Best of Memphis in the 80s Part 15
Jerry Lawler vs. Bam Bam Big Yellow Texas Death Match(9/7/86)
Bam Bam doing cartwheels is nice to show his athleticism, but it sure isn't intimidating at all. King has a manager with him who does his own cartwheels and back flips. Bam Bam was FAT. Bam Bam immediately backs King into the corner and throws him into the other corner. King throws a punch and again gets thrown across the room. King is dressed as a mustard and ketchup covered hotdog tonight. They head to the floor. Bam Bam accidentally punches the ring post. Back in the ring, King throws a few jabs and then gets caught in a lifted double choke. Bam Bam throws him and does a series of elbow drops and headbutts. This is enough to win a fall for Bam Bam. King made it up. The rules in Memphis seem kind of weird since you get pinned, have to stay down for a 20 second rest period, and then have a 10 count to get up. Bam Bam goes right after the ribs once King is up. Another fall to Bam Bam. King makes it up. A whole lot of falling headbutts so far. King wins a fall. After Bam Bam gets up, he hits a series of punches and a diving fist drop to win another fall. Bam Bam is in control after this. King is busted open. Bam Bam wins a fall with a sleeper. King tries to win the next fall with a sleeper himself. Bam Bam gets out, drops an elbow, and wins another fall. This cuts right to King pulling down the strap. Bam Bam bumps all over the place for King's punches. Of note, they finally have actual guardrails instead of a rope to hold the fans back. Ref bump. Bam Bam gets another pin, even though King's feet were on the ropes. Bam Bam's manager accidentally hits him with a chair. Neither man get up after the rest period or the following 10 count, so the first man up will win. King gets first and wins the match. After the match, Bam Bam's manager gave Bam Bam a lot of shit, causing Bam Bam to snap and apparently turn face. This was almost a half hour, which was way too long. Baby Bam Bam shouldn't have been in 30 minute matches, even ones with a lot of downtime. This would have been much better around 15 minutes max.
Jerry Lawler/Bam Bam Big Yellow vs. Austin Idol/Tommy Rich Double Jeopardy Match (3/16/87)
Bam Bam is now a face. The rules of a double jeopardy match is that there are two rings and a match going on in each ring at the same time. I'm not sure if the match is over as soon as one match is over, or if both matches need to be won. Bam Bam and Rich in one ring, King and Idol in the other. Rich is already busted open. King and Bam Bam switch rings, which is legal. There can not be a 2-1 situation for more than 60 seconds. Rich is thrown over the top. Faces switch rings again. Idol gets double teamed, including a headbutt/fist drop combo. More double teaming moments later, with King holding Idol down so Bam Bam can headbutt him in the balls. Idol breaks the leg off a table and starts stabbing King in the face with it. Rich also uses it on Bam Bam. Bammer gets double teamed for a bit. After a break, he's got one arm tied in the ropes and Idol is putting the boots to him. The heels try to crush King's balls on the ring post, but Bam Bam saves him. The match is thrown out when the ref is thrown to the floor. Idol makes a noose out of a belt and tries to kill King. Rich has something in his hand and is pounding Bam Bam with it. Bam Bam is also handcuffed to the top rope. The beat down continued until A number of faces hit the ring to make the save. Virgil and Jeff Jarrett were among the cavalry. Bam Bam flipped his shit once getting uncuffed.
Jerry Lawler/Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Austin Idol/Tommy Rich Texas Death Match (3/23/87)
Another Texas death match? Gross. Last Man Standing is such a better version of that gimmick. Before the match, Idol has a promo heeling on Evansville, Indiana. Bam Bam comes in already pissed off, throwing and breaking the ring steps, kicking the ref away, and throwing other things. King and Idol wrestle near the entrance, while Rich and Bam Bam are in the ringside area. Idol goes into a wall and a few chairs. Rich runs away to help Idol and gets decked a few times. Idol has a board and Bam Bam no sells it. Finally, everyone is in the ring. Bam Bam bites Rich's knee and Idol hits him in the balls. King is choked with a camera cable. Bam Bam gets hit with the giant ring bell. Bam Bam hits a standing dropkick in response. Idol gets tied up in the ropes. Bam Bam and King smash Rich's balls into the ring post, with legitimately injured him. This was the main angle going on during the random CWA show I watched a few weeks ago. The faces won the fall. Rich was unable to get up as his balls were destroyed. They did the ring post smash again after the match and Bam Bam continued to attack the balls. He also attacked the ref. King had to stop him. Because Bam Bam is so out of control, I guess.
