The SmarK Rant for Memphis Wrestling – 02.08.86
By Scott Keith on 10th July 2023
The SmarK Rant for Memphis Wrestling – 02.08.86
Well let’s see if I can get through this week without glossing over any famous squashes.
Taped from Memphis, TN
Your hosts are Lance Russell & Dave Brown
Buddy Landel v. Lionel Green
Buddy quickly blasts Green down with forearms and a dropkick while Bill Dundee joins us on commentary and annoys Lance immediately. Buddy works the arm and beats Green down with chops before flattening him out with a facelock and dropping the corkscrew elbow. Figure-four finishes at 1:46.
Over at the desk, Buddy complains about lack of competition for him on TV, and also brags about the “wheelbarrows full of letters” coming in for him in the “Date with Buddy” contest. Last week the count was at 2, and Lance concedes that the number has risen since then. So then Buddy throws to footage of the giant brawl in the Mid-South coliseum last week, where he had to get involved with Dirty Rhodes and thus lower himself significantly. Watching a Buddy Landel v. Dirty Rhodes match in Memphis must have been like ordering one of those fake NES Classics off Wish when you wanted Ric Flair v. Dusty Rhodes.
Meanwhile, Lance hypes up the Evansville card this week, which features Dutch Mantel defending the International title against Rick Casey in a NO DQ match, plus the Fantastics take on Bill Dundee and a partner due to something that apparently will be happening later in the show we’re watching because the show was taped before this interview and Bill has already seen it. MIND BLOWN. Still though, way to expose the business, Bill.
Abdul Gadaffi v. Bobby Fuqua
This is a bit embarrassing even by Memphis 1986 standards. So yeah, it’s just Dan Miller now playing a vaguely-Middle Eastern terrorist by putting him in camo pants. So he blitzes the jobber with generic power guy stuff, chokes him out, and chokes him out some more in between clubbing forearms. Bill Dundee at ringside: “He might not be good at wrestling but he’s sure big!” Another forearm shot finishes at 1:34. Shockingly, this gimmick did not last long.
Meanwhile, manager JD Costello, playing a vaguely familiar southern rich boy with an overbearing mother gimmick, introduces the newest team in Memphis: The Mod Squad. Lance isn’t impressed with either of them.
Next up, Lance explains about the THUNDERDOME, although it’s not award-winning, which is the Memphis ripoff version of the Bunkhouse Stampede, down to the winners all advancing to a final match at the end of the tour.
The Fantastics v. The Undertakers
Don’t get excited, it’s just another team of Memphis rando masked goofs. The Fantastics double-team #2 to start and then work on #1’s arm as Bobby has some kind of giant bandage on his arm like when Macho Man had a staph infection at WM5. Bobby with a snap suplex on #1 and Tommy hits a flying splash to finish at 2:52.
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The Fantastics join Lance to update the “Date with the Fantastics” contest, and also we learn that they’ve run the Sheepherders out of the territory via loser-leaves-town match last week at the Coliseum. Bill Dundee interrupts and he complains about Bobby Fulton breaking up their team years ago and stealing all his booty-shaking material and strutting with Tommy Rogers. So Bobby gets all offended and hauls off and slaps Dundee down and chases him off, but deadly Libyan terrorist ABDUL GADAFFI throws powder in their face and the brawl is on. Holy cow, just like Bill promised in the pre-taped segment earlier in the show. Anyway Bobby promises that they’re gonna have a tag match and it’s gonna be THE UNITED STATES AGAINST LIBYA…AND AUSTRALIA! Yeah! Just like World War 2!
Dutch Mantel & Bill Dundee v. Tracy Smothers & Dirty Rhodes
Oddly one of the support cables under the ring breaks and all the ropes go loose, so no one can run the ropes and the heels just double-team Tracy in the corner while using the bull whip instead of the irish whip. They toss Tracy and Dundee gets a pretty nasty shot with a chair behind the ref’s back and then runs him into the ring post. So Dirty helps Tracy back into the ring, but the ref escorts Dirty out and Dundee yanks Tracy out and slams him on the floor this time. That is some primo Memphis heel work there. Back in the ring, they continue improvised around the broken ropes and Dundee beats on Tracy with the whip while Dutch gives the ref his opinions on AEW booking. Dundee comes off the top with a knee to the back and they toss Tracy again while Lance accidentally says “Dusty Rhodes”. If you say it three times I heard he shows up and books your territory into bankruptcy. Back in the ring, Dirty chases off the heels, so Dundee backdrops Tracy over the top and it’s a DQ at 6:25. And they they continue murdering Smothers on the floor after the loss, with Dundee running him into the post and then delivering a piledriver on the floor while Dutch leaves Rhodes laying and bloodied in the ring. This was fascinating, as they worked around a broken ring and had a tremendously entertaining match for what it was.
Back from the break, Tracy Smothers is left paralyzed on the floor, so officials load him up on a makeshift stretcher, and then Bill Dundee kicks it over and poor Tracy bumps onto the floor in a move so vile that I had to laugh because I’m an awful person. Thankfully Rick Casey makes the save and takes care of Bill and Dutch.
Larry “Thunderbolt” Hamilton v. David Haskins
Yes, we now have generic black guy Larry Hamilton repackaged into Thunderbolt Hamilton, like another famous Thunderbolt you may have seen before in unrelated promotions, and he finishes quickly with a bland-looking belly to belly at 1:20.
The Spoiler joins us at the desk, and he immediately unmasks as Frank Morrell, revealing that Bill Dundee has pissed him off and broken up his longtime team with Phil Hickerson, so now he’s a babyface and he’s taking Billy Travis under his wing and bought him a nice new suit. But then Tony Falk comes out to bitch at them and they have a quick brawl to no doubt set up some tag matches later on.
And Lance and Dave wrap things up for another week.
I’m all about the legendary thrashing of Tracy Smothers here this week. Bill Dundee is getting worse and you know it’s building to something.