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Joe Gagne






I haven't written anything for the Slash in a while, so I figured I'd rectify that situation. Besides, if I don't review goofy old Memphis wrestling, who will?

What follows are two United States Wrestling Association shows from early '95. To set the scene, Sid Vicious was on a tear as the Unified World Champion, but was being chased by Memphis staples Bill Dundee and Jerry "The King" Lawler. Also in the hunt was the Heavyweight Champ (which was actually the secondary belt) Brian Christopher. Christopher reached his greatest fame as Grandmaster Sexay in the WWF before getting turfed last year for drug offenses. He is also Jerry Lawler's kid, which they never hinted at on TV, even though it's painfully obvious to anyone with working eyes and ears.

USWA Wrestling, aired 1/28/95

  • Introduction

  • Your hosts are Dave Brown and Corey Maclin (Lance Russell has the day off). They run down today's card and hype the upcoming Marathon Match between Lawler, Dundee, and Christopher. The way it works is that Wrestlers A and B start the match and wrestle for 10 minutes. Then wrestlers A and C wrestle for 10 minutes, and finally combatants B and C wrestle for 10 minutes. Then we repeat. Whoever has the most pinfalls at the end of the hour is declared the #1 contender to the Vicious' Unified World Title.

    Now, is it just me, or do we need to see this in the WWF? Tweak the concept a little and say that each "mini-match" goes for 20 straight minutes. Imagine Rock, Austin, and Triple H in this kind of bout headlining a PPV, maybe to earn a shot at the World Title. I know it's a straight hour of wrestling, but I don't think the fans would be bored since a new man would enter the ring every 20 minutes. Someone get to work on this.

  • We see a video of Lawler, Dundee, and Christopher fighting each other with "Eye of the Tiger" playing in the background.

  • Manager/turd Big Business Brown makes his return. He lost a loser leaves town match a year ago, but his suspension is up, so he's back. He introduces his new charge, Gorgeous George III, who does the, uh, Gorgeous George gimmick.

  • Gorgeous George III vs. Tony "My Favorite Jobber" Williams: You probably know George better as the Maestro when he had a cup of tea in WCW, and man, he ain't in good shape here. You would think someone playing an effeminate gimmick like GG would be a cowardly heel, but George actually takes it to Tony, laying in some chops and forearms. George hits a nice backdrop suplex, then busts out the submissions, including a modified surfboard and a Crossface Chickenwing. Tony reverses a whip but misses a dropkick, allowing George to hit a Gourdbuster for the quick pin (2:25).

  • Dave talks to George, who extols his lineage and calls the audience peons. Here's a weird quote from Big Business with regards to George: "You want to talk about the Information Superhighway? You're looking at the Superhighway right there." The hell?

  • Scott Studd vs. Edric Hines: Stud is a Tom Zenk look-a-like. Picture Elix Skipper in camouflage pants and that's Hines. Hines manages to sneak in some closed fists on referee T.D. Steel. Then we get some comments from Studd on the inset, where he gives the most generic babyface comments imaginable (I'm excited to be here...USWA fans are great...competition here is fierce) before laying out a challenge to Gorgeous George III. Studd manages to catch Hines with an elbow, then works over the arm for the next few minutes, including a lengthy armbar. Stud then hits a powerslam and finishes Hines with a missile dropkick (3:14). Nice psychology there, Breakout.

  • Corey and Dave discuss the history of 2/3 fall matches, and then we see clips from a recent 2/3 fall match between Brian Christopher and champ Sid Vicious for the Unified World Title...

    Okay, we pick up the match in the second fall with Vicious up 1-0. Y'know, anywhere else on the planet this would be a squash for Sid, but since it's in Memphis it's a serious title match. El Sid whips Brian into the corner and goes for a cover, but Christopher gets his foot on the rope at 2. Sid thinks he won, and while he's arguing with the ref, Christopher rolls him up for the 3. That's asking a lot to believe Christopher could actually roll up Sid and hold his shoulders down for 3. Nonetheless, we're tied at one fall apiece.

