One Year in Memphis – March 1, 1986

RESULTS FROM SUNDAY NIGHT’S SHOW AT THE MID-SOUTH COLISEUM (courtesy of www.memphiswrestlinghistory.com)

Bill Dundee/Buddy Landel over Dutch Mantell/Billy Travis

Buddy Landel over Austin Idol by DQ

Dirty Rhodes over Bill Dundee by DQ

Fantastics over Tony Falk/Abdul Gadaffi

Dutch Mantell over Pat Rose

Billy Travis over Keith Eric

Thunderbolt Hamilton over Tom Branch

Lance Russell and Dave Brown welcomed us to the show. Brown gave us a rundown of who’d be there today – Buddy Landel, Dutch Mantell vs. Billy Travis (winner gets a shot at the International title), and the Fantastics. Russell added that we’d also be hearing more about the Thunderdome before we headed to commercial.

We came back to see Buddy Landel on his way out to face Jim Jameson. However, Landel was dressed in a business suit. He headed to commentary to explain what was going on.

Landel refused to get into the ring against Jameson, who he didn’t consider worth competition. Landel then called himself the world’s heavyweight champion. To prove his point, he showed off a picture where he had a bloody Ric Flair locked in the figure four, and then he showed another picture of himself holding the NWA world heavyweight title.

When Russell asked where the belt was, Landel claimed politics and then smoothly changed the subject to the Win a Date with Buddy Landel contest.

Promoter Eddie Marlin then came out to introduce a video that Jerry Jarrett had sent in. Jarrett was seated at his home, and addressed his wrestling comeback. Jarrett used the opportunity to announce his retirement because he felt like he wasn’t able to compete on the level that he wanted to be at. He also explained that three years before he’d suffered a disease that cost him the sight in his left eye. Because of the blindness and his physical condition, he explained that he simply wasn’t able to wrestle like he wanted to. He also mentioned that he was concerned that an injury to his right eye would cost him the remainder of his sight. He promised to continue working as a promoter and the matchmaker as well.

Jarrett then announced that in a couple of weeks his son Jeff would begin working to become a wrestler. He also mentioned that Jeff would continue working as a referee and he hoped that his fans would accept Jeff.

Jarrett closed by thanking the fans for all the memories of his career.

Russell then asked Marlin his thoughts. Marlin candidly said that he felt that Jarrett had made the right decision, and he believed that working with Jerry would only help to improve the company before we went to commercials.

We came back to Russell discussing Wednesday night’s show. Russell then brought in Dundee and Landel. Dundee talked about how Mantell wished he had class like Dundee and Landel, and then discussed how he and Landel had kicked Mantell out of their group. Dundee promised to stretcher Mantell out of the arena on Wednesday night.

Landel then brought up that it was Russell’s fault that Mantell’s falling-out had happened. Landel then switched to the fact that they’d carried Mantell and without them he couldn’t even keep his international title.

We then went to another JD Costello and MOD Squad video. Costello brought up the Fantastics, who were the southern tag team champions, and promised that the MOD Squad would be taking away the belts. Costello closed by also firing off a fireball to promise that he’d have something up his sleeve as well.

We came back to the arena for the Fantastics to make their entrance against Jerry Garmon and Benny Traylor. Fulton started for the Fantastics while Traylor started for his team. Fulton quickly tagged Rogers in who went for a rollup that earned a two count.

Rogers seemed to want to end this one quick as he kept going for quick pinfalls. Rogers brought Fulton back in to keep working on Traylor’s arm. A dropkick sent Traylor into his corner and he brought Garmon in.

The Fantastics quickly put Garmon on the mat and Rogers began working on Garmon’s arm. Garmon put up more of a fight than his partner had but the Fantastics continued to control the pace of the match. Finally Rogers dropped from the second rope onto Garmon’s arm and Garmon grabbed control for a moment only for Rogers to hit a hiptoss.

Fulton entered with a double axe-handle, and then locked on an abdominal stretch that Traylor came in to break up. Rogers came in, too and Fulton wound up pinning Garmon in the melee at 3:31.

Up next we had another video hyping the Jerry Lawler videotape. After that, we went to more videos about the Thunderdome matches.

Tony Falk was first. He mentioned that he wasn’t sure about entering the series because he was worried someone might try to kill him, but then he brought up that if he won it would erase all of his previous losses.

Bill Dundee was next. He not only promised to enter, but also promised to show up wielding a coal miner’s glove with a brass knuckle on it.

Buddy Landel followed Dundee. Landel said the biggest thing he’d need would be his ego, and then promised to slap the figure four on all of his opponents.

Next was Dutch Mantell (as a fan held up a sign behind him that read “Dutch Mantell is an egg sucking dog“). Mantell talked about how the match was right up his alley and he’d be winning every match he was in.

Tom Branch then announced that he was making his return and he would also be taking part in the Thunderdome.

Then it was Abdul Gadaffi’s turn. He said that he didn’t need any weapons and that he would win the series for Libya.

That sent us back to the studio, where Russell helped build the anticipation for the series by announcing that Jos LeDuc would be making his return for the Thunderdome, then sent it to a video. In the video, LeDuc stood in the middle of the ring with his hands locked together. Each arm had five men pulling to try and break LeDuc’s grip. The test saw LeDuc keeping his hands together against the strength of ten men.

We then saw a video retrospective of LeDuc’s career, including footage where he gashed his arm open swearing a blood oath against Lawler, and also launching Lawler over the top rope and into a commentary table.

