The SmarK Rant for Memphis Wrestling – 02.17.79
By Scott Keith on 9th May 2023
The SmarK Rant for Memphis Wrestling – 02.17.79
Moving forward a few months in KrisPLettuce’s archive, as the first show available was from November 1978 and now we’re into the futuristic year 1979. For those who were asking after the first episode, this is shortly after Jerry Jarrett took control of the Memphis territory, about a year prior.
Taped from Memphis, TN
Your hosts are Dave Brown & Lance Russell
Austin Idol and his crew of hangers-on join us to start, prepping for a lumberjack match against Jerry Lawler at the Mid-South Coliseum. And this is a CANADIAN Lumberjack Match, which means that instead of throwing guys back in, the lumberjacks are armed with belts and will beat whoever ends up on the floor, presumably like a dog.
Tommy Gilbert & Robert Gibson v. The Assassins
I presume the Assassins are the standard Jody Hamilton & Tom Renesto version. Assassin #2 takes Gibson down with a headscissors to start, but Robert fires back with a dropkick and some armdrags. Just to put things in perspective, at this point Robert is wearing full trucks with straps and has a haircut and moustache that make him look like a no good teenager from King of the Hill. God bless Jerry Jarrett for looking at this guy and thinking “There’s my new heart-throb tag team!” Over to Gilbert, but Assassin #1 cuts him off and works him over in the corner. Tommy manages to fight his way back to the corner and Robert gets a hot tag and runs wild for a bit before grabbing a headlock on Assassin #1. The babyfaces double-team #2 and Robert boots him down for one, but #2 blocks a rollup. He misses an elbow and it’s back to #1 again, who takes Robert down and goes to the nerve pinch. I’m jealous, my neck has been killing me for days now and I could use a good massage. Getting old is the shits. Back to Tommy and he’s full of fire, but misses a blind charge and that allows the Assassins to put him down with a double elbow for one. Tommy fights back again, but #2 puts him down with an atomic drop for two. #1 with a shot to the throat for two. Powerslam and elbowdrop gets two. #2 with a backdrop suplex for one. #2 tries to drop him on the top rope and kind of misses, but Tommy fights back anyway and slugs away until he gets another hot tag to Robert. Robert with a slam on #2 for two and it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA. But then the Assassins dump Tommy and finish Robert with, believe it or not, a Demolition elbow in 8:51. Also the timekeeper call is EXACTLY correct from Dave Brown, which is always a pet peeve of mine when it’s off by huge amounts for no reason. Also this was a HELL of a match for a random TV opener in 1979.
Meanwhile, Gorgeous George Jr introduces us to THE MONGOLIAN STOMPER, as the voiceover talks about Stomper being such a maniac after leaving his native Mongolia that no less than 4 managers have attempted to rein in his madness, all unsuccessfully. Also he breaks cement cinder blocks on his head for fun. Not familiar with George Jr, but it sounds like he’s on the tail end of his career in wrestling at this point from what I can read about him.
The Mongolian Stomper v. Jerry Barber
You know I love me some Mongolian Stomper. He’s wearing an amateur headgear here for some reason, which is an odd fashion choice. I can say that because he’s dead and won’t hurt me for saying so. As promised, he demolishes Barber, destroying him with boots and a slam and then putting him out with a cobra sleeper at 1:21.
Jerry Lawler joins us to show us his own lumberjacks, including young Robert Fuller and Jimmy Golden, Bill Dundee and Tommy Gilbert. Jerry notes that he learned about the Canadian Lumberjack match from Jos Leduc, who apparently did them in Canada all the time and taught him. So Lawler again explains the rules, as anyone who leaves the ring because the match is too tough will then have to face 8 men with leather belts.
We get a bit of a promo from Robert Fuller and Bill Dundee, which is funny because Fiuller sounds absolutely nothing like he would years later, with no hint of his ridiculous southern drawl.
Buzz Sawyer v. Roger Howell
Holy shit, Buzz has HAIR. He looks more like Matt Borne here. They trade some basic armbar takedowns and headlocks, but Howell misses a charge and Buzz pins him with a german suplex at 3:19.
Back from the break, Don Carson and his partner Dennis Condrey come out and demand some competition, so Buzz Sawyer is game.
Don Carson v. Buzz Sawyer
Carson hits young Buzz with a knee to the gut and then slugs him down with his loaded glove and pins him at 1:20. Dennis Condrey and his giant David Coverdale hairstyle is the highlight here. He looks more like Bobby Eaton than Bobby did.
This didn’t have the insane show-long angle that the first episode I reviewed had, but I love this show all the same.