Tag Archives: Wrestling

Episode 35: Close-Up on Union Avenue

KFR Pod #35 has dropped like Ricky Morton’s head through a table after a Macho Piledriver! Host Scott Bowden goes behind the camera to chat with longtime (and now retired) WMC-TV 5 engineer Ken Parnell, who reveals the crazy energy and the wild-and-wooly inner workings of the Memphis TV show in its heyday.

Ken recalls his rookie year of 1981, which resulted in some of the most entertaining Memphis TVs in history thanks to the red-hot feud between Jerry Lawler and the All the King’s Men vs. Jimmy Hart’s nefarious First Family.

Ken will also explain the details behind his ill-advised detour down Badstreet USA where he lost the Freebird version of Rock, Paper, Scissors in August 1985 as part of a bloody-good angle at the Mid-South Coliseum.

Plus, Ken breaks down what made Memphis wrestling so special and his thoughts on the show’s TV format that was as loose and flexible as any arena rat back in the day and just as action-packed.

Not only does Ken provide a unique perspective of the show working for both the station and the promotion, but he also shares inside stories such as a Macho Man promo that nearly made Ken quit the business and how that led to he and Randy Savage eventually becoming good friends. All this and more on an extra-crispy, not-so-late KFR Episode 35!

Visit the Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ online store at http://kentuckyfriedrasslin.bigcartel.com/

Follow Scott Bowden on Twitter @TravScottBowden and on Facebook @KentuckyFriedRasslin.

Follow Brian on Twitter at @GreatBrianLast.

Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ is a production of the Arcadian Vanguard Podcast Network

Episode 34: The King Of Jackson

Fresh off a trip to Memphis to revisit his old stomping grounds—literally—Scott Bowden returns to LA and the KFR Podcast approximately 9 pounds heavier from all that country cookin’ and jivin’—and yes, even a little moonshinin’. As his eager sidekick, the Great Brian Last, hangs on every pause, Bowden spins tales about the glory days of pro wrestling in the South’s most infamous arena and some of the legendary backstage gossip that used to fly around the building like Mil Mascaras sailing from turnbuckle to canvas back in January 1979.

Not only will the KFR Colonel guide you through an empty arena—MY EYE!—but Bowden will also explain the emotions and memories that came flooding back, some of which surprised the cold-hearted, diabolical manager from Germantown. Also, Bowden makes like his favorite wrestling journalist—PWI’s hard-drinkin’, hard-workin’, liver-not-functionin’ (and not actually existin’) sage columnist Matt Brock.

On this episode’s Anatomy of Angle, Bowden looks at one of his favorite ’70s Memphis heels of all time who made an expected babyface turn in 1985, returning the perennial Southern tag champion back to main-event glory, this time as a singles star as well as the partner of Jerry Lawler to pluck and fry the evil Freebirds, Phil Hickerson. In the end, the Rodney Dangerfield of Memphis wrestling finally earned the respect of the fans as the King of Jackson, Tenn. KFR is also serving up a heapin’ of rare WHBQ audio, including a promo by a young, nervous and downright humble Hickerson with Lance Russell that hasn’t been heard in 40–plus years.

Bowden also shares the full story on the infamous November 1976 Memphis Magazine cover featuring the King wearing the NWA’s crown jewel—the 10 pounds of gold—for a quick photo shoot following only his second bout ever with World champion Terry Funk in October 1976. This was, quite literally, Lawler’s only “run” with the NWA World championship belt.  All this and more episode 34 of the KFR Podcast! 

Visit the Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ online store at http://kentuckyfriedrasslin.bigcartel.com/

Follow Scott Bowden on Twitter @TravScottBowden and on Facebook @KentuckyFriedRasslin.

Follow Brian on Twitter at @GreatBrianLast.

Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ is a production of the Arcadian Vanguard Podcast Network

Episode 33: Jeanie’s Shattered Dreams

Scott Bowden reunites with Jeannie Clarke for the first time since meeting in the hallways of WMC-TV 5 prior to live Memphis TV in spring ’91, when the KFR host was breaking into the biz as a snot-nosed 19-year-old referee.

The USWA alumni talk about the stunning career of another future star Scott met that day, Steve Austin, as well as her WCW run and eventual marriage to Austin and her little-known past as the former Mrs. Billy Jack Haynes. Other topics include the booking minds of Chris Adams, Jerry Jarrett, Eddie Gilbert and Eric Embry and how they helped shaped her career as well as Austin’s.

Jeannie speaks candidly about the highs of achieving wrestling stardom with Stone Cold as well as the extreme lows of nearly losing it all when her dreams shattered while her husband’s star continued to shine as bright as the Lone Star State.

