The SmarK Rant for Memphis Wrestling – 02.22.86
By Scott Keith on 26th July 2023
The SmarK Rant for Memphis Wrestling – 02.22.86
Taped from Memphis, TN
Your hosts are Lance Russell & Dave Brown
Buddy Landel joins us immediately, and he’s complaining that Austin Idol is back in the territory and in fact Buddy is the only true heartthrob of Memphis.
The Fantastics v. The Undertakers
Apparently Bobby Fulton has been out for a bit with a really bad flu, and Lance jokes that everyone else in the country has been dealing with the same thing. Man it would really suck if the entire country got hit with some kind of a pandemic all at once. Hopefully that never happens. The Fantastics double-team Undertaker #1 and work the arm, but #1 tries to overpower Tommy Rogers and eats a dropkick as a result. Over to #2 and the Fans switch off on an armbar as Fulton has a GIANT bandage on his forehead, so presumably they were doing bloodbath matches around the horn. Rogers with a snapmare on #2 and Fulton follows with a clothesline, and then Rogers finishes with a wicked looking missile dropkick at 3:23.
Lance and Dave discuss the upcoming Thunderdome matches, which are a wholly original idea of this promotion and not at all cribbed from any similar ideas involving “bunkhouses” and “stampedes”. I’m assuming that Dirty Rhodes is also going to book himself to win. So we get a series of promos from the wrestlers and what winning the $10,000 would mean to them. That’s like 20 years of paydays from Jerry Jarrett! No wonder they’re all desperate to win.
Austin Idol v. Tony Falk
Austin stops by to give us a promo first, playing total babyface this time around, but he showed up late and doesn’t have his gear yet. So he’s going to go get changed and then beat Falk. But Tony gets all offended because he’s got the secret to escaping the leglock RIGHT NOW and he’ll take Idol in his street clothes. So Idol notes that although William Perry is the Refrigerator, they’ll call him the Microwave because he’ll heat up Falk and then melt him down. So Falk jumps Idol on the way into the ring and chokes him out on the ropes while Buddy Landel comes out to do commentary and continues bitching about Idol and his subpar version of the figure-four. Idol quickly makes the comeback on Falk with slams while Buddy claims to have beaten Ric Flair and both members of the Rock N Roll Express with the figure-four. So Idol works the leg and finishes with the figure-four at 1:30 while Lance gets all mad at Buddy for talking over the entire match and not letting them get a word in. Having Idol back in the territory immediately fills the star power gap left by Lawler’s departure.
The drop-in promo about Evansville leaves me wondering what the hell a “hotshot stick on a pole” is.
Ken Prince v. The Raider
Prince is a generic bodybuilder type who is decked out in in way too many accessories. He’s wearing an entire dominatrix outfit and it takes him FOREVER to take off all the individual pieces, including a tail. Come on man, it’s only an hour long show. He hits the Raider with a shoulderblock, but misses a second try and Raider drops an elbow on him. Prince boots Raider out to the floor, and then back in with a bodypress out of the corner for the pin at 2:00. I have no idea who this guy was but he can’t have stuck around for long because he looked terrible.
Buddy Landel v. Lionel Green
Buddy puts Green down with a back elbow and then puts him down with a chop and drops the corkscrew elbow, before finishing with the figure-four at 1:22. Buddy refuses to release the hold, so Austin Idol comes out and asks him nicely to release it, and then whips Buddy with his belt when he won’t. Naturally this brings out Bill Dundee to help, but Idol kicks his ass as well, so Buddy hits Idol with a cheapshot and puts him in the figure-four while Bill chokes Idol out with the belt. But then Idol reverses the move while Dundee rants on commentary, so Dundee has to knock Idol out with a chair this time. And the other babyfaces finally storm out to help after that, chasing Bill & Budro away. Now I want to see that Dundee v. Idol match they’re hyping for the Monday night show.
JD Costello and the Mod Squad do another pretaped promo, promising that they’re arriving soon and going after the Fantastics. Spike and Basher just kind of stand there pointing at the camera menacingly while Costello does the promo. I can’t remember if they got much into the backstory on the Jeffers brothers at this point, with the idea of the team being that they were corrupt cops in New Orleans who got fired for excessive brutality. But they don’t really fit with Costello’s Jim Cornette character.
Rick Casey v. Pat Rose
Casey has won the International title from Dutch Mantel at the last Mid-South Coliseum show, but this is non-title. Casey with the usual hiptoss and dropkick stuff while the announcers discuss the much more interesting story of Pat Rose losing his tag team partner, who ran off with his girlfriend to end both relationships. Casey works the arm, but Rose takes him down and headlocks him on the mat. So Casey reverses out and gets his own headlock and goddamn those ropes are so loose that I’m surprised no one has gone flying out of the ring on an irish whip. Rose slugs back in the corner and follows with a nice suplex for two. But then Casey hits an awkward as hell bulldog to finish at 6:10 after a surprisingly competitive match. Thankfully, in the next Evansville house show promo, Casey clarifies that a hotshot stick is a cattle prod. Also this was apparently Casey’s last Memphis match on TV, as he dropped the title at a house show and left the territory. Too bad, he was a decent babyface with the cowboy gimmick.
Frank Morell & Billy Travis v. Dutch Mantel & Bill Dundee
This Morell & Travis team that they’re suddenly pushing is weird. Travis was better off with Tracy Smothers than 70 year old Morell, who is the furthest thing from a heartthrob. The babyfaces double-team Dundee and work the arm, but Dundee blatantly backdrops Travis over the top rope while the ref is distracted, and Dutch runs him into the ringpost. Back in the ring, Dundee pulls out a chain and knocks Travis out with it, and then passes it off to Mantel behind the ref’s back. So Travis is busted open and the heels work him over in the corner and just mercilessly double-team him. Dutch drops an elbow for two. Travis fights to the corner, but Dundee gets the chain again and chokes him out with that, before Dutch pounds on the cut further. He misses a kneedrop and hot young babyface Frank Morell gets the hot tag and beats on Dutch in the corner. But then Dundee finds powder and tosses it in Morell’s face for the DQ at 7:30. Really, you’re gonna protect FRANK MORELL with a DQ finish? But then the Midnight Rider saves the babyfaces from further shenanigans, using a cattle prod, or hotshot stick as the kids say, and that’s the show. I don’t actually know who was playing the Midnight Rider in this case and I don’t know of any babyfaces who lost loser-leaves-town matches around that time and would wield a cattle prod as a weapon.
Another solid and entertaining hour of Memphis.