Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Max Levy
than focus on a single star or topic, this month we’ll be looking
several different topics including a transformation in the booking
style, an intriguing in ring incident, and some of the unsung wrestlers
of the promotion.
Mid-South Goes Memphis
Mid-South had a solid 1983, but the promotion had
hit something of a rut during the latter part of the year. Ted DiBiase
had left the promotion and returned to Georgia. Hacksaw Jim Duggan was
heading out of Mid-South to do a run in Florida. The November 1983
Superdome show drew a highly disappointing 8,000 fans despite a Junkyard
Dog vs. Butch Reed headliner and the presence of Dusty Rhodes, The Road
Warriors, and Kerry and David Von Erich on the card. Attendance around
the territory had taken a dip. Something needed to be done to halt the
slide. The Memphis promotion was at its peak drawing huge crowds and TV
ratings so Jerry Jarrett and Jerry Lawler came in for a visit. They took
a look around and made a suggestion that Bill Watts wisely took and that
re energized Mid-South Wrestling.
Jarrett and Lawler felt that Mid-South needed to
follow the Memphis formula of spicing up the product. The method
required an antagonistic manager, aerial wrestlers who could add a
quicker paced style of wrestling to appeal to fans who wanted more than
brawling, a youthful look to appeal to kids, and sex appeal to draw in
the ladies. Memphis had a surplus of the above and was looking for some
larger heavyweights along the lines of those populating Mid-South. The
two promotions made a trade. Heading to Memphis were King Kong Bundy,
Jim Neidhart, and a young Rick Rude. Heading to Mid-South were The
Midnight Express and Jim Cornette who was stuck behind Jimmy Hart in the
pecking order as well as The Rock n Roll Express who played second
fiddle to The Fabulous Ones, and Terry Taylor. Perhaps the most
important acquisition was Bill Dundee.
Bill did not come to Mid-South to wrestle. He came to book. Bill had a knack for not only booking fast paced matches but by drawing incredible heat to the feuds by running Memphis styled angles.More...