All this as well as rare classic audio from the WHBQ Memphis days featuring a heel Danny Hodge subtly threatening to stretch Jerry Lawler in Jonesboro during an interview with Lance Russell in early 1975—you won’t hear this promo anywhere else but on KFR Episode 33!

Visit the Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ online store at http://kentuckyfriedrasslin.bigcartel.com/

Follow Scott Bowden on Twitter @TravScottBowden and on Facebook @KentuckyFriedRasslin.

Follow Brian on Twitter at @GreatBrianLast.

Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ is a production of the Arcadian Vanguard Podcast Network

Episode 32: A Nose for Excellence with Guest Shane Russell

Yellow again, everybody, and welcome to another BIG DAY of the KFR podcast, as Scott Bowden and Brian Last welcome Shane Russell, son of legendary Memphis Wrestling broadcast Lance Russell.

Shane shares his favorite memories both as a huge wrestling fan and as the son of the most iconic personality in Memphis broadcasting history. Shane shares memories of tagging along with his father for live broadcasts at WHBQ and later at WMC-TV and discusses his personal favorite Lance Russell moments, both on camera and at home. Shane also explains Lance’s decision to leave WHBQ and promoter Nick Gulas for WMC-TV and Jerry Jarrett, and why this led to some spirited discussions at the Russell home.

Shane also offer insights into the special relationship between his dad and Jerry Lawler and details what it was like being known as “Banana Nose Jr.” by his classmates in Memphis growing up. All this, plus classic Lance Russell audio make this a show you don’t dare miss, partner!

Visit the NEW Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ online store at http://kentuckyfriedrasslin.bigcartel.com/

Follow Scott Bowden on Twitter @TravScottBowden and on Facebook @KentuckyFriedRasslin.

Follow Brian on Twitter at @GreatBrianLast.

Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ is a production of the Arcadian Vanguard Podcast Network

Episode 31: Class Of ’79

KFR host Scott Bowden has returned from Parts Unknown armed with evidence he claims will be the smoking gun in the Mil Mascaras Monday Night Mystery!

Bowden not only looks back at the night in question of January 29, 1979, but also examines every single card he attended that year as a young fan at the Mid-South Coliseum. Bowden shares his memories of a young Terry “the Hulk” Boulder, Robert Fuller’s booking and ascension near the top of Memphis cards, the emergence and abrupt departure of the Freebirds, thoughts on what made the Tupelo, Miss. concession stand brawl work, the amazing promos of Jackie Fargo and the outlandish antics of Roughhouse Fargo, fresh out of the nuthouse in nearby Bolivar, Tenn., and witnessing his first  AWA World title match in August and his first “World” title change in Memphis.

Bowden and host The Great Brian Last also talk Moolah, Jarrett, Idol, and rare Memphis appearances by Crusher Blackwell…and Tom Snyder?! All this and more on Episode 31, “Class of ’79,” on the KFR Podcast.

Visit the NEW Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ online store at http://kentuckyfriedrasslin.bigcartel.com/

Follow Scott Bowden on Twitter @TravScottBowden and on Facebook @KentuckyFriedRasslin.

Follow Brian on Twitter at @GreatBrianLast.

Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ is a production of the Arcadian Vanguard Podcast Network

Episode 30: Saturday Morning Memories

Host Scott Bowden is right along ringside for Episode 30  to honor four professional wrestlers who experienced varying degrees of success in the Memphis territory but nonetheless made an indelible impact years before their recent passings: Jim Jamieson, Jim Neidhart, Brickhouse Brown and Chris Champion.

Bowden and co-host The Great Brian Last will also discuss the recent revelations in the Mil Mascaras Monday Night Mystery, including reactions from the fans and longtime promoter Jerry Jarrett.

Visit the NEW Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ online store at http://kentuckyfriedrasslin.bigcartel.com/

Follow Scott Bowden on Twitter @TravScottBowden and on Facebook @KentuckyFriedRasslin.

Follow Brian on Twitter at @GreatBrianLast.

Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ is a production of the Arcadian Vanguard Podcast Network

Episode 29: Unsolved Mysteries of Memphis

On this special Unsolved Mysteries of #Memphis edition of the KFR Podcast, host Scott Bowden goes face to masked mug with Mil Mascaras during an autograph signing at Los Angeles-area sports-memorabilia speakeasy.

Bowden doesn’t tiptoe gracefully around the issue, asking as many questions as humanly possible to unmask the truth behind the mystery that has had a chokehold on the longtime Memphis fan and manager since he was 8 years old: Was it REALLY  Mil Mascaras in the ring at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis on 1.29.79, doing a stretcher job for promoter Jerry Jarrett’s local legends Jerry Lawler and Jackie Fargo…or was it a ringer?

