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UWF Blackjack Brawl - September 23, 1994
by Scrooge McSuck
- Wow, who knew that the UWF (Version 2) was still kicking around as late as 1994? For those few that care, the UWF probably was most notably associated as a real promotion during the early part of the 90's, including a PPV (Beach Brawl) that tanked pretty badly with a miniscule buyrate and horribly low attendance. The card was nothing more than WWF/WCW cast-offs and never-weres putting on heatless matches with the worst commentary duo known to man (Craig Degeorge and Bruno Sammartino). So, to say there was a Supercard held in 1994 was shock to me would be an understatement.
However, this time it wasn't a PPV, but more of a special broadcasted on Sportschannel America, one of those regional coverage networks, along the lines of Fox Sports. I'm PRETTY sure I remember seeing either a commercial or advertisement for this, but I'm not going to make a 100% claim to that remark. Since the last "big" card held by the UWF, the roster had turned over quite a bit, mostly because a lot of the "top names", like Cactus Jack, Bam Bam Bigelow, Paul Orndorff, and Bob Backlund, were signed elsewhere. Let's not get down because of this, I'm sure this special broadcast will be nothing less than amazing!
- We're coming to you taped from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV. What is this, a boxing card or a wrestling show? I'm half expecting Sylvester Stallone to come out to Frank Sinatra music or something. Yeah, that was a horrible pun involving "Rocky Balboa." Commentary is handled by John Tolos (Coach!) and Carlo Gianelli. I added this information in after finishing all the match details, so if I say "I don't know who this is", then run with it.
- And, oh yeah... Due to the length of the preceding live telecast, the following program will be joined in progress. Yeah, a WRESTLING show joined in progress. There's one good reason why you don't put a wrestling show on after a baseball game. No one is going to cut away from a baseball game for you, and you get THIS. A show already started, so we've missed the introductions.
America's Championship Match: [Vacant]
Johnny Ace (w/ Missy Hyatt) vs. Dan Spivey:
We join this in progress, as already mentioned, with Ace working a chinlock. Joy. Spivey escapes with a back suplex, but misses an elbow drop. They exchange blows, with Spivey taking control. Spivey with a back breaker for a two count. Russian leg sweep from Spivey gets another two count. Whip to the corner, and Ace avoids a charge, then takes Spivey down with a back suplex. Ace to the top rope, and he comes off with a clothesline for a two count. Hyatt is looking quite slutty. Ace with a belly-to-belly suplex for another two count. Spivey counters a suplex and plants Ace with the DDT for a two count. Spivey with an unusual version of the abdominal stretch, but Ace makes it to the ropes for a break. Irish whip, and Spivey with a sidewalk slam for a two count, then goes back to the stretch. Spivey with a slam, followed by a leg drop for another two count. Come on, JOHNNY ACE is kicking out of all these big moves? ANOTHER Abdominal stretch, and suddenly Hyatt throws in the towel on Ace, giving Spivey the victory at around the 4:00 mark... it's a DOUBLE CROSS! Oh my God, we've been swerved! Herb Abrahm gets dragged into the ring, looking like that old guy who was on every sitcom possible during the 80's and early 90's. He gets all angry at Spivey, and for some reason, Blackjack Mulligan is in the ring. I'd like to know what the hell was going on, but nope, we had to be Joined in Progress. Match was watchable, at least. [Note: I didn't realize, until now, I kept thinking Ace was Tommy Rich, so when he came off the top rope, I almost had a heart attack]
- Oh dear Lord... the Coming Up teaser promises an Interview with Curt HENNING. It's a shame that no one knows how to spell a fucking wrestlers name right. I would also like to pouint out that one of the broadcasters keeps calling this "Blackjack Brawl One", as if there's going to be more of them. Oh, and no, we don't see Curt Hennig anywhere. False advertisement at its best.
