CWA TV 5/17/1986
Written by: Bob Colling
From: Memphis, TN
Dave Brown welcomes everyone to the show and rundowns what we’ll see on the program. Lance Russell has taken the day off. Brown announces that Uncle Elmer will be in six man tag team action with Billy Travis and Jeff Jarrett. The main event tonight will see Jerry Lawler in singles action against Buddy Landell.
Uncle Elmer is being promoted as being 7ft tall and 400 pounds. He may be the shortest looking 7ft wrestler I’ve ever seen.
Opening Contest: Uncle Elmer, Billy Travis & Jeff Jarrett vs. Keith Eric, The Patriot & The Blue Demon: Travis and Demon start the match with Travis delivering a few arm drags and a dropkick. Eric tags in but Jarrett gets tagged in. Jarrett does an awful looking monkey flip out of the corner. Elmer gets tagged in and decks Patriot with a right hand. Elmer splashes Patriot in the corner and connects with a leg drop for the three count. Elmer was awkwardly laying on top of Patriot on the cover attempt. (1/4*. The main point here was the focus on Elmer. The crowd was responding well to him. Jarrett didn’t look good and Travis got basic stuff in. It went less than a minute and twenty-seconds.)
Rip Rogers and a mysterious guy, who is Baron Von Brauner are at the commentary table with Dave Brown. Rogers talks about finding someone that can be his partner. Rogers puts over Baron. Baron gets in Brown’s face and looks him up and down. Brauner yells out something that I don’t understand.
Second Contest: Rip Rogers & Baron Von Brauner vs. Frank Morrell & David Haskins: Rogers gets tossed across the ring by Morrell at the start of the bout. Rogers gets control working over Morrell with overhand strikes but Morrell comes back with a strike. Brauner enters and scoop slams Haskins to keep control of the match. Brauner gets a bear hug locked in before driving Haskins into the corner back first. Brauner comes off the middle rope with a knee drop. Rogers gets tagged in and comes off the middle rope with an axe handle. Haskins gets tossed to the floor and Brauner delivers more strikes. Brauner drives Haskins back first into the ring post before rolling him back into the ring. Brauner delivers another axe handle strike from the apron and puts a bear hug on Haskins. Brauner scoop slams Haskins for a near fall. Rogers takes Haskins over with a snap suplex. Brauner slams Haskins again and puts the Claw on Haskins for the submission win. (*. It’s actually not a bad enhancement match for Rogers and Brauner. Brauner seems to have the usual foreigner gimmick, even using the ever effective claw finisher.)
Randy Hales promotes a local card. Hales doesn’t have his previously horrendous beard and is actually looking presentable. Bill Dundee and Buddy Landell cut a promo with Dundee talking about Billy Travis and Uncle Elmer. They are censoring out a name that Dundee is using for Elmer it appears. Dundee thinks that Elmer is back to get his reputation back after working in the WWF. They are going to get win the tag tournament and head to Japan.
Dave Brown interviews JD Costello and the AWA Southern Tag Team Champions. Costello has the cameraman zoom in on Basher’s face to show that he’s been burned badly on the right side of his face. Costello has matches and gasoline and says that they are going to fight fire with fire. Costello says they are either going to burn him to ashes or they will burn him just a little bit so he’s in pain for the rest of the his life. Costello suggests that Lawler bring in anyone for his partner, and doesn’t care if Austin Idol is brought in. Costello is confident in his team because they are the best team.
Third Contest: AWA Southern Tag Team Champions The Mod Squad vs. Jim Jamison & Don Donavan: The champs dominate the match as Basher nails Jamison with a clothesline and Spike delivers a leaping clothesline. Jamison does a great job with his bumps to sell for people. He’s becoming my favorite enhancement guy for Memphis. Jamison gets tossed to the floor a few times. Donovan gets tagged in and is met with a powerslam by Spike. Basher wins the match shortly after that. (*. The recent booking of the Mod Squad has been effective to get them over has a heel powerhouse. The new feud with Lawler elevates them, as well.)
Randy Hales promotes a local card focusing on the World Cup tag team tournament taking place in Japan. They are censoring Uncle Elmer, so it would appear that WWF didn’t want that name being used.
Fourth Contest: Joe LeDuc & Dutch Mantell vs. Tony Falk & Abdul Gaddafi: LeDuc and Gaddafi start the tag match. LeDuc is bleeding from his forehead despite nothing have had happened to cause that. Dutch gets tagged in and keeps control on Gaddafi before knocking Falk off the apron. Gaddafi tags out to Falk to have him deal with LeDuc. LeDuc delivers a knee strike to drop Falk to the mat. Dutch comes back in and controls Falk with a front face lock. Dutch takes Falk down with a snap suplex. Mantell works over Gaddafi with strikes but Gaddafi comes back with a knee strike and delivers several shoulder rams. Gaddafi tags in Falk but all four men are in the ring brawling. Dutch pins Falk following a snap suplex. (*. Dutch and LeDuc seem to be an intriguing tag team. Falk continues to lose every single match but is part of the top heel stable and isn’t coming across like a boring act.)
