USWA Championship Wrestling- Jan 2, 1993
by Scrooge McSuck
- To go along with my trips down memory lane with Smoky Mountain Wrestling (and if I ever get the motivation, the train-wreck known as Herb Abrams' UWF), I'm going to go back and watch some more mid 90's territory-based wrestling in the form of Jerry Jarrett's USWA, home of Jerry "The King" Lawler. The USWA has a long history, dating back to the years of Continental Wrestling Association based out of Memphis. CWA originally merged with World Class Championship Wrestling, but that relationship didn't last long, and by the Fall of 1990, both became separate companies again, with the USWA staying based in Memphis where CWA called home for so many years. The remains of WCCW didn't last long, and merged again, this time with Mario Savoldi's ICW (and then became IWCCW) to little fanfare, while USWA chugged along for most of the 90's until the Monday Night Wars killed their gates (the big card every week in Memphis was held on a Monday, and trying to move to another night proved unsuccessful). Now don't ask why I chose 1993 for my year to jump into. 1991 is available on YouTube, and I could get other years at my own expense if I wanted, but there's something I'm hoping to come across as the year progresses.
- Dave Brown is here to welcome us to another edition of USWA Championship Wrestling. We have news on Bill Dundee, and we will see, among others, Jerry "The King" Lawler and The Master of Terror in action. When we return from break, Brown informs us that Bill Dundee has accepted an "executive position" with WCW (yes, they say WCW), and he wants to say goodbye as part of a farewell tour. We get a video montage of him in action set to "The Way We Were" by Barbra Streisand. That's some hardcore music right there. Dundee talks about spending the better part of the last 20-years in Memphis and wants to say goodbye to the fans. Today will be his last day in the studio, and he'll be on the road the rest of the week.
Bill Dundee vs. "Mean" Mike Miller:
Didn't take long to segue from a promo to the match, since the ring is set up right near the announcer's table. Miller attacks Dundee before the bell with clubbering blows. Dundee returns the favor with rights and lefts of his own, but Miller regains control with a choke against the ropes. Dundee with an arm drag and a series of rights. They continue to trade blows, with neither man able to sustain control for longer than a few seconds. Suddenly, Master of Terror and Mike Samples run in for the Disqualification at 1:43 and put the boots to Dundee. The masked MOT takes Dundee to the floor and plants him with a pair of piledrivers. Miller joins in on the beatdown until Jerry Lawler and "Nightmare" Danny Davis (not to be confused with WWF's referee) make the save. Samples comes back from out of nowhere and gives Dundee another piledriver while the Master of Terror has Lawler and Davis preoccupied.
- We return from a break, with Jerry Lawler lapping the ring to high-five the fans. He has a lot to say but asks we get a shot of the crowd first. He hopes 1993 will be an exciting year for professional wrestling. Unfortunately, the competition the last few years has been between the organizations rather than the wresters, and the fans are the ones that suffer with some of the smaller organizations no longer in business. He brings up his appearances on WWF television, but he's not leaving the USWA. He mentions names like Randy Savage, Jimmy Hart, and Mr. Perfect, who used to wrestle in Memphis. He brings up a Battle Royal where the winner would receive $10,000, but Mike Samples snatched the money out of his hand by knocking him out with a foreign object, leading to his pin-fall (featured in the highlights: a Moondog, a Bruise Brother, and THE CHRISTMAS CREATURE). Mike Miller interrupts the promo, throwing a chair at the face of Lawler. The gaggle of heels and baby-faces (including Jeff Jarrett) come out to keep things calm.
- Jeff Jarrett is standing by to promote shows in Dyersburg, TN and Houston, MS. The Moondogs, Ron and Don Harris, Jeff Jarrett, Brian Christopher, Ricky Hays, and a Ladies Boxing Match will be featured in Dyersburg on Thursday January 4th, and more of the same at the Houston Elementary School on Friday, January 5th. The USWA will be coming soon to Harrisburg, AR, Turrell, AR, Bltheville, AR, Kennett, MO, and Senatobia, MS.
- Dave Brown has the inside scoop on Mike Miller's messed-up face and the attack on Jerry Lawler. Apparently, Jerry Lawler was having a Holiday Party when Mike Miller showed up uninvited and became obnoxious to the point of being told to calm himself down. Miller took exception to the situation, and Lawler "took care of the problem."
