Can you answer these 22 trivia questions?


For decades, professional wrestling has had much of Memphis in a headlock. A stranglehold. An eternal loop of a suplex in which we are flipped to the canvas, over and over and over. The referee must be otherwise occupied because he never calls an end to the action. Would you have it any other way?

Wrestling may not be “real,” but it sure is authentic. This quiz, however, is definitely contrived — contrived to supply a modicum of amusement, even to those who don’t know Jerry Lawler from Jerry Lewis or Sputnik Monroe from the Sputnik satellite.

Inspired by the recent presence of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in our city and the ongoing production here of Season 3 of his semi-autobiographical NBC comedy series, “Young Rock,” this quiz is like the other Memphis-centric — Memphicentric — quizzes we’ve published over the past couple years. It’s multiple choice, with the answers at the bottom; 22 questions because the year is 2022. If you’re old enough, you might want to imagine Dave Brown or the late Lance Russell reading the questions.

Showing off his guns in the tropical sun: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

So, let’s ring that bell and begin.

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The questions

1. Roscoe M. Brumbaugh was better known to the world as:

a) Sputnik Monroe.

b) Gorgeous George Jr.

c) Rocky Johnson.

d) Reggie B. Fine.

Sputnik Monroe, whose wrestling career in Memphis stretched from the late '50s to the early '80s, was so popular among Memphis boys that many of them used peroxide to dye white streaks in their hair to match the one on their hero's forehead. The streak itself was said to have been caused by an injury during an early '50s match in Chicago, when Monroe was hit in the head with a chair.

2. In 1960, Sputnik Monroe was arrested at Beale and Hernando on a disorderly conduct charge, and ultimately fined $25. Based on a report in The Commercial Appeal, what was Monroe’s crime, according to the arresting officer?

a) “He demonstrated wrestling holds on customers without permission.”

b) “Suspect stood on table-top and performed ‘strip-tease.'”

c) “Suspect ordered ‘drinks for the house’ but had only $7 in pocket.”

d) “He was drinking in a negro cafe with negros.”

3. Fill in the blank: In the jargon of the heroes-vs.-villains world of professional wrestling, a bad guy is a “heel” while a good guy is a _______.

a) “Prince Charming.”

b) “Babyface.”

c) “White knight.”

d) “Heartthrob.”

Mqy 23, 2015 - (left) Jerry 'The King' Lawler headlines the Roundhouse Revival event on Saturday with a wrestling match against the Coliseum Crushers to raise support and awareness of the Mid-South Coliseum. During the arena's heyday, Monday nights in Memphis were known for professional wrestling matches at Coliseum.

4. After many years at the Auditorium in Downtown Memphis, professional wrestling made its debut at the Mid-South Coliseum on June 7, 1971, where it would be a regular event for the next 20 years. A crowd of 9,523 — more than double the Auditorium’s capacity — showed up that night to witness the grappling of such stalwarts of the squared circle as Sputnik Monroe, Len Rossi, Tojo Yamamoto, Jackie and Roughhouse Fargo, Darling Dagmar, Bearcat Brown and The Fabulous Moolah, to name a few. Not everyone was pleased. Interviewed by The Commercial Appeal, a fan identified as “Mrs. Lillie Butler” complained: “They won’t let me stand up” and “I can’t see a thing.” She also registered this objection:

a) “The Coke is flat.”

b) “The place is drafty.”

c) “I can’t hear the grunts.”

d) “The policemen are mean.”

Their feud living on in memory and via deteriorated TV clips, Lance Russell and Jerry Lawler were the Howard Cosell and Muhammad Ali of Memphis sports.

5. Fill in the blank: A 1976 story in the Memphis Press-Scimitar reported that “Studio Wrestling” was a “ratings bonanza” that reached “about 287,000 viewers” during its live Saturday broadcasts, from 11 a.m. to  12:30 p.m. on WHBQ-TV Channel 13. “It’s a smash for us,” said co-host and Channel 13 program director Lance Russell. At the same time, according to the story, about 7,000 fans showed up each Monday night for wrestling at the Mid-South Coliseum. Said Russell, comparing the popularity of wrestling to that of a recent concert: “I’m sure the ______ people shook their heads when they sat there with 2,000 people and the next night wrestling draws 7,000.”

a) David Bowie

b) Tanya Tucker


d) Foghat

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