Jerry Lawler vs. Austin Idol Hair vs. Hair, Steel Cage Match (4/27/87)
Paul E. Dangerly is Idol's manager. Really glad he turned it to Dangerously at some point. Dangerly isn't even a word. This is the first cage match on this set that actually looks like a real cage. It's the fence kind, but surrounds the whole ring side area like a Hell in a Cell without the top. Paul didn't want to leave the cage, so the ref said Idol would forfeit the match if Paul didn't leave in 10 seconds. Paul hightails it out and gets on the mic to give King one last chance to back out of the match. Idol put up $50K for refunds if he doesn't beat King and shave his head. Idol is saying the contract said Paul could be in the cage. King throws Idol all over the cage at ringside. He goes for the piledriver early, but Idol bails. Idol is already bleeding and King is picking him apart with punches. Idol comes back with low blows. King does one of his own and goes back to punches. They head to the floor and King is sent into the cage. Chair shot to the gut. Idol comes off the top with an ax handle. He then uses an international object to punch King with. King throws some punches and misses a guillotine leg drop. Idol misses a second rope knee drop. He connects with a second rope elbow. He misses the second. King follows with a second rope I think headbutt. Idol gets up and hits a short arm lariatoooo. King is sent into the cage and then starts firing off punches. King is sent flying into the ref. Idol piledrives the ref just for fun. A small package from King does nothing (no pun intended) because the ref is down. Paul E. throws salt or powder in King's eyes. King makes another pin that the ref can't count. Piledriver. The ref is still out. Tommy Rich comes out from under the ring and piledrives King. This was followed by a terrible spike piledriver. King's balls go into the post. Idol wins! King must now get his hair cut. As a post match beat down ensued, a female fan tried to climb the cage. Police went after her. King actually gets his hair cut (while being choked with a chain). Paul collects it in a bag as a trophy. I believe Lawler legitimately injured a testicle in the same manner as was done to Rich. Very long post match stuff. Then there was an interview in the back after all that.
Nick Bockwinkel vs. Jeff Jarrett (5/4/87)
Nice to have a non-King match after 4 in a row. And there will be two more before this disco is over. Bock was around 53 at the time of this match. Jeff was I think 19. Bock shows the rookie up right away. I don't think Jeff had even been wrestling a full year at this point. He was a substitute opponent for Bock. Jeff gets a cross body off, but nothing that would put the champ down. Jeff is able to use his youthful speed to get out of some mat holds. Bock works a tight headlock on the mat. Jeff gets out and hits a few slams, causing Bock to bail out. Bock comes back in, hits a few forearms to the chest, and goes back to the headlock. Bock hits the ring post and appears to have injured his shoulder. Double J gets top wrist lock that Bock tries to throw off a few times, but Jeff keeps it locked on. Jeff continues to work the arm with the old timey cross arm breaker. Bock gets out and misses a kick. Jeff goes back to the arm. Kitchen sink from Bock. The champ ducks his head to early and Jeff goes back to the arm. Cheap elbows in the corner from Bock. Hip toss. Jeff fires up with punches. Dropkick. He misses a second rope dropkick and Bock gets the win. Not exactly giffable, but an enjoyable champ vs rookie match, made more interesting because the rookie is a skinny Jeff Jarrett.
Still to come: Tracey Smothers, Curt Hennig, a cowboy boot match, and Don Bass singing.