Retro Wrasslin'

A look back at pro wrestling history.

Memphis Wrestling 12/22/1979

Written By Alfredo Esparza

CWA Memphis Championship Wrestling 12/22/1979

Taped 12/22/1979 at the WMC-TV Studios in Memphis, Tennessee.

Dave Brown is going solo on commentary this week. Lance Russell can be heard on video highlights but isn’t at the studio.

The Assassins vs. Jerry Bryant & Steve Regal

Non-Title match. Jerry Bryant starts against the bigger Assassin. He uses his speed to confuse The Assassin. They go back and forth tossing each other around the ring for a bit. Bryan tries for a slam but couldn’t pick him up well enough so he just drops him and goes for a pin but the Assassin kicks out.

The Assassin gets Bryan in a headscissors and he quickly kicks out. Side headlock by the Assassin and he tags in the other Assassin. Whipped into the corner is reversed by Bryant and the Assassin gets backdropped. The other Assassin makes the save while Bryant is going for the pin. The Assassins tag and the bigger Assassin drops a knee across Bryant. Double-team work by The Assassins with Bryant getting hit by an elbow but he kicks out of a pin.

Facelock by The Assassin with Bryant trying to escape but The Assassins tag. The Assassin with a suplex on Bryant but he is close to Regal and Bryan quickly tags out. Regal dropkicks both of the Assassins. The Assassins try to confuse Regal by going in and out of the ring but Regal is able to take one of the Assassins down and tags in Bryant. They work on the Assassin’s left leg.

Steve Regal gets back in the ring and continues to go to work on The Assassin’s left leg. Quick tag back to Bryant and he continues to go after his leg but he reaches his corner and tags in the other Assassin. The Assassin kicks at Bryant and then slams him to the mat. He lands a legdrop across Bryan’s left arm. The Assassins tag and the other Assassin picks Bryant up by his left arm. They stretch it out and one of the Assassins tosses him into the corner. The Assassin picks up Bryant and goes for a shoulder breaker. Another tag between the Assassins and Bryant tries to escape to tag out but they keep going after his left arm.

Regal yells at Bryant to not give up. He jumps into the ring to try to help Bryant but he’s sent back to his corner. Armbreaker by The Assassin submits Jerry Bryant and they get the win.

WINNERS: The Assassins

Steve Regal tells Dave Brown that something has to be done about The Assassins trying to break everyone’s arms in their matches.

Video interview from Billy Robinson who’s in bed recovering from an arm injury at the hands of The Assassins. He mentions being a bit down both mentally and physically. He talks about having met some nice people since coming to the Memphis territory. He feels bad and says the injury could have been much worse. It is a broken arm but will heal but doesn’t know when he’ll be returning. He vows to be back again.

The Assassins are interviewed by Dave Brown. They are pleased to see how down Billy Robinson is about his injury. They laugh about injuring him and taking away his confidence. The Assassins say they now only have to contend with the Gibson Brothers. They talk about how great of a tag team they are and being the Southern Tag Team Champions.

Video highlights of the Gibson Bros. vs. The Assassins from Mid-South Coliseum are shown. The Gibsons win the match in 18:39 but the Assassins attack them after the match. They beat on Rick Gibson while tossing Robert out of the ring. David Shultz gets in the ring and tries to get The Assassins to stop. They shove Shultz away and then attack Shultz. Shultz brawls with both The Assassins. Everyone brawls in the ring. Shultz and the Gibsons try to unmask one of the Assassins but they escape.

Rick & Robert Gibson join Dave Brown for an interview. Rick Gibson says he believes his friend Billy Robinson will return to get revenge on The Assassins. He also believes the Gibsons are better wrestlers and will prove it against the Assassins. Rick warns them that if they want to break arms or legs that they can do it too. He vows that they will be champions again.

Ricky Gibson & Robert Gibson vs. Buddy Wayne & The Avenger

Buddy Wayne and Robert Gibson start the match. Clean breaks by both early on. Robert with a hiptoss on Buddy Wayne. He does it again and Wayne complains about his back. Robert with a kick to take Wayne off him. Buddy Wayne tags in The Avenger.

Robert Gibson uses his quickness against The Avenger and tags in Rick Gibson. Quick tags by the Gibsons as they work on The Avenger’s left arm by jumping over the ropes and onto his arm. Rick drives his knee into the left arm and The Avenger finally escapes the Gibsons corner. The Gibsons keep control of the match by getting The Avenger in a hammerlock. Robert drives a knee across The Avenger’s back.

Rick Gibson tags back in and gets The Avenger in a wristlock while striking at his left arm with knees. Hammerlock takedown and Gibson keeps dropping a knee across The Avenger’s back. Robert tags back in and drives The Avenger back down to the mat. Rick back in and The Avenger finally reaches out and tags in Buddy Wayne.

Buddy Wayne throws a forearm and Rick Gibson responds with one of his own! Rick knocks both down and takes down Wayne. Robert tags in and the Gibsons go to the quick tags and landing the knee on his arm a few times. The Avenger back in and Rick Gibson catches him with a dropkick. He tags in Robert and Rick backdrops The Avenger. Robert then puts The Avenger in a spinning toe hold but then bridges over him for the pin. Cool finisher.

WINNERS: Rick & Robert Gibson

Jerry Lawler and Jimmy Hart (carrying the CWA World Title) join Dave Brown to talk about Lawler’s upcoming match with Ken Lucas. Lawler says Lucas has a big head now because of people like Dave Brown and the fans making him think that he really is something. He calls Lucas a bum and a nobody and says he never heard of him before he came to the territory.

