#97 – Terry Funk v Jerry Lawler, Empty Arena Match, Spring 1981

This week we discuss this old school GEM of a match with Funk, Lawler, Lance Russell, and 13,000 empty chairs. Amazing stuff. Also, I’ve found like three different dates for this match, so we’re just going to say SPRING 1981! In the second half of the show new listeners or old-time lurkers can find out how they can win a free copy of the Atomic Elbow zine. Please support the podcast by visiting flairchop.com where you can buy our tremendous “mail-order wrestling gimmicks” t-shirt, posters, and the box set of our first 50 episodes. You can also get a free OSWP sticker by leaving a comment on the iTunes store.

This episode has been archived. It is available either by ordering the physical “OSWP Season 3 box set” with episodes 76-100 or it can be instantly downloaded in a digital version of the “OSWP Season 3 complete set” with episodes of 76-100. The physical box set will always be our favorite, as it comes with a full color booklet featuring art by our friend Dean Stahl and looks great on your bookshelf next to your coliseum home videos. The instant digital download version also comes with high resolution PDFs of the booklet that you can view on your computer. Both the physical box set and the digital download come with two bonus episodes featuring our reviews of the Clash of the Champions 9 and the Royal Rumble 1988. These episodes have never been available on flairchop.com. But if you only want to hear this one episode, we also offer the option of instantly downloading just the individual episode for a small price.

This episode has been archived in the Season 3 digital box set available for $9.99 at the OSWP Merch Store!


  1. Loved Dre’s Stone Cold impression. Nailed down all his vocal intricacies. I was thinking what would happen if Stone Cold & Joe Rogan had a “supplement ad cage match?”

    Re: Akeem from last episode one of the local college stations (KFJC) had a DJ named Akeem in the late 90s/early 2000s. I heard the following exchange several times:

    DJ #1 “And at 10pm – Akeem”
    DJ #2: “…the African Dream?!”
    DJ #1: “Huh…?”

    Also, I have both “The Wrestling Album I” and “II: Piledriver” on vinyl and have played “Grab them Cakes” and bits of “Jive Soul Bro” on the radio multiple times.

  2. SlingshotSuplex says:

    Fritz popularized the claw. Because he was so successful as a German heel, many other Germans adopted the move, including Baron & Krupp. Some heels going into Texas to face Fritz after his turn might use the claw, or a stomach claw, to get heat.

  3. Frankie S. says:

    Im Waiting for the Dre V. Black Cat Empty Arena match when Dre gets Fed up with BC for not letting them review the Mankind/Rock Empty Arena match!

  4. Oh my goodness, I thought the beginning of the podcast with Stone Cold was good. The 15 minute gem at the end of the episode was fantastic. You guys should release just that Stone Cold phone call as a mini bonus non numbered podcast. I feel bad for Dre that Black Cat just did the interview without him after Dre got dropped. Apparently podcasting is “every man for himself”.

    As for the wrestling programs discussed during the middle section of the podcast, I have a couple from when I used to go to a little WWF summer show near my house when I was a kid. My first wrestling memory is seeing The Texas Tornado vs Ted DiBiase and being sad when DiBiase lost. And, yes, one of the programs does have the young Chest Protector’s chicken scratch depicting the match results. I will find it this weekend, and post my expert wrestling analysis contained within these match listings. It will also give a key insight into what stars were on these “B” house shows.

    I remember seeing a street fight between Mankind and Undertaker one year, and that was about as big as it gets. I think the next biggest main event was Razor Ramon vs King Mabel. The weirdest matches I saw were Owen Hart vs Hunter Hearst Helmsely (both were heels, but Owen worked as a total babyface), and Bob Backlund vs Typhoon. Talk about a mismatch. That is the real life representation of how I would imagine a match between oil and water would look.

    As for the empty arena match itself, I had never heard of this match before. I’ll have to check it out, purely for the Terry Funk ramblings of a madman that you guys described.


  5. Dogfaced Kremlin says:

    A fantastic episode!

