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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Today in Wrestling History April 27th (Tommy Rich Edition)

1981 - Tommy Rich defeats Harley Race for the NWA World Heavyweight Title in Augusta, Georgia. This ended Race's fifth title reign. Harley would win back the belt four days later.

1987 - Austin Idol defeats Jerry Lawler to win the Southern Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee in what is arguably one of the most famous matches in Memphis Wrestling history. The match was a steel cage bout, with a cage that covered the floor and ringside area. Austin Idol and manager Paul E. Dangerously had promised to refund the money of every fan in the Mid South Coliseum if Idol lost the match. Lawler, in addition to the Southern Heavyweight Title, also put his hair on the line. The finish saw Tommy Rich (who flew into Memphis from Japan that morning and hid under the ring all day with a six-pack of beer and an air mattress) come up from under the ring after a ref bump and help Idol win the match. Lawler had his hair cut to a crew cut length, while fans were literally grabbing and shaking the cage in anger. This match ended Lawler's 36th Southern Title reign after only a week, and began Idol's 3rd title reign. The Lawler vs. Idol & Rich feud would continue for several months, ending with Lawler & Bill Dundee defeating Idol & Rich in a Scaffold match.
Watch closely in part 5 at the beginning when a fan climbs to the top of the cage and then watch a cop climb up the other side like a it was nothing to chase the fan down.

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