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Memphis Wrestling (6.13.1981) Review

March 22, 2023 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Memphis Wrestling Bill Dundee Image Credit: Memphis Wrestling/YouTube
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Memphis Wrestling (6.13.1981) Review  

-Originally aired June 13, 1981.

-Your hosts are Lance Russell & Dave Brown.

-BREAKING: Superstar Bill Dundee defeated Stan Lane for the United States Junior Heavyweight Championship. Lance and Bill stop everything to give this quick explanation of how “heavyweight” is a meaningless word in sports that pretty much just means “top championship,” so even though Bill has been wrestling matches for heavyweight championship ranking, he was always eligible for the junior heavyweight class. Oh please, since when does wrestling just “make up meaningless things”?

-TV Champion Kevin Sullivan congratulates Bill for winning the belt, and it’s high-level ass-kissing by Sullivan until he makes the expected pivot and says it’ll be an honor to defeat such a high-caliber athlete to win another championship in Memphis.

-Now, Kevin Sullivan promised he’d defend the TV Title against Jerry Lawler today just to shut everybody up about how he’s ducking top contenders. Wellllll…this is a little embarrassing, but Lance thought that announcing Jerry as his next challenger was kind of out of nowhere, and yeah, Jerry signed with promoters in Florida to do a tour of that state for the entire week, so Jerry’s been nowhere near Memphis since Sullivan promised to wrestle him today.

-So since Jerry’s not here, Lance suggests that Kevin grant a rematch to Tim Leonard, the jobber who surprised Kevin with a strong showing in their match last week. But Kevin says that doesn’t make sense since he’s already defeated Leonard, and he says that his opponent this week will be an opponent that he chooses. I loved this angle when Tommy Rich did it last year and it’s hard to think of a version of this story that I didn’t like. It brings out the funniest side of the heels that do it without turning into “comedy wrestling.” It’s funny but very true to the heel’s character.

-And next, we get a Louisville house show promo where they explain a substitution will have to be made in the main event due to an injury suffered by Bill Dundee that we haven’t seen yet. Okay, thanks, great.

-Lance welcomes Steve Keirn to the territory, and Steve introduces himself by explaining that he sucks at cutting promos but he feels that he does his best talking in the ring.

-We rewatch last week’s not-intentionally-empty-arena brawl from Louisville.

STEVE KEIRN vs. NIGHTMARE #1 (with Jimmy Hart)

-Keirn is all about the scientific wrestling to start off. Shoulderbreaker gets two. Keirn tries a front facelock. Nightmare backs him against the ropes and Jimmy Hart takes a shot with his cane, and after being all clean-cut and scientific, one shot of the cane, is all it takes for Keirn to snap. He whips Jimmy into the ring and just beats the hell out of both of them, which brings out the entire First Family, which brings out Dream Machine and Bill Dundee to even the sides, and the babyfaces clear the ring.

-Chic Donovan is here. He’s glad that Wayne Ferris is getting fined for his shenanigans last week, because nobody should be interfering in Chic Donovan’s matches, especially when he has some young punk beaten.


-Leonard is on a roll lately, as we saw last week, so Leonard is able to match Chic hold-for-hold in the early moments of the match. Chic switches to aggressive forearms, and the figure four gets the submission.

-So Kevin Sullivan, who’s been stalling for the entire hour and that’s why we’ve had the other matches, FINALLY comes out to announce that he’s decided on an opponent: Steve Keirn, who has already wrestled today. But hey, he has great credentials, so he’s a valid opponent, Kevin reasons.

TV TITLE: KEVIN SULLIVAN (Champion, with Jimmy Hart) vs. STEVE KEIRN

-So Keirn comes right out swinging and Sullivan is already clearly sorry that he did this, and Dutch Mantell visits commentary again, basically to enjoy the show because he knows this match is going to be a disaster for Sullivan.

-Slam by Keirn, and Sullivan rolls to the floor, already exhausted. “There’s your champion!” Dutch says, almost gloating. Keirn continues just beating the crap out of him and Mantell says in advance that he’ll be happy for Keirn if he wins because all that matters is that Kevin is paying for it. And Dutch makes this interesting by explaining their history in Florida and revealing that these guys used to be tag team partners, so Sullivan was particularly stupid because Keirn knows him better than any wrestler in Memphis right now.

-Sullivan breaks out a sleeper and unleashes a frantic beating on Keirn close to the ropes. Great spot, as Jimmy Hart is taunting Keirn during the beatdown, and Keirn just kicks him in the face while taking his own beating! Studio audience popped like crazy for it, too.

-Keirn comes back with a neckbreaker, but Kevin stalled so long that TV time expires and he retains. Babyfaces and Eddie Marlin head into the ring to pull apart the fight, and Eddie Marlin keeps getting knocked over in the gracas. The entire First Family heads in because they love a good fight, and Dutch decides to get in on the fun, so it’s a big spontaneous battle royal to close the hour.

The final score: review Good
The 411
The Kevin Sullivan Show was actually quite a bit of fun!

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Memphis Wrestling, Adam Nedeff