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Posts Tagged ‘Memphis Wrestling’

Down but not out: Jerry Lawler makes the comeback of a lifetime

September 14th, 2012 5 comments

On a Monday night at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis in 1978, Joe LeDuc pressed Jerry Lawler over his head and tossed the Southern heavyweight champion from the ring like a ragdoll onto the ringside announcers’ table. My hometown hero took a wicked bump, crashing off the table and crumpling in a heap onto the floor.

I was sure the King was done for.

Indeed, Lawler was really hurt on this night in ’78 . This was no angle— this wasn’t part of the show.

Although he was treated for a leg injury at a Memphis hospital that night, Lawler was back in the ring two weeks later seeking revenge against the maniacal Canadian lumberjack.

I was only 7 years old, and I thought Lawler was Superman.

Over the years, no matter the odds, Lawler always battled back when a dastardly heel like Terry Funk or Nick Bockwinkel had the King on the ropes. Bleeding and reeling, Lawler always rallied in the end, pulling down the strap on his singlet to make his comeback—think Popeye and his spinach—as the rowdy crowds at Monday Night Rasslin’ went berserk.

Wake-up call: Disguised as a mild-mannered announcer recovering from heart surgery, the King enjoys a salad and a Diet Coke...and a huge steak covered in mushrooms.

Thirty-four years later, on the September 10 episode of WWE’s “Monday Night RAW,” Lawler, who had been experiencing chest pains of late, collapsed to the floor near the announcers’ table, where he was doing commentary.

My hero had fallen once again, this time as a result of a massive heart attack. And once again, this was no angle–”…not part of the entertainment,” as his visibly shaken announce partner Michael Cole told the millions watching Monday night.

I again feared my childhood hero was done for. But on the ropes and reeling, Lawler again rallied, pulling down the proverbial strap to make the comeback and overcome his most dangerous adversary yet.

Three days later, with rumors of death and possible brain damage circulating on the Internet, Lawler began showing amazing signs of recovery, joking and laughing with friends and quickly regaining his appetite. Even Lawler’s doctor was reportedly amazed at the shape he was in following surgery.

I shouldn’t have doubted his resolve–the King has made his living triumphing against the odds in heart-stopping action and suspense.

I’m 41 years old, and I still think he’s Superman.

Memphis in Mayhem: Eddie Gilbert gets the last laugh over Jerry Lawler on Memorial Day 1994

May 28th, 2012 No comments

King Edward Gilbert

I know this is a day to honor the men and women of the armed forces–the true heroes in life.

But man do I miss Eddie Gilbert, who wrestled his last match in Memphis on Memorial Day 1994, less than a year before his untimely death.

Here’s a link to piece I wrote two years ago on Hot Stuff’s last hurrah over Jerry “the King” Lawler at the Mid-South Coliseum:

Click here: The Famous Final Scene: Eddie Gilbert vs. Jerry Lawler 

Gone but never forgotten, Eddie.

The Day the Macho Died: Looking back at the life of ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage

May 21st, 2012 No comments

Forces to be reckoned with...even in death.

As most of you know, Sunday was a somber anniversary, as it was one year ago, on May 20, 2011, that “Macho Man” Randy Savage passed away when the former World champion suffered a heart attack behind the wheel of his vehicle and crashed into a tree in Tampa.

Yesterday on twitter, I posed several links to articles I’ve written before and since Savage’s death. Check them out below.

Missing Macho Madness.

Ohhhhh, yeaaaahhhhhh….

A Savage by any other name (ICW days) 

Former ICW, WCW, WWE World champion Randy “Macho Man” Savage dead at 58 years old

Randy “Macho Man” Savage prevents rapture with flying elbow smash from the heavens

Macho memories: WWE, CM Punk pay tribute to Randy Savage on May 23 RAW

The queen is dead! Long live the Macho King!

The Macho Man in Memphis: Jerry Lawler recalls working against–and with–Randy Savage

Randy nearly kills Ricky Morton with a piledriver in June 1984 at the Memphis Mid-South Coliseum:

The Macho Man turns babyface, cuts promo with Jerry Lawler:

 Bizarre Memphis Wrestling Video with brother “Sir” Lanny Poffo…and one pissed-off dog: