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Memphis Wrestling (7.5.1981) Review

April 20, 2023 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Memphis Wrestling 5-16-81 Dutch Mantell Image Credit: Memphis Wrestling
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Memphis Wrestling (7.5.1981) Review  

-Originally aired July 5, 1981.

-Your hosts are Lance Russell & Dave Brown.

-We get a house show promo for Louisville to start off, and it’s all the heels’ dream matches from last week. Dutch pledges that he’s going to get that TV Title back, even if it takes winning a battle royal with a ring full of enemies.

DUTCH MANTELL vs. WAYNE FERRIS (with Southern Heavyweight Champion Jimmy Hart)

-Yes, you read that correctly, and Jimmy is unbearable about it from the get-go, wearing his Superman costume and the title belt and just rambling about making headline news all over the world while Lance just begs him to go away for a few minutes.

-Dutch hiptosses Wayne and works the arm for so long that you know we’re going to ten minutes.. Wayne fights back, but takes a knee to the gut. Dutch keeps him on the mat. Wayne finally gets a hold of his own, but they go to the ropes and collide. Dutch recovers first and lays a beating on Ferris. Sleeper hold is locked on. Ferris breaks out and frantically tries to pin him with time ticking away. Dutch goes for an abdominal stretch as time expires for the draw. Jimmy Hart comes in and tries to make it a 2-on-1 attack, but Roy Rogers isn’t having that, and the faces clear the ring. Just…kinda there.

-And Jimmy finally gets some mic time to celebrate his big victory. He’s the Southern Heavyweight Champion and nobody can do anything about it. Lance Russell is just disgusted beyond words while Jimmy Hart recaps the history of Memphis wrestling–Jackie Fargo was the king until some young punk named Jerry Lawler put him in his place and ended his career, and now Jimmy Hart has taken the belt and Jerry’s career is FINISHED.

-We get pre-taped words from Jerry Lawler, who explains how this happened. He was asked to give an interview where he would describe his “dream match,” and Lawler said he’d do a title match with Jimmy Hart because he thought the promoters were asking him in hypothetical terms. And then the promoters got this idea where everybody would get their dream matches if they won. Well…the faces lost and Jimmy Hart got a Southern Title match with two of his men as guest referees and Lawler being forced to wear boxing gloves, and by the way, Jimmy Hart was unclear about his stipulations before, and it was actually ONLY Lawler who had to wear the gloves. And Lawler won’t go into details but he pretty much went into the match knowing he was going to lose because these two referees were going to keep doing screwy shit until he just plain lost, and that’s what happened.

-We go to action in the Mid-South Coliseum, Steve Keirn vs. Chic Donovan. Keirn wins totally cleanly with a German suplex. No controversy, no post-match antics.

-We go to Chic Donovan in the studio, and Chic admits that his career has been a total disaster since he arrived in Memphis and he announces his retirement. Jimmy Hart strolls out and tells Chic to join the First Family. Chic resists until Jimmy improvises “We Are Family” with new lyrics including Chic’s name and all the members of the First Family, and Chic sings along with him until his mood improves and he agrees to join. Funnier than it sounds.


-Everybody switches off and tries various holds and, oh by the way, if we were wondering, Lance mentions that Roy Rogers is the cousin of Tommy Rich.

-Faces get the edge while commentators note that Rich has moved ahead of even the Nightmares in terms of skill and the other wrestlers might want to keep an eye on him. Rogers backdrops #1 and slams him down. Keirn keeps #1 on the mat. Nightmares get some offense as we get some time warnings…wait, are we really doing TWO time limit draws this week?

-All four men wind up in the ring. Keirn hits a neckbreaker, but the pin is broken up. Keirn misses a corner charge and hurts his knee. Nightmares go after the knee and Jimmy adds a cane shot from the floor. Keirn desperately fights off both Nightmares, then drags Jimmy into the ring and beats him up…which gets the faces disqualified? Is that a rule? What?

EXPIRATION OF TIME: SUPERSTAR BILL DUNDEE vs. CHIC DONOVAN (with Southern Heavyweight Champion Jimmy Hart)

-FALL ONE: Dundee has the edge for a bit until missing a corner charge. Donovan takes control and works him over, but Dundee comes back with a bodypress and looks to finish, only for Jimmy to run in and break the pin for the DQ. And that’s the show.

The final score: review Average
The 411
Best episode of "The Jimmy Hart Show" ever.

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Memphis Wrestling, Adam Nedeff