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.
Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: USWA Championship Wrestling – January 7, 1995