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Memphis Wrestling (12.1.1979) Review

October 6, 2021 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Jerry Lawler Memphis Wrestling
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Memphis Wrestling (12.1.1979) Review  

-Originally aired December 1, 1979.

-Your hosts are Lance Russell and Jerry Jarrett. Some new talent is on the way to the Memphis area, and Jerry wants us to get better acquainted with all the new stars through the miracle of videotape…


-And with that, we venture north to AWA All-Star Wrestling, with Roger Kent calling the action. Ellering is a smiling, polite, brown-haired gent instead of the Superstar Hulk Idol knockoff that he evolved to by the time he showed up in Mid-South.

-Ellering starts with a waistlock and switches over to a drop toehold. They go to a top wristlock and Torres takes him down with that. Ellering fights back with headscissors and keeps that clamped on. Torres slips out and makes it a toehold again. I don’t know that I’d introduce Ellering with this match. This is a verrrrrrrry different style than you usually see on Memphis TV and it doesn’t come off particularly engaging.

-Ellering rams Torres into the corner and slams him down. Knee gets two. Backdrop by Ellering gets another two. Sunset flip by Ellering finishes. That was…quite lethargic.

FALL TWO: Wait, what?! Aww, dammit. Okay, so Torres connects with an elbow, and Paul is so blindsided by the abrupt switch to a “do something interesting” strategy that he falls victim to a backdrop. Torres chokes him in the corner until Ellering just shakes him off and hulks up. Slam by Ellering, and another. Atomic drop finishes, and NOW Ellering is actually the winner, unless this is an iron man match.

-We stay with the AWA because we have another AWA star headed to Memphis.


-Robinson has a wristlock. he follows with a gutwrench. Robinson just unloads offense rapid-fire, with a big forearm that makes Kent yell out “Oh my lord!” Neckbreaker and a slam by Robinson. Double underhook gets three.


-Robinson with an awesome spot, getting a double wristlock on the jobber, then lying down, kicking up and just flipping the jobber upside-down. Jobber tries a side headlock, but Billy takes him down to the mat and gets him tangled up in the ropes. Backbreaker by Robinson finishes. Even in two short squashes, you could see what made this guy special and why Verne hung onto him for years.

-Dave Brown is with Danny Davis and the Blonde Bombers. They just laugh at the video of Billy Robinson and warn him that he’ll be wrapped up like a Christmas present if he ever works up the guys to wrestle one of them. In fact, Wayne Ferris is bold enough to declare that if Robinson actually DOES agree to wrestle them, and he beats either one of them, the Bombers will leave the territory.

-Morton takes a beating like only he can, but hot tags King. King is a house of fire, but he tags Morton back in, which Lance declares a bad idea. Morton goes right back to taking a beating and King looks totally annoyed with this turn of fortune, but Lance is like “Why would you tag him right back in after what happened?” I smell a heel turn.

-Assassins beat Morton in the corner while King just yells at him to do something. #1 works the arm and Morton unloads a flurry of punches, hanging on for dear life. #2 cuts off the attempted tag and applies a bearhug. Morton breaks with forearms within seconds, and I love him for breaking like that. If you have even one free arm, a bearhug shouldn’t last longer than 15 seconds.

-Morton tags Sonny King back in. King clothesline and headbutts #2. Back drop by King, and he tags Morton back in, even though Morton only just got back up to his feet on the apron. Crowd is getting noticeably quiet as they figure out what’s happening. Morton gets tripped from the floor, and the other Assassin gets the three-count immediately while King just stands there and gives him the “Son, I am disappoint” face.

-So the Assassins head out and the losing team argues. Lance Russell plays armchair psychiatrist, saying Sonny is upset about losing an AWA World Title match to Nick Bockwinkel and he needs to take it out on someone. King slaps Morton across the face and Morton won’t take that, so he stands up for himself and King responds by choking him out. Big Red, a 400-pounder with a mighty afro, storms in the ring and chases Sonny off. Good angle, and even this early in his career, you could see Ricky Morton had this down cold.

-Jerry Jarrett announces that for the entire month of December, kids under 12 can get in for free when accompanied by adults, and general admission for adults will be two dollars. “If Mom and Dad have 16 kids, the family gets in for $4!”

-Action in the Mid-South Coliseum is tomorrow night, SUNDAY, not Monday, and this time around, it’s Lance who takes the honors of being the first one to screw this up, as he’s frantically corrected while hyping up the next big card. Special challenge match on the card: Billy Robinson has agreed to wrestle BOTH Blonde Bombers in a handicap match for his debut. And in a thoroughly confusing announcement, Lance Russell announces that “The CWA World Heavyweight Title” will be on the line when Jerry Lawler defends against Austin Idol, with the chyron graphic reading “AWA World Heavyweight Title.”

-We go to Commentator I’ve Never Seen, who interviews Austin Idol, who cuts a blowhard promo and now I’m confused about what promotion’s belt Lawler holds and which one is the face.

-Lawler emerges with Jimmy Hart, and he’s DEFINITELY the heel, and he establishes that within three seconds of walking out. Also, we get a close-up of a title belt, and it’s definitely the CWA World Heavyweight Title, so now I hit the Google box and apparently this thing had kind of a disastrous history, with Thunderbolt Patterson being crowned the first CWA Champion earlier this year, then quitting the promotion in June, and then they waited until October to put the belt on Pat McGinnis(?), who immediately lost it to Superstar Billy Graham, who lost it a month later to Lawler. Considering they were doing business with the AWA, which had their own World Champion, and considering that the Southern Heavyweight Title was pretty clearly treated as this territory’s top belt, the CWA World Heavyweight Championship seems utterly redundant, and by April 1981 it’s just going to be gone completely.

-Lawler accuses Austin Idol of having diarrhea of the mouth and says he’s ready for action in Memphis on Monday night, and they actually have a lower-third graphic ready that says “THAT’S SUNDAY, KING.” Alfred E. Lawler finishes by telling Idol that he’s a universal heartSLOB!


-King tries raking the eyes to get some kind of advantage over the massive Red, but Red shakes it off, slams him, and splashes him for a quick three.

-Jerry Lawler returns for a review of his recent no-DQ title defense against “Dick the Loser.” Jimmy Hart interferes freely since it’s no-DQ, but when Bruiser turns his attention to choke Jimmy out, Lawler loads up something in his hand and knocks him out cold, and Lawler retains. Lawler just turns it up to 11 here, giggling about how everyone is mad because he cheated to win, but Bruiser was the one stupid enough to ask for no-DQ. Lawler is never anything less than gold in this role.


-FALL ONE: Regal armdrags Larry Latham around. Ken Wayne tags in and trades shots with Regal. Regal rolls him up for two. We have a melee in the ring with all four men brawling, but the referee never loses track of who the two legal men are, and Regal rolls up Ken Wayne for a surprise three-count while the rest of the heels were concentrating on other brawls.

-Lance Russell takes advantage of the rest period to talk to the Assassins about their upcoming shot at the Tag Team Titles. The Assassins make it a point to review film of every other tag team in the wrestling business, but they haven’t bothered reviewing any tape of Regal & Guerrero, the current champions, because they don’t need it.

-FALL TWO: Regal knocks Ken Wayne over, so Ken tags his dad in. Nice spot from Hector, slingshotting himself in the ring and legdropping Ken on the way down. Latham tags in, but Koko tags in with dropkicks and a preventative shot at Wayne Ferris on the apron. Buddy Wayne chokes Koko down as Lance Russell warns us that we have about three minutes left in the show.

-Ken Wayne slams Koko down and the Bombers come in for some double-teaming. With two minutes to go, Koko manages to tag Regal back in. Dropkick gets one, with Ken Wayne breaking the pin. Regal gets caught in the heel corner with a minute to go. All eight men end up in the ring again, but TV time runs out before any semblance of order can be restored.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Mid-South is still my favorite territory, but damn if this one doesn't give it a fight.

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Memphis Wrestling, Adam Nedeff