wrestling / Video Reviews

Memphis Wrestling (12.20.1980) Review

October 17, 2022 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Memphis Wrestling 9-13-1980 Jerry Lawler Image Credit: Memphis Wrestling
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Memphis Wrestling (12.20.1980) Review  

-Originally aired December 20, 1980.

-Your hosts are Lance Russell & Dave Brown.

TV TITLE: KOKO WARE (Champion) vs. BEAUTIFUL BOBBY EATON (with Jimmy Hart)

-So sure enough, CWA hasn’t bothered making a belt for their new title, and while I can forgive Smoky Mountain Wrestling for not having a belt for theirs years later because it was perpetually on a shoestring budget, Memphis had a profitable wrestling territory and they just didn’t want to pay for it, and not having a belt takes the fun out of having a title. It’s a symbol, a tangible emblem of the wrestler’s success, an indication that they’re to be taken seriously.

-Koko shoulderblocks Eaton and dropkicks him. Armdrag completes Koko’s beautiful sequence. Koko locks on a side headlock and Eaton struggles with it before finally breaking free and hiptossing him, only for Koko to spring right back up and armdrag him into a chinlock. Lance goes into Gorilla mode, explaining that nobody wins a match with a chinlock, but that’s not the point of it.

-Eaton escapes and throws an uppercut, but Koko keeps fighting back and clamps on headscissors. Koko’s strategy for TV Title defenses seems to be that the time limit is his friend, and he’s just in run-out-the-clock mode, which jibes with Bobby Heenan’s favorite assessment of title matches: “He has to beat you; you don’t have to beat him.”

-Eaton throws punches, getting aggressive and maintaining the edge this time, eight minutes into the match. Eaton goes to the eyes and puts the boots to the champ. Eaton backdrops Koko, but Koko hangs onto the legs and makes it a sunset flip for the abrupt three to retain. Not bad, but nothing special. Jimmy Hart runs in and attacks with his cane post-match, but Carl Fergie and Tommy Gilbert come to the rescue.


-Angel pounds Hutchinson and slams him down. Big boot and a knee by Angel. Angel keeps refusing to go for the pin, and the referee warns him he’ll just stop the match himself if Angel keeps up the torment for no reason like this. Claw is clamped on, and Hutchinson passes out, so the referee calls for the bell, and this time, Angel releases and leaves peacefully.


-Not including commercials, we have 28 minutes of TV time remaining!

-FALL ONE: Guy and Gilbert start. Gilbert gets an edge quickly and tags in Fergie, who has “FERG” printed on his boots, so apparently, he buys his stencils on an installment plan. Faces take turns working Mitchell with side headlocks. Mitchell backs Gilbert into the heel corner for an attempted double-team, but Gilbert ducks and Mitchell punches Kirby right off the apron and onto the concrete. Kirby demands the tag for vengeance after that. Gilbert throws a hard kick, and Gilbert appears to legit blow out his knee on that and we have PROBLEMS, with Gilbert unable to put any weight on the leg.

-Heels at least lean into it by working the bad leg, but Gilbert just dives for his corner, makes the tag, and gets the hell out, and this is Carl Fergie’s time to shine now. Fergie applies a neck vice. Gilbert seems to be feeling better and comes back in, actually doing a backdrop but apparently regretting it immediately, as he hobbles over and tags right back out. Mitchell tags in and applies a nerve hold on Fergie. Champs choke him out while Gilbert does the “run in for an attempted save and argue with the ref” spot, and he’s suddenly mobile again and trying to cue everyone that he’s good to go again.

-All four men end up brawling in the ring and Mitchell sets up for the team’s finisher, but the referee is distracted with trying to untangle Tommy Gilbert from a tree of woe. Jerry Lawler hurries in, slamming Kirby from the top turnbuckle and dragging Cousin Carl on top as the referee turns around, and the faces take the first fall. Jimmy Hart blows his stack at the referee as we pause for a commercial.

FALL TWO: Fergie works Kirby’s neck with 16 minutes of TV time still remaining. Gilbert tags in and applies a front facelock. Faces are up one fall, they can relax and just let their opponents try to win this. Kirby suplexes out of the front facelock. Gilbert gets out before Kirby can capitalize on that and Fergie pounces, applying a chinlock. Gilbert tags in and keeps up the onslaught, although the commentators note he still has a slight limp from fall one. Kirby gets him caught in an armbar, but Gilbert hiptosses out. Mitchell hastily tags in to cut off the tag and applies his own armbar. Gilbert gets worked over in the corner. He suddenly gets a surge of energy and tries to make a comeback with a corner charge, but Mitchell Flair-pins him for three to tie the match.

FALL THREE: With six minutes to go, Kirby seems to be telling Hart that his neck is injured before he’ll go back into the ring to start the third fall, and Gilbert goes over and attacks the injured man on the floor before the bell, just to make a point. Mitchell starts the fall and Gilbert targets the leg to make another point, then ties him in the ropes. Gilbert whips Kirby into the ring and uses his body as a weapon, flinging him into the tied-up Mitchell.

-Jimmy Hart tries to attack from the floor to help his team. Fergie catches him before he can fire a shot and attacks him, which brings out the Dream Machine to rescue his manager, drawing a DQ, and then Jerry Lawler heads in with a baseball bat to completely clear the ring. And with TV time almost gone, that gives the overall match to the faces. YAY! This wasn’t a waste!

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Not much for angles, but two decent old-school matches dominated the hour.

article topics :

Memphis Wrestling, Adam Nedeff