We return to the world of the UWA, with their eleventh show… and yes, it’s more of the same.
The recording picks up with Jason Cross at ringside for a match – and for a change, it’s the commentators welcoming us to the show, rather than Dan Berlinka in a studio. We’re straight into the action too:
Jason Cross vs. Kerry Cabrero
Cabrero does the “kiss my hand, pat it on the arse” motion to signify he’s a bad guy now. We start with a headlock from Cabrero, then a shoulder block, as Cross just about leaps over Cabrero before clotheslining Kerry to the outside.
Cross dives off the apron with a cannonball, and almost landed on his head doing so. Back inside, Cross gets a two-count from a slam, who then gets some kicks in before he’s pulled to the mat after Cabrero caught one. A dropkick to the knee puts Cross back down again, and it’s that knee that Cabrero goes to town on, grapevining it and then turning it into an Indian deathlock.
Cabrero chops Cross in the corner, but Jason comes back with a crossbody for a near-fall as Cabrero again fired back. We get a springboard back elbow to Cross after he’d been crotched on the top rope, then a flying body press before Cabrero celebrates like he’s Iron Mike Sharpe!
After fighting outside the ring, Cabrero hits a Mountain Bomb then a series of knee drops. This crowd is pretty much silent, aside from some catcalls, which meant that we heard all of a clothesline’s impact that got a two-count on Cross. Cabrero briefly grabs a single-leg Boston crab, before Cross fires back with a Northern Lights suplex that gets him a near-fall – despite Cabrero’s foot being under the ropes the whole time!
Cross lands a Michinoku Driver, then goes up top for a moonsault, which actually connects, but a slow count leads to a kick-out from Cabrero. Jason hits some forearms, but out of nowhere Cabrero connects with a Flatliner for the win… and then mounts Cross for some punches afterwards. Another of those “nothing wrong, but nothing good” matches. **½
That Flatliner was horrid – I think Cabrero’s batting .500 when it comes to hitting that move without it looking bad.
We’re back to Dan in the studio, who builds the rest of the show, but first… commercials! Including ring announcer Paul Martin in another of L!VE TV’s shows…
Dan recaps the situation with the Death Squad breaking up a match from two weeks ago, interfering in a match with Jody Flash, which then led up to last week’s surprise loss to Flash and Big Papa T. All of this is stuff that could have been done over several weeks, but the attack and challenge was crammed into one show, with the title match one week later. Yep, pacing was a major issue in the UWA.
We’re taken to footage of the Death Squad (supposedly) after their loss, where they’re just pacing through an office’s reception. Apparently the Death Squad were thrown by the way Papa T came to the ring. What? By the way he always does? Lynch says this’ll be the last time that the Death Squad will lose, whilst Mark Myers says they’re going to make an example out of everyone.
Apparently the winners of our next match are going to get a tag title shot… either 2 Far Gone or the “unusual combination” of Alex Shane and Leon Murphy. Shane gets the microphone before the match and tells the audience that whilst Murphy is here for pain, he’s here for pleasure. Shane tells the fans to “sit down, shut up and give (him) some God-damn respect”. So there’s another heel turn then, I guess?
2 Far Gone (Paul Tyrell & Steve Morocco) vs. Alex Shane & Leon Murphy
Shane starts by slapping Travell, and then posing for the camera, before what I can only describe as an attempted knee to the midsection. A spot of rope running seems to bore the commentator, before Tyrell’s armdrag sends Shane down.
Another awkward hiptoss sends Shane to the outside, as we end up with a double baseball slide dropkick from both of 2 Far Gone, followed by a pescado from Tyrell on Shane. So far, I can characterise this match in one word: sloppy.
Leon Murphy gets involved with a double clothesline, before press slamming Shane onto Tyrell for the hell of it. Morocco takes a springboard legdrop from Shane, who then missed a corner charge as 2 Far Gone looked to hit their finisher. Morocco took down Shane with a pendulum backbreaker, but Murphy apparently crotched Tyrell on the top rope.
Undeterred, Shane stopped selling as Murphy punched out Tyrell, leaving Morocco all alone in the ring for a parade of moves: a slam from Murphy, a leapfrog legdrop from Shane, a Vader bomb from Murphy, and then a top rope legdrop from Shane that almost went bad. They don’t go for a pin, as Shane instead goes to taunt someone in the crowd… and it ended up being a bodybuilder who looked like he eats meals bigger than Alex Shane.
