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Memphis Wrestling (5.16.1981) Review

March 3, 2023 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Memphis Wrestling 5-16-81 Dutch Mantell Image Credit: Memphis Wrestling
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Memphis Wrestling (5.16.1981) Review  

-Originally aired May 16, 1981.

-Your hosts are Lance Russell & Dave Brown.

TV TITLE: DUTCH MANTELL (Champion) vs. KEVIN SULLIVAN (with Jimmy Hart)
-Dutch abruptly walked out of Hart’s group, so Jimmy’s feelings are hurt and he got Kevin Sullivan signed for a TV title match for some attempted revenge.

-Mantell takes him down with some hair-pulling and works the arm. Sullivan slaps Mantell across the face, and Jimmy treats that alone as a victory, with Sullivan coming outside to do a victory lap before resuming the match. Dutch slaps Sullivan so hard that he falls back outside.

-Sullivan takes the hint and goes back to mat wrestling, clamping on a side headlock. And suddenly, he turns it up a notch, taking it to the floor and ramming Dutch into a post and a table. Back in, a backdrop gets two. Sullivan keeps trying to finish him off but Mantell keeps kicking out. Sullivan monkey flips him. Dutch hangs on, and Jimmy Hart hops up to the apron for an Anderson Sacrifice. Dutch is knocked loopy on the collision, and Sullivan rolls him up for a tainted three to take the title.

-Dutch, calm as can be, says that he won’t complain, he’ll simply say as a statement of fact that he’s getting a rematch.

-Local house show promo time! Jerry Lawler cuts a promo with a cut-up face. He says Terry Funk was the culprit, and Tuesday night in a steel cage, he’ll get his revenge.

WAYNE FERRIS (with Jimmy Hart) vs. TIM LEONARD
-Jimmy Hart sits in for guest commentary, complaining that they couldn’t find a taller opponent to wrestle Ferris. Jimmy busts on Leonard’s crappy haircut until Leonard suddenly hiptosses Ferris, at which point Jimmy switches gears and complains about crappy officiating. A gimmick where Jimmy Hart talks non-stop during Wayne Ferris’ squash matches? It’s risky but maybe it’ll draw.

-Big slam by Ferris, and a second-rope elbow gets three.

-Off to house show footage from Mid-South Coliseum. Wayne Ferris and Kevin Sullivan retain their Tag Team Titles with a shady victory over Bill Dundee and Dream Machine, with Jimmy Hart again using a personal sacrifice, goading Dundee into attacking him so Dream Machine can get double-teamed without any rescue coming.

-FALL ONE: Koko, surprisingly, is the one getting worked over by the Japanese team in the opening moments. Sexton tags in and he’s a house of…actually, he gets beaten up too. Sexton and Koko back in and now they get something going, whipping their opponents into each other. But Sexton tags back in and crashes on a missed dropkick. Big elbow gets the win for the Japanese unit.

-During the rest period, we watch highlights of a Mid-South Coliseum match, with Fuchi and Onita battlling Dutch Mantell and Plowboy Frazier, and this is actually the first time I’ve seen Plowboy since I started reviewing the Memphis territory. Lance gracefully polishes the turd while talking about Plowboy’s unscientific approach to wrestling technique. Plowboy gets tripped from the floor for the surprise pinfall victory by Tojo’s men.

FALL TWO: Sexton keeps taking a beating. Big chop gets a quick three-count, and they’re up 2-0.

FALL THREE: So, another downside to the Expiration of Time format…we have seven minutes left in the show. And that includes the usual house show promo and wrap-up so even the marks in the studio audience just go silent for this entire third fall because, what’s the point. So they just keep beating on Sexton and beating on him and beating on him until the bell sounds.

The final score: review Bad
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Memphis Wrestling, Adam Nedeff