Retro Wrasslin'

A look back at pro wrestling history.

Memphis Wrestling 12/8/1979

Written By Alfredo Esparza

CWA Memphis Championship Wrestling 12/8/1979

Taped 12/8/1979 at the WMC TV Studios in Memphis, Tennessee.

Lance Russell and Dave Brown on commentary.

Tojo Yamamoto vs. Pat Hutchinson

Sonny King shows up because he wants to talk about a few things as this match goes on. Tojo Yamamoto beats on Hutchinson and keeps knocking him down to the mat. He tosses Hutchinson to the outside. King on commentary mentions that he spent a lot of time trying to make a man out of Rick Morton and he’s upset that Morton never listened to him.

Hutchinson gets back in the ring and Yamamato hiptosses him and chops him. Back rake from Yamamoto. Hard chop across the chest of Hutchinson. Sonny King mentions that he’s going to do things like he use to do and not waste time on wrestlers like Rick Morton, Steve Regal, Hector Guerrero and Big Red. Yamamto continues to chop away on Hutchinson. He gets the stomach claw (abdominal grab) on Hutchinson to get him to submit.

WINNER: Tojo Yamamoto

Sonny King says he is reorganizing and will do things right this time around. Yamamoto screams as he leaves the ringside area.

Rick Morton and Big Red join Lance Russell for an interview. Russell mentions Sonny King slapping around Morton. Rick Morton says King is a tough man and doubts he can beat him but after he slapped him, he said that he wouldn’t back down and would fight King. Tojo Yamamoto and Sonny King run out and attack them. King hog-ties Big Red! King then asks Morton to come over. Yamamoto grabs Morton as King slaps Morton! King keeps asking Morton if he’s going to listen and continues to slap him. Big Red breaks free from and attacks King and Yamamoto!

Jerry “The King” Lawler (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Koko Ware

Jerry Lawler tells Dave Brown to tell everyone about how many letters they have received wanting to see the CWA Heavyweight champion. Referee warns Hart to stay seated in his chair ringside.

Lawler gets Ware on the ropes and breaks cleanly. Ware goes for a top wristlock but Lawler hiptosses him off. Ware does the same to Lawler. Lawler complains about his hair getting pulled. Fans get upset at Lawler. Lawler gets a wristlock reversed by Koko Ware. Ware snaps Lawler’s arm while holding him in a wristlock. Lawler catches him with an elbow but misses with a fist.

Lawler with a side headlock on Koko Ware. Ware reverses it into a headscissors on Lawler. Lawler goes for a headstand to escape but then misses trying to get Ware again in a side headlock. He heads over to Hart to discuss strategy. Koko gets Lawler with a side headlock but Lawler pulls him off by the hair and goes for a wristlock. Lawler flexes while keeping Ware on the mat while holding onto the armbar. Hart argues with the fans ringside.

Elbows dropped across Ware’s shoulder by Lawler as Jimmy Hart cheers on. Lawler tries to separate Ware’s fingers. Ware punches Lawler across the face as he gets too close to him while trash talking. Lawler misses a fist of his own and Ware goes to work with some punches and a headbutt! Shoulder tackle to the mid-section in the corner. He goes for a second attempt but Lawler moves out of the way. Lawler picks up Ware with a vertical suplex and follows with a fist drop off the middle rope for the pin.

WINNER: Jerry Lawler

They air a video of Jerry Lawler celebrating after winning the CWA World Heavyweight Title from Superstar Billy Graham on 11/8/1979 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Several heels are in the locker room celebrating with him. Lawler tells Russell that he told him that he would be champion and tells Russell that he has to eat his words. He doesn’t plan on relinquishing the Southern Heavyweight Title. He tells all wrestlers to send their pictures and applications because he wants to go after the World Tag Team titles.

Lawler calls Superstar Billy Graham a chump and he won’t be giving him a rematch soon. He has to get in line if he wants a rematch. Russell asks Lawler when during the match did he know he had the match won, which Lawler tells him that he knew 2 1/2 weeks ago when he signed the contract for the title match. He calls Graham a “has-been”. He calls Russell the same as they all leave the locker room.

