After last week saw Phil Powers lose his UWA TV title, we pick up the Wrestling Rampage with… oh God, more Big Papa T.
The show opens with a recap of last week’s main event, before Dan Berlinka resurfaces in the studio to reiterate what we just saw. Apparently the UWA roster’s been out and about in Blackpool, so we’re going to get some of that. Yay?
We’re taken to the ring and a confused Paul Martin for our first match, with Simon Bridlington back in the revolving commentary chair. Apparently Paul Sloan disqualifying his mentor for using a weapon is a big storyline, but then again, Sloan had ignored a blatant chairshot earlier in the match… but I don’t get it?
Joe Young vs. Mad Dog McPhie
We’re back to the over-the-top ring announcer, as Mad Dog has “fire in his eyes” apparently, and he launches into Young at the bell with knees and forearms in the corner.
Young ducks a couple of back elbows, then drops Mad Dog with a DDT, only to be caught on the top rope and slammed down a la Ric Flair, before McPhie drops to his knees with a piledriver to earn the win. Total squash – and a quick 45 seconds’ work for McPhie. I’m not gonna rate that for the obvious reason.
At least the squash means that Steve Lynskey’s American accent is limited.
We go backstage to Phil Powers in a bathroom… he recalls how Paul Sloan asked him for training. Powers is annoyed that he got disqualified for using a foreign object, and tells Sloan that “this hand is going to smash your Goddamn face in”. Yep, Phil’s still not been told that yelling doesn’t automatically make a promo good.
Back to ringside, and Paul Martin brings out Paul Sloan for an in-ring interview. Martin explains that Sloan was the guest referee and was a protege of Phil Powers… and the lack of response from the crowd highlights an issue we still see in wrestling today. If you have a storyline carrying across multiple days of TV tapings, you can’t expect a crowd to care without having seen incidents for themselves. (cough TNA, cough WhatCulture…)
Martin asks Sloan why he didn’t disqualify Knight earlier in the match for using a steel chair… instead, Sloan calls out Powers for a public apology. UWA’s John Cena comes out to no music, and no reaction either. Sloan says that Powers taught him better than to win matches by cheating, and in the end they just hug it out… except Sloan attacks him from behind. By that, I mean he just fell on him.
Kerry Cabrero comes out and ties up Powers in the ropes a la Andre the Giant, before Sloan slips up on his promo. Sloan’s heel turn is complete, saying he’s no longer Phil’s bag carrier, but he stops short of lining up with Cabrero and Stevie Knight. Instead, he walks off as Powers is worked over in the ropes, before a Flatliner from Cabrero, then a Knight Driver, and finally a stuff piledriver puts paid to the former champion.
Well, at least they’d sewn the seeds for the heel turn, but again, this highlighted just how lacking a lot of the UWA crew were when it came to aspects of modern wrestling such as promo work…
Back from commercial, we see a recap of that heel turn, as Dan Berlinka explains that Phil Powers is injured. “As we’re regaining control in the arena”, Berlinka pitches to a video package of the wrestlers on Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach. Featuring Stevie Knight, Alex Shane and Jonny Storm up to various hijinks in the tourist resort. Yep, we were expected to care about three of the promotion’s heels having fun, trying on hats and being thrown out of the resort by security.
Anyway, we’re taken back to ringside as we have Alex Shane in singles action… after he’s tried dancing to the Offspring’s “Come Out and Play”. Shane gets the microphone and tells us that his team has split up. We get the birth of some of Alex’s catchphrases that were ineffective here, and didn’t get much better later on in his career…
Alex Shane vs. Big Papa T
Shane tries to shake Papa’s hand, but instead tries to cheapshot him… to which Papa catches a kick and headbutts Shane to the outside.
Papa does his usual “sidestep a charge, dance a little” moves, before Shane leaps on his back with a sleeperhold. Papa reverses into the corner to break free, before he’s thrown shoulder-first into the corner.
Shane connects with a springboard legdrop before he clubs away at Papa T en route to a commercial break. We return to see Shane miss something off the top rope, and Papa T drills him with a back suplex, then a clothesline, before Shane escapes the ring. Papa T follows him into the aisle, and Frank suddenly appears from the crowd to stick a sign on Papa’s back.
