Ten shows in, it’s time to go back to 1999 for more from the UWA – will their run of poor shows end?
We open with a recap from last week, with Steve Lynskey’s American Accent challenging Danny Royal to a match against an unknown man – with Royal’s UWA title shot on the line.
Dan Berlinka’s in the studio as always, promising the answers to the two mysteries: who’d be Jody Flash’s partner, and who’d be facing Danny Royal. Apparently Stevie Knight is the number one contender for the TV title, and he’s in action now in front of a sparse crowd.
Knight cuts a promo before his match that acknowledges his TV title shot, and declares that “every move is for you, Phil Powers”. Maybe my expectations are at rock bottom for promos here, but that was quite decent.
Stevie Knight vs. Justin Starr
Starr starts with a wristlock, but it’s reversed as Knight lands a savate kick then a back elbow. A running knee to the midsection keeps Starr down, but Justin surprises Knight with a roll-up to get a near-fall.
Knight punches himself out of a sunset flip, before dropping Starr with a Rocker Dropper. A gutwrench lift into a sit-out powerbomb gets Knight another two count, before a powerslam sets up for… a missed axehandle off the ropes. Another comeback from Starr ended abruptly when his mounted corner punches was turned into an Electric Chair then the Knight Driver for the win. Basic, but this is about the level we’re going to get here. Decent action, but a dead crowd meant these two may as well have wrestled in an empty warehouse **
Oh good, we’ve got a promo from Phil Powers later in the night. I missed my vanilla!
As Mad Dog McPhie makes his way to the ring, we get a split-screen segment where McPhie’s with the Tiny Girls, talking about his fan mail… apparently some kid wanted a Mad Dog McPhie action figure, and the response was: just watch me live.
Mad Dog McPhie vs. The Stomper
We’ve got the football hooligan as the “already in the ring” opponent, and he grabs a headlock on McPhie, who hits back with a clothesline, then a legdrop.
McPhie suplexes Stomper, then wrings an arm, but it’s reversed. There’s a blatant as all hell low blow from McPhie, and it’s not even acknowledged by the referee, as the “Canine Drop” (reverse DDT) looks to put Stomper away. Except Steve Lynskey’s got the referee distracted, so we get another suplex instead and that’s the win. Absolutely rotten – and I swear that referee had never heard of wrestling before he’d put on a UWA t-shirt for this match. ½*
After running down what’s happening later in the show, we’re taken to Paul Martin’s update. He’s still in that red suit, which makes you wonder – this was probably all filmed at once, wasn’t it? Hence the boredom and the “please help me, I’m doing this against my will” feel to these segments.
We’re back for a dose of vanilla, as Phil Powers has an in-ring promo now. It sounds like they’ve ditched “I’ve got the Power” for his music, which reduces the cliche of the act a little. Paul Martin tells us again that Powers will be defending the title against Stevie Knight, and invites a response (“Let’s hear it for Hot Stuff”)… before getting nothing back.
Powers’ promo is anaemic when it came to content, before addressing Knight as “not much of a threat”. He does everything for the fans, and then does a backflip. Just think, in the summer of 1999, the British scene was producing this… a million miles away from even what ECW was pumping out.
More recaps of the Doug Williams/Steve Lynskey stuff from what feels like ages ago, and now we’re up to Danny Royal vs. Mystery Man. They play Jonny Storm’s music – AC/DC’s Thunderstruck – but instead the ring announcer knows exactly who the mystery man is: “Highlander” Drew McDonald. Hopefully he’ll work out better than Blondie Barratt did…
Danny Royal vs. Drew McDonald
McDonald opens by charging Royal into the corner, before grabbing a side headlock. Royal counters with a series of armdrags, then grabbed an armbar as McDonald was kept to a knee.
A belly-to-back suplex takes down McDonald as Royal again goes back to the armbar, before clotheslining McDonald to the outside. Royal joins him, but takes a lariat from McDonald, and then replies with a press slam off the apron onto the floor. That looked awkward.
