Pro Wrestling: A Tribute to Tennessee Legends Jerry Lawler and Jeff Jarrett

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Pro Wrestling: A Tribute to Tennessee Legends Jerry Lawler and Jeff Jarrett

Once upon a time, little baby Jeff Awesome was watching the United States Wrestling Association in a hospital bed in Memphis, Tennessee.

I was literally born watching USWA action.  

In the USWA, there were two men who stood out. As a baby, my dad told me about these two men.

Jeff Jarrett and Jerry Lawler made me a wrestling fan at birth. 

Jeff Jarrett's father, Jerry, happened to be the owner of USWA. 

I evolved as a young wrestling fan in the 1990s. I grew up as a hardcore WCW fan. I didn't watch WWE because I was not allowed to watch it for obvious reasons.

In WCW, my favorite thing was undoubtedly the nWo Wolfpac. 

I stopped watching wrestling as I got older. Perhaps this was the reason for it. 

It took a tag team match on Smackdown in 2008 of MVP and Matt Hardy vs. Deuce and Domino to rekindle my interest in professional wrestling. 

Eventually, I once again encountered my original favorites, Jeff Jarrett and Jerry Lawler. 

Jeff Jarrett and Jerry Lawler are two of my favorite wrestlers of all time, along with Edge and Rock.

I owe it to Lawler and Jarrett to write a special tribute to them. 

 

Jerry Lawler

Jerry Lawler is undoubetdly the king of Memphis wrestling.

Lawler captured the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship 28 times. 

In total, Lawler has captured 164 championships throughout his illustrious career. Think about that for a second.

164 total championships. 

He has also won six Pro Wrestling Illustrated awards. 

 

Jerry Lawler's feuds

Lawler's feuds with the likes of Bret Hart and Andy Kaufman were excellent. He made the fans actually think he hated Kaufman and Hart. 

Pro Wrestling Illustrated rated his feud with Bret Hart in 1993 as the feud of the year.

In 1992, PWI rated Lawler's and Jeff Jarrett's feud with the Moondogs as the feud of the year. PWI ranked it over the excellent Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage feud in the WWF. 

But Lawler's most famous feud is certainly with deceased comedian Andy Kaufman. 

Lawler and Kaufman appeared on David Letterman back in the 1980s. Lawler slapped the taste out of Kaufman's mouth towards the end of the segment. 

People to this day believe it was an actual feud.

Lawler's and Kaufman's masterful acting skills allowed them to blur the line between kayfabe and reality. 

It set a precedent to feuds between wrestlers and non-wrestlers. The feud's overwhelming success laid the foundation for mainstream celebrities such as Mr. T, Mike Tyson and countless other celebrities to appear on WWE TV.

Lawler then went on to have a great feud with Bret Hart.

Lawler made an excellent joke on Bret Hart's mother. "Helen Hart is so old, she has an autographed copy of the Bible!" 

 

Jerry Lawler's mic skills

At SummerSlam in 1993, Lawler and Hart square off in a war of words.  Lawler cuts another great promo about the Hitman. 

The feud finally ended in a Kiss My Foot match at King of the Ring in 1995, in which Hart won. 

What was Jerry Lawler's best feud?

Submit Vote vote to see results
Still not convinced Lawler had great feuds? 

His feud with ECW, dubbed "Extremely Crappy Wrestling" by Lawler, was an inter-promotional feud.

In reality, Vince McMahon was aiding ECW financially to stay afloat. 

Lawler practically made ECW fans riot with his great heel promos and his ability to work the crowd. 

Lawler trashes ECW in this promo.  He then disparages his opponent Tommy Dreamer. 

His legendary mic skills as a heel can be displayed in feuds with Goldust (GLAAD would not approve), Tommy Dreamer and ECW

Jerry Lawler is one of the greatest mic workers in history. 

 

Jerry Lawler's in-ring abilities

His in-ring skills were synonymous with the identity of his hometown of Memphis. He is a tough brawler with plenty of tricks up his sleeve. 

Jerry Lawler and Tommy Dreamer had a great hardcore match (part 1 and 2) at an ECW pay-per-view, Hardcore Heaven.

He has had stellar matches with Bret Hart, Ric Flair (part 1 and 2) and Tazz.   

Even in his 60s, he has had solid matches with the likes of Miz (part 1 and 2) and Jack Swagger. 

Not to mention the five star matches he has had with Michael Cole. I hope you took that last sentence as sarcasm. If you didn't, stop reading this article now. 

His signature moves are violent. 

The fireball was his signature trick back in his Memphis days. The piledriver and the fist drop are his finishers. 

But there is one thing Lawler is most famous for...

 

Jerry Lawler's commentary skills

For everyone who runs their mouth about how bad face Lawler is, you are absolutely right.

Compared to heel Lawler in his prime, face Lawler couldn't hold a candle to the greatness known as the heel King.

