Amazon Prime has a nice selection of classic Memphis wrestling, so as a brief break from my Coliseum Home Video reviews, let’s take a gander at some good ol’ southern wrasslin!
This volume features WWF stars “invading” Memphis during the WWF’s dark days of the early 90’s.
Brian Christopher introduces “The Narcissist” Lex Luger. They don’t have his WWF theme. Lex isn’t even in his gimmick as he is wearing a New Japan jacket and a fanny pack. Christopher stirs the pot as he tattles on Jerry Lawler’s recent bashing of WWF stars on Memphis TV. Luger explains his business managers want him to get some easy wins before Wrestlemania, but they warned him that Memphis wrestlers are among the toughest in the sport and should be avoided. Luger chose instead to take on the best. Not exactly heel logic, but if his gimmick is he loves himself it makes sense that his confidence is high.
Jeff Jarrett vs. Brian Christopher
Luger, Bert Prentice and Mike Samples come down with Christopher.
This is a pretty big match for free TV, so I suspect a quick smozz of sorts. Luger joins the commentary team. Christopher stalls. Christopher ducks a punch and does an over the top strut. More stalling. Christopher gets too cute and gets popped.
Christopher cheats to gain control. Jarrett rallies, forcing Bert Prentice to distract the ref so Mike Samples can trip Double J up. Jarrett overcomes that interference, so Prentice tries to trip Jarrett himself. Jarrett attacks him, then dodges Christopher and watches as he and Prentice crash together. Samples attacks Jarrett for the official DQ. Jerry Lawler runs in to make the save.
Christopher gets on the mic and challenges Jarrett and Lawler to a tag match with Luger as his partner. Lawler declines.
We apparently skip ahead a week to the next show. Christopher introduces Luger, who comes out with the same outfit on as last week. Did Memphis tape weeks ahead of time? I thought they always had Saturday morning TV on live? Luger couldn’t bother to find different clothes?
Christopher interrupts Luger’s attempt to talk. Christopher challenges Jarrett and Lawler again. We then see clips from a recent Lawler vs. Christopher match. Christopher gets the best of Lawler, then stops to trash talk on the mic. Lawler drops the strap and begins to batter Christopher. Prentice interferes, drawing out Jeff Jarrett. Christopher is distracted, allowing Lawler a chance to cradle him for the win.
Back to Christopher and Luger. Luger cuts a promo. Jarrett and Lawler give a retort. Jarrett promises to rip Luger in half like a “warm biscuit”. Lawler points out Luger was WCW World champ and has been knocking guys out each week on WWF TV these days. They call out Luger, who comes out even though Christopher is trying to hold him back.
Lawler compares heights and muscles with Luger. Lawler busts out a tape measure and measures Luger’s bicep. 21 inches. He then has Luger puff out his chest and measures that. Lawler asks what would happen if someone blemished his perfect body. Luger is appalled at the thought. Lawler asks Luger to watch this music video of Lawler fighting other monsters. Its clip after clip of Lawler tossing fireballs on people. One clip has Leatherface’s apron being totally lit up in a moment that looked pretty out of control. Luger and Christopher stop the footage and freak out over the threat of Luger being harmed.
Jeff Jarrett and Jerry Lawler vs. Lex Luger and Brian Christopher
Joined in progress. A four-way brawl breaks out. Lawler piledrives Luger. Luger shakes it off pretty quick, but backs away from Lawler who is toying with something in his tights. Lawler tosses a fireball, but Luger ducks, causing Christopher to take the fireball instead. Ron and Don Harris, Bert Prentice and Mike Samples charge in and beat down the faces. So after all that talking we just get to see the finish of the match. Meh.
And so ends that portion…
Jeff Jarrett cuts a promo on Shawn Michaels. Michaels thinks the USWA is “rinky dink” and Jarrett is going to prove otherwise as Jarrett plans on taking the WWF IC title.
Jeff Jarrett vs. Shawn Michaels
Clips… We see some hot sequences of HBK being rattled with dropkicks. A flying crossbody is reversed for a near fall for Michaels. The ref eats a superkick to the belly. This knocks him out…because logic. Christopher runs in. Jarrett fights him off and KO’s Michaels with a foreign object. Jarrett tries for a pin, but Christopher whacks him and HBK earns the tainted win. Based on the large amount of fans dressed as empty seats, HBK did not pop a house in Memphis.
“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Jerry Lawler
Joined in progress with zero context given. Macho Man hits the big elbow….for a ONE count. Lawler jumps to his feet and sends Macho Man to the floor and onto a table. He starts to punch him and we clip away. Lawler challenges Savage to fight again. Savage has the WWF World title with him. Jarrett blocks Savage from leaving, then he scoops Savage up and into the ring. Lawler cradles him as Jarrett makes an unofficial count. Savage was a heel in Memphis, which may confuse casual fans who watch this as Savage was the WWF’s top face at this point.
Clip… Sensational Sherri knocks out Miss Texas (Jacqueline) with an illegal object and pins her…
Clip…Lawler vs Savage in a match with a cage around the ring. Lawler sees Sherri climbing in. He turns his back anyway and is attacked by Sherri. Savage and Sherri reunite as a tandem to batter Lawler. The “heels” collide and Lawler strips Sherri of her dress.
Clip… Sherri and Scotty Flamingo cut a promo. Sherri compliments Lance Russell on his beautiful tan. She is actually talking to Corey Maclin. I laughed. Raven cuts a spoiled rich kid promo.
Clip….Lawler vs. Papa Shango. We see various clips of the men brawling. Shango misses a diving elbow to set up Lawler dropping his strap. Scotty Flamingo distracts Lawler. Lawler launches a fireball at Shango. Shango grabs his skull and tosses a mini fireball from it into Lawler’s face. This earns him the win.
Clip…Flamingo reveals his gimmick is a lie and his “real” name is Johnny Polo. Papa Shango comes out and cuts a promo that tries to use his dark voodoo imagery, mixed with cheap heel heat lines about the fans and talk of his busy schedule. The combo makes for a funny promo as this monster has real life issues with traveling and hillbillies.
Jerry Lynn vs. Papa Shango
Lynn should be past jobber duty by this point as he and the 1-2-3 Kid had established themselves with a series of awesome matches around this time frame on the indies. Shango is an impressive looking beast when surrounded by the smaller Memphis workers, and fighting in the smaller TV studio ring. He mauls Lynn in short order.
Final thoughts: Way to many promos by guys who were not masters at it. I would have preferred better context with the clips to help make sense of what we were seeing. I am going to jump to the Memphis 1986 tapes next time.
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