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Memphis Wrestling (11.29.1980) Review

September 16, 2022 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Wildifre Tommy Rich Memphis Wrestling 11.29.80 Image Credit: Memphis Wrestling
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Memphis Wrestling (11.29.1980) Review  

-Originally aired November 29, 1980.

-Your hosts are Lance Russell and Dave Brown. Eddie Marlin is at the desk to start the hour to make a big announcement: starting this week, CWA has a TV Championship. We’ll be crowning the first champion in a battle royal later today. Lance suggests a 12-week tournament instead and Eddie pretty much declares that they’re doing it with a battle royal because nobody wants to sit through a tournament. BONUS: winner gets a TV, in addition to the TV title.


-Price goes for a standing side headlock. Eaton breaks with a handful of hair and jerks Price alllllll the way across the ring with it. Eaton rams Price into the turnbuckles and stomps him. Big elbow gets three for Eaton.

-Lance Russell tells us that Tommy Rich and Bill Dundee are booked as tag team partners for this Tuesday night in Louisville, and we’ll find out why later in the hour. Jimmy Valiant and Tojo Yamomoto stroll in next, and whatever’s about to happen, Jimmy is pretty clearly back to being a heel.


-So I guess Bill Irwin doesn’t give a damn who his partner is, because there’s drama between brother Scott and Larry Latham, and now he’s teaming up with neither of them.

-Lucas armdrags Davis. Morton tags in and backdrops him. They’ve pretty much stopped calling Davis “Sarge” too, so the heel side of this match just feels really disjointed, like they don’t know what to do with either guy. Lucas comes in and Davis just suddenly turns into a man possessed and lays a beating on him. Morton makes the save and again, it’s kind of funny how often Morton makes the save in tag matches at this stage in his career.

-Dropkick by Morton looks to finish, but Irwin breaks the pin. Lucas tags back in. Irwin comes in and targets the ribs, but Morton AGAIN tags in for the rescue. Lucas tags back in and gives him a hard right. Davis tags in and falls victim to a sunset flip for a sudden three-count. Pretty weird match; they never really found a groove here.


-Your participants are Ken Lucas, Rick Morton, Jimmy Valiant, Koko Ware, Bill Dundee, Tommy Rich, Bobby Eaton, Guy Mitchell, Buddy Wayne, Roger Kirby, Tojo Yamamoto, Dr. Bill Irwin, Danny Davis, and David Price. There’s also one referee in the ring, because this is a pinfall battle royal. Lance & Dave have the winner’s TV at the desk.

-Bell sounds, and Rich refuses to enter the ring, just letting the other 14 wear each other out while he paces around ringside. Referee gets so frustrated that he gives Tommy a ten-count, and Tommy just blows him off and goes back to the locker room to eliminate himself.

-Buddy Wayne gets pinned somehow. David Price goes next. Bill Dundee pins Bobby Eaton to quite a round of applause from the studio audience. Valiant knocks out Irwin with a hard turnbuckle shot and gets three from that. Rick Morton gets eliminated next. Kirby eliminates Tojo. Jimmy Valiant pins Kirby. Peoplea are getting eliminated faster than you can keep track, but we get down to three. Koko accidentally punches Valiant on an attempted double-team and Davis takes advantage, pinning Valiant. We’re down to Koko and Danny Davis, and Koko just cradles Davis and rolls him up for three. Just awful, with everything happening too fast to follow any of it.

-Valiant is still at ringside, and when Lance calls Koko over to accept his prize, Valiant goes off about how some six-month rookie PUNK won the TV Title. Valiant grabs the TV and smashes it on the floor, and Koko naively checks on the condition of the TV, which gives Valiant the opening to assault him, and Valiant rams him into the post, then drags him into the ring and just beats on him relentlessly until other babyfaces hit the ring and beg Jimmy to come to his senses. The worst part is, knowing this promotion, they won’t give Koko a replacement TV. He had one shot at owning a TV and Valiant ruined it.

-Eddie Marlin is here to shut my mouth immediately. Jimmy Valiant is fined $500, which will go towards replacing the TV.

-Now having said that, Eddie wants to say something about a remarkable woman in the studio, a woman who really did the best she could raising two sons on her own…Tommy Rich’s mother Peggy is here, and she feels that if she could say something on television, she thinks it could straighten out all these things involving her son. We get a great moment here, as Lance asks the studio audience to remember that what Tommy does has nothing to do with his mother, and Peggy shouldn’t be made to feel that way…and the audience is SILENT, respectfully letting Peggy have this time to say what she wants to say.

-So she tells the story of how Tommy trained for wrestling in Jerry Jarrett’s basement, but he got frustrated because he felt like he wasn’t becoming a star in Memphis, so he decided to wrestle in other territories, because that way he could come back and people would see him as a star.

-Tommy went to Atlanta, became a star, and then called and said he was coming home…but when he came back, he just wasn’t the same Tommy anymore. And Peggy starts to cry and says that when Tommy comes out here bragging, that’s just NOT her boy. And she asks the fans to consider cheering for her boy just to let him know that his talent IS appreciated.

-And then Jimmy Valiant comes out, with Tojo backing him up and grabs the microphone and says that if Tommy is a piece of crap, that’s probably just bad parenting. Jimmy berates her for raising a son that the fans don’t care about, and Tommy just gets fed up and hurries out to pick a fight and demand his mom, but it turns into a 2-on-1 attack. Peggy begs Jimmy and Tojo to stop, and Jimmy SHOVES Tommy’s mother to the floor!

-They keep beating on Tommy, and Tommy is just gushing blood until Bill Dundee, Ken Lucas, and Rick Morton show up and drag the heels away…

-But there’s MORE. Peggy kneels over her bloody sone and she’s sobbing, and Jimmy Hart and Bobby Eaton head to ringside to check on Tommy, and Tommy immediately wonders why they waited until the guys attacking him were gone to come out and check. And since they don’t really have a good answer for that, Tommy fires Jimmy on the spot and shoves him on his ass. We have our babyface turn, which is unfortunate because I was waiting for a big payoff to that “draw jobbers’ names out of a hat” running gag and they never did anything with it.


-Tough act to follow. Good luck, guys.

-FALL ONE: Heels work over the newwwwwwww TV Champion, who’s two distraught about his broken TV to concentrate. Hot tag to Dundee, who cleans house with dropkicks, but the referee is out of position and can’t make the three-count. Heels overwhelm Dundee, with Kirby targeting the neck, and then the arm. Guy tags in, and Dundee fights back with his good arm and makes the tag.

-Koko throws dropkick after dropkick, but crashes eventually. All four men end up in the ring and while the referee tries to hurry Dundee out of the ring, Kirby and Mitchell double-team Koko and batter him enough to get a three-count when the referee turns back around. Show’s over, y’all!

The final score: review Good
The 411
Two great angles redeem some not-great action this week. The promotion snapped out of its zombie state!

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Memphis Wrestling, Adam Nedeff