- "Nightmare" Danny Davis considers Bill Dundee blood-kin and is disgusted by the lack of respect shown to him earlier in the programming. He has loud words for Mike Samples and the Master of Terror, trying to find sympathy for Dundee who is on his back with an ice pack on his neck. Since the Masters of Terror did what they did to Dundee, he wants to fight them both, in separate matches, of course, one early in the show, and one later in the night.
Jerry Lawler vs. Mr. Paradise:
That's one heck of a name for enhancement talent, especially with an unimpressive physique. Lockup into the corner and Lawler with a series of right hands. Whip across the ring and he drops Mr. Paradise with a clothesline. Whip and a bad back drop spot, with Paradise jumping up before Lawler even set for the move. The match is unfortunately cut short, with Mike Miller running in for the Disqualification at 0:58. Jesus, someone book these two in a match and get it over with.
Once again, a bunch of heels (including BOTH Masters of Terror) and faces have to break things up, but damn if they aren't persistent in wanting to go after each other. Mike Miller wants to tell his side of the story of what happened to his face. The crowd does their best to drown him out with boos. He says he was out on New Year's with a nice looking young lady. Jerry Lawler is drinking milk and eating cookies, signing autographs, when he was suddenly approached by Lawler to leave. Well, that sounds exactly as Dave Brown's report. Miller refused to leave until he was ready, so Lawler sucker-punched him from behind. Mike Miller vows revenge and will be on Lawler like "white on rice." He says what he looks like will be good compared to what Lawler will look like when he's through with him.
- We see highlights of a match between Jeff Jarrett and Brian Christopher from the Mid-South Coliseum. Jarrett wanted a match with Christopher's hair on the line in exchange for the title shot (Jarrett is the reigning Southern Heavyweight Champion, having beat Christopher on December 21st, 1992 for the belt), but Christopher refused and offered the hair of various other people until Jarrett agreed to the match. Even with multiple attempts at breaking the rules, Christopher couldn't put Jarrett away. Jarrett eventually took a page out of Christopher's book and hooked the tights for the three count. Christopher's Avatar, Zeke Rivers (Christopher's lackey/man-servant/manager), was shaved bald immediately after the match, as promised. Hey, following through on the gimmick. I'm shocked.
Jeff Jarrett vs. The Bounty Hunter:
Non-Title Match, of course. Another classic name, the Bounty Hunter, fit for any masked enhancement talent all over the world. Will this be the first match without a non-finish? Lockup and Jarrett with an arm drag. Hunter with body blows in the corner, but Jarrett quickly turns things around. Jarrett gets a boot up in the corner and drops a fist. Whip to the ropes and an elbow, followed by a clothesline. Jarrett with a boot to the midsection and a DDT for three at 1:18.
Before the celebration can commence, Brian Christopher and a bald Zeke Rivers appear at ringside. Christopher has some words for the Southern Heavyweight Champion. He still wants Christopher to put his hair on the line. Christopher complains about how Jarrett cheated (ignoring his own 4-5 unethical tactics, of course) to win their match at the Mid-South Coliseum. He has a deal for Jarrett: Title vs. The Hair… of some ham and egger. Jarrett declines, wanting Christopher' hair on the line, and nobody else. Christopher offers "Mr. Clyde's" hair and $1,000. The answer is still no. $2,000? Nope. It's Christopher's hair, and that's the bottom line. We return from break, and Christopher finally relents and puts his hair on the line… the week after next, for a rematch at the Southern Heavyweight Title. BUT! Jarrett must win next week, with Clyde's hair and the $2,000 on the line. Jarrett can't wait to see Brian Christopher bald-headed in 10-days, but he'll have to beat him three times in a row to accomplish that.
- The USWA returns to the Mid-South Coliseum on Monday, January 4th, with a night of "Main Events." Featured on the card: Bert Prentice & Leslie Belanger vs. Eddie Marlin & Ms. Texas (Miss Jackie/Jacqueline), Danny Davis vs. The Masters of Terror in separate singles matches (the original lineup had Dundee teaming with Davis), Jerry Lawler vs. Mike Samples in a 10-Round Boxing Match, and Jeff Jarrett vs. Brian Christopher for the Southern Heavyweight Title. If Jarrett wins, he faces Christopher on January 11th, with Christopher's hair on the line. Finally, The Moondogs (with Richard Lee) vs. Ron & Don Harris (with Mike Samples) in a Moondog Lumberjack Match. What does that mean? All the lumberjacks will have chairs.