Dave Brown tells Lawler that he’s had his share of problems with Ken Lucas. Lawler admits that Lucas might have won the match but while he might have won the match, Lawler beat him like a dog. Brown decides to show videotape of the match. Lawler claims that he ate popcorn and got a piece of popcorn stuck in his teeth and that distracted him during his match with Lucas.

Lawler talks about the match as they air video of it. He claims that Lucas wasn’t hurting him and he (Lawler) should be in Hollywood. He then claims there is some trick photography and editing in the video. Lawler then claims that he was looking for a toothpick to get the piece of popcorn that was stuck in his teeth and asked Jimmy Hart if he had one. He then says that Hart said “No, but why don’t you run Ken Lucas head into the chair while we have a minute.” Lucas reverses it and sends Lawler into the chair.

Lawler then mentions that he beats Lucas badly after he attacked Jimmy Hart. He continues to call Lucas a nobody. Lawler claims that Jerry Jarrett saw that Lawler was fixing to end Lucas so he sent the Gibsons out to stop Lawler. Brown mentions it was 2-on-1 and Lawler tells him Jimmy Hart wasn’t going to hurt anyone. Lawler then says he left Lucas laying on the mat. He refuses to defend the title against Lucas on Christmas night because he doesn’t feel he deserves it.

Jerry Jarrett joins Dave Brown and says he and Buddy Fuller have been in negotiations with Jerry Lawler for a contract in 1980. He says Lawler has made the business for him a nightmare and they pay Lawler way more than he’s worth and says the contract Lawler’s people are asking for is ridiculous. Jarrett says he and Fuller have been trying to cut down and lower prices so fans can continue to attend shows. He mentions that they made some calculations on Lawler’s contract and to give him that amount they would have to raise ticket prices by $1.25 and they don’t want to do that.

Jarrett says that since Lawler keeps claiming that Ken Lucas is a nobody that they’re going to treat their match as a nothing match and lower it down the card from the main event to the third match. He says that if Lawler doesn’t view Lucas as a main event worthy opponent, they will treat Lawler’s match as a preliminary match. He says that they will no longer cater to Lawler and suggests that Christmas might be his last match.

Jerry Lawler and Jimmy Hart return to confront Jerry Jarrett. Jarrett says they have decided to not sign his contract and he can do what Pete Rose did and change organizations. Lawler applauds and says it was quite the performance by Jarrett. He tells Jarrett that talking about contracts should be kept in the offices and not on TV. Lawler tells Dave Brown that Jarrett is trying to shame him into making the match with Ken Lucas a title match.

Lawler says Jarrett wants him to say that Ken Lucas is a good wrestler and has a chance to beat him but he tells Jarrett that it isn’t true. He suggests to Jarrett that he’ll put his belt against Ken Lucas and if Lucas wins, he’ll sign a similar contract to the one he has in 1979 but if he beats Lucas, then Jarrett has to sign and give Lawler the deal he’s asking for in his 1980 contract. Jarrett says he doesn’t want a title match and doesn’t want him in Memphis.

Dave Brown and Jerry Jarrett then rundown the revised Christmas night show.

Ricky Morton & Big Red vs. Sonny King & Tojo Yamamoto

This match was from the Mid-South Coliseum 12/15/1979 show. Match is joined in progress. Morton gets in a few shots at Yamamoto who tries to run away. Yamamoto pulls at Morton’s hair but runs away when Morton fights back. Sonny King tags in and Morton goes after him. King stomps on Morton and whips him into the ropes. Morton fights back and punches King.

Tojo Yamamoto pulls Morton off King and drags him to the outside where he beats on him. Big Red and Sonny King brawl in the ring with the referee trying to get them apart. Tojo uses a shoe to beat on Morton. King brings Morton back into the ring and kicks him. Yamamoto tagged in and he kicks and chops Morton. He sends Morton into the middle turnbuckle.

Sonny King back in and he punches Morton. Morton tries to fight back but the referee gets distracted trying to keep Big Red out of the ring. Headbutt from King on Morton. He whips Morton into the ropes and again punches him in the mid-section. King slams Morton down on the mat. Double-team work by King and Yamamoto on Morton. Tojo whips him into the ropes and chops him. Another pin attempt by Tojo but Morton kicks out at one. Backdrop by Yamamoto.

Yamamoto whips Morton into the ropes and Morton surprises him with a sunset flip for a near fall. Match cuts away to a Bill Dundee promo.

They go back to the match and we see Morton finally escape from Tojo Yamamoto and tagging in Big Red who pounds on Yamamoto with some chops. Sonny King gets involved and Red chops him down. Big Red misses a big splash on Yamamoto. Yamamoto reaches into this tights. Big Red also reaches into his tights and throws salt at Yamamoto. He gets Yamamoto with a big splash and then a big legdrop. He covers Tojo for the pin. Morton and Big Red celebrate. Sonny King tells the referee that Big Red used salt and so he has to reverse the decision and give King and Yamamoto the win.

WINNERS: Sonny King & Tojo Yamamoto via referee’s reversal of decision.

Bill Dundee’s promo that is shown in between the match highlights shows him talking about missing being in wrestling. He misses the fans, signing autographs and kissing all the pretty little girls. He thanks everyone who wrote him a letter and wishes everyone a Merry Christmas.

SHOW THOUGHTS: Good episode. Matches were kept short. The main focus of the show was Lawler refusing to defend the title against Ken Lucas and Jerry Jarrett suggesting that they don’t plan on renewing Lawler’s contract for 1980. That entire segment was great. The Assassins also had a great interview talking about the Gibsons and Billy Robinson. Robert Gibson had a cool finisher to win their tag match. Also very interesting to see Dave Brown going solo on commentary and conducting interviews with Lance Russell not being around.

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