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[1990-06-23-USWA-Memphis TV] Jerry Lawler, The Snowman and Leon Spinks

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Oh Leon Spinks. Oh my. This feud continued to be a highlight of the year, with Lawler seeming to begin a turn after the former heavyweight champ screwed him. But the Spinks promo was the highlight -- laugh out loud funny.

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Clip of their MSC match. Lawler has Snowman pinned and Spinks refuses to count, rolling Lawler off of him. Lawler punches Spinks in retaliation, Spinks punches him back and then does a fast count to give Snowman the title.

 

Lawler comes out for a promo, wearing an airbrushed LEON STINKS t-shirt with some missing teeth, and gets some cheapshots in about standing in a welfare line. Lawler challenges Snowman to look the studio crowd in the eye and tell them Snowman beat him and won the title. Lawler wants Leon Spinks in the ring Monday night, which has been signed.

 

Spinks sends in a taped promo which cracks me up. It made me laugh out loud too, Childs. It's a riot, especially when they show Lawler reacting to it in the corner. Lawler's reaction to it is priceless.

 

They show highlights of him against Muhammad Ali from 1978 to close things out, which is pretty cool footage.

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Leon Spinks is Snowman's hand-picked referee. More shoot-style fighting between the two, but when Lawler cradles Snowman up for a count, Spinks pulls Lawler off instead of counting. After getting in Lawler's face again, Spinks KOs him and fast-counts the pin, giving the Snowman the Unified World title.

 

Lawler comes out with LEON STINKS drawn on his shirt and makes a crack about Snowman having his hand out "like he does in the welfare line." This is a VERY split crowd, even as Lawler is coming off as more babyface-ish. Spinks sends in a fascinating (and clearly edited post-hoc) promo that makes the Warrior look absolutely lucid. "Ith you ready to go?" as Lawler puts it.

 

Highlights follow of Spinks' upset title win over Ali, the biggest boxing upset ever prior to Douglas-Tyson. The intro of "Here's some footage of Spinks when he was in his prime" cracks me up as much as the Spinks promo.

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Spinks on the mike was so bad. Back in the day Spinks was huge. He even had a doll of himself. Sometimes Lawler is too good on the stick.

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Lawler gets the cover but Leon Spinks refusing to count. Spinks gets physically involved more when Lawler has the advantage. Lawler pushes Spinks who ends up punching him in return. Snowman wins the title. Felt like a heel finish.

 

Where’s Dave Brown?! Lawler has on a Leon Stinks tshirt. Lawler doesn’t think Snowman deserves title as it was Spinks who won it. Match signed for Monday between Lawler and Spinks. While Lawler does mention Spinks beating Ali he still calls him a nobody.

 

Leon Spinks is wearing Fred McGriff’s baseball hat with the straight bill. Spinks promo has noticeable edits so he must have been all over the place. It was interesting.

 

Clips of Spinks versus Ali. Wonder if they had permission to actually show this. Going 15 rounds is insane.

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The server ate my first try at this one, so here we go again.

 

Lawler sure does have a beef, as Michael St. John (who I assume was filling in for a vacationing Dave) says. This should have been his face turn, if only to spare us that absurdity they so laughingly called a promo from Spinks. The biggest problem isn't that he's inarticulate (though he is) or that the camera people make him look worse by jump-cutting every time he makes a mistake (which they do; I counted six distinct cuts, which has to be a record), but his false teeth, which he doesn't seem to know how to talk with. My mother sounded way different when she wore hers because she wasn't used to them, and it was noticeable. Well, it's even more so with Spinks; they're distracting visually, and they turn a man who isn't the shiniest spoon on the table to start with into a total moron. Who could possibly cheer this man except out of pity? They should have turned both him and Snowman heel with a post-match beatdown and stuck Ronnie P. Gossett in his corner to do the talking. If they didn't want to do that, have Snowman cut the promo for him. Something, anything.

 

They also miscalculated by having the screwjob be so obvious. Lawler didn't do a thing to justify Spinks attacking him, and even the crowd at the MSC was booing Spinks. Unless we missed the part where Lawler had been in Spinks' grill for part of the match (which we very well could have), there was no reason at all for him to get physical. A crowd which should have been rooting for Spinks to pound Lawler into hamburger meat was mixed at best, which just adds another strange chapter to this whole saga, as I don't think a boxer in a boxer/wrestler confrontation has ever been booed even lightly. The whole point of having a boxer as a referee is to beat up the heel, after all.

