Memphis Wrestling: (11.11.78)
November 11, 1978
The current Memphis wrestling champions are as follows:
AWA World Champion: Nick Bockwinkel (11/8/1975)
AWA Southern Heavyweight Champion: Don Fargo (11/6/1978)
AWA Southern Tag Team Champions: Jerry Lawler & Bill Dundee (11/6/1978)
SIDEBAR: I’m not going to pretend I am an expert on Memphis wrestling. I’ve watched random matches of the territory, but my insight on these shows will be coming from new eyes unlike the WWF and WCW programming that I grew up watching as a kid in North Carolina. I have watched the Memphis Heat documentary and I want to let you know that my knowledge is pretty much limited to that documentary, so you may want to look elsewhere if you are searching for recaps with a whole lot of foresight and hindsight into the booking and direction of the promotion. However, I will be posting the episodes I watch and recap from YouTube, so if you are like me and you want to get into Memphis ‘rasslin, then this just might be the way you will want to begin.
Your hosts are Lance Russell and Dave Brown.
- Jimmy Valiant & Wayne Farris vs. Danny Davis & Sammy Holt
SAMMY HOLT! Jimmy Valiant is one larger than life character here. He’s got the cool shades, the blonde hair, the tattoos in odd places, and he never shuts up. WWF fans know Wayne Farris best as the Honky Tonk Man. Of course here he’s wearing traditional wrestling singlet and blonde hair, so you may not recognize him at first. This is the soon to be “Nightmare” Danny Davis and not the WWF referee. In modern times, he’s probably best known as a trainer for Nick Dinsmore and the Basham brothers in OVW. Onto the match, Valiant and Farris have their way with Davis. Valiant almost has too much charisma to be in a tag team. Farris misses an elbow drop as Davis and Holt get a little comeback on him. The crowd is chanting GO WAYNE GO. Holt telegraphs a backdrop allowing Farris to kick him back and hot tag Valiant. He hits the RUNNING ELBOW DROP on Holt for the win. (2:54) Afterwards, Valiant dumps Holt out on the floor with Davis. What a dick.
After a commercial break, Jimmy Valiant comes out to talk with Lance Russell about his music career. Jimmy tells us that Burt Reynolds and Sally Field dropped him off at the studio this morning. He thinks Burt must have given him something because he hasn’t slept in 48 hours. When discussing other big names Valiant has been hanging out with, he brings up Bob Seger’s name and says he and Bob sold out Madison Square Garden and broke the indoor attendance record. WOO BABY! In 1978 Memphis, who’s going to fact check? They show a video of Jimmy Valiant performing his signature song. It just looks like he hijacked some band’s sound check and started singing. Nobody is rushing the stage or anything. Apparently you can hear that song on the radio in Memphis. Valiant is pretty hype after seeing that.
Jerry Lawler and Superstar Bill Dundee come by to tell him how cool the song was. Dundee suggests that Valiant and Lawler do a concert together. Valiant says Lawler can open the show and then Valiant can do the thing before heading to the back. They switch gears to Lawler and Dundee. Lawler talks about a big lady named Heather Feather. Since she lasted three minutes with a bear, she should be allowed to have a match with a man and there’s a petition the other wrestlers can sign if they wish to do so. Only in Memphis! Russell commends these two for being on the side of women’s lib (HA!) and he’s sure Heather Feather appreciates their support.
Chuck Malone stops by the desk to tell Lance Russell that Lawler and Dundee are just trying to take credit for getting behind Heather Feather. Since that is supposed to be the case, Malone signs the petition at Russell’s prompting. During the introduction for the next match, Lawler and Dundee come back out to tell Malone and the WORLD that what he was actually signing was a contract to face Heather Feather and not a petition. Therefore, Chuck Malone will face Heather Feather on Monday night at the Mid-South Coliseum. Malone is very upset and yells some things to Russell that may or may not be English.
- Robert Gibson & Jackie Welch vs. The Bounty Hunters (w/Chuck Malone)
The Bounty Hunters are made up of David and Jerry Novak. They appear to be a regular heel tag team in the Tennessee territory in the 1970s. Just so there is no confusion, this is also the Robert Gibson of Rock N Roll Express fame. Welch plays face in peril for this contest. At one point, he’s thrown on the floor right in front of Malone. Jerry keeps on knocking Welch off the apron to prevent him from getting back in the ring. It happens time and time again until Robert Gibson is drawn into the ring. While the ref is busy getting him back in his corner, Malone gets up and drops Welch with a PILEDRIVER ON THE FLOOR. OH MY. Malone sits down and looks as innocent as he possibly can at this moment. Ref counts out Welch to give the Bounty Hunters the win via countout. (3:05 shown) They did a really good working in that finish. It didn’t just happen and there it is, it logically happened and felt like a plan they had all along. As the beatings continue, Lawler and Dundee head out to chase off the Bounty Hunters.
