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Memphis Wrestling (6.16.1979) Review

July 30, 2021 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
USWA Championship Wrestling 3-23-1991 Jerry Lawler
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Memphis Wrestling (6.16.1979) Review  

-Originally aired June 16, 1979.

-Your hosts are Lance and Dave.


-The tape picks up in the middle of this match, with Wayne slamming Montgomery down. Lance observes that Wayne is being more aggressive than usual. Buddy Wayne, Ken’s dad, is on commentary, and says that he told Wayne to fight the way that the other guy fights. If it’s clean, wrestle clean, but if Dallas gets dirty, get dirty back. Montgomery fights back Ken’s offense, so Buddy hits the ring to help his son out and they both just beat the hell out of Montgomery for the DQ. Still, it’s nice to see a father and son spending time together.

-Some babyfaces run in to break it up, and Lance Russell is pretty funny in his indignance that Buddy would interfere during a match where he was only supposed to do commentary. He demands an explanation but before Buddy can give him one, Tommy Gilbert senses trouble from father and son and warns Buddy to NEVER start trouble with Tommy Jr.

-Lance Russell welcomes Sonny King, who is not wrestling today because he’s serving a suspension. Sonny says it’s because he’s a clear threat to the Memphis area and that he’s starting a movement to take over wrestling in the U.S. and he’s going to start by making a series of offers to Eddie Marlin, Jerry Lawler, and Bill Dundee. He’s also going to start managing in the Memphis area, and he welcomes his new charge, former WWWF jobber Pete Austin–picture One Man Gang/Akeem if his weight never went above 300 pounds.

PETE AUSTIN (with Sonny King) vs. BUB SMITH

-And while I’m asking you to picture other wrestlers as a frame of reference, Bub Smith is Rusty Brooks after a month on Atkins. Austin ties him up in a front facelock while the commentators get into a heated argument with Sonny King, who is technically not even supposed to be at ringside for his men’s matches due to the suspension. Sonny King condescendingly blows off Dave Brown and makes him sit out for his second straight match while Austin rams Smith into the corner and slams him. Elbow and a legdrop get three. Austin is technically fine but there’s nothing about him that makes you feel like you should keep an eye on him.

-Face vs. Face action from the Mid-South Coliseum. Dundee works the arm and switches to headscissors. Charles slips out while hanging onto the legs and goes for a Boston crab, but Dundee spins his own body so hard that it causes Charles to take a spill, and Dundee applies a hammerlock. Dundee goes for his own Boston crab, but Charles blocks and pretty much turns a cartwheel to force the release.

-So Charles finally has control and goes to a toehold, then turns it into a pinning combo, and the crowd and Lance just pause and give this match a round of applause, because it really has been a pleasure to watch this so far. Dundee works the arm, but Tony surprises him with flying headscissors and gets him down to the mat. They trade monkey flips without letting go of each other in an impressive visual, and Lance reluctantly pauses for a break.

-Back from the break, Charles is still hellbent on getting this Boston crab locked on and FINALLY GETS IT…but Dundee just pops out. Lance openly loving this match is almost more fun than the match. Dundee goes for the arm but Charles switches the hold and POWERBOMBS him! Not a great one, he pretty much just lets go of Dundee in mid-air instead of slamming him down, but still kind of an eye popper for 1979.

-Charles applies a hammerlock. Dundee slips out, but Tony hangs onto the arm and flings him into the ropes. Dundee blocks the attempted backdrop, and they duel for a pinfall until Dundee finally comes out on top for the three-count. That was a hell of a match, a technical exhibition that just flowed from hold to hold for 13 minutes.


-The heels remind me of that Futurama where the heel wrestler is just named “The Foreigner.” Gestapo puts the boots to Owens and rams him into Schroeder’s knee. Backbreaker by Schroeder FINISHES?! Owens got murdered! And I’m sorry but the heels were so generic I just figured they were doing the job here.

-We go to Tupelo, Mississippi, Jerry Lawler and Bill Dundee defending the Tag Team Titles against the Blonde Bombers, and perhaps your spidey sense is tingling at the mention of the city and the four guys involved in the match. Dundee is a bloody mess and he’s caught in the wrong corner. Bombers keep cutting off the wrong tag, but Dundee apparently pulls out an emergency can of spinach from his tights and takes on both men, clearing Latham from the ring and looking to finish off Wayne Ferris for the pin. Lawler decides to pick a fight with Latham on the floor and the referee goes out to break it up, which means he’s not there to count three when Dundee has a clear pin in the ring. All four men end up brawling and Ferris wipes out Dundee with a foreign object. Odd finish sees Ferris get a two-count, Lawler breaks the pin, but the referee calls for the bell and gives the belts to the Bombers.

-Post-match, a war breaks out as the teams fight over the belts and just wallop each other with dozens of belt shots, with the action continuing all the way up the aisle. We get a GREAT bit of realistic business at this point, with Lance Russell and the camera crew playing up the show being over, but Lance suddenly gets word that a hell of a brawl is going on near the concession stand, and he tells the guys to grab their equipment and hurry over there with him. “We can fix this in editing! Come on, hurry up!”

-And in an angle you may have heard of, all four men, bloody messes, brawl in the concession stand, getting totally covered with condiments and candy as they ram each other into the tables and use the metal trays as weapons. Dundee chokes Latham with a mop and Lawler just CHUCKS a table at Ferris, who’s covered in mustard. Lawler and Dundee finally have the Bombers so worn down that they just steal the belts and run off with them, while the Bombers beat up Jerry Jarrett, so apparently they already know what they’re being paid for tonight. Everybody is covered with food stains and blood. One day when I worked at Double Dare, a contestant with a loose tooth had it knocked out during a physical challenge, and all I can say is that this angle brought back a lot of memories. Like a lot of famous angles from the period, the hype and lore surrounding it over the years built it into more than it was, but it was still just a fantastic segment and wildly different for the time.

-Back to the studio, Lance Russell is with Dundee & Lawler. If somebody steals your CB radio, you’d do something about it. Their belts were stolen, they took action. Also, Jerry Lawler knows that Jimmy Valiant corrupted Wayne Ferris’ mind, and Wayne better not get any ideas in his head about trying to injure Lawler the way Austin Idol did that one time.

-Somebody was asking how many Nature Boys wrestling has had over the years. I’m more interested in taking a census of cowboy wrestlers in the 1970s. Bass hammers Hutchinson and suplexes him. Stampede finishes.

-Lance Russell welcomes the new Tag Team champs, and he assures us that he ain’t following orders from Jimmy Valiant, because Valiant never did a damn thing for him, but Larry Latham kept every promise he ever made. Sonny King suddenly shows up, gives the new champs his phone number, and promises he’ll be at ringside for their upcoming rematches against the ex-champs, if they’re interested.


-For anyone who didn’t join us last time, Tommy Jr. is indeed Eddie. And they actually give this match some semblance of a story, as Danny apparently insisted on this match because Tommy Jr. is about the same size and he reasons that’s a more fair fight for him. So Tommy Jr. just immediately holds his own and Davis is so frustrated that he tags out. The Gilberts double-team Monroe. Tommy Jr. tricks Monroe into tagging Tommy Sr. in a cute spot, and Tommy Sr. just boots him out to the floor. Sr. clears Davis from the ring too, and the fans have fun egging the jobbers on until they finally agree to get back in there. And the match continues until they run out the clock.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Two EXCELLENT matches and a legendary angle make this mandatory viewing.

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Memphis Wrestling, Adam Nedeff