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USWA Challenge - August 25, 1989

by Scrooge McSuck

- Last week, Embry and Adams took on Young and Chu-Hi on USWA Challenge, and this leads us into the introduction from Marc Lowrance, who is joined by Frank Dusek at ringside to call all of the action in the following hour. There's a lot of action coming from the Sportatorium, including a Loser Leaves Town match between Eric Embry and Cactus Jack Manson... right after these messages!

- Skandor Akbar is standing by with his newest man, Tauras Bulba. He name drops Kerry Von Erich as a target.

Jimmy Jack Funk vs. Sheikh Scott Braddock:

Both men were featured in my recap of the August 11th, episode, so no need to recycle thoughts and tidbits about either man. Braddock's camoflauge pants makes him look like a Bushwhacker that isn't from a long line of incest and poorly practiced hygiene. He takes Funk over with a pair of hip tosses, but a slam is countered, and Funk with a hip toss and dropkick to clear Braddock from the ring. The crowd chants "traitor" at Braddock, who originally competed as Private Braddock or whatever before joining Devastation Inc. Back inside, and Jimmy Jack works the arm. Funk with another dropkick and arm brag, then back to working the arm. This match must be meaningless, as Lowrance and Dusek talk about someeting that happened between Embry, Adams, and Devastation Inc. Funk has a short-arm scissors applied throughout the entire conversation. Braddock escapes, but not for very long. Whip to the ropes, and they blow a hot shot/stun gun spot. Whip to the opposite corner, and Braddock "rushes" in with a knee. Braddock with a back breaker for a two count. Incase you missed the previous 17 times it was mentioned, Embry faces Cactus Jack Manson in a Loser Leaves Town Match later in the broadcast. Braddock remains in control, and slaps on a sleeper hold. Funk gets the arm up before it drops thrice, and escapes with elbows. Criss-cross, and a double clothesline puts both men down. Dusek with a McCarver-ism, claiming the first man to his feet will have the advantage. Jimmy Jack with a reverse atomic drop into the corner, followed by some mounted rights. He's working a little stiff, to me, but maybe he just really sucks. Braddock uses the trunks to leverage Funk through the ropes. Braddock with a suplex attempt, but Funk counters with a school boy for three at 10:56 for the surprise victory. An OK match to open with, but meaningless, since the attention of the commentary team was on a more important matter.

- Generic promo from Percy Pringle.

- We finally get the footage of what has been the subject of attention for the entire broadcast. Frank Dusek is doing commentary at ringside with Toni Adams, Chris' wife. P.Y. Chu-Hi and Tojo Yamamoto take care of Dusek with a handful of salt (Lowrance's words) and go after her, stink palming her, I guess. We get a classy "censor" screen and return with Toni Adams on the ground, screaming like she's in a sequel of Friday the 13th. Chris Adams finally makes it to ringside to come to her aid and throws a chair at some random dude. The lighting is bad, sorry if it was someone worth mentioning.

Texas Heavyweight Title; Loser Leaves Town Match:
Eric Embry (w/ Percy Pringle III) vs. Cactus Jack Manson:

Apparently Embry defeated Jack for the title in a record 9-seconds about week ago, so here's the rematch, and Skandor Akbar is so determined to rid Embry from the USWA, he's willing to do a Loser Leaves Town match with all of his men until Embry loses, using the logic "he has to lose eventually." Hmm... he WAS booking at the time, so I'll say no, unless it's a stupid Midnight Rider situation. Cactus attacks from behind and gets surprised with a back slide for three at the 12-second mark!?!? What the hell!? Jack pitches a fit in the ring and smacks himself over and over with the chair. The ring announcer rubs it in that in two matches, Cactus lost to Embry twice in a total of 21-seconds. In 2012, that sounds kind of familiar... this would be Cactus Jack's last match in USWA, finding his way around, through WCW and UWF (Herb Abrams version) to name a few.

- Reigning World Heavyweight Champion, Jerry "the King" Lawler, is standing by with an interview taped in front of a black curtain. Lawler name drops the WWF, NWA, "the remnants of AWA still in existance", among others to clarify his World Championship. Lawler calls Hogan and Flair "Company Champions", because they only defend their "World" Titles against fellow WWF (Hogan) or NWA (Flair) wrestlers. How about AWA Champion Larry Zbyszko!?

- Video montage on "Flamboyant" Eric Embry. Are they playing Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings"!?! Wow, that's lame. We see highlights of him, bloodied and battered, at the hands of Devastation Inc., and one incredibly awful table spot with Cactus Jack hitting the lower half of his back on the corner. I swear to God, Jimmy King from Ready 2 Rumble looks just like the bastard.

"Maniac" Matt Borne & Billy Joe Travis vs. Al Perez & Gary Young (w/ Skandor Akbar):

For those who forgot, both Al Perez and "Gorgeous" Gary Young are members of Devastation Inc, much like every other heel in the entire promotion. Don't know too much about Travis. Other than seeing him on a lot of shows from this era, he mostly worked the southern promotions before fading away in the mid 90's, and passed away in 2002 from a heart attack at 42 years old. Borne is one-half of the Tag Team Champions with Jeff Jarrett, but for whatever reason, he's teaming with Travis. Thank you Marc, for bringing attention to Borne's unusual attire (pink boxer shorts?). Borne takes Perez down and works the arm. Travis tags in and does more of the same. Travis keeps Perez on his side of the ring, and works a wristlock. Travis with a cheap shot in the corner, frustrating the heels. The referee prevents another, allowing Perez to throw a cheap one, then rake the eyes with the laces of the boots. Young tags in, and is sporting some very red hair, claiming he used to dye it brown and is letting it come in naturally... "The Natural" Gary Young? Borne tags back in, and more arm work. Whip to the ropes, and Borne with a cross body for two. Commercial break, and we return with Borne working the arm, again. Criss-cross again, and Borne with a powerslam for two. Travis tags in... by tagging Young? Whip to the corner, Travis with a pair of arm drags, then back to the armbar. Borne comes in and wipes Young out with a short-clothesline for a two count. Travis in, and he gingerly hits the ropes to spill to the floor, courtesy of Perez, who greets him with a slam on the concrete. Perez drags Travis back in, then throws him back out on the other side of the ring while the referee was distracted. Borne and Perez brawl outside the ring, while Travis gets whooped by Young. Whip to the ropes, and a lariat is over-sold by Travis. Young with a knee drop, and it gets a very slow two count. Everyone gets involved again, with brawling in opposite corners. Young becomes a victim of heel miscommunication, but has enough in him to nail Travis with a loaded fist for three at 12:56. That seemed to just keep going on and on, with little direction or flow to the match. The heels definitely should've had more time in control of the match than the final couple of minutes.

- We close the show, hyping up the encounter between Gentleman Chris Adams and P.Y. Chu-Hi, next week. Yes, I have that episode in reserve, so we will see how this unfolds next time on USWA Challenge.

Final Thoughts: Not the greatest episode in terms of quality wrestling. The opener was a very generic undercard filler, the main event was tedious, and the highly hyped "loser leaves town" ended in seconds. On the positive side, there was some decent storyline advancement with Chris Adams and PY Chu-Hi, and the ongoing saga between Embry and Devastation Inc. is always interesting, but there's not much here. As promised, next up is the episode featuring the hyped main event of Adams vs. Chu-Hi.

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