We’re back for our final look at the UWA, with their last ever TV episode, featuring two title matches, no less.
Just because he’s not had a promo for a week, we open up with Phil Powers outside the arena. For a change, he wasn’t yelling, and the promo wasn’t too bad, with the take-away line being “you’ll receive the biggest apprenticeship of your life…”
We’re done with studio links, and we’ve apparantly got a three-way for the tag titles, the return of shouty Phil Powers, and Danny Royal’s open challenge. During the video package to build up that tag title match, they finally give 2 Far Gone’s bodybuilder friend a name: Ian Harrison – a guy trained by Drew McDonald, who would get some work in the years to come for WCW (one match on their 2000 tour of the UK), TNA (one match in 2002), with his highlight being a run in the short-lived XWF as British Storm.
UWA Tag Team Championship: Big Papa T & Jody Flash vs. Mad Dog McPhie & Jonny Storm vs. 2 Far Gone (Paul Tyrell & Steve Morocco) (c)
Jonny Storm finally gets some music as he breaks into dance on the stage, which is a weird attribute for a heel to have… 2 Far Gone are out with Ian Harrison and the Tiny Girls, who I guess found their way to the champions despite them not winning that match at the biker rally. So they have three valets/managers, which may be overkill for that act.
They announce the rules of this three-way-dance, and it’s not being held under elimination rules.
Morocco and Flash start us off, with a headlock from Morocco leading to a shoulder tackle from the tag team champion. Flash returns with a hiptoss, then a clothesline, and finally a dropkick that sends Morocco to the outside… and gets Paul Tyrell into the ring to stomp down on Flash.
Jonny Storm tags in to work with the man whom he’d later hit the heights with, and then decked him with a superkick. Storm hangs onto the ropes to prevent a superkick, but Flash hits back with a springboard moonsault off the top rope to take down Storm. 2 Far Gone rush into beat down both men, ending with a powerbomb from Morocco on Flash as they replay Flash’s earlier moonsault.
The champions double-team Flash as we go to a break, and we return to see Storm and Flash once again, with the latter taking a slingshot wheelbarrow suplex off the ropes as Steve Lynskey appears on commentary. Whatever happened to him being fired from the UWA?! The commentary ignores the match for a few seconds as Lynskey pledges to be back, and we see an effort at a clothesline from Big Papa T, whilst Storm and Flash come up short with springboard crossbodies into thin air.
As to who they were aiming for, God only knows, but Paul Tyrell places their prone bodies next to each other, then hits a top rope splash… and that’s the end of it. 2 Far Gone retain the tag titles because both of the challengers tried something flashy and literally fell on their arse in doing so. It’s a good moral for the story, but this was a triple-threat match way before guys in Britain really knew how to have one of those matches without it being awkward. **
2 Far Gone, Ian Harrison and the Tiny Girls celebrate in the ring – and yes, they still had those original Death Squad titles, despite promising never to appear until they had new belts.
We see another video package recapping the Phil Powers/Mark Sloane story, with the hint that Sloane was unhappy at being in the shadows. Phil Powers is all shouty backstage, as he pledges to break his nose and destroy him. Sloane’s retort is shouty too, and he says he’s going to beat his former teacher into a bloody mess.
Sloane stops Paul Martin from announcing him to the ring, and rather stupidly, Martin hangs around as Phil Powers stormed the ring with weapons. Did nobody clue him up on how this was going to go?
No Disqualification: Paul Sloane vs. Phil Powers
Powers stormed the ring with a frying pan, and hit Sloane early on with it, before hitting a swinging neckbreaker. A baking tray’s used, as is Power’s belt, before they go to a Falcon arrow as this no DQ match features some wrestling moves for a change. Sloane clotheslines Powers, but the favour is returned as the pair go outside… where Sloane grabs that baking tray and uses it on his former teacher. Powers grabs the tray again, and throws Sloane into the ringpost, but it doesn’t seem to have any effect… either that, or everyone forgot how to sell again.
Sloane throws Powers into the ring, where a Stinger splash gets cut-off with a boot to the midsection, before Powers uses the belt once more. Powers hits a weak pick to the back of a now-bloodied Sloane, and that leads us to a Mexican surfboard attempt. We see the blood actually dripping from Sloane, but he makes a comeback with a Stinger splash and a sliding/dropping kneedrop, then a bodyslam. This is just awful stuff, like the no-DQ/streetfight part made everyone forget how to wrestle. Sloane’s chops in the corner are stopped as Powers counters with some mounted punches, only to be dropped awkwardly with a Liger Bomb out of the corner.