 

It should be interesting to see who the crowd favors in the upcoming clips we have of Lawler/Spinks; after that, we finally get the Lawler face turn we should have gotten months ago, if what I've read is right. They're just lucky Lawler's so revered that the fans will stick with him no matter what; in most promotions, a face turn delayed this long for such an obvious hero may not have been enough to prevent business from going in the tank and staying there for a long while.

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So Lawler is a face Jere again? I can't keep track. The match clip didn't look as heated as some of the previous ones. Lawler's shirt, with deliberately more teeth missing is really funny, and then Mr. Stinks gets on the mic. There's is a serious jabroni in place of Dave Brown too, now he stinks.

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The match between Lawler and The Snowman from the Mid-South Coliseum is joined in progress, and Lawler is again managed by Ronnie P. Gossett while Leon Spinks is the special guest referee. Spinks is hardly calling things down the middle and when ‘The King’ has The Snowman pinned he doesn’t even attempt to count the fall. Instead he just tries to pull Lawler off him, eventually succeeding. With ‘The King’ on top and raining down blows on The Snowman, Spinks again gets involved, pulling Lawler off and shoving him backwards towards the ropes. He has had enough by now and strikes Spinks, but this results in Spinks dropping him with a hard right. The Snowman with a right of his own, he covers Lawler to get the win and become the new Unified World champion. Nice to finally get the title change here as after four weeks of pretty much the same match it was starting to lose its lustre.

 

In the studio and no Dave Brown this week as Michael St. John is on commentary duty. He invites Lawler to join him and says that even though he hasn’t always agreed with him, he has a legitimate beef on this occasion after what happened at the Mid-South Coliseum. Lawler is wearing a great, homemade ‘Leon Stinks T-shirt and says how The Snowman (who is in the audience) must be real happy with himself as he finally got what he wanted. He recaps how he’s constantly been out there with his hand out, complaining about the referees, asking for rematches, until finally he got to hand pick his own referee and that’s why he’s now sat there with that belt around his waist. As everyone just saw, Leon Spinks is the man that won that match for him. This Monday he finally gets something that he asked for though, and he will be facing Leon Spinks at the Mid-South Coliseum himself. He knows that he’s the man that beat Muhammad Ali in 1978 and that he knocked out 133 opponents, but he tells him that no-one is going to steal his World title and get away with it. This Monday night Leon Spinks will have the gloves on and they’ll find out exactly what he’s got left. He’s going to teach him a lesson and after he gets through with him he’s coming after numbskull (Snowman)! St. John says that Spinks has some comments about the match and he’d like ‘The King’ to hear them before he leaves.

 

A taped promo from Spinks airs and boy is this something! Spinks sounds and looks like he’s got some sort of mental issues. This is actually uncomfortable to watch. He’s slurring his words and has clearly taken far too many punches to the head. This promo is also blatantly spliced together so it was done in several takes, which again gives an indication of what this man’s brain must be like if he can’t cut a promo in one go. I don’t even want to critique this, but he says that Lawler must have a death wish if he wants to face him in the ring.

 

Back to the studio and Lawler tells him that when he gets through with him those false teeth he’s wearing will be rolling around the floor of the Coliseum! He can forget any thoughts of a comeback he may have, because he’s not a ‘has been’, he’s a ‘never was’, and he’s never been hit like he will hit him Monday night. Once he’s done with him, The Snowman’s days are numbered. The thought that Spinks may have actually been considering a return to boxing is frightening.

 

Finally we get the last 60 seconds of the Spinks vs Ali fight from ’78 and the official announcement of the result. I’m no boxing fan but this was cool to see, and pretty amazing that he was able to defeat Ali in only his seventh pro fight. I forgot that they used to go 15 rounds as well (which is what this one went), so it’s kinda no surprise that Leon Spinks ended up the way that he did.

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The thought that Spinks may have actually been considering a return to boxing is frightening.

 

I ended up doing a quick search on Spinks' boxing career and it transpires that he had 13 further fights post this stint in Memphis (winning 8, losing 5). Most worrying of all is that he went the distance in eight of those fights.

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