This being the UWA, the sign fell off immediately, which meant that we needed Papa’s valet, Rebecca, to pick up the sign, which read “FAKE”. All of this led to a distraction count-out finish, as Alex Shane took the win. Hey, Papa T had a long match (for him), and it didn’t stink either! *½
We see a replay of Frank sticking the sign on Papa T, and they edit out the whole “sign falling off” botch, as Alex Shane dances up the aisle.
Back to Dan in the studio, as he reminds us how 2 Far Gone won the UWA tag titles because of Frank several weeks ago… and coincidentally, they’re in action next.
Only one of the Tiny Girls seemed to be booked here, and we’re reminded that Duke Lynch’s bike is also on the line here. That got zero reaction from the crowd, which seemed to be completely unaware of anything going on here.
There’s a sign in the crowd advertising the Job Centre… which seems to be made of the same material as those MVC signs that Stevie Knight and Doug Williams had smasked over their heads previously. Ominous?
Paul Tyrell takes the microphone and announces that they have a “tiny surprise of their own”… instead of another Tiny girl, they have… that nameless bodybuilder who slapped Alex Shane a few weeks earlier.
UWA Tag Team Championships: Death Squad (Duke Lynch & Mark Myers) vs. 2 Far Gone (Steve Morocco & Paul Tyrell) (c)
Lynch starts by working over Tyrell’s arm, before Tyrell kips up out of it and out of a subsequent headlock. Tyrell dropkicks Lynch down, but Duke goes for a backslide which correctly isn’t counted as a cover, which somehow earns a replay.
Steve Morocco and Mark Myers tag in next, but Myers ends up getting double-teamed by the champions as they enticed Lynch into the ring. We get a replay of a double axehandle, as Myers grabs a headlock, then a series of shoulder tackles to Morocco. There’s more double teaming as Tyrell and the unnamed bodybuilder go to work on Myers.
Back from a break, we see Morocco drop a knee low on Myers, and somewhere in this we get a plug for the UWA Hotline by way of a baby announcement. Yeah, we’re going to WCW territory with these plugs!
Tyrell gets front suplexed onto Lynch by Morocco, as the champions keep the advantage, again double-teaming Lynch as the referee was distracted. More heel work sees the referee miss a tag from the Death Squad, but as all of these were done back-to-back, it kind of lost its effect.
Finally, Lynch tags out in front of the referee after popping up from a snapmare, and after ten punches in the corner by Myers, as the commentators tie up a plug for ticket sales with Phil Powers’ earlier attack. Myers gets hiptossed into the ropes, a move that’d have Glen Joseph spitting out a Rick Martel reference, as Duke Lynch tagged back in to suplex Morocco.
Lynch goes for a sunset flip, then pulls down Morocco’s trunks, only to be dropkicked to the outside where they continue… with a grounded facelock. Inside the ring, Mark Myers bumps into the referee as he tried to avalanche Tyrell. That allowed the mystery bodybuilder to immediately come in and land a tiltawhirl powerslam on Myers, before press slamming Tyrell onto him for the win. Duke Lynch loses his bike, and the referee doesn’t seem to wonder why the big guy was in the ring…
Typical UWA fare I’m afraid – some decent stuff, but it felt rushed and incoherent at times. **¼
After the match, Paul Tyrell grabs the microphone – and his promo’s almost muted – as he slams any critics of 2 Far Gone, before issuing an open challenge and mocking the Death Squad’s old chant. Steve Morocco again demands some “proper tag team title belts”, as Lynch bemoans the “bad management” of the UWA and their officials. Lynch announces that they’ll wrestle one more time, but not in an indoor arena, with “all of our ownings on the line”. Morocco accepts the challenge, so I guess we have another outdoors match coming up?
The show ends with 2 Far Gone driving away in the Death Squad’s custom bike – as they race out to try and stop them. I thought they didn’t mind putting that on the line, so why are they suddenly mad?
Well, we’re back to more of the same I’m afraid. We had a squash match, a not-quite-a-squash match, and a tag title match with a rotten finish. That good show from a few weeks back feels like a million miles away…