The Match #11: Austin Idol Vs. Jerry Lawler In Memphis ’87
In late 1986, Austin idol wasn’t happy about his inability to get a championship match with Nick Bockwinkel. He wanted a shot against Jerry Lawler, but his friend wasn’t allowing it. Thus, Idol aligned himself with Tommy Rich. Idol attacked Lawler prior to his eventual match with Bockwinkel.
Eventually, Rich and Idol would get matches with Lawler on the same show both getting involved to get their hands on Lawler. They would ram Lawler groin first into the ring post and bragged that they had retired Lawler once and for all. A few months later, Lawler would get revenge with partner Bam-Bam Bigelow managing to send Idol groin first into the ring post.
For weeks, Idol demanded to get a steel cage match with Jerry Lawler with a hair vs. hair stipulation, but instead he would wrestle against Lawler in a lumberjack match, a match without a referee and a chain match. Soon enough, Idol would get his wish.
On April 27th, 1987 Austin Idol challenged Southern Champion Jerry Lawler inside a steel cage. To go along with the championship on the line, they’d both put their hair on the line. Idol was so confident along with his manager Paul Dangerously, they’d promise to refund the gate from the show if Idol were to lose the match.
That leads us to the following match, one of the biggest matches to happen in Memphis wrestling history. The cage has room around the ringside area, similar to a Hell In A Cell, but there isn’t a roof.
Lawler prevents Idol from leaving the cage ramming Idol face first into the cage door. Idol tries to leave again but Lawler again rams Idol into the cage before they roll back into the ring. Lawler chokes Idol over the top rope causing Idol to drop to the floor. Lawler sends Idol into the ring post face first. Lawler tries for the piledriver, but Idol breaks free and rolls to the floor. Lawler rams Idol face first into the corner and delivers a few more right hands. Idol appears to be bleeding over the left eye. Idol is wildly swinging his arm trying to punch Lawler but misses on each attempt. Lawler jabs Idol a few times and gets a two count on his cover attempt. Idol fights back with several kicks to the midsection of Lawler to get control but Lawler mule kicks Idol and drops Austin with a right hand. Lawler continues to work over Idol with right hands and rams Idol face first into the corner to keep the advantage.
Idol gets the advantage nailing Lawler with a chain or a roll of dimes according to the commentators. Idol dumps Lawler to the floor and goes to the floor to followup. Idol sends Lawler face first into the cage and women are screaming in the crowd. Idol rams a chair into the midsection of Lawler. Lawler again goes face first into the ring post and Idol bites Lawler’s forehead. Idol goes to the top rope as Lawler gets up in the ring and connects with an axe handle managing to get a two count.
Lawler nails Idol with a throat thrust but misses a middle rope leg drop. Idol goes to the middle rope but misses a knee drop. Idol is favoring his right knee after the miss. Idol knocks Lawler down with a right hand and goes to the middle rope managing to hit an elbow drop for a two count. Idol attempts another elbow but Lawler rolls out of the way. Lawler comes off the middle rope with a head butt causing Idol to stumble around the ring.
Lawler goes for the cover but Idol gets his boot on the bottom rope. Idol drops Lawler with a clothesline to regain control and nearly wins with a cover attempt. Idol knocks Lawler over the top to the floor. Idol comes off the apron to nail Lawler with a strike sending Lawler into the cage and rams Lawler face first into the cage. Back into the ring, Idol stomps on Jerry several times on the back. Idol jabs Lawler several times but Lawler doesn’t sell them and punches Idol. Lawler pulls down his strap, but is sent into the referee and the referee is knocked to the floor. The match has been going on for about fifteen minutes at this point with both men bleeding. Idol spikes the referee with a piledriver!
Jerry counters a piledriver with an inside cradle but there isn’t a referee. Idol regains control with a knee drop to the back and they go to the floor. Paul Dangerously tosses powder into Lawler’s face. Idol has a cocky cover on Lawler, but Lawler counters with a rollup but again there isn’t a referee for the cover attempt. Lawler spikes idol with a piledriver!
There still isn’t a referee for the cover attempt and Tommy Rich comes running into the cage and spikes Lawler with a piledriver of his own! Rich has Lawler and along with Idol they kind of botch a spike piledriver. The cage is locked, so it would appear that Rich was under the ring the entire time. Rich and Idol have Lawler and they drive Lawler groin first into the ring post!
Idol has the cover on Lawler and gets a three count! It’s a match that Lawler hadn’t lost and now must get his hair shaved off.
If I had to rate it, I’m going to go with a ***1/2 as they told a really good story highlighting various points of the feud that took place earlier. Rich coming out added some heat for the finish and I was kind of surprised that Lawler laid down here. However, it really puts over Idol, Rich and Dangerously as the top heel trio for the area. A fan actually climbed the cage to get involved as the fans appear to be quite pissed off about the finish of the match. Clearly, this angle got the fans in Memphis to be really emotionally invested in. Anyway, this was a lot of fun to watch.
After the match, Lawler is sat down in a chair and the heels continue to punch him. Lawler is also being choked out during the shaving by Rich.
This is the first time I’ve watched it and I’m attempting to watch some more memorable Memphis matches. What were your thoughts on this feud and match?
Thanks for reading.