The SmarK Rant for the Best of Memphis TV Yearbook 1987 – Part 1
By Scott Keith on 16th November 2022
The SmarK Rant for The Best of Memphis TV Yearbook – Volume 1
OK so there seems to be some demand for me to check out this stuff on Tubi, so we’ll start here with one of the greatest runs ever, IMO.
I don’t know if this stuff is in chronological order or what, but we’ll go with the flow. Also I’m dubious about anyone actually having legit rights to this stuff, but the video quality is good so I’m not gonna complain.
Paul Diamond, Pat Tanaka & King Karl Fergie v. Jeff Jarrett, Billy Travis & Tracy Smothers
I can’t really nail down the date on this, but it would appear to be late 87 if Tanaka and Diamond are teaming. Fergie slugs JJ down and beats on him in the corner, but Jarrett runs wild with hiptosses on all the heels and chases them out of the ring. It still blows my mind that Jeff Jarrett was one of the best babyfaces ever for years and then just gave it up forever in 93 and spent the rest of his career annoying people as a heel. Billy Travis comes in and works a wristlock on Tanaka, and Tracy comes in and continues the babyface fire as the crowd goes nuts for him. But then he goes for a rollup and manager The Black Prince (who might be Brickhouse Brown in another ID?) nails him to give the heels the first fall at 3:42.
Second fall and Diamond takes him down with a headscissors while Dave Brown notes that in a tag team match, you legally have to have one hand on the turnbuckle at all times. “We do see that rule violated from time to time, however” he adds. Diamond works the arm and cheats, despite denying any and all wrongdoing, but Smothers fights back with a dropkick and brings Travis back in. Judging by the matching tights, it seems like Smothers and Travis were a regular team at this point, and they double-team Diamond before he manages to escape for a tag to Tanaka. Jarrett comes in and slugs him down and then backdrops Fergie out of the corner and traps him in the babyface corner for some double-teams. Smothers works a headlock on Fergie and takes him down with a flying headscissors before dropkicking him to the floor to regroup. Travis comes in, but he runs into a cheapshot and the heels work him over, with Tanaka hitting a double chop for two. Diamond beats on the back and Tanaka comes off the middle rope for two, and then hits a superkick for two. Billy lunges and makes the hot tag to Smothers and it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA, and Jarrett clotheslines Fergie into a sunset flip by Smothers to tie up the match at one fall each at 13:29. But that’s all the time in the episode and they leave it there. Pretty fun six-man while it lasted and a clever way to make sure neither team has to job. ***
Brickhouse Brown v. Mr. Helo
Sometime around March of 1987 from the Jackson Coliseum. Helo is some kind of generic Japanese assassin character, working on Brown with nerveholds. He went onto bigger fame in Japan as Koko Fuyuki and was booker of FMW when it went down for good. Brown makes a comeback and chases Helo out of the ring, and then back in for a missile dropkick. But then he goes after Tojo Yamamoto, and Helo clotheslines him for the pin at 4:00. Nothing to this one. *
Moondog Spot v. Bucky Seigler
Seigler gets some shine right away and backdrops Spot for two, but he walks into a backbreaker and Spot takes over. Bucky tries to fight back, but Spot boots him down and then powerslams him for the pin at 1:10.
The Mighty Goliath v. Alan West
Goliath is a future D-team Moondog replacement named Bill White who never did anything else of note. He beats on West with generic big man stuff, but misses a charge and West dropkicks him down for two. But then Goliath hits him with a foreign object and pins him at 4:10. This guy was BAD.
Paul E. Dangerously introduces himself to Memphis, with his new friend Humongous, and he’s putting Memphis on notice!
Lord Humongous v. David Johnson
Apparently this is the same guy from Mid-South in 1985, after taking a couple of years off and returning here. Humongous gets a press slam while Paul E. complains about coming “down from New York” and wasting his time with jobbers. HE WANTS MORE GUYS! Humongous clobbers the guy and pins him at 0:30. Paul Diamond and Alan West hit the ring and offer to take them up on their offer, but Paul decides they’ll fight another day.
Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond v. David Wilson & Greg Jones
Tanaka doesn’t think much of the jobbers, so he offers to let Diamond handle the match by himself. Diamond puts Wilson down with a back elbow and literally rubs his face in the mat, and then follows with a clothesline and a slam for the pin at 1:10. Afterwards, Diamond has words for Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong, because they’ve been running their mouths in Florida. But Florida is the minor leagues. Also Tanaka is going to kill them when he gets a hold of them. Yeah these two definitely needed a manager to promo for them and DDP improved their act 1000% when they got to the AWA.
Pat Tanaka v. Boy Tony
So we jump back to early in the year, when Tanaka was still a babyface and Tony Falk was “Boy Tony”, doing a wacky Boy George parody. Sadly he’s on crutches and unable to compete, and Downtown Bruno tells a tragic tale of Tony riding an exercise bike and snapping the chain because he was doing 70 miles an hour on it. So he hurt his ankle and he’s not cleared to compete. Funny hearing Bruno at this point, doing a promo style with a Jersey dialect like he’s Dan Aykroyd on the “Bag of Glass” toy commercial on SNL. Pat Tanaka calls bullshit on the injury, and of course turns his back and gets laid out by Falk with his crutch, and the heels put a dress on Tanaka before running away from the babyfaces who make the save. And then Pat wakes up and Lance is like “Yeah, he put the dress on you, Pat.”
Meanwhile, we get highlights of a boxing match between Bruno and valet Emily Arthur in the Mid-South Coliseum, as Bruno’s cornerman Big Bubba (Tugboat) clobbers Emily behind the ref’s back and Bruno wins by knockout.
Jerry Lawler & Bill Dundee v. Jack Hart & Chick Donovan
Jack Hart is better known as Barry Horowitz. Meanwhile, Paul E. Dangerously is running around ringside in his underwear after Lawler stole his pants, and promises to bring out Tommy Rich and Austin Idol to come back for BLOOD. Dundee slugs away on “Stretcher” Jack Hart, but Jack grabs a headlock and then does a criss-cross, only to realize that Dundee has left the ring and is cheering him on from the corner while Hart runs back and forth. Over to Chick, who chokes Dundee out on the ropes, but Lawler comes in and pulls down the strap already, cleaning house on the heels before Dundee rolls up Donovan for the pin at 3:28.
Phil Hickerson v. Terry Taylor
Joined in progress from the Mid-South Coliseum with Taylor working an armbar, but Hickerson escapes and drops Taylor with an atomic drop. Phil drops knees on him and gives him the old thumb to the throat, and a backbreaker gets two. Phil with a back elbow for two. Slam gets two. He cuts off a Taylor comeback and slugs him down, but Terry puts him down with a kneedrop for two. Phil thumbs him in the throat again for two, but Taylor gets his foot on the ropes. Terry with a backslide for two and he blocks a sunset flip and then hits a Saito suplex. That’s a pretty impressive bump for big fat Phil Hickerson. Taylor goes up with a flying splash for two, but the ref is bumped and Taylor hits the five-arm with no ref to count. So Hickerson tosses Taylor over the top, but Taylor comes back in and backdrops Hickerson to the floor. But then the referee revives and DQ’s Taylor because he only saw Hickerson going over the top rope, at 9:00 shown. Come on, PHIL HICKERSON on a “Best of” anything compilation? **
This actually goes on for another hour but I’m gonna stop it here and maybe do the other half later, because it’s all just out-of-context matches and angles shown without any kind of narrative or explanation. I actually preferred the Jerry Lawler shows he uploaded to YouTube a while back, because he focused on one thing or one theme. This is just a bunch of stuff that’s mostly background noise rather than any kind of coherent “show” I can review. You win some, you lose some I guess.