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Memphis Wrestling (9.8.1979) Review

September 29, 2021 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Jerry Lawler Memphis Wrestling Image Credit: Memphis Wrestling/YouTube
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Memphis Wrestling (9.8.1979) Review  

-Originally aired September 8, 1979.

-Your hosts are Lance & Dave.

-Ron Bass is tired of hearing Bill Dundee cut promos where he says “I’m a WRESTLER” so Monday night, Bass is going to wrestle him, fight him, AND spank him.

-We head to the Mid-South Coliseum, where the Blonde Bombers are defending the Tag Team Titles against the Gibson Brothers, Ricky & Robert. It still feels like I’m making a dumb mistake every time I type that, but no, Robert Gibson totally had a brother named Ricky that he teamed up with originally. Wild finish sees a pier sixer break out. Danny Davis tries to slip in and use his helmet as a weapon, but he accidentally smacks Larry Latham with it. Latham is dazed and Ricky locks on a sleeper, but Ferris coldcocks Ricky with something in his hand and knocks him cold, and Latham slumps over and gets the pin.

-Heads up! Due to another commitment in the Mid-South Coliseum, action will be on Tuesday night, not Monday night.

-Lance chats with the Gibsons, who demand a rematch on Tuesday night, so everybody had better come to the building on Tuesday night. Let’s be there at Tuesday night.

-I’m starting to think someone should have said something to Ron Bass before he cut his promo at the start of the show. I now have a mental picture of Ron showing up at the building on Monday night, putting on his tights and boots, and stepping through the curtain and seeing a bunch of confused Battlestar Galactica fans milling around for their convention.


-My god, it’s like a glimpse nine years into the future and seeing what kind of All American Wrestling filler they’re taping at the Challenge tapings. Ware surprises everyone by taking down the huge Bass with a waistlock. Side headlock by Koko. Bass tries to turn it into an atomic drop, but Koko rolls through and hangs onto the hold. Bass finally gets back to his feet and gets a back suplex, and a big elbow finishes, after Koko had 95% of the match. And now here’s Lord Alfred Hayes with Special Report.

-We’re here with Bill Dundee, who’s still feuding with Jerry Lawler and he’s livid about what happened in their match on Monday night at the Coliseum. We roll the tape, and to the surprise of everybody, here’s Jerry Lawler walking to the ring for his match, accompanied by JIMMY HART! AHA! I was wondering when we were finally going to see him. Lance Russell is confused because Jimmy is a personal friend of Lawler, but as far as anyone knows, he doesn’t have any actual business involvement in wrestling. Jimmy usually sits at the timekeeper’s table as an invited guest for the matches, but Lawler’s just made it clear that Jimmy is standing in his corner at ringside for this match.

-So Dundee retreats to the locker room to bring back Sonny King as an equalizer. Meanwhile, the referee has determined that Jimmy Hart actually does have a manager’s license, so he can stand at ringside whenever he wants. With that, we lay out Jimmy Hart’s secret origin story, as Jimmy used to travel around with Lawler and Dundee when they were friends. And Hart wrote a song about wrestling just for fun, but then stroked Lawler’s ego about how he should sing it and release it as a single. And then he stroked Lawler’s ego more by telling him he should go on the road more because he’d sell more records that way, so Lawler got this totally swollen head and it’s all Jimmy Hart’s doing.

-With that, Dundee pulls in jobber Pat Hutchinson, who’s never won a match before. If Jimmy Hart wants to be in the wrestling business, Dundee will put up $5,000 of his own money for Hart to get in the ring and wrestle Hutchinson. If Hart can get a win and actually prove that he has any idea what he’s talking about by beating Hutchinson, fine, Dundee will tolerate him being Lawler’s manager.

-So out come Lawler and Hart, and it’s funny to see Jimmy before his signature look because he’s in a plain red shirt and just looks like a bartender at the shittiest disco in Memphis. Challenge accepted, and they’ll see Pat Hutchinson this Tuesday night.

-We go back to the tape from the Coliseum. Unexpected outcome: Referee gets bumped: Jimmy Hart throws a weapon to Jerry Lawler, but Sonny King intercepts it and knocks Lawler out cold, and the referee revives and counts three for Dundee. Lance concedes it’s a tainted win, but Lawler cheated a lot in the match too.

-Tuesday night, Lawler faces Sonny King with the winner getting a Southern Title shot, and Lawler is back with Jimmy Hart. Lawler complains that the show is on Tuesday instead of Monday this week because he just has to wait one extra day to whip Sonny King.

-Lance runs down the card for Tuesday, and Sonny King strolls out with a belt. He heard Lawler’s words about whipping him. Sonny promises Lawler will be black and blue by the end of the match because he’s going to do some whipping of his own.

JERRY “The King” LAWLER (with Jimmy Hart) vs. RICKY MORTON

-And since Hart is in the King’s corner, Sonny King suddenly decides to stick around and hang out at Ricky’s corner of the ring. King Zbyszko stalls every time Morton gets an offensive move, with Jimmy Hart providing back-up by complaining about hair pulling. And Lawler gets better mileage than even Larry Z ever got out of that, as this squash technically goes on forever, but it’s all Lawler stalling and whining about phantom cheating, I swear, we’re five minutes in and we’ve had four spots.