Lance Russell mentions that Lawler and Bockwinkel will have a match to determine one world champion.

Lance Russell introduces Billy Robinson and Paul Ellering. Russell tells Robinson how much he’s been wanting to meet him which Robinson expresses that the feeling is mutual as he tells Russell that he’s famous worldwide. He tells Russell that he’s out to wrestle and wants a shot at the world heavyweight title and doesn’t care what people say about him.

Russell welcomes Paul Ellering to the territory. Ellering mentions that he’s heard how great the competition is in Memphis and that is why he is there. Robinson praises Ellering and mentions that he is very modest. Ellering talks about holding records and winning championships in weightlifting. Russell invites Robinson to join them on commentary during Ellering’s debut match.

Paul Ellering vs. The Avenger

The Avenger gets Ellering in a full nelson. Ellering powers out of the hold and goes with a leg takedown on The Avenger. He gets The Avenger in a leglock but The Avenger reaches the ropes to break the hold. The Avenger gets Ellering in a side headlock but Ellering picks him up and tosses him across the ring. They run the ropes and Ellering with a single leg takedown on The Avenger. Some matwork with Ellering staying on top.

Another leg takedown by Ellering and again he keeps The Avenger down on the mat. Back up and The Avenger rakes Ellering’s eyes and slams him into the turnbuckle. Ellering counters and whips The Avenger into the corner and monkey flips him out of there. He backdrops The Avenger and follows with a side suplex. Ellering with an atomic drop and he gets the pin on The Avenger.

WINNER: Paul Ellering

Billy Robinson stays with Lance Russell for more conversation. Russell mentions that Robinson asked to wrestle anybody in Memphis to establish himself a championship contender. Jerry Jarrett then asked Robinson if he’d wrestle a handicap match against The Blonde Bombers and Robinson agreed to do it.

They air highlights of Robinson against The Blonde Bombers from the 12/2 Mid-South Coliseum show. Starts off with Robinson schooling Ferris in the ring and Ferris crawling towards Latham to tag out. Robinson sends Lathom to the outside. Latham complains about his trunks getting pulled. Robinson blocks some punches thrown by Latham. Robinson does commentary on his own match with Russell.

Latham gets Robinson in a wristlock. Robinson breaks free and takes Latham down to the floor. Latham complains about his hair getting pulled. Russell points out that Robinson hasn’t broken a sweat against The Blonde Bombers. Ferris back in and gets Robinson with a waistlock but Robinson breaks free. Robinson does a cartwheel at one point against Latham. He keeps knocking Latham around the ring until Davis reaches out and grabs him by the leg and trips him up. That gives The Bombers their first big advantage.

Quick tags by The Bombers against Robinson. They backdrop Robinson and continue to double-team him. They stomp on Robinson and Ferris starts to punch him. They both start to punch him and Davis joins them. Referee calls for the bell and disqualifies The Blonde Bombers for Davis interference. Robinson recovers and takes out all three men.

The Assassins © vs. Steve Regal & Hector Guerrero for the AWA Southern Tag Team Titles

The Assassins attack Regal and Guerrero before the bell rings. Wild brawl in the ring until the referee is able to get two men out and that leaves Guerrero and one of the Assassins in the ring. Quick tags from The Assassins. The Assassin holds up Guerrero in the air with a double wristlock and then slams him to the mat. He tags in the other Assassin. Guerrero fights back with some forearms but the Assassin stops him and powerslams Hector!

Another quick tag by the Aassassins as they continue to attack Guerrero’s left arm. One of the Assassins drops his knee across Hector’s left arm. He follows with a shoulder breaker on Guerrero. Robinson impressed with Guerrero trying to fight back. More double-team work from The Assassins. Legdrop on Guerrero’s left arm. Referee checks Guerrero’s arm and he asks to stop the match. Robinson on commentary agrees that Hector’s arm is hurting. The Assassins continue to attack his arm. Regal starts to fight them off. Robinson climbs into the ring and helps Regal fight off the Assassins.

