One Year in Memphis – March 8, 1986

Lance Russell and Dave Brown welcomed us to the show. Dave Brown started by giving us a rundown on who’d be there this morning – Dirty Rhodes, Dutch Mantell, Bill Dundee and Buddy Landel, the Fantastics, and the main event would feature JD Costello and the MOD Squad. Russell then added that there’d be a special interview with Dutch Mantell coming up before we headed to commercial.

We came back to see Dirty Rhodes on his way to the ring to face Benny Traylor. The referee was notable for being Jeff Jarrett, making his debut on the show.

Rhodes soon grabbed control of the match as he backed Traylor into the corner and slammed him down. Rhodes followed with another body slam and a leg drop.

Rhodes took him back down with a butterfly suplex before dropping the elbow for 3 at one minute.

After a commercial break we saw Lance Russell hyping the card for Wednesday night and also building hype for this TV show. Russell admitted that he couldn’t give away the main event for Wednesday night yet, and also promised a major surprise.

Costello and the MOD Squad joined the interview to build their feud with the Fantastics. Costello promised that they’d be taking the belts from the Fantastics before running down Spike and Basher’s history. Russell closed the segment by again promising an enormous surprise that was coming.

We came back to the studio to see Russell admit that he was looking forward to seeing the MOD Squad in action before introducing the Dutch Mantell interview.

In the video we saw Mantell sitting down with Eddie Marlin to discuss Mantell’s problems with Bill Dundee. Mantell took off his hat and glasses before accepting the microphone.

Mantell talked about the roots of his friendship with Dundee. He mentioned that Dundee had gone to Louisiana for a time and he’d gone to Florida before Mantell made his way to Louisiana and the two became friends and traveling partners.

Dundee’s contract had run out and he’d returned to Memphis. A month later Mantell followed after his contract ran out as well. And again, the two friends traveled together and had a good time on the roads.

Then Buddy Landel showed up. Mantell compared Dundee to a chameleon – saying that Dundee would start to turn into whoever he was around. When he was with Mantell, that was fine. But when Landel arrived, Dundee changed to emulate Landel. Dundee no longer wanted to go to bars and drink Jack Daniels – he wanted to go clubs and drink champagne.

One episode Mantell related was that they’d gone to a restaurant and Landel had told him to stay in the car because he “looked like a bum,” and Dundee was right there in a tuxedo of his own.

Mantell explained that he’d never stopped liking Dundee – Dundee had turned on him. Mantell then added that he knew that he could beat the two of them.

Marlin closed by asking Mantell to bring his guitar and ride the roads with him. Mantell needed no further encouragement and grabbed his guitar before launching into “Wildwood Flower.”

The Mantell interview faded out to reveal Mantell on the way to the ring to face Jerry Garmon. Mantell took Garmon down and locked on an armbar that sent Garmon crawling for the ropes. A quick pin attempt found Mantell controlling Garmon with a headlock before returning to the armbar. A shoulder block put Garmon down for a two count. Mantell took him down again with a headlock that earned a one count.

Garmon backed Mantell into a corner and landed a punch which served to fire Mantell up. Mantell whipped him across the ring and power slammed him for the win at 2:12.

We came back from commercial to see Russell promising the surprise toward the end of the show yet again before hyping the Wednesday night show. Again he mentioned that he couldn’t reveal the main event yet.

We came back to see Dundee and Landel preparing to take on David Johnson and Jim Jameson. Again, Jeff Jarrett was the referee.

Johnson started against Dundee, who immediately took a meeting with Landel before locking up with Johnson and not only dominating him, but humiliating him with slaps to the face.

Landel came in and after some quick double teaming, Landel forced Johnson back to his corner. He tagged Jameson in and the domination continued as Dundee tagged back in.

Landel and Dundee kept making quick tags as they obliterated Jameson and Jarrett tried to keep things fair. Dundee wound up pitching Jameson through the ropes and followed before slamming Jameson on the concrete floor of the studio.

Johnson helped his partner back in and Dundee was waiting. Dundee kept hammering the dazed Jameson before tagging Landel in. Landel dropped a knee and covered for the three at 3:36.

After the match Landel and Dundee kept attacking Jameson and Johnson. Jarrett ordered them to leave and Landel attacked him. That brought Jerry Jarrett in to try and fight off both Dundee and Landel before the numbers game proved too much for Jarrett. When they began gouging at Jerry’s eyes, Jeff had enough and attacked Landel as Lance Russell rushed to ringside to check on Jerry.

Landel and Dundee knocked Jeff to the mat and Dutch Mantell rushed out of the back to clear the ring. Eddie Marlin followed to help check on his grandson Jeff. As Russell expressed his disgust on commentary, Johnson helped Mantell and Marlin carry Jeff to the back.

