The Best of Memphis Wrasslin’ 86: Volume 10

An Oriental Warrior comes to Memphis to take out the King. Plus the start of perhaps the last great Memphis feud.

From Amazon Prime

I just finished seeing Rambo: Last Blood, so since I am dripping with adrenaline, it’s time for some WRASSLIN’!

For those who noticed…yes, I skipped Volume 9. Oddly, it is behind a paywall that the other Memphis videos are not.

Kabuki, Akio Sato, Tarzan Goto and Tojo Yamamoto cut a promo on Austin Idol.

David Haskins vs. Kabuki

Kabuki chops and chops and chops.  At least a squash match should guarantee Kabuki can’t use his nerve pinches to eat up minutes of my life I will never have back. A side kick finishes things quickly.

Kabuki beats on the jobber after the bell because he’s evil. Another jabroni runs in and is pounded. One more jobber enters and Kabuki wrecks him too. Yamamoto uses his kendo stick to keep one of the job guys down.  “The King” Jerry Lawler arrives and Kabuki is game for a fight. Tojo yanks his man’s hair to back him off.

Tommy Rich gets a video package.

Dirty Rhodes, Don Bass, and Larry Wright vs. Benny Garmen, Jim Jamison and David Johnson

The heels are Fire, Flame and the Torch, now unmasked.  The villains are all chubby (fat), which is fine because it almost makes them more unlikable as they need to cheat to win since they aren’t hitting the gym.  One of the jobbers is busted open, possibly hard way. The heels win after clubberin’ for a bit.

The heels are asked about their recent destruction of the King’s car, so they call Lawler a drunk driver.  They smash a crown that Lawler had donated for a giveaway for the fans.  Lawler comes out and the heels scatter.

20 man Battle Royal for $5,000. Sato, Goto, Don Bass, Fred Ottman, Billy Travis, Jeff Jarrett, Dirty Rhodes, Lawler, Bigfoot, Jonathan Boyd, Tracy Smothers, David Haskins, The Ninja, Pat Tanaka and others are all involved.

Odd that they gave this away on free TV as you would think a battle royal should be an easy crowd popper to bust out once or twice a year. Big Bubba Ottman dumps Rhodes and Bass, then eliminates himself to go after them. Sato rearranges Jeff Jarrett’s balls on the ring post. Sato and Jarrett end up eliminating one another. Jarrett goes back to eliminate Goto.

It comes down to Lawler being left alone with Bigfoot and Boyd. Billy Travis grabs the heels from behind, allowing Lawler to dump them both for the win.  Boyd and Bigfoot beat up Travis as Lawler is jumped by Dirty Rhodes. I’m not sure why this was booked to be a battle royal, as the brawls could have all been set up in a standard match.

We flash to Big Bubba Ottman and Lawler facing Dirty Rhodes and Don Bass at the Mid-South Coliseum.  Ottman is a heel but has promised Lawler he won’t turn on him.  Lawler is bloodied and being battered by both heels. Lawler gets fired up as Ottman watches on disinterested from the ring apron.  Lawler wins the tag belts by himself. Ottman shakes his head and walks off as Lawler is being mauled by Bass and Rhodes.

Promo with Big Bubba Ottman, who has both of the tag titles. He says “Let me tell ya something…” a million times as he mocks the Memphis fan base. He makes a mildly racist comment about watching a black guy eating a “fortune cookie” which turned out to be just cornbread with a food stamp shoved in it. Harvey Wippleman aka Downtown Bruno appears to make his debut.  Bruno brings out “Goliath” who is wearing a title, despite never appearing before.  Bruno explains that Goliath is the “World Super heavyweight Champion” having beaten Abby the Butcher in a (fictional) tournament in Puerto Rico.

This is apparently the wrestling debut of Goliath for better or worse.  He stayed in Memphis until he broke his ankle, which put him out of action for years.  He had another Memphis run in 1993 as a Moondog, but seems to have done little else.  He must’ve been terrible if he is tall and bulky and yet never sniffed a WWF or WCW spot. He had matches with Stan Frazier in Memphis that I am now DYING to see! He even worked Jerry Blackwell, which would be potentially less horrible.

Goliath and Big Bubba Ottman vs. Robert and Randy Bryant 

Goliath appears to be competent, which is a shame. He and Ottman use forearms, slams and FAT MAN dropkicks to dominate. Goliath runs the ropes back and forth 3 times as the jobber is not in place for a proper splash. His splash isn’t as graceful as it could be, but it gets the duke.

Tracy Smothers vs. Boy Tony

“Boy Tony” is Tony Falk doing a Boy George gimmick. With Adrian Adonis doing the cross dressing gimmick in the big leagues, this feels pretty much like a rip off. Tony is prancing and doing the limp wrist mannerisms to get every bit of cheap heat possible. Smothers pinches his ass.

Smothers out wrestles Tony for several minutes until the ref is bumped. Downtown Bruno then runs in, right in front of the ref who is sitting up “dazed”. Bruno kicks Smothers in the head. This is enough for Tony to steal the win.  That ending was weak and badly executed, largely because the ref should have been looking the other direction, not sitting right in front of the blatant interference.

Billy Travis and Jeff Jarrett vs ……

Jobbers are in the ring, but Johnathan Boyd and Bigfoot come out and demand the spot instead. A four-way brawl breaks out. Bigfoot is the replacement ogre for Rip Morgan, who was off working elsewhere. Bigfoot is busted open because the pretty boy babyfaces are tough and tenacious. Blood is splattered all over the white cement at ringside. AWESOME.  A litany of heels and faces come down to break up the mayhem. Travis, Boyd and Jarrett are both bloody as well. Then, just when it appeared the fight was over, the men brawl again.

Stan Frazier, the biggest of the faces, stands around and does nothing as he is too physically deteriorated to get involved.  This was a vintage Memphis brawl and I LOVED it!

Ed Mattox vs. The Great Kabuki 

Chop, chop, choke. Mattox worked a number of Memphis TV shows as a job guy, but does not even have a profile on the very through More chops. Sidekick. Pin. Meh.  Gary Hart worked wonders with his smoke and mirrors booking to get Kabuki over as a draw. He was shortish, had no body and didn’t do much in the ring.

Tommy Rich comes out for a promo. He isn’t happy that Eddie Marlin awarded Lawler a title match with AWA champ Nick Bockwinkel when he was promised one as part of negotiating to return to Memphis. This was vaguely heelish, and perhaps a starting point for the great feud he and Lawler would have in 1987.

Tommy Rich vs. Keith Erich

Rich grapples with the kid for a bit, offers him some token offense, then wipes him out with the Thesz press for the easy win.

Final thoughts: We got one quality brawl and not much else, but the tease of building to Lawler/Rich and Idol’s angle has be excited for more!



Written by Andrew Lutzke

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