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Memphis Wrestling (1.26.1980) Review

December 12, 2021 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Jerry Lawler Memphis Wrestling
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Memphis Wrestling (1.26.1980) Review  

-Originally aired January 26, 1980.

-Your hosts are Lance Russell and Dave Brown.

-Yay, this episode includes commercials! I feel like a subscription to Time Magazine now!

STEVE REGAL vs. BILL SMITHSON

-The video quality is vastly improved over what I started with when I started these reviews, and now that I’ve seen referee Paul Morton in decent picture quality, this match looks like it’s being officiated by Popeye.

-Smithson tries aggression but Regal overcomes it with just plain wrestling. Regal fights back with a back suplex and a slam for two. Smithson turns it into a fight again, so Regal just gives him one good punch in the face to stop that and goes to a side headlock.

-So now the tables turn and it’s Smithson trying to play Regal’s game, trying for a side headlock, but Regal’s just plain a better wrestler and Smithson can’t get anything accomplished. And at long last, a commentator finally says what I’ve been thinking–Smithson makes the ropes to break a hold and Lance says that some people don’t like to see a forced rope break, but “it’s just smart wrestling.” YES IT IS, LANCE! Sunset flip finishes. Match was golf-quiet wrestling action, but it told a nice story with Smithson repeatedly trying to goad Regal into playing his game, but then being outmatched in that game, too.

-Wrestling in the Louisville Gardens on Tuesday! Jerry Jarrett vs. Jimmy Hart in a Back Alley Street Fight, Jimmy Valiant defends the Southern Title against Ken Lucas, and Jerry Lawler defends the CWA World Title against Superstar Bill Dundee. Jerry Lawler is here with Jimmy Hart to explain a Back Alley Street Fight, and it’s a tuxedo match. Jerry Lawler promises that the fans in Louisville will get a chance to see Jerry Jarrett naked, resulting in that city’s historic first negative gate.

-Off to the Mid-South Coliseum. The Assassins are battling Ken Lucas and The Gibsons in a handicap match…oh, no, wait, apparently we missed this on a lost episode, we have three Assassins now. Faces get a win, and as a result, one mask has to come off. The third, who is apparently “The Coach of the Assassins,” unmasks, revealing himself to be Troy Graham. The Assassins immediately pull out a back-up mask and Graham hastily puts it on, but Robert Gibson just attacks him and yanks the new mask off again. I tried the same trick at jury duty.

-Billy Robinson is still rehabilitating his arm, but promises he’ll be back, better than ever.

-A commercial for Captain D’s. I’ve lived in southern California for 13 years and may I say…I really miss Captain D’s.

HANDSOME JIMMY VALIANT (Southern Champion, with Jimmy Hart) vs. ROBERT GIBSON

-So Jimmy is starting to build a stable at this point, and we STILL haven’t actually heard him work the mic. He’s a fascinating work-in-progress to watch.

-Valiant stalls a lot and for some reason he has “Bus Stop” printed on the back of his tights. Did he buy it from one of those Japanese shops where they just have random English printed on stuff?

-Gibson works the arm, Valiant fights it and gives him a knee. Backdrop by Valiant, and he dances a bit, and there is zero difference between heel Valiant and face Valiant. Dropkick by Gibson looks to take control, but Jimmy Hart trips him from the floor and Valiant drops an elbow for a cheap three-count.

-Ricky Gibson heads straight for the ring to demand justice, and Valiant just blows them off and talks about how sad it is that little brother needs his big brother. Ricky demands a match right now. Valiant laughs at him and agrees to the challenge, and the Gibsons kick both the Jimmies around until they bail out.

RICK GIBSON vs. BUB SMITH

-No info about Bub Smith out there, but he reminds me a lot of WWF jobber Rusty Brooks. It’s not him but I’m just saying they could have been a tag team.

-Gibson is firmly in control until this match takes a really wrong turn. The heavyset Smith just sandbags the shit out of Gibson on a suplex, landing directly on top of him, and Gibson appears to have legit tweaked his shoulder in the process. Gibson is really, really dazed but gets back to his feet for a dropkick. He amazingly goes for a bodyslam after that mishap, and gets the three-count from it. Rick Gibson bails out of the ring immediately, almost certainly for a turn-your-head-and-cough check.

SUPERSTAR BILL DUNDEE vs. JERRY RALPH

-How many Jerrys does this damn territory need? This is Dundee’s return after months off for an injury. Oddly enough, he’s wearing “Macho Man” tights, which I’m guessing is a direct shot at the competition at this point. Dundee keeps this one pretty basic, sticking to mat wrestling and getting a win with a crucifix.

-Back to Memphis for six-man tag action from last week: Jimmy Valiant, Jerry Lawler and Jimmy Hart vs. Rick Morton, Steve Regal, and Big Red. Bill Dundee is your guest referee. Morton is thoroughly battered and beaten, so Jimmy Hart finally tags in and goes for a bodyslam, but he’s such a wimp that he collapses under Rick Morton’s weight and Dundee gives it a lightning-fast three-count. Heels try to avenge the loss by attacking Dundee, but the faces stick around to provide back-up and Lawler gets the crap beaten out of him.

EXPIRATION OF TIME MATCH, NON-TITLE: JERRY “The King” LAWLER (CWA World Champion, with Jimmy Hart) vs. RICK MORTON

-This was supposed to be a tag team match with partners Hart and Paul Ellering. The report from the locker room is that Ellering had some sort of problem with his boots, so he left the building to get it fixed and he’s not back yet, so Rick’s out there all alone. So Jimmy Hart is sitting this match out too, to make it one-on-one.

-FALL ONE: Morton gets off to a good start with an armdrag, and there’s fervent complaining right away about phantom hair-pulling. Lawler retaliates with actual hair-pulling and gets caught. And Lawler milks that for all it’s worth, as we have two spots in the first three minutes of the match.

-Lawler sweeps the leg and snaps Morton with a toehold. Morton’s leg is good and messed up from that. Lawler distracts the referee while Jimmy sneaks over and works the leg over the apron. Morton fights back with rapid-fire fists and a neckbreaker for two.

-Lawler goes back to the leg–stick with what works–as the crowd starts chanting “We want Bill!” to try to get some back-up down there for Ricky. Ricky doesn’t need it yet, backdropping Lawler and dropkicking Jimmy Hart off the apron. He tries a dropkick for Lawler, but Lawler ducks, Ricky crashes, and Lawler rolls him up for three to take the first fall. And with TV time rapidly getting away, that’s the end of the match.

6.0
The final score: review Average
The 411
Ehhh, this was there.
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Memphis Wrestling, Adam Nedeff