Written by: Bob Colling
From: Memphis, TN
Lance Russell is riding solo this week and he runs down what will be on the program.
Opening Contest: AWA International Champion Billy Travis vs. The Masked Patriot: Travis has control early on working over Patriot’s left arm. Travis hip tosses Patriot into a corner. It’s been just a lot of basic holds by Travis. He’s had an arm bar on Patriot for a minute and a half. The hold is killing the crowd and even Lance Russell doesn’t seem to know how to fill the dead air. Patriot fights back and the crowd was positively responding to that. However, Travis wins the match with a sunset flip. (DUD. This goes four minutes and it sucked. A rather bad squash match for the guy, really.)
Billy Travis is interviewed by Lance Russell following his victory. Rip Rogers is apparently coming for a shot against Travis. Travis thanks Morrell and Hickerson and everyone for their support. He says he’s fighting for himself and the people to overcome the challenge of Rip Rogers.
Second Contest: AWA Southern Tag Team Champions The Mod Squad vs. Henry Rutledge & Tojo Yamamoto: Jeff Jarrett is the referee for the match. Yamamoto drops both Squad members with chops and keeps control of Basher before tagging in Rutledge. Spike tags in and clobbers Rutledge with overhand blows. Basher comes back in and Rutledge continues to be beaten up. Bash drives Rutledge down with a vertical suplex. JD Costello doesn’t want the match to end and taunts Rutledge as he gets choked over the middle rope. The champs hit an assisted leg drop on Rutledge. Rutledge is being destroyed in the corner by the champs for a few moments. Rutledge is pinned following a powerslam and elbow drop. (1/4*. I’m not entirely sure why Yamamoto was even in this match. The Squad looked like fools when he was in there. This should have been the Squad just beating two enhancement guys up.)
Lance Russell promotes local shows. There will be two cage matches. Dutch Mantell takes on Buddy Landell inside a steel cage. AWA Southern Heavyweight Champion Bill Dundee defends against Jerry Lawler. Dundee had some pre-tape comments and says that they had to put their titles on the line to get where they wanted them. It looks like Landell has regained the Mid-American Championship. Dundee is going to take out Lawler. Landell notes that they wanted the steel cage stipulation. Dundee believes that Lawler will leave the town out of embarrassment. It will take place in Evansville on Wednesday night.
Lance Russell interviews JD Costello and the AWA Southern Tag Team Champions The Mod Squad. Costello says that they returned from New Orleans and how everyone was partying because they won the titles. He has a ring that stands for power and dominance. They are fighting champions and talks about Michael Lee and Paul Diamond. The titles will be remaining around the Squad’s waist. Costello says that nobody can be smarter than him. Costello and the word winning go hand in hand.
Tony Falk goes over to Lance Russell and talks about issuing challenges to Jackie Fargo and Jeff Jarrett but has yet to hear anything from them. Falk calls Jeff a coward. Falk wants the match to happen anywhere and any time. Jerry Lawler comes out to confront Falk and Falk hides behind the commentary table. Lawler says that Falk is a coward. Lawler talks about how Falk tossed ink in his eyes when he wrestled Dundee. He thinks Falk wants to wrestle Jarrett because he’s not yet a wrestler and thinks that’s the way he can win a match. Falk says that they need someone else to fight their battles. Falk backs away from Lawler and gets shoved. Jeff Jarrett comes out from behind and tackles Falk! Jarrett is on top of Falk delivering right hands. Eddie Marlin comes out to pull Jarrett off.
Third Contest: Paul Diamond & Michael Lee vs. Tony Falk & Keith Eric: Falk goes to the commentary table and says he’s not going to wrestle until Jarrett signs a contract. Falk continues to call Jeff Jarrett a coward. Falk knows that he can beat Jarrett. Lee and Diamond are controlling Eric the whole time. It is kind of funny that Falk bails from the apron to continue his promo. Diamond and Lee mess up their top rope forearm spot and the camera cuts away quickly to Falk. Lee doesn’t look like he’s all that interested in the match. Lee delivers an awful clothesline on Eric. Falk continues to cut a promo saying he wants Jarrett to just sign the contract and wrestle him. Eric is met with a double dropkick and that’s good enough for a three count. (1/4*. That was not a good performance by Lee and Diamond. Lee doesn’t look like he cares to be in there at this point. The Falk stuff was entertaining, though.)