UWF Junior Heavyweight Championship Match [Vacant]
Mando Guerrero vs. Wildman Jack Armstrong:
The spelling mishaps continue, as the graphic spells it "Guerreo", and even the dumbass broadcaster I mentioned earlier tries pronouncing it as such (Gurr-ayo). At least John Tolos, the recognizable name in the booth, knows the proper name. No idea who Armstrong is, but I'm guessing it's not the same Jack Armstrong that was on the inaugural Florida Marlins roster. Wow... I'm sorry, but these two guys make the WWF's Light-Heavyweight Division look awesome. Armstrong has some big, doofy bastard with him, but he's not identified. The crowd is DEAD. Unusual criss-cross ends with a dropkick from Mando, followed by a snapmare, sending Armstrong out of the ring. Knuckle-lock, and Mando takes Armstrong over with a head scissors. Mando with an arm drag, then into the armbar. Armstrong escapes and dumps Mando out of the ring. Armstrong follows out and slams him on the arena floor. Mando climbs to the apron and does a twisting Asai moonsault! Woah, a high spot. I never expected to see one on this card. Back inside, and Mando hammers away, then takes Armstrong over with a snapmare. Whip to the corner, and Mando with a spinebuster for a two count. We're informed this is the first of THREE planned Blackjack Brawls. Yeah, planned. He also name dropes Julio Caesar Chavez, because he's Mexican, too. Boxing and wrestling hold two different fanbases, douche. Mando with a slam, then heads to the top, and misses a moonsault. Armstrong with elbows, and a three count comes out of nowhere at 4:39. Well, that was short.
Sunny Beach vs. Dr. Feelgood (w/ Missy Hyatt):
What the hell? How did Hyatt not only turn heel earlier, but somehow find the time in the next TEN MINUTES to find a new heel protege? Dr. Feelgood is some out-of-shape, middle aged hack, and Sunny Beach got a lot bigger since the last UWF show I've watched (fatter). Please be short, please be short, please be short... Lockup, and Beach quickly rolls Feelgood up for a two count. Feelgood with a takeover into an armbar, then works a wristlock. Feelgood counter sna hammers on the arm. Irish whip is reversed, and Beach with a hip toss, followed by the Ricky Steamboat Special™. Irish whip, and they damn near blow a back drop spot. Beach covers for two and slaps on a chinlock. Feelgood escapes and does generic heel offense. Hyatt gets a cheap shot in, right in plain view of the referee. Blargh. Tolos compares her to a Queen Bee. I figured a Mantis would be better, but I don't know much about Bees. Irish whip, and Beach surpries Feelgood with a sloppy backslide. Double underhook suplex by Beach gets another two count. Gutwrench suplex by Beach for another two count. Irish whip, and Feelgood with a choke/clothesline, kind of like Nailz. That's not a complimentary comparison. Feelgood with a crappy back breaker for a two count. Feelgood with a DDT, but the crowd doesn't care. Feelgood goes into his little medical kit (a brown fanny pack), and douses a rag with black ink. Back in the ring, and Beach smothers Feelgood with it, and covers for three at 5:29. The fuck? Afterwards, Hyatt comes in and slaps Beach, then Feelgood sneaks up and smothers him for his troubles. What horrible booking.
UWF Southern States Championship Match:
"Cowboy" Bob Orton Jr. © vs. Finland Hellraiser Thor:
Oh... No. Thor is probably best known for his run as Ludvig Borga, which happened to end not too long before this appearance. He was still being advertised for shows in March and April, before finally being removed from television for good. I can't imagine how awkward this is going to be. Old school rassler versus guy who punches a lot. This ring announcer is BEYOND terrible, by the way. He constantly talks about the wrestlers, and encourages everyone to cheer, even for the heels. Wait, who IS the heel here? Why doesn't Orton have a belt with him? Lockup into the ropes, and THOR gives a clean break. Orton with a waistlock, but Thor quickly escapes. Orton with a headlock, but a shoulder block doesn't budge Thor. Lockup into the corner, and Thor with a series of knees to the midsection. Whip across the ring, and Thor misses a charge. Lockup into the ropes, and Thor does his usual punches to the ribs. I didn't know the kidneys were in your stomache, Tolos. Irish whip, and Thor plants Orton with a sidewalk slam. Thor continues to pound away on Orton, snapmares him over, and slaps on a chinlock. Terrible "comedy" from the broadcast team makes me long for Captain Lou and Bruno Sammartino. Orton fights back and comes off the second rope with a roundhouse right. Orton comes off the ropes and connects with a dropkick. Orton goes for a piledriver, but Thor back drops him over the top rope. Orton grabs a glass and tosses it in Borga's face. You jerk! Orton bashes Thor with a belt, and they continue brawling until the bell rings at around 5:30 for a Double Count-Out. LAME! Match had no structure, but it was watchable, I guess. That seems to be the trend for all the matches, sans the Beach/Lovegood match. They're all watchable, but have no structure to them, and no reason to care.