Heel Lawler was simply incredible as a color commentator. His chemistry with Jim Ross created the greatest broadcast team ever. 

In this video, you will find Jerry Lawler's uncanny ability to make a funny situation even more hilarious. 

In the Brian Christopher vs. Taka Michinoku match, Jerry Lawler is simply entertaining. He stole the show in that match. 

Here's part 1 and 2 of that highly underrated match. 

Face Lawler was a notch below Heel Lawler. Nevertheless, the fan favorite version of Lawler is still a tremendous color commentator. 

Face Lawler owned Vickie Guerrero in the 2010 Slammys.

Lawler owned Michael Cole several times in the midst of their feud. Cole had to resort to personal attacks just to have a chance. 

 

Epilogue to the tribute to The King

The King's accomplishments in the professional wrestling industry are beyond words. 

But Jerry Lawler isn't just a wrestler. Lawler is also a musician, artist, actor and politician. 

He released two music singles in the late 1970s.

Lawler's artistic ability landed him his first job in the wrestling business. He painted the cover of a wrestling comic book, Headlocked, in 2007. 

He appeared in Man of the Moon along with Jim Carrey.

He even ran for mayor of Memphis twice, in 1999 and 2009. As R-Truth would say, it was a conspiracy Lawler didn't become mayor. 

But he is no mere mayor. He is a king. 

Jerry "The King" Lawler is the greatest color commentator in professional wrestling history. No questions asked. 

 

Jeff Jarrett

Listen to this song while reading the Jeff Jarrett tribute.  

Call me crazy, but Jeff Jarrett is the most underrated wrestler in pro wresting history. 

He not only puts on stellar matches but also is one of the best talkers in the business. He has an innate ability to draw heel heat. 

He has won 70 championships, the most recent being the AAA World Heavyweight Championship. 

Jarrett, even in his 40s, has put on high-quality matches with the likes of Kurt Angle, AJ Styles and Samoa Joe. 

Sadly, Jeff Jarrett was abused and misused in the WWE.

He was a main event talent jobbing to the likes of Chyna in his last match in the company. Jim Ross was sorely mistaken when he said Jarrett wouldn't amount to anything. 

Vince McMahon announced on that fateful day in 2001 when he purchased WCW that Jeff Jarrett was not going to be kept.

McMahon and Jarrett had a contract dispute stemming from his last match in the WWF against Chyna at No Mercy in 1999. 

Jarrett signed with WCW while it was on the decline. There was no way anyone was going to resurrect the sinking ship caused by corporate politics. 

Nevertheless, he gave it his best shot to be the face of a company in decline. It is not his fault that WCW declined. 

Jarrett and his father Jerry Jarrett founded TNA in 2002. Dixie Carter and Panda Energy bought a controlling stake of TNA because of WWE's monopoly over the industry. 

 

Jeff Jarrett's mic skills

Jeff Jarrett took advantage of his position to make himself the top heel of the company. Jarrett's great mic skills made him a great heel.

Here was a promo from 1992 in his WWF days. Please forgive me for having to listen to country music. 

Just listen to this shoot by Jarrett on WCW and Eric Bischoff in 1997. 

Here was his promo after he lost to Sting at Bound for Glory. 

Those mic skills were in full display with an epic war of words with Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle going at it. This started one of the best feuds in recent memory. 

Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle have a contract signing.  They finally end their talking part of the feud in another war of words.

Jeff Jarrett's best attribute was undoubtedly those great mic skills. 

 

Jeff Jarrett's in-ring ability

Just look at these matches against Kurt Angle to prove my point. Against All Odds, Lockdown and Slammiversary saw incredible battles. It all ended with a great parking lot brawl.

Still not convinced?

Watch his match with Owen Hart in 1998. Watch his match with AJ Styles at Hard Justice in 2005. 

What was Jeff Jarrett's biggest strength?

Submit Vote vote to see results
Now are you convinced? 

If you are not convinced, then he will hit you with a guitar! 

 

Jeff Jarrett's feuds

Jeff Jarrett is masterful at creating feuds.

Don't believe me? Two words: Kurt Angle. 

I would be sorely disappointed if the Jeff Jarrett vs. Kurt Angle feud isn't nominated by PWI as one of the top feuds of the year. 

He has also had great feuds with the likes of Sting, Ric Flair and Samoa Joe. 

 

Epilogue to the tribute to the King of the Mountain

Jeff Jarrett founded the second largest wrestling promotion in the world.

Jarrett is one of the best heels today. He manages to get genuine heel heat when his entrance music hits. 

Not too many heels can draw more heat than he can. 

 

Conclusion

That was my tribute to Jerry "The King" Lawler and Jeff Jarrett. 

I hope you enjoyed it. 

If you did, become a fan and follow me on twitter @jeffawesome1. 

If you didn't, Jerry Lawler just slapped the taste out of your mouth and Jeff Jarrett hit you with a guitar shot to the head.  

Thanks for reading! 

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