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[1991-10-12-USWA-Memphis TV] Jerry Lawler and Billy Joe Travis


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  • 3 months later...

We see Lawler mingling with celebrities at a Cleveland Indians game. They did a great job making Lawler seem like the real deal, but this was boring and loooonnnggg. Lawler doesn't want a match with Embry, which makes me not like how that feud just sort of petered out instead of having a real conclusion. But his focus is now on Billy Joe Travis, so all is forgiven, as I can handle that feud.

 

Lawler goes into a match with Bull Pain, and Travis is out quickly to play the guitar Lawler left at ringside that he had been going on about. He ends up smashing the guitar to pieces. By the time Lawler gets out of the ring, Travis disappears. Lawler's promo in response to this is just really overwrought, and I'm really not digging this at all.

 

He tells Travis he is getting a five-count to come back out and tell everyone he is going to get into the ring with him. Travis is nowhere to be found until Lawler goes to the parking lot and threatens to take a baseball bat to his car. Yes, that's legal. Lawler talks too much and comes across sort of obnoxious in all of this. You can tell Embry is no longer booking when he's playing second fiddle to Travis in all of this.

 

Some people may like this, but I think this is the worst Memphis segment on a yearbook.

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Really? I really enjoyed this whole deal. An autographed guitar seems kinda contrived, sure (if he'd had the guitar in the video, having all the country music stars signing it would have helped). However, I enjoyed it because it really seemed human. Lawler, beyond furious, goes with that whole "two wrongs dont make a right, but it makes us even" logic. Sometimes, youre just so mad, you dont give a shit. I was shocked that they showed the license plate in a tight shot. Plus, this was before Pulp Fiction ("you dont fuck with a man's automobile. Its just against the rules")

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  • 5 weeks later...

Kind of cool that Lawler was involved in such a legitimately star-studded affair, and I'm amused that Gaylord Perry would be one of his heroes, which a baseball fan would find appropriate. But yeah, the home movie goes on for awhile. We don't see the guitar at any point during the 3-hour video, which screams work and angle--that, and the fact that Lawler is talking it up on TV. The program is going to be raffled off at the MSC, but the details are curiously left out. There's drawing something out to build a sense of normalcy until the bomb drops, like they did with the wedding reception, but this is a little much. Lawler segues back to wrestling and declares that he won't wrestle Eric Embry for the title unless Embry puts something on the line himself. How heroic. I guess they didn't have the guts to run title vs. hair or something.

 

Lawler vs. Bull Pain, and...what exactly was Lawler expecting when he calls out Billy Travis AND comes out on TV with a guitar? And then leaves it unprotected at the desk. Travis "tunes" the guitar and tears up the autographed program. Lawler comes back out and they're recreating the Lawler/Dundee car angle right down to the letter, complete with the baseball bat and countdown. But that involved a Dundee heel turn, stealing Lawler's Southern title, and consequently stealing an NWA World title shot. Try as they might have, autographs don't measure up in comparison.

 

I didn't think this was a BAD segment because the performances were good but it was underwhelming. I like Travis' act and I like Travis as a worker but I don't think his guitar-and-singing act works as a #1 heel, just as it didn't work with Don Bass, or the Honky Tonk Man, or Jeff Jarrett. Part of me wishes Travis had somehow tricked Lawler into trashing Dundee or Jarrett's car. The stakes just weren't high enough and Lawler comes off as an entitled idiot. This segment goes on for another 5+ minutes after Travis agrees to sign the match. I also can't believe Embry doesn't show his face until a tail-end cameo. The Embry of a few months ago would never, ever have stood for Lawler refusing a title match challenge.

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Jerry showed clips of his appearance at a big charity softball game. Do give credit for making Lawler look like a big star. Lawler also shows off a signed guitar so I’m waiting for it to get stolen and broken.

 

Lawler finally gets on to business. He’s moves on from Embry to Billy Joe Travis and wants a match. Didn't feel like they really settled things with Embry.

