The SmarK Rant for USWA Main Events – 01.07.91
I…don’t know where this came from. I was checking the Territories section of the Network and all of a sudden there’s another 3 random episodes of 1991 USWA shows that have been added at some point with no notice to me. I’m assuming it was related to something with Steve Austin matches because there’s a lot of them here. I’ll take it.
Taped from the Sportatorium, with the idea being that they repackage “main events” from the regular USWA syndicated show into a new show.
Your host is Marc Lowrance
The Southern Rockers v. “Medicine Man” Chris Youngblood & “Sheik” Scott Braddock
The Southern Rockers would later gain…fame? Is that the word? Anyway, they’d be repackaged as Well Dunn in the WWF a couple of years after this. At this point they are rather sad ripoffs of the Rock N Roll Express and/or Rockers. I mean, we’ve all SEEN Rex King, right? He doesn’t exactly scream teen heart-throb at the best of times. Rex King takes Braddock down with a dropkick and backdrops him out of the corner, sending him running to the floor while Youngblood, who is apparently a Medicine Man now, makes various screams on the floor to support him. Back in, Steve Doll works on an armbar, and we get the wacky spot where the babyface team blocks a whip to the corner by having one guy lay on the top rope, and then of course the heels try the same thing and it backfires on them. The Rockers double-team Braddock, who by way of explanation here started out as a generic marine character and then turned on AMERICA and is now Sheik Braddock, but still wrestles and looks exactly the same. His career didn’t last much into the 90s. Doll works a headlock on Youngblood, who slams out of it and goes to work on the arm. Braddock comes in and misses an elbow, but cuts off the tag and the heels keep Doll in the corner as the Texas crowd is so hard up for babyfaces since the Von Erichs disappeared that they cheer loudly for the Rockers. You poor stupid Texans. What has Fritz DONE to you? Youngblood continues working on the arm and the heels switch off as apparently we are running out of TV time and that’s it at 11:10. So I mean, it was decent enough for a bit, but then it was literally 7 minutes of the heels working on Steve Doll’s arm without ever getting to a tag or a conclusion. So, WHAT’S THE FUCKING POINT? 0 for 1.
Brian Lee & Robert Fuller v. Jeff Jarrett & Bill Dundee
Jeff Jarrett is of course the babiest babyface to ever babyface at this point, with the sparkliest jacket that his father’s money could buy. Always fun to watch Brian Lee as a young blond kid, back before he permanently turned into a greasy biker. Dundee gives Fuller a clean break in the corner to start while Robert complains about having his hair pulled, but Dundee slugs him down and Fuller retreats to the floor. It’s funny how everyone forgets how gigantically tall that Robert Fuller really was, since he always seemed to play it down in WCW as Col. Parker. He’s literally the same height as Brian Lee, the guy who once played the Undertaker’s double. Jarrett comes in and works the arm, keeping Fuller on the mat with that, and the babyfaces switch off behind the ref’s back a few times before finally making a legal tag. This of course gives me the opportunity to discuss the weird “family” connections between the Jarretts and the Fullers, with the various rumors that have long swirled about Roy Welch cheating on his (MULTIPLE!) wives in the 50s and perhaps fathering Jerry Jarrett, which makes the Jarretts and Fullers all one big hillbilly clan. So, you know, there’s a Dark Side of the Ring episode for ya. ANYWAY, Lee goes to work on JJ with a slam, but the Memphis clan comes back and double-teams him while we’re informed that rookie Steve Williams has changed his name to (checks notes) “Stunning Steve Austin”. Hopefully that works out for him. Lee and Fuller argue about the effectiveness of Lee’s strategy and Fuller sends him back in to try again, and Dundee takes him down with a headlock this time. So Fuller decides to take matters into his own hands, literally, and yanks Dundee down with a hairpull from the apron to take over. Fuller puts him down with a big boot and slugs away on the mat, then agitates Jarrett and runs away to draw the ref over. The Stud Stable traps Dundee in the corner and Robert chokes him out on the ropes and gets two. Lee comes in with a slam for two while choking him out, but Dundee dodges a backdrop and makes the hot tag to Jeff Jarrett. He runs wild and it’s so amazing to me that WWF never tried him as a babyface because he was GREAT at it. And then heel miscommunication results in Fuller putting Lee down by mistake, and Jarrett gets the pin at 9:13. This of course turns into a shoving match and then Fuller attacks from behind and puts the beats on his own partner until Lee makes the comeback and chases him off. This was all great pure Memphis stuff and made the show for me. 1 for 2.
Matt Borne, Eric Embry & Chris Adams v. Steve Austin, Sheik Braddock & Jeff Gaylord
Borne, who was about a month away from going to WCW as Big Josh, takes Gaylord down with a monkey flip out of the corner, and then backdrops Austin and chases him out of the ring. Over to Adams, but Eric Embry accidentally socks him and we get some babyface issues while the heels egg them on. But then they chase off the heels and hug it out. Well that’s nice. We take a break and return with Matt Borne working on Braddock with a neck hold of some kind, but Austin makes the blind tag and chinlocks Borne. Borne fights up and Austin puts him down with a knee to the gut and then the heels switch off and Gaylord drops an elbow on him. Gaylord hits him with a SNUG knee to the face, but Borne just clobbers him with a forearm to the head so hopefully they’re even now. Austin cuts off the tag, but Borne makes the hot tag to Chris Adams, and he goes after Austin, who at this point was just the former student who turned on the teacher before they got the wives involved and the feud caught fire. Everyone brawls to the floor, leaving Adams and Austin, and it’s a superkick for Austin, but the ref is distracted and Akbar knocks Adams out and Austin gets the pin at 8:01. And then Eric Embry tries to chase off the heels and Akbar hits HIM with the foreign object and busts him open. Again, total Memphis. Love it. 2 for 3.
USWA Unified World title: Jerry Lawler v. Jeff Jarrett
I would be remiss in not mentioning the teaser before the match, which just says “Coming up next…JEFF!” YOU HAD ME AT JEFF! Lawler offers Jeff the chance to crawl over to Lawler and forfeit the match in order to save the inevitable beating tonight. Seems like a fair deal, but Jarrett declines. Lawler dodges an attack from JJ and stops to strut and then cuts a promo about how proud he is of his strut. It was a good strut, I’ll give him that. Jarrett comes after him again, so Lawler struts again, having things well in hand. And then he cuts another promo about how great he is and what a punk that Jarrett is. We take a break from all the stalling and return with Jarrett in control, slugging away on Lawler and hitting a dropkick for two. Ronnie Gossett takes the ref and Jarrett goes after him, but Lawler gets a chain and charges. Jarrett backdrops him, hits Lawler with the chain, and wins the match and the title at 4:33, at which point the ref sees the chain and reverses the decision. And it damn near triggers a riot! Lawler and Gossett double-team Jarrett and enraged Texans are trying to get into the ring, so they send MORE heels out there and beat Jarrett down even more. The announcer burying Gossett and constantly calling him a “big tub of lard” and “wide load” is pretty hilarious. And since it’s the end of the show and the wrestlers have gone home, there’s no one to save, and Lowrance has to appeal over the house mic to find someone to help, and finally Billy Travis makes the save with his guitar. The match was ass, and was actually a heavily edited-down version of the same match that aired on the same show in October, but the beatdown was TREMENDOUS and I liked the little touch of not having anyone available to save. 3 for 4.
I liked this show a lot! It’s not actual Memphis because it’s the bastardized transplanted Texas version of Memphis, but it was still a lot of fun. And there’s a couple of more episodes left to review as well.