-They criss-cross and Lawler rears back for a big punch, but Morton just Thesz presses him and ties him up with a waistlock, and Lawler is shocked that this is actually just turning into a straight-up ass-kicking. So Lawler heads in as Lance clarifies that we’re actually eight minutes into this, and Lawler turns up the classic heel hypocrisy to 11 and just drills Morton with punches. Big suplex by Lawler, and he pauses to taunt Sonny King, and the commentators are shocked that he didn’t go for the pin because they think he really, really should have. So Lawler just arrogant strolls around the ring throwing punches and posing, but Morton lunges at him, so Lawler flings him into the corner, and Jimmy Hart just whips him repeatedly with a belt, and Sonny King runs in at the same time to pick a fight with Lawler, so the referee just calls it a DDQ and Lawler & Hart scurry out of there.


-First appearance for the Spoilers in this territory.

FALL ONE: #1 takes down Montgomery. #2 tags in and works the arm, and then shoves him against the ropes and demands the fresh man. Hutchinson gets slammed down. Even on the crappy deteriorated copy of this show that I’m watching, you can still see the blood stains all over the mat from the Eddie Boulder angle months that. I love this territory. Slam and an elbow gets three for the Spoilers, although the commentators note that Hutchinson was trying to kick out all through the pinfall, fighting to the very end, which is a subtle way of suddenly making him look strong before Tuesday night.

-Back from commercial, TV time is running out, so they don’t even bother with fall two, and it’s just a win for the Spoilers.

-So that’s the end of that episode. The next episode I have in sequence is October 20, 1979, but it’s only about 20 minutes of that show, so rather than a separate review for only twenty minutes of stuff, I’m tacking it on here.

-Originally aired October 20, 1979.

-Your hosts are Lance Russell and Dave Brown, who, by coincidence, are the same Lance Russell and Dave Brown who hosted the preceding episode of Memphis Wrestling.

NON-TITLE: JERRY “The King” LAWLER (Southern Champion, with Jimmy Hart) vs. STEVE REGAL

-And so Lawler has since beaten Sonny King and then captured the Southern Heavyweight Title. Commentators are funny, passive-aggressively refusing to call Jimmy Hart a manager (“What is he? A valet? Cheerleader?”)

-Lawler stalls and complains about Regal having his dukes up. They criss-cross and Hart trips Regal up from the floor, putting him in perfect position for a second-rope elbow…but Lawler misses. He heads to the floor for a retreat and Regal noggin-knocks Lawler and Hart, and Lance openly mocks Lawler for putting Regal down earlier (“Yes, Jerry, he IS the best opponent we’ve got for you”).

-Back in, Regal targets the bad arm with a top wristlock and snaps it repeatedly. Lawler’s having the worst week ever. Lawler tries to escape but Regal uses a yank of the hair to bring him back down on the mat because dammit, Lawler would have done the same thing and everyone knows it. And in fact, Lawler tries to tattle on Regal, so the referee asks the studio audience if Regal pulled hair, and they all yell “NO!” to the total exasperation of Lawler.

-Lawler breaks with a punch that he insists was just a smack in the face and takes over from there. Regal blocks and reverses a turnbuckle shot and hiptosses Lawler around the ring. Big dropkick as Regal continues having the greatest week ever, right up until Hart passes a weapon to him, and one right hand from Lawler is enough to put Regal away. AWESOME match, with Lawler creating a new star and then the moment the fans bought into him, and then getting a tainted win over him.

-Post-match, Lawler just grins and gloats like the match was no effort at all. He recaps a hilarious-sounding angle from last week’s show in which he wore a blindfold to wrestle a jobber, and wants us to watch the tape because he has a point he wants to make. Lance tells him we’re pressed for time because of a six-man match coming up later, so the production crew didn’t bother readying the tape, and Lawler flips his shit.

-So Lawler recaps the angle for us and it really does sound pretty damn funny, as Jimmy Hart agreed to wear a blindfold so he couldn’t advise Lawler. So once Lawler and Jimmy have their blindfolds on, the jobber tiptoes out of the ring and Bill Dundee steps in instead, and Dundee just kicks Lawler’s ass and pins him.

-Next order of business: a rematch has been signed for this Monday night, and Jimmy Hart is being forced to sit in a cage at ringside for the duration of the match, even though he’s a businessman and he wears a SUIT when he comes to the arena!

-After the commercial, Bill Dundee comes out to cut a promo with the cage on display. Lawler and Hart return to ringside for a brawl, and Lawler knocks Dundee out cold with a shot into the ring post, then paints him yellow. Heel Lawler could do no wrong. I mean, he does wrong, because he’s a heel, but…you know what I meant.

The final score: review Good
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Memphis Wrestling, Adam Nedeff