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 - Tim Dills

1977

The partnership between Nick Gulas and Jerry Jarrett was on shaky ground as the year started. Crowds were still pretty strong but Gulas was insisting that his son, George, be used more prominently by Jarrett, the booker. The uneasy truce between both sides would fall apart by mid-March. The area was still enthralled at the actions of Jerry Lawler and Jackie Fargo. Both men would have big years in 1977. Changes in the promoting structure during the year in the area would see a lot of different faces pass through the area.

Splitsville

During the early part of the year it seemed to be business as usual in the territory. Likely though there was some ongoing power struggles. Booker Jerry Jarrett continued to not use George Gulas on the more profitable western end of the territory. Things moved along until the winds of March, winds full of change, blew into the area.

The March 14 Memphis card was headlined by a Southern tag title tournament featuring such teams as the reunited combination of Jim White & Jerry Lawler, George Wagner & Tommy Rich, Phil Hickerson & Dennis Condrey, Rocky Johnson & Bill Dundee and others. The card drew 6300 fans. This was the last Memphis card promoted by Nick Gulas and Jerry Jarrett together under the Gulas-Welch promotional banner.

The following week WMC-TV, the station which had first shown TV wrestling in Memphis dating back to 1949, began airing a Jarrett-promoted show with local TV personalities Clay Conrad and Bob Young as hosts. WMAQ-TV had been the home of studio wrestling in Memphis since 1958. Until the 1977 split the TV show was hosted by Lance Russell and, in 1966, the promotion added Dave Brown to the show.

Despite the TV changes Jarrett didnít miss a beat in 1977 as he promoted a card at the Cook Convention Center on Sunday March 20 headlined with Jerry Lawler battling Bob Armstrong. On the undercard were such favorites as Bill Dundee, Phil Hickerson & Dennis Condrey and others. Also making the show were Knoxville area regulars Ron and Robert Fuller and Kurt and Karl Von Steiger.  More...

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