Memphis wrestling history lessons
Twenty-five years ago today, Memphis wresting’s beloved monarch of the mat, Jerry “the King” Lawler, had his head shaved at the diabolical hands of Austin Idol, Tommy Rich and Paul Heyman in what I consider to be the last truly great angle in the territory.
I was sitting near ringside that Monday, and I recall thinking the heels were going to incite a riot as Paul E. playfully skipped around the ring with Lawler’s royal locks. For more on my memories of that mayhem-filled Monday night in Memphis rasslin’ history, click here.
Longtime readers of this site may remember guest columnist Steve Crawford’s well-written take on the proceedings of April 27, 1987, in Memphis. Steve has a new book, Legends of Memphis Wrestling, available on Amazon.com.
I highly recommend this painstakingly researched (Steve even quotes yours truly a few times) look at the wild-and-woolly staple of Memphis culture. A fun read that’s also very informative, as I learned stuff about territory legends like Jackie Fargo and Sam Bass that I’d never read or heard anywhere else.
Also available on Amazon is Mark James’ latest, Bill Dundee’s Life Story, which is a must-read for any Memphis fan in the ’70s and ’80s, as the Superstar candidly reveals the inner-workings of one of the most innovative promotions in the country. Typical of the Superstar, he pulls no punches in giving his thoughts on a wide variety of subjects, including what helped lead to the downfall of Memphis wrestling in the late ’80s. It’s almost like taking a road trip with the man himself.
Finally, my buddy Rick Crane over at 70s-Tv.com, has even more new DVSs featuring classic Memphis wrestling pulled straight from master tapes–some of the highest-quality footage you’ll ever find of the era. (There’s nothing like seeing Joe LeDuc cut open his arm with an ax in pristine quality.) Rick also has a two-hour DVD of the entire Lawler/Idol/Rich feud, and much more.