Southern Junior/Heavyweight Title



Note: From 1970 to 1974 there was a Southern Junior Heavyweight Title and a U.S. Junior Heavyweight Title defended in the territory. There are records of both titles being defended on the same card so it's not just a matter of different names in different cities. However, many title histories mix up the lineage. I've used Memphis newspaper clippings, Chattanooga results from the Wrestling Archive Project, and Wrestling Title Histories to try to straighten it out. Additionally, the title lineage was often slightly different in various areas of the territory (especially Chattanooga) and many title changes were repeated in multiple cities (which are not listed unless the repeated change was in Memphis). This listing assumes that starting in 1974 the Memphis branch is the main title lineage. Any title changes that are known to contradict the Memphis lineage are footnoted. Those from other cities that don't contradict the Memphis lineage are listed as title changes.

1952/04/19Henry HarrellJackson, MS
Beat Tex Riley in tournament final
1952/07Herb WelchKnoxville, TN
1952/08/28Al GalentoChattanooga, TN
1952/10/29Tex RileyKingsport, TN
1953/01/06Red RobertsCape Girardeau, MO
1954/03/17Ray PiretNashville, TN
1955/02/21Sonny MyersBirmingham, AL
1955/07/25Frank JaresBirmingham, AL
1956/05/22The Masked Bat (Bob O’Shocker)Nashville, TN
1956/05/29Frank Jares [2]Nashville, TN
1956/07/24Jesse James [2]Nashville, TN
One report shows the title being vacant after Jares
Then James won a tournament final over Herb Welch in Birmingham, AL
1956/08/07Frank Jares [3]Nashville, TN
1956/08/27Herb Welch [2]Birmingham, AL
1956/09/19The Great Malenko (Frank Fozo)Mobile, AL
This title reign was not recognized outside of Mobile
1956/10/16Herb Welch [3]Mobile, AL
1957/02/25Tor YamatoBirmingham, AL
Held-up 1957/04/05 vs. Lee Fields in Florence, AL
Beat Fields 1957/04/12 in Florence, AL
1957/06/17Cyclone AnayaBirmingham, AL
1957/08/21Mario GalentoMobile, AL
1957/09VACANT
Galento does not defend title
1957/09Cyclone Anaya [2]
Awarded
1957/10/01Tor Yamato [2]Nashville, TN
1957/11/11Ray StevensBirmingham, AL
1958/01/20Tor Yamato [3]Birmingham, AL
One report has Herb Welch winning the title 1958/03/17 in Memphis, TN
Held-up 1958/03/18 vs. Freddie Blassie in Nashville, TN
Yamato won rematch 1958/03/25 in Nashville, TN
1958/04/08Freddie BlassieNashville, TN
1958/05/12Ray Stevens [2]Birmingham, AL
Yamato beat Blassie for title 1958/05/13 in Nashville, TN but Stevens is billed as champ two weeks later
Held-up 1958/06/17 vs. Tor Yamato in Nashville, TN
Stevens won rematch 1958/06/24 in Nashville, TN
1958/07/22Corsica JeanNashville, TN
1958/09/22Ray Stevens [3]Birmingham, AL
1958/10VACANT
Stevens leaves territory
1958/10Chris Zaharias
1958/10/27Yvon RobertBirmingham, AL
1958/11/17Tor Yamato [4]Birmingham, AL
One report has Gorgeous George winning the title 1958/11 in Birmingham, AL
1958/12<Yvon Robert [2]Birmingham, AL
1959/01/12Jesse James [2]Birmingham, AL
1959/09/30Jackie FargoMobile, AL
Or 1959/10/12 in Mobile, AL
1959/12/28Mike ClancyBirmingham, AL
1960/12/22Bill Monroe (Bill Fletcher)Chattanooga, TN
1960/12/27Len RossiNashville, TN
1961/07/22Don GreeneChattanooga, TN
1962/01/08Len Rossi [2]Memphis, TN
1962Don Greene [2]
1962/02/17Taro SakuraChattanooga, TN
1962/06/07Joe LanzaChattanooga, TN
[...]
1962/08<Jackie Fargo [2]
[...]
1962/09<Hans Steiner
[...]
1963/05<Len Rossi [3]
1963/05Frankie CainMemphis, TN
1963/09<Johnny Long
1964/01/22Sam SteamboatKingsport, TN
[...]
1964/09<Rocky Smith
Won tournament
[...]
1965/01<Alex Perez
1965/01Rocky Smith
1965/02/08Alex Perez [2]Memphis, TN
1965/03/22Rocky Smith [2]Memphis, TN
Held-up vs. Hiro Matsuda 1965/12/16 in Chattanooga, TN
Smith won rematch 1965/12/23 in Chattanooga, TN
1966/01/18Alex PerezNashville, TN
1966/04/06Al CostelloNashville, TN
1966/04/28Karl Von BraunerChattanooga, TN
1966/07/27Jackie Fargo [3]Nashville, TN
[...]
1967/04<Len Rossi [4]
1967/08/19The Great Yamaha (Kantaro Hoshino)Chattanooga, TN
1967/08/31Len Rossi [5]Chattanooga, TN
1968/09/19Tojo YamamotoChattanooga, TN
[...]
1969/05<Len Rossi [6]
1971/07/01Sputnik MonroeChattanooga, TN
1971/08/05Len Rossi [7]Chattanooga, TN
1971/09<Don Greene [2]
1971/10<Len Rossi [8]
1973VACANT
Rossi injured
[...]
1973/04<Steve Kovacs
1973/05/04Jerry LawlerChattanooga, TN
[...]
1973Tommy GilbertBirmingham, AL
1973Lou Thesz
1973Tommy Gilbert [2]
1973/12<Ronnie Garvin
1974/01Tommy Gilbert [3]Birmingham, AL
1974/03/18Lou Thesz [2]Memphis, TN
1974/04/01Tommy Gilbert [4]Nashville, TN
1974/04/15Jerry Lawler [2]Memphis, TN
1974/06/03Ricky GibsonMemphis, TN
1974/06/10Jerry Lawler [3]Memphis, TN
1974/06/24Jackie Fargo [4]Memphis, TN
1974/07/08Jerry Lawler [4]Memphis, TN
Jackie Fargo beat Jerry Lawler 1974/07/20 in Chattanooga, TN
Jerry Lawler beat Jackie Fargo 1974/07/27 in Chattanooga, TN
1974/08RENAMED SOUTHERN HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE
Robert Fuller beat Jerry Lawler 1974/10/23 in Nashville, TN
Jerry Lawler beat Robert Fuller 1974/10/30 in Nashville, TN
1974/12VACANT
1974/12/29Ron FullerMemphis, TN
Beat Tommy Gilbert in tournament final
Ron Wright wins title 1975/02/21 in Knoxville, TN
Fuller regains title 1975/02/28 in Knoxville, TN
1975/06/09The Mongolian StomperMemphis, TN
Held-up vs. Jerry Lawler 1975/07/14 in Memphis, TN
Stomper wins rematch 1975/07/21 in Memphis, TN
Held-up vs. Bob Armstrong 1975/08/31 in Louisville, KY
Stomper wins rematch 1975/09/07 in Louisville, KY
Held-up vs. Bob Armstrong 1975/09/09 in Memphis, TN
Armstrong won rematch
1975/09Bob Armstrong
Armstrong injured
1975/11VACANT
1975/12/15Jerry Lawler [5]Memphis, TN
Beat Ron Fuller in tournament final
Held-up vs. Ricky Gibson 1976/01
Lawler won rematch 1976/01/19 in Memphis, TN
1976/02/22Tommy RichMemphis, TN
1976/03/20Jerry Lawler [6]Memphis, TN
1976/08/09Jack BriscoMemphis, TN
1976/08/16Jerry Lawler [7]Memphis, TN
1976/09/14Tommy Rich [2]Memphis, TN
1976/10<Jerry Lawler [8]
1976/11/01Rocky JohnsonMemphis, TN
Held-up vs. Jerry Lawler
Lawler won rematch
1977/04/11Jerry Lawler [9]Memphis, TN
1977/04/28Bob Armstrong [3]Knoxville, TN
1977/05/01Jerry Lawler [10]Memphis, TN
1977/05/29Paul OrndorffMemphis, TN
1977/07/18Jerry Lawler [11]Memphis, TN
1977/07/25Bill DundeeMemphis, TN
1977/08/01Jerry Lawler [12]Memphis, TN
1977/08/22Bill Dundee [3]Memphis, TN
1977/08/29Jerry Lawler [13] Memphis, TN
1977/09/13VACANT Memphis, TN
Lawler briefly retired
1977/09/19Jimmy ValiantMemphis, TN
Beat Mr. Wrestling (Dick Steinborn) in tournament final
1977/10/10Jerry Lawler [14]Memphis, TN
1977/11/28Jimmy Valiant [2]Memphis, TN
1977/12/05Jerry Lawler [15]Memphis, TN
1978/08/07Jos LeDucMemphis, TN
1978/08/14Jerry Lawler [16] Memphis, TN
1978/08/28Jos LeDuc [2] Memphis, TN
1978/10<Jerry Lawler [17]
1978/11<Don Fargo
1978/11/20Tommy Gilbert [5]Memphis, TN
1978/11/27Don Fargo [2]Memphis, TN
1978/12/02Tommy Gilbert [6]Memphis, TN
1978/12/04Jerry Lawler [18]Memphis, TN
1978/12/25Austin IdolMemphis, TN
1979/01/15Ron Fuller [2]Memphis, TN
1979/02/12Toru TanakaMemphis, TN
Won via forfeit
Ron Fuller beat Toru Tanaka 1979/03/19 via forfeit in Memphis, TN
However, the title was returned to Tanaka
1979/03/31Buzz Sawyer Memphis, TN
Held-up vs. The Mongolian Stomper 1979/04/02
Stomper won rematch
1979/04The Mongolian Stomper [3]
1979/06/04Robert Fuller [2]Memphis, TN
1979/07Ron BassMemphis, TN
Allegedly won title in Bluefield, WV
1979/08/27Bill Dundee [4]Memphis, TN
Held-up vs. Ron Bass 1979/09/11 in Memphis, TN
Dundee won rematch 1979/09/17 in Memphis, TN
1979/09/24Jerry Lawler [19]Memphis, TN
1979/10/01Bill Dundee [5]Memphis, TN
1979/10/15Jerry Lawler [20]Memphis, TN
1979/11/22Jackie Fargo [5]Jackson, TN
1980/01/03Jimmy Valiant [3]Lexington, KY
1980/03Paul ElleringJackson, TN
1980/07/07Bill Dundee [6]Memphis, TN
1980/08/04VACANTMemphis, TN
Dundee won CWA World Title
1980/08/11Bill IrwinMemphis, TN
Beat Jimmy Valiant in tournament final
Held-up vs. Jimmy Valiant 1980/08/18 in Memphis, TN
Valiant won rematch
1980/08/25Jimmy Valiant [4]Memphis, TN
1980/09/01Tommy Rich [3]Memphis, TN
1980/09/09Jimmy Valiant [5]Memphis, TN
1980/09/27Tommy Rich [4]Memphis, TN
1980/11/29VACANTMemphis, TN
1981/01/17Jimmy Valiant [6]Memphis, TN
Beat Hector Guerrero in tournament final
1981/02/15Jerry Lawler [21]Memphis, TN
1981/06/22Jimmy HartMemphis, TN
1981/07/04Chick DonovanMemphis, TN
1981/07VACANT
Donovan stripped due to winning the title when Hart just laid down and let himself be pinned
1981/07/20Steve KeirnMemphis, TN
Beat Bugsy McGraw in tournament final
1981/08/16Dream MachineJackson, TN
1981/08/24Jerry Lawler [22]Memphis, TN
1981/09/07Dream Machine [2]Memphis, TN
1981/09/14Jimmy Valiant [7]Memphis, TN
1981/10/08Dream Machine [3]Lexington, KY
1981/10/26Dutch MantelMemphis, TN
1982/01/18Jerry Lawler [23]Memphis, TN
Held-up vs. Dutch Mantel 1982/02/07 in Memphis, TN
Mantel won rematch
1982/02/15Dutch Mantel [2]Memphis, TN
1982/03/01Jerry Lawler [24]Memphis, TN
1982/03/22Dutch Mantel [3]Memphis, TN
1982/03/29Jerry Lawler [25]Memphis, TN
1982/03/30Dutch Mantel [4]Louisville, KY
1982/03/31Jerry Lawler [26]Lexington, KY
1982/05Kendo Nagasaki
Allegedly beat Lawler 1982/05/08 in St. Petersburg, FL
1982/05/24Jerry Lawler [27]Memphis, TN
1982/06/07KimalaMemphis, TN
1982/08/09Jerry Lawler [28]Memphis, TN
1982/10/11Nick BockwinkelMemphis, TN
1982/11/08Jerry Lawler [29]Memphis, TN
1982/11/15Sabu (Cocoa Samoa)Memphis, TN
Sabu & Jimmy Hart beat Lawler in a handicap match
1982/11/29Terry TaylorMemphis, TN
1983/01/31Jacques Rougeau, Jr.Memphis, TN
1983/02/14Terry Taylor [2]Memphis, TN
1983/03/21Bill Dundee [7]Memphis, TN
1983/05/09Dutch Mantel [4]Memphis, TN
1983/05/16Bill Dundee [8]Memphis, TN
1983/05/23Dutch Mantel [5]Memphis, TN
1983/05Jerry Lawler [30]
1983/05/30Bill Dundee [9]Memphis, TN
1983/06/06Jerry Lawler [31]Memphis, TN
1983/06/13Man Mountain LinkMemphis, TN
1983/06/20Jerry Lawler [32]Memphis, TN
1983/09/03VACANTMemphis, TN
Lawler stripped due to not defending title within 30 days
1983/09/05Jerry Lawler [33]Memphis, TN
Beat Bill Dundee in tournament final
1983/09/12Jesse VenturaMemphis, TN
1983/10/03Jerry Lawler [34]Memphis, TN
1983/10/10Jesse Ventura [2]Memphis, TN
1983/11Jerry Lawler [35]
Allegedly beat Ventura in Chicago, IL
1984/04/23Humongous (Mike Stark)Memphis, TN
1984/05/21Jerry Lawler [36]Memphis, TN
1984/06/11Rick RudeMemphis, TN
1984/07/16Tommy Rich [5]Memphis, TN
1984/07/30King Kong BundyMemphis, TN
1984/11/12Jerry Lawler [37]Memphis, TN
Held-up vs. Eddie Gilbert 1985/01/28 in Memphis, TN
Gilbert won rematch
1985/02<Eddie Gilbert
1985/02/11Jerry Lawler [38]Memphis, TN
1985/03/17Randy SavageMemphis, TN
1985/05/07Jerry OskeLouisville, KY
1985/05/13Randy Savage [2]Memphis, TN
1985/06/03Jerry Lawler [39]Memphis, TN
1985/06/24Bota the Witch DoctorMemphis, TN
1985/07/29Jerry Lawler [40]Memphis, TN
1985/08/16Tarras BulbaSelmer, TN
1985/09/06Jerry Lawler [41]Martin, TN
1985/10/19Bill Dundee [10]Memphis, TN
1985/12/21Jerry Lawler [42]Memphis, TN
1985/12/30Bill Dundee [11]Memphis, TN
1986/04/07Jerry Lawler [43]Memphis, TN
1986/05/02Bill Dundee [12]Jackson, TN
1986/06/02Buddy LandelMemphis, TN
Held-up after the title win and later declared vacant
1986/06VACANT
1986/06/16Buddy Landel [2]Memphis, TN
Beat Flame in tournament final
1986/07VACANT
Landel leaves the promotion
1986/07/28Bam Bam BigelowMemphis, TN
Won battle royal
1986/09/08Jerry Lawler [44]Memphis, TN
1987/01/12VACANTMemphis, TN
Lawler injured
1987/02/03Austin Idol [2]Memphis, TN
Beat Soul Train Jones in tournament final
1987/04/20Jerry Lawler [45]Memphis, TN
1987/04/27Austin Idol [3]Memphis, TN
1987/06/08Jerry Lawler [46]Memphis, TN
1987/07/06Brickhouse BrownMemphis, TN
1987/07/13Jerry Lawler [47]Memphis, TN
1987/08/03Don BassMemphis, TN
1987/08Jerry Lawler [48]
1987/08/24Don Bass [2]Memphis, TN
1987/08/31Jerry Lawler [49]Memphis, TN
1987/10VACANT
Vacated after winning AWA Tag Title
1987/10/20Bobby JaggersMemphis, TN
Beat Billy Travis in tournament final
1987/11/21Jerry Lawler [50]Memphis, TN
1987/12/07TITLE UNIFICATIONMemphis, TN
Unified with Mid-America Title and International Title to create CWA Title