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Memphis Wrestling (3.15.1980) Review

May 11, 2022 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Memphis Wrestling Bill Dundee Image Credit: Memphis Wrestling/YouTube
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Memphis Wrestling (3.15.1980) Review  

-Originally aired March 15, 1980.

-This is a jarring change of pace. We’re not in the studio this week! They actually did an arena taping this week, at the Louisville Gardens.

-Your host is Lance Russell, on his own.


-Joined in progress. Regal works the arm on #2 and uses his size against him for leverage. #1 tags in. Knee to the gut by #2, but Regal dropkicks him for one. Double dropkick by Regal and Morton almost finishes, but the pin is broken.

-Criss-cross by both guys, and #1 does the most obvious thing ever, doing a push-up in mid-criss-cross so Ricky trips and falls on his face. Now why wouldn’t you just do that every time? #2 tags in and dumps Morton on the concrete, and you’ll never believe this, but the heels appear to have the upper hand over Rick Morton in a tag team match.

-#2 rams Morton in the corner and blocks him from making the desperate tag. Morton ends up on the floor, and #2 brings him back in with a suplex. This is amazing, they didn’t even bring a second camera for the TV taping, it’s a one-camera shoot like their usual house show footage. We’ll be looking at one camera for the entire hour.

-Assassins try to double-team with the loaded mask, but #1 accidentally KOs #2, and Morton gets a super-duper upset pinfall win! Even then, Ricky was a master of his art.

-Bill Dundee is facing Sonny King at the Garden this Tuesday, and Ken Lucas is teaming up with Handsome Jimmy, and Jimmy cuts an uncharacteristically coherent and sensible promo, pledging revenge for some fire-related chicanery that happened recently.


-Dundee throws forearms at King, but because of the height difference, it looks like a little brother trying to mount offense against his older brother in the backyard. And I say that from experience.

-Dropkick by Dundee, who has “Mr. Memphis” printed across his ass. Dundee just loses it, taking King out to the floor, lifting the steps, and dropping them right on him. Camera doesn’t even see what he does next, but the referee pleads for sanity and convinces him to get back into the ring. King ends up back on the floor and Dundee baseball slides into him. Dundee is just going insane on King, whacking him with a chair in full view of the referee, and the referee is helpless to do anything except tell Bill not to do that again.

-Back to the floor, and again we have an obstructed view of whatever’s happening out there, and even Lance acknowledges that this is getting frustrating and begs Dundee to stay in the ring so the match can be seen on TV.

-Sonny with a series of spears (1980s spears, where you start about two feet from the guy) and he tosses Dundee back out to the floor. Back in, a coco butt seems to finish, but Dundee gets a foot on the ropes and Sonny celebrates prematurely. Dundee rolls him up for the surprise three-count. The one-camera shoot was frustrating at times, but it was all-action, so I can’t complain too much.

-Ellering tries a bearhug, but Robinson does this elaborate arm-waving dance to escape and snapmare Ellering. Ellering tries a full nelson, and Robinson does a stretching exercise to get out, and Ellering is getting fed up.

-Hassan tags in and Robinson just gutwrenches him right away for a quick two-count. Ellering tags back in and gets monkey flipped. Ken Lucas heads in and fights like it’s a hot tag, even though it’s been all babyface so far.

-Lucas asks for a test of strength, which Lance prematurely dismisses as the wrong move, but Lucas does some simply gymnastics to get out and gives Ellering a shot in the mouth. Hassan tags back in and continues to have a suck-ass night before tagging Ellering back in.

-Ellering gets hiptossed around as this match looks more and more like a TBS studio squash, as one team is just getting mauled beyond the point of death and yet the match is still happening.

-Ali tags back in and they use his beard to do a double-team move. They snap Hassan’s arm back and forth before he tags Ellering in again, and we are nine minutes in with not a lick of meaningful offense from the heels.

-Ellering FINALLY gets lucky, countering an attempted backdrop with a foot to the face. He gets a hold on Robinson, attempting a standing surfboard, but Robinson does just a bonkers-looking counter that ends with him on top of Ellering for a two-count.

-Hassan heads back in and uses his Iron Sheik-style boots for some offense, but Robinson counters that by just grabbing the spiked end and forcing it out of his way. They collide on a shoulderblock, but Robinson dumbly stays in there when Ellering tags first and tries to match power with him.

-And he DOES, which is not how I expected that to play out. He mows down Ellering and makes the hot tag. Lucas heads in and takes on both opponents, and we pause for a commercial…

-And we return to Billy Robinson chasing Jimmy Hart around the ring while the heels see an opening and gang up on Lucas. Lucas gets opened up, but starts to get riled up, and a four-man brawl breaks out in the ring. Jimmy Hart runs in to break his cane over Billy Robinson. Robinson doesn’t feel a thing and starts to dish out some punishment, but Ali Hassan catches him with a fireball that appears somewhere four feet from the vicinity of Robinson’s chest and lands on the mat. And then there’s an edit to a minute later with Lance Russell gushing about OMG that fireball was huge! and Robinson is blinded and the heels get the win and become the new champions.

-Oh man, this was awful. First of all, I don’t get this Memphis tactic of hyping the angle and telling us exactly what happened before we saw it, because it lessens the impact. Also lessening the impact: the fireball spot looked like shit. I don’t get the love that anybody has for the fireball spot. It has to be done with no-room-for-error precision to even look good, and it’s an absurdly fake weapon. Like…seriously, just straight up FIRE?

-We have two referees for this one. We have three minutes left in the TV hour, and it’s a house show match, so it’s three minutes of a side headlock and feeling each other out, and the show limps to a finish.

The final score: review Average
The 411
Fun just to see something different, but the big angle of the hour landed with a hard THUD and we got spoiled on it too.

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Memphis Wrestling, Adam Nedeff