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[1991-09-21-USWA-Memphis TV] Dutch Mantell vignette / Interview: Billy Joe Travis / Dutch Mantell, Eric Embry & Eddie Marlin


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  • 3 months later...

Dutch is still looking for Stan Hansen. This kills me. He points out getting a letter in the mail that really angered him, because it contained tons of profanity and inside wrestling terms. Weeeiiirrd. Dutch is determined to find out who sent him this, and gets bleeped in the process. Curious where this is leading.

 

Next, BILLY JOE TRAVIS is out for an interview. "Love Shack" is his entrance music. Could he be any more awesome? He's out to play a little diddy on his guitar and gets booed out of the studio. He's singing "The Eyes Of Texas Are On Me" to the tune of the Battle Hymn Republic. He's about to have a match with Chris Frazier, and makes his opponent stand there and wait while he finishes his tune. Frazier gives him a hard time about it and gets a guitar to the head in a brutal looking spot. No match.

 

Finally, Dutch Mantell is out. He knows he's not supposed to be here today, but that letter is really angering them. He wants whoever sent him the letter to come out. Embry is out to insist that it's not him. Dave Brown ends up outing him for something bad he said about Dutch earlier in the show. Dutch verifies the accuracy of this with the studio crowd, and Embry accuses everyone in the studio of lying. Embry frantically tries to make peace, even offering an alliance, and Dutch asks the obvious question -- if he didn't write the letter, why did he come out so quickly to say he didn't write it? Things get heated as Embry keeps digging his hole, and Tojo ends up hitting Dutch from behind with the Texas flag. Babyfaces finally clear Embry and Tojo. Good segment, even if the premise of letter writing is silly. Embry looks way too sleazy to sit down and pen a letter, by the way, if we're judging purely on a surface level.

 

Eddie Marlin is out in the next segment to point out how Embry has been the source of so many problems. Embry comes out and punches him right in the face and starts choking him out. Jeff Jarrett tries to make the save, and Billy Joe Travis tackles im on the way and they end up brawling. Dirty White Boy is finally out to chase Embry away. Marlin looks visibly shaken and does a great job in this. Marlin should have won Best Non-Wrestling Performer in the WON Year End Awards at least once.

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  • 1 month later...

Okay, the Hansen stuff is funny, but it's time to either do something with it or drop it. Namedropping Stan Hansen with no forthcoming payoff isn't going to do any more for the USWA than the Desperados did for WCW. Mantell also has a letter that he won't read because of the language in it, but threatens the anonymous letter-writer anyway in a manner that gets bleeped. Okay, now maybe we're getting somewhere.

 

A very sparkly (Mr. Travis' wardrobe courtesy of Eric Embry) Billy Joe Travis is out to serenade us with "The Eyes of Texas," but mixes in lyrics from the other song to that tune, "I've Been Working on the Railroad." Travis heads to the ring for a match and decides to just cream Chris Frazier with the guitar instead. Apparently Frazier interrupted him as he was attempting to sing again.

 

Dutch Mantell is now out in the flesh. Apparently Eric Embry made some derogatory comments about Dutch earlier, and he comes out to defend himself. Embry denies writing the letter and tries to soothe things over, but Dave Brown is there to fill in Dutch on what Embry actually said. The chemistry of all three of these guys is great--Dutch works the crowd, Embry accuses Dave of spreading lies, and in a hilarious moment Embry brings up Dutch's Texas background and that he knows exactly where Oil Trough, Texas is. Brown: "Earlier you said there was no Oil Trough, Texas!" Embry draws an imaginary line on the studio floor and dares Dutch to join the Texas Boys or be an enemy. Dutch refuses, and that nets him a flagpole to the back courtesy Tojo Yamamoto. Dutch gets beaten down until Jeff Jarrett, the Dirty White Boy, and Freezer Thompson (!) make the save. I'm still not sure what this letter-writing business is supposed to be out, but I was secretly hoping it'd be someone new and not just another Embry scheme.

 

Eddie Marlin thinks that Dutch can be the man to take out Embry, and that nets an attack from Eric. Jarrett gets intercepted by Billy Joe Travis. Marlin is choked out by his necktie and shockingly Embry is not fired right on the air over this.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dutch still working the Stan Hansen hotline. He’s got a good lead from the latest phone call and fan mail. Dutch gets bleeped out in his promo!