Tony Falk goes back to the commentary table to talk about Jeff Jarrett. Jerry Lawler comes back out and says that they all heard what Falk was saying. Lawler says they will add the match to the show if Falk signs the contract. Lawler knows that Falk wants the match because Jarrett isn’t a wrestler. Lawler thinks the crowd could beat Falk and that makes Falk angry. Falk says if he can’t beat Jarrett then he’ll burn his tights and boots in the middle of the ring.
Lance Russell promotes local cards. Apparently, Tony Falk and Jeff Jarrett will be wrestling in a street fight. The show will also feature the previously mentioned cage matches.
Fourth Contest: AWA Southern Heavyweight Champion Bill Dundee vs. Jim Jamison: This is a good continuation since Jamison got destroyed by Dundee a few weeks ago. Jamison and Dundee trade right hands and comes across like an actual exchange of blows. Dundee comes off the ropes to drop Jamison with a forearm strike. Dundee plants Jamison with a powerslam for the win. (*. It didn’t even go two minutes, but it felt like Jamison was trying to fight for his honor and respect but Dundee is just the big bully and prevailed easily.)
Fifth Contest: Jerry Lawler vs. Pat Rose: Jeff Jarrett is the referee for the match. Rose attacks before the bell and stomps Lawler on the mat. Rose drives Lawler face first into the corner but Lawler fights back with a backdrop. Rose bails to the floor to regroup. Lawler tosses Rose out of the corner and takes him down with a snapmare. Rose gets hip tossed after shoulder blocking Lawler. Lawler kicks Rose several times followed by a right hand. Rose controls Lawler with a sleeper hold on the mat but isn’t going to get a submission. Rose knee strikes Lawler in the corner for a two count. Rose takes Lawler over with a vertical suplex for a two count. Rose comes off the ropes but misses an elbow drop. Lawler gets up and jabs Rose several times. Lawler lifts Rose up and connects with a vertical suplex. Lawler comes off the middle rope to hit a fist drop for the win. (*1/2. A competitive match and I’m glad that Rose got some time to shine. He seems like a capable talent and should a push soon.)
Lance Russell promotes some local shows. He’s still promoting the double cage matches. Dutch Mantell will be challenging Buddy Landell for the Mid-American Championship. Dutch says it is time to put up or shut up when they get inside the cage. Mantell is confident that he’ll win the title. Jerry Lawler enters the scene and says this is the match he’s been waiting for with Bill Dundee for the AWA Southern Heavyweight Championship. He’s going to think back and remember all the times he had to travel around the world to wrestle. He hates Dundee and he’s going to get his championship back.
Jerry Lawler promotes his hour long videotape.
Main Event: Sheik Abdul Gaddafi vs. Dutch Mantell: This has to be the biggest main event on TV for the company thus far in 1986. Gaddafi starts off by shoving Dutch into the corner. Gaddafi keeps control of the left arm to keep Dutch on the mat. Dutch yanks Gaddafi down to the mat by his hair and the referee stops the action. Gaddafi doesn’t budge on a shoulder block attempt. Gaddafi clotheslines Dutch and keeps control with a choke on the mat. Gaddafi scoop slams Dutch before going to the middle rope and leaps off hitting an elbow drop for a near fall. Gaddafi backs Dutch into a corner to deliver more right hands. Dutch comes off the ropes but runs into a bear hug. They begin to trade strikes in the corner with Gaddafi getting the better of the exchange. Gaddafi locks in the bear hug again. Gaddafi backs Dutch into a corner and delivers an overhand blow a few times. Dutch hammers away on Gaddafi several times but Gaddafi comes back with a slam and comes off the middle rope missing an elbow drop. Dutch gets up and battles back with right hands. Dutch pummels Gaddafi with right hands. Dutch misses a clothesline and accidentally knocks the referee down. Gaddafi grabs the referees belt and begins to choke Dutch with it. Dutch gets free from it and knocks Gaddafi to the floor. The referee has called for the bell. (**. The action was solid enough and they are keeping Gaddafi strong in the showing not losing the match by pin or anything. This could be an indicator for who Dutch may wrestle in his next program.)
Lance Russell says that Dutch won the match 2-0 once by disqualification and the other when Tony Falk came in. However, Falk never got involved. So, I’m thinking that may have been the intent but they ran out of time.
I enjoyed the final two matches and the segment involving Tony Falk leaving the ring to cut a promo on Jeff Jarrett. They continue to advance things fairly well, though I’m thinking the cage matches will likely mean the end of the feud between Lawler/Dundee and Landell/Dutch. Needless to say, I’d probably go to Evansville to see how those matches played out.
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.