After a break, Chuck Malone comes out and confronts Lance Russell about the sketchy way he signed the contract with Heather Feather. Lance gives him two options: fulfill the terms of the contract or pack your bags and leave Memphis. Chuck decides to wrestle Heather Feather this Monday night and says her blood will be on your hands, Lance!
Jerry Lawler and Superstar Bill Dundee head out to talk to Lance Russell again. After beating the Bounty Hunters last Monday night for the AWA Southern tag titles, the Bounty Hunters already want a rematch. Since the champs don’t have to defend the belts but once every thirty days max, there’s no incentive for Lawler and Dundee to give them their rematch so soon. The only way they will give them the immediate rematch is if Chuck Malone puts his hair on the line. Malone has agreed to the terms and Lawler feels Malone will probably end up leaving Memphis after all when he loses his hair this Monday night.
Out comes Jimmy Valiant to confront the tag champs. He wants to make this main event a six-man tag match. If the tag belts are on the line, then you can’t have a six-man tag though, Jimmy. If what the people want to see is Chuck Malone lose his hair, then Handsome Jimmy will pull out Chuck’s hair himself. Sorry, Jimmy. It won’t happen. Valiant keeps pushing this main event idea and thinks Lawler is just jealous of him. Dundee steps aside and lets them work it out. Lawler tells him there’s no jealousy and thinks the people want to see Chuck Malone bald more than they want to see a six-man tag. Well, Handsome Jimmy isn’t convinced there’s no jealousy between them because he feels now he’s more popular than Lawler. OH MAN. Valiant keeps stirring the pot that Lawler is jealous. Lawler finally has enough and tells Valiant exactly how he feels about him. Lawler thinks Valiant is in fact quite the flagrant homosexual. Jerry Jarrett and a few others come out to try and cool this down before it gets really out of hand. Ever since Valiant has been down in Memphis, he’s been bumming car rides off Lawler and Dundee, pointing out that maybe Valiant isn’t all that he says he is. Wayne Farris is out here to try and keep Valiant from doing anything crazy to his cousin. Valiant tells Lawler that he’s done nothing to help his own flesh and blood. Lawler says he hasn’t done anything for Farris because Farris needed to achieve what he has on his own without his help. Lawler points out that since Wayne has been hanging with Valiant, Farris has his hair bleached blonde and looks like a fag just like Valiant. Oh this is awesome. Valiant calls Lawler garbage and challenges Lawler to settle this in the ring. Lawler then gives Valiant one good slap and it turns into a pull-apart situation here.
- Tommy Gilbert & Terry Sawyer vs. Bill Dromo & Don Fargo (w/Al Greene)
Tommy Gilbert is the patriarch of the Gilbert wrestling family. As far as I know, Terry Sawyer is not related to Buzz. Bill Dromo is definitely an old timer by this point, but still a big dude. Don Fargo is one half of the famous Fabulous Fargos tag team, but it’s a Gene and Ole Anderson type relationship in that they aren’t actually related. Back and forth match that’s edited quite a bit due to problems with the tape. Jerry Jarrett comes out and announces to the viewing audience that he has fined Jerry Lawler and Jimmy Valiant $500 each for their actions earlier and ensures us that it’ll never EVER happen again. Back to the match, Sawyer is refusing to tag Gilbert when he’s in trouble. When Gilbert mounts a comeback on both Dromo and Fargo, he walks over and slaps Sawyer off the apron. Sawyer jumps back in the ring and slugs Gilbert down. Dromo jumps on Gilbert with an elbow drop and covers him for the pinfall. (7:41 shown) Gilbert challenges Sawyer to a fight after the bell and Sawyer just runs to the locker room like a total wuss.
- Koko Ware vs. Steve Brodie
Here is Koko in his rookie year in wrestling. Russell remarks how strong and muscular Koko looks. This is the only straight-forward wrestling exhibition of the show. No cheap tactics or anything. Koko wins with three straight dropkicks here. (2:58 shown) About two and a half minutes shaved off this one with more tape problems.
Jerry Lawler comes out and apologizes to the fans for losing his temper, but he WON’T apologize to that jerk Jimmy Valiant. If Valiant wants some, he knows where to find him.
- AWA Southern Tag Team Champions Jerry Lawler & Superstar Bill Dundee vs. Pat & Mike Kelly
Only a few minutes left in the show for this match. Mostly just headlocks traded between the teams until we run out of time at 1:36. It never gets out of first gear.
And that’s going to do it for this week. Lance Russell and Dave Brown close the show.
Posted on October 19, 2015, in Memphis and tagged Al Greene, Bill Dromo, Bounty Hunters, Chuck Malone, Danny Davis, Don Fargo, Honky Tonk Man, Jackie Welch, Jerry Lawler, Jimmy Valiant, Koko B. Ware, Mike Kelly, Pat Kelly, Robert Gibson, Sammy Holt, Superstar Bill Dundee, Terry Sawyer, Tommy Gilbert. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.