Dave Brown and Corey Maclin are doing commentary for today’s show, coming from the WMC-TV5 studio in Memphis, Tennessee.
Brown and Maclin inform viewers that Billy Jack Haynes and Tracy Smothers are gone from the USWA after losing “loser leaves town” matches on the latest Mid-South Coliseum show.
Brown interviews Jesse James Armstrong. The promo starts awkwardly as Brown interrupts Armstrong’s rant about how he was not consulted about a previous commercial break. Armstrong proclaims himself the top guy in the USWA now that Haynes and Smothers are history.
Brown talks with USWA Unified World Champion Jerry Lawler, who has a tough time remembering Armstrong’s name. That can be understood because Lawler would remember Armstrong as the Roadie from the WWF and probably fought against saying that on-air. Lawler carries a Cleveland Browns football helmet that is signed by Jim Brown to the interview and he is wearing a Browns shirt. Lawler drones on about why he roots for the Browns and Indians and that is the end of the segment. What was the point of this? What does this have to do with the Unified title or the opening match?
Opening Contest for the USWA Unified World Championship: Jerry Lawler (22-5) defeats Jesse James Armstrong (4-1) via reverse decision at 6:07 shown:
Lawler has held the Unified Championship since May, an unusual development in Memphis where the top title would be regularly hot shotted to increase business at the Coliseum. Memphis stalling is the order of business in this match, with Armstrong bailing after Lawler hits him with a DDT multiple times. After the commercial break, Armstrong whips Lawler into the referee to escape a headlock and pulls out a chain. Armstrong wraps it around his hand and tries a fist drop off the second rope, but it misses. Lawler tries to use the object and is stopped by the referee, so Lawler pushes the official, only to have Armstrong pull out a second chain and use it to win the title. However, before the promotion gets a breath of fresh air of someone new on top, Brian Christopher runs out and tells the referee what happened, and the decision gets reversed. That is an awful finish, but the USWA loves using it. Rating: ½*
Non-Title Match: Brian Christopher (USWA Southern Heavyweight Champion) (31-14-6) pins Kip Morris after a Tennessee Jam at 3:05:
Morris was born in Lexington, Tennessee and he earned a few bucks jobbing in Memphis at various times from 1993 to 1999. Morris manages to trap Christopher in the corner and land a few blows, but Christopher side suplexes out of a headlock and the superkick and Tennessee Jam finish.
Brown talks with Christopher, who says that he is happy Billy Jack Haynes is no longer in the USWA. An irate Jesse James Armstrong interrupts, yelling that Christopher cost him the USWA Unified World Championship earlier in the show. A brawl breaks out between the two, which Armstrong wins after using the Cleveland Browns helmet that Lawler brought out earlier. PG-13 eventually make the save when Christopher can no longer defend himself.
Smoky Mountain Challenge Match: Steven Dunn (11-2-3) pins Doug Gilbert (15-10-3) after Jesse James Armstrong interferes at 5:04:
The SMW-USWA feud no longer means much because SMW’s big acts like Buddy Landel and Tracy Smothers have lost “loser leaves town” matches, but the USWA is trying to revive it by using some of their talent to fight for the SMW side. This is the same strategy the WWF used during the invasion angle of 2001 when they had WWF talents defect to WCW/ECW to bolster that side. It makes a joke of the angle, though, and it is not as good as using original talent from the other promotion. The story of this match is that SMW is sending Gilbert a mystery opponent. After Armstrong antagonizes Gilbert by insulting him, Dunn attacks Gilbert from behind, thereby turning heel and betraying the Memphis faithful. The bout starts hot but once Dunn seizes the advantage he pounds away and does little that is interesting. Referee Bill Rush gets bumped for the second time in the broadcast, which should render him dead by referee standards, and that means Gilbert has no one to count the fall when he covers Dunn after a piledriver. Armstrong runs into the ring and smothers Gilbert with an ether-covered rag – checking off another box in the “worst wrestling tropes” bingo card – and that allows Dunn to prevail. Rating: ½*
Brown interviews USWA Tag Team Champions PG-13. They do not have their belts because Tekno Team 2000 stole them in Memphis. PG-13 hype a match they will have soon with WWF Tag Team Champions the Smoking Gunns on Monday Night RAW.
Non-Title Match: Tekno Team 2000 (2-0) beat PG-13 (USWA Tag Team Champions) (37-16-3) when Troy pins Wolfie D after Jesse James Armstrong interferes at 6:27:
The Tekno’s are wearing the USWA tag team title belts but the studio audience does not seem to care. The match gets a lot of time relative to other contests that air on Memphis television, but the participants zone it in during the beginning. The energy picks up near the end when PG-13 dropkick Troy out of the ring and give Travis their double bulldog finish, but referee Bill Rush spends time getting J.C. Ice out of the ring and Troy breaks up the fall. Wolfie wows the crowd later by giving Troy a super-duper bulldog, but Rush is again preoccupied with what Ice is doing, a possible side effect of Rush suffering two concussions in one show, and Armstrong seizes the opportunity to nail Wolfie D with a hubcap so Troy can allow the challengers to beat the champions in a non-title encounter. If both teams did more between the big spots, this would have been a better match. Rating: *
The Last Word: It was great to get a break from Brandon Baxter, who has been used far too much on recent telecasts. This show served as a booking reset of sorts as Jesse James Armstrong, Steven Dunn, and Tekno Team 2000 become the star heels of the promotion. That is a far cry from what Billy Jack Haynes, Tracy Smothers, and even Brian Lee could bring to the table, though, so the USWA booking team has a lot of work cut out for them. The USWA did not run a show at the Mid-South Coliseum on September 25 due to the Mid-South Fair being held at the venue, so the next Memphis show to be covered will be the September 30 telecast of USWA Championship Wrestling.
Backstage News*: Billy Jack Haynes is going back to Oregon, telling people that he and Crush have been hired by Japan, although he was not clear as to what promotion was hiring them. Dave Meltzer speculates that it could be Japan’s Wrestle and Romance (WAR) company since that is who Crush last worked for there.
*Backstage news is courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for October 2.
Up Next: USWA Championship Wrestling for September 30!