What the World Was Watching: USWA Championship Wrestling – December 16, 1995

Lance Russell is back from vacation and he reunites with Dave Brown in the booth to call the action from the WMC-TV5 studio in Memphis, Tennessee.

Brown interviews Randy Hales, who announces that Bob Armstrong’s court injunction to prevent the USWA from acquiring total control of SMW is over.  From this point forward Armstrong is banned from WMC-TV5 studios.  Hales also announces a lumberjack strap match between Jeff Jarrett and Armstrong, a “loser leaves town” match between referees Gene Johnson and Frank Morrell, and a USWA tag team title match where Jesse James Armstrong and Tracy Smothers will defend against Doug Gilbert and a mystery partner.  No specific date is given for these matches since there will be no card at the Mid-South Coliseum on December 18.

Opening #1 Contender for the USWA Unified World Championship Contest:  Brian Christopher (44-18-7) pins Tex Slazenger (4-3) after a schoolboy roll up at 6:25 shown:

The overbooking kicks in after a commercial break as the referee gets bumped and there is no one to count when Christopher hits the Tennessee Jam.  Downtown Bruno runs in and tries to act like the referee, a distraction that allows Slazenger to hit Christopher with a chain but that only gets a two count when the official referee awakens.  After this, Slazenger argues with the concussed referee and that allows Christopher to roll him up for a weak finish.  Rating:  *½

Bob Armstrong calls into the show and says that he has contacted Johnnie Cochran to represent him.  There is a lot of humor in that statement if fans were familiar with SMW’s product since Armstrong had spent the first half of the 1995 feuding with the Gangstas.  Armstrong says that SMW still has power in the USWA because his son, Jesse James, and Tracy Smothers have the tag team titles.  He adds that Jerry Lawler is crazy for wanting to wrestle another one of his sons, former SMW Champion Brad Armstrong.  In a funny bit to end the segment, Armstrong asks Russell if he would talk to Randy Hales about changing the stipulations of his match against Jeff Jarrett, but Russell tells him to get lost.

Moondog Cujo (w/Richard Lee) (6-2-2) pins T.D. Steel after a splash in 49 seconds:

Another quick squash for Cujo, as well as another post-match chair beating of the jobber.

Brown interviews Scott Bowden, who has thankfully returned to the USWA.  He takes shots at Jerry Lawler’s recent injury until Lawler comes out to confront him.  Lawler denies that Armstrong broke his leg but when he turns his back, Bowden nails him in the leg with a crutch.  That does not knock Lawler off his feet, though, and Bowden flees.

Russell talks with Christopher, who is wearing Slazenger’s USWA Southern Heavyweight title belt even though their match earlier was not for the belt.  When asked about that, Christopher insists the opening match was for the title.  He says that he has never liked Jeff Jarrett, laying the groundwork for a feud between the two.

Doug Gilbert (25-14-5) pins Charlie Laird after a piledriver at 1:50:

Scott Bowden comes out early in the match and says that he wants to reunite with Gilbert.  Bowden adds that he is now representing the interests of Jesse James Armstrong and Tracy Smothers, thereby making him the third manager to represent SMW’s crew since the angle began.  In a finish he has used in a lot of squashes his year, Gilbert takes advantage of the referee getting distracted to use an illegal piledriver and notch another win.

Russell interviews Gilbert and it does not take long for Bowden to interject.  Bowden tells Gilbert that he is not worried about the mystery partner Gilbert might choose when he faces Armstrong and Smothers.  After taking some of this, Gilbert attempts to get his hands on Bowden, only to be stopped by the tag team champions.  Santa Claus makes the save and is revealed to be Tommy Rich, returning to the USWA after a short stint in SMW and Ozark Mountain.

Russell talks with Gilbert and Rich.  Rich says that Bowden led he and Gilbert astray earlier in the year and they are going to make up for it by winning the USWA tag team titles.

Russell interviews PG-13, who hype today’s non-title main event against Jesse James Armstrong and Tracy Smothers.  After footage airs of PG-13’s encounters with the Rock N’ Roll Express earlier in the year, Wolfie D says that they are going to take them out at a later date.

Non-Title Match:  Jesse James Armstrong & Tracy Smothers (USWA Tag Team Champions) (6-0) wrestle PG-13 (49-22-3) to a time limit draw at 2:15:

This match never develops a groove as the time limit expires after a little more than two minutes of action.  The only big moment is the match is when Wolfie D tried to springboard to escape a wristlock and botched it.

The Last Word:  Getting Scott Bowden back is a big upgrade on the heel manager side and having a tag team title feud that does not include PG-13 is a breath of fresh air.  The rebooted USWA-SMW invasion angle is winding down now that the court injunction is over so the USWA is going to need a hot feud on top to carry the promotion into 1996.  The problem is that feud has yet to appear.

Backstage News*:        Jimmy Valiant will appear on the December 27 Mid-South Coliseum card since he usually works the territory over the Christmas holiday.  The December 27 show will be a Wednesday night card, signaling that USWA promoters might be done doing shows at the Coliseum on Monday nights.

*The bad houses on December 4 and 11 are why the USWA is moving away from the Bob Armstrong-Randy Hales ownership angle.  Even Jerry Jarrett’s appearance on the cards did not help attendance.

*In talent relations news, the Rock N’ Roll Express may only be in the territory for a short while because Robert Gibson is signaling that he wants to retire from wrestling.

*Backstage news is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for December 26.

Up Next:  USWA Championship Wrestling for December 23!