What the World Was Watching: USWA Championship Wrestling – January 14, 1995

Lance Russell and Dave Brown are in the booth and they are broadcasting from WMC-TV 5 studio in Memphis, Tennessee.

USWA Unified World Champion Sid Vicious comes out, exasperated that Brian Christopher wants a rematch and that the only way Christopher put him down for a three-count in the past was with a chain.  He puts himself over as a real wrestler, shows off his physique, and notes that Christopher is not at his level.

Opening Contest:  Moondog Spot & Moondog Rex (w/Miss Texas) (1-1) defeat the Hickersons after Rex pins Billy Ray after a double splash at 2:25:

The Moondogs were a wrestling stable that wrestled in the WWF and CWA for much of their careers and the gimmick portrayed them as wild, uncivilized men in blue jean shorts.  The participants in the stable changed as there was also a Moondog King, Moondog Spike, Moondog Cujo, and Moondog Splat before 1995.  Spot was a former tag team partner of the Honky Tonk Man as the Blond Bombers, wrestling in the famous “Tupleo Concession Stand Brawl” against Jerry Lawler and Bill Dundee in 1979.  Aside from holding the WWF tag team titles with Spot in the 1980s, Rex was best known for being the first Smash in Demolition before the role was given to Barry Darsow.  The Moondogs are much heavier than they were in their prime and Brown has trouble telling them apart.  Basic strikes dominate the action, with the Hickersons unable to deal with the Moondogs size or power.  Billy Ray eventually succumbs to a double splash to make the crowd happy.

Past footage of Brian Christopher beating Tom Prichard, Chris Adams, Firebreaker Chip, Jimmy Valiant, and Steven Dunn is shown.  The promotion’s decline is also seen in this footage as early Christopher wins had bigger crowds than his recent match against Sid.

Scott Bowden comes out, angry that Doug Gilbert & Tommy Rich briefly had the USWA tag team titles on Monday in Memphis and then quickly lost them back to PG-13.  Footage is shown of the titles exchanges before coming back to Bowden, who was responsible for Gilbert and Rich losing the titles because he encouraged them to face PG-13 a second time and heel miscommunication between he and Rich allowed PG-13 to get the titles back.  Gilbert and Rich storm out and Rich is upset.  Gilbert asks Bowden that he needs to get he and Rich a title shot on television or he is fired.

Jack Hammer and his manager Diamond Mike are interviewed by Brown.  Mike is trying to be a Captain Lou Albano knockoff, sporting a Hawaiian shirt, long goatee, and speckled glasses.  Mike claims to be from South Africa, but he has no accent.  He runs down the Memphis crowd for cheap heat before sending his man to the ring.

Jack Hammer (w/Diamond Mike) beats T.D. Steele after a somersault senton off the second rope at 1:26:

Hammer was trained by the Samoans and was a veteran of the Pennsylvania-based World Wide Wrestling Alliance (WWWA), winning matches against Tony Atlas, Jim Neidhart, and Jimmy Snuka before coming to the USWA.  His gimmick is terrible, though, as he wears a piece of metal over his shoulders and paints his face, immediately drawing poor comparisons to the Road Warriors.  Hammer did have a shot at the big time, winning a dark match at a Monday Nitro taping in January 2001 against 3 Count, but nothing ever came of it since WCW was in its dying days.  Steele wrestled in the USWA since 1989, used as a referee and enhancement talent based on what the promotion needed.  Hammer destroys Steele with a few slams before finishing with a somersault senton off the second rope.  This was a good debut squash, but the gimmick is death.

Scott Studd pins Jesse Hickerson after a missile dropkick at 1:36:

Fans would come to know Studd as Scotty Riggs by late 1995.  That was the future, though.  Studd gets an insert promo during the match, cutting a white meat babyface promo about he is glad to be in Memphis.  Prior to coming the USWA, Studd wrestled in some independent promotions in Georgia like the North Georgia Wrestling Association (NGWA) and Peach State Championship Wrestling (PSCW) and also wrestled in Smoky Mountain.  After doing an armbar sequence, Studd catches Hickerson with a powerslam and pins him after a missile dropkick.  Studd looked incredibly smooth in this debut, moving effortlessly in the ring and immediately winning over the crowd.

Brown interviews USWA Tag Team Champions PG-13.  Wolfie D apologizes for saying controversial things last week before Scott Bowden comes out and offers them $1,000 for an immediate match against Doug Gilbert and Tommy Rich.  PG-13 are not interested so a desperate Bowden offers them a Mercedes or his hair but they say no to those things too.  Bowden counter-offers again with his career in the USWA and that is something PG-13 accept.