- Jerry Lawler returns to ringside, accompanied by Eddie Marlin. He's still talking about Mike Miller and "his side of the story" which sounds exactly like the other side of the story, but Lawler is here to tell us the ENTIRE story. First, it didn't happen on New Year's, because he was with real friends of his, but it happened the day after (or yesterday, in this case). He says Miller was celebrating so much that he was drunk off his butt. Lawler says you can call him a goody-two-shoes, but he doesn't make an ass out of himself like Miller did. The host of the party came to Lawler and asked him to shut Miller up. He asked Miller nicely to leave, but Miller said he wasn't leaving until he was ready, the only truth to his side of the story. He says Miller's face is a great example of what being impaired in a fight leads to, and he wants some more of Mike Miller, drunk or sober, because he's not half the man that the King is. The match will take place… Monday at the Mid-South Coliseum. Lawler pulling double duty!
- Mike Samples and Leslie Belanger come out. Bert Prentice won't be in the studio, with business in Dallas, but he'll be back in time for the Monday show in Mid-South Coliseum. The match won't be standard mixed tag rules, with men fighting women, and calls Marlin and Ms. Texas "an old man and a former man." Samples promises that Prentice will strip down Ms. Texas to reveal she's really Bubba Johnson. Samples says he hopes they turn on the Air-Conditioning because Jerry Lawler has been spitting out so much hot air today. He says he has a genuine boxing background, and he's going to take $10,000 out of Lawler's hide at the Mid-South Coliseum.
Ron & Don Harris vs. Ben Jordan & Mountain Man Miller:
The Harris Brothers, otherwise known as the Bruise Brothers, are the Tag Team Champions, but this is Non-Title. The Harris twins bring the action before the bell, putting the boots to their opponents. Miller is sent out of the ring while one of the Harris' takes Jordan over with a suplex. Whip to the ropes, they nail Jordan with a double big boot, and a Powerbomb finishes at 0:50.
Jordan continues to take a beating in the ring while one of the Harris' slams Miller's head against the announcer's table. Ron and Don refuse to relent, so the Moondogs (Spot and Spike) make their presence felt with boards and chairs, and the two teams brawl on the floor. Afterwards, Moondogs manager Richard Lee runs down what the Moondogs are going to do to the Harris Brothers and Mike Samples. They better know what they're in for before they get to the ring for their Lumberjack Match at the Mid-South Coliseum.
- Eddie Marlin is here to hype the non-traditional mixed tag team match, teaming with Ms. Texas against Bert Prentice and Leslie Belanger. He won't hit Leslie with his fist, but he will rip her hair out until she looks like Zeke Rivers and spank her over his knee. I don't know, ripping someone's hair out seems just as violent as striking someone.
- Bill Dundee (in a neck brace) and Nightmare Danny Davis attack the Masters of Terror before their scheduled match against random enhancement talent. There's brawling in and outside the ring, with Dundee and David getting the better of things. Samples gets involved to give his teams the numbers advantage, but it's not helping too much. The Masters of Terror seem to have miscommunication problems. Things eventually get calmed down without much excitement. No further injury angle or anything. When we return from break, Dundee promises he will be at the Mid-South Coliseum, so the originally advertised tag team match with Dundee and Davis against the Masters of Terror is back on.
- We run down Monday's card one more time before signing off.
Final Thoughts: As someone who didn't watch southern promotions growing up, or even "as it happened" in real time, the format was definitely something I have to get used to. There's not much in-ring content here, but a whole lot of promos and attempts at selling the annual cards held on Mondays at the Mid-South Coliseum. We've got a championship feud going on between Jeff Jarrett and Brian Christopher, as well as the Harris Twins and Moondogs. Jerry Lawler seems to have his toe in the water with a lot of people, but half the show was spent working on putting over a match between Lawler and Mike Miller, who I'm not familiar with, and an online search only suggests he had moderate success in the Pacific Northwest regions during the late 70's and 80's. I thought the promo accusing Ms. Jackie of being a man were a bit tasteless, as was Eddie Marlin threatening to rip a woman's hair out and spank her while suggesting he would never strike a woman. The promo work was a bit clumsy at times, but there's a lot of strong talkers, and even a weak promo still feels real with the passionate delivery.
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