UWF Midget World Championship: [Vacant]
The Karate Kid vs. Little Tokyo:
Great, midget wrestling, just what I always wanted. Steve Rossi is the name of the ring announcer, and he asks if we want to see something different. Yes, a good match. Tokyo is the same from WrestleMania III, just to let you know continuity is still alive. Karate Kid scares Tokyo off with his greco-roman style. Lockup, and Tokyo with a headlock takeover. Irish whip, and Tokyo with a shoulder block. Karate Kid takes Tokyo over with a hip toss, then drops midget butt on him. Lockup, and Karate Kid with an overhead wristlock. Tokyo escapes with a pull of the hair, and Karate Kid takes offense to the yank on his mullet. Criss-cross sequence, and Karate Kid hides behind the referee, making Tokyo look dumb. We find out the lead commentator is Italian... what an insult to my race. Tokyo works a wristlock, and I'm bored to tears. Karate Kid counters and works the arm in response. Knucklelock, and Tokyo cheats to take control. Kid counters with a monkey flip and covers for a two count. Tokyo turns it over and tries pinning Karate Kid's shoulders to the canvas, but nothing comes of it. Tokyo makes fun of the referee by picking his nose and acting lazy. Sadly, this is the highlight of the show... until Karate Kid gestures someone "up yours!" Karate Kid with a powerslam for a two count. Tokyo with a headlock, then nails Karate Kid in the throat. Karate Kid comes back and locks in a full nelson, then drops Tokyo on the back of his head. Karate hammers away and whips Tokyo to the ropes, then takes him over with a pair of head scissors. Tokyo avoids a dropkick and stomps the face. Tokyo nails Karate Kid coming into the corner, and covers for the three count at 7:18. That came out of nowhere. The title belt looks like one of those childrens replica belts from their merchandise catalog.
UWF Women's Championship Match:
Candi Devine vs. Tina Moretti:
This ring announcer almost makes it sound like we're going to see some strippers, or something. WWF Attitude Era fans might recognize Moretti as "Ivory." The ring announcers tells us to make her feel good... but this is a family friendly program, I thought! Devine knees her in the midsection, then takes her over with a back drop. Irish whip, and Moretti connects with a dropkick, sending Devine out of the ring. oretti follows her out, and they take turns ramming each other in the apron, then Devine slams her on the arena floor. Back in the ring, and Devine with the Ricky Steamboat Special™. Moretti returns the favor, and Devine counters with a head scissors. Whip to the corner, and Devine throws Moretti by her hair. Moretti ducks a clothesline and takes Devine down with a crucifix, but they botch the pin attempt on it. Moretti with a roll up for a two count. Devine chokes Moretti across the top rope, then chokes her in the corner and powerslams her for three at 3:14. That came out of nowhere. Typical women's match. A lot of hair pulling, awkward punches, and just a total lack of chemistry.
- We get a pre-taped promo from Dr. Death Steve Williams, the UWF Champion. I only mention this because he blatantly breaks the cardinal rule of throwing out challenges to wrestlers EMPLOYED BY OTHER COMPANIES. He name drops Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan, by the way, both under contract at the time with WCW. I'm sorry, but drawing attention to the fact you DON'T have big names like that isn't the greatest way to put over your title match with Sid friggin' Vicious. To be fair, Sid was still a name at that point, but he wasn't an elite name or a proven draw anywhere. He was just a big monster that was cool to watch destroy scrubs. As much as I like Dr. Death, his name meant nothing in the U.S. like it did in Japan. He was never seen as more than a midcarder during his time in JCP/WCW, and the WWF never used him until well past his prime, so UWF "fans", if any did exist, obviously can't hold him in such a light when I'm sure they were mostly casual fans to begin with.
UWF World Tag Team Championship Match: [Vacant]
(Brian Blair & Jim Brunzell vs. The Warlord & The Power Warrior)
The Killer Bees vs. The New Powers of Pain:
Seriously, where's the lawsuits? The UWF deliberately refused to NOT call this team the Killer Bees in the past, calling them "Masked Confusion" instead because of the mask wearing nonsense, but here, not only are they called the Bees, but have the Bees tights, too. The Warlord is looking especially bloated and even has his triton, or whatever the fuck it's called, and Power Warrior is just some second-rate hack like Feelgood. Blair and P.W. start with a lockup, and Blair gives a shove. Lockup, and P.W. shoves Vlair and poses with little enthusiasm. P.W. wants a test of strength, but Blair isn't that stupid. Blair works a wristlock, but P.W. escapes with a yank of the hair. Blair sucker kicks P.W. and cranks the arm some more. P.W. counters, but Blair takes him over with a fireman's carry, then slaps on the armbar. Irish whip, and P.W. counters a hip toss with a clothesline. P.W. hits the ropes, but misses an elbow drop. Brunzell tags in and they take him over with a double hip toss. Brunzell with a wristlock and armbar, but P.W. rakes the eyes and tags out to the Warlord. Brunzell with a side headlock, but he jumps into a bearhug. Brunzell escapes with an ear smack and works the arm. Blair tags in and works a wristlock, as well. Blair with the most electrifying move in sports entertainment... the armbar. Warlord escapes with a slam and tags out, but Warrior walks into a drop toe hold because he's a schmuck. Sorry, but, I'm going to have to cut away for a second... this is one of the most boring shows I have ever seen. There is NO response to anything from the crowd, the play-by-play is terrible and features a guy with little to no knowledge of the "sport", and the ring announcer is the kind of guy you would see MC'ing a children's parade. "Look at them everyone! One last round of applause for them!" Seriously, it sucks, and it's annoying, and it's making me regret liking wrestling.