 

Oh Billy! He destroys the guitar. Lawler has a delayed reaction to all this and then flips out by smashing up Travis‘ car with a baseball bat. My problem with whole thing is that it was dragging by the end.

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  • 10 months later...

Crazy in retrospect how many stars were at this celebrity softball game when they were on their way up the ladder. Garth Brooks is the most notable. This was drawn out way too long and I agree that the most vaccumm memorable Memphis visuals are not usually the best ones. Lawler really went off the deep end here.

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  • 1 year later...

Okay, I finally got a chance to take a look at this.

 

First of all, Lawler/Embry hasn't really ended. It's stalled, mostly because Travis not only interfered in last week's Lawler/Embry match, but in Lawler's unification bout with Gilbert at the MSC. Costing the King two big matches is more than enough reason for Travis to be his next target, especially since it allowed his two biggest enemies to either beat him (Embry) or escape from Memphis without being beaten (Gilbert). If I'd been a Memphis fan, I'd have wanted to see Lawler/Travis too, especially since Embry's still got unfinished business with Jeff, Marlin, and Fuller.

 

All of that said, that's all the further this needed to go. The match was set up perfectly. We didn't need to get into autographed guitars or program raffles. I understand why they wanted to show the softball footage, and it was neat seeing Lawler hobnobbing with legitimate superstars in both baseball and country music. But the only way I could have understood the smashing of the guitar would have been if Travis had broken it over Lawler's head and allowed Bull to get a pinfall, which would have been Lawler's second consecutive pinfall loss on TV. When was the last time that happened, if ever?

 

Instead, Travis simply smashes the guitar on the floor like a spoiled idiot, then rips up the autographed program. This shows how small-time he really is, in my view. He's not meant to be a real danger to Lawler, just something to tide him over until the next big feud comes along. The smashing of Travis' car was a nice piece of revenge, but we really didn't need to see Lawler sink that low. As others have said, it seemed out of proportion to the wrong done to him. And again, Travis doesn't do much except stamp his feet and stick out his lower lip, only threatening violence against Lawler once Embry and Prichard are safely holding him out of harm's way.

 

The man they needed to run this angle was the real Honky Tonk Man, not this blond-haired wannabe. Say what you will about his ability or perceived lack thereof, Cousin Wayne could make the fans really hate him, and the idea of him coming home to Memphis and targeting his cousin Lawler, and perhaps joining up with the Texans, would have produced heat like Memphis hadn't seen since the heyday of.........Eric Embry. As it is, I really don't expect, or particularly want, to see this feud last past the end of October. Travis may be decent lower in the card, but he doesn't belong on Lawler's level, especially the way he's carrying himself now. Maybe he can feud with Cowabunga the Ninja Turtle instead.

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  • 1 year later...

I thought this was awesome! This might be the most memorable episode from Memphis so far in 1991. Of course, Lawler mentions the Cleveland Indian as his favorite autograph. I also thought it was cool that he said he had one of the country stars call his sick friend Faith Hill. I'm guessing this was before she was a big deal and probably just performing locally in Memphis. I'm sure he had a blast at that event. When he pulled out the guitar, my first thought was that it would a great angle if someone were to bust it over his head or something. When the match with Bull started, I was pretty disappointed. Then... it happened and escalated to Lawler in the parking lot with ball bat busting out BJT's car windows! I think some were saying the Embry feud has gotten long in the tooth at this point, and I agree. But, this was pretty great.

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  • 6 months later...

I thought this went way too far. Lawler demolishing the car was just way too much. Also, who expected that guitar to survive the show once Lawler brought it out? I'm pretty sure there are single celled organisms somewhere that called that one as soon as he started talking about it. I did like Lawler's actual marking out for being able to meet all of these people though. It seemed very genuine and a peek into the real life Jerry Lawler..

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  • GSR changed the title to [1991-10-12-USWA-Memphis TV] Jerry Lawler and Billy Joe Travis

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