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Memphis Wrestling (12.6.1980) Review

September 26, 2022 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Wildifre Tommy Rich Memphis Wrestling 11.29.80 Image Credit: Memphis Wrestling
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Memphis Wrestling (12.6.1980) Review  

-Originally aired December 6, 1980.

-Your hosts are Lance Russell and Dave Brown, and since they’re not prone to hyperbole, they immediately have my attention by promising one of the best top-to-bottom cards they’ve ever had on television.

-Even when they’re opening with a match and promising a firm ceiling on the number of potential falls, I can’t help but suspect that somehow, TV time will still run out after we’ve only had one fall.

-FALL ONE: Morton fights the world to start, but Tojo gets a handful of hair from the apron to take over. Tojo tags in and lights into Rick with chops and kicks before bringing Jimmy back in. Ricky Morton is in trouble and all is right with the world. Heels switch off on Rick and work him over.

-Valiant chokes out Morton, but Lucas breaks up the attempted pin. It turns into a melee and Tojo suddenly spits something out and throws it in Morton’s eyes, blinding him and pinning him to win the first fall. Heels declare victory and walk off, and we’re not sure if we’ll get a second fall after that.

-We get a house show promo from Jimmy and Tojo, who declare Tommy Rich’s mother to be a HUSSEY!

-FALL TWO: We’re getting our second fall. Rick is still pretty messed up from the blinding and the heels are just mauling him until Tojo winds up for a big swing off the ropes and misses. Morton connects with a bodypress and gets a surprise three-count to win the second fall all by himself.

-FALL THREE: Tojo and the referee play hide and seek with whatever sinister weapon Tojo has, and Dave Brown even marvels that they manage to drag this out for a minute and forty seconds with no contact and they have the crowd SCREAMING about whatever Tojo has.

-Tojo blinds Morton again the moment contact is made. He keeps smearing his hand across Morton’s face and whatever he has is just wrecking the poor boy. Valiant and Morton take turns choking him out. Tojo starts using a shoe as a weapon, too, outraging the Memphis studio audience and invited guest Austin Powers.

-Tojo chops Morton so hard that he falls into the corner and tags Lucas. Whoops. Lucas unleashes two falls’ worth of well-rested fury and goes for the kill with a sleeper, but Tojo blinds him too. Fat grab clamped on by Tojo. Lucas makes the ropes and Valiant tags back in, elbowing Lucas for a one-count. Morton heads in there and turns it into a Katy-bar-the-door situation. Lucas applies a sleeper on Valiant, but now VALIANT throws something in Lucas’ face and blinds him, and Valiant gets the three-count to take the whole match. Okay, that was pretty exciting stuff, with Ricky putting the finishing touches on the formula that he built the entire rest of his career on.

-Eddie Marlin presents Koko with his replacement TV for the TV Title battle royal and congratulates him. Worth noting that they appear not to have bothered making a belt for the Memphis TV Title, which makes me hope that they’re going for an alternative, like the TV Title medal in Mid-South, and Koko is just going to lug that 18-inch color TV around for every title defense as the symbol of his championship.

TV TITLE: KOKO WARE (Champion) vs. BEAUTIFUL BOBBY EATON (with Jimmy Hart)
-Eaton and Hart stall for a bit, which gives Jimmy Valiant enough time to come rampaging out here to smash Koko’s new TV! Lance’s reaction to this is so funny, he just comes off as a disappointed father and says “I’m going to talk to Eddie.”

-Eaton takes advantage of the distraction to take control while Eddie Marlin marches out here to announce that effective right NOW, Jimmy Valiant is suspended and we’ll try to have an update later in the show about what wrestler will replace him on the cards where Jimmy is currently booked.

-So there’s still a match going on through all this. Eaton hammers away at Koko and applies a chinlock. Big elbow gets two. Back to the chinlock and Eaton just sticks with that into the six-minute mark. Kneelift and boots by Beautiful Bobby.

-Koko dodges an elbow and comes back to life with a right hand and a headbutt for a one-count. Dropkick looks to finish. Jimmy Hart springs into the ring with his cane to break the pin, getting Eaton DQed. And then Jimmy Hart just BEATS THE HOLY HELL out of Koko Ware with the cane. For anyone ever wondering what a can of whoop-ass looks like from Jimmy Hart, this is the show to watch. He just unleashes a surprising beating on Koko until, of all people, Robert Gibson makes the save and chases Bobby Eaton out of the ring…a show of disrespect that Bobby Eaton would never forget.

-Tommy Rich is here. Jimmy Valiant was booted out of the building after his offensive display earlier, and Rich personally asked Marlin to reverse the suspension, because Valiant has a lot of stuff coming to him and he won’t get it if he’s suspended. So Marlin agrees to delay the suspension until AFTER Valiant has wrestled the matches he’s committed to wrestle against Tommy Rich.


FALL ONE: Rich backdrops Kirby for a one-count. Mitchell tags in and gets hiptossed. The heels keep tagging off because neither one of them can figure out what to do here and nothing is really going their way. But then suddenly, Jimmy Valiant is back in the building along with Tojo, and it’s an instant 4-on-2 assault. Dundee is dumped out to the concrete and left for dead, and then Rich takes a shoe-assisted beating from Valiant and Tojo. Here’s the thing, when a shoe is on a foot, it’s just like being hit with a shoe, but when you hit somebody with a shoe in your hand, it’s like hitting them with a shoe AND a punch, so it’s twice as painful.

-And then the babyface locker room empties out to rescue their friends and the action goes all over the studio. Lance and Dave’s table gets knocked over, in a shocking display of a commentary table being negatively impacted by a chaotic wrestling match.

-Since we have TV time remaining but no one involved is in any condition for a second fall, we go to house show action from Rupp Arena. Carl Fergie battles with Dr. Bill Irwin. Irwin misses a diving headbutt and Fergie threatens to hulk up, so Irwin just bodyslams him out to the floor and gets himself DQed.

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
Another week of this territory feeling like it's waking up from a nap. I liked it.

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Memphis Wrestling, Adam Nedeff