USWA Tag Team Championship Match vs. Scott Bowden’s Career:  Doug Gilbert & Tommy Rich (w/Scott Bowden) (1-1) beat PG-13 (Champions) (2-1) when Rich pins J.C. Ice after hitting him with a football helmet to win the titles at 3:28:

Rich was once a rising star in the business, wrestling as the top babyface in Georgia Championship Wrestling and defeating Harley Race for the NWA World Championship in 1981 before losing it back in four days.  Since the 1980s, though, Rich’s career was in decline as WCW treated him as a lower midcarder.  Memphis offered the possibility of a career rehabilitation, but this time Rich would be playing a heel as his look reflected that of a grizzled veteran.  Gilbert and Rich wrestle in street clothes and Bowden carries a Florida State helmet in reference to the famous football coach at Florida State that shares his last name.  The referee fails to adequately control the participants as the match devolves into a tornado tag.  As expected, the football helmet comes into play.  First, heel miscommunication with almost lets Wolfie D pin Rich until Gilbert breaks up the fall.  And finally, Rich is able to use it to clock Ice behind the referee’s back to give the heels another title reign.  This was a fun, brief brawl.  Rating:  *

Sweet Georgia Brown tells the fans that she is the number one woman in the USWA.

Bill Dundee (w/Miss Texas) (2-0) pins Reggie B. Fine (w/Sweet Georgia Brown) after a schoolboy roll up at 4:00:

The best part of the match is Fine complaining to the referee that Dundee pulled his hair even though Fine is bald.  The rest is slow going as Fine pounds and chokes away and Brown does some poor slaps that are supposed to constitute interference.  They even struggle to do a spot where Brown trips Dundee.  The inevitable catfight on the floor breaks out and the cameraman misses the finish as a distracted Fine is rolled up by Dundee.  Brown is completely confused about the result as the show goes off the air.  Rating:  ¼*

The Final Report Card:  Dreadful main event aside, this show did a good job introducing two new superstars and the promotion is doing a good job building the PG-13-Tommy Rich & Doug Gilbert feud.  Scott Bowden is a good manager and it is surprising that he never made it beyond the independents.

Here were the results of the Memphis Coliseum show that followed this broadcast on January 16.  According to prowrestlinghistory.com, the show drew 2,400 fans and made a gate of $14,000.

-Scott Studd (1-0) beat Jim Harris

-Jack Hammer (1-0) beat Doug Basham

-Moondog Spot & Moondog Rex (2-0-1) beat Reggie B. Fine & Don Bass (1-0) at 8:24

-The Rock N’ Roll Express (1-0-1) wrestled PG-13 (2-2) to a no contest after Tommy Rich, Doug Gilbert, and Scott Bowden interfered in a match to determine who would face Rich & Gilbert for the USWA Tag Team Championship later in the evening.  A coin flip decided that the Express would get the title shot, but the Express decided to give it to PG-13 since they were already the Smoky Mountain Tag Team Champions.

-Brian Christopher (1-1) beat the Spellbinder via disqualification at 10:01 in a number one contender’s tournament for the USWA Unified World Championship semi-final

-Jerry Lawler pinned Bill Dundee (3-0) at 12:25 in a number one contender’s tournament for the USWA Unified World Championship semi-final

-USWA Tag Team Champions Tommy Rich & Doug Gilbert (2-1) beat PG-13 (2-2-1)

-Brian Christopher (2-1) beat Jerry Lawler (1-0) via reverse decision disqualification when the referee found a chain in Lawler’s tights to become the number one contender for the USWA Unified World Championship and receive a title match against Sid Vicious.

-USWA Unified World Champion Sid Vicious (1-0) pinned Brian Christopher (3-1) at 7:07

Backstage News*:        The bigger house for the recent Memphis show – up 1,400 fans from the previous week – was due to a Jerry Lawler-Bill Dundee confrontation that marked their first singles match in years.  A music video played segments of their famous loser leaves town match in 1983 that drew 11,000 fans to the Coliseum and then Dundee attacked Lawler for working for the WWF, to which Lawler told fans that he was happy to take the WWF’s money but the reason they did not like him there was because the WWF looked down on Southern people.

*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for January 23.

Up Next:  USWA Championship Wrestling for January 21!