After a huge improvement last week, we’re back for more from the UWA’s Blackpool tapings – headlined by a TV title match. Yes, it means more Phil Powers…
We open with Dan Berlinka in the studio, hyping up Flash Barker’s UWA debut, the return of Jonny Storm, and Paul Sloan doing double duty. Could they not have edited these tapings better?!
They quickly take us into action, with Danny Royal in the commentary booth for some reason, and seemingly replacing Ross Gordon. Kerry Cabrero and Stevie Knight come out, and they’re doing all they can to hint that these two are in a relationship without flat-out calling them gay. I guess that’d be a step too far for 1999. We see footage of Cabrero and Knight’s partnership which started with that chairshot on Phil Powers, and then Kerry’s got the mic.
Cabrero calls the crowd “scumbags”, then says there’s no women in the crowd “worthy” of their attention. So Stevie Knight drapes himself over Cabrero to keep up the innuendos.
Kerry Cabrero vs. Flash Barker
Barker, making his UWA debut here, is wearing a singlet with MMA gloves… a gimmick that I think may already be taken here. We see some feinted kicks from Barker, which leads to some stalling as Cabrero threatened to slap the crowd.
Cabrero then slaps Barker after a lock-up, but Flash fires back with a series of kicks then a clothesline that sent Cabrero to the outside. Barker follows him outside, but gets caught by Stevie Knight during a game of cat and mouse, before Barker’s sent into the guard railings.
A double axehandle off the middle rope from Cabrero takes down Barker, before a second one is caught and turned into a belly-to-belly suplex. Barker tries for an ankle lock, but Cabrero claws his way to the outside, where he’s met by a pescado from Barker. We’re taken to a commercial break as they fought outside the ring, and we return to see Knight shoving a chair in the ring.
Knight shoves the smaller, older referee for some reason, whilst Cabrero sets up a chair for a step-up tope… Cabrero was Sabu before he was Sabu! Again though, why is Kerry Cabrero – the heel – using a flashy move such as this?! They exchange blows in the aisle, before Cabrero back body drops Barker onto the aisle. A hiptoss from Barker gets him an instant response, before he bulldogs Knight in the aisle too.
They return to the ring where Cabrero tries to go for the chair, but he’s stopped by a Barker slam, and then a top rope cross body gets him a near-fall. Cabrero fires back with a spinning heel kick, before we get more interference from Stevie Knight outside the ring.
Cabrero uses a chair on Barker, before having it kicked back in his face… but there’s no disqualification here. Instead, Barker throws him into the guard rails for some chops, before going back into the ring for some knees to the midsection, and then a Michinoku driver. Knight pulls Barker out of the ring to break up the cover (it’s a small ring, anyone could have done that). The distraction leads to Cabrero hitting the Flatliner, which actually looked decent this week, and that’s a win. A decent opening match for once… what a shock! ***
Speaking of, Danny Royal in one match doing commentary showed way more personality than the guy that UWA’s shoving down our throats in every show…
And speaking of, Phil Powers runs out to make the save as Cabrero and Knight double-teamed Barker after the match, and this descended into a brawl between all four men as the segment ended.
We’re taken to a segment “earlier today” with 2 Far Gone. They again throw down the Death Squad’s old title belts as “crap”, and say that they don’t want to fight the Death Squad for the belts. Apparently, they do want “that stupid little motorcycle”, and that brings out one of the Tiny Girls with a message from the Death Squad: that they’ll win those belts back next week. Given that this was presented as “earlier today” with a whole load of edits in this, this must have been a horrific promo, especially when you consider what the UWA HAS aired!
Another backstage segment now with Rebecca, who’s annoyed that the UWA can only offer her mediocre wrestlers. She’s annoyed with Frank for that distraction from last week, but I guess they’re now trying to use Big Papa T as a singles guy again?
Phil Blend vs. Paul Sloan
So, not content with being a special referee in the main event, Paul Sloan’s wrestling here too. Why did this not get spread across different episodes?! Blend works over Sloan’s arm early on, but it’s reversed as Sloan takes him down for an armbar. They plug Ross Gordon on the UWA Hotline with the UWA TV champion after the show, as the match sees Blend whipped into the corner and then dropped with a shoulder tackle.
Sloan misses a corner charge and takes a brainbuster for a two-count as Blend got up for no reason whatsoever. Blend tries for a lifting reverse DDT, and gets it, but Sloan’s just dead weight here… at least until he moved away from a top rope dive from Blend, and hits back with a reverse DDT (or “a variation of a suplex” from Danny Royal on commentary) for the win.
Well, after the good opening match, we’re back to “on TV before their time” territory. *¼
As we go to commercial, we’ve got footage of Jonny Storm in a theme park in Blackpool, posing with a Tetley tea sign. The joke? It’s Big Cuppa T! I have a feeling the sign can wrestle better than the real thing…
After commercial, we’re back with Jonny Storm who’s still taking the mick out of Papa T. Apparently Storm is “Style in Action”, and he’s got new music. Storm is “an incomprehensible 5’9” and is “exploding onto our screens”. Yeah, I don’t know either. At least he’s got Steve Lynskey and Mad Dog McPhie to help him if doing the worm on the way to the ring tired him out.