Mascaras not only answers emphatically, providing photographic evidence, but can also be heard discussing the issue with Bowden, whose ill-fitting skinny jeans  accidentally setting off the voice recorder on his Galaxy Note8 device—finally a break that cracks the case…the answer awaits, true believers!

Visit the NEW Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ online store at http://kentuckyfriedrasslin.bigcartel.com/

Follow Scott Bowden on Twitter @TravScottBowden and on Facebook @KentuckyFriedRasslin.

Follow Brian on Twitter at @GreatBrianLast.

Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ is a production of the Arcadian Vanguard Podcast Network

Episode 28: Too Much

In a candid discussion with Brian Last, Scott Bowden honors the memory of the late Brian Lawler by revealing a side of Grand Master Sexay that most fans never knew.

Bowden recalls the first time he met BC back in 1989, when the son of the King drove a Lincoln Continental delivering Godfather’s Pizzas all over town while earning straight A’s at Craigmont High School. Bowden discusses Jerry Lawler’s reaction to the appearance of his oldest son and Tony Williams on an outlaw show promoted in Memphis by Eddie “Snowman” Crawford, which also saw the debut of a certain punk manager from Germantown.

The KFR host also explains why Brian was the most naturally talented wrestler he’s ever seen—and why having too much on the natch may have helped lead to BC’s downfall. Bowden acknowledges Grand Master’s demons and mourns his wasted potential, but also recalls the ability and personality that made Brian Lawler one of a kind and truly unforgettable to those who really knew him.

Visit the NEW Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ online store at http://kentuckyfriedrasslin.bigcartel.com/

Follow Scott Bowden on Twitter @TravScottBowden and on Facebook @KentuckyFriedRasslin.

Follow Brian on Twitter at @GreatBrianLast.

Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ is a production of the Arcadian Vanguard Podcast Network

Episode 27: The House That Lawler Built

KFR host Scott Bowden reminisces about Monday night memories at the Mid-South Coliseum with Marvin Stockwell, co-founder of the Coliseum Coalition and Friends of the Fairgrounds. The two Memphians discuss everything that made the Roundhouse the entertainment capital of the Mid-South, including Memphis State Tiger basketball, legendary artists who performed at the arena, who flying-saucer shape provided out-of-this-world acoustics and, yes, the heritage of Memphis wrestling in the House That Lawler Built. Most important, Stockwell provides insight into how the grassroots campaigns of his two community-driven organizations  have helped save the Coliseum while revealing what the future may hold for the longtime legendary home of Memphis wrestling.

Bowden also kicks off his look at the 10 Most Memorable Memphis Wrestling Moments at the Mid-South by welcoming fellow podcaster Kris Zellner, who turns his eyyyeeeeeeeesss on the infamous Empty Arena Match between Jerry Lawler and Terry Funk.

Visit the NEW Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ online store at http://kentuckyfriedrasslin.bigcartel.com/

Follow Scott Bowden on Twitter @TravScottBowden and on Facebook @KentuckyFriedRasslin.

Follow Brian on Twitter at @GreatBrianLast.

Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ is a production of the Arcadian Vanguard Podcast Network

Episode 26: Baby, He’s A Superstar

On July 4, 1977, Jerry Lawler and Billl Dundee kicked off the greatest summer in Memphis wrestling’s history as he outfoxed Jerry Lawler in the main event at the Mid-South Coliseum, winning $2000 of the King’s coldhearted cash. 41 years later, Dundee joins KFR hosts Scott Bowden and the Great Brian Last® for an explosive interview.

The Superstar will discuss Dundee’s Memphis debut; why he and George Barnes got over so quickly in the territory and skyrocketed to tag-team main events; Billy’s reaction when Barnes told him he was heading back to Australia;, Dundee’s personal feelings on Jerry Lawler; why the scrappy Aussie and ex-wife Beverly agreed to the hair match stips in ’77; the popularity of Memphis wrestling around the world today; and the story of how a young punk from Germantown got his very first autograph of any kind from the Superstar on a black-and-white publicity photo back in 1978.

Visit the NEW Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ online store at http://kentuckyfriedrasslin.bigcartel.com/

Follow Scott Bowden on Twitter @TravScottBowden and on Facebook @KentuckyFriedRasslin.

Follow Brian on Twitter at @GreatBrianLast.

Kentucky Fried Rasslin’ is a production of the Arcadian Vanguard Podcast Network