, the newest charge to sign with Jimmy Hart. And Lawler is kind of annoyed that Jimmy keeps throwing guys at him and there’s no reward for beating any of them, it’s just wrestling more guys that Jimmy Hart badgers him with. So Lawler has demanded an actual incentive for this match. Jimmy Hart must surrender his gold record for “Keep On Dancing” if Lawler wins!

-In the studio, Jimmy Hart is here and laughs off Hector Guerrero for leaving his muscles in Mexico City. He can’t beat the Dream Machine in any tournament. Dream Machine’s just going to eat him like a hot burrito.


-Maley armdrags Tojo, Tojo fights back with chops and eyerakes. Price tags in and they make short work of him, with a big elbow by Jimmy for the three-count. This is a weird pairing and they have zero chemistry considering they amount of time and energy being devoted to pushing them as a unit.

-Gilbert rolls up Skull for a quick one-count. Koko tags in and works the arm. Angel tags in and manages to get control, and the heels take turns working Gilbert over while Koko, who, by the way, is still the TV Champion, protests their tactics from the apron.

-Gilbert continues taking a beating until making the hot tag to Koko. All four men end up in the ring, and the referee has enough trouble restoring order that he misses Angel loading up his arm brace and knocking Koko out, and Skull gets the win.

-Austin Idol cuts a promo over video highlights. Bonus: They recorded the promo on a telephone.

-DENNIS JAMES is in the next commercial break, selling us life insurance. Dennis James was the commentator for the weekly wrestling show on the Dumont Network at the dawn of television. Also, I’ve heard some guy who really kicks ass at writing books about the history of game shows wrote an excellent biography chronicling Dennis’ many firsts in the broadcasting industry, and everybody reading this should buy ten copies.

BREAKING: Recently, there was a Loser-Leaves-Town match pitting Tommy Rich, Bill Dundee, and Carl Fergie against Dream Machine, Tojo Yamomoto, and Jimmy Valiant. We go to the footage from Mid-South Coliseum. All six men end up in the ring at one point, and in the confusion, Fergie gets knocked out and pinned, and Carl Fergie must leave town.


-Commercials included, we have eight minutes left in the show, so this is going to be a quick one.

FALL ONE–OH, WHO ARE WE KIDDING…MATCH: Dundee takes down Oswald. Tommy elbows Oswald down and applies a chinlock. He sends Oswald into the ropes but crashes on an attempted dropkick. Irwin tags in and backdrops Dundee for two. Backbreaker gets another two. Elbow misses and Dundee tries to fight both opponents instead of tagging, and he pays for that strategy.

-After taking more of a beating, he does the right thing the second time around, hot-tagging Tommy. Leapfrog/bodypress combo by the faces gets the three-count at pretty much the exact moment that Dave Brown says we have 15 seconds of TV time remaining.

The final score: review Average
The 411
Lawler's return is waking the company up and there's a sense of direction now, which is good.

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Memphis Wrestling, Adam Nedeff