    Fast forward to the third fall as Vicious and Christopher are brawling outside the ring. Sid gorilla presses Brian over his head and dumps him stomach first on the announce table. Bill Dundee then comes out and offers to take Christopher's place, since he's apparently too injured to continue. Brian takes umbrage at this proposal and shoves Dundee, but then gets blindsided by Sid. Zip to Christopher and Sid duking it out in the ring (which, given the size difference, looks eerily like child abuse). Sid tries a clothesline that takes out referee TD Steel. Christopher hits a sunset flip but there's no ref. Apparently the Spellbinder tries to run in (but the camera misses it), which distracts Christopher enough to allow Sid to hit a Side Slam. Sid covers, and Christopher gets his foot on the rope at 2, but Dundee knocks it off, giving Sid the win (3:03 shown).

  • Back in the studio, Christopher comes out for some comments. Brian says he just watched the tape for the first time, and wants to know why Dundee knocked his foot off the ropes. Out comes the Superstar (clad in a hideous looking brown suit), who's miffed that Brian refused his offer to take his place and denies pushing Brian's foot off the ropes. Brian pushes the issue, and Bill says he may have accidentally knocked the foot off. Bill quickly changes the subject and promises to whup Brian in the Marathon Match. Dundee makes reference to Lawler's shenanigans in the WWF, which brings out the King. Lawler reminds both men that he's wrestled 60-minute draws against the likes of Ric Flair, Harley Race, and Terry Funk. Dundee: "That means you didn't beat nobody." Dundee again makes derogatory references to Lawler's antics. Lawler says he does it for the money but he comes back every week, then makes mention of Dundee's run in WCW as William Regal's butler. Christopher lets both of them know that he never left the USWA, and while Lawler and Dundee have wrestled 60-minute matches, they've all been in the past. Dundee calls Christopher a punk and storms off. Christopher and Lawler both promise victory to end the segment. Really awesome interview.

  • "Too Sexy" Brian Christopher [c] vs. Jack Hammer (w/Diamond Mike) [USWA Heavyweight Title Match]: Jack's a Road Warrior clone, right down to his Mohawk and goofy shoulder pads. His manager's just an obese fellow in a Hawaiian shirt. Diamond Mike distracts Christopher, allowing Jack to jump him from behind. Jack pounds on the champ with some weak looking forearms, but misses a corner splash. Brian hits a dropkick and slams the big man. Jack bails to confer with his manager, so Brian takes them both out with a baseball slide. Back in the ring, Brian hits a sunset flip for two. Crowd chants "Superkick," and for a second I thought they were chanting "You suck dick," which wouldn't have been in character at all. Brian tries the afore mentioned kick, but Jack dodges and bails again. Brian gets distracted again by Diamond Mike (wotta dope) and attacked from behind by Hammer. Hammer goes back on the kick 'n punch offense, but misses a Vader Bomb. Brian hits the superkick, which given all the hype you'd think it was this devastating finisher, but it's only treated as a transitional move. Anyway, ref TD Steel gets bumped by an errant shoulderblock and Mike gets on the apron and holds Brian for a shot from Hammer. Can you guess what happens next? After Hammer wipes out his manager, Brian pulls a chain out of his tights (?) and conks Jack for the (tainted) win (4:35).

  • USWA Tag Champs Tommy Rich and Doug Gilbert talk trash about PG-13 and their upcoming "Boyz n' the Hood" match. Gilbert makes a crack about PG-13 trying to cook food stamps.

  • PG-13 vs. Billy Ray and Lee Hickerson: PG-13 is JC Ice and Wolfie D playing the "white guys from the hood" gimmick. The Hickersons are a pair of beefy fellows. Billy Ray has a really great mullet. Fat guys with mullets-welcome to Memphis wrestling. Everyone punches each other for a minute, then Wolfie D takes out both Hickersons with a double clothesline. Double bulldog finishes Lee at a merciful 1:30.

  • We see the "Eye of the Tiger" video from the top of the show to close us out.

    USWA Wrestling 2/4/95

  • Lance Russell and Dave run down the show. Today: a special look at the King, a USWA flashback, and a main event battle royal with $2500 going to the winner.

