USA Championship Wrestling – March 26, 1988

Notes from Dave: This review was written before the review of the March 5 show, but as the show overall looked to have a reasonable run I thought I’d go back and review all of it into August of 1988 when it closed down.

I’m publishing this on a Saturday, with the intention to go and review a Stampede episode today to post tomorrow. That was the plan, except for part of my job currently including lateral flow test processing, which enabled me to get an invitation on Thursday to have the first vaccination for Coronavirus. I booked an appointment for Friday evening on Thursday night.

I came into work on Friday morning and the people who had the vaccination the night before were all talking about feeling out of sorts. I didn’t take too much notice, figuring it could be some but it wouldn’t be everyone.

Went for the vaccination on Friday night and had to wait about an hour as someone had taken ill in the waiting room after the jab. Didn’t worry too much, they could’ve been a bit worked up about it and fainted, but an ambulance was taking them out anyway for a checkup.

Had the jab, then got some food on the way home after a delayed journey. Didn’t feel too bad, but woke up once or twice in the night to pop to the loo.

I’ve woken up this morning and I feel like I’ve taken a kicking. I’ve not got a cold or cough, but just ache all over. My colleague who got vaccinated on Thursday said she felt terrible all day too, but eventually it passed. I’m hoping the same, because it’s a Paracetamol job at the moment and a day in bed on my day off just taking things easy.

The bottom line, take this stuff seriously, because we know it can do serious damage, even if you’re doing the right things.

Now, to wrestling!

I really enjoyed this show last week, but sadly we skip a week and pick up on the 26th. Be interesting to see how far ahead the programmes have advanced in the weekly territory system.

What a screenshot!

Hosted by Gordon Solie and Ron Fuller, in front of a nifty neon sign, belt on show, and starting with a surprise appearance courtesy of the Tennessee Stud from young US Marine Brian Armstrong, who’s on leave and in town to see Scott Armstrong. This is the TV debut of Road Dogg, nervous as fuck and half the size he is now.

Not to be outdone, Gordon welcomes Cousin Junior, to the non-WWE Network strains of “Don’t Go Messin’ With a Country Boy’. He immediately fucks up by calling the town Nashville instead of Knoxville. That pretty much kills any goodwill with the audience and you see the hope drain out of his eyes as he looks to Ron and Gordon for support.

Motley Cruz vs. Austin Idol

Damn, where’s Jumping Jeff Farmer when you need him?! Motley looks like if Jimmy Garvin ate Vince Neil as he looks now. The Universal Heartthrob comes out to “Everybody Wants You”, which just seems unimaginative for him. I feel like Idol is a guy that people appreciate a lot more now than in previous years of review. He pretty much breaks down the leg between a brief comeback before finishing with the Las Vegas leglock for the submission. Gordon reminds us that it puts pressure on five points of the leg – but which points, Gordon?!

Promo: Upcoming events, with Doug Furnas now in different matches with Ron Wright’s men and Budro having to deal with his old partner Bill Dundee.

Interview: Gordon’s joined by the Rock & Roll RPMs. Tommy Lane cuts his dull hick promo while Mike Davis adds a bit more spice. We review them busting Johnny Rich open, and it’s a good one with falling down sell and some of Davey having his blood on his face. Later in the show he came out with a bandage over his head for a match. Davis rants and raves about cheating while Lane goes “You know what I’m sayin’?” as many times as possible.

Interview: The Rich cousins and Cousin Junior are coming to Kentucky. I’d say Junior was ripping Hillbilly Jim off further with the lucky horseshoe, but this predates Jim getting his by a good year.

