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[1990-05-12-USWA-Memphis TV] Jerry Lawler vs Jimmy Valiant (Stretcher)

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Highlights from Mid South Coliseum. The various ways they found to work around Jimmy Valiant's limitations are pretty impressive. Lawler bleeds and takes a big beating from Valiant, and Ronnie P. Gossett even takes a few bumps. Lawler ends up using ether to knock Valiant out and then win the title when Valiant is counted out of the ring. TECHNICAL LOSS.

 

I've always wanted to ask anyone who has ever seen someone use a soaked ether rag live if there is a smell in the building. The fans at ringside are reacting to it, so I'm curious if they were plants or what.

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A stretcher match that has a ref bump (why? was Lawler going to get a TECHNICAL LOSS for using ether after Valiant had choked him out with chairs?) and a countout finish. Spectacular. And it's too bad because the clips looked pretty good, though Valiant is almost invariably going to look better in clip form.

 

Cornette said that for ether finishes in Mid-South he used engine-starter fluid and used the dry side of the rag.

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I also wonder if the ether is actually pungent. These were good clips and we have not seen as much MSC footage as in later years on Memphis so far. They again work at establishing the new rules.

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Lawler uses some ether to knock out Valiant. It’s a stretcher match but it’s really more of a last man standing match as the ref counts Valiant down. Valiant is put on stretcher after match and Lawler gives him another couple shots.

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For a promotion that seems to be pushing that they are getting away from fuck finishes, the Memphis branch of the USWA sure seems to be running a lot of fuck finishes. This looks much better in clipped form than what I imagine it looked like in full.

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Lawler ends up using ether to knock Valiant out and then win the title when Valiant is counted out of the ring. TECHNICAL LOSS.

I don't think this was a title match. The commentator (Michael St. John, I think) even mentions there's "no title on the line tonight" about 2 minutes into these highlights. Plus, Mid-South Coliseum shows took place on Mondays, right? So this match probably took place on Monday May 7 (then was shown in highlight form on this episode of USWA TV on Saturday May 12) and Lawler had won the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship for the sixth time on May 5 (according to online title history sources).

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I can't believe I'm saying this about a Jimmy Valiant match, but I wish the whole thing was available. This looked great in clipped format and may be Valiant's best match of his career.

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Did I hear the ring announcer right? Did this match actually last over forty-four minutes? Impressive for such a supposedly limited worker as Jimmy Valiant.

 

What we saw was good, but Jimmy does a lousy job of selling unconsciousness while he's on the stretcher, to the point where Lawler has to use the rag twice. I always thought that if one of the guys could fight their way off of the stretcher in a stretcher match, the match continues. If that's not true in this case, I guess you could say that Jimmy woke up on the stretcher and knew he'd lost. Whatever the case, the rules weren't clearly stated in the few clips that we saw.

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Man I'd love to see this whole thing. This is the first time I've felt like I've "gotten" the Memphis style on the set so far. It's always a bit disturbing when you can see someone blading but it adds to the chaos for me. Ronnie P Gossett is flying around, refs are bumping, and the image of Lawler giving Valiant the ol' ether rag while being stretchered away is something I'm never going to forget. Might be one of my favorite segments from the year so far.

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Lawler is now managed by Ronnie Gossett in Memphis too. This was a selection of choice clips of a match from the Mid-South Coliseum and what aired was really good. This was more of a brawl with plenty of fighting at ringside, use of weapons and ‘The King’ even getting busted open. Despite claiming not to be a wrestler and in spite of his ‘heart condition’, Gossett was interfering with regularity. Valiant with a sleeper on Lawler outside of the ring and Gossett charges into the referee who collides with the wrestlers. Lawler sprays ether on a rag and smothers it in Valiant’s face knocking him out. Lawler gets back in the ring and Gossett gets referee Jerry Calhoun back to his feet. He starts counting Valiant out, reaches ten and due to the new rules, Lawler wins by technical loss and is once again the Unified champion. So Lawler both loses and regains the title via screwy finish! The two of them place Valiant on the stretcher after the match and Lawler smothers him again with the ether soaked rag before the ‘Handsome one’ is wheeled out of there.

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Best Valiant match on the set so far. The use of weapons to maim Lawler throughout had to help. Lawler using ether to KO Valiant is actually a pretty clever heel way to end a match.

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