CWA Championship Wrestling – November 11, 1978: Before Wrestling Was PC

CWA Championship Wrestling
Date: November 11, 1978
Location: WMC-TV Studios, Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators: Lance Russell, Dave Brown

Back to Memphis in the 70s which means it’s Jerry Lawler time. These territories are almost impossible to keep track of as TV isn’t always easy to find making records a bit difficult to keep. There’s almost no way to tell what’s going on at the moment so I’ll be as surprised as you are going into this. Let’s get to it.

The announcers run down the card for the day as is their custom.

Wayne Ferris/Jimmy Valiant vs. Danny Davis/Sammy Holt

Valiant, by far the biggest star in the match at this point, sends Davis (the Nightmare, not the referee) into the corner to start. The much larger Valiant throws Davis around and pokes him in the eye before slamming him down for two. Ferris comes in, gets in a single shot, and brings Valiant back in for a slam.

Back to Ferris for a knee lift before it’s right back to Jimmy again. Ferris comes back in almost immediately as the tags continue. Wayne misses an elbow drop and it’s finally off to Holt for some right hands. The hot tag (I think) brings in Jimmy for an elbow to the face and an elbow drop for the pin. For those of you unfamiliar, Ferris is more famous as the Honky Tonk Man.

Post match Valiant says he’s into the music business now and thinks Burt Reynolds slipped him drugs because he can’t sleep. He also sold out Madison Square Garden with Bob Seger and tells his girls to not jump around too much. We get a clip of said concert with Jimmy coming out to sing. No sign of Seger himself anywhere. Jimmy sings a song called the Ballad of Handsome Jimmy, which actually was a minor hit in the Memphis market.

Jerry Lawler and Bill Dundee come out to congratulate Valiant on his success with Dundee suggesting a concert along with Lawler. Valiant likes the idea of having Jerry playing some hillbilly music before Valiant would come out and rock like Meat Loaf. Jerry leaves and Dundee has a petition to get a woman named Heather a match against a man to be named later. Apparently Heather recently beat a wrestling bear.

It’s time for another tag match but first the heel manager named Chuck Malone yells about Lawler trying to get a girl a match against a man, only to sign the petition anyway. Ok then.

Bounty Hunters vs. Robert Gibson/Jackie Welch

Before the match, Lawler comes out and says that the petition Chuck signed is actually a contract, meaning it’s Malone vs. Heather. The Bounty Hunters are cowboy heels from Arizona and I’m sure you know who Gibson is. Malone is required to be sitting in a chair for some reason. David Novak of the Hunters starts with Gibson and it’s very strange to see Robert in a singlet.

Novak blocks an armdrag attempt and drops an elbow before laying out Gibson with a knee to the head. Off to Welch who has about the same luck against David. Tag off to Jerry Novak so at least we know both of their names. Welch is thrown to the floor but Jerry punches him off the apron to be an evil jerk. Gibson comes in sans tag but the distraction allows Malone to piledrive Welch on the floor for the countout.

Rating: D+. This wasn’t much to see other than Robert Gibson before he was the lesser half of a famous tag team. The Hunters weren’t anything special as they were just standard big heels, probably set up to be fed to Lawler and Dundee down the line. Nothing special here but it wasn’t terrible.

Post match Malone and the Hunters destroy Gibson until Lawler and Dundee make the save.

Malone doesn’t want to fight Heather (last name Feather) but if he doesn’t, he’s out of the territory.

Lawler and Dundee, who are the tag team champions and recently beat the Bounty Hunters to take the belts, have agreed to give the Bounty Hunters a rematch if Malone will put up his hair. Jimmy Valiant comes up to suggest a six man tag against Malone and the Hunters but Dundee says let’s wait until after the title match so Malone can lose his hair. Valiant says he’ll take Malone’s hair out in a six man tag so it’s no worries.

Lawler says no as well so Valiant calls Jerry jealous and Dundee short (which he is). Jerry compliments Valiant’s music and says thanks but no thanks. Jimmy thinks Lawler is jealous because Valiant is the big star here instead of Lawler. Dundee is looking annoyed and Jerry calls Valiant a preliminary wrestler.

Now Valiant thinks Lawler is jealous of everything so Jerry drops some gay slurs about Valiant and says he’s been bumming rides with Dundee and Lawler instead of getting his own car. Ferris and someone else come out and Lawler says that Valiant has Ferris’ mind warped so much that he looks like a *gay slur edited* as well. Lawler smacks Valiant and security drags them off. Solid heel turn here with Lawler acting like a manly hero before political correctness was a thing (not saying what Lawler said was ok mind you. It was a very different time).

Terry Sawyer apologizes to Tommy Gilbert over something not important enough to mention.

Don Fargo/Bill Dromo vs. Tommy Gilbert/Terry Sawyer

Gilbert is taken down by Fargo to start but Tommy fights up into a standoff. Off to Tromo for a front facelock on Gilbert before it’s off to Sawyer, who apparently wrestled in the Olympics. Back to Fargo who is easily taken down to the mat so it’s back to Dromo who takes Sawyer down just as easily. Things break down for a few seconds but the referee is too worried about right hands from Fargo. Gilbert gets caught in the heel corner but Sawyer comes in for another save as things break down again.

Gilbert catches Dromo in a reverse chinlock but Bill lifts him up and into the Fargo corner. Jerry Jarrett, the actual owner of the company (and one of the most brilliant minds in wrestling history) in a RARE on screen appearance, comes to the commentary boot and says he’s fined Lawler and Valiant $500 each. Dromo rolls up Gilbert for two as Sawyer is refusing to tag out. Gilbert dropkicks Fargo down but Sawyer walks down the apron again. Tommy tries to fight off both guys but stops to go after Sawyer, allowing Dromo to elbow Gilbert for the pin.

Rating: D+. This was much more of an angle than a match but the match part of it didn’t work at all. It was a big mess with none of the four guys looking like anything special out there. I had a hard enough time telling them apart as they all looked about the same over than Dromo who had writing on his trunks.

Koko Ware vs. Steve Brody

Before Koko grew a B. I think we have a face vs. face match here as they shake hands before the bell. A quick rollup gets two on Steve so he cranks on the arm a bit. Koko gets to the ropes and hooks a headlock as this is still in first gear. They apparently don’t know much about changing gears as Koko hits three straight dropkicks for the pin. Quick match.

Jerry Lawler apologizes to the fans for what happened but not to Valiant.

Pat Kelly/Mike Kelly vs. Bill Dundee/Jerry Lawler

We have about two and a half minutes to go in the show. Mike starts with Dundee and it’s the Superstar (Dundee) taking him down before bringing in Lawler. Jerry takes him down with a quick headlock and it’s off to Pat. Lawler gets caught in a headlock but grabs one of his own as the time runs out.

The announcers quickly wrap things up to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. This is a show where knowing the stories and characters would have helped a lot. Lawler vs. Valiant would have been a BIG feud so this is definitely the start of something important. Malone seems to be a decent heel manager and the match against the girl would probably have drawn a nice crowd. There were a few too many tag matches here but it wasn’t too bad for the most part.

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