    I was busting up laughing at “Stone Cold”‘s visit to Flair Chop Manor! One question, though: If Lance Russell was out of the cage, holding the mic for you guys, why didn’t you ask him some of your questions? He. Was. Right. There!

  6. I found my 1996 wrestling program, complete with notes for all the matches. I even did the “Ranking System”, where you rank each wrestler from 1-6 in 8 different categories. The essential ranking categories? Strategy, Aerial Skills, Technical Skills, Strength, Agility, Ring Presence, Psychology, and Sportsmanship. I’ll tweet out a picture today, but the top guys were Owen Hart and Bob Holly (I believe this was Spark Plug Holly), and the worst was Goldust.

    Bob Holly pinned Justin Hawk Bradshaw with a small package. Owen Hart pinned Hunter Hearst-Helmsley with a Reverse Inside Cradle (yes, 13 year old me wrote that as the finish). Savio Vega beat Goldust in a Caribbean Strap Match. Steve Austin beat Aldo Montoya (w/ Jake Roberts in his corner – I think Aldo was subbing for an injured Jake) with the Stunner. Psycho Sid pinned Vader with a chokeslam. British Bulldog pinned Marc Mero with his feet on the ropes. The Godwinns beat The Smokin’ Gunns by DQ in what I believe was a tag title match. And Undertaker pinned Mankind in a No Holds Barred match.

  7. Now I really wanna hear Steve Austin’s podcast with Terry Funk, if anything but to hopefully hear him say “tremendously” over and over.

    How is it that the first time Stone Cold came on the podcast, he sounded so-so, but the second time he sounded spot on?

  8. Drappstar says:

    Seriously, I am cracking up at every “tremendously!” That and Stone Cold’s laugh. http://Www.fishoil.com hahaha

  9. Tornado Supreme says:

    I’m varying degrees of impressed with Dre’s impersonations, but Podcast Austin was, hands down, his best work to date. I give it nine hells out of yeah.

    As far as the Iron Claw goes, it seemed to be just as popular with Southern wrestlers as it did with Germans. If you go by Fritz’ legit heritage, you have him and his boys. Black Jack Mulligan and Barry Windham used the claw as well, along with Danny Hodge.

    Being neither German nor from the South, I buck the claw trend by applying it to my cat when she’s sitting there staring at me meowing for absolutely no reason. It’s effective in that it surprises her and makes her forget what she was crying about, which was nothing. I then release the deadly hold and run around the room yelling “Deutschland uber alles! Yee-haw!” in tribute to the two groups who made this hold famous.

  10. I just found that the Jerry Lawler museum is moving from Memphis to Tunica, Mississippi. In other King-related news, he gave “Man of Steel” “2.5 out of 5 piledrivers”.


  11. Butt Douglas says:

    I didn’t know jack squat about mortgage rates. Thanks Steve!

  12. Vicious says:


  13. TheDo says:

    Why am I commenting under an episode of 2013? Because the Black Cat made a shout-out in this one to the year 2019 while promoting there little give-away-challenge about a magazine of the Atomic Elbow for a review on iTunes. He’s stated, that people from 2019 should not participate anymore – I found that funny.

    Another topic brought me here: You talked about a Wrestler, Karl Krupp, and the tendency of german-based gimmicks to take the Iron Claw as a finisher. I have two little comments on that:
    – “Killer” Karl Krupp is from the Netherlands. When he was a child (he was born 1934), Nazi-Germany occupied his home-country. His gimmick and his strong mannerisms were there to mock the Nazis, because, in fact, he hated them (good boy). His last name was taken by the company Krupp (today ThyssenKrupp), based in the heavy industry and know for their “Kruppstahl”. Hitler stated about the Germans, that they would be “zäh wie Leder, flink wie ein Windhund und hart wie Kruppstahl” – translated: tough as leather, fast as a greyhound and hard as Krupp steel. Especially the last part became something like a saying in Germany. So – he is named after a steel company. In my opinion, this makes the IRON Claw so much more fitting and probably that’s why “german” wrestlers took this move.

    If you look up Killer Karl Krupp on Youtube, you can find a great segment of him making a promo on Jerry Lawler and a little bit of their match.