That distraction leads to Shane taking a forearm smash from the blatant plant, and that leads to a count-out as 2 Far Gone pick up the win. Well, it’s a crap finish, but at least it wasn’t Shane losing via a missed springboard flip! **
Next week, it’s 2 Far Gone vs. Big Papa T and Jody Flash for the tag titles. I can barely begin to get excited.
We’re taken back to ringside where Steve Lynskey and Drew McDonald are making their appearance for an in-ring promo. Thankfully Steve’s wandering American accent is limited, as Drew McDonald does most of the talking. Drew has a dream to be a champion for Lynskey, and challenges Doug Williams to make an appearance. Doug slides comes through the crowd, and walks straight into a beatdown, with Lynskey throwing in a couple of slaps for the hell of it.
Security finally appear – wearing the same shirts as the referees – and as they seem to hardly care, we’re taken to a break, featuring another of Paul Martin’s updates straight off an autocue!
Back from commercial, they show us the aftermath of Drew McDonald’s attack, which was largely Doug Williams holding his head… and Danny Royal attacking McDonald from behind. We don’t see much beyond that, as instead we have to see a recap of Phil Powers’ TV title matches, and he’s in action next.
UWA Television Championship: Stevie Knight vs. Phil Powers (c)
Knight jumps Powers as he entered the ring, but that didn’t stop the ring announcer from getting his stuff in! Powers sends Knight to the outside early on, which leads to some stalling.
Powers uses the ropes to reverse a wristlock, before hiptossing and dropkicking Knight back outside… and I can really live without this format of “moves, pause, moves, pause”. Back in the ring, Knight gets a headlock takedown, but Powers quickly switches to some headscissors, only for Knight to work back to a headlock.
Powers drills Knight with a release German suplex, then a body slam, as he goes up top for a flip senton onto a standing Knight for a near-fall. After whipping Powers into the corner, the turnbuckle pad falls off once more, which leads to a distracted referee as he replaced the pad.
We see a slingshot sit-out front suplex from Powers, who then climbs to the top for a big splash for a near-fall. From the kick-out, Knight suddenly gets back on the offensive, whipping Powers into the corner and then landing a bodyslam for a near-fall. Knight gets a couple of near-falls, before he’s backdropped out of the ring by Powers, who goes flying with a tope.
Phil goes up top once more, but his attempt at a sunset flip is met with a punch to the face. Knight gets a pumphandle bodyslam for a two-count, and we’re taken to some adverts. Back from break, Knight lands a powerbomb, then a sit-out powerbomb for another near-fall, before Powers gets a cross body off the ropes.
Powers slips in a backslide for another two-count, then a Fisherman’s suplex as the near-falls came thick and fast. Knight grabbed an armbar briefly, but got surprised by a roll-up for a near-fall as Knight instead rolled out of the ring… so he could crotch Powers in the ringpost.
Powers takes the Ric Flair bump to avoid being thrown into the turnbuckle, but Knight pulls the referee in the way of a dropkick. Powers sold that dropkick like death, which is pure Wrestling Logic, and that allowed Knight to bring in a steel chair. Kerry Cabrero runs out to make the save, but instead he smashes Powers over the head with the chair. Unprotected.
Cabrero wakes up the referee, and it’s all elementary. Stevie Knight takes the pin and becomes the second UWA TV champion. I could have lived without the unprotected chairshot finish, but save for that, it was as good a match as you’re likely to get here. **¾
Yes, in 1999 we apparently didn’t know that chairshots hurt your head. Or that you should sell a chairshot to the head more than a dropkick to the referee, as Powers “kicked out” barely after three. Knight threw the referee out of the ring, as he and Cabrero celebrated… until Paul Sloan ran in for the save. Speaking of not-selling, the referee popped back up and climbed into the ring, and although Knight celebrated as the new champion, the match was ruled as a no-contest, so Phil Powers retains the title?
Knight grabs the microphone and declares himself the champion. He also declared himself and Cabrero “an item” (which has a much different connotation in 2016!), before finally leaving the ring without the gold. That reversal took that finish down a bit; why have it a no contest when there were two clear instances that would have led to a DQ? A horrid way to book yourself out of a corner.
The show ends with Dan Berlinka recapping what we just saw, along with the incident with Doug Williams before promising a tag title match next week. Yep, this really was more of the same; although this time, it was the booking that was rotten, and not the matches. By this point, the crowd was noticably dead, which suggests that we may be at the end of this particular set of tapings…