They go back to the weapon shots, before Powers puts Sloane on the top rope and pulls off a headstand from the middle rope into a ‘rana. That was actually done well, but it didn’t fit with the rest of the match. More belt shots from Powers follow, as does a German suplex, and a legdrop that doesn’t seem to make any contact.
Powers hits Sloane with a frying pan again, before a lovely sequence. And yes, I’m being sarcastic: Powers drilled Sloane with a powerbomb, before jack-knifing over for the pin… but after a one-count, Sloane popped up and reversed the pin for a near-fall after the referee seemingly didn’t know what to do.
Sloane gets a press slam after whipping Powers into the ropes, which took us into a commercial break. After returning, the referee nearly got taken out with a suplex as Powers brought Sloane back into the ring, before a Fisherman’s suplex got the former TV champion a near-fall. Powers hits a bodyslam, but doesn’t go for a cover, instead he climbs up top… and goes for a legdrop. Unfortunately, the camera showed us Sloane’s body for the impact, which saw Powers barely grazing him… and somehow, that was enough for the win. A rotten finish to a match that was all over the place. I guess Powers thought he made contact, because nowadays, they’d keep going and try a different finish. *½
Despite that brutal war, Powers finds the time to do a somersault to celebrate, as we see the “highlights”, I guess. Yes, they showed the top rope legdrop that barely touched Sloane… from the same camera angle.
We segue to another video package, this time on Danny Royal, focusing on his losing run that saw him put up – and lose – his UWA title shot. They show Danny Royal eventually getting a title shot, but only beating Doug Williams by count-out, and then the farce from two weeks’ ago where his TV title shot went to a jobber instead.
Danny Royal appears at ringside next to issue a challenge – and after saying that he should be a two-time champion by now, he thanks the fans for still backing him. A “let’s hear it for the UWA” draws a fairly muted response, before Royal addresses UWA official Mal Mason, and demands a title shot against Doug Williams now. Mal grants the shot, and I guess he’s gonna be the referee?
UWA Championship: Danny Royal vs. Doug Williams (c)
Williams headbutts Royal at the bell, then goes to work with a snapmare and a knee to the back. A Stinger splash takes down Royal, as does a bodyslam and then a Vader bomb, which gets Doug a little more than a one-count.
At this point, Steve Morgan on commentary drops in a line that this is the “last in the series” of Wrestling Rampage, before plugging the UWA Hotline which is “going to be relaunched and revamped” as a line that seemed to be a generic wrestling news hotline.
Royal gets on the offence as he punches Williams to the mat, then grabs a single-leg crab that segues into an STF, before Williams hits a Northern Lights suplex for a two-count. Doug gets a double axehandle off the top rope for another two-count. A springboard moonsault does the same thing, only for Royal to hit back with an old-school shoulderbreaker for a near-fall of his own.
A gutwrench powerbomb nearly dumps Williams on his head for a near-fall, before he misses an elbow off the middle rope. Williams jack-knifes Royal into a pinning predicament for a two-count as they go to a break, returning as Royal clotheslines Williams off the apron. Another clothesline goes awry as Doug ducks and returns the favour, before missing a double axehandle off the top rope.
Royal goes for an airplane spin, which of course leads to a ref bump, before a Beef Bomb gets a visual pinfall… but of course, Mal Mason’s still selling. Doug goes outside for his title belt, and he lays out Royal with a belt shot, and with this being wrestling, the referee recovers in time, but Royal kicks out at two! A bridging German suplex gets Williams a two-count, before Royal hits a second Beef Bomb, but Doug kicks out at the last second! Williams hits back with a slam, then a Quebrada, but it misses, and he takes a third Beef Bomb, and Danny Royal finally takes the title! A decent match, but I’ll be damned if Royal’s Beef Bombs were a hit-and-miss move. ***
So, the UWA signed off with Danny Royal winning the UWA title… as Doug Williams just walked to the back without as much as a look of annoyance. They replayed the ref bump, then all three Beef Bombs, before suddenly crashing to a “best of” video package, with Steve Morgan declaring “it ain’t over til it’s over”. But unfortunately, it was over. Danny Royal’s win was the last thing the UWA showed on TV, and the company went out of business shortly after, with Danny Royal, 2 Far Gone and Stevie Knight being the final champions in the fleeting history of the promotion.
We’ll be posting a retrospective on the UWA’s run tomorrow, with a look at the mistakes made, and whether the British scene learned much from them. A valiant effort, but in the end, a predictable ending to a group that in hindsight, was doomed from the start.