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Memphis Wrestling (11.22.1980) Review

September 12, 2022 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Memphis Wrestling 9-27-1980 Tommy Rich Image Credit: Memphis Wrestling
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Memphis Wrestling (11.22.1980) Review  

-Originally aired November 22, 1980.

-Lance Russell is on vacation this week, so your hosts are Dave Brown & Jerry Lawler.

-Dave and Jerry are unfolding a little story: Larry Latham and Dr. Bill Irwin were an up and coming tag team, but Irwin is now going to be teaming with his brother Scott on a regular basis. They’ve heard that Larry is annoyed by that, but apparently he and Dr. Bill have patched things up. Oh. Good. Sounds like that’s the end of that drama, then.

-Champs work Buddy Wayne’s arm. Oswald tags in and takes a knee to the gut. Front facelock by Lucas, then Morton tags in and goes back to the arm. Morton gets stuck in the heel corner and Oswald takes advantage, but a big elbow misses and Morton makes his comeback.

-Ken Wayne tags in and now HE plays face-in-peril, but tags out and Rick Morton makes the save, just to make things weird. Sleeper finishes for the champs.

KOKO WARE vs. “The Fabulous Killer” BUB SMITH

-Man, you know that nickname was the jobber’s own idea.

-Koko outmatches Smith with basic mat wrestling, which cracks up the crowd because Bub is huge compared to the guy who’s overpowering him and tying him up right now. Dave tries to explain why it’s so important to keep a large wrestler off his feet and how this is a good strategic move by Koko, and Jerry’s input is that Bub is just an out-of-shape fatass and Koko’s dominance has nothing to do with Koko using strategy. Missile dropkick by Koko gets three.

-A young and incredibly nervous Michael St. John fills in for Lance on the Louisville house show promos, and it’s exactly like watching a high school A/V Club project. Tommy Marlin & Bill Dundee are teaming up against Tommy Rich & Jimmy Hart on Tuesday, and Marlin has the surprise of a lifetime–Tommy Rich’s mother will be his invited guest on Tuesday night, so Tommy Rich will have to face what a disappointment he is to her. We get words from Bill Dundee, who attributes Rich’s awful behavior for the past few months to his “funny cigarettes.”


-Irwins take turns beating on Malley while Jerry Lawler whips out one of young Jim Ross’ favorite words, “raw-boned,” to describe Scott. A fan in the audience demands that “the purdy” jobber tag in, so David McGee gives the people what they want and takes a beating. Big knee by Dr. Bill gets the three-count.

-Irwins keep massacring the jobbers after the bell, and Lucas & Morton won’t tolerate that so they head back to the ring to clean house.


-Eaton and Hart seem a bit disturbed that Lawler is at ringside, and Hart keeps his distance from the commentary table once the bell sounds.

-Eaton beats Price down while Lawler breaks down Hart’s MO: do the bare minimum for his guys and mooch the absolute most he can off of them, which is why his stable is full of idiots. They’re the easiest ones to get money from.

-Eaton applies a side headlock. Slam and a big elbow gets three for the Beautiful one.

-Holy shit, there’s 23 minutes left in the show. I feel like a series of tricks are coming up, like a door-to-door salesman and a marching band passing through the studio just to eat up all the time before we start the first fall.

FALL ONE: Not much happens to start with lots of feeling-out and jockeying and all those other not-much-happening euphemisms in play. Eddie clears the ring with bodyslams. Sarge pulls the hair to get Eddie on the mat for an armbar. Heels work the arm while the fans taunt “Santa Latham.” See, how there’s a gimmick that the stars never properly aligned for. Have Latham keep his disheveled Moondog look and do a Bad Santa gimmick in a tattered Santa suit and cutting promos about how much he enjoys drugs and butts, and you have the heel character that Xanta Klaus COULD have been.

-Tommy works Danny Davis’ leg in a toehold. Latham tags in behind the back and stomps Tommy to break the hold. Eddie comes back in and takes a beating, but he rolls out of the way of an elbow and tags his dad in, and a high knee by Tommy knocks Danny right out for a three-count to win fall one.

FALL TWO: And we still have quite a bit of time left in the show. Heels work Tommy’s arm and attempt a double-team move, but Davis accidentally punches Latham and gets knocked out to the floor. Gilberts take turns applying a side headlock on Eddie while Lawler does a great breakdown of the heel logic and strategy behind complaining about a hair-pull when the faces haven’t actually done it. The idea is to gaslight the referee so hard that when you just BLATANTLY pull hair in front of him, he won’t do anything.

-Front facelock by Latham on Eddie Gilbert. Heels gang up on him until Eddie avoids a knee drop and makes the hot tag to Dad. Davis gives Tommy an elbow to the head from the apron, and the heels do something-like-a-decapitator to get the win and even this up at 1-1 and that has NEVER happened in these Expiration of Time matches.

-We get words from Tommy Rich and Jimmy Hart, who have a good laugh about how stupid they’ve made Louisville promoter Tommy Marlin look for the past few weeks. Tommy is such a douchebag here; there was discussion about bringing him up to New York with the Grand Wizard as his manager for a run against Bob Backlund, and I wish we got that.

-So TV time is up, and we seem to finish with a “real” moment that explains why we got an unexpectedly long expiration-of-time match this week. Jimmy Valiant strolls in with his luggage and asks “AM I LATE?” And Dave & Jerry seem to be genuinely breaking up as they tell him that, uh, yeah, he missed the TV show this week.

The final score: review Average
The 411
Good on the wrestling side, but the show still feels like it's been missing something for a while. Booker turnover coming up?

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Memphis Wrestling, Adam Nedeff