The Best of Memphis Wrestling ’86: Volume 6

Jerry Jarrett feuds with an old friend over trying to end his son’s blossoming career.

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Promo: Jerry Lawler and Joe LeDuc.  This is one of those moments where this compilation drives me crazy. The last “Best of” had LeDuc as a rampaging monster heel, and now he’s Lawler’s partner, and the context as to why has been bypassed. In addition, according to Lawler’s promo, Dutch Mantel and Buddy Landel are heels again.  LeDuc does a great job here looking like a psycho. Lawler shows the clip of LeDuc chucking the King from the ring and onto a table, which resulted in a legit broken leg for Lawler at the time.  Lawler wants LeDuc to do the same thing to the heels in their upcoming bout.

Dutch Mantel and Pat Tanaka vs. Keith Eric and Tony Falk

Tanaka hits some karate shots and looks like one cool motherfucker while slyly posing after his delivery. Both of the jabronis tower over Tanaka. Dutch tags in and out wrestles both of the geeks.  Tanaka comes in for more chopping goodness.

The bell rings. Everyone is confused until they notice manager J.D. Costello is ringing the bell. Dutch rolls up a jobber to wrap the match up.  Costello challenges Dutch to a match NOW!  Mantel whips the wimp to the mat with ease, leading to the MOD Squad, Abdul Gaddafi, Pat Rose and others running in to attack the Dutchman.  The babyface B-team charge the ring to save him.

Bill Dundee and Buddy Landel cut a promo. Before they can say much everyone is distracted by Dutch and Lawler fighting the MOD Squad in the hallway. It’s dark and gritty, with the shadows enveloping the men as the pull hair and fight in close quarters. The locker room clears out to fix the situation.

Jeff Jarrett, Pat Tanaka, Tojo Yamamoto, and Tracy Smothers vs. Fire and Flame and the MOD Squad

We saw Fire and Flame be forced to unmask in the last volume, so the timeline is messed up in my head again. Tojo was also a heel manager feuding with Jarrett and Tanaka in the last video. We’ll assume those angles have yet to go down when this match was broadcast.

The heels struggle with Smothers early, before Tanaka becomes the face in peril. A four-way brawl breaks out and Smothers is hit with a fireball to earn the heels a DQ at the four-minute mark.  Nothing special.

Giant Hillbilly, Jerry Lawler and Austin Idol vs. J.D. Costello and the MOD Squad

We are joined in progress with Lawler being worked on by all 3 men. We skip ahead to Idol smacking the heels with a cane while Hillbilly squashes another in the corner. The faces save the manager for last, letting Hillbilly leg drop him, Lawler piledrives the geek and Idol locks in a figure-four for the win. The crowd looks pretty healthy, so something attracted them to the Coliseum.  We saw this clip in the last volume.

Promo: Jeff Jarrett, he admits he is 18 years old, 190 pounds and has only been working for 3 weeks.  He’s going to get better and better as a wrestler, and then he hopes to get a chance to whip Bill Dundee. He doesn’t want to partner with Lawler or another star, because it’s not fair to them to have to carry a rookie.

Promo: Jerry Jarrett explains how he and Tojo Yamamoto used to be friends and partners, but now Tojo is bitter that he is old and Jeff Jarrett is young, so Yamamoto insists on messing with him. Jerry has not interfered with Jeff’s career yet, but he plans on being at the Coliseum this Monday to back up his son. “If you get in my way Tojo, I’m going to knock some of that slant out of your eyes”.   Yikes!

Jeff Jarrett and Pat Tanaka vs. Greg Gillis and Keith Roberson

Gillis has a good body. He must be green as grass as he and rookie Jarrett have some awkward exchanges as they wait for the other to move into spots. The jobbers end up arguing over cheap shots, and Gillis walks off. Roberson is hit with a bridging German suplex by Tanaka for the quick and easy win.  It looks like Gillis floated around the wrestling world into the late 90’s under a number of gimmicks.

Clip: Lawler and the Giant Hillbilly vs. Fire and Flame – Hillbilly has a squeeze on one of the heels when Billy Spires (an older manager and wrestler) sneaks in and burns the big man with a fireball. Fire and Flame win the belts.

Promo: J.D. Costello and the MOD Squad. Costello has agreed to be primed and manicured if his men lose their upcoming match to the Nightmares. Costello had insulted the Nightmares for their flashy masks, leading to this challenge. The Nightmares will wear dresses if they lose.

The Nightmares vs. Akio Sato and Tarzan Goto

This starts off very fast paced. The faces avoid Sato’s attacks and then flip the heels around with monkey flips and flying head scissors. The match ends abruptly as Fire and Flame are in the parking lot attacking Tanaka and Jarrett. The faces pour out of the locker room to fend off the heels.

Jim Jamison vs. Bam Bam Bigelow

This was shown on Volume 5. Bigelow gives the jobber a free minute of offense, then kills him instantly.

Jerry Garmen, Benny Trailer and the Demolition Express vs. MOD Squad, Memphis Vice, Ron Sexton

Demolition Express are a trio of African-Americans (Charles and James Atlas, plus “Rocksteady”). They claim to be Tony Atlas’ brothers. Or at least James is. (It appears they are of no true relation)   The heels take turns hammering away at various babyfaces for a few minutes of indiscriminate action. The heels take the duke. Everyone walks off, but then it it’s decided there is TV time left, so they will have a second fall. Everyone walks back to the ring. How delightful it is to book on a whim.

This goes on and on as I have no idea why a glorified squash needed 10 minutes-plus of action. None of these heels are particularly interesting, and Costello’s heel work on the mic isn’t compelling enough to carry this. Lance Russell mentions the show is almost out of time, and magically Sexton finishes things off. Thank you!

Final thoughts:  This volume is pretty skippable as there is really no fun angles or promos worth seeing.

 

 

Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.