We find out whether Bill Dundee or Jerry Lawler wound up leaving town, and Buddy Landel makes his return to the ring! Plus – the Blade Runners!
One Year in Memphis – January 11, 1986
The show opened with Dave Brown and Lance Russell, but due to technical difficulties we werenâ€™t able to hear their introduction (instead we heard the conversation in the control room).
We came back to see (and hear) Vinnie Traylor taking on Rick Casey. Russell filled us in that Traylor was normally a tag team wrestler as part of the Midnight Connection. Casey started a series of arm wringers against Traylor and the ropes broke the hold. Vinnie tried to do the same to Casey only for Casey to start wringing away again instead.
Casey whipped Traylor into the ropes, and stopped him with an elbow. Traylor finally flipped Casey but Casey didnâ€™t let go of an armbar and Traylor had to go back to the ropes.
They tied up again and again Casey took charge. When they got back up Traylor whipped Casey against the ring and got hit by a shoulder.
Traylor finally got Casey into a corner and the ref broke it up. Casey was obviously irritated as he whipped Traylor across the ring, caught him with a chop, and then planted him with the Last Roundup for the win at 3:03.
After a commercial break we headed backstage for Randy Hales to sell the Evansville show which would feature a tournament for the Southern Tag Team titles (the champions had been Lawler and Austin Idol. Lawlerâ€˜s banishment meant that the belts were vacant). Rick Casey then came in to talk about his match with Koko Ware as a tag team partner. The Fantastics followed to give their thoughts about the tournament.
We came back from another commercial to see Russell at the interview set with Mid-America champion Koko Ware. Koko talked about a match where heâ€™d defended a title against Harley Race and followed that up by saying he wasnâ€™t afraid of Buddy Landel.
Russell then revealed that Lawler had lost his match against Dundee the previous week and was therefore banished from the CWA. We then went to a video shilling the Lawler video.
We headed to the ring where David Haskins was waiting for his opponent – Nature Boy Buddy Landel. Landel took a second to fix his hair and then got taken down by Haskins. Landel offered a handshake and made Haskins pay with right hands. Haskins fought his way out of the corner and wound up sending Landel staggering with a drop kick. Landel dodged a second one, stomped Haskins, and threw him through the ropes to the floor.
Landel gave Haskins a chop before returning to the ring. After a moment Landel grabbed Haskins by the hair, pulled him back into the ring, and took him down into an armbar. After grinding Haskinsâ€™s face into the mat, Landel continued the assault.
Landel locked Haskins in another armbar and started shouting at the cameramen to get his good side. Haskins fought his way to his feet and started fighting back only for Landel to bounce his head off a turnbuckle and regain the advantage. Landel followed up with a dropkick of his own and went to a chinlock.
Landel kept hammering at Haskins and finally dropped an elbow on him before locking on the figure four. Haskins submitted at 3:44.
Landel then joined Russell at the interview set. Landel put over his figure four and started talking about his plans for Koko and the Mid-America belt (and put over the CWA competitors by doing so).
Landel closed by asking where Lawler was and pointing out that Dundee had run him out of town.
After a break, we were back with Randy Hales. He ran down the card and we headed back to the ring where the Blade Runners (Steve Borden and Jim Hellwig) were set for action. They were facing David Johnson and Jim Jameson.
Borden started by taking on Johnson. Borden effortlessly slammed Johnson and started pounding on him. A whip across the ring let Borden hit a clothesline and then drop an elbow.
Borden tagged Hellwig in who dropped Johnson with another clothesline. He followed that up with a boot and let Jameson into the ring. Hellwig and Borden both gorilla-pressed their opponents and got a double pin at 1:20.
Russell was back at the interview set and welcomed Steve Keirn in. Keirn said that he, Stan Lane, and Jackie Fargo wished everyone a happy new year.
Keirn talked about how he wanted to challenge Dundee to a match with any stipulation Dundee wanted. Keirn called Dundee a coward and reiterated his challenge after mentioning how heâ€˜d once run Dundee out of town (for two years, Russell added).
After a commercial, the Fantastics were on their way out. They made the rounds of the ring and got ready for their opponents – Tony Falk and Dutch Mantell.
Falk asked if he looked like Ric Flair and Mantell promised that Falkâ€™s losing streak would be broken that day.
Dutch started off against Bobby Fulton. The two grappled back and forth with neither man getting an advantage. Finally Dutch got a headlock but Fulton turned the tables with a hip toss. The two locked up again and Mantell started throwing right hands before tagging Falk in.