 

Billy has a great entrance theme. Dave Brown wants to pass on a song this week. Damn you Brown I want to hear Travis sing! Billy sings us a wonderful song. Brown thinks he’s some type of musical expert. Dave can’t imagine how he upset Travis so much. Travis plays some guitar in the ring before hitting his opponent in the head. Glad to have you back Billy.

 

Dave Brown channels Okerlund to stir things up by calling out Embry as possible suspect for writing letter to Dutch. Oh that studio audience trying to provoke a fight with Dutch and Embry. Tojo is wearing his Masters green jacket again.

 

Oh no, Eddie Marlin is also a Masters champion as sporting a similar green jacket. Embry pounds him for what I presume was stealing Tojo’s jacket backstage.

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  • 9 months later...

Dutch again is waiting on Hansen and I agree its still humorous but starting to run out of steam.

 

Billy Joe continues to win my heart over with his singing getting malicious boos and him just slamming the guitar over the jobbers head.

 

The Embry/Dutch interaction is great especially with Dave Brown interjecting in his facts and adding fuel to the fire. This predictably simmers over with Tojo attacking Dutch with the flag.

 

Eddie Marlin comes out to call for order and we get some more sprawling brawls with most of the USWA roster. The attack on Marlin is really good and he looks shaken up at the end. I love Eddie Marlin and am glad that USWA is on an upswing.

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  • 1 year later...

Hansen at a rodeo in Tulsa? Since when did Tulsa become a suburb of Tokyo?

 

The search for the mystery letter writer is a good way to get the Dutchman back in the mix. I'm surprised that they threw in the stuff about wrestling terms pissing Dutch off, but I guess they wanted to make it seem like the writer was violating the backstage brotherhood, which is the worst thing you can do in this era where kayfabe is still rigorously defended (at least in some places).

 

Dutch and Embry definitely have chemistry together, and in another place and time they'd make a hell of a team. But not in 1991 Memphis, as Dutch emphatically declares. Back when the Tennessee/Texas feud was in full swing, it would have made sense for Dutch to join the feud on either side. Now, this whole dustup seems like a way to keep Embry relevant once he inevitably loses clean to Lawler, and the letter-writing stuff that seemed so interesting just a few minutes ago now comes off as terribly lame. The interplay with Dave was good, mostly because Dave seldom comes right out and stirs the pot between two guys like he does here. It's obvious that he's tired of Embry and wants him out of Memphis once and for all, whether it's because of Lawler, Dutch. or someone else.

 

Crossing the line in order to decide friends from enemies? How grade-schoolish. Then again, Embry's beginning to resemble nothing so much as an overgrown spoiled brat anyway.

 

Just after I say that, the psychotic side of Embry shows itself again, as he attacks Eddie just after Eddie proclaims Dutch as the man to run Embry out of the USWA for good. This was great way to reestablish Embry as a force to be reckoned with instead of just Lawler's next piece of roadkill. I liked Travis intercepting Jeff, but Jeff sure took his sweet time getting to his grandpa, preferring to brawl with Travis all over the place first. This allows Tony Anthony to play Good Samaritan for the second time in one show, which has to be a record for him.

 

I like the idea of a Travis/Embry alliance, even though Travis isn't a Texan. They seem like two peas in a pod to me.

 

Sorry, but I think Wayne Ferris is a better Honky Tonk Man than Billy Joe Travis. The one thing I'll give to Travis is that he seems to hit people harder with his guitar. I think Frazier sold it better than the WWF's babyfaces ever did with the exception of Jake (who was supposedly hit by a non-gimmicked guitar, which means he wasn't really selling.)

 

Boy, Dave sure did a lot at WMC; through the byplay between him and Travis, we learn that he's also the host of a series of bridal fairs that took place in the Memphis area, which I'm guessing the station sponsored. Travis being up in arms about this development was the comic highlight of the segment (except, of course, for the "Eyes of Texas Are Upon You"/"I've Been Working On The Railroad" mashup.)

 

Before I forget, Lawler was awfully late in trying to save Eddie, only coming onscreen at the end, and he was nowhere to be found when Dutch needed saving. You'd think he'd have been right out front both times, since he's supposedly still Embry's chief rival.

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  • 2 years later...

Most of this has been covered, so I'll just say that the crowd was incredible here. They were really fired up and reacting big to everything. Eddie Marlin eithe rmade his face really red when he was being choked or Embry knew when the camera was going to be on him and made sure it was legit at the time. And that guitar shot was all kinds of brutal.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1991-09-21-USWA-Memphis TV] Dutch Mantell vignette / Interview: Billy Joe Travis / Dutch Mantell, Eric Embry & Eddie Marlin

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