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Charles (Loss)

[1991-12-14-USWA-Memphis TV] Jerry Lawler vs Kamala

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Clips of a match from Mid South Coliseum, which look excellent, but this doesn't have the heat it should have. They looked to have repeated a lot of spots from the studio, like Kamala picking up the ringside table and throwing Lawler into it. The referee jumps Kim Chee (not sure if he was called that here) when he tries to interfere too much. Lawler gets a visual fall but there's no referee to count. Finally, The Sandman makes a run-in and throws Lawler into his surfboard, leading to Kamala getting the pin and taking the USWA title.

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Paul Neighbors should be fired for beating up a manager instead of being in the ring refereeing the match. Lawler should be pissed off. Sandman catches a big wave into the ring and hits Lawler with a clumsy surfboard shot. Surfboard isn’t the easiest weapon for a run in.

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You'd think Sandman would just hit him with the surfboard instead of awkwardly setting up to ram Lawler's head into it. Regardless, the action here looks really good and Kamala continues to look like a focused, vicious fighter who happens to be in a culture he doesn't belong to, rather than a complete idiot. He's clearly the best freak Lawler has faced this year, but his title victory doesn't have the impact that it should because of all the trading Lawler has done with it over the past few months.

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Match looked really hot and crowd heat seemed fine to me. Sandman interferring seems odd and again Lawler seems all over the place on who to feud with. Kamala takes the title.

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I don't know what was more impressive: a hardcore version of Kamala who could actually move around and look like he knew where he was, or Paul Neighbors having enough of Friday and beating the hell out of him. I hope we got a match between Neighbors and Friday at the next MSC card, even if it's not on the Yearbook.

 

Hak may not have been able to lift the surfboard and hit Lawler with it if it was too heavy for him. Then again, if that's the case why use it at all when you can just use the good-old fashioned steel chair? That's part of the reason they're there, for Pete's sake.

 

To think that Kamala went from this to pinning people who were on their stomachs and going bowling with Slick in the course of a year. This match and the previous Lawler match (which I haven't seen yet, but they give it eighteen minutes on TV, so it can't be too horrible) proved that Kamala could still work well enough within the confines of his gimmick that he didn't need to be made a complete idiot out of. Why Vince chose to make him one of the few people in wrestling whom George Steele could be considered smarter than, I can't begin to say. Why he insisted on calling Friday Kim Chee, I can't say either. Maybe it's an obsession he has with dog meat (which is what kim chee means in Korean).

 

Speaking of Kamala's handler, who played him in Memphis? It has to be a worker, with his timing and the way he could throw punches. My candidate (and I'm being serious): Tony Falk.

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Hak may not have been able to lift the surfboard and hit Lawler with it if it was too heavy for him. Then again, if that's the case why use it at all when you can just use the good-old fashioned steel chair? That's part of the reason they're there, for Pete's sake.

I'd bet the thinking went something like this: Memphis always loved for people to have patented weapons that they used as part of their gimmick. So, the Sandman is a surfer, he brought this surfboard with him to prop up next to him while he does promos; obviously, he's gotta hit someone with it. But I'd wager Lawler said "look kid, don't hit me with the damn board... just, like, hold it up straight and ram me into it". Maybe he saw the then-green-ass-grass rookie either destroy someone with an uncontrollably stiff shot, or embarrass himself with a business-exposingly light shot that the recipient shouldn't have to sell. By having Lawler basically ram his own head into the board, the King is in total control of the move and can make it look good while keeping it safe.

 

 

Speaking of Kamala's handler, who played him in Memphis? It has to be a worker, with his timing and the way he could throw punches. My candidate (and I'm being serious): Tony Falk.

It was common practice for Memphis to have a known wrestler doing double-duty as a masked henchman whenever the show needed an extra worker but didn't have an extra warm body; and frequently, said warm body under the cheap shitty mask was indeed Tony Falk. It's exactly the sort of thing he'd be willing to do; in this case that narrows it down a lot, cuz not too many veteran wrestlers would be willing to put aside their pride and let a referee beat the shit out of them. (Hell, once when Tony needed a quick win, he almost stuck me in the ring as a generic masked evil ninja to be squashed; thankfully, someone realized "oh yeah, this clumsy half-trained announcer has no business actually wrestling".) Glancing at the footage, the guy certainly has Tony's shape and movements. Glancing at the card results, this match was the semi-main and Tony was booked (inevitably) losing in the first match, giving him plenty of time to get into the costume. So, yeah, safe bet that it's The Falker.

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My first try got eaten, so I'll just say thanks to Jingus for the information about Falk. I couldn't think of anyone else who might fit the bill, and I know that Steve Lombardi was Kim Chee in the WWF, so who better to be Friday than the USWA's answer to Lombardi?

 

Good point about Lawler, Hak, and the surfboard as well. The last thing Memphis needed was Lawler out of action for a period of time with an accidental, legitimate concussion.

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This visit to Memphis sheds a lot of light on Kamala as a worker. He's way better than you would expect for the gimmick. I'm not sure I want to see a Lawler vs. Sandman feud, but oh well.

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