After Phil Powers claimed the UWA’s TV title, it’s time to go back and find out… what’s next?
The show starts out with the ending of last week’s TV title tournament, with Phil Powers slingshotting Christopher Daniels to eliminate him – and win the TV title trophy. Dan Berlinka as usual is in the studio to open up the show, before a weird video of the Death Squad making out with their valet to hype up an announcement. Quite.
Oh boy, Mad Dog McPhie and Big Papa T in action this week! Hopefully not against each other… there’s also Danny Royal vs. Blondie Barratt for a UWA title shot. Except they’ve never acknowledged that title before this show, so we don’t know who the champion is. Until now, because Berlinka says that next week will have a “triple trouble match” with the guys who made eliminations in last week’s TV title tournament. So… the belt’s vacant? Doug Williams, Kerry Cabrero and Stevie Knight are going to be in that match.
We cut to ringside in a new building as Doug Williams is in a new ring, with a small, boxing-style ring, as pads cover the corners, rather than individual turnbuckles. Doug cuts a promo, and reveals that he doesn’t want his manager Steve Lynskey at ringside for his title match. Williams then addresses Stevie Knight and Kerry Cabrero ahead of that title match, before Lynskey makes his appearance.
Doug’s not happy with the presence of Steve and his wandering accent, and apparently he’s done with Steve Lynskey as a manager. Someone in the crowd has a cardboard cut-out of the MVC logo, which brings back memories of when I used to browse there back in the day, looking for the new WWF/WCW tapes…
Dan’s back in the studio as he surmises whether Steve Lynskey will stay away from Doug, and whether Williams’ll be any better off without him.
Ahead of our next match, Kerry Cabrero cuts an in-ring promo, claiming that the triple trouble match has never happened in the UK before. “May the best man win”, says Kerry, as the stream of nothing promos continues in the UWA.
Justin Starr vs. Kerry Cabrero
This was apparently Starr’s debut… some six years after he actually wrestled for the first time. The new ring they’re using is visually striking for the wrong reasons – blue-and-red striped canvas does not look good.
Cabrero takes down Starr with a headlock, but it gets countered with headscissors before they square-off. We get an armbar from Cabrero, but Starr reverses it before he’s taken back down. Starr’s taken into the corner, but he counters with an Irish whip in the corner and a series of chops, before Cabrero dishes some out himself.
Starr drops Cabrero with a DDT, then a superkick gets him a near-fall, before a superplex with a floatover gets the newcomer another two-count. Cabrero makes a comeback with a spinning heel kick, then a Flatliner powerbomb gets him the win. Very short, with Cabrero having a very even match for a potential UWA champion. Not bad, not good, it was just… there. **¼
After a commercial break, we’re back to Dan Berlinka in the studio, who announces that that triple trouble match is to crown the first UWA champion. So that other match (Royal/Barratt) is to create a number one contender for a vacant title? Alright then….
The focus then turns to the tag team division, and we’re going to the ring, where the Death Squad come out with their usual valets, the Tiny Girls, who are holding some skull and crossbones with chains on them. Duke Lynch gets the microphone and announces that they’re not wrestling tonight, before saying that there’s apparently not enough official tag teams in the UWA to warrant having titles.
Instead, the Death Squad have created their own title belts – the skull and crossbones with chains around them. The belts look like they’ve been cut out of that industrial steel with the ridges in, which is certainly a different look. Those belts are open to any two wrestlers who want to compete for them, but aside from the unveiling of the belts, this was a pretty flat segment.
Mad Dog McPhie vs. Phil Blend
Blend is already in the ring, and yes, the obvious joke would work.
McPhie attacks Blend in the corner and rakes his eye across the top rope, before a hideous spinning heel kick takes down McPhie. A lariat immediately gets “Mad Dog” a response, as does a couple of suplexes, before a reverse DDT – dubbed the Canine Crusher – gets McPhie the win. A squash, and not a good one. *
Back from break, we get recaps of the earlier Doug Williams segment, and the Death Squad title unveiling… that leads to a backstage segment with UWA official Sorcha, who announces that those tag titles are going to be officially recognised by the UWA, but as long as they’re defended against the Bad Boys next week. I don’t know who they are, or where Mick McManus has gone, but why was this all rushed into one show?
