Universal Wrestling Association – March 27th, 1976

Going forward rather than backward this time, with the Islanders/Samoans featuring in the last one I looked at and for contrast the top heel team, the Interns, in this one.

Hosted by Lou Thesz and Buzz Benson.

Flying Fred Curry and Luis Martinez vs. Jack Graham and the Spoiler

Spoiler seems to have split off very suddenly from Al Costello after the show the week before. Martinez is a curious character, although I may get into him more in another review. First thing to say is he claims to be the person who popularised the “Arriba!” call in wrestling and gifted it to Tito Santana. He and Curry work headlocks on Graham, who the announcers have shifted to calling Troy instead of Jack, to start. Spoiler comes in and gets his own headlock, then transitions into a choke with Graham, which Luis sells very melodramatically. They’re speeding through the ebbs and flows of the match, but it’s not hurting the quality too badly. Curry gets the hot tag and struggles with the Spoiler. Luis comes back in for a dropkick that Erik Watts would scoff at, basically jumping up three feet in the air and kicking out one leg, then falling onto the back leg and his ass for the landing. Double back body drop on Graham, who heads outside for the stall. Back in, Luis gets a shot from the outside and tags in for a chop and legdrop on the leg. Curry back in with a snapmare and eye rake. Luis comes back in with an airplane spin and tries the Mexican roll/jackknife pin before Spoiler breaks it up. Spoiler tags back in and works over the returning Curry. Match has broken down a bit, with too many people in the ring and waiting for one another. Eventually there’s a double Irish whip reversal spot that takes AGES to set up. Buzz starts hinting towards the time limit. Luis gets the piston punches in and puts Graham in the sleeper, again broken up by Spoiler. Curry gets four dropkicks at nine minutes for the win. Wow! If this match had been half the time it would’ve been alright, but it got worse as it went on. Not the worst I’ve seen, but disappointing given the good start.

Lorenzo Parente vs. Troy Graham

OK, I’m confused, because I bought the guy in the last match as Troy Graham, but this is a different guy. Parente is built up as a great in the announcement, although I’ve never heard of him. He bridges out of a pinfall attempt and gets an early dropkick. Buzz is good enough to apologise regarding calling Jack Graham Troy and confirms this is Troy Graham. The explanation: they’re brothers. The reality: I don’t think they were! Lorenzo is forty here but looks years older, but doesn’t wrestle like an old man. He bowls over Troy with a forearm smash. Divorce court on the arm, holding it down. Graham gets out a hair pull, not that there’s much to go for. Thesz makes a hilarious suggestion that this pudgy meatball is all muscle! Troy takes some big bumps off a pair of tackles. He manages to get Lorenzo down for a pair of legdrops, but another forearm smash has him flying and landing on his arse. Kneedrop, followed by a slam, but he hesitates and Troy makes a comeback. Another tackle sends him flying in the corner again. Olympic stretch gets the submission for Parente at seven minutes. Buzz doesn’t actually know the name of the hold to include it in his announcement, so asks Lorenzo to name it. It’s actually a form of the Octopus stretch, but that’ll do. Not a great match, but Lou was ready to heap praise on the Italian on account of him always overfeeding him at his restaurant.

Cowboy Langston and Rocky Johnson vs. The Interns

Johnson is not the more famous one, the dad of the Rock, but instead a black jobber from Arkansas. The Interns are legendary Memphis heels, dressed all in white with masks, where hospital scrubs. Manager Dr. Ken Ramey is a local legend too and looks the epitome of a heel, with mop top hairstyle, goatee, red suit and bow tie. He sarcastically blows a kiss at the camera during the announcement. Thesz reminds us again that he and the Interns hospitalised Saul Weingeroff as part of their build up in a feud with the Islanders. The heels just dominate Langston early on with slams and toss him outside, knocking his leg on the steps as he falls outside. I wasn’t optimistic that this would get a finish, but they’re working quite a pace. Johnson gets a blind tag, but the ref won’t let him and the crowd go mad about it as the Interns choke him on the ropes. Double gut shot sets up a double gutbuster, with one Intern launching Langston from the fireman’s carry onto the other’s outstretched knee, and that’s enough for the win. The epitome of a dominant tag team in fairness. Johnson never got in, to Lou’s disappointment.

Melting it down: They have a formula with these shows, which is all wrestling, no talking or interviews. I don’t know whether they did insert arena-specific ones as they do signpost commercial breaks on the tapes, but I’d guess not as there’s only four minutes left of each half hour. It’s a shame, because it’s a fast-paced show but not doing certain things would be obvious ways they kept in second place behind the main promotion.