While Smoky Mountain Wrestling (SMW) was a nostalgic look at wrestling’s past, the United States Wrestling Association (USWA) stubbornly fought for its existence, casting itself as a major promotion that was on the same level as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) or World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Based in Memphis, Tennessee, a classic wrestling hotbed and arguably the only place to successfully fend off Vince McMahon’s territorial expansion in the 1980s, the USWA was created from a merger of the Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) and World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) in 1989. The promotion tried to run shows along the East Mississippi and Texas in the early 1990s, but the venture proved unsuccessful. By the middle of the decade the USWA was back to running its weekly shows in towns such as Louisville, Kentucky and Evansville, Indiana, as well as holding weekly supercards on Monday nights at the Memphis Coliseum. These events were heavily promoted on USWA TV, filmed at the WMC-TV 5 studio in Memphis. While that may have made USWA TV seem second rate, the company had a talented core with owners and bookers Jerry Jarrett and Jerry Lawler, as well as announcers Lance Russell and Dave Brown (who had a full-time gig as WMC-TV 5’s meteorologist). They were supplemented by older territory stars such as Tommy Rich, Doug Gilbert, and Bill Dundee and a crop of new talent that included Lawler’s son Brian Christopher, PG-13, and wrestlers that the WWF and WCW sent for seasoning as the USWA had a working agreement with both.
–Isaac Yankem and Bret Hart cut dueling promos against each other from inside of a steel cage to hype their match tonight. Jerry Lawler adds his thoughts for good measure. The setting looks cool as the ring is only illuminated by a few stage lights while the rest of the arena is dark.
–Vince McMahon and Lawler are in the booth and they are concluding the tapings from Grand Rapids, Michigan. This is the last RAW before In Your House 4. McMahon lets us know that Dean Douglas and Mabel were each fined $7,500 for their actions after the six man tag team match on last week’s RAW. The Undertaker is temporarily written off television by the WWF saying that he suffered his facial injury due to Mabel’s attack.
–Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross are calling today’s action and they are still in Valparaiso, Indiana and on the campus of Valparaiso University.
–Footage of the Smoking Gunns winning the WWF tag team titles on last week’s RAW is shown.
–Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are taped from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Here’s some classic craziness from Memphis, with Mark Curtis managing a heel Rock N Roll Express during the thick of a Smoky Mountain Wrestling invasion angle in 1995. Ricky Morton suddenly becomes Tully Blanchard and PG-13 are the babiest faces to ever babyface. God I love Memphis when it’s done right.