Storm gets the microphone and brags about his dancing, before saying he’ll be the first man to pin “his fat carcass”. Good luck with that.
Jonny Storm vs. Big Papa T
Storm crawls out of the ring as soon as Papa gets in there. There’s some obvious editing as they try and make a point/counterpoint deal of Storm refusing to wrestle and Rebecca ordering him into the ring.
Storm mimics Big Papa T by swerving a tie-up and dancing, before diving through his legs and landing a dropkick. A spinning heel kick off the top rope follows, and then a springboard moonsault off the middle rope for a near-fall.
Papa T pops up as if nothing had happened, and drills Storm with a rolling thunder shoulder charge, before he clotheslines Storm to the outside. Papa dives off the apron onto Mad Dog McPhie, and all of a sudden Frank appears on the apron, in army fatigues again. He’s speaking a language that might be French, and that causes a distraction which leads to a count-out victory. Well, they’re finding new ways to wheel out Papa T without exposing his limitations, but this match still wasn’t very good. ¼*
Dan Berlinka lives as he recaps what we just saw – along with Steve Lynskey and Mad Dog McPhie’s unhappiness with Storm’s showboating.
We get recaps of the Powers/Knight stuff, and a new backstage promo from Stevie Knight… and another one – in the same place – with Poochie. Sorry, I mean Phil Powers. This time he actually mentions the chairshot, but he ends up confusing passion with shouting. He’s still bland.
“You’ve seen him wrestling, now you’ll see him referee… Paul Sloan!” – yeah. Not exactly a ring announcement that’s tantalising anyone!
Steve Morgan reveals the location of UWA’s next TV tapings: Barking, in Essex. Apparently the winner of this main event will defend the TV title at a show on September 3 (1999, remember!).
Special Referee Paul Sloan / UWA Television Championship: Stevie Knight vs. Phil Powers (c)
Powers attacks Knight with the title belt as Knight was making his way to the ring, and we have a jump start… remember, this was a match where the title could change hands by DQ, so that probably wasn’t a smart move…
After going to the ring, Powers for some reason flew to the outside with a tope on Cabrero, which allowed Knight to take control. Kerry Cabrero grabs a chair and hits Powers over the leg with it, but for some reason that’s not a DQ, instead referee Sloan opts to eject Cabrero from ringside. Alright then.
Knight throws Powers into an opened-out chair next, but back inside the ring, Powers hits back with a butterfly suplex. Another vertical suplex follows for a near-fall, and as Knight slowly takes control, with a commercial break splitting things up, as we returned to another chairshot from Knight. Again, no action taken from the referee, which continues the trend of hideous officiating in this group.
Knight grounds Powers with a sleeperhold, but Phil fights back up and takes a super slow motion bump from a clothesline. As in “Knight hits him with it, and a second later, Powers takes a flat back bump”. He’s never really taken a good clothesline in this group, has he? A backbreaker from Knight gets a near-fall, as Knight goes back to the chinlock, but again, Powers elbows free and connects with a dropkick to take down the challenger. Another bodyslam follows as Powers goes up top, and an attempt at a 450 Splash sees him a) miss and b) get nowhere near Stevie Knight. Oh, and c) damn near shatter his knees on what looked to be a converted boxing ring!
They replay that 450 Splash, as Knight awkwardly lifts up Powers for a powerbomb. Sloan lets a low blow fly, before Powers counters a slam with a German suplex for a near-fall. Powers stomps away on Knight, then throws him to the outside, where we see Knight grab a bulky chair from the crowd… which the referee just dispatches of without question.
Knight rolls back in and pauses where he gets dropkicked by Powers, who then rolls outside and grabs a plastic MVC sign. Yep, after chair shots and low blows from Knight are ignored, Powers smashing a sponsors’ sign gets the DQ, and earns Stevie Knight the title by virtue of the pre-match stipulation. This was bad. The aggression that Powers added to his act here made sense, but as with a lot of his work, inconsistency ruined it. Yes, it was nice to try a 450 Splash in 1999, but when the camera angles available showed he was nowhere near his opponent, I guess we have our first example of a spot monkey? **
Kerry Cabrero’s come back out to ringside to celebrate as a bunch of regular UWA referees remonstrate with the over-acting Phil Powers. Apparently Stevie Knight has been waiting eight years to win the UWA TV title… which is a great bit of foresight, given that this company’s only been around for fourteen weeks of TV!
We see replays of the referee not DQ’ing Stevie Knight for a chairshot, but then awarding a DQ for the MVC sign-shattering that ended the match. Are they trying to plant seeds for a Sloan/Powers feud down the road? The show ends without much of a sign-off, as we crash to the end credits and that’s all folks!
Well, the one-show streak is over. This wasn’t a rotten show, but the midcard was something to be avoided – and the finish of the main event was just awkward as all hell.