Retro Wrasslin'

A look back at pro wrestling history.

Memphis Wrestling 2/9/1980

Written By Alfredo Esparza

CWA Memphis Championship Wrestling 2/9/1980

Taped 2/9/1980 at the WMC-TV Studios in Memphis, Tennessee.

Lance Russell and Dave Brown on commentary. Dave Brown runs down this week’s card while Lance Russell mentions that there is some controversy with The Assassins and how some believe they are loading their masks with an object. Russell mentions that the Assassins will have a karate demonstration later on the show.

A commercial featuring Bill Dundee follows.

Ken Lucas vs. Jerry Ralph

Ken Lucas with a kick into Jerry Ralph’s mid-section. Knee-lift followed by a few kneedrops on Ralph by Lucas. Chinlock on Ralph but Lucas quickly goes back to dropping his knee across Ralph’s head. Lucas continues his attack on Ralph. He kicks at Ralph and continues with more knee drops across Ralph’s head.

Lucas goes for a pin on Ralph who barely rolls his shoulder over to stop the pin. More kicks from Lucas. Another knee-lift on Ralph. Lucas whips Ralph into the ropes and gets him in a sleeper hold. He gets the win against Ralph with the sleeper. Quick, short match.

WINNER: Ken Lucas

Lance Russell is joined by Bill Dundee for a promo for an upcoming match against Paul Ellering in Louisville. Rick Gibson talks about challenging Jimmy Valiant for the Southern Heavyweight title on Tuesday at the Louisville Gardens.

Rick Gibson vs. Tony Eaton

Referee shows up late for the match which leads to a few jokes from Russell and Brown. Rick Gibson with some takedowns on Eaton early in the match. Wristlock into an armbar by Gibson on Eaton. Kneedrop and stomps on Eaton’s left arm. Front chancery by Gibson on Eaton. Gibson gets a near pin fall on Eaton. He keeps taking Eaton down.

Eaton gets back up and gets some big forearms across Gibson’s back. He whips Gibson into the ropes but Gibson catches Eaton with a rough-looking Thesz Press for the pin. Short match.

WINNER: Rick Gibson

“Handsome” Jimmy Valiant (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Robert Gibson

Jimmy Valiant heads over to the announcers table and sings a bit before heading back to the ring. He struts around and stalls and yells over to Dave Brown and asks him what he thought about that wrestling move he just did. They finally lock-up near the ropes and Valiant tries to punch Gibson but his arm gets caught on the top rope so Gibson punches him instead. Gibson with a hiptoss out of the corner and Valiant heads to the outside with Hart.

Valiant gets back in the ring. Gibson tells the referee to check Valiant because he thinks he has a weapon. Wristlock reversals with Gibson taking down Valiant. Gibson gets Valiant in an armbar. Valiant whips Gibson into the ropes and armdrags him. Gibson answers him back with an armdrag of his own and takes Valiant back down to the mat.

Robert Gibson controls the match. Valiant whips him into the ropes again and catches him with a knee into the mid-section. He whips Gibson into the corner and punches at him. Valiant whips Gibson into the ropes and catches him with a backdrop. More punches thrown by Valiant. He whips Gibson into the ropes but this time Robert hands onto the ropes and kicks Valiant. Gibson back on offense.

Gibson punches at Valiant and knocks him to the outside. Valiant pulls a weapon out of his tights and gets back in the ring. He punches Gibson and knocks him down. Gibson gets slammed into the ring post and drops to the floor. Jimmy hart gets out of his chair but referee Jerry Calhoun sees him and tells him to get back in the ring. That gives Valiant time to slam Gibson into another ring post. Valiant stomps on Gibson’s head as he gets back into the ring.

Valiant pulls Gibson back into the ring. Gibson’s now bleeding from his forehead. Valiant attacks Gibson. He punches at Gibson’s forehead. Gibson fights back but Valiant continue his attack. Valiant bites at Gibson’s forehead. More punches from Valiant in the corner. Gibson kicks Valiant away. Jimmy Hart hits Gibson with a cane. Valiant grabs the cane from Hart and uses it on Gibson. Rick Gibson runs in and attacks Valiant. That leads to a DQ for Robert Gibson. Rick beats on both Valiant and Hart until they leave the ring.

WINNER: Jimmy Valiant via DQ

The Assassins join Lance Russell to talk about the claim from some wrestlers that they load up their masks with objects. Assassin #1 claims that his tag partner has one of the hardest heads in wrestling and is going to give a demonstration. They have some pine wood boards. Assassin #1 tells Russell that Assassin #2 is going to break those boards with his head. He stops and tells Lance Russell that they are going to wrestle their match first and then he’ll return and break the boards with his head. Russell asks him if he’s going to back out and both Assassins say that they won’t.

The Assassins vs. Rick Morton & Steve Regal

Steve Regal starts the match against Assassin #1. He gets in a punch on the Assassin but they go back and forth with some shots. Assassins quickly make the tag and Assassin #2 now in. Regal takes him down briefly but the Assassins tag again. Dropkick out of a leapfrog by Regal on Assassin #1. Another tag and Assassin #2 back in.

