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Memphis Wrestling (12.15.1979) Review

October 28, 2021 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Jerry Lawler Memphis Wrestling
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Memphis Wrestling (12.15.1979) Review  

-Originally aired December 15, 1979.

-Your hosts are Lance Russell and Dave Brown.

-We go to the Mid-South Coliseum for that Robinson/Ellering vs. Assassins non-title bout that we set up last week. We’re joined at the 14-minute mark and there’s really not much beyond that, as Robinson connects with his vicious backbreaker, and we appear to have a blown finish here as he has #1 covered for a count of 14 before the referee calls for the bell. Quite the rocket ship that they’ve attached to Mr. Robinson’s back.


-Robinson just outwrestles Smith at every turn. Neckbreaker and a gutwrench, and that absolutely lethal backbreaker finishes. This is another finisher that needs to come back. Billy has a really distinctive way of doing it and it looks like he’s absolutely cracking the guy in half.

-Post-match, the Assassins hit the ring, not too happy about getting embarassed in the Coliseum last week. One Assassin dishes out the assault, while the other works security and blocks Koko Ware and Rick Morton from making the save. But Paul Ellering shows up too, and that’s too much for the Security Assassin to handle, so they clear the ring while the faces tend to Robinson, who appears to have a broken arm.

-Back to Memphis this past Monday, it’s champion vs. champion, title for title, it’s not Wrestlemania VI, it’s Jerry Lawler vs. Nick Bockwinkel, CWA and AWA World Titles on the line. Both guys are firmly established heels, but Lawler is such an effective dick in this run that the crowd pretty much sides with Bockwinkel. Unfortunately, I think this is happening during Bobby Heenan’s brief run in Georgia, so we’re deprived of conniving manager vs. conniving manager at ringside.

-It’s already been a grueling match when Bockwinkel atomic drops Lawler over the top rope and onto the concrete. With the referee concerned with counting the pin, Jimmy Hart sneaks out of his chair, loads his fist, and slips through the ropes to punch Bockwinkel in the face. Lawler beats the count and goes for the cover. Referee counts two, but Bockwinkel taps Lawler on the shoulder, and as a reflex, Lawler gets up when he feels the tap on his shoulder! HA! Never seen that before. So once Lawler’s on his feet, Bockwinkel rolls him up, but Jimmy Hart hops up to the apron. Bockwinkel goes over to hammer on Jimmy while Jerry Lawler pulls out a chain and wraps it round his fist. He sneaks up on Bockwinkel, but the referee spots the chain on his fist and does a Secret Service dive and tackle maneuver onto Lawler to stop him from using it, but just the intention is enough cause for the referee to call for the bell. Bockwinkel wins by DQ but both men retain their belts. That was Mid-South-level intricacy.


-Corea’s first appearance. He clotheslines Wayne down and somersaults onto him. Dropkick follows as the commentators speculate that Corea may be related to Joaquin Corea, a wrestler of some note in the territory years back.

-Headscissors by Corea, but Ken comes to life with forearms and a slam. Corea fights back and whips Wayne into the corner. Corea tries to do the “stand on the second rope and punch him ten times” spot, but Wayne just heaves him over the top and onto the concrete, which is a DQ. Corea bounces right up and dropkicks Wayne out to the floor post-match. Corea looks like a WWWF ’70s jobber, and there’s NO info about him online, so his career appears to have been a short one.

-Hector Guerrero says he can’t move his arm just yet, but by golly, he WANTS those Assassins has soon as he’s fully recovered.

-We flash back a few weeks to a local promo for the Louisville market, with Michael St. John talking to Ken Lucas, who’s facing the CWA World Heavyweight Champion, Jerry Lawler, in a non-title match, with a guaranteed rematch for the title if he wins. And it’s a pretty bland promo with Ken just promising to try his best and win. So we also get the local promo that Jerry Lawler recorded for Louisville and of course he just ka-BOOMS Lucas out of the water with his interview. “I know the promoters in Louisville won’t want to hear this, but honestly, I never heard of this guy before! I can’t stand here and tell you it’s going to be a tough match because that’s a lie. I don’t know who he is!” Michael St. John tells him that Lucas is a well-known star in the Louisville area, and Jerry is incredulous. “Yeah, IN LOUISVILLE!”

