Best of Memphis in the 80s Part 5
New York Dolls vs. Steve Regal & Spike Huber (10/4/82)
This is for the WWA Tag Team Championships. Steve Regal is not the Regal we all know and love, but I believe the well known Regal did steal his name from this Regal. One of the Dolls is the former Dream Machine. Unsurprisingly, Jimmy Hart is managing the Dolls because they are heels. I'm really not sure which who is who in here. Jimmy Hart is chased around the ring for a bit before the match. Regal had powder thrown in his eyes. The Dream Machine is still called the Dream Machine, even though he's sans mask and has a completely different gimmick. Gut wrench suplex from Dream. Quick tags from the Dolls. Regal is getting dominated here. Zero offense so far. After quite a while of FIP, Regal starts to fire up. He was cut off. Bear hug. The ref misses the hot tag and Regal gets a spike piledriver. Huber gets in the ring anyway and throws the ref, getting disqualified. Dude was never even legally in the match. The faces got beat down after the match as well. Terry Taylor and Stan Lane would eventually make the save.
Jerry Lawler vs. Nick Bockwinkel (10/18/82)
This is a 24/7 release, so that means fairly high quality footage. CWA had working agreements with the NWA and AWA, but their ties were much stronger with the AWA. Bock begs off on the ropes, preventing King from throwing his famous punches. The piledriver has been declared legal for this match because Bock wrestles in so many areas where it is legal that he accidentally used it in a match where it wasn't legal and didn't want a match to end like that here. That's kind of an interesting move from the traveling heel champion. They lock up a few times, with Bock repeatedly going to the ropes. King gets sick of it and throws a punch. Bock bails. Lance says the fans may be booing, but that's a smart move. King goes for the piledriver and Bock quickly bails again. Bock gets back in and applies a full nelson. Bockwinkel had excellent hair. I've always been a big fan of his hair. So classy. King drops down and kicks back to get out of the hold. Bock works a top wrist lock. King gets out and some punches are thrown. In the last match they had, Bock worked a top wrist lock for most of the match and ended up winning the Southern Heavyweight Championship from King. It goes to the mat. Bock has a body scissors on. King gets out and turns it into a Boston crab. Rope break. King continues to work the back and mid section with various holds. Mid ring collision. King is shoved into the ref. Bock hits a piledriver, but the ref isn't up to count. When he recovers, King is able to kick out. Bock rams the back of King's neck repeatedly into the top turn buckle. Lawler makes a come back and lands a second rope splash. Bock starts throwing punches, which fires King up. The strap is down! Series of punches. Bock rolls out of the piledriver. King misses an elbow drop. King is knocked over the ropes. It's not a DQ as it wasn't intentional. King's face is smashed into the apron. Bock pulls him up and throws a STIFF forearm to the chest, which made Lawler do a Nestea Plunge off the apron. He basically hit King full force right in the sternum. The ring area was pretty poorly mic'd, but the sound of that was clear as day. King is then thrown into the ring post. Bock gets cocky in the ring. King is still able to block a piledriver. Piledriver from King! Bock rolls out of the ring before he can be pinned. King follows him out. King slams him back in the ring and hits the second rope fist drop. Bock kicks out! Running apron punch. And another. Another fist drop. Bock kicks out again. Bock hits a headbutt to the gut and does a roll up while holding the ropes to steal the win OUTTA NOWHERE. That sneaky son of a bitch. Bock retains the Southern Heavyweight Championship. He was also the AWA Champion, but I don't believe it was on the line.
Jerry Lawler vs. Nick Bockwinkel (10/25/82)
This, on the other hand, IS for the AWA Championship. Even opening exchange. Bock then does some tight arm work on the mat. He continues it standing up. Multiple wrist lock variations. King almost powers out, but is unable to get all the way out. This goes on for quite a while, with Bock subtly changing positions and leverage points. King finally gets out. They came back from break and King was now in control. It doesn't take long for Bock to be back on the offense. Cross body from King. When Bock kicks out, it sends King all the way out to the floor. Bock throws some big punches and can't believe King is still kicking out/fighting back. King throws some punches to get back into the match. This was a TV match with a lot of commercials. And some of the bumpers were for the Poffo run ICW. I'm not sure what the deal is with that. The only real offense King has had in this match is multiple punches. He's shoved into the ref. Bock goes up top and hits an ax handle to the back of the head. King kicks out. They brawl on the floor for a bit. Bock starts throwing bombs and ramming King into the turn buckle and until King fires up and throws a flurry of punches. So many he falls. He keeps it up in the corner, throwing the ref away every time he tries to stop. Bock ends up hitting the ref, possibly on purpose. Regardless, King makes the pin and the ref declares King the winner. But by DQ. SWERVE! Dusty Rhodes would be so proud. Fans were not happy with the result. At the end, there was a clip from a very young Miss Elizabeth thanking everyone for tuning into All Star Wrestling. So was ICW really so outlaw that not only were they not affiliated with AWA/NWA/any one else, but also would just steal other companies matches and air on their show? That's pretty ballsy.
