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Old 07-10-2012, 11:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Re: Jerry Lawler: Best Wrestler of the 1980s

Guy was incredible no doubt, but I'd still put Flair ahead of him for the decade. Backlund's 3 year run is probably good enough to make him top 3 with those guys too lol. Fuck the 80's was awesome for talent and matches. I still get a lot of enjoyment out of certain people today and think we've had a bunch of top tier matches over the last few years, but the 80's have to be the best time period of all the times (who knows if the 70's were better, the footage available is pretty slim lol).

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Old 07-10-2012, 11:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Jerry Lawler: Best Wrestler of the 1980s

Flair certainly has the match catalogue, I mean even if you don't include the Steamboat trilogy from 89, or the two Funk matches from 89 or the 2 Steamboat House Show matches from 89 on his resume he still has the Windham series, the Wahoo McDaniel series, the Kerry Von Erich Hawaii match, the Dibiase Mid South Match, the Terry Taylor Mid South Match, the Jake Roberts Match, the Lawler match from Memphis, the Koko Ware match, the Ron Garvin Match, the Morton GAB Steel cage Match, the Dusty Series etc etc. The list is almost endless.

That being said I just prefer the Memphis feel and environment these days, and Lawler has an incredibly diverse set of matches to his name (which again Flair would almost certainly match) that I just can't look past him as the best ever in the 80s. Funk tbh would be my next go to pick, he and Lawler just do the little things I adore more than Flair, but I have no qualms with Flair being the overwhelming pick as best in this time frame.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Jerry Lawler: Best Wrestler of the 1980s

That's just one more great thing about the 80's; so many people can have claim to being the best of the decade, and for many different reasons. Catalogue of great matches, just being a super worker regardless of quality of match/opponent (Murdoch comes to mind with this one), having a big influence on the industry, drawing ability, promos/charisma etc etc. Just wish Lawler didn't stick with Memphis 99% of the time. Could have been awesome touring with the NWA.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Jerry Lawler: Best Wrestler of the 1980s

His ventures into Texas are excellent, especially as the crowd wants his blood and he gets to shine opposite the Von Erichs as a prick heel. Definitely going to have to track down his '88 match v Tommy Rich as well as the Hennig matches, I'll probably also attempt to find some of his worked shoots vs Snowman which I've heard are really unique and perfectly capture the feel of two guys not co-operating with one another.

Saw a 6 minute match on Youtube between them which had some really nasty punches and unique looking takedowns by both men, and they really built up the tension before each exchange that made you a bit uneasy watching it. Like I could have totally bought it as a shoot.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Jerry Lawler: Best Wrestler of the 1980s

I had a feeling when I saw the thread title you might have posted this


Lawler/Funk empty arena match is awesome, same for Lawler/Dundee series. Great reviews and I'll be checking out the matches I haven't seen ASAP . I heard Lawler/Funk were in a match last year too the other day but couldn't find a link which was
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Jerry Lawler: Best Wrestler of the 1980s

Should add that I didn't include the Lawler/Dundee 6/6/83 Loser Leaves Town match as I couldn't track down my review, its definitely worth the watch and was voted #1 match on the Memphis Compilation, though personally I think the '85 match between them is far and away superior. Their '86 match is also worth a watch.

Of the matches I posted a top 10 would probably go something like this:

1. Lawler v Dundee, 30/12/1985
2. Lawler v Funk, NO DQ 21/03/1981
3. Lawler v Mantell, NO DQ 22/03/1982
4. Lawler v Idol, Hair v Hair Steel Cage Match 27/04/1987
5. Lawler v Funk, Empty Arena Match 06/04/1981
6. Lawler v Flair, 14/08/1982
7. Lawler v Savage, Loser Leaves Town, 03/06/1985
8. Lawler v Bigelow, Texas Death Match, 07/09/1986
9. Lawler v Mantell, Barbed Wire Match, 29/03/1982
10.Lawler & Mantell v Dundee & Landell, 10/03/1986

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Old 07-10-2012, 12:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Jerry Lawler: Best Wrestler of the 1980s

To each his own. I've never been a fan of Lawler, to be honest. Just something about that Southern, good ole boy wrassling style that never appealed to me.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Jerry Lawler: Best Wrestler of the 1980s

Fair enough, but I'm the complete opposite. When you consider the majority of Lawler's feuds were personal and demanding of a brawl/fight his style is pretty much a tee of what you want from the nature of his character and feuds, as opposed to today's style where guys focus on the big spots to get over the 'hate' in the match rather than just simply focusing on creating a realistic brawl (aka 99% of WWE LMS/Street Fight/Hardcore matches the last few years).
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Jerry Lawler: Best Wrestler of the 1980s

Great post & a fun read. I love Lawler and I think most fans don't appreciate him nowadays because they just think of him as the old, creepy guy telling bad jokes on color commentary. It's a shame, too. I wouldn't say he's the best of the 80's, as I would give that to Terry Funk myself, but that's what makes wrestling fun: people being able to have differing opinions. I have watched a lot of Lawler and he's a great worker, no doubt. I love how rabid the Memphis crowds always are for him. Some of the matches you even included were from the 70's, which is a total cheaty-face when talking about the 80's!
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Jerry Lawler: Best Wrestler of the 1980s

Oh shit only just spotted that myself, still they serve as an illustration of how diverse Lawler was, as the Race match is a classic NWA title match in layout and structure whereas the Koko match is a terrific studio match centred around heel Lawler schtick.

As for Funk, I consider him or Eddie to be the greatest performer of all time, and certainly there are very few if any who ever 'got' pro wrestling quite like Funk. Everything from the mannerisms, to the performance as a character, to the sublime selling to expressing his emotion and charisma and being able to manipulate crowds into loving/hating him in the blink of an eye, and of course there's his immesne versatility from technician/grappler, to brawler to old ECW loony veteran. That being said the fact he and Lawler can work an excellent match in 2011, 30 years after their amazing NO DQ match is proof the all time great workers can always get by when their athletic peak diminishes, since their intellect and knowledge in constructing a match which emphasises their strengths and hides their limitations is an art they'll never lose. The indy darlings of today who have only their athleticism to fall back on largely will struggle considerably in later years when their bodies break down, and this is where guys like Funk, Lawler, Regal and Finlay stand out from the rest IMO when it comes to discussing great workers from great pure wrestlers/athletes.
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