Terry Adonis vs. Scott Armstrong

Talk about a misnomer when it comes to the jobber’s surname, he looks like a heroin-addicted biker. Scott gets some quick kicks in to Beulah’s pleasure and a dropkick on top, but surely whoever was behind her would get annoyed quickly with how many times she was out of her seat. Superkick finishes quickly. Scott cuts a promo after the match saying not a lot, but with the seed sewn already that the Bullet is at the airport, so Ron Wright and the Dog come out and Wright calls him that most grievous of insults, a yellow belly, and gets a slap that takes his top hat off and prompts the Dog to attack. Wright tries a cane attack but gets foiled before the Mongolian Stomper comes in. Here comes the real punishment with the cane until jobbers that even Gordon doesn’t recognise try to come and break it up before the other Party Boys come in to make the save.

Interview: Gordon speaks to Ron and his men after the attack, while the Party Boys tend to Scott. “I’m-a gettin’ sick and tarred!”, says Ron. He says that’s what’s going to happen to anyone who faces off with his men, with the Stomper howling like a maniac, ripped as fuck, holding his hand in the claw gesture. Bret Hart takes some shit from some quarters for his views, but hard to argue with Archie Gouldie coming across as a psychopath heel.

Personality Profile: Gordon talks to Buddy Fuller, Ron’s dad, who’s heading up the training school for USA Championship Wrestling. Eight weeks of weight training in the morning and wrestling training in the afternoon for $2,000. That sound like a good deal in the current day and age? Gordon dances around how big you need to be, but 180 pounds is ideally the lowest, which even in kayfabe would be a bigger guy today. You’ll need to get up to 220, though. I’m sure there are ways and means.

JD Wolfe vs. Bill Dundee

One of my favourite stories about the Superstar was from Chris Candido, talking about how he and Dundee both used steroids and while Dundee took shit for being short his comeback was “I might be 5’7″, but I’m the biggest 5’7″ you’ll ever see!”. And just as I type that, he avoids a charge and rolls up Wolfe before he’s even got his arm out of his sleeve. Wolfe rants and raves at the podium about wanting a rematch, having lost in potentially record time, so Dundee comes back and wipes the floor with him again, putting him out with the sleeper. “From Knoxville to Nodsville!”, says Gordon in a pun that you could only allow someone like him.

Interview: Gordon speaks to Budro and Hector and the RPMs. Hector is in full sombrero and serape look. Lane’s presence makes me realise that his kayfabe dad, Archie Gouldie from his famous run as crippled son Jeff, is also in the territory. Buddy rants and raves until Gordon calmly starts speaking over him and the camera cuts him off.

Interview: Back from a break, Hector, Tommy and Mike are gone, but Buddy sticks around to boast about being the new holder of the (ugly) Tennessee championship. We see him in action against Doug Furnas, who blocks the loaded glove and rams Buddy’s head into it, complete with obvious blading on the mat. He goes back to that about three or four times. Buddy gets heckled from the studio audience while doing retrospective commentary, drawing a hilarious “Shut up, you whining drunk!”. Ron Wright comes out for the distraction, giving Landel the victory with the Randy Savage/Tito Santana finish, except with Ron holding the legs down (“I came out to see where my contact lens was when the Bullet knocked it out!”, claims Ron). This establishes a Landel/Wright relationship with the top manager behind the top heel.

Tony Peters vs. Doug Furnas

Shit, if you thought some of the jobbers on this show looked bad, you should see Tony Peters. He looks like the Angel Frank Morrell if he was even uglier and got out of shape. Everything on him jiggles whether he’s attacking or defending. He misses a big splash that would’ve submerged Furnas, leading to an impressive slam and Furnas going to the top rope to finish with a splash.

Interview: The Bullet has arrived after being stuck at the airport (a likely excuse!), but Doug talks to Gordon, who I’ve not mentioned has a MASSIVE shiner this episode. Doug huffs and puffs after two minutes of action. The Bullet comes in and swears revenge against Ron Wright and his men in typically impassioned style. Gordon and Ron finish with a preview of the upcoming shows after local commercials, including a shoe shop that not only sells shoes but FIXES them too!

The Bottom Line: I’m loving these shows and will be continuing with them until I don’t. I mean, how can you do wrong with a show featuring Motley Cruz?! Yip!