Anyways, back to the boring match in a marathon of them... the Bees work over Power Warrior. Brunzell with a spinning toe hold, then Blair with some more of the same. Standing toe hold by Blair, just to change things up. Wish-bone action, and Brunzell covers for two, then goes back to the toe hold. Zzzzz... I'd rather be watching Uncensored '95. At least then I can make endless jokes about the crappy product. Blair bounces off the ropes, but Warlord pulls the rope down on him. Good. Warlord scoops Blair up and rams him into the ring post so weakly, it would make Lance Storm say "that was weak." Back inside, and Warlord tags in. Irish whip, and a double clothesline from the N-Pop. Warlord clubs Blair across the back and plants him with a slam. Okay, Warlord is still as bad of a worker as he always was, so I'm glasd he tags out to the P.W., who quickly applies a bearhug. Jesus. Warlord could've done that for crying out loud. Warlord with a slam, and he heads to the second rope, then eats boot on the way down. I HATE that fucking spot more than any other. Brunzell gets the dead tag and takes P.W. over with a monkey flip. Irish whip, and Brunzell hits the dropkick! Brunzell with a slam, then tags in Blair, who comes off the top with a clothesline for a two count. Warlord with heel miscommunication, and we get a sloppy as fuck referee bump. Irish whip and a double dropkick on Warlord. Suddenly, someone who looks like the Power Warrior pulls a switch-a-roo, and Jesus, it's the Power Twins, as if we're supposed to know that. The Fresh Power Warrior pounds on Blair and slaps on a Full Nelson, but the camera work is so incompetant, we cut to the outside, then back inside, and Blair covers the Warrior for the three count at 11:42. Jesus, what a waste of time. The Bees looked like their usual selves, but this was 56 different kinds of boring, with a clusterfuck finish we didn't even get to see because the production crew can't even do that right.
"Suprfly" Jimmy Snuka vs. Cactus Jack:
I'm sure this must be a dream come true for Mick Foley, but I've completely lost interest and I'm cutting corners left and right, ignoring the terrible promos and cutting through introductions so I don't try and stab myself in the ear with a ballpoint pen. I will also ignore I mentioned Cactus was one of the names signed by the big two around this time, but I forgot, WCW kind of let him go, but still used him at the same time for some reason. He was working ECW a lot, though, I know that. Snuka looks really bored or really stoned, possibly both. the Lumberjacks are a handful of the undercard guys who weren't bored to sleep. Lockup, and Cactus grabs a headlock. Lockup #2, and Snuka grabs a headlock of his own. Cactus escapes and they fight over a hammerlock. Irish whip, and Snuka with a shoulder block. Lockup, and Snuka with another headlock. Irish whip, and Snuka with another shoulder block. Here's the problem with using a Lumberjack match for a meaningless match... the whole point is that there is to be prevention of someone leaving the ring, and all of the drama surrounding on someone trying to hide from his opponent. Here, it's two guys fighting for no reason, with no real reason for them to need lumberjacks, and no reason for bias activities from the lumberjacks. It's using a gimmick just for the sake of it, rather than producing a good match.
