Universal Wrestling Association – July 3rd, 1976

Two months ahead now, with one more July episode before we call it a wrap.

Hosted by Lou Thesz and Buzz Benson. Can’t find out a whole lot about Buzz, but what a name!

Luis Martinez vs. Bob Golden

A bit of disappointment for me as Golden really resembles cult favourite Chris Colt, who was one of the craziest guys in and out of wrestling, and I was hoping it was him, but it’s a jobber from Warsaw… Indiana. Luis gets an old move Lou calls a “ringlock”, although the way he says it sounds more like “wing wok”. Lou’s pretty proud of the new ring, which has red ropes covered in white stars. Luis takes a surfboard in his arm work of Golden, while a fan at ringside calls the heel a turkey. Golden dumps Luis outside of the ring and works him over on the way back in, but Luis is able to work him into an Indian deathlock, which is probably going to get renamed soon. A scary “We’re all getting old!” factoid: I work with young people and they’ve never heard of playing cowboys and Indians. Luis does another bad dropkick like from weeks ago and Lou audibly groans. Buzz tries to excuse it with him not having left himself enough jumping room, which is exactly the case. Airplane spin followed by a Mexican roll wins it for Luis. Good enough to get the show started while never threatening to excite.

Nelson Royal vs. Mario Leone

Another match for these two. Leone would probably have gotten over a year or two ago with his hipster moustache. As it starts going, it turns out this is actually a repeat of the match from weeks ago, so I’m going to skip it and refer you to the prior review.

Bob Watson vs. Eric the Red

Watson is ostensibly the babyface jobber here, but looks like a guy who would be selling drugs outside a school. Eric has been in losing tag teams for a lot of these shows, but was a pushed star elsewhere and is on this occasion accompanied by his erstwhile manager George “Crybaby” Cannon. He was a Canadian star and later promoter who was the shape of a fat bowling ball and worked as a heel who would cheat like mad and then feign tears if he got things turned around on him. Eric chokes Watson on the ropes before dumping him outside. He gets a chance kick back in and fires back. Eric gets a cheap shot to regain the advantage and some slams then takes a rear chinlock while George boasts to the announcers and a member of the crowd heckles him with calls of “Beach ball!”. Eric finishes with the side backbreaker. Good to see Cannon out there for a shot.

Tommy Seigler vs. Mario Leone

Yep, they were definitely looking for stuff to fill the time out with if Leone’s second appearance is an indicator. Guess it could be a best of/compilation show. Leone leads with a rear chinlock as I notice a lady with a massive blonde perm in the audience. Corsica Joe, a Tennessee mainstay, is the referee here and he’s probably a better wrestler than he is a ref, because he’s accidentally not in the right places throughout the match. He does spot some hair pulls, but Leone is able to maintain the advantage post-break until being lured into an armdrag. And quickly to the spinning toehold, which gets the submission out of nowhere. Not enough to really go on.

The Islanders vs. Don Lembrick and Don Martin

Afa and Sika are looking far more familiar now, having grown out their long moustaches, but still in their sarongs rather than tights. The jobbers blow off handshake offers. Lembrick looks like a lumberjack and Martin looks like a young biker. Buzz can’t recognise the Islanders with the change in their appearance, so goes over to Saul Weingeroff for clarification. Lou explains that the Samoan diet is different to where they end up with greater bone density, which is probably absolute bullshit but sounds logical for the headbutts. Afa and then Sika play with Martin for a bit, but a roll-up leads to Sika just choking him. Limbrick comes in and knocks down Sika with an elbow, but misses a falling splash. Martin helps trap him in the corner, though. Afa gets the tag and finishes off Martin quickly with a chop and headbutt. All good, although I’m waiting for them to break out the Samoan drop at some point.

Lorenzo Parente vs. Troy Graham

Another repeat match, which Parente wins with the Olympic stretch.

Melting it down: I always groaned when I saw compilation shows as a kid, so this was no exception. At least it featured some matches from some shows that aren’t on YT, so some original stuff for myself. The most disappointing of the shows so far.