Jerry Lawler vs. Nick Bockwinkel No Disqualification (11/8/82)
Bock starts off strong with a big forearm to the chest. King is wearing all white, which is the universal sign for "there will be blood". Bock isn't letting the no DQ stipulation go to waste, doing a series of eye rakes. Big punch to the jaw. Bock isn't messing around this time. King just hasn't been able to get any momentum from the opening bell. He finally gets into it with a headbutt to the lower mid section. Also known as the balls. Whole lot of grounded punches. Then a few standing up that get Bock all out of sorts. King uses Bock's own towel to smother him. The ref tries to pull him off, but it is no DQ and he really shouldn't be doing such things. Piledriver. Rope break. Bock hits a possible low blow of his own. They head to the floor. King is thrown into and on the announce table. King has been busted open. As soon as King gets back in the ring, he's thrown over the top on the other side. King blocks a piledriver by backing Bock into the corner, smashing the ref in the process. That god damn Jimmy Hart runs into and hits King with something. Lawler kicks out! Oh fuck, down comes the strap. Shit is about to get real. Punches everywhere. Flying fist drop. 2 count. Another fist drop. Another 2 count. Now one from the top rope. King wins! New champion! King has finally defeated Bockwinkel! What's really important here is not only did King just regain his Southern Championship, but he also just defeated the AWA Champion clean in the middle of the ring. Pretty hard to imagine the NWA Champion coming into a territory and dropping a clean and decisive pin fall, even if it was for a different title. In the course of a year, King has victories over both the NWA and AWA Champions, although the win over Flair was via count out. I kind of wish the WWF did touring champions during this time. I'd like to have seen Backlund in Memphis or JCP or even World Class.
Jackie Fargo vs. Jimmy Hart (11/8/82)
Fargo was the original top star in Memphis. And as the match starts, Koko/Eaton and the Fabulous Ones are in the ring and powder is flying. Fargo is the original Fabulous One. Fargo has a belt and straps Hart all around. Legitimate Fargo Strut! He throws the bell in the ring and rings it. Fargo is on the Mt. Rushmore of Memphis Wrasslin, with Lawler, Tojo, and Dundee. This is, obviously, not really a match, but instead a big cluster fuck with both tag teams and a retired wrestler vs a manager. Triple Fargo Strut. Fargo won after an atomic drop, but calling it a match isn't really accurate.
Fabulous Ones vs. The New York Dolls 2/3 Falls(11/13/82)
I just want everyone to know ahead of time that there will be a lot of Fabulous Ones music videos and promos later on. Tons of gifs from those, no doubt. Stan starts out for his team. He does some arm work. Skinner is tagged in and goes after the leg. Quick tags. The Dolls get Skinner in the corner and Jimmy Hart hits him with a cane. Skinner is rammed into the turnbuckle multiple times and appears to be bleeding. Definitely bleeding. One of the Dolls is sent into a chair that Jimmy was holding. Lane attacks the other Doll and they brawl on the floor. I don't think he's the legal man, but now everyone is out of the ring and the fall is stopped. Skinner starts throwing chair shots around. After the break, the second fall starts with Lane and Dream going hot and heavy. This is pretty aggressive. The second fall also ends in a brawl on the floor. Jimmy Hart gets involved and I guess causes a DQ. 2/3 falls with a count out and a DQ. Fabulous Ones win, even though the first fall didn't count against either team.
Bill Dundee & Bobby Fulton vs. Bobby Eaton & Sweet Brown Sugar (11/15/82)
Fulton and Eaton start out. Fulton would go on to form The Fantastics, a Fabulous Ones knock off. He'd actually first form a team with Terry Taylor called The Fantastic Ones, which was a full rip off in a Knoxville territory that only lasted a few months. He gets the better of Eaton, so Eaton tags out. He gets the better of Koko, so he also tags out. Eaton does an eye rake to get the advantage, but it doesn't last long as Fulton fires up on him. Eaton and Koko are Irish whipped into each other. Tag to Dundee. Koko tries to splash him in the corner. Dundee moves and Koko goes flying to the floor. Big back body drop. Dundee is able to get Koko to dropkick Eaton and tags out to Fulton. Eaton and Dundee are back in. Double back drop to Eaton. Some cheap shots on Fulton put the heels in control. It's weird seeing Koko as a heel. Spinning neck breaker. Dundee comes in and lays everyone out, but Jimmy Hart hits Fulton with a cane. Koko and Eaton hit a Decapitation Elbow/Veg-O-Matic combo for the win.
Coming up: A couple of ICW matches, including Lanny Poffo and Randy Savage, The Mountie, and a flash forward to the 1984 Bock/King feud.