Needless to say, that was all Fulton needed to take control of the match and Fulton tagged Tommy Rogers in. Rogers kept dominating Falk even with his asking Mantell for advice. At commentary Russell suggested that Falk might want to tag out.
Falk got body slammed, hip tossed, and Fulton came back in to continue the assault. Falk tried an offensive maneuver or two but the best he could do was to tag Mantell back in.
The two grappled across the ring and Fulton tagged Rogers back in. Mantell started throwing right hands and elbows to level Rogers so Mantell tagged Falk back in. Of course Falk immediately blew the advantage and Mantell started yelling at him from the apron.
Rogers brought Fulton back in to continue the domination. Falk missed a clothesline and Fulton dropkicked him down. Rogers tagged back in and splashed Falk before locking him in an armbar.
Falk got free by pulling Rogersâ€™s hair and whipped Rogers only to get clotheslined. Finally Falk slammed Rogers and tagged out.
Rogers kept things moving against Mantell and quickly tagged Fulton back in. Mantell dropped an elbow, decided against tagging Falk, and kept attacking Fulton. A snap suplex got a two count for Mantell and he brought Falk back in.
Falk landed a clothesline and covered for a one count. Falk hit a reverse neck breaker that earned him two. Falk then telegraphed a back body drop. Fulton caught him with a knee lift and tagged Rogers back in.
Rogers dropkicked Falk down as the matchâ€™s momentum shifted back to the Fantastics. Mantell came in and got a right hand for his trouble. Mantell pulled the ropes as Rogers ran toward them, dumping him outside the ring. As Falk brawled with Fulton, Mantell stalked Rogers with a chair in his hand. Rick Casey saved Rogers by attacking Mantell with a cowbell, which left Falk easy prey for the Fantastics.
We took another break and came back to Randy Hales who shilled the Evansville show again. Bill Dundee kicked Hales out and brought in Mantell. They held a moment of silence for Lawler and they talked about their match against the Fantastics in the tournament.
Russell was at the interview set when we came back and out came Dundee, Falk, the Blade Runners, Landel, manager Buddy Wayne, and Dutch Mantell. They were fully equipped with party hats, champagne, noisemakers, and cake. Dundee bragged about beating Lawler as the party got underway before telling Keirn that he might not want to wrestle Keirn.
As Dundee jawed with the crowd, Mantell took over putting Dundee over as Landel poured the champagne and the Blade Runners ate cake with their mouths open. Russell then added that Dundee was the first to ever beat Lawler in a loser leave town match before Dundee said that heâ€™d beat Ric Flair for the world table. We then got to watch Buddy Wayne eat a cake.
Dundee had to leave the party to wrestle Jerry Garmon. Dundee started hammering Garmon as soon as the bell rang. Garmon tried to fight back but was completely outmatched by Dundee. A power slam put Garmon away at 58 seconds.
After the match, Dundee kept hammering Garmon only for Big Red Reese to make his return and attack Dundee, eventually hitting him with a splash, elbows, and a head butt. Big Red clonked Mantell and Dundeeâ€™s heads together before sending them both into a corner and hitting an avalanche on both of them. That was all it took for Dundee and Mantell to exercise the better part of valor and clear out of town.
After the break Tony Falk threw out an open challenge and promised to win the match. His opponent turned out to be Rick Casey who was dressed in his street clothes. Casey pulled off his shirt and hit the ring.
Casey took charge with an arm drag and Falk got a waist lock. Casey took him down and locked in a hammerlock. Falk got free and threw a couple of shots before he started getting arm dragged by Casey and locked in an armbar.
Falk kept throwing right hands before whipping Casey across the ring and stopping him with an elbow. He dropped a knee and got a one count.
Falk whipped Casey across the ring. Casey dodged a hip toss and planted Falk with the Last Roundup for the win at 1:45.
After the final commercial, we got a replay of Caseyâ€™s bulldog that won the last match. Brown gave us a rundown of the dayâ€™s events and Russell closed the show out by putting Landel and his feud with Koko over.
FULL CARD FOR WEDNESDAYâ€™S SHOW IN EVANSVILLE
AWA Southern Tag Team titles
One night tournament
Round 1 matchups
Tojo Yamamoto/Dirty Rhodes vs. Buddy Landel/Pat Rose
Koko Ware/Rick Casey vs. the Sheepherders
Blade Runners vs. Billy Travis/Tracy Smothers
Bill Dundee/Dutch Mantell vs. the Fantastics
Two Round 2 matches
Finals to determine new champions
Tags: Bill Dundee, Buddy Landel, Dutch Mantell, Sting, Ultimate Warrior