WINNERS: Hector Guerrero & Steve Regal via DQ.

Billy Robinson joins Lance Russell again and he’s upset at what The Assassins did to Hector Guerrero and how they were deliberately trying to break his arm. The Assassins return and tell Robinson that wrestling is a tough sport and they attack Robinson! Russell thinks they threw alcohol at Robinson’s face. Paul Ellering runs out to help Robinson and slips on whatever the liquid was that The Assassins threw at Robinson.

Lance Russell goes and checks on Billy Robinson who returns to continue to talk about The Assassins. He brings along a towel to clean out whatever The Assassins threw at him. Robinson talks about how important eye sight is and how he once had a wrestler gouge his eye and caused him to miss 5 months of wrestling. Robinson said that when he came to Memphis, promoter Jerry Jarrett told him that he could ask for any match he wants and Robinson says he demands a match against The Assassins.

Jerry Jarrett comes out and tells Billy Robinson that he was setting up matches for him to get title matches. Robinson says he’s not worried about titles right now and wants a match with the Assassins. Jarrett asks Robinson who he wants as a partner and he picks Paul Ellering as his partner. They change the lineup for the next show to add that match.

Jerry Lawler and Jimmy Hart join Lance Russell. Lawler tells Russell that he’s letting things get out of hand today. Hart holds up the CWA World Heavyweight Championship. Lawler says Nick Bockwinkle is not tough enough and promises to be the one and only World Heavyweight Champion. He will walk out of the Mid-South Coliseum with both belts. Russell mentions that this match will have a 90-minute time limit and Lawler thinks this will be his advantage because Bockwinkle stalled for time in their previous matches.

Lawler said Bockwinkle can’t go 90-minutes and last time he beat him in 65-minutes. Russell calls this a dream match. Lawler tells Russell it is a dream match and tells him to go dressed up for a dream and not looking like a nightmare.

They air a video of the Assassins winning the Southern Tag Team titles from Hector Guerrero and Steve Regal at the Mid-South Coliseum. Regal uses his speed on the Assassins. Guerrero with a legdrop on one of The Assassins as he’s tagged in. Hector catches The Assassin with a dropkick and follows with an armdrag and drops some knees across The Assassin’s left arm. Regal continues to work on the left arm of the Assassin #2. Regal reverses an attempt by Assassin #2 into slamming him into #1’s knee.

Assassin #1 in against Regal. He holds on to the ropes and roughs up Regal near the ropes. Test of strength with Assassin #1 gaining the advantage. Regal fights back and kicks out of the hold. The Assassin #1 takes down Regal and tags in #2. The Assassin #2 backdrops Regal and follows with a legdrop. He goes for a bear hug and slams Regal down on the mat.

Guerrero tagged in and he gets double-teamed by The Assassins. Big elbow on Guerrero leads to the Asasssin #1 taking him down with a wristlock. Hammerlock by The Assassin #1 as he tags in #2 and he continues to stretch out Guerrero’s left arm. Video cuts out to a news update.

News update shows highlights of Nick Bockwinkle vs. Jerry Lawler. One of the other news anchors at the desk asks about “Bullwinkle”. LOL! He gets corrected by the sports anchor.

SHOW THOUGHTS: Excellent episode! A lot going on during the show. Sonny King and Tojo Yamamoto attacking Rick Morton and Big Red. Billy Robinson and Paul Ellering being introduced and Robinson staying on the show for commentary to lead to the title match where The Assassins injured Hector Guerrero and Robinson got involved which led to the Assassins attacking Robinson. Jerry Lawler had a couple of excellent interviews with the first being after he beat Superstar Graham for the CWA Title and the interview later on the show about his upcoming match with Nick Bockwinkle. The match quality was okay with a lot of the matches being kept short and they mixed in highlights from Mid-South Coliseum matches.

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