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Memphis Wrestling (2.28.1981) Review

January 3, 2023 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Memphis Wrestling Jerry Lawler Image Credit: Memphis Wrestling
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Memphis Wrestling (2.28.1981) Review  

-Originally aired February 28, 1981.

-Your hosts are Lance Russell & Dave Brown.


-But before that match can start…

-Jimmy Hart and Dutch Mantel are here. Jimmy Hart signed Wayne Ferris to a contract. Wayne was wrapping up a tour in Puerto Rico but agreed to be at the studio today for a TV Title match, but right now, Jimmy doesn’t know where he is. He’s made phone calls and all he can figure out is that Wayne isn’t in Memphis and he isn’t in Puerto Rico. But Dutch Mantell sure is here, so Jimmy has signed him to a new deal and Koko has a new challenger.

TV TITLE: KOKO WARE (Champion) vs. DUTCH MANTEL (with Jimmy Hart)

-But before that match can start…

-Here’s Dream Machine, asking exactly what the hell Jimmy Hart is doing signing a NEW wrestler to his stable and giving him an instant title match when he already represents a guy who’s done more than enough to merit a title shot. Jimmy promises an even bigger plan for Dream Machine, but he won’t articulate what that is. He very calmly walks Dream Machine backs to the locker room while Dutch finally gets this match started.

-Feeling-out process goes Koko’s way and Dutch gets caught in an armbar. Dutch escapes and go for a backdrop, but Koko makes it a sunset flip for two. Dutch goes to the eyes to take over. Atomic drop and a slam by Dutch. Koko gets dumped on the floor. Oh, by the way, Dutch Mantel and Austin Idol are the reigning CWA World Tag Team Champions and have been defending them all over the world against top competition. They’re so dominant that there was just no need for the commentators to ever mention that about Dutch and Austin until now.

-Dutch misses a corner charge and Koko gives him a right good peppering, but now it’s Dutch who counters the sunset flip, with a big boot, and an elbow gets the three-count and the TV Title, clean as the proverbial sheet, ending Koko’s storied reign of classic matches against all comers.

-Tuesday in the Gardens, Jerry Lawler faces Austin Idol. Lawler recaps an angle that happened at the last Louisville house show, getting assaulted 2-on-1 by Austin and Dutch Mantel. So Jerry Lawler got a rematch signed with Austin Idol, with some insurance–Plowboy Frazier will be in his corner, watching and waiting for Dutch to show up again.

DREAM MACHINE (with Jimmy Hart) vs. TOM MALEY

-Machine beats the stuffing out of Maley, seemingly really, really pissed off for SOME mysterious reason. Elbow to the jaw and a big legdrop look to finish, but Dream is so damn mad that he picks him up and wallops him with a clothesline just to get his mad feelings out of his system, gets the three-count, then throws Maley to the concrete. Machine warns all his future opponents that he’s going to treat them the same way, and Jimmy Hart has successfully deflected Dream Machine’s anger and found a way to use it to his own advantage.

-We have 32 minutes of show left, so this should be decent. Eddie Hogan is supposed to be with the babyfaces, but he’s M.I.A., so Koko B. Ware works double-duty today.

-FALL ONE: Gilbert starts with Jerry Novak. Armdrag by Eddie while the commentators complain that they can’t call the match effectively because they don’t have a monitor and the heel side is blocking their view. Memphis, ladies and gentlemen!

-Angel tags in and gets whipped into the ropes, with Bill Dundee waiting with a hard forearm to the chest. Before he can do anything about it, Rich tags in with a flurry of offense, and takes free shots at the Bounty Hunters too. Hassan tags in for a criss-cross but gets a forearm to the belly, and an elbow by Rich gets the one-count, with Angel breaking the pin.

-Dundee backdrops Hassan way across the ring. Jerry Novak comes back in and gets rolled up right away for a two-count. Brother David comes in for an attempted double-team, but Tommy turns it into double flying headscissors, and the commentators note that Jimmy Kent is noticeably unhappy with the Bounty Hunters. Dundee tags in and just wails on Jerry until he escapes and tags Hassan back in.

-Beautiful dropkick by Koko. Eddie tags in and gets caught by a blind tag, with David Novak elbowing him and clamping on a nerve hold. Gilbert takes a beating in the heel corner. Angel clamps on a bearhug to finish it off, but Dundee shoves Eddie, causing him to fall on top and breaking the hold. Eddie hangs in there while the heels keep frantically trying to finish this off. Angel goes for a slam, but he loses his grip and Eddie manages to slip behind him for a sunset flip and a surprise three-count to take the first fall.

FALL TWO: Faces take turns pummeling David Novak until Koko falls victim to a cheap shot. Koko gets caught in the heel corner. Eddie Gilbert gets the pin and comes to the rescue, but he has trouble putting Hassan away. Dundee tries his luck, but Jerry Novak breaks the pin. Koko tags in and goes for the kill, but the heels again break the pin, smartly alternating WHO breaks it each time in some legal maneuvering to prevent a DQ. Koko gets caught in the heel corner and it’s his turn to get pummeled. Angel tries to finish with a claw, but Koko punches him off and hot tags Eddie Gilbert. Gilbert gets caught in the heel corner, with the same results as usual, and Dundee’s just tired of this shit, so he goes to the floor and launches a surprise attack on Jimmy Kent, which surprises the heels enough that they stop their attack and Eddie can get out of danger.

-But he doesn’t tag out! Hassan dropkicks him down and Angel goes for the kill. Smart finish sees Angel lose his grip exactly the same way as he did in the first fall, but this time, when Gilbert goes for the sunset flip, Angel applies the claw. It was a set-up! And it works, Eddie submits to tie the match.

FALL THREE: David Novak goes for the quick kill by locking a bearhug on Gilbert, but Gilbert breaks free and tags in Dundee. Hassan tags in and works the arm, but Dundee won’t say die…he appears to say “die” at one point, but he has that Aussie accent, so he was probably just saying “Day.” And right as TV time drips away, the camera absolutely misses something happening between Tommy Rich and Ali Hassan, but whatever it was, it’s to Dundee’s advantage, because he gets the three-count before time expires, so it’s a firm win for the faces. Really good match and something different for this promotion’s TV.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Great feature makes this an easy thumbs-up.

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Memphis Wrestling, Adam Nedeff