The Best of Memphis Wrestling ’86: Volume 3

Jerry Jarrett faces attack from Memphis’ most devious heels in a memorable angle from 1986!

From Amazon Prime

David Johnson and Jim Jamison vs. Bill Dundee and Buddy Landel

Jeff Jarrett is the referee, getting some on the job training before he was to become a wrestler. Both of the heels have singles titles that are not the Southern heavyweight gold, making them as valuable as any of the ABC titles in boxing I reckon.  The heels just beat the hell out of these bums, with kicks, slaps and punching, with not a hint of technical grace or laying in a hold. They put the jabronis away at around the four-minute mark of an intense squash.

Ref Jarrett is then attacked, drawing out his daddy, Jerry.  The heels gang up on the old man while Jeff is down.  Dundee starts to claw at Jerry’s one good eye, an act so heinous that Lance Russell leaves the announce desk to try and stop the carnage.  Jeff pops up at that moment and goes after Dundee with flailing punches. The heels regain control and knock Jeff out.  Jeff’s selling needs work. Dutch Mantel runs in to save the kid.

Russell does some heated commentary when he returns to his desk, approving ahead of time of stiff retribution on the heels for what just went down.  This angle would draw Jeff into a wrestling role, even though with his complete lack of size he barely would qualify as a prelim guy in any other territory. The angle was well done, especially Lance Russell’s actions during and after the attack.

There is a group of at least 15 young girls all dressed in white sitting in the front row. When Lawler saw this tape he probably kicked himself for not being in the area at this time. Many deflowerings were avoided on this particular Saturday morning.

“Thunderbolt” Hamilton and David Haskins vs. The MOD Squad 

They were pushing Hamilton a bit on the last “Best of” show I reviewed, so we shall see if he is protected at all here. My answer comes quick as Hamilton hip tosses both heels back to back to back as he shows his fire early. Haskins tries to be a plucky babyface too, but the Squad just hammer on him for a few minutes and score the win.  This was to be a “Best of 3” falls match, but the video cuts to another match.  The editor at Amazon must have been as bored of the MOD Squad’s plodding offensive as I was.

Basher’s look reminds me of Bruce McGill of “Animal House” and “MacGyver” fame.

John Belushi would have made the MOD Squad a better team. Spike, Basher, and Bluto. I like it.

Billy Travis vs. Keith Eric

Travis is rocking the perm look that infected men’s hair fashion during this period. It sure hurts his babyface appeal looking at him 33 years later. Travis actually looks like David Schultz, minus all body mass.

We see armbars aplenty as Travis grapples with the geek. Lance Russell and Dave Brown try to put Travis over as best they can, talking up his deceptive size and ever improving work rate now that Frank Morrell is mentoring him. A back breaker and Vader bomb give Travis the win at just under the 5-minute mark.

We cut to a video of Frank Morrell training Travis in a local park. The drill sergeant routine works well here, and could be used to set up a potential heel turn by either man potentially. You could go with the old man attacking his young charge in a fit of jealousy, or the kid believing his own hype and turning on his mentor.

Jeff Jarrett gives us an update a week or two after he was attacked by Dundee and Landel.  Jeff stumbles over his words a lot. (He’s 19 and probably feeling the pressure of being given a push in front of a slew of experienced guys due to his last name.) They taped this in Jarrett’s living room or something.  He mentions Lance Russell had some questions for him, which makes me think Russell should have just been there to help guide him through this.  Jarrett reads a poem that sounds familiar, as I think he read it at his WWE Hall of Fame speech or something.

Jarrett may have appealed to the ladies as the ultimate lovable twerp underdog here, with his unpolished promo and good looks.  Steroids and experience would do wonders for ol’ Double J.

JOE LEDUC is in studio!

David Haskins vs. Joe LeDuc 

LeDuc had a big feud with Lawler years earlier, and he is a welcome sight here for me. LeDuc no sells Haskins attempts to move him, then mauls the kid with forearms, chokes and modified headlocks. LeDuc busts out a DROPKICK, somehow getting his big ass in the air for some hang time. Haskins tries to show some fire, so LeDuc just smashes him with a clothesline for the quick and easy win. 8 billion stars!

The Fantastics vs. the MOD Squad

This match has the Fantastics titles up against J.D. Costello’s bag with $3,000 worth of coins.

The heels jump our heroes before the bell, but they are driven to the floor. The faces use headlocks and dropkicks to control the early minutes.   The heels tag frequently but cannot spark any semblance of control . The Squad finally double team Tommy Rogers to get some sustained heat. Rogers takes absorbs punches and kicks for several minutes before making the tag to Fulton.  Fulton quickly rolls up Basher, but J.D. Costello runs in and hits Fulton with the coin bag. The shot wasn’t very convincing, but helps give the heels the win.

Promoter Eddie Marlin comes in and exposes that the “coins” were washers, so between the stipulation being promised under false pretense and the interference, Marlin is ordering the decision reversed. A rematch will be signed for Monday night at the Mid-South Coliseum, of course.

Jerry Lawler and Dutch Mantel cut a localized promo on Landel and Dundee about the upcoming “Texas Death” tag match between the teams.  Lawler promises it could go all night. Dutch invokes Pearl Harbor. Russell offers up a “Get’em!” as the heels have couriered no favor with him as of late.

“Big” Red Reese vs. Bill Dundee

Landel, Dutch Mantel and Dundee are going to do their own commentary over this recent Mid-South Coliseum main event.  With no Lawler, and a very weak babyface side, the fans came dressed as chairs to this event.

Reese, as I covered in his debut, is a GIANT, OBESE man. Dundee bounces around for the monster as their size difference makes having an actual match almost impossible. Dundee goes to the eyes to try and gain control. Reese no sells and dances. The heels make a ton of fat jokes.

Dundee cheats his way into downing Reese, but the big man dances his way back into control. Dutch Mantel runs down with a chain, but Reese drops him with punches. Dundee gets the chain and knocks out his corpulent opponent for the win.

Reese was just too damn big to do anything with. He probably would have been well served in a heel role elsewhere, or as the hot tag guy for a smaller babyface partner,

Jerry Lawler vs. Pat Rose

Lawler is attacked before the bell. Rose looks a bit like Ron Jeremy sans body hair. They trade headlocks as the first several minutes don’t really go anywhere.

There is an old man in bib overalls in the front row. God bless southern wrasslin’.

After 5 minutes of nothing action, Lawler drops the strap and ends things with a fist drop. There was no point to showing this. Somebody at Amazon said “We need a Lawler match” and threw this on here.

We have 90 seconds left on the show, so we finish with Phil Hickerson and Billy Travis being bloodied up by the Blade Runners. The Spoiler comes in, and the heels hold Hickerson up for more punishment, but the Spoiler turns babyface and attacks the roid monsters with a boot.

Final thoughts: I’m not sure why volume one and three were random clips, shown out of order, and volume 2 two actual full shows, shown in order.  I am enjoying seeing the footage, but the random and disorganized manner of the presentations is a major turnoff.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter to keep up with my wrasslin’ research and reviews.



Written by Andrew Lutzke

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