Big Papa T vs. Tom Munroe
Papa’s got a brand new singlet! His opponent is the same guy who lost that scrapyard match a few weeks back, so at least they’re keeping that storyline going where the scrapyard stuff was a foot in the door for some wrestlers.
Munroe tries to grab at Rebecca’s hair before the bell, and when we get going there’s a lot of stalling as Papa waits in the corner. Papa dances around as he avoids a tie-up, and he dances some more when Munroe shoves him. We finally get action courtesy of an Irish whip into the corner, then a shoulder charge, before Papa hits a sub-wrestling school level dropkick.
More dancing segues into stomps as both men leave the ring, and Papa actually hits a clothesline off the apron to the floor. Munroe’s snapmared onto the floor, before a slightly-better dropkick keeps him down there. Papa returns to the ring, as does Munroe, and the masked man gets attacked with some front kicks as Munroe tries to mount a comeback. Nevermind, the camera zooms in away from the impact as Papa T hits an X-Factor on Munroe, and the referee stops the match. Either because it was bad, or because Munroe was “knocked out” by that facebuster. Take your pick. ½*
Well, Munroe clearly wasn’t knocked out, as he’s immediately back on his feet as he’s chased away by Big Papa T. They actually show the facebuster in the replays, from better angles, and no, it didn’t look much better.
After Papa T dances his way out, we’re back to the studio with Phil Powers… who doesn’t have his TV title. Yep, it’s more bland, babyface promo work. Apparently he’s defending the TV title against Mike Roberts in two weeks, someone who’s not wrestled for a year. So how’s he gotten a title shot?! Facially, Powers looks a lot like John Cena. But with perhaps a fraction of the charisma.
We go to commercial, and return with a “UWA Update” with ring announcer Paul Martin reading out dates for four shows in Blackpool. Yep, they’re plugging for ticket, but Martin looks like he’s doing this against his will. Was Paul being held hostage?!
Danny Royal vs. Blondie Barratt
Barratt is a throwback to the old World of Sport days. In that he actually wrestled on the old ITV show! Phil Powers is on commentary for this for some reason…
A lot of tie-ups start us off, with Royal taking down Barratt with some shoulder blocks. Royal hits a press slam on Barratt, who then rolled to the outside for a breather. Blondie pokes the eye then drops Royal neck-first on the top rope before stomping away on Royal.
Royal comes back with an inverted, then a normal atomic drop, before a suplex takes down the veteran. As Barrett chokes away on Royal in the corner, we get yet more agonisingly bland promos from Powers as he promises “to give it his best shot” in his title defence in a few weeks.
Royal fights back from a nerve hold, but he runs into a boot in the corner from Barratt, only to throw down Barratt a la Ric Flair. Barratt comes back with a clothesline for a near-fall, before a backslide from Royal gets a near-fall.
More near-falls follow, including a cover attempt where the referee flat out refused to make a count. As for why, Lord knows because the commentary here was like late 90s WCW, virtually ignoring this number one contender’s match. Thankfully, the match ends with a Full Nelson Bomb – the “Beef Bomb” – and Danny Royal gets the win. The mixture of the wrestling and commentary here was atrocious, it has to be said. *½
The show ends with a music video, starting with Stevie Knight saying he’s “gonna win the world belt”. There’s footage from the TV title tournament where Knight and Williams eliminated each other, and then some of Doug’s other eliminations, as they show how everyone qualified for that triple trouble match.
Not a good TV show – four matches, none of them any good, with the UWA borrowing from the American scene with the use of “commentary that ignores what’s going on in the ring”. I think it’s safe to say that this was quickly becoming a product that could best be described as “patchy”.