We then went back to Russell to fill us in about the show at the Evansville Coliseum.

We returned to the studio where Russell introduced a video from the Mid-South Coliseum where Mantell battled Casey for the International title. We saw Mantell dominating and throwing everything he had at Casey, who would just escape before the three count. Mantell hit a suplex and then started dropping elbows on Casey before slapping him in the face. Mantell dropped the straps on his singlet and slipped one of the straps around Casey’s neck where the ref was unable to tell what was going on. Mantell dropped a knee and covered for another two count.

Mantell went fishing in his tights and wound up in an Irish whip that caused the two wrestlers to crack their heads together. Mantell went fishing again but was two slow as Casey attacked and started pounding him into submission. Finally Casey went for his finisher only for Mantell to roll him up and get his feet over the ropes for good measure. The crowd convinced the ref of what had happened and he restarted the match.

Mantell whipped Casey across the ring and wound up cracking the ref with Casey’s leg, sending him down. Unaware of this, Casey covered for what he assumed would be a pinfall. Instead Landel hit the ring and the two began overwhelming Casey. Finally Landel dropped Mantell with an accidental clothesline that gave Casey the win after he dropkicked Landel out of the ring.

We came back from commercials to see Russell introduce something else from after the previous match. We again saw Casey leaving with his title before the cameras went back to the ring, where Mantell was regaining his feet. Landel tried to talk to Mantell and explain the accident, but Mantell wasn’t having it. That brought Dundee out to try and make peace between the two. Mantell finally shoved Dundee down and Dundee kept trying to keep Mantell and Landel apart. Dundee kept trying to keep the peace as Landel all but begged Mantell to pop him. Landel tried to shake hands with Mantell and Mantell finally slapped his hand. Mantell then left the ring by himself as Landel teased that he was going to jump Mantell from behind.

We came back to see that Dundee and Landel were already at the interview set with Russell. Dundee tried to sell that they’d all made up, but Landel kept talking about how the two of them had been carrying Mantell all along.

Their tunes changed when Mantell walked in with his bag over his shoulder. Landel and Dundee were all smiles then. The hypocrisy was finally too much for Russell, who spilled the beans and again showed the video footage showing Landel’s actions behind Mantell’s back. Mantell stayed to watch as Dundee and Landel tried to pull him back to the back. As Landel called Russell a troublemaker, the video rolled.

We came back to see Mantell going after Landel again as Dundee ran interference. Mantell said that Russell didn’t have anything to gain by lying and demanded an explanation from Landel for his actions. Dundee tried to keep playing the situation that Russell was just trying to cause trouble. Finally Mantell got past Dundee and the brawl was on. As Mantell took Landel to the ground, Dundee tried to pull him off only to receive a stiff right hand for his trouble. It took a shot from Dundee’s cowboy boot to bust open Mantell, and then Landel and Dundee attacked and beat Mantell down. Landel slammed Mantell’s head onto the commentary desk, then Dundee hit him with the boot again until Eddie Marlin came out to break up the fight. Marlin ordered Landel and Dundee to the back, then bent down to check on Mantell. Russell sent us to a commercial as Mantell was helped to the back.

We came back to another spot for the Evansville show. This time Russell was joined by the Fantastics. Fulton promised that they’d roll right over Gadaffi and Falk to get their hands on the MOD Squad. Rogers seconded the sentiments.

Dirty Rhodes then came in for a quick word. He promised to take down Landel on Wednesday.

Mantell then came in for an interview. Mantell said that Landel might have started the feud, but he’d end it. Mantell then promised that he’d be going right after Dundee on Wednesday.

We came back for the main event – Billy Travis vs. Dutch Mantell. Billy came out and then Landel showed up in wrestling attire. Landel said that since he was a fighting champion, he’d be willing to take Mantell’s place in the match.

Travis got off to a fast start as he backed Landel into the corner and started hammering away. It took a kick to the midsection to establish control for Landel, and he soon locked Travis in a side headlock.

Travis kept trying to fight, but the momentum was not on his side as Landel fastened him to the tree of woe and started kicking away. Mantell then hit the ring and attacked Landel before pulling his own boot off and nailing Landel with it. Dundee hit the ring for backup and the two wound up overwhelming Mantell until Travis got loose to even the odds. Mantell took advantage of the distraction to grab a chair and Landel and Dundee cleared out for the back.

Mantell shook Travis’s hand and headed to the commentary table. Mantell told Russell that he could take out both Dundee and Landel by himself, but added that he did appreciate Travis’s help. He then called out Eddie Marlin to make a match where he teamed with Travis to take on Landel and Dundee.

We came back from the last commercial to find Russell again explaining that he’d only felt that Mantell deserved the truth about Landel’s attitude. Dave Brown gave us a quick rundown of the show and added that Landel had won the International title shot by winning his match (by DQ) before Russell said goodbye for another week.

FULL CARD FOR WEDNESDAY’S SHOW AT THE EVANSVILLE COLISEUM

Southern Heavyweight title
Bill Dundee © vs. Dutch Mantell

Mid-America title
Buddy Landel © vs. Dirty Rhodes

Southern Tag Team titles
The Fantastics © vs. Abdul Gadaffi/Tony Falk

International title
Rick Casey © vs. Pat Rose

Billy Travis/Frank Morrell vs. the MOD Squad

Tojo Yamamoto vs. Keith Erich

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