Eddie Marlin comes out and is interviewed by Dave Brown. They are talking about the AWA Southern Heavyweight Championship. The referee, Jesse Allen, has been suspended and there is no set time for when he’ll return. Allen had a part in Bill Dundee regaining the title from Jerry Lawler. Marlin expects officials to call matches fairly. Marlin notes that they do have some good referees. They want some more referees that are like Jerry Calhoun. He knows that they’ll find more referees. Frank Morrell comes out and says that he heard about the need for referees. Morrell knows how it feels to be on the bad decision caused by a referee. Morrell says it gets difficult getting in the ring with the young guys these days. Morrell wants a shot at being a referee and thinks that wrestlers would stop doing bad things. Morrell gives his word that he’ll try to be a referee. Marlin accepts his offer.
Fifth Contest: The Hunters (The Eagle & The Raven) vs. Jerry Garmen & Benny Trailer: I believe this is the debut of the Hunters. They compete mostly on the East Coast or Southeast area, according to Dave Brown. They come across like an intense duo and waste no time working over Garmen and Trailer. Garmen gets slammed to the mat but doesn’t stay down on the cover attempt. Trailer is tossed to the mat with a fallaway slam. Trailer comes off the ropes and is caught in a bear hug leading to a submission victory. (*. I actually like the Hunters just based on their style. They seem like a potentially vicious duo.)
Uncle Elmer makes his way out to be interviewed by Dave Brown. Elmer is glad to be back and says he’s here to stay. Elmer reminds Brown that his name is Uncle Elmer and walks off. That was kind of weird.
Sixth Contest: Memphis Vice (Jerry Bryant & Lou Winston) vs. Paul Diamond & Pat Tanaka: Frank Morrell has started his new career already as he will be the referee for the match. Winston and Diamond start the match. Winston was going to use a closed fist, but Morrell stops him from doing so. Is this really going to be a matter of putting Morrell over as the new referee? Bryant uses a hair pull but Morrell pulls Bryant’s hair. Diamond scoop slams Bryant and Tanaka tags in to deliver more strikes on Bryant. Tanaka continues to beat on Winston with strikes. Diamond enters for a two count after a double elbow strike. Tanaka hits a splash off the bottom rope onto Winston. Bryant takes Tanaka down to the mat to control before dropping Bryant with a chop. Bryant quickly crawls to his corner and tags in Winston. Diamond tags in and gets stopped by Bryant with an eye rake. Bryant and Diamond trade blows in the corner with Diamond getting the better of the exchange. All four men are in the ring brawling. Bryant trips Tanaka and Winston adds extra leverage allowing Bryant to win the match. Morrell didn’t see it but he ends up believing the babyfaces and reverses the decision. (1/2*. The action was solid and I’d actually like to see these guys in a longer match. The story of Morrell being an enforcer and then missing the heels cheat to originally lose the match for the good guys was a little bizarre. Then, he just decides to believe the babyfaces and reverses the decision. That was just a weird way to tell a story.)
Frank Morrell goes over to Dave Brown and says he did in fact reverse the decision.
Randy Hales promotes local cards focusing on the tag team title tournament with the winners going to Japan to compete in the World Cup. Jerry Lawler cuts a promo saying that he’s excited to team with Austin Idol. He wants to win $100,000 with Idol. Pre-tape comments from Austin Idol are shown with him at a hot tub. He promotes the World Cup tournament and says he’s going to be there. Dutch Mantell enters the scene and hypes up his partner Joe LeDuc putting over the tournament and money. Dutch would fully expect to beat any team.
Main Event: Jerry Lawler vs. Buddy Landell: AWA Southern Heavyweight Champion Bill Dundee is in Landell’s corner. Frank Morrell is the referee for the match. Landell backs Lawler into the corner and taunts him. Lawler shoves Landell into the corner as well. Bill Dundee gets on the apron but drops down after Morrell gets near him. Landell backs away from Morrell, too. Landell and Lawler trade strikes in the corner and Dundee gets on the apron again but Morrell makes sure he drops down. Landell keeps Lawler on the mat for a moment but backs away when Morrell breaks the hold due to Buddy pulling hair. Morrell threatens to give Lawler the match if Dundee gets involved. Lawler hangs onto Buddy’s hair a few times, but Dundee was distracting Morrell so he couldn’t see it. Dundee grabs Lawler’s boot from the floor but the match continues. Lawler continues to pull Buddy’s hair as Morrell is distracted by Dundee on the floor. Buddy bails to the floor after not expecting Lawler to be on the mat after running the ropes. Landell and Lawler begin to trade strikes until Buddy sends Lawler into Morrell. Dundee tries to get involved but Morrell decks him. Landell gets sent to the floor and Morrell gives the match to Lawler by disqualification. (1/2*. There wasn’t much going on action wise as this was really just a way to promote Morrell as a referee. That kind of blows my mind. It’s just a weird direction to go in because the heels weren’t all that worried about him when he was a wrestler, but now as a referee…. in his second match… they show some level of fear. That didn’t connect with me.)
Dundee and Landell are pissed about what happened. Morrell says he was going to do what he promised and that’s what he did in the main event.
Aside from the focus on Morrell as a new referee and that overall storytelling, I thought the episode was really strong and featured some big matches. The Hunters appear to be a good addition to the company and gives the promotion at least three top heel teams moving forward.
Thanks for reading.