Irish whip, and Cactus clotheslines Snuka over the top rope, where Dr. Feelgood sexually molests him. Everyone gangs up as this dork on commentary makes Michael Cole look cool, over-exaggerating things. "This shouldn't happen in America!" might be the lamest line since "the danger of Hell in a Cell is getting your finger caught in it!" Or maybe since before it, cause this was before WrestleMania XV. Stuff happens, but it's totally pointless, then back in the ring, Cactus slaps on a chinlock. A FUCKING CHINLOCK? Snuka fights back to his feet and elbows free. Shoulder block spot knocks Snuka out of the ring. The action continues to spill outside the ring, and everyone hugs "trying" to get everyone in the ring. Cactus and Snuka do things, and Snuka whacks him with a chair. Cactus and Snuka walk around up in the empty arena (now THERE'S a gimmick match that needs to be used) for a Double-count out at 9:03. The camera wisely cuts to a long shot as we barely see Cactus suplex Snuka into the seats. Or maybe it was the other way round. I couldn't see, but it was meant to be sarcasm. I love how we got a Double Count-Out in a Lumberjack Match, too. How fucking creative. SOMEONE PLEASE SHUT THIS FUCKING GUY UP! WE DON'T NEED TO HEAR STUPID COMMENTS FROM THE FUCKING RING ANNOUNCER ABOUT TERRIBLE FUCKING WRESTLING!
- Where's that interview with Curt Hennig? False Advertisement at its greatest!
UWF World Championship Match:
"Dr. Death" Steve Williams © vs. "Malicious" Sid Vicious:
Seriously, was the name "Sid Vicious" not good enough that he needed a terrible nickname to rhyme with it? Are we in Kindergarten or something?! I just want this show to end, and thankfully, we've come to the end of the line. I mentioned this earlier, but credit to the UWF for getting a name like Sid Vicious in the main event, instead of using someone of lesser stature in the wrestling world. Lockup, and no one gains the advantage. Sid slaps on a side headlock, then gingerly comes off the ropes with a shoulder block. Williams hits the ropes, and runs right into a big boot from Sid. Sid boots Williams and does a weird back-stretching hold. Williams fights his way out of the hold, but Sid quickly counters back. Williams goes with option two and hooks the ropes for a break. Face-to-face time, or morev like face to chest, considering Sid's height advantage. Williams with a go-behind waistlock, but Sid counters. Williams takes Sid down and grabs a headlock. Sid counters with a head scissors, but Williams escapes. Lockup, and Williams with a headlock takeover, and again Sid with a head scissors. Sid with a boot, followed by a headlock. Williams with a head scissors, and Sid kips up(!) and plants Williams with a chokeslam! Sid cups his ear to get a response from the crowd, and I can actually hear them! Sid throws Dr. Death into the corner and hammers away with big rights. Whip to the corner, and Williams with the dramatic over-sell. Sid kicks Williams around like a football, but Williams tries fighting back. Sid chokes Williams across the middle rope and continues to hammer away.
Sid with a scoop slam for a two count, then slaps on a chinlock. Williams escapes with elbows, but Sid clubs him across the back. Whip to the corner, and Sid runs into a big boot. Williams charges out of the corner with a clothesline, and now both men are down. Irish whip, and Sid with a powerslam for a two count. Sid goes back to a chinlock, or maybe it's a face claw hold, I can't tell with Sid. Sid with a slam, and he signals he's going to fly like an Eagle, I think. Williams with blows to the midsection, but Sid punts him again. Williams with a series of rights and lefts, fllowed by a powerslam for a two count. Whip to the corner, and Williams follows in with a charge for another two count. Williams with a slam, and he heads to the second turnbuckle, but he jumps off and eats canvas. Sid to the top rope, but Williams crotches him on the turnbuckle, and takes him off with an overhead suplex! Williams with a gut-wrench into a sit-out powerbomb, but then Danny Spivey hits tthe ring for the Disqualification at 10:57, and the former Skyscrapers lay a beating in on Dr. Death. They connect with a double team powerbomb to end things, as Sunny Beach hits the ring to scare them off with a chair. What's the point of this lame finish in their main event? It was actually quite watchable, which is the real shame here.
Thank goodness that's all over. I don't know why I can't leave these mysterious shows no one really knows much about alone. There's usually a good reason for it, and there's a good reason this was the lost known show put on, at least for a national audience, from the UWF. Poor production, poor performances from most of the wrestlers, even worse performances from the non-wrestling performers, false advertisements, uncreative finishes, uncreative booking in general, blatant gimmick rip-offs trademarked by other companies, and a total and complete lack and understanding on making a competant wrestling program, let alone a successful one. This thing was doomed for failure with the first match, where we got a pointless swerve to a match so compelling it was joined in progress because of the program before it running long. One of the most boring shows I have ever seen. I won't say worse, because there was instances of decent work, but most boring definitely. I have never looked at the clock so much, waiting for the final tick to come.
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