Retro Wrasslin'

A look back at pro wrestling history.

Memphis Wrestling 1/19/1980

Written By Alfredo Esparza

CWA Memphis Championship Wrestling 1/19/1980

Taped 1/19/1980 at the WMC-TV Studios in Memphis, Tennessee.

Lance Russell and Dave Brown on commentary.

Ricky Morton & Steve Regal vs. Bill Smithson & Jerry Ralph

Referee for the match is Paul Morton who is Rick Morton’s father. Steve Regal and Bill Smithson start the match. Smithson has a big blond fro. Regal gets Smithson in a wristlock and tags in Morton who keeps hold of the left arm. Smithson tags in Jerry Ralph and he’s met by Morton with an armdrag. They break due to being near the ropes.

Rick Morton takes down Ralph to the mat. Ralph grabs the bottom rope and rolls to the outside. He gets back in the ring and Morton takes him down to the mat again. Ralph reaches the ropes. He heads over and talks to Smithson. Ralph gets Morton on the ropes and gets in a forearm but Morton takes him down again. Another break as Ralph reaches the ropes.

Morton tags in Regal. Side headlock by Regal on Ralph. Jerry Ralph whips him into the ropes but Regal knocks him down with a shoulder check and goes back to a headlock on Ralph. They have an exchange on the ropes but Regal elbows him and tags in Morton. Morton keeps Ralph in a headlock. Ralph tries to reverse it into a pin attempt but Morton is able to get his shoulders up. Morton tags in Regal and he hiptosses Ralph.

Regal gets Ralph back in a headlock. He is able to reach out and tag in Smithson. They double-team Regal and get in a few shots on him. Smithson with some punches but Regal takes him down with a wristlock. Smithson pulls Regal’s hair to yank him down on the mat. Regal is able to get him in a headscissors and takes him down. They break the hold.

Regal again takes Smithson down with a wristlock. Smithson pulls Regal’s hair and reverses his fortunes against Regal. They both get up from the mat and Regal takes him down and cradles Smithson for the pin. They are near the ropes so Regal has to break. Regal tags in Morton who gets taken down by Smithson.

Bill Smithson slams Morton and then follows with an elbow drop. He tags in Jerry Ralph but Morton gets fired up and gets in a few shots on him before tagging in Regal. Regal with a sunset flip on Ralph for the pin.

WINNERS: Ricky Morton & Steve Regal

Lance Russell interviews Jerry Lawler, Jimmy Valiant and Jimmy Hart about their upcoming match in Louisville, Kentucky. Lawler asks Russell if he’s ever seen a grown man cry but then says he believes Russell has every time he looks at himself in the mirror. Valiant laughs loudly. They talk about Jerry Jarrett crying after he and Jimmy Hart beat on him. Lawler says at Louisville everyone is going to see three men (Jarrett, Dundee & Lucas) cry because of the beating they are going to give them.

Jimmy Valiant howls “Maybellene! Why can’t you be true mama?” He says the 6-man tag is going to be a No DQ match and he don’t mean “Dairy Queen”. WHOOO!!!!

Jerry Jarrett joins Lance Russell and says the match between Ken Lucas and Jerry Lawler had to be scratched. He mentions that he no longer deals with Lawler and that is now done by Buddy Fuller. Jarrett mentions that a few weeks ago Lawler used a piledriver on Lucas and Ken Lucas asked if he could get a piledriver match against Lawler. Buddy Fuller asked Lawler and he agreed to it. Lawler changed his mind about that match.

Russell asks Jarrett about his problems getting Lawler to defend the CWA World Heavyweight title. He calls the title a farce because Lawler refuses to defend it. Jarrett mentions that Lawler suggests his opponents and he feels Lawler picks certain wrestlers that he feels he can beat. Russell mentions that Lawler defended the title recently in Jonesboro, Arkansas against Paul Ellering.