Rick Morton tags in and he takes down Assassin #2. Hair pull and whip into the ropes by Assassin #2 but Morton uses his quickness to dropkick him. Another tag by the Assassins and now #1 back in. Front facelock by Morton but Assassin #1 tosses him off. Double-team attack by The Assassins to get #2 the advantage on Morton and slow him down. They continue the attack on Morton with Assassin #2 now in and he lifts him high up in the air and drops him on his knee for a near fall.

Rick Morton tries to fight back but gets cut off by the Assassins. He finally is able to escape and dives over and tags in Regal. Regal and Assassin #2 bump into each other. The other Assassin pulls the other out. Assassin #1 puts an object into his mask. Ken Lucas and Billy Robinson run in to make the save for Regal. Morton and Regal get disqualified.

WINNERS: The Assassins via DQ

Robinson breaks a board over Assassin #1’s head. He breaks a second one over his head. Assassin #2 grabs a board and goes after Ken Lucas. Lucas takes the board away and breaks the board on the Assassin. Robinson tries to pull out the object from Assassin #1’s mask. They both beat on Assassin #1.

Lance Russell tells everyone that it’s enough. He tells Robinson that he has too much class to be street fighting which Robinson disagrees. Robinson says he’s tired of wrestling and that he and Lucas are going to be in a street fight with the Assassins. He apologizes for what he did to the TV studio.

Bill Dundee joins Lance Russell for an interview. They talk about the CWA Title situation in that Lawler retained it because of a disqualification. Dundee said he knew that Lawler was trying to get himself disqualified and he had no intentions of wanting the title in that way.

Paul Ellering asks Lance Russell why he didn’t want to interview him. He wants to know why Lance wanted to talk to Dundee but not him. Russell explains that he was telling Dundee about the title situation. Ellering says he’s getting tired of being treated like a punk wrestler by everyone there and tells Russell that he’s wrestled everyone Dundee has wrestled and beaten as many wrestlers as Dundee has. He tells Russell that the patch on his shirt shows that he’s a champion and he deserves to be interviewed just like Dundee. Russell apologizes and asks Ellering what he thinks of their upcoming match. Ellering waves him off and leaves.

Bill Dundee & Paul Ellering vs. Bill Smithson & Sugar Bear Harris

Lance Russell again apologizes for the misunderstanding with Paul Ellering. Dundee starts against Smithson and takes him down with a couple of armdrags. Harris tags in. Dundee with a dropkick on Harris knocks him down. Dundee tags in Ellering.

Ellering with a headlock takedown on Harris and quickly tags in Dundee. Dundee keeps Harris in a headlock. Dundee goes for some takedowns and pin attempts on Harris and again tags in Ellering who seems reluctant to tag in. Side headlock takedown again by Ellering. Ellering tags in Dundee again. Harris takes Dundee into his corner and tags in Smithson.

Smithson hangs onto the ropes and Dundee misses a dropkick. He body slams Dundee and follows with an elbow for a two-count. Harris tags back in and chops Dundee. He slams Dundee and stomps on him. Harris pulls Dundee back by the hair. Big boot at Dundee knocks him down. Dundee punches Harris a few times. Ellering refuses to tag in. Harris and Smithson keep Dundee away. Harris gets a near fall on Dundee. Big elbow from Harris.

Harris whips Dundee into Smithson’s boot. Smithson back in and he punches Dundee. Harris back in. Ellering looks like he’s not interested in getting into the match. Dundee kicks Harris off him. Smithson back in and he continues the attack on Dundee. He slams Dundee and gets another two count on him. Ellering refuses to tag in. Harris back in and he knees Dundee. Dundee catches Harris with a dropkick.

Ellering refuses to tag in. Harris gets Dundee in a bear hug. Smithson distracts the referee. Ellering comes in and suplexes Dundee. Harris with an elbow drop and he gets the pin.

WINNERS: Bill Smithson & Sugar Bear Harris

Paul Ellering heads over to the announcers table and talks about how badly the “little man” did on his own. He calls Dundee a “Humpy Dumpty Wrestler”.

Lance Russell talks to Paul Ellering about what happened at the TV studio and he cuts a promo about his match with Bill Dundee in Louisville. He calls Dundee a “runt” and vows to beat him. Jimmy Valiant and Jimmy Hart talk about the title match against Rick Gibson. Valiant calls Rick Gibson, “Ricketh Gibson”.

SHOW THOUGHTS: Good episode. Matches were kept short for the most part. They focused on the feuds that were going on between Jimmy Valiant and Rick Gibson and the Assassins against Billy Robinson & Ken Lucas. You can see a lot of potential in Robert Gibson and Ricky Morton on these 1980 shows. Sugar Bear Harris is also on this show and again you see potential in him as well before he’d eventually become Kamala. Really like how simple they made Paul Ellering’s heel turn. Going from him feeling disrespected by everyone and then just refusing to tag in to help Dundee in their tag match until he eventually turned on him.

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