McDonald got back on the offence with some forearms, and then went to the top rope… but Royal stopped him and sent him down with a superplex. Somehow, McDonald gets up first and hit another clothesline, before a Samoan drop squashes Royal.
They cut to commercial – including an odd one for L!VE TV’s coverage of a pre-season friendly game between Glasgow Rangers and Sunderland. I forgot that game even happened, let alone that it was televised…
We return as McDonald stood over Royal, kicking him into the ropes. Drew pulls back Royal with a chinlock over the knee, then he slammed Royal down before missing an elbow drop. That got Royal a brief comeback, with a clothesline after whipping McDonald into the corner, but he only gets a two-count out of it.
An elbow from the middle rope misses, as does an avalanche in the corner from McDonald, before Royal hits a bodyslam for a near-fall as Steve Lynskey removed a turnbuckle pad to create a distraction. Royal quickly took an avalanche into the unprotected corner, and it was just a matter of time as McDonald nonchalantly got a powerbomb for the win. As a match, there was a lot of stalling, but this broadly fit in with the style of the time. Decent, but nothing to write home about **½
We’ve got a ringside promo with Paul Martin and Drew McDonald. Drew’s promo was pretty good, and was made even better by the fact we didn’t have to hear that wandering American accent.
We crash back to the studio with Dan, who links to the tag team title main event… and we continue the trend of wrestlers’ entrances and “this music can only mean one thing”. Please tell me they actually did an impersonation gimmick, so it didn’t mean “only one thing”…
Once again, the Death Squad are out with the Tiny Girls, but they’ve left their quad-bike from earlier backstage. Despite being vaguely heels, the Death Squad are popular… who’s have thought it? Arse kickers who run through everyone are popular! Jody Flash comes out first by himself, as Duke Lynch grabs the microphone and mocks Flash for being young.
Flash asks for the music (I assume of his partner) and it ends up being… Big Papa T. Why, God? Why?
UWA Tag Team Championship: Death Squad (Duke Lynch & Mark Myers) vs. Jody Flash & Big Papa T
Before the match, Papa T’s valet – Rebecca – decided to shove one of the Tiny Girls, who just cowered away. More of the same when they tried to mock the Papa T shuffle, and finally the match starts with a straight right to Flash’s face.
Lynch drops Flash with a sloppy spinebuster as they go to a break, and returned with Duke Lynch taking a Ric Flair bump in the turnbuckles after missing a corner charge. Flash looked to follow up outside with an Asai moonsault, but he missed, and ended up being thrown into the railings with a full nelson slam.
Papa T throws Flash back into the ring, where Myers connects with a back breaker, then again with an uppercut. Myers drops Flash with a gorilla press slam into a gutbuster, and then again with a simple clothesline. Yep, so far, so squashy.
Lynch flapjacks Flash, before a second attempt is turned into a dropkick, but Jody can’t tag out to Papa, and instead takes a gorilla press slam to the floor. Papa again throws Flash back in, and he’s slammed once more, as the Death Squad look to finish him off with the Sheffield Hammer.
Flash rolls away as Papa T comes in to stop the move, catching Myers and snapmares him to the mat, before Flash hits a springboard 720 DDT and snatches the win. Well… this was a squash for 98% of the match, and they did their best with what was effectively a handicap match. *¼
For some reason a part of Papa T’s dancing after the match is shown in black and white, as the new champions make their way to the back. Really, there was more competition between Rebecca and the Tiny Girls before the match!
Dan Berlinka is back and reminds us that next week we have Phil Powers vs. Stevie Knight – and that’s it for another week. I have to say, the trend continued here – the template of “announce a match, have a build-up to it with one guy cutting a promo, remind everyone, have the other guy promo” quickly wore thin.
For me, the novelty of this style has long since worn off, and now it’s painfully clear who the core roster is, it’s going to be more of the same for the remainder of this show’s run.