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Memphis Wrestling (9.1.1979) Review

September 18, 2021 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
USWA Championship Wrestling 3-23-1991 Jerry Lawler
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Memphis Wrestling (9.1.1979) Review  

-Originally aired September 1, 1979.

-Your hosts are Lance and Dave.

-Rick hiptosses Ken around, and Buddy immediately waves his son over and insists on a tag, looking disappointed in the boy. Sonny King promptly tags in and Buddy immediately backs away and whispers to his son to get ready to help him. Jock Dad is such a magnificent, instantly recognizable and hateable character.

-The Waynes get King caught in their corner and choke him out. King escapes and hot tags Rick Morton…My, how the turntables have. Morton hiptosses and dropkicks Buddy, but Ken breaks the attempted pin. Ken tags in and connects with an elbow, but he only gets two. Pier sixer breaks out in the ring and the Waynes get whipped into each other, and King and Morton pin them for a double three-count!!! Was not expecting that. Exciting match, and maybe they have plans for this Morton kid.

-We go to the Mid-South Coliseum for highlights of a Southern Heavyweight Title bout, Ron Bass defending against Bill Dundee. Rather than having Lance Russell on commentary, they play the theme from S.W.A.T. before switching to a preposterously mellow soap opera-sounding piece. Bass gets arrogant and Stampedes Dundee several times instead of just going for the pin after the first one. Bass goes for an arrogant cover with his arms in the air, and Dundee just kicks his legs up, hooks Bass’ arms, and turns it into his own pin for a surprise three-count to capture the gold.

-Next we go to highlights of an AWA Title defense, Nick Bockwinkel defending against Jerry Lawler. Lawler is carried to the ring on a throne, which I thought was a total WWF invention. It’s also really a wrong look for a babyface. And again they run music for the whole thing, this time a piece that seems to come from the “Get to $1,000 Without Seeing A Devil, and Johnny Jacobs Will Tell You What You Can Win” record album. It’s neat to see the baby steps of a wrestling promotion incorporating music into the presentation but it’s so wrong and awkward, as the music doesn’t really match the action, and they just let one track run out and start the next track in mid-match, as if they’re literally just playing a record while we watch this.

-As for the finish, they go the full hour, but Nick Bockwinkel demands that they let this go until they’ve determined who the better man is, and Lawler just waltzes right back in there and rolls him up for three. Lawler gets the victory, but since the match already went 60 minutes, he retains. Was Dusty doing freelance booking at this point?

-Lawler comes out and cuts an unexpectedly heelish promo about how ugly Lance is, and how he deserves credit for beating two world champions: the world champion wrestler and the world champion of corrupt officiating. The referee, Tommy Marlin, is the brother of Eddie Marlin, who is the father-in-law of Jerry Jarrett, who doesn’t want Jerry Lawler to be the world champion, because if Jerry Lawler was the world champion, he’d have to travel around the world and the Memphis territory would go in the crapper. The fans are just totally blindsided by this, as Lawler complains that Bill Dundee got his ass kicked when he wrestled Nick Bockwinkel, and they granted that little runt a rematch! Lawler lays it out, that he pretty much wants a match with Bill Dundee to get the Southern Heavyweight Title, because if he wins that one, he’s guaranteed another AWA match

-We get prerecorded words from Bill Dundee, who I guess got a heads-up that Lawler was planning on turning heel and cut a pre-emptive promo about it. Dundee says he’s carefully inspected the Southern Heavyweight Title belt and he doesn’t see Lawler’s name on it anywhere, but if Lawler is so hell-bent on it, Dundee will grant him a title shot…if Lawler first beats The Hulk, Ron Bass, Sonny King, Jimmy Valiant, AND both Freebirds, and if he falls short anywhere along the way, he’s a jabroni(!) who doesn’t deserve the title anyway. Who am I supposed to cheer for in this feud, the sore winner or the chickenshit? Because this angle is a really bad look for both guys.


-Lawler is so insulted by being totally dismissed by Dundee that he pledges a straight wrestling match. No punches, no kicks, no chokes, nothing but just plain wrestling. So Lawler heads in there and Bryant just easily turns everything Lawler does into a hiptoss, and you can see Lawler’s rage building and building and building as Bryant makes him look like an idiot at every turn.

-Bryant applies a top wristlock, and Lawler is just DONE with this guy and and hammers him with punches and absolutely nothing else. A swift kick and an elbow get three for Lawler, and he’s full heel with this crowd by the time he’s done.


-Minor thing I appreciate: Gilbert is a fixture of this territory and Lance Russell STILL starts the match by telling us “That’s Gilbert on the right side of your TV screen.” Every show is a chance to welcome a new fan, don’t make them feel left out. Gilbert makes quick work of Smith, winning with a back suplex.

-Jimmy Valiant cuts the most coherent promo of his career, talking about how the mayor of Memphis has launched a new anti-litter campaign, so he’s going to do his part by getting rid of Ron Bass.

-Michael St. John interviews the returning Gibson Brothers, Ricky and Robert (yes, yes, weird coincidence), who are coming for the Blond Bombers.

BLONDE BOMBERS (Tag Team Champions, with Sgt. Danny Davis) vs. DALLAS MONTGOMERY & EDDIE GILBERT

-TV time is rapidly running out as the Bombers switch off on Gilbert and destroy him. Gilbert counters an attempted backdrop with a swift kick and tags out, but Dallas immediately crashes on a failed dropkick and Ferris gets three to close the show.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Lawler was sold gold as a heel this week.

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Memphis Wrestling, Adam Nedeff