Russell pointed out that Jeff had just graduated from high school and then Landel and Dundee had attacked Jerry going after his good eye. As Russell stormed away from the commentary table, Dave Brown sent us to commercial.

When we came back, a still-irate Russell introduced the Fantastics, who’d be taking on Keith Erich and Tony Falk. Russell also introduced the Bartlett High School cheerleading squad, who’d just won the national championships.

As the introductions continued, Jerry Jarrett came out to the commentary table and Russell told Brown to hold up the match.

Jerry was distraught as he held a towel to his wounded eye and worried about his son. Jerry was in such bad shape that he couldn’t even talk, so Russell helped the crying Jarrett to the back as Brown started the match. After only a few seconds, Brown put the match on hold as Eddie Marlin came out.

Marlin, Jerry’s father-in-law, expressed his revulsion toward Landel and Dundee’s actions. Marlin then said that he knew exactly what he needed to do – he’d put Jerry Lawler in the ring with Dutch Mantell to battle Landel and Dundee. Marlin promised to call Lawler and do everything he could to get Lawler back, also saying he didn’t care about what Dundee might try legally.

Back in the ring, the Fantastics were dominating Erich and Falk as Russell continued to ringside and continued discussing Landel and Dundee.

As Brown began calling the match, Fulton shoulder blocked Falk down and locked him in a wristlock. Falk used a hair pull to back Fulton into the corner and Falk began hammering him. Fulton reversed an Irish whip and a hiptoss put Falk down.

Fulton brought Rogers back in, who continued taking Falk apart. Rogers finally brought Fulton back in, who kept Falk trapped in an armbar.

Falk started trying to turn things around with a thumb to the eye, but Fulton put him back down with a clothesline before Falk could tag out.

With Erich in the ring, Fulton brought in Rogers. Rogers hit a cross body to get the win over Erich as Fulton kept Falk away from the situation at 4:03.

We then headed backstage to more about Wednesday night. We then went to a video of Dundee and Landel discussing the match. Dundee was furious because Marlin had thrown out the stipulation for Lawler’s exile while Dundee’d been run out of town for a year after losing a loser leave town match years before. Dundee kept repeating that he had to get rid of Lawler and he promised to sue the company for their favoritism toward Lawler.

We headed back to the studio to see Mantell joining Russell at the interview set. Mantell admitted that while he’d done some horrible things, he’d never intentionally tried to blind anyone. He added that he hoped that Marlin would be successful in bringing Lawler back, and that he knew that Lawler would want to get involved after the attacks on Jeff and Jerry Jarrett.

Marlin then interrupted to announce that Lawler was on the phone. WMC-5 techs quickly hooked up a speakerphone and we had Lawler on the air.

Lawler declared that things had gotten way out of control and added his hatred for both being exiled and for Bill Dundee. Lawler talked a bit about his history with Jerry and his efforts to help Jerry as the CWA was founded. He added that he knew how proud Jerry Jarrett was and how badly he was torn up to lose control like he had earlier in the show. Lawler then said that he was ready to come back, regardless of whether Dundee sued or not.

Mantell then said that despite their history, he wanted to be Lawler’s partner as they went after Landel and Dundee. Lawler asked Mantell to promise that he’d fight with everything he had as they battled Landel and Dundee. Mantell quickly gave Lawler his word.

Brown then rang the bell to signal the start of the main event as JD Costello led the MOD Squad to the ring. Their opponents were Thunderbolt Hamilton and David Haskins.

Hamilton started against Spike, and dropkicks put both Spike and Basher down. Basher stayed and got arm dragged by Hamilton before Haskins was tagged in.

Basher neutralized Haskins with a hair pull, and although Haskins seemed to be gaining momentum it came to a screeching halt as Spike caught him with a knee in the back. Spike tagged back in and began hammering Haskins. As the referee backed Spike up, Basher continued the assault.

Basher slammed Haskins and dropped a leg before covering and pulling Haskins back up. Spike tagged back in and hit Haskins with a backbreaker before bringing Basher back in.

Basher hoisted Haskins up and tagged Spike, who climbed the ropes and put Haskins down with a flying clothesline for the win.

We came back to see Brown giving us a quick recap of the show. Russell praised Marlin’s actions and said that it was definitely time for Lawler to come back in as the show ended.

FULL CARD FOR WEDNESDAY NIGHT’S SHOW AT THE EVANSVILLE COLISEUM

Jerry Lawler/Dutch Mantell vs. Buddy Landel/Bill Dundee

AWA Southern Tag Team titles
The Fantastics © vs. the MOD Squad

Jos LeDuc will be in action

Abdul Gadaffi vs. Frank Morrell

Billy Travis vs. Pat Rose

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