Throwback Thursday: Handsome Jimmy’s on the way

Handsome Jimmy Valiant

Many professional wrestlers who pass through Memphis, TN enjoy their experience so much they come back for more.  Guys like KoKo B. Ware, Bill Dundee, Downtown Bruno, Austin Idol, Tommy Rich, The Gilberts – the list goes on and on.  Many great performers had several different stints inside the ropes at Memphis Wrestling.

With that being said, none were more successful than “Handsome” Jimmy Valiant.

The current WWE Hall of Famer debuted in Memphis during the late 1970’s.  Valiant was a big star in the World Wide Wrestling Federation, which was ran by Vince McMahon Sr.  He not only held Championship gold in WWWF but he also caputered the American Wrestling Association (AWA) Southern Heavyweight Championship, as well.

No matter how hot Valiant got, he always came back to Memphis.

This week’s Throwback Thursday is a childhood memory that I’ll never forget.  Good, bad or indifferent – you always knew when “The Boogie Woogie Man” was “rollin’ into Mempho”… and here’s how:

As a young wrestling fan growing up in Memphis, I’ll always remember Jimmy Valiant’s music video teasing his return to the Mid-South.  Valiant made his way to Memphis to do battle with the likes of Jerry Lawler and Bill Dundee.  Not only was he successful in many of those battles, but he’s a former USWA Southern Heavyweight Champion and a two-time USWA World Heavyweight Champion.

“Handsome” Jimmy has had a career that may never be duplicated.  He’s arguably one of the greatest wrestlers in Memphis Wrestling history.  He was a major player in the Memphis territory in the 70’s, 80’s and even in the 90’s.  Valiant has even made special appearances in the 2000’s.  His wrestling career has span over 50 years!  Many of those years, he spent entertaining the fans of Memphis, TN.

Fun Facts:  “Handsome” Jimmy Valiant is still very active in professional wrestling.  He retired from in-ring competition in 2005 but makes appearances on the independent wrestling scene and runs Boogie’s Wrestling School.  “The Boogie Woogie Man” recently made an appearance in Newbern, TN at Live Allstar Wrestling.


“Throwback Thursday” is a weekly Memphis Wrestling post at

Dustin Starr is an active sports entertainer and regular contributor to MemphiSport and MSL. Follow him @DustinStarr.


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