CWA Championship Wrestling – January 8, 1983: Lawler Makes This Show Much Better

CWA Championship Wrestling
Date: January 8, 1983
Location: WMC-TV Studios, Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators: Lance Russell, Dave Brown

Back to Memphis for another week of a not very interesting show. Hopefully this week is better as in theory Jerry Lawler will be back. He’s coming up on a rematch with Bockwinkel where I’m sure there won’t be any shenanigans afoot. I have up through the middle of February with this show so it should be interesting to see where they go. Let’s get to it.

Sheepherders vs. Ira Reese/Bobby Fulton

Fulton would become one of the Fantastics, my favorite NWA team from the 80s. This is Luke and Jonathan Boyd instead of Butch. Boyd pounds Fulton into the corner to start and it’s quickly off to Luke. It’s odd to see them in red. Fulton tries to speed things up but he gets double teamed almost immediately. A knee drop gets two for Luke and it’s back to Boyd. Fulto hits a shoulder and finally makes the tag to Reese. The Herders run him over too and it’s time for Reese to suffer some too. Williams knees him in the back and they double team choke Reese a bit. A double knee drop gets the pin on Reese.

Rating: D. This was a long squash and not a very entertaining one. It’s amazing to see how different the Sheepherders were as compared to the Bushwackers as these guys were brutal and violent. When these guys (and by that I mean the Butch version) had good opponents, they could have some great bloody wars.

Video on the Fabulous Ones who were flamboyant but very popular. They were good too.

Video on the Lawler vs. Bockwinkel title match with Jerry finally getting the belt. There are clips of other matches they had in here too.

Jerry Lawler vs. The Invader

Lawler throws him around a few times and then takes out the leg for a basic hold on it. Lawler counters a headlock into a knee crusher and it’s clear he doesn’t really have to try here. Invader fires off some right hands in the corner but Lawler easily slugs him down and the middle rope punch gets the pin.

Rating: D. Nothing to see here but Lawler was fun back in his day. I know all most people remember to day are his weak jokes, but Lawler knew how to work a crowd like few others could. I could guarantee that if you put him in a feud today when he’s in his early 60s, you could have him be a heel or a face and he would have the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand in about a week. It’s an art form and Lawler is a master of it.

Lawler, who still doesn’t have the belt with him as it was held up, looks at a clip from the title changing match. The referee was bumped and Bockwinkel’s feet were in the ropes during the pin but the referee didn’t see it. At least there’s a legit issue with the title change. Bockwinkel goes on a rant about how he didn’t lose and promises that this won’t stand. After a break, Lawler doesn’t respond to what we just saw. Ok then.

Apocalypse vs. Bill Dundee

Dundee immediately knocks Apocalypse to the floor for a consultation with the still young looking Jim Cornette. Back in and Apocalypse takes him down and splashes Dundee for two. After some more power stuff, Apocalypse goes up and hits a middle rope headbutt to a standing Dundee for two. Dundee comes out of the corner with a cross body which draws in Cornette and his boys for the DQ.

The Cornette Dynasty destroys Dundeed post match. Jacques Rougeau and Terry Taylor finally make the save.

Video on Terry Taylor. This goes on for like three minutes.

Bobby Eaton/Sweet Brown Sugar vs. Jacques Rougeau/Terry Taylor

Rougeau is the Mid-America Champion and Taylor is the Southern Champion. Sugar is more famous as Koko B. Ware. Taylor and Eaton get going to start and things speed up, which you know is going to be at least moderately awesome. Off to Sugar who is immediately taken over in a headlock by Taylor. Rougeau comes in and things slow down a bit. We get a test of strength resulting in Rougeau monkey flipping Sugar down.

Back to Eaton who is taken down by another headlock as things slow down even more. Eaton has black hair here which is an odd look on him. The heels finally wake up and cheat to take over on Jacques. Taylor gets a quick hot tag and cleans house, only to get poked in the eye and taken down. Sugar works on his back and then the arm as the fans are WILD about Taylor. Back to Eaton with a knee drop for no cover.

Sugar comes in again and I think this is 2/3 falls. They’re really bad about letting us know these things in advance. I get that it’s a common thing of the era, but if you’re someone like me who doesn’t get to see this regularly, a little notification would help. Taylor finally gets away from Eaton and it’s off to Rougeau for a quick middle rope dropkick on sugar, good for the first fall.

We start fall #2 with Sugar taking over on Rougeau. Back to Eaton as Jacques is in trouble early on. After some quick offense from Eaton, Sugar comes back in for a fast chinlock. Rougeau misses a cross body out of the corner as Eaton ducks and gets two off of it. Jacques finally makes a comeback but doesn’t tag for some reason. Eaton trips him up coming off the top, allowing Sugar to drop an elbow on him for two.

Rating: C. There’s no time for a third fall so this is going to end in another draw. This wasn’t bad and it was fast paced enough, but I’m not a big fan of Koko and I’m certainly no fan of Taylor. Still though, this was certainly interesting enough to keep my attention for the last fifteen minutes of the show. Not great but not bad so we’ll go right in the middle.

Overall Rating: C+. I liked this show better than last week and a lot of that was due to the main event and Lawler. Last week’s main event was a big mess but this one, while not the best in the world, was much more coherent and easier to follow. At the end of the day though, the important thing here though is Lawler. He’s made to be the biggest thing on the show and when you don’t see him there, it makes the show seem less important. He made it that much better.

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