Jarrett mentions that they wanted him to defend the title against Jackie Fargo but he turned that down along with turning down wrestling Steve Regal and Big Red. Lawler suggested Ellering as his opponent. Jarrett then mentions Ellering is a novice and that was why Lawler picked him.

They show highlights of Lawler vs. Ellering for the CWA World Heavyweight Title from Jonesboro, Arkansas. Ellering is in control of the action at the start of the video. Lawler’s able to make a comeback and lands a top rope fist drop on Ellering for the pin. Lawler holds the tights to keep the pin on Ellering.

Paul Ellering joins Lance Russell and Jerry Jarrett and he resents that Jarrett said he wasn’t an athlete. Ellering says he’s a great athlete and he’s not ashamed to have lost to Lawler. He mentions having wrestled Bockwinkle, the Funks and Backlund and thinks Lawler was the greatest of them all. Ellering then says he doesn’t think Jarrett can beat Lawler and he definitely doesn’t think Russell can beat Lawler and he resents the fact that they think he’s a punk wrestler and walks away.

Jerry Jarrett apologizes for Ellering think that was what he was implying. He said that wasn’t what he meant and Russell agrees with him.

Big Red vs. The Avenger

Big Red shoves The Avenger away and into the ropes. The Avenger goes for a waistlock but Big Red shoves him off again and struts. He goes over and tries to pick up Big Red for a body slam. Big Red instead picks up The Avenger and body slams him.

The Avenger gets Big Red in the corner and throws some punches at him. Big Red counters with some punches of his own. He whips The Avenger into the ropes and knocks him down with a shoulder block. Big Red follows with a head butt and then runs across and into the ropes and splashes The Avenger for the pin. Match went 1:49.


They air a video of Billy Robinson who is still recovering from an arm injury at the hands of The Assassins. He says that he feels good now and the cast should be removed in the next couple of days and he’ll be able to start training. He vows to break out of the daylight and mentally alert, he’ll be a different Billy Robinson in Memphis. He mentions that since he started training as a kid, he wanted to be the best technical wrestler. Now that he’s seen that there are oversized oafs like The Assassins that are trying to injure and permanently get people out of wrestling. He vows to show them a different Billy Robinson that they are used to seeing.

They air highlights of a 6-man tag match from Mid-South Coliseum (1/7/1980) featuring Jerry Lawler, Jimmy Valiant & Jimmy Hart vs. Ricky Morton, Big Red & Steve Regal. Rick Morton punches Jimmy Hart as he tries to make the save for Jimmy Valiant. Morton gets into the match and he gets punched by Lawler after Valiant tags out of the match. Lawler beats on Morton and tags in Hart.

Jimmy Hart beats on Ricky Morton. Jimmy Valiant grabs hold of Morton so Hart can continue to punch him. Hart tags out and Lawler comes back into the match. Lawler misses an elbowdrop but tags in Valiant who slams Morton. He tosses Morton around the ring and into the corners. Lawler comes back in and continues to punch at Morton. He piledrives Morton! Valiant tags in and covers Morton for the pin but Morton’s leg is on the ropes.

Jimmy Valiant gets Ricky Morton with a backbreaker. He slams Morton into the turnbuckles and stomps on him. Lawler back in and they double-team Morton. Ricky Morton fights back! He fires away at Lawler. Morton knocks Hart and Valiant down as well but Lawler nails Morton. Hart gets in a few punches on Morton while Lawler holds him. Valiant and Lawler drop Morton over the top rope.

Morton saves himself by putting a leg over the bottom rope while Lawler goes for the pin. More punches and kicks by Lawler at Morton. He stomps on Ricky Morton but Ricky fights back and tags in Big Red. Everyone gets in the ring. Big Red goes for the “Holy Ghost” splash on Jimmy Hart for the pin. Referee didn’t see the tag to Big Red so he gets Red out of the ring. While that’s going on, Lawler and Valiant beat on Morton. They knock him out and place Hart over Morton for the pin.

“Handsome” Jimmy Valiant & Jerry “The King” Lawler (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Rick Gibson & Robert Gibson

Jerry Lawler and Rick Gibson start the match. This is an “expiration of time” match. Lots of complaining can be heard from Valiant, Lawler and Hart. Rick Gibson with a hiptoss across the ring on Lawler. Lawler, Valiant and Hart complain about that too and claim Gibson grabbed Lawler by the tights. Gibson hooks his arms on the ropes to stop Lawler from hiptossing him and reverses it and hiptosses Lawler again!

Jerry Lawler complains again about his tights getting pulled. Hart gets upset because Rick Gibson kicked at his direction. Gibson gets Lawler in a headlock. Lawler whips him into the ropes and they run back and forth. Gibson slides to the outside and grabs Hart! Rick gets Lawler in a headlock and tags in Robert Gibson. Lawler escapes Robert’s headlock and goes for a fist drop but Robert moves out of the way. Robert knocks Valiant off the ring apron.

Lawler gets Robert in a side headlock and tags in Valiant. Robert gets Valiant with a wristlock and takes him down to the mat. He switches over to an armbar on Valiant. Valiant whips Robert into the ropes and takes him down with an armlock. Gibson back up and armdrags Valiant and takes him down. Rick Gibson comes in and punches Lawler. Robert keeps Valiant in a headlock.

Jimmy Valiant whips Robert into the ropes and he hits the turnbuckles hard. Valiant charges at the Robert in the corner but Robert moves out of the way and Valiant hits the corner. Robert gets Valiant in a headlock. Lawler comes in but so does Rick. Rick comes in to the match and gets Valiant in a headlock. Valiant breaks out briefly and swings at Rick but misses. Lawler comes in and Rick Gibson knocks both Jimmy and Jerry down.

Rick Gibson dropkicks Jimmy Valiant and then slams him. He gets a two-count as Lawler makes the save. Robert Gibson comes in but Rick quickly gets back in. Valiant gets a knee into Rick’s mid-section and tags in Lawler. Lawler backdrops Rick Gibson. Fistdrop at Rick. More fists thrown by Lawler. Valiant tags back in and he stomps on Gibson and slams him into Lawler’s foot. Lawler and Valiant distract Robert Gibson and the referee. They slam Rick Gibson into the turnbuckles.

Lawler and Rick exchange punches. Rick knocks down Lawler! He whips Lawler into the ropes and both knock each other down. They exchange punches but Rick is near his corner and tags in Robert. Robert misses and Lawler starts to fire him into the corners. He tosses him over the top rope while the referee is distracted by Valiant. Jimmy Hart and Valiant beat on Robert Gibson on the floor. Rick Gibson makes the save.

Robert Gibson gets back in the ring and Lawler punches away on him. He whips Gibson into the ropes and backdrops him. Lawler misses a swing at Robert and he tags in Rick. Rick takes on both Lawler and Valiant. Jimmy Hart trips up Rick Gibson. Lawler misses an elbow. Rick gets Lawler with an elbow drop and goes for the pin. Valiant makes the save. Everyone gets in the ring and a brawl ensues. Referee disqualifies Lawler and Valiant due to Hart’s interference.

WINNERS: Rick & Robert Gibson via DQ

Lance Russell interviews Jerry Jarrett, Bill Dundee and Ken Lucas. Jerry Jarrett says he, Lucas and Dundee are prepared for their match with Lawler, Hart and Valiant. He says they are going to spank Lawler like the baby he is. Ken Lucas says he dislikes Jerry Lawler. He says they plan to win the match. Dundee says Jimmy Hart is mine and he doesn’t like him.

SHOW THOUGHTS: Good episode. The Lawler, Valiant and Hart trio was pretty great. The other highlight of this episode really was that you start to see Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson blossoming in two separate matches. Hadn’t seen the Gibson Brothers tag team and they were a really good tag team. Main event on the show was good. The segment where they go from a Lawler interview to a Jerry Jarrett interview followed by Ellering showing up and feeling insulted that Jarrett and Russell called him a novice was great.


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