-So Lance says we recorded an interview with Lawler AFTER the match, and the video starts with Lawler sporting two black eyes, a bandage on his forehead, a bandage over his nose, and a swollen mouth. And Lawler is completely indignant about shooting this promo because he knows it’s just being shot for Lance Russell to gloat and make him look like an idiot.

-So we have a rare matinee on Sunday in the Mid-South Coliseum. Dennis Condrey vs. Paul Corea, David Schultz vs. Steve Regal, Tojo Yamamoto & Sonny King vs. Big Red & Rick Morton, Assassins defend the Southern Tag Team Titles against Billy Robinson & Paul Ellering, and in the main event, Ken Lucas challenges Jerry Lawler for the CWA Heavyweight Title.

-Dave Brown hustles back and announces that Billy Robinson won’t be medically cleared in time for tomorrow’s match…but the Gibson Brothers are, so the Assassins will defend against them instead.

-So we go to last week’s Mid-South Coliseum card, Tojo Yamamoto & Sonny King vs. Big Red & Rick Morton, to explain why tomorrow’s return match is necessary. And Lance encourages us to pay attention because there’s an important lesson to be seen here about staying away from the ring if you attend a wrestling show. Oh, lord, I already like where this is going!

-Big Red headbutts and hammers away at Tojo. Red knocks him out to the floor, and a fan just waltzes into the ring, and Sonny & Tojo just beat the HELL out of him while security takes their sweet-ass time getting into the ring, and they finally drag the guy off, while Lance just calls it like any other spot in the match. “An overenthusiastic spectator entered the ring, Sonny was really pounding on him…Reverse facelock.”

-So sanity is restored and it’s time for Ricky Morton to come in and take his Ricky Mortoning. Even in 1979 you can hear individual fans just desperately screaming “Ricky, get up! Hang on, Ricky! Rickyyyyyyyyy!” And he finally makes the tag to Big Red and Red takes care of business. Splash looks like it’ll finish Tojo, but Sonny King breaks the pin. Tojo goes into his tights and gets a handful of I-hope-salt, and he blinds Red with it and gets the pin.

-Sonny King holds up a fan sign declaring him “African Cowboy,” since he hogtied Big Red.

-Koko goes loco on Tojo and nearly gets three, but King breaks the pin and tags in proper. Lance and Dave get a funny passive-aggressive line, saying they hope Sonny continues having a successful wrestling career because they were tired of him when he was trying to do commentary.

-Hot tag to Regal. Regal connects with right hands and elbows on Tojo. Sonny King verrrrrrry reluctantly tags back in. Koko tags back in and Sonny King cuts off his air and tags Tojo back in. Tojo kicks, Koko kicks back. Everyone tags and Sonny applies a chinlock. Ref is distracted so Sonny turns it into a smother. Regal tries ramming him, but he picks the wrong corner, so Tojo just tags back in and rakes the eyes. Everyone tags again and Sonny hits a flying forearm.

-Referee gets distracted so Sonny tosses Koko over the top rope. Fans try to tell the referee what happened, since that’s worked before, but Tojo goes right to cheating so the fans turn their attention to Tojo, and with the referee distracted by Tojo, Sonny brings Koko back in and throws him over the top and onto the concrete on the other side! The tape runs out at this point, but the hell with it, that’s a win for Sonny and Tojo. They deserve it just for that.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Yes, this promotion is the Jerry Lawler Show sometimes, but god almighty, he really is the highlight in everything he touches at this point.

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Memphis Wrestling, Adam Nedeff