  • Gorgeous George III vs. T.D. Steel: Yup, TD takes off the zebra shirt to step in the ring. Pretty much the same match as last week, with George taking it to TD and slapping on some cool submissions (like a combo Scorpion Deathlock/Half-nelson and a Boston Crab while standing on TD's back). TD's rallies back with some punches (his only offense of the match), but George quickly halts the comeback with the Gourdbuster (dubbed the "Powderpuff") for the pin (2:38).

  • Weird moment as Lance and Dave talk about the Flashback, then Lance points off camera and says "Oh wait, you forgot something, ha ha. Thank you." Totally random.

  • Terry Taylor and Stagger Lee vs. Bobby Eaton and Ploughboy Frasier. This is from 1983. Stagger Lee (first misidentified as Sweet Brown Sugar by Lance and Dave) is Koko B. Ware under a mask. Ploughboy is a fat guy. Taylor manages a Fivearm on Eaton and makes the hot tag to Stagger. Lee comes in and cleans house but soon gets caught in the corner by Eaton. Ploughboy tries a corner charge but accidentally collides with Eaton. Stagger drops a fist on Ploughboy and covers for the pin (0:53 shown). That was...abrupt.

  • Remember that Marathon Match we discussed last week? Jerry Lawler ended up winning in controversial fashion (yeah, go figure). Dundee apparently interfered on Lalwer's behalf, which allowed him to take the lead in falls. And here come "Too Sexy" right now. Christopher says that he enjoyed watching Lawler and Dundee fight, since it reminded him of his favorite movie: Jurassic Park. Brian calls out Dundee to get some answers. Dundee comes out and Brian asks him point blank why he cost him the match. Dundee accuses Brian of being a baby, so Brian asks him again. Dundee flips out and screams "You can't handle the truth, boy!" Dundee rants about he and Lawler being around Memphis forever. "And we been in the shower more than you've been in the ring, and you don't want to hear the rest." I certainly don't. Anyway, apparently Dundee thinks Christopher ain't in their league. Christopher accuses Dundee of being jealous. Dundee promises to take Christopher's belt and storms off. Christopher retorts that it'll be a handicap match: Brian and Arthur vs. Dundee. Who's Arthur? Arthur Ritis, that's who.

  • "Too Sexy" Brian Christopher vs. Edric Hines: Brian's still pretty miffed about that last interview, so he jumps Hines before the bell and beats the Pop Tarts off of him (tm Phil Scheider). Brian pulls out a nice slingshot Suplex, which you just don't see enough of anymore. Superkick and Tennessee Jam end Edric's day (1:59).

  • We see a special video on Jerry "The King" Lawler. According to the narrator, Lawler created the first music videos ever shown in wrestling (seems like a dubious claim, but I'll take his word for it) We see clips of Lawler wrestling Jack Brisco, Dory Funk Jr., Harley Race, Dream Machine, Paul Ellering, "Crusher" Blackwell, Hulk Hogan, Terry Funk, Andy Kaufman, Nick Bockwinkle, Ken Patera, Iron Sheik, Jimmy Hart, Kimala, King Kong Bundy, Rick Rude, Bruiser Brody, Randy Savage, Jesse Ventura, Tommy Rich, The Great Kabuki, Bam Bam Bigelow, Kerry Von Erich, Austin Idol, and Curt Hennig. Next we see Jerry visiting a kindergarten (please, no date jokes) and clips from a variety show he hosted. Now we see Jerry pinning Curt Hennig in Memphis to win the AWA World Title, and the place goes completely apeshit. No kidding, I got the chills. Lawler also won the World Class belt from Kerry Von Erich, being the only man to hold two World titles at the same time, unifying them to become the USWA Unified World Title (another dubious statement for reasons too convoluted to get into here). Anyway, we wrap up with some more clips set to "My Way." Great video package, it gave me a whole new respect for the King. At least until he opens his mouth on Raw.

  • Tag champs Tommy Rich and Doug Gilbert come out to gab. Dave Brown brings up the fact that PG-13 have beaten them three straight times in non-title matches. Rich blows off those losses and promises to put an end to the PG-13 problem real soon. Speak of the devils...

  • PG-13 vs. Knuckles Nelson and The Shadow: Hey, I know Knuckles-he used to wrestle for NWA New England a few years back. The Shadow's some guy in a mask and black bodysuit. Man, it's mullets on parade here. Hell, Shadow may have one too for all I know. Nelson starts for his team and soon finds himself double-teamed, as Wolfe and Ice take turns working over the leg. Nelson pokes Wolfie in the eye and hits a spinning back kick before tagging out. The Shadow comes in and lays in some kicks, but Wolfie fires back with punches and tags out. PG-13 go for their double bulldog-pretty simple move, right? Except the Shadow turns around before they hit the move, so PG-13 have to improvise a faceplant kind of move. It just looked awful. Anyway Ice and Wolfie hit a side Suplex/second rope elbow drop combo, the stomp on Shadow for good measure before going for the double one-footed pin. (3:08). Who knows how to badly blow a spot? The Shadow knows...

  • PG-13 come over for some comments, only to get jumped by Rich and Gilbert. Ice gets handcuffed to the ring ropes while Wolfie gets ink sprayed in his eyes. Bill Dundee, Scott Studd, and TD Steel make the save, then escort Wolfie to the parking lot where he supposedly leaves for the hospital. Classic Memphis here.

  • Big Business Brown regales us with the tale of how he met his new tag team of Big Daddy Cyrus and Crusher Bones in a truckstop. They're bikers, doncha know. Cyrus namedrops some current USWA stars and wonders who they are. This brings out Sid Vicious, who invites them into the "devil's den" anytime they want, then leaves. I don't think this went anywhere.

  • $2500 Battle Royal: Let's see, there's Brian Christopher, Bill Dundee, Doug Gilbert, Tommy Rich, Scott Studd, Gorgeous George III, Ken Raper, Knuckles Nelson, Edric Hines, Spellbinder, Reggie B. Fine, TD Steel, Big Daddy Cyrus, and Crusher Bones. PG-13 were supposed to compete but dropped out due to the attack by Rich and Gilbert, so there are only 14 wrestlers here. Hines gets dumped almost immediately. TD Steel goes next. Brian Christopher almost gets Gilbert out but gets blindsided by Dundee. Tommy Rich is out (the camera hasn't caught an elimination yet, if you were curious). Ah, Dundee backdrops Gilbert out, then does the same to Spellbinder. Reggie B. Fine gets eliminated by someone. Gilbert yanks Dundee out to the floor to eliminate him. Scott Studd dumps Knuckles Nelson out. Studd and Raper team up to toss out George. Christopher tries to cross body Cyrus but goes flying to the floor. That leaves us with Cyrus, Crusher, Raper, and Studd. Crusher soon dumps Studd, and the evil bikers combine their strength to dump Raper. Big Business soon hops in the ring to keep his charges from fighting, and we call it a draw at 4:33. A pretty unsatisfying end to a diffident battle royal.

  • Dave and Lance close out the show.

    Hey, it's Memphis; it's definitely an acquired taste. The wrestling was never too great on these shows, and the old school mentality might be a turnoff to today's fans. But the top-level angles and interviews were always top notch, and if you want an alternative it might be worth a look.

    Special Bonus That Was On The End Of The Tape: Davey Boy Smith vs. Mark Starr: This would be from early '95 episode of Wrestling Challenge, I reckon, since Gorilla Monsoon and Ted Dibiase are talking about the upcoming Royal Rumble. God Lord, it looks like this show is being taped in a high school gym. Bad times for the Whiff. Davey Boy slaps on a chinlock so we can hear comments from Davey's teammate Lex Luger, who promises to win the Rumble. Powerslam gets the pin soon after for Davey Boy (1:22 on my tape).

    Stephanie Wiand runs down an upcoming card in Chicago. Promised are debuts from Kama the Supreme Fighting Machine, Aldo Montoya, Hakushi, and The Blu Twins. Oh yeah, bad times indeed.

    And I am outta here. Go Pats!

    Joe Gagne